This Day in History: 1649-08-16

On 16th August 1649, Colonel John Morris, who in June 1648 had taken control of Pontefract Castle from Parliamentary forces, with men pretending to deliver mattresses and bedding, was put on trial at York, indicted under the Treason Act 1351 for ‘levying war against the late king and the parliament.’ Morris, like Charles I, questioned the authority of the judging body: ‘My lords, under correction, I conceive this court hath not the power to try me in this case; I being a martial man, I ought to be tried by a council of war.’