In late 1648 Charles was tried before a tribunal of 135 judges who voted by one vote that he be executed. This was carried out on 30th January 1649.
Nationally, the political situation remained volatile; there were insurrections and further outbreaks of hostilities. Prince Charles tried to claim the throne with the help of the Scots, leading to war between Scotland and Cromwell’s New Model Army. The Battle of Worcester in 1651 – a Parliamentary victory – finally sent the Prince into exile.
The situation proved to be equally volatile locally during this time. Taxes were increased to fund military installations but many in Cornwall rebelled against this and took to arms. Following the killing of 70 Cornish Royalists in Penzance on May 16, 1648, the people of Mullion sent 120 men, who marched to Goonhilly Downs and then to St Keverne and Mawgan, collecting 300 more foot soldiers and 40 horsemen. There was a battle against Parliamentarian forces under the control of Sir Hardress Waller which ultimately led to the defeat of the Cornish forces near Gear Camp, a nearby earthwork of the Iron Age that overlooked the Helford River.
Against this background of instability the story on the Isles of Scilly took an unlikely twist. Parliament had appointed Colonel Buller as governor of Scilly after its surrender in September 1646. Two years later, while he was at church, his soldiers revolted and the islands were once again in Royalist hands. With Sir John Grenville as governor, privateering became piracy and passing ships were plundered, regardless of nationality. Exasperated by this the Dutch declared war on Scilly and sailed to capture the islands, arriving at the same time as a Parliamentary fleet led by Admiral Blake. Blake captured Tresco and forced the surrender of St Mary’s in May 1651. As an interesting footnote to history, no formal peace treaty was signed with the Dutch until 1986, making the war between Holland and Scilly the longest in history.