I was a little bit scared by this book. It is by Geoffrey Robertson, QC, and so I rather worried that it would highly technical and legalistic, and completely impenetrable to me. How wrong I was.
It’s about the only lawyer who was willing to take on the brief to prosecute Charles I after the two civil wars between him and the Parliamentarians. Thankfully it gave an enormous amount of background info on Charles, the Puritans, Cromwell, and everyone else involved and the times etc too, else I would have been completely lost – this is so not my area.
Cooke is my new hero. He was suggesting changes to the lawyer profession – things we simply take for granted today – that did come to be until the nineteenth century, largely because, I think, many of the MPs being asked to consider the reforms were themselves lawyers – often practising ones, at that. And they were not going to rain on their parade, were they?
He was given a farce of a trial after the restoration – after going to extreme lengths to ensure a fair trial for Charles – and was hanged, drawn and quartered. And then pretty much forgotten.
Ah, fickle Clio.