Charles I of England

Charles I of England

Overview
Charles I was King of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, King of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, and King of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

 which Charles believed was divinely ordained
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

.
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Timeline

1625   Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

1625   King Charles I marries Henrietta Maria of France, Princess of France

1628   Writs issued in February by Charles I of England mandate that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.

1628   The Petition of Right, a major English constitutional document, is granted the Royal Assent by Charles I and becomes law.

1640   King Charles I of England dissolves the Short Parliament.

1640   Second Bishop's War: King Charles I's English army loses to a Scottish Covenanter force at the Battle of Newburn.

1640   The Treaty of Ripon is signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.

1642   King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war.

1642   From this date all honours granted by Charles I are retrospectively annulled by Parliament.

1642   Charles I calls the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War begins.

 
Quotations

I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world.

Last words, said on the scaffold before his execution. (30 January, 1649).
Encyclopedia
Charles I was King of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, King of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, and King of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

 which Charles believed was divinely ordained
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. Many of his English subjects opposed his actions, in particular his interference in the English and Scottish Churches and the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent which grew to be seen as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

.

Religious conflicts permeated Charles's reign. His failure to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, coupled with such actions as marrying a Catholic princess
Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France ; was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I...

, generated deep mistrust concerning the king's dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

. Charles further allied himself with controversial religious figures, such as the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu
Richard Montagu
Richard Montagu was an English cleric and prelate.-Early life:He was born during Christmastide 1577 at Dorney, Buckinghamshire, where his father Laurence Mountague was vicar, and was educated at Eton. He was elected from Eton to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, and admitted on 24...

, and William Laud
William Laud
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. One of the High Church Caroline divines, he opposed radical forms of Puritanism...

, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

. Many of Charles' subjects felt this brought the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 too close to the Catholic Church. Charles' later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops' Wars
Bishops' Wars
The Bishops' Wars , were conflicts, both political and military, which occurred in 1639 and 1640 centred around the nature of the governance of the Church of Scotland, and the rights and powers of the Crown...

, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish Parliaments and helped precipitate the king's downfall.

Charles' last years were marked by the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, in which he fought the forces of the English and Scottish Parliaments, which challenged the king's attempts to overrule and negate Parliamentary authority, whilst simultaneously using his position as head of the English Church to pursue religious policies which generated the antipathy of reformed groups such as the Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

s. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642–45), after which Parliament expected him to accept its demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

. This provoked the Second Civil War (1648–49) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

. The monarchy
British monarchy
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, also referred to as the Cromwellian Interregnum
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

, was declared. Charles' son, Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

, who dated his accession from the death of his father, did not take up the reins of government until the restoration of the monarchy
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 in 1660. In that same year, Charles I was canonised
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

 as Saint Charles Stuart and King Charles the Martyr by the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and is venerated throughout the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

.

Early life


The second son of James VI of Scotland
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 and Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark was queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as the wife of King James VI and I.The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I...

, Charles was born in Dunfermline Palace
Dunfermline Palace
Dunfermline Palace is a former Scottish royal palace in Dunfermline, Fife. It is currently a ruin under the care of Historic Scotland and an important tourist attraction in Dunfermline....

, Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

 on 19 November 1600. His paternal grandmother was Mary, Queen of Scots. Charles was baptised on 2 December 1600 by the Bishop of Ross
David Lindsay (d. 1613)
David Lindsay was of the twelve original ministers nominated to the "chief places in Scotland" in 1560. In 1589 as one of the recognised leaders of the Kirk and as chaplain of James VI of Scotland, Lindsay accompanied James to Norway to fetch home his bride. He was appointed bishop of Ross and a...

, in a ceremony held in Holyrood Abbey
Holyrood Abbey
Holyrood Abbey is a ruined abbey of the Canons Regular in Edinburgh, Scotland. The abbey was founded in 1128 by King David I of Scotland. During the 15th century, the abbey guesthouse was developed into a royal residence, and after the Scottish Reformation the Palace of Holyroodhouse was expanded...

 and was created Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the younger sons in the Scottish, and later the British, royal family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover....

, Marquess of Ormond, Earl of Ross
Earl of Ross
The Mormaer or Earl of Ross was the leader of a medieval Gaelic lordship in northern Scotland, roughly between the River Oykel and the River Beauly.-Origins and transfers:...

 and Lord Ardmannoch.

Charles was a weak and sickly infant. When Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 died in March 1603 and James VI of Scotland became King of England as James I, Charles was not considered strong enough to survive the journey to London due to his fragile health. While his parents and older siblings left for England in April and May that year, Charles remained in Scotland, with his father's friend and the Lord President of the Court of Session
Lord President of the Court of Session
The Lord President of the Court of Session is head of the judiciary in Scotland, and presiding judge of the College of Justice and Court of Session, as well as being Lord Justice General of Scotland and head of the High Court of Justiciary, the offices having been combined in 1836...

, Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie
Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline
Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline was a Scottish lawyer, judge and politician. He was Lord President of the Court of Session from 1598 to 1604 and Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1604 to 1622....

, appointed as his guardian.

By the spring of 1604, Charles was three and a half and was by then able to walk the length of the great hall at Dunfermline Palace unaided. It was decided that he was now strong enough to make the journey to England to be reunited with his family, and on 13 July 1604 Charles left Dunfermline for England, where he was to spend most of the rest of his life. In England, Charles was placed under the charge of Alletta (Hogenhove) Carey, the Dutch-born wife of courtier Sir Robert Carey
Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth
Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth was an English nobleman and courtier. He was the youngest son of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon and Anne Morgan, daughter of Sir Thomas Morgan and Anne Whitney.As a young man he accompanied several diplomatic missions abroad and took part in military expeditions...

, who taught him how to walk and talk, and insisted that he wear boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles. However, Charles apparently eventually conquered his physical infirmity, which may be attributable to rickets
Rickets
Rickets is a softening of bones in children due to deficiency or impaired metabolism of vitamin D, magnesium , phosphorus or calcium, potentially leading to fractures and deformity. Rickets is among the most frequent childhood diseases in many developing countries...

 and grew to an about-average height of 5 feet 4 inches (162.56 cm).


Charles was not as valued as his physically stronger, elder brother, Henry, Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

; whom Charles personally adored and attempted to emulate. In 1605, Charles was created Duke of York
Duke of York
The Duke of York is a title of nobility in the British peerage. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of the British monarch. The title has been created a remarkable eleven times, eight as "Duke of York" and three as the double-barreled "Duke of York and...

, which is customary in the case of the sovereign's second son. However, when Henry died of suspected typhoid (or possibly porphyria
Porphyria
Porphyrias are a group of inherited or acquired disorders of certain enzymes in the heme bio-synthetic pathway . They are broadly classified as acute porphyrias and cutaneous porphyrias, based on the site of the overproduction and accumulation of the porphyrins...

) at the age of 18 in 1612, two weeks before Charles' 12th birthday, Charles became heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

. As the eldest living son of the sovereign Charles automatically gained several titles (including Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

), and subsequently was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.- Honour of Chester :The...

 in November 1616.


In 1613, his sister Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

 married Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V was Elector Palatine , and, as Frederick I , King of Bohemia ....

 and moved to Heidelberg
Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

. In 1617 the Catholic Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II , a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Bohemia , and King of Hungary . His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.- Life :...

 was elected king of Bohemia. The following year, the people of Bohemia rebelled against their monarch, choosing to crown Frederick V of the Palatinate, and leader of the Protestant Union
Protestant Union
The Protestant Union or Evangelical Union was a coalition of Protestant German states that was formed in 1608 to defend the rights, lands and person of each member....

 in his stead. Frederick's acceptance of the crown in November 1619 thus marked the beginning of turmoil which would develop into the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. This conflict made a great impression upon the English Parliament and public, who quickly grew to see it as a polarised continental struggle between Catholic and Protestant. James, who was supportive of Frederick, and had been seeking marriage between the new Prince of Wales and the Spanish Infanta, Maria Anna of Spain, since Prince Henry's death, began to see the Spanish Match
Spanish Match
The Spanish Match was a proposed marriage between Prince Charles, the son of King James I of England, and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the daughter of Philip III of Spain...

 as a possible means of achieving peace in Europe.

Unfortunately for James, this diplomatic negotiation with Spain proved generally unpopular, both with the public and James' court, with 'Arminian' divines providing a unique source of support for the proposed union. Parliament was actively hostile towards the Spanish throne, and thus, when called by James, hoped for a crusade under the leadership of the king to rescue Protestants on the continent from Habsburg rule. Attacks upon the monopolists by Parliament for the abuse of prices led to the scapegoating of Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

 by George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

, leading to Bacon's impeachment before the Lords; the first of its kind which was not officially sanctioned by the King in the form of a Bill of attainder
Bill of attainder
A bill of attainder is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a judicial trial.-English law:...

 since 1459. The incident set an important precedent in terms of the apparent authority of Parliament to safeguard the nation's interests and its capacity to launch legal campaigns, as it later did against Buckingham, Archbishop Laud, the Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

 and Charles I. However, parliament and James came to blows when the issue of foreign policy was discussed, with James insisting that the Commons be exclusively concerned with domestic affairs. The members of the Commons, meanwhile, protested that they had the privilege of free speech within the Commons' walls. In January 1622 James dissolved the Parliament.

Charles, and the Duke of Buckingham, James' favourite and a man who had great influence over the prince, together travelled incognito to Spain in 1623 in an attempt to reach agreement on the long-pending Spanish Match. The trip ended as an embarrassing failure however as the Spanish demanded that Charles must convert to Roman Catholicism and remain in Spain for a year after the wedding as hostage to ensure England's compliance with all the terms of the treaty. Moreover, a personal quarrel erupted between Buckingham and the Spanish nation between whom was mutual misunderstanding and ill temper. Charles was outraged, and upon their return in October, he and Buckingham demanded that King James declare war on Spain.

With the encouragement of his Protestant advisers, James summoned Parliament in 1624 so that he could request subsidies for a war. At the behest of Charles and Buckingham, James assented to the impeachment of the Lord Treasurer, Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex
Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex
Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex was a successful merchant in London, England.-Life:He was the second son of Thomas Cranfield, a mercer at London, and his wife Martha Randill, the daughter and heiress of Vincent Randill of Sutton-at-Hone, Kent. He was apprenticed in to Richard Sheppard, a...

 by the House of Commons, who quickly fell in much the same manner as Bacon had. James also requested that Parliament sanction the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Princess Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France ; was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I...

, whom Charles had met in Paris while en route to Spain. It was a good match since she was a sister of Louis XIII
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

 (their father, Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

, had died during her childhood). Parliament reluctantly agreed to the marriage, with the promise from both James and Charles that the marriage would not entail a liberty of religion being accorded to any Roman Catholic not of the Princess' own household. By 1624, James was growing sick, and as a result was finding it extremely difficult to control Parliament. By the time of his death, February 1625, Charles and the Duke of Buckingham had already achieved de facto control of the kingdom.

Both Charles and James were advocates of the divine right of kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

, but whilst James' lofty ambitions concerning absolute prerogative
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 were tempered by compromise and consensus with his subjects, Charles I believed that he had no need of Parliamentary approval, that his foreign ambitions (which were greatly expensive and fluctuated wildly) should have no legal impediment, and that he was himself above reproach. Charles believed he had no need to compromise or even explain his actions and that he was answerable only to God, famously stating: "Kings are not bound to give an account of their actions but to God alone".

Early reign


On 11 May 1625, Charles was married by proxy
Proxy marriage
A proxy wedding or is a wedding in which the bride or groom is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person...

 to Henrietta Maria
Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France ; was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I...

 in front of the doors of the Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

, before his first Parliament could meet to forbid the banns. Many members were opposed to the king marrying a Roman Catholic, fearing that Charles would lift restrictions on Roman Catholics and undermine the official establishment of Protestantism. Although he stated to Parliament that he would not relax restrictions relating to recusants
Recusancy
In the history of England and Wales, the recusancy was the state of those who refused to attend Anglican services. The individuals were known as "recusants"...

, he promised to do exactly that in a secret marriage treaty with Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

. Moreover, the price of marriage with the French princess was a promise of English aid for the French crown in the suppressing of the Protestant Huguenots at La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

, thereby reversing England's long held position in the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

. The couple were married in person on 13 June 1625 in Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

. Charles was crowned on 2 February 1626 at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, but without his wife at his side due to the controversy. Charles and Henrietta had seven children, with three sons and three daughters surviving infancy.
Distrust of Charles' religious policies increased with his support of a controversial ecclesiastic, Richard Montagu
Richard Montagu
Richard Montagu was an English cleric and prelate.-Early life:He was born during Christmastide 1577 at Dorney, Buckinghamshire, where his father Laurence Mountague was vicar, and was educated at Eton. He was elected from Eton to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, and admitted on 24...

. In his pamphlets A New Gag for an Old Goose, a reply to the Catholic pamphlet A New Gag for the new Gospel, and also his Immediate Addresse unto God alone, Montagu argued against Calvinist predestination
Predestination
Predestination, in theology is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others...

, thereby bringing himself into disrepute amongst the Puritans. After a Puritan member of the House of Commons, John Pym
John Pym
John Pym was an English parliamentarian, leader of the Long Parliament and a prominent critic of James I and then Charles I.- Early life and education :...

, attacked Montagu's pamphlet during debate, Montagu requested the king's aid in another pamphlet entitled "Appello Caesarem"(1625), (a reference to an appeal against Jewish persecution made by Saint Paul the Apostle
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

). Charles made the cleric one of his royal chaplains, increasing many Puritans' suspicions as to where Charles would lead the Church, fearing that his favouring of Arminianism was a clandestine attempt on Charles' part to aid the resurgence of Catholicism within the English Church.

Charles' primary concern during his early reign was foreign policy. The Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, originally confined to Bohemia, was spiralling into a wider European war. In 1620 Frederick V
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V was Elector Palatine , and, as Frederick I , King of Bohemia ....

 was defeated at the Battle of White Mountain
Battle of White Mountain
The Battle of White Mountain, 8 November 1620 was an early battle in the Thirty Years' War in which an army of 30,000 Bohemians and mercenaries under Christian of Anhalt were routed by 27,000 men of the combined armies of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor under Charles Bonaventure de Longueval,...

 and by 1622, despite the aid of English volunteers, had lost his hereditary lands in the Palatinate to the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II , a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Bohemia , and King of Hungary . His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.- Life :...

. Having agreed to help his brother-in-law regain the Palatinate, Charles declared war on Spain, which under the Catholic King Philip IV
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

 had sent forces to help occupy the Palatinate.

Parliament preferred an inexpensive naval attack on Spanish colonies in the New World, hoping that the capture of the Spanish treasure fleets could finance the war. Charles, however, preferred more aggressive (and more expensive) action on the Continent. Parliament only voted to grant a subsidy of £140,000; an insufficient sum for Charles. Moreover, the House of Commons limited its authorisation for royal collection of tonnage and poundage
Tonnage and Poundage
Tonnage and Poundage were certain duties and taxes first levied in Edward II's reign on every tun of imported wine, which came mostly from Spain and Portugal, and on every pound weight of merchandise exported or imported. Traditionally tonnage and poundage was granted by Parliament to the king...

 (two varieties of customs duties) to a period of one year, although previous sovereigns since 1414 had been granted the right for life. In this manner, Parliament could keep a check on expenditures by forcing Charles to seek the renewal of the grant each year. Charles' allies in the House of Lords, led by the Duke of Buckingham, refused to pass the bill. Although no Parliamentary Act for the levy of tonnage and poundage was obtained, Charles continued to collect the duties.

The war with Spain
Cádiz Expedition (1625)
The Cádiz Expedition of 1625 was a naval expedition against Spain by English and Dutch forces.The plan was put forward because after the Dissolution of the Parliament of 1625, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral wanted to undertake an expedition that would match the exploits of the heroes of...

 under the leadership of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

 went badly, and the House of Commons began proceedings for the impeachment of the duke. Charles nominated Buckingham as Chancellor of Cambridge University in response and on 12 June 1626, the House of Commons launched a direct protestation, stating,
'We protest before your Majesty and the whole world that until this great person be removed from intermeddling with the great affairs of state, we are out of hope of any good success; and we do fear that any money we shall or can give will, through his misemployment, be turned rather to the hurt and prejudice of your kingdom.' Despite Parliament's protests, however, Charles refused to dismiss his friend, dismissing Parliament instead.

Charles provoked further unrest by trying to raise money for the war through a "forced loan": a tax levied without Parliamentary consent. In November 1627, the test case in the King's bench, the 'Five Knights' Case'
Darnell's Case
The Five Knights' case, also called Darnel's or Darnell's case, was an important case in English law, fought by five knights in 1627 against forced loans placed on them by King Charles I in a common law court...

 – which hinged on the king's prerogative right to imprison without trial those who refused to pay the forced load – was on a general basis, upheld. Summoned again in 1628, Parliament adopted a Petition of Right
Petition of right
In English law, a petition of right was a remedy available to subjects to recover property from the Crown.Before the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, the British Crown could not be sued in contract...

 on 26 May, calling upon the king to acknowledge that he could not levy taxes without Parliament's consent, impose martial law on civilians, imprison them without due process, or quarter troops in their homes. Charles assented to the petition, though he continued to claim the right to collect customs duties without authorisation from Parliament.

Despite Charles' agreement to suppress La Rochelle as a condition of marrying Henrietta Maria, Charles reneged upon his earlier promise and instead launched a poorly conceived and executed defence of the fortress
Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré (1627)
The Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, also Siege of St. Martin's , occurred in the French isle of Ile de Ré around the fortress of the city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, when Duke of Buckingham tried to occupy the island in 1627...

 under the leadership of Buckingham in 1628 – thereby driving a wedge between the English and French Crowns that was not surmounted for the duration of the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. Buckingham's failure to protect the Huguenots – indeed, his attempt to capture Saint-Martin-de-Ré
Saint-Martin-de-Ré
Saint-Martin-de-Ré is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.It is one of the 10 communes located on the Île de Ré.-History:Saint-Martin-de-Ré has extensive fortifications, reflecting the strategic importance of the Île de Ré...

 then spurred Louis XIII's attack on the Huguenot fortress of La Rochelle
Siege of La Rochelle
The Siege of La Rochelle was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627-1628...

 – furthered Parliament's detestation of the Duke and the king's close proximity to this eminence grise.

On 23 August 1628, Buckingham was assassinated. The public rejoicing at his death accentuated the gulf between the court and the nation, and between the crown and the Commons. Although the death of Buckingham effectively ended the war with Spain and eliminated his leadership as an issue, it did not end the conflicts between Charles and Parliament over taxation and religious matters.

Personal rule



In January 1629, Charles opened the second session of the Parliament, which had been prorogued in June 1628, with a moderate speech on the tonnage and poundage issue. Members of the House of Commons began to voice their opposition in light of the Rolle case, in which the eponymous MP had had his goods confiscated for failing to pay tonnage and poundage. Many MPs viewed the confiscation as a breach of the Petition of Right
Petition of right
In English law, a petition of right was a remedy available to subjects to recover property from the Crown.Before the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, the British Crown could not be sued in contract...

, arguing that the petition's freedom-from-arrest privilege extended to goods. When Charles ordered a parliamentary adjournment on 10 March, members held the Speaker, Sir John Finch
John Finch
John Finch, 1st Baron Finch was an English judge, and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1629. He was Speaker of the House of Commons.-Early life:...

, down in his chair so that the dissolving of Parliament could be delayed long enough for resolutions against Catholicism, Arminianism and poundage and tonnage to be read out. The lattermost resolution declared that anyone who paid tonnage or poundage not authorised by Parliament would "be reputed a betrayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy to the same", and, although the resolution was not formally passed, many members declared their approval. Nevertheless, the provocation was too much for Charles, who dissolved parliament the same day. Moreover, eight parliamentary leaders, including John Eliot
John Eliot (statesman)
Sir John Eliot was an English statesman who was serially imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he eventually died, by King Charles I for advocating the rights and privileges of Parliament.-Family and early life:...

, were imprisoned on the foot of the matter, thereby turning these men into martyrs, and giving popular cause to a protest that had hitherto been losing its bearings.

Shortly after the proroguing of Parliament, without the means in the foreseeable future to raise funds for a European War from Parliament, or the influence of Buckingham, Charles made peace with France and Spain. The following eleven years, during which Charles ruled without a Parliament, are referred to as the Personal Rule
Personal Rule
The Personal Rule was the period from 1629 to 1640, when King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland ruled without recourse to Parliament...

 or the Eleven Years' Tyranny. (Ruling without Parliament, though an exceptional exercise of the royal prerogative, was supported by precedent. By the middle of the 17th century, opinion shifted, and many held the Personal Rule to be an illegitimate exercise of arbitrary, absolute power.)

Economic problems


The reigns of Elizabeth I and James I had generated a large fiscal deficit for the kingdom. Notwithstanding the failure of Buckingham in the short lived campaigns against both Spain and France, there was in reality little economic capacity for Charles to wage wars overseas. Throughout his reign Charles was obliged to rely primarily on volunteer forces and diplomatic efforts to support his sister, Elizabeth, and secure his foreign policy objective for the restoration of the Palatinate. England was still the least taxed country in Europe, with no official excise and no regular direct taxation. Without the consent of Parliament, Charles' capacity to acquire funds for his treasury was theoretically hamstrung, legally at least. To raise revenue without reconvening Parliament, Charles resurrected an all-but-forgotten law called the "Distraint of Knighthood", promulgated in 1279, which required anyone who earned £40 or more each year to present himself at the King's coronation to join the royal army as a knight. Relying on this old statute, Charles fined all individuals who had failed to attend his coronation in 1626.

Later, Charles reintroduced obsolete feudal taxes such as purveyance, wardship, and forest laws. Chief among these taxes was one known as Ship Money
Ship money
Ship money refers to a tax that Charles I of England tried to levy without the consent of Parliament. This tax, which was only applied to coastal towns during a time of war, was intended to offset the cost of defending that part of the coast, and could be paid in actual ships or the equivalent value...

, which proved even more unpopular, and lucrative, than poundage and tonnage before it. Under statutes of Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 and Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, collection of ship money had been authorised only during wars, and only on coastal regions. Charles, however, argued that there was no legal bar to collecting the tax during peacetime and throughout the whole of the kingdom. Ship Money provided between £150,000 to £200,000 annually between 1634–1638, after which yields declined steeply. This was paid directly to Treasury of the Navy, thus making Northumberland
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland, 4th Baron Percy, KG was an English military leader and a prominent supporter of constitutional monarchy.-Family background:...

 the most direct beneficiary of the tax. Opposition to Ship Money steadily grew, with John Hampden
John Hampden
John Hampden was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643)...

's legal challenge in 1637 providing a platform of popular protest. However, the royal courts declared that the tax was within the King's prerogative.

The king also derived money through the granting of monopolies, despite a statute forbidding such action (The Monopolies Act
Statute of Monopolies 1623
The Statute of Monopolies was an Act of the Parliament of England notable as the first statutory expression of English patent law. Patents evolved from letters patent, issued by the monarch to grant monopolies over particular industries to skilled individuals with new techniques...

, 1624), which, though inefficient, raised an estimated £100,000 a year in the late 1630s in royal revenue. Charles also gained funds through the Scottish nobility, at the price of considerable acrimony, by the Act of Revocation (1625), whereby all gifts of royal or church land made to the nobility were revoked, with continued ownership being subject to an annual rent.

Religious conflicts


Throughout Charles's reign, the issue of how far the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 should progress was constantly brought to the forefront of political debate. Arminian
Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

 theology contained an emphasis on clerical authority and the individual's capacity to reject salvation, and was consequently viewed as heretical and a potential vehicle for the reintroduction of Roman Catholicism by its opponents. Charles's sympathy to the teachings of Arminianism, and specifically his wish to move the Church of England away from Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 in a more traditional and sacramental direction, consistently affirmed Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

s' suspicions concerning the perceived irreligious tendencies of the crown. A long history of opposition to tyrants who oppressed Protestants had developed since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, most notably during the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

 (articulated in the Vindiciae contra tyrannos
Vindiciae contra tyrannos
Vindiciae contra tyrannos was an influential Huguenot tract published in Basel in 1579. The work proceeds through four questions concerning the response of the people to their king...

), and more recently in the Second Defenestration of Prague and eruption of the Thirty Years' War. Such cultural identifications resonated with Charles's subjects who followed news of the war closely and grew increasingly dismayed by Charles failure to support the Protestant cause abroad effectively and his dalliances with Spain. These allegations would haunt Charles because of the continued exacerbating actions of both king and council, particularly in the form of Archbishop William Laud
William Laud
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. One of the High Church Caroline divines, he opposed radical forms of Puritanism...

.

William Laud was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 in 1633, and began a series of unpopular reforms such as attempting to ensure religious uniformity by dismissing non-conformist clergymen, and closing Puritan organisations. His policy was opposed to Calvinist theology, and he insisted that the Church of England's liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 be celebrated using the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

, and that the internal architecture of English churches be reorganised so as to emphasise the sacrament of the altar, thereby attacking predestination. To punish those who refused to accept his reforms, Laud used the two most feared and most arbitrary courts in the land, the Court of High Commission
Court of High Commission
The Court of High Commission was the supreme ecclesiastic court in England. It was instituted by the crown during the Reformation and finally dissolved by parliament in 1641...

 and the Court of Star Chamber
Star Chamber
The Star Chamber was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters...

. The former could compel individuals to provide self-incriminating testimony, whilst the latter, essentially an extension of the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, could inflict any punishment whatsoever (including torture), with the sole exception of death.
The first years of the Personal Rule were marked by peace in England, partly because of tighter central control. Several individuals opposed Charles's taxes and Laud's policies, and some left as a result, such as the Puritan minister Thomas Hooker
Thomas Hooker
Thomas Hooker was a prominent Puritan colonial leader, who founded the Colony of Connecticut after dissenting with Puritan leaders in Massachusetts...

, who set sail for America along with other religious dissidents in the Griffin
Griffin (ship)
Griffin was the name of a 17th century ship known to have sailed between England and English settlements in Massachusetts. Several historical and genealogical references show the Griffin making such journeys in 1633 and 1634. The 1633 journey left at Downs, England and landed at Plymouth,...

 (1634). By 1633 Star Chamber had, in effect, taken the place of High Commission as the supreme tribunal for religious offences as well as dealing with Crown cases of a secular nature. Under Charles's reign, defendants were regularly brought before the Court without indictment, due process of the law, or right to confront witnesses, and their testimonies were routinely extracted by the Court through torture.

However, when Charles attempted to impose his religious policies in Scotland he faced numerous difficulties. Although born in Scotland, Charles had become estranged from his kingdom; not even paying visit until his Scottish coronation in 1633. In 1637 the king ordered the use of a new Prayer Book to be used within Scotland that was almost identical to the English Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

, without consultation with either the Scottish Parliament or Kirk
Kirk
Kirk can mean "church" in general or the Church of Scotland in particular. Many place names and personal names are also derived from it.-Basic meaning and etymology:...

. Although this move was supported by the Scottish Bishops, it was resisted by many Presbyterian
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 Scots, who saw the new Prayer Book as a vehicle for introducing Anglicanism to Scotland. In 1637, spontaneous unrest erupted throughout the Kirk upon the first Sunday of its usage, and the public began to mobilise around rebellious nobles in the form of the National Covenant. When the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland abolished Episcopalian government (that is, governance of the Church by bishops) in 1638, replacing it with Presbyterian government (that is, governance by elders and deacons), Charles sought to put down what he saw as a rebellion against his authority.

In 1639, when the First Bishops' War
Bishops' Wars
The Bishops' Wars , were conflicts, both political and military, which occurred in 1639 and 1640 centred around the nature of the governance of the Church of Scotland, and the rights and powers of the Crown...

 broke out, Charles did not seek subsidies to wage war, but instead raised an army without Parliamentary aid. However, Charles's army did not engage the Covenanters as the king was afraid of the defeat of his forces, whom he believed to be significantly outnumbered by the Scots. In the Pacification of Berwick
Treaty of Berwick (1639)
The Treaty of Berwick was signed on 18 June 1639 between England and Scotland. Archibald Johnston was involved in the negotiations before King Charles was forced to sign the treaty. The agreement, overall, officially ended the First Bishops' War even though both sides saw it only as a temporary...

, Charles regained custody of his Scottish fortresses, and secured the dissolution of the Covenanters' interim government, albeit at the decisive concession whereby both the Scottish Parliament and General Assembly of the Scottish Church were called.

Charles's military failure in the First Bishops' War in turn caused a financial and military crisis for Charles while his efforts to raise finance from Spain and support for his Palatine relatives led to the public humiliation of the Battle of the Downs where the Dutch destroyed a Spanish bullion fleet in sight of the Kent coast and English fleet.

Charles's peace negotiations with the Scots were merely a bid by the king to gain time before launching a new military campaign. However, because of his financial weakness, Charles was forced to call Parliament into session by 1640 in an attempt to raise funds for such a venture. The risk for the king lay in the forum that Parliament would provide to his opponents, whilst the intransigence of the 1628 Parliament augured badly for the prospects of obtaining the necessary subsidy for war.

The Second Bishops' War



Charles collectively summoned both English and Irish parliaments in the early months of 1640. In March, 1640 the Irish Parliament duly voted in a subsidy of £180,000 with the promise to raise an army 9,000 strong by the end of May. However, in the English General Election in March, court candidates fared badly, and Charles' dealings with the English Parliament in April quickly reached stalemate. Northumberland and Strafford together attempted to reach a compromise whereby the king would agree to forfeit Ship Money in exchange for £650,000 (although the coming war was estimated at around £1 million). Nevertheless, this alone was insufficient to produce consensus in the Commons. The Parliamentarians' calls for further reforms were ignored by Charles, who still maintained the support of the House of Lords. Despite the protests of Northumberland, Parliament was dissolved less than a month after it assembled, in May 1640; thus causing it to be known as the "Short Parliament
Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England, so called because it lasted only three weeks....

".
By this stage Thomas Wentworth
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

, created Earl of Strafford and elevated to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in January 1640, had emerged as Charles' right hand man and together with Laud, pursued a policy of 'Thorough
Thorough
In 17th century England, Thorough was a name given by Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford to a scheme of his to establish absolute monarchy in England...

' in support of absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

. Although originally a major critic of the king, Strafford defected to royal service in 1628 (due in part to Buckingham's persuasion), and had since emerged as the most capable of Charles' ministers. Having trained up a large army in Ireland in support of the king and seriously weakened the authority of the Irish Parliament, particularly those members of parliament belonging to the Old English
Old English (Ireland)
The Old English were the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from Wales, Normandy, and England after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71. Many of the Old English became assimilated into Irish society over the centuries...

, Strafford had been instrumental in obtaining an independent source of both royal revenue and forces within the three kingdoms. As the Scottish Parliament declared itself capable of governing without the king's consent and, in September 1640, moved into Northumberland under the leadership of Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was a Scottish nobleman and soldier, who initially joined the Covenanters in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but subsequently supported King Charles I as the English Civil War developed...

, Strafford was sent north to command the English forces following Northumberland's
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland, 4th Baron Percy, KG was an English military leader and a prominent supporter of constitutional monarchy.-Family background:...

 illness. The Scottish soldiery, many of whom were veterans of the Thirty Years' War, had far greater morale and training compared to their English counterparts, and met virtually no resistance until reaching Newcastle where, at the Battle of Newburn
Battle of Newburn
The Battle of Newburn was fought on 28 August 1640 during the Second Bishops' War between a Scottish Covenanter army led by General Alexander Leslie and English royalist forces commanded by Edward, Lord Conway. Conway, heavily outnumbered, was defeated, and the Scots went on to occupy the town of...

, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – and hence England's coal supply – fell into the hands of the Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

 forces. At this critical juncture, the English host based at York was unable to mount a counterattack because Strafford was incapacitated by a combination of gout and dysentery.

On 24 September Charles took the unusual step of summoning the magnum concilium
Magnum Concilium
In the kingdom of England, the Magnum Concilium, or Great Council, was an assembly convened at certain times of the year when church leaders and wealthy landowners were invited to discuss the affairs of the country with the king. It was established in the reign of the Normans, and was called for...

, the ancient council of all the Peers of the Realm, who were considered the King's hereditary counsellors, who recommended making peace with the Scots and the recalling of Parliament. A cessation of arms, although not a final settlement, was agreed in the humiliating Treaty of Ripon
Treaty of Ripon
The Treaty of Ripon was an agreement signed by Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Scottish Covenanters on 26 October 1640, in the aftermath of the Second Bishops' War...

, signed October 1640. The treaty stated that the Scots would continue to occupy Northumberland and Durham and be paid £850 per day, until peace was restored and the English Parliament recalled (which would be required to raise sufficient funds to pay the Scottish forces).

Consequently, in November Charles summoned what was later to become known as the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

. Of the 493 MPs of the Commons, 399 were opposed to the king, and only 94 could be counted on, by Charles, for support.

The "Long Parliament"


The Long Parliament assembled in November 1640 and proved just as difficult for Charles as had the Short Parliament. The Parliament quickly began proceedings to impeach Laud of High Treason, which it succeeded in doing on 18 December. Lord Keeper Finch was impeached the following day, and he consequently fled to the Hague with Charles' permission on 21 December. To prevent the king from dissolving it at will, Parliament passed the Triennial Act, to which the Royal Assent was granted in February 1641. The Act required that Parliament was to be summoned at least once every three years, and that when the King failed to issue proper summons, the members could assemble on their own.

On 22 March 1641, Strafford, who had become the immediate target of the Parliamentarians, particularly that of John Pym
John Pym
John Pym was an English parliamentarian, leader of the Long Parliament and a prominent critic of James I and then Charles I.- Early life and education :...

, went on trial for high treason. The incident provided a new departure for Irish politics whereby Old English
Old English (Ireland)
The Old English were the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from Wales, Normandy, and England after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71. Many of the Old English became assimilated into Irish society over the centuries...

, Gaelic Irish and New English settlers joined together in a legal body to present evidence against Strafford. However, the evidence supplied by Sir Henry Vane
Henry Vane the Elder
Sir Henry Vane, the elder was an English politician and secretary of state.-Origins and education:Vane was born on 18 February 1589, the eldest son of Henry Vane or Fane of Hadlow, Kent, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Roger Twysden of East Peckham, Kent...

 in relation to Strafford's alleged improper use and threat to England via the Irish army was not corroborated and on 10 April Pym's case collapsed. Pym immediately launched a Bill of Attainder, simply stating Strafford's guilt and that the Earl be put to death.

Charles, however guaranteed Strafford that he would not sign the attainder, without which the bill could not be passed. Furthermore, the Lords were opposed to the severity of the sentence of death imposed upon Strafford. Yet, increased tensions and an attempted coup by the army in support of Strafford began to sway the issue. On 21 April, in the Commons the Bill went virtually unopposed (204 in favour, 59 opposed, and 250 abstained), the Lords acquiesced, and Charles, fearing for the safety of his family, signed on 10 May. The Earl of Strafford was beheaded two days later.

In May 1641, Charles assented to an unprecedented act, which forbade the dissolution of the English Parliament without Parliament's consent. Ship money, fines in destraint of knighthood and forced loans were declared unlawful, monopolies were cut back severely, and the Courts of Star Chamber
Star Chamber
The Star Chamber was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters...

 and High Commission were abolished. All remaining forms of taxation were legalised and regulated by the Tonnage and Poundage Act. On 3 May, Parliament decreed The Protestation, attacking the 'wicked counsels' of Charles' government, whereby those who signed the petition undertook to defend 'the true reformed religion', parliament, and the king's person, honour and estate. Throughout May, the House of Commons launched several bills attacking bishops and episcopalianism in general, each time defeated in the Lords.

Although he made several important concessions, Charles improved his own military position by securing the favour of the Scots that summer by promising the official establishment of Presbyterianism. In return, he was able to enlist considerable anti-parliamentary support. However, following the attempted coup of 'The Incident'
The Incident (conspiracy)
The Incident was a Royalist plot to kidnap a group of Scottish nobles. The Incident took place in 1641 during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and the plot's targets were all prominent members of the Presbyterian Covenanter faction who opposed Charles I's attempts to control the Scottish Church...

 in Scotland, Charles' credibility was significantly undermined.

The Irish Rebellion


In a similar manner as pursued by the English Parliament in their opposition to Buckingham, albeit from a far less disingenuous stance, the Old English members of the Irish Parliament argued that their opposition to Strafford had not negated their loyalty to Charles. They argued that Charles had been led astray by the malign influence of the Earl, and that, moreover, the ambiguity surrounding Poynings' Law meant that, instead of ensuring that the king was directly involved in the governance of Ireland, that a viceroy such as Wentworth, the Earl of Strafford, could emerge as a despotic figure. However, unlike their Old English counterparts who were Catholic, the New English settlers in Ireland were Protestant and could loosely be defined as aligned with the English Parliament and the Puritans; thereby fundamentally opposed to the crown due to unfolding events within England herself.

Various disputes between native and coloniser concerning a transference of land ownership from Catholic to Protestant, particularly in relation to the plantation of Ulster
Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation of Ulster—a province of Ireland—by people from Great Britain. Private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while official plantation controlled by King James I of England and VI of Scotland began in 1609...

, coupled with the gradual overshadowing of the Irish Parliament by the English Parliament would sow the seeds of conflagration in Ireland that, despite its initial chaos, provide the catalyst for direct armed combat within England between royalists and parliamentarians. The success of the trial against Strafford weakened Charles' influence in Ireland, whilst also providing a natural conduit for cooperation between the Gaelic Irish and Old English, who had hitherto been antagonistic towards one another. Thus, in the conflict between the Gaelic Irish, and New English settlers, in the Irish Rebellion of 1641
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

, the Old English sided with the Gaelic Irish whilst simultaneously professing their loyalty to the king.

Though in November 1641 the House of Commons passed the Grand Remonstrance
Grand Remonstrance
The Grand Remonstrance was a list of grievances presented to King Charles I of England by the English Parliament on 1 December 1641, but passed by the House of Commons on the 22nd of November 1641, during the Long Parliament; it was one of the chief events which were to precipitate the English...

, a long list of grievances against actions by Charles' ministers committed since the beginning of his reign (that were asserted to be part of a grand Catholic conspiracy which the king was an unwitting member), it was in many ways a step too far by Pym (passed by 6 votes, 200 abstained). Furthermore the Remonstrance attacked the members of the House of Lords as being guilty of blocking reform, who duly defeated the Remonstrance when brought before them. The tension was heightened when news of the Irish rebellion reached Parliament, coupled with inaccurate rumours of Charles' complicity. The Irish Catholic army, established by Strafford, whose dissolution had been demanded thrice by the House of Commons, professed their loyalty to the king. This was combined with the massacres of Protestant New English in Ireland by Gaelic Irish who could not be controlled by their lords, and proved to be the final antinomy between the English Parliament and the king in relation to Charles' authority to govern. Throughout November a storm of publicity concerning the Irish depositions, coupled with stories concerning 'Papist conspiracies' alive within England herself circulated the kingdom, and were published in the form of a series of alarmist pamphlets.


The English Parliament did not trust Charles' motivations when he called for funds to put down the Irish rebellion, many members of the House of Commons fearing that forces raised by Charles might later be used against Parliament itself. The Militia Bill was intended to wrest control of the army from the King, but it did not have the support of the Lords, let alone the king. Indeed, the Militia Ordinance appears to have been the single most decisive moment in prompting an exodus from the Upper House to support Charles. In an attempt to strengthen his position, Charles generated great antipathy in London, which was already fast falling into anarchy, when he placed the Tower of London under the command of Colonel Thomas Lunsford
Thomas Lunsford
Sir Thomas Lunsford was a Royalist colonel in the English Civil War.Lunsford committed a murderous assault upon Sir Thomas Pelham in 1633 and was outlawed for failing to appear to receive judgment in 1637. He was pardoned in 1639 and joined Charles I's army. He was made lieutenant of the Tower in...

, an infamous, albeit efficient, career officer. When rumours reached Charles that Parliament intended to impeach his Catholic Queen, Henrietta Maria, the king decided to take drastic action which would not only end the diplomatic stalemate between himself and Parliament, but signal the beginning of the civil war.

Charles suspected, correctly, that there were members of the English Parliament who had colluded with the invading Scots. On 3 January, Charles directed Parliament to give up six members on the grounds of High Treason. When Parliament refused, it was possibly Henrietta who persuaded Charles to arrest the five members by force, which Charles intended to carry out personally. However, news of the warrant reached Parliament ahead of him, and the wanted men – Pym, John Hampden
John Hampden
John Hampden was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643)...

, Denzil Holles
Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles
Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles PC was an English statesman and writer, best known as one of the five members of parliament whom King Charles I of England attempted to arrest in 1642.-Early life:...

, William Strode
William Strode
William Strode was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England variously between 1624 and 1645. He was one of the five members impeached by King Charles and fought on the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil War.-Life:...

 and Sir Arthur Haselrig
Arthur Haselrig
Sir Arthur Haselrig, 2nd Baronet was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1640 and 1659. He was one of the five members of Parliament whom King Charles I tried to arrest in 1642, an event which led to the start of the English Civil War...

 – slipped away shortly before Charles entered the House of Commons with an armed guard on 4 January 1642. Having displaced the Speaker, William Lenthall
William Lenthall
William Lenthall was an English politician of the Civil War period. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons.-Early life:...

 from his chair, the king asked him where the MPs had fled. Lenthall famously replied, "May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." Charles abjectly declared 'all my birds have flown', and was forced to retire, empty-handed.

The botched arrest attempt was politically disastrous for Charles. In one stroke Charles destroyed his supporters' arguments that the king was the only bulwark against a rising tide of innovation and disorder. No English sovereign ever had (or has since that time) entered the House of Commons by force.

Parliament quickly seized London, and on 10 January 1642, Charles was forced to leave the capital, where he began travelling north to raise an army against his Parliament.

English Civil War



The English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 had not yet started, but both sides began to arm as the summer of 1642 progressed. Following futile negotiations, Charles raised the royal standard in Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

 on 22 August 1642. He then set up his court at Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, when his government controlled roughly the Midlands, Wales, the West Country and north of England. Parliament remained in control of London and the south-east as well as East Anglia. Charles raised an army using the archaic method of the Commission of Array
Commission of Array
A Commission of Array was a commission given by English royalty to officers or gentry in a given territory to muster and array the inhabitants and to see them in a condition for war, or to put soldiers of a country in a condition for military service...

. The First Civil War
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

 started on 26 October 1642 with the inconclusive Battle of Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

 and continued indecisively through 1643 and 1644, until the Battle of Naseby
Battle of Naseby
The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English Civil War. On 14 June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Parliamentarian New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.-The Campaign:...

 tipped the military balance decisively in favour of Parliament. There followed a great number of defeats for the Royalists, and then the Siege of Oxford
Siege of Oxford
The Siege of Oxford was a Parliamentarian victory late in the First English Civil War. Whereas the title of the event may suggest a single siege, there were in fact three individual engagements that took place over a period of three years....

, from which Charles escaped in April 1646. He put himself into the hands of the Scottish Presbyterian army at Newark, and was taken to nearby Southwell
Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Southwell is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, best known as the site of Southwell Minster, the seat of the Church of England diocese that covers Nottinghamshire...

 while his "hosts" decided what to do with him. The Presbyterians finally arrived at an agreement with Parliament and delivered Charles to them in 1647. He was imprisoned at Holdenby House
Holdenby House
Holdenby House is a historic country house in Northamptonshire, traditionally pronounced and sometimes spelt Holmby. The house is situated in the parish of Holdenby, six miles northwest of Northampton and close to Althorp....

 in Northamptonshire, until cornet George Joyce
George Joyce
Cornet George Joyce was an officer in the Parliamentary New Model Army during the English Civil War.Between 2 June and June 5 1647, while the New Model Army was assembling for rendezvous at the behest of the recently formed Army Council, George Joyce seized King Charles I from Parliament's custody...

 took him by force to Newmarket in the name of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

. At this time mutual suspicion had developed between the New Model Army and Parliament, and Charles was eager to exploit it.

He was then transferred first to Oatlands
Oatlands
Oatlands is a village and small district near Weybridge in Surrey which has acquired its name from the Royal Tudor and Stuart Oatlands Palace, the site of which is now a luxury hotel...

 and then Hampton Court
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

, where more involved but fruitless negotiations took place. He was persuaded that it would be in his best interests to escape—perhaps abroad, to France, or to the custody of Colonel Robert Hammond, Parliamentary Governor of the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

. He decided on the last course, believing Hammond to be sympathetic, and fled on 11 November. Hammond, however, was opposed to Charles, whom he confined in Carisbrooke Castle
Carisbrooke Castle
Carisbrooke Castle is a historic motte-and-bailey castle located in the village of Carisbrooke, near Newport, Isle of Wight, England. Charles I was imprisoned at the castle in the months prior to his trial.-Early history:...

.

From Carisbrooke, Charles continued to try to bargain with the various parties. In direct contrast to his previous conflict with the Scottish Kirk, Charles on 26 Dec. 1647 signed a secret treaty with the Scots. Under the agreement, called the "Engagement
Engagers
The Engagers were a faction of the Scottish Covenanters, who made "The Engagement" with King Charles I in December 1647 while he was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle by the English Parliamenterians after his defeat in the First Civil War....

", the Scots undertook to invade England on Charles' behalf and restore him to the throne on condition of the establishment of Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 for three years.

The Royalists rose in July 1648, igniting the Second Civil War
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

, and as agreed with Charles, the Scots invaded England. Most of the uprisings in England were put down by forces loyal to Parliament after little more than skirmishes, but uprisings in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, Essex, and Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

, the rebellion in Wales, and the Scottish invasion involved the fighting of pitched battles and prolonged sieges. But with the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Preston
Battle of Preston (1648)
The Battle of Preston , fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the troops of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton...

, the Royalists lost any chance of winning the war.

Trial




Charles was moved to Hurst Castle
Hurst Castle
Hurst Castle on the south coast of England is one of Henry VIII's Device Forts, built at the end of a long shingle barrier beach at the west end of the Solent to guard the approaches to Southampton. Hurst Castle was sited at the narrow entrance to the Solent where the ebb and flow of the tides...

 at the end of 1648, and there after to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

. In January 1649, in response to Charles' defiance of Parliament even after defeat, and his encouraging the second Civil War while in captivity, the House of Commons passed an Act of Parliament creating a court for Charles' trial. After the first Civil War, the parliamentarians accepted the premise that the king, although wrong, had been able to justify his fight, and that he would still be entitled to limited powers as King under a new constitutional settlement. It was now felt that by provoking the second Civil War even while defeated and in captivity, Charles showed himself responsible for unjustifiable bloodshed. The secret treaty with the Scots was considered particularly unpardonable; "a more prodigious treason", said Cromwell, "than any that had been perfected before; because the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another; this to vassalise us to a foreign nation." Cromwell had up to this point supported negotiations with the king, but now rejected further diplomacy.

The idea of trying a king was a novel one; previous monarchs (Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, Richard II
Richard II of England
Richard II was King of England, a member of the House of Plantagenet and the last of its main-line kings. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard was a son of Edward, the Black Prince, and was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III...

 and Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

) had been overthrown and murdered by their successors, but had never been brought to trial as monarchs. Charles was accused of treason against England by using his power to pursue his personal interest rather than the good of England. The charge against Charles I stated that the king, "for accomplishment of such his designs, and for the protecting of himself and his adherents in his and their wicked practices, to the same ends hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament, and the people therein represented...", that the "wicked designs, wars, and evil practices of him, the said Charles Stuart, have been, and are carried on for the advancement and upholding of a personal interest of will, power, and pretended prerogative to himself and his family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, and peace of the people of this nation."

Estimated deaths from the first two English civil wars has been reported as 84,830 killed with estimates of another 100,000 dying from war-related disease; this was in 1650 out of a population of only 5.1 million, or 3.6% of the population. The indictment against the king therefore held him "guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damages and mischiefs to this nation, acted and committed in the said wars, or occasioned thereby."

The High Court of Justice established by the Act consisted of 135 Commissioners but only 68 ever sat in judgement (all firm Parliamentarians); the prosecution
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

 was led by Solicitor General
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Her Majesty's Solicitor General for England and Wales, often known as the Solicitor General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Attorney General, whose duty is to advise the Crown and Cabinet on the law...

 John Cooke. Charles' trial on charges of high treason and "other high crimes" began on 20 January 1649, but Charles refused to enter a plea, claiming that no court had jurisdiction over a monarch. He believed that his own authority to rule had been given to him by God and by the traditions and laws of England when he was crowned and anointed, and that the power wielded by those trying him was simply that of force of arms. Charles insisted that the trial was illegal, explaining, "Then for the law of this land, I am no less confident, that no learned lawyer will affirm that an impeachment can lie against the King, they all going in his name: and one of their maxims is, that the King can do no wrong." When urged to enter a plea, he stated his objection with the words: "I would know by what power I am called hither, by what lawful authority...?" The court, by contrast, proposed an interpretation of the law that legitimised the trial, which was founded on
"...the fundamental proposition that the King of England was not a person, but an office whose every occupant was entrusted with a limited power to govern 'by and according to the laws of the land and not otherwise'."


Over a period of a week, when Charles was asked to plead three times, he refused. It was then normal practice to take a refusal to plead as pro confesso: an admission of guilt, which meant that the prosecution could not call witnesses to its case. However, the trial did hear witnesses.

The King was declared guilty at a public session on Saturday 27 January 1649 and sentenced to death. Fifty-nine of the Commissioners signed Charles' death warrant.

After the ruling, he was led from St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

, where he was confined, to the Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

, where an execution scaffold had been erected in front of the Banqueting House.

Execution



Charles Stuart, as his death warrant states, was beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 on Tuesday, 30 January 1649. Before the execution it was reported that he wore two shirts to prevent the cold weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have mistaken for fear or weakness.

The execution took place at Whitehall on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House
Banqueting House
In Tudor and Early Stuart English architecture a banqueting house is a separate building reached through pleasure gardens from the main residence, whose use is purely for entertaining. It may be raised for additional air or a vista, and it may be richly decorated, but it contains no bedrooms or...

. Charles was separated from the people by large ranks of soldiers, and his last speech reached only those with him on the scaffold. He declared that he had desired the liberty and freedom of the people as much as any, "but I must tell you that their liberty and freedom consists in having government.... It is not their having a share in the government; that is nothing appertaining unto them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things."

Charles put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke. His last words were, "I shall go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be."

Philip Henry
Philip Henry (clergyman)
Philip Henry was an English Nonconformist clergyman and diarist.-Early life:Henry graduated from Oxford in 1652 and was ordained in 1657. He was the eldest son of John Henry, keeper of the orchard at Whitehall, and was born at Whitehall on 24 August 1631...

 records that moments after the execution, a moan was heard from the assembled crowd, some of whom then dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, thus starting the cult of the Martyr King
Society of King Charles the Martyr
The Society of King Charles the Martyr is an Anglican devotional society and one of the Catholic Societies of the Church of England. It is dedicated to and under the patronage of King Charles I of England , the only person to be canonised by the Church of...

; however, no other eyewitness source, including Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

, records this. Henry's account was written during the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, some 12 years after the event though Henry was 19 when the King was executed and he and his family were Royalist propaganda writers.

The executioner was masked, and there is some debate over his identity. It is known that the Commissioners approached Richard Brandon
Richard Brandon
Richard Brandon was a 17th century English hangman who inherited his role from his father Gregory Brandon and was sometimes known as "Young Gregory"...

, the common Hangman of London, but that he refused, and contemporary sources do not generally identify him as the King's headsman. Ellis's Historical Inquiries, however, names him as the executioner, contending that he stated so before dying. It is possible he relented and agreed to undertake the commission, but there are others who have been identified. An Irishman named Gunning is widely believed to have beheaded Charles, and a plaque naming him as the executioner is on show in the Kings Head pub in
Galway, Ireland. William Hewlett
William Hewlett (regicide)
On 30 January 1649, Captain William Hewlett was the officer in charge of the soldiers at the execution of Charles I.After the Restoration, Captain Hewlett was convicted on 15 October 1660 for his part in the regicide of Charles I on January 30, 1649, but was not executed along with the other men...

 was convicted of regicide
Regicide
The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a monarch. In a narrower sense, in the British tradition, it refers to the judicial execution of a king after a trial...

 after the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

. In 1661, two people identified as "Dayborne and Bickerstaffe" were arrested but then discharged. Henry Walker, a revolutionary journalist, or his brother William, were suspected but never charged. Various local legends around England name local worthies. An examination performed in 1813 at Windsor suggests that the execution was carried out by an experienced headsman.

It was common practice for the head of a traitor to be held up and exhibited to the crowd with the words "Behold the head of a traitor!" Although Charles' head was exhibited, the words were not used. In an unprecedented gesture, one of the revolutionary leaders, Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, allowed the King's head to be sewn back onto his body so the family could pay its respects. Charles was buried in private on the night of 7 February 1649, inside the Henry VIII vault in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The royal retainers Sir Thomas Herbert, Capt. Anthony Mildmay
Anthony Mildmay (courtier)
Anthony Mildmay was an English courtier and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640. He waited on King Charles during his imprisonment and had care of two of his children after the King's execution....

, Sir Henry Firebrace
Sir Henry Firebrace
Sir Henry Firebrace was a courtier to Charles I, serving during his conflicts with Parliament throughout the era of the English Civil Wars...

, William Levett
William Levett
William Levett, Esq., was a longserving courtier to King Charles I of England. Levett accompanied the King during his flight from Parliamentary forces, including his escape from Hampton Court palace, and eventually to his imprisonment in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, and finally to the...

 Esq. and Abraham Dowcett (sometimes spelled Dowsett) conveyed the King's body to Windsor. The King's son, King Charles II, later planned an elaborate royal mausoleum, but it was never built.

Ten days after Charles' execution, a memoir purporting to be written by the king appeared for sale. This book, the Eikon Basilike
Eikon Basilike
The Eikon Basilike , The Pourtrature of His Sacred Majestie in His Solitudes and Sufferings, was a purported spiritual autobiography attributed to King Charles I of England...

 (Greek: the "Royal Portrait"), contained an apologia for royal policies, and it proved an effective piece of royalist propaganda. William Levett
Levett
Levett is an Anglo-Norman territorial surname deriving from the village of Livet-en-Ouche, now Jonquerets-de-Livet, in Eure, Normandy. Ancestors of the earliest Levett family in England, the de Livets were lords of the village of Livet, and undertenants of the de Ferrers, among the most powerful of...

, Charles' groom of the bedchamber, who accompanied Charles on the day of his execution, swore that he had personally witnessed the King writing the Eikon Basilike. John Cooke published the speech he would have delivered if Charles had entered a plea, while Parliament commissioned John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

 to write a rejoinder, the Eikonoklastes
Eikonoklastes
Eikonoklastes is a book by John Milton, published October 1649. In it he provides a justification for the execution of Charles I, which had taken place on 30 January 1649. The book's title is taken from the Greek, and means "iconoclast" or "breaker of the icon", and refers to Eikon Basilike, a...

 ("The Iconoclast"), but the response made little headway against the pathos of the royalist book.

Following the death of the king, several works were written expressing the outrage of the people at such an act. The ability to execute a king, believed to be the spokesman of God, was a shock to the country. Several poems, such as Katherine Phillips' Upon the Double Murder of King Charles
Upon the Double Murder of King Charles
"Upon the Double Murder of King Charles In Answer to a Libelous Rhyme made by V.P." is a 17th century poem by Katherine Philips:- Historical Occasion for the Poem :...

, express the depth of their outrage. In her poem, Phillips describes the "double murder" of the king; the execution of his life as well as the execution of his dignity. By killing a king, Phillips questioned the human race as a whole—what they were capable of, and how low they would sink.

Legacy


With the monarchy overthrown, and the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 declared, power was assumed by a Council of State, which included Lord Fairfax, then Lord General of the Parliamentary Army, and Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

. The final conflicts between Parliamentary forces and Royalists were decided in the Third English Civil War
Third English Civil War
The Third English Civil War was the last of the English Civil Wars , a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists....

 and Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Cromwell landed in Ireland with his New Model Army on behalf of England's Rump Parliament in 1649...

, whereby all significant military opposition to the Parliament and New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 was extinguished. The Long Parliament (known by then as the Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

) which had been called by Charles I in 1640 continued to exist (with varying influence) until Cromwell forcibly disbanded it completely in 1653, thereby establishing The Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

. Cromwell then became Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of England, Scotland and Ireland; a monarch in all but name: he was even 'invested' on the royal coronation chair. Upon his death in 1658, Cromwell was briefly succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

. Richard Cromwell was an ineffective ruler, and the Long Parliament was reinstated in 1659. The Long Parliament dissolved itself in 1660, and the first elections in twenty years led to the election of a Convention Parliament which restored Charles I's eldest son to the monarchy as Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

. Following the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, Oliver Cromwell was exhumed and posthumously beheaded.

Republicanism thus had a brief tenure in British governance, but nevertheless, the monarchy never regained the heights of power it had experienced under the Tudors and early Stuarts. Moreover, continued fears concerning the accession of a Catholic heir, and consequent persecution of the Protestant Church (as under Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

), or foreign intervention by the Habsburgs or French, meant that the right of succession was closely guarded. Ultimately, in the conflict between William III
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

, and James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

, it was William, the foreign usurper, who became the popular defender of Protestantism. Throughout the 19th century Parliament gradually assumed greater effective control of British government, whereby the king's prime minister became the de facto leader of the United Kingdom.

The Colony of Carolina
Province of Carolina
The Province of Carolina, originally chartered in 1629, was an English and later British colony of North America. Because the original Heath charter was unrealized and was ruled invalid, a new charter was issued to a group of eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, in 1663...

 in North America, which later separated into North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 was named after Charles I, as was the major city of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

. To the north in the Virginia Colony, Cape Charles
Cape Charles, Virginia
Cape Charles is a town in Northampton County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,134 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Cape Charles is located at ....

, Charles River Shire
Charles River Shire
Charles River Shire was one of eight shires of Virginia created in the Virginia Colony in 1634.During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, English settlers and explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads...

 and the Charles City Shire
Charles City Shire
Charles City Shire was formed in 1634 in the Virginia colony. It was named for Charles I, the then King of England, and was renamed Charles City County in 1637.-History:...

 were all likewise named after him, although the king personally named the Charles River. Charles City Shire survives almost 400 years later as Charles City County, Virginia
Charles City County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,926 people, 2,670 households, and 1,975 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile . There were 2,895 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile...

. The Virginia Colony is now the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 and retains its official nickname of "The Old Dominion" bestowed by Charles II because it had remained loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War.


English furniture produced during the reign of Charles I is distinctive and is commonly characterised as Charles I period.

Sainthood


During the reign of his son Charles II, Charles I was officially canonised by the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 as King Charles the Martyr and Saint Charles Stuart, the only saint to be officially canonised within the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

. His feast day varies depending on local Anglican liturgical calendars. He is considered a martyr who died for the preservation of Apostolic Succession
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

 in the Anglican Church. There are many societies dedicated to his devotion.

Assessments


Archbishop William Laud
William Laud
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. One of the High Church Caroline divines, he opposed radical forms of Puritanism...

 described Charles as "A mild and gracious prince who knew not how to be, or how to be made, great."

Ralph Dutton says: "In spite of his intelligence and cultivation, Charles was curiously inept in his contacts with human beings. Socially, he was tactless and diffident, and his manner was not helped by his stutter and thick Scottish accent, while in public he was seldom able to make a happy impression."

Titles and styles


  • 19 November 1600 – 27 March 1625: Prince (or Lord) Charles
  • 23 December 1600 – 27 March 1625: The Duke of Albany
  • 6 January 1605 – 27 March 1625: The Duke of York
  • 6 November 1612 – 27 March 1625: The Duke of Cornwall
  • 4 November 1616 – 27 March 1625: The Prince of Wales
  • 27 March 1625 – 30 January 1649: His Majesty The King


During his time as heir apparent, Charles held the titles of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of York, Duke of Albany, Marquess of Ormond, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Ross, Baron Renfrew, Lord Ardmannoch, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

The official style
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 of Charles I was "Charles, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, King of Scots, Defender of the Faith
Fidei defensor
Fidei defensor is a Latin title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English and Défenseur de la Foi in French...

, etc." (The claim to France was only nominal, and was asserted by every English King from Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 to George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.) The authors of his death warrant, however, did not wish to use the religious portions of his title. It referred to him only as "Charles Stuart, King of England".

Honours

  • KG: Knight of the Garter
    Order of the Garter
    The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

    , 24 April 1611 – 27 March 1625

Arms


As Duke of York, Charles bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, each bearing three torteaux gules. As Prince of Wales he bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points. Whilst he was King, Charles I's arms
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland).




Ancestry





Marriage and issue




Charles was father to a total of nine legitimate children, two of whom would eventually succeed him as king. His wife also had two stillbirth
Stillbirth
A stillbirth occurs when a fetus has died in the uterus. The Australian definition specifies that fetal death is termed a stillbirth after 20 weeks gestation or the fetus weighs more than . Once the fetus has died the mother still has contractions and remains undelivered. The term is often used in...

s.
NameBirthDeathNotes
Charles James, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay 13 May 1629 13 May 1629 Stillborn.
Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

29 May 1630 6 February 1685 Married Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza was a Portuguese infanta and queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles II.She married the king in 1662...

 (1638–1705) in 1663. No legitimate issue. Charles II is believed to have fathered such illegitimate children as James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, KG, PC , was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter...

, who later rose against James VII and II.
Mary, Princess Royal
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Mary, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

4 November 1631 Married William II, Prince of Orange (1626–1650) in 1641. She had one child: William III of England
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

James VII and II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

16 September 1701 Married (1) Anne Hyde (1637–1671) in 1659. Had issue including Mary II of England
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

 and Anne of England;
Married (2) Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II and VII. A devout Catholic, Mary became, in 1673, the second wife of James, Duke of York, who later succeeded his older brother Charles II as King James II...

 (1658–1718) in 1673. Had issue.
Elizabeth, Princess of England
Princess Elizabeth of England
The Princess Elizabeth of England and Scotland was the second daughter of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France. From the age of six until her early death at the age of fourteen she was a prisoner of Parliament during the English Civil War...

8 September 1650 No issue.
Anne, Princess of England
Princess Anne of England
Princess Anne of England was the daughter of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France. She was born in St. James's Palace and died of natural causes in the Richmond Palace at the age of three. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.-External links:*...

17 March 1637 8 December 1640 Died young.
Catherine, Princess of England 29 June 1639 29 June 1639 Stillborn.
Henry, Duke of Gloucester
Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester
Henry Stuart, 1st Duke of Gloucester was the third adult son of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

8 July 1640 No issue.
Henrietta Anne, Princess of England 16 June 1644 30 June 1670 Married Philip I, Duke of Orléans (1640–1701) in 1661. Had legitimate issue. Among her descendants were the kings of Sardinia and Italy.

See also


  • Caroline era
    Caroline era
    The Caroline era refers to the era in English and Scottish history during the Stuart period that coincided with the reign of Charles I , Carolus being Latin for Charles...

  • Cultural depictions of Charles I of England
    Cultural depictions of Charles I of England
    -Literature:*Twenty Years After, by Alexandre Dumas, gives a fictionalized account of Charles I's downfall, trial and death. The book's fictional villain, Mordaunt, is depicted as the king's executioner....

  • List of regicides of Charles I
  • Society of King Charles the Martyr
    Society of King Charles the Martyr
    The Society of King Charles the Martyr is an Anglican devotional society and one of the Catholic Societies of the Church of England. It is dedicated to and under the patronage of King Charles I of England , the only person to be canonised by the Church of...

  • Whigg

External links



Books about Charles I available online


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