Charles I (b.1600 r.1625-1649)
© 2007 Armchair Travel Co. Ltd. - This page may be used for non-commercial purposes ONLY!

Charles I (b.1600 r.1625-1649)

[ Play Narrated and Animated Movie ! ]
[ Virtual Tour ] [ Main Topics Index ]

He was, if ever any, the most worthy of the title of an honest man; so great a lover of justice that no temptation could dispose him to a wrongful action, except that it was so disguised from him that he believed it to be just.
Earl of Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, 1704.

Additional Information on
Charles I (b.1600 r.1625-1649)

Charles I was the second son of James I and only came to inherit the English throne because his older brother Henry died in 1612. Charles inherited all the problems and mess that James had caused and he ended up repeating many of the same mistakes. Like his father, Charles believed totally in the Divine Right of Kings even though the doctrine was to cause his own death. Charles soon dissolved Parliament - ruling as an absolute monarch for eleven years. He raised money by selling knighthoods and forcing loans from the wealthy. Charles relied on the advice of his father's favourite the Duke of Buckingham who led him into costly wars with France and Spain. After Buckingham's murder Charles turned to his Catholic wife Henrietta Maria which greatly angered the English Protestants.

In 1642 Charles took soldiers into the House of Commons to arrest five members for plotting with the Scottish Protestants, but they had already been warned and fled. On realisation that Parliament were against him, Charles gathered his supporters (Royalists) and declared war on Parliament - escalating to Civil War. The Parliamentary forces were led by a country gentleman named Oliver Cromwell. His forces defeated the Royalists and in 1646 Charles surrendered and was handed over to the Parliamentary forces. In early 1649 Parliament took the decision to try the King for waging war against his kingdom and Parliament. Throughout the trial, in Westminster Hall, Charles insisted on his Divine Right to autocratic rule and refused to recognise the legality of the court. On the 27th of January 1649 he was found guilty and was sentenced to death by execution three days later outside the magnificent banqueting house at Whitehall which he had had built.


Never have I beheld features more unfortunate.
- Attrib. to Gianlorenzo Bernini on seeing Van Dyck's 'Charles I in three positions'.

His mind was an open book where all who chose might read, and he committed to paper more indiscretions than any ruler in history.
- Wilbur Cortez, in W.C. Abbott, Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell.

King Charles I walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off.
- Peter Puzzlewell, A Choice Collection of Riddles, Characters and Rebuses.

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 stammer and thick Scottish accent, while in public he was seldom able to make a happy impression.
- Ralph Dutton, English Court Life, 1965.

A mild and gracious prince who knew not how to be, or how to be made, great.
- Archbishop Laud, quoted Peter Heylin (his chaplain) Cyprianus Angelicus, 1688. Advanced Category Search

Keyword Categories: