Created on May 27, 2023
The Daily Courant
Brecci & Campana
The story of a controversial king
27th January 1702
The story of his family and his his incredible collection and love for art.
His last words
"I'm martyr of the people"
The parliamentarian court declared The King Charles I guilty of trying to maintain "unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people. Sentenced to death.
We interviewed The King Charles I to find out the background of his life and his reign. Discovering his passions, his childhood and the thoughts of the King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France from 1625 until 1649.
Behind the scenes
the title of Prince of Wales and, four years later, in November 1616, that of Earl of Chester.
The first titles
In 1605, as was the custom for the king's second son, he was named Duke of York in England. In that same year he was entrusted with the Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Murray as his tutor, with whom Charles deepened his knowledge of classical letters, languages, mathematics and religion. In 1611, he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of the Garter. In early November 1612 his older brother died of typhoid fever and Charles, who had turned twelve just two weeks earlier, suddenly found himself Crown Prince, assuming
Charles, in contrast to his elder brother Henry, Prince of Wales, was not well liked because of his rickets problems and so the second son adored Henry and tried to emulate him.
owing to his health, and only reached England the following year, when, thanks to the care of Lady Carey and of Lord Fyvie, to whom he had been entrusted, learned to walk and speak, though retaining throughout his life a certain hesitation in oral expression.
King Charles I was born in Dumferline, Scotland on 19 November 1600 and is the second son of James I Stuart and Anne of Denmark. He was baptized in December 1600 in a Protestant ceremony in the Chapel Royal of Hoolyrood Palace in Edinburgh.Until the age of three he was still unable to speak and showed some physical weakness. When, after the death of Elizabeth I, James became king of England, the child was at first left in Scotland,
"Never apologise or justify anything before you are accused"
especially opposing his claim to collect taxes without parliamentary assent.Another cause of friction with part of English society was his religious policy: persevering on the 'middle path' of the Anglican Church, he was hostile to the reformed tendencies of many of his English and Scottish subjects and was accused by them of being too close to Roman Catholicism. He married the Catholic princess Enrichetta of France, and had as a close associate William Laud, whom he appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and exponent of the more pro-Catholic Anglican current.
Charles ascended the throne in March 1625. More handsome and elegant than his father, he was also more intransigent, accused of a lack of a sense of humour, something the people had always shown they appreciated in a king.A fervent supporter of the divine right of kings, just like his father James I and his paternal grandmother Mary Stuart, in the first phase of his reign he was engaged in a bitter power struggle against the English Parliament, which resolutely opposed his absolutist aspirations to suppress the use of the Magna Carta,
Politics and Religion
In 1638, faced with Charles' attempt to extend the Anglican rite to the Presbyterian Scots, Scotland rebelled. In 1640 the king was forced to summon parliament to ask for money for the war, but he dissolved the session, called the "Short Parliament", after two weeks.
Finally, the parliament, becoming a chamber of justice, tried and sentenced Charles' closest collaborators to death.
Following the Scottish victories, the king had to convene parliament again, which proclaimed the right to remain in session as long as necessary, without accepting further dissolution, and to assent to any taxes imposed. The parliamentarians granted themselves powers of appointment over bishops and army chiefs. Common law was considered the sole source of law and the laws and judicial instruments of monarchical absolutism were abolished.
The Civil War
to limit the rights of the monarchy by demanding that no pro-Catholic legislation be adopted.In 1629 Charles decided to dissolve parliament and imprison opposition leaders: he governed the next ten years without convening it and imposing heavy taxes.
Charles I was inspired by his father's authoritarian rule and went as far as to clash with parliament, although in 1628 he was forced to convene it to demand the imposition of new taxes to fill the Kingdom's empty coffers. On this occasion, parliament passed a Petition of Rights to emphasise his prerogatives and to reaffirm the principle that no taxes could be imposed on his subjects without his consent. The parliamentarians asked the king to respect the habeas corpus and to avoid arbitrary imprisonment and fought
who wore their hair cut short around their heads in contrast to the court fashion that favoured long hair. Cromwell created a new model of army, characterised by democratic internal organisation and strong discipline, and in 1644 and 1645 defeated the royal troops in Northern England. The king was arrested by the Scottish nobles and handed over to the English Parliament. In 1647 Charles I escaped, but was defeated again by Cromwell in 1648.
The Civil War
In 1642 Charles tried to have some MPs arrested, but the people of London took up arms to defend them and the king was forced to flee. Two factions then formed: on one side the Anglican Church, the Catholics and the great nobility sided with the king, on the other side the Puritan MPs, the gentry, the middle-class and the city of London.Initially, the king achieved victories, but this changed when Oliver Cromwell, a member of the Puritan wing of parliament, took the reins of the revolutionary army made up of the Roundheads, the Puritans who
- Charles II
- Mary Henriette
- James II
- Henriette Anne
the names of the 9 children:
Enrietta Maria and his children
The marriage between Charles Stuart and Henrietta Maria saw the birth of nine children, two of whom died shortly after birth or in early childhood. Two others (Charles and James) were to become sovereigns of England and Scotland.Here is what van Dyck said of her: 'We have now a new, most noble Queen of England, who in true beauty is far superior to the much courted infanta. This daughter of France, the youngest Bourbon flower, has a fairer and fresher look, light brown hair, eyes that shine like stars."
Charles I married Enrichetta in 1625 when he was still 15 years old. The king's first parliament was against the marriage to the French Catholic princess, fearing that Charles would lift the heavy restrictions on Catholics and undermine the official position gained by the Protestant side. A fervent Catholic, she did not have a good relationship with her husband in the early period of their union. But after a few years the two established a relationship, if not of love, at least of sincere affection.
"Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper"
After being approached by Endymion Porter, the king's delegate, Van Dyck was invited to London and received a rich reward from the sovereign, who, when the artist was on the verge of death, offered £1,500 to the doctor who managed to save his life. He also tried to get Gian Lorenzo Bernini to come to his court but the Italian artist, who never left Rome except for a single visit to Paris, refused, agreeing however to make a bust of the king. Charles I will be remembered for having bought the famous picture gallery of the Gonzaga dynasty in Mantua from Vincenzo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, for a pittance.
The greatest Passion
Charles I was a great patron of the arts. He loved art so much that his collection became one of the richest and most admired in Europe. He was a great connoisseur of the Italian Renaissance in particular: his favourite painter was Titian, of whom he owned numerous canvases. There were numerous artists at his court, who devoted themselves to portraying the sovereign, his consort and the nobility of the kingdom. He brought internationally renowned artists such as Pieter Paul Rubens and Frans Hals to London. The Flemish artist Antoon van Dyck was certainly the painter most appreciated by the king.
His art collection
It was not until 1660 that Charles' eldest son, Charles II, was able to return to the throne of England.After the fall of Richard Cromwell and the Commonwealth and the return of Charles II to the throne, the figure of Charles I was completely rehabilitated. The new sovereign decided to remember his father by establishing a day for his commemoration; 30 January was chosen, the date on which Charles had been beheaded. The day was entered in the Book of Common Prayer and Charles I was venerated as a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church of England. Charles is considered by many to be a martyr for being beheaded by members of Parliament without justification and for his strenuous defence, throughout his reign, of the true Anglican religion.
"I pass from a corruptible world to an incorruptible one, where there is peace, all possible peace".
Philip Henry, who was present and recorded the various moments of the execution, states that numerous people walked towards the basket where the king's head was to dip white handkerchiefs in the blood of Charles, thus starting the cult of the martyred king. Oliver Cromwell, one of the king's greatest antagonists, allowed the sovereign's head to be sewn back onto the body and a private funeral to be held. After Charles' death, power passed definitively into the hands of the Long Parliament and later into those of Oliver Cromwell, who was elected Lord Protector.
the trial and martyrdom
The Court found Charles I Stuart guilty of high treason against the English people and sentenced him to death, signed by fifty-nine commissionersOn 30 January 1649 Charles I was led out of Whitehall and taken to a platform built for the occasion and beheaded. It is said that Charles wore two cotton shirts before his execution, lest the people, seeing him shivering with cold, should think he was trembling with fear on his way to death. After saying a prayer he bowed his head: the executioner cut it off with one well-placed blow.
After the first civil war, Parliament would have accepted Charles as king by giving him more limited powers and privileges and by giving more mandates to the Houses. The king disdainfully refused any proposal and started the second civil war, seen as unnecessary bloodshed between countrymen. In English history various monarchs had abdicated or been deposed by force, but none had ever been publicly executed. The Court of Justice ruled that 135 commissioners should try and, if found guilty, convict King Charles I.
Thank you by Brecci & Campana