Charles I of England

Charles I
King Charles I after original by van Dyck.jpg
Portrait from the studio of Anthony van Dyck, 1636
King of England and Ireland (more...)
Reign27 March 1625 – 30 January 1649
Coronation2 February 1626
PredecessorJames I
SuccessorCharles II (de jure)
Council of State (de facto)
King of Scotland (more...)
Reign27 March 1625 – 30 January 1649
Coronation18 June 1633
PredecessorJames VI
SuccessorCharles II
Born19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland
Died30 January 1649(1649-01-30) (aged 48)
Whitehall, London
Burial9 February 1649
St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England
Spouse
Issue
Detail
HouseStuart
FatherJames VI of Scotland and I of England
MotherAnne of Denmark
ReligionAnglican

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649)[a] was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.

Charles was born into the House of Stuart as the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life. He became heir apparent to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on the death of his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1612. An unsuccessful and unpopular attempt to marry him to the Spanish Habsburg princess Maria Anna culminated in an eight-month visit to Spain in 1623 that demonstrated the futility of the marriage negotiations. Two years later, he married the Bourbon princess Henrietta Maria of France instead.

After his succession, Charles quarrelled with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings and thought he could govern according to his own conscience. Many of his subjects opposed his policies, in particular the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, and perceived his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch. His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, generated the antipathy and mistrust of Reformed groups such as the English Puritans and Scottish Covenanters, who thought his views were too Catholic. He supported high church Anglican ecclesiastics, such as Richard Montagu and William Laud, and failed to aid Protestant forces successfully during the Thirty Years' War. His attempts to force the Church of Scotland to adopt high Anglican practices led to the Bishops' Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments and helped precipitate his own downfall.

From 1642, Charles fought the armies of the English and Scottish parliaments in the English Civil War. After his defeat in 1645, he surrendered to a Scottish force that eventually handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors' demands for a constitutional monarchy, and temporarily escaped captivity in November 1647. Re-imprisoned on the Isle of Wight, Charles forged an alliance with Scotland, but by the end of 1648 Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army had consolidated its control over England. Charles was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. The monarchy was restored to Charles's son, Charles II, in 1660.

Early life

Engraving by Simon de Passe of Charles and his parents, King James and Queen Anne, c. 1612

The second son of King James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark, Charles was born in Dunfermline Palace, Fife, on 19 November 1600.[1] At a Protestant ceremony in the Chapel Royal of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on 23 December 1600, he was baptised by David Lindsay, Bishop of Ross, and created Duke of Albany, the traditional title of the second son of the King of Scotland, with the subsidiary titles of Marquess of Ormond, Earl of Ross and Lord Ardmannoch.[2]

James VI was the first cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and when she died childless in March 1603, he became King of England as James I. Charles was a weak and sickly infant, and while his parents and older siblings left for England in April and early June that year, due to his fragile health,[3] he remained in Scotland with his father's friend Lord Fyvie, appointed as his guardian.[4]

By 1604, when Charles was three-and-a-half, he was able to walk the length of the great hall at Dunfermline Palace without assistance, and it was decided that he was strong enough to make the journey to England to be reunited with his family. In mid-July 1604, Charles left Dunfermline for England where he was to spend most of the rest of his life.[5] In England, Charles was placed under the charge of Elizabeth, Lady Carey, the wife of courtier Sir Robert Carey, who put him in boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles.[6] His speech development was also slow, and he retained a stammer, or hesitant speech, for the rest of his life.[7]

Portrait by Robert Peake, c. 1610

In January 1605, Charles was created Duke of York, as is customary in the case of the English sovereign's second son, and made a Knight of the Bath.[8] Thomas Murray, a presbyterian Scot, was appointed as a tutor.[9] Charles learnt the usual subjects of classics, languages, mathematics and religion.[10] In 1611, he was made a Knight of the Garter.[11]

Eventually, Charles apparently conquered his physical infirmity,[11] which might have been caused by rickets.[6] He became an adept horseman and marksman, and took up fencing.[10] Even so, his public profile remained low in contrast to that of his physically stronger and taller[b] elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, whom Charles adored and attempted to emulate.[12] However, in early November 1612, Henry died at the age of 18 of what is suspected to have been typhoid (or possibly porphyria).[13] Charles, who turned 12 two weeks later, became heir apparent. As the eldest surviving son of the sovereign, Charles automatically gained several titles (including Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay). Four years later, in November 1616, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.[14]

Other Languages
беларуская: Карл I Сцюарт
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карл І (кароль ангельскі)
български: Чарлз I
čeština: Karel I. Stuart
eesti: Charles I
Gàidhlig: Teàrlach I
한국어: 찰스 1세
हिन्दी: चार्ल्स १
Bahasa Indonesia: Charles I dari Inggris
ქართული: ჩარლზ I
Lëtzebuergesch: Charles I. vun England
македонски: Чарлс I
Malagasy: Charles I
Bahasa Melayu: Charles I dari England
norsk nynorsk: Karl I av England
संस्कृतम्: चार्ल्स १
Simple English: Charles I of England
slovenčina: Karol I. (Anglicko)
slovenščina: Karel I. Angleški
ślůnski: Karol I Stuart
српски / srpski: Чарлс I Стјуарт
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Charles I Stuart
Tiếng Việt: Charles I của Anh