Figure 1.--This portrait of Charles I was painted by Robert Peak the Elder, probably in 1602. He looks about 2 years ols and wears an elaborate long dress.
Charles I was born in 1600. He was the second child? of James I, the first Stewart king. His mother was Anne of Denmark, one of many marriages between the English and Danish royal family. He was a weak, sickly child, but became a competent horseman. His weak constitution hid a strong, if inflexible character. His father had a difficult time finding a bride for Charles. Finally a marriage was arranged with Henrietta Maria, the 15-year old daughter of Henry IV of France. The marriage was not an initial success, but the two gradually became close. They were to produce four sons and five daughters, four of whom were to inherit the crown he lost: Charles II, James II, Mary II, and Anne I. Charles became king at the youthful age of 25. Unlike the Tudors before them and the Hanovarians who followed them, the Stewarts seem unable to adjust to changing times and remained wed to the idea of divine right monarchy and royal absolutism in a country where Parliament had become an important force. Charles was even less adept than his father in handling Parliament. The resylt was a long, destructive Civil War with Cromwell's Roundheads. Charles even after losing the Civil War , conspired with foreign powers. He was executed for treason in 1649. Not the first king to be deposed, but the only one to be executed (1649).
Charles was the second child? of James I, the first Stewart king. His mother was Anne of Denmark, one of many marriages between the English and Danish royal family. James was the son of Mary Queen of Scotts, but raised a Protestant in Scotland. He acceeded to the British throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth. He was scholarly and interested in theology. He experienced difficulties dealing with Parliament becuse of his concept of monarchy. This was a problem his desendents shared, especially his son harles. It would eventually lead to the Civil War and the Vharles' execution. Then later after the Restoration it would lead to the the Glorious Revolution.
Charles I was born in 1600. He was a weak, sickly child, but became a competent horseman. His weak constitution hid a strong, if inflexible character.
We do not have any detailed information on how Charles was dressed as a boy. The portrait here by Robert Peak the Elder shows Charles as a toddler wearing a long formal dress (figure 1).
Charles took little interest in politics as a young man. The one exception was a trip to Spain to arrange his marriage, but this proved unsuccessful.
Charles' father had a difficult time finding a bride for Charles. There were a variety of problems and religion was one of them. Finally King James arranged a marriage with the French King Henry IV (1553- ). Charles married Princess Henrietta Maria, the 15-year old daughter of Henry IV of France. Her mother was the Italian princess, Marie de' Medici (1573- ).
Princess Henrietta Maria's brother was the future Louis XIII. Charles and Henrietta Maria were married at St Augustine's Church, Canterbury (1625). The marriage was not an initial success, but the two gradually became close. While there were some international diplomatic bebefits from the marriage. It was not an astute political step domestically for the Stuarts. Henrietta Maria was both French and Catholic a matter of considerable concern in increasingly Protestant Britain.
Figure 2.--The children of Charles I and Henrietta Maria were painted by Van Dyck in 16??. This is an engraving based on the portrait.
Charles and Henrietta Maria did not consumate the marriage for about 3 years. Henrietta Maria was still quite young when she married. The royal couple produced four sons and five daughters. Two of the children inherited the crown Charles lost: Charles II and James II. Charles II restored the monarchy, but his brother James II learned little and within a short period after assuming the crown was driven out of the country. Three of Charles' grandchildren would inherit the throne: William III, Mary II, and Anne I.
Prince Charles James was the royal couple's first child. He was born in 1629 at Greenwich Palace, about 4 years after the marriage. He died at birth. He was created Duke of Cornwall/Rothesay.
Charles was the second, but eldest surviving son of Charles I. His father, Charles I, had been executed by Cromwell, bit he and his younger brother James had been spirited away to France for saftey. The throne was restored to Charles in 1660 after the death of Cromwell. Charles pursued a moderate policy offering amnesty to all but the regecides who had signed the orders for his father's execution. Charles' reign was marked a period of relative stability after the upheaval of the English Revolution.
Princess Mary Henrietta was the Princess Royal. She was born in 1631 at St. James Palace. She was married in the Chapel Royal at Whitehall Pallace at a very young age (1641). Her husband was William of Nassau, the future William II of Orange, Prince of Orange. They had one child, the future William III (1650- ), Prince of Orange, King of Britain.
James II was the second surviving son of Charles I. His father had been executed by Cromwell, but he and his elder brother Charles fled to France for saftey. James inherited the throne from his elder brother, Charles II, in 1685. He ws known as James II in England, but James VII of Scotland. His brother had quarlled with Parliament and covertly accepted money from France, but was cautious on the religious issue. James ignored his brother's advise and his militant Catholcism cost him the throne. The unexpected birth of a Catholic male heir was the cause of his down fall. James ruled for only 3 years, when he was overthrown in what has become knon as the Glorious Revolution.
Princess Elizabeth was born in 1635 at St. James Palace. Princess Elizabeth died while a prisoner in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wright during the Civil War. I am not sure of the circumsances of her death, but there are probably rather romantisized reports that she died of grief.
Princess Anne was born in 1637 at St. James Palace. The Princess died as a little girt at Richmond Palace of consumption (1640).
Princess Catherine did not survive birth.
Prince Henry was born at Oatlands Palacein 1640. He was created Duke of Gloucester/Earl of Cambridge and known as Henry of Gloucester. He died of smallpox (1660).
Princess Henrietta Anne waa born in 1644. She was the last child of the royal couple and born several years after her brother Prince Henry. There is, however some difference as to her date of birth and . Burke gives her name as Herietta-Maria and he date of herr birth as 1661.
She married Philippe, Duke d'Orleans at the Chapel Palais Royal in Paris
(1661). They had four children: Marie Louise (1662- ), Philip Charles, Duke of Valois (1664- ), Daughter (1665- ), and Anna Maria (1669- ). Henrietta Anne also had four miscairages. Her descendants were excluded from the throne by the Act of Succession 1702.
Charles became king at the youthful age of 25. He encountered problems almost at once. Foreign ventures under taken by the Duke of Buckingham, the King's favorite, proved unsuccessful and costly. Charles needed money. Unlike the Tudors before them and the Hanovarians who followed them, the Stewarts seem unable to adjust to changing times and remained wed to the idea of divine right monarchy and royal absolutism in a country where Parliament had become an important force. Charles was even less adept than his father in handling Parliament. The initial problem began with actions against the Puritans who did not adhere to the established Church of England. This launched what has been called the Puritan Revolution. Charles supported the Church of England bishops led by Archbishop Laud. The problem for Charles was that the Puritans controlled Parliament and Parliament contrfolled the purse strings. Charles was forced to agree to the Petitiob of Rights (1628). Even so, relations with Parliament continued to deteriorate. Charles closed Parliament and governed without Parliament (1629-40). Charles impinged on both civil and religious liberties and imposed taxes that had not been approved by Parliament--a clear violation of the unwritten English constitution. Charles became increasingly unpopular. Emmigration to American increased during this period. Charles attempted to impose religious conformity on Scotland, the resulting Bishops War was a disaster anf Charles was forced to call on Parliament to levy new taxes to finance a substantial army (1640). This Parliament came to be known as the Long Parliament. Leaders like Hampden, Pym, and Vane were not about to grant Charles the funds to create a standing army, knowing full well that Charles after dealing with the Scotts would use it against them. Charles attempted to disolve Parliament, but the members refused. Parliament extracted major concessions from Charles: the execution of the Earl of Stafford, the end of the stat chamber, and the abolition of arbitrary taxes, meaning taxes not approved by Parliament. Finally Charles decided that Parliament had to be suppressed. He sent soldiers to dissolve Parliament and arrest its leaders. The major leaders managed to escape and the two sides now had no alternative but to fight.
The result was a long, destructive Civil War with Cromwell's Roundheads. Charles even after losing the Civil War , conspired with foreign powers. The Tudors did a great deal to strengthen the authority of the monarchy, but were deft politicans and managed Parliament carefully. The Stuarts had a different mindset. They were commited to not only divine-right monarchy, but royal absolutism as well. Rather than attempting to mamage Patliament, the Stuarts were
affronted by Parliament's perogatives. The conflict between the Stuart monarchy and Parliament culminated in the English Civil War.
Charles was executed for treason in 1649. Not the first king to be deposed, but the only one to be executed (1649).
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