Charles I was a miserable king, but he died with honor. This was the very first case of its kind to go to trial and be put to death. When Charles’s older brother Henry passed away in 1612, he finally became king.
Charles was blessed with many redeeming characteristics, but his shyness and insecurity made him a difficult person to be around. Moreover, he was devoid of the leadership qualities of charm and foresight. He was so unyielding in his demand for absolute control that he sparked civil war by refusing to negotiate.
Who Was King Charles?
In Scotland’s Fife region, at Dunfermline Castle, Charles was born on November 19, 1600. He was the youngest member of the royal family and the second son of James VI of Scotland/James I of England. It’s improbable that England would have experienced the bloodiest civil war in history if Charles’ well-liked and popular older brother Henry hadn’t passed away young from typhoid.
King Charles was a little, sickly child (his mature height was only 1.5m), and even at the age of two, he was still unable to walk or communicate.
He struggled mightily to overcome a tiny speech impediment and the lack of confidence his father had acquired. The family relocated to London in 1603 after his father became king of England. Charles, then two years old, spent his first Christmas in England at Hampton Court Palace.
On February 2, 1626, Charles, at 25 years old, was crowned. In the previous year, he had wed Henrietta Maria of France. Nine children were born in the royal union, including the future Charles II and Mary Henrietta, who later married William II of Orange.
Charles was kind and charming in private and, based on all reports, a devoted parent. But the King’s extreme shyness made him come out as arrogant and egotistical in front of others.
Charles prohibited anyone besides his wife from sitting in his presence. His adversaries, especially Parliamentarians, were outraged by this.
His lack of compassion and unwillingness to consider different viewpoints contributed to his declining popularity. Charles was out of touch with modern society because he was determined to hold onto his ultimate power.
Charles carried on his father’s devotion to the theory of the Divine Right of Kings, which was defended by the entire Stuart dynasty, one of the most mighty families to have ever ruled Scotland. They held the view that only God could remove kings from power because only God could choose who would reign.
Charles also held that he was the only one with the authority to enact laws and that defying him was a sin against God. He honestly believed that the only type of governance that worked was a dictatorship.
King Charles In Prison
In the war, the Royalists got off to a terrific start, and until 1644, their cavalry was unbeaten. The bloodiest conflict ever waged on English soil was gradually won by the Parliamentarians under the military might of Oliver Cromwell.
Although combat continued until 1649, the Battle of Naseby in June 1645 and the Royalist army’s defeat undoubtedly marked the war’s turning point.
Cromwell put Charles under house imprisonment in the former Tudor royal chambers at Hampton Court Palace in 1646, where he famously made his escape. He was quickly caught and held at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, where he received good treatment.
But after numerous chances, Charles refused to seek forgiveness and a negotiated settlement. He adamantly refused to concede defeat or yield to republican rule.
King Charles Death
Charles I had three days to organize his affairs and say goodbye to his loved ones. He was transported by sedan chair a short distance to his former room at Whitehall Palace following the trial. Only Charles’ children and his chaplain, Bishop Juxon, were allowed to see him. The King was transferred to St. James’s Palace the following day.
The day was spent by Charles saying a tearful goodbye to his two youngest children, Princess Elizabeth, 11, and Henry Duke of Gloucester, 9, as well as praying.
On 30 January 1949, the axe and a lower quartering block similar to those used to dismember traitors were placed in the center of the blackened and sanded floor. Two men who had been heavily disguised with masks were waiting to carry out the act.
The King removed his coat and lay down, his hair now tied back in a white nightcap. He informed the executioner that he would offer a brief prayer before signaling his readiness.
After a brief pause, the King reached out his hand, and the axe swung down, the executioner killing him with a single, precise stroke to the head.
One witness said, “There was such a groan by the thousands then present as I never heard before and pray I may never hear again,” as many onlookers moaned in horror.
So King Charles I died because of his own deeds. His arrogant nature became the reason for his own downfall. If you are interested in more articles like this, you can also check the following links.