King Charles I Facts and Biography

King Charles I

King Charles I Biography Summary: King Charles I (1600 – 1649) was the second son of James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark who was famously beheaded at the end of the English Civil War. The reign of King Charles I was not an easy one, always in contention with the Parliament of England which was constantly trying to limit his Royal privileges. King Charles I married Henrietta Maria, a French Catholic Princess which went totally against what his public and the Puritan Parliament wished. King Charles I was an arrogant and stubborn man who believed wholeheartedly in the 'Divine Right of Kings' which led to his power struggle with Parliament.

Differences in religion, the role of the monarchy, foreign policy and the dismissal of Parliament led to the English Civil between the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and the the Royalists (Cavaliers).  In the end, King Charles I was arrested for high treason, found guilty and punished most severely with a public beheading sanctioned by the leader of the Parliamentarians, Oliver Cromwell.

King Charles I Fact Sheet: Who was King Charles I? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of King Charles I.


Facts about King Charles I


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King Charles I Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1600 – 1649 *** Full Name: Charles I *** Occupation: King of England, Scotland and Ireland *** Date of Birth: King Charles I was born on November 19th 1600 *** Place of Birth: King Charles I was born in Dunfermline Palace, Fife in Scotland *** Family background: His father was King James VI of Scotland and his mother was Anne of Denmark, in the Chapel Royal at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh he was baptized in a Protestant ceremony by the Bishop of Ross, David Lindsay. He had an older brother Henry and an older sister Elizabeth. He was a son *** Early life and childhood: In infancy he was a weak and sickly baby and faired not much better growing up *** Education: King Charles I received an excellent education given by various tutors ***

King Charles I Fact 1: King Charles I was born on November 19th 1600 and during the 17th century period in history when during this period there were mass changes that took place in philosophy as well as science. It was also a time when medieval alchemy would become the chemistry of the future and there were many innovations.

King Charles I Fact 2: When Elizabeth I died childless in March of 1603 King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne and with his wife and two older children, made the journey to England leaving Charles behind as it was felt he was too weak to make the journey.

King Charles I Fact 3: When he was able to walk the length of the Dunfermline Palace great hall at three and half years, it was decided he was strong enough to make the journey to join his family in England.

King Charles I Fact 4: As a second son to a reigning monarch Charles was created the Duke of York as was customary in England.

King Charles I Fact 5: As Charles grew he became stronger and would become an skillful horseman and marksman. However he remained in the shadows next to his older brother Henry Frederick, the Prince of Wales. Charles adored his older brother and aspired to be just like him.

King Charles I Fact 6: Much to the families horror and distress, two weeks before Charles’ twelfth birthday in 1612, Henry died of what was thought to be typhoid at just eighteen years of age leaving Charles heir apparent.

King Charles I Fact 7: His sister married the Protestant Frederick V, Elector Palatine which in years to come with both Frederick V and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, a Catholic, would engage in the Thirty Year War which began in 1618 and weakened James hopes for a Spanish alliance in marriage between Ferdinand’s niece, Princess Maria Anna of Spain.

King Charles I Fact 8: Charles would travel to Spain, quietly to try and negotiate the marriage while his father in England battle the House of Commons Members of Parliament who did not wish their future protestant king marrying a catholic.

King Charles I Fact 9: Eventually Charles returned having been unable to come to terms as the terms were unreasonable.

King Charles I Fact 10: Charles would become King on the death of his father on March 27th 1625.

King Charles I Fact 11: After his failed attempt to marry the Spanish Princess King Charles I married the French Catholic Princess Henrietta Maria. Their marriage was initially by proxy but was celebrated weeks later in person on June 13th 1625 in Canterbury.

King Charles I Fact 12: The Marriage of King Charles I to a Roman Catholic did not go down well with the Protestant Puritans in the English Parliament. There was continuous tension with parliament over money and King Charles I was to dissolved parliament three times between 1625 and 1629

King Charles I Fact 13: The famous English courtier and military leader George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628), greatly influenced kings James I and Charles I. However,  a poorly executed navel expedition against Spain went very poorly under Buckingham’s direction and, already unpopular with the House of Commons, they brought impeachment proceedings against him.

King Charles I Fact 14: To show his support, King Charles I had the Parliamentarians that had stood against Buckingham arrested, but after a short period in custody they were released. Parliament was not happy and King Charles I refused to dismiss his friend Buckingham. On August 23rd 1628 George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham was murdered by an army officer.

King Charles I Fact 15: On 10 March 1629 King Charles I dissolved parliament yet again and began 11 years of personal rule, also described as the "Eleven Year Tyranny"., resolving to rule alone. King Charles I and his royalist advisers made extensive use of the Court of Star Chamber to prosecute opponents to royal policies. The notorious Star Chamber sessions were held in secret with no indictments, no juries, no witnesses and no right of appeal.

King Charles I Fact 16: King Charles I began to raise revenue by increasing taxes through non-parliamentary means. During this period he also supported a crackdown on Puritans and many emigrated to the American colonies.Puritans across the land, distraught with the religious oppression, moved in their droves across the Atlantic to North America.

King Charles I Fact 17: The religious policies of King Charles I were deeply divisive. He insisted upon religious conformity across and in 1637 forced the Laudian Prayer Book upon Scotland resulting in war against the Scots. In order to finance the war against Scotland King Charles I was obliged to recall Parliament in 1640, bringing his eleven-year personal rule to an end. It was called the Short Parliament and lasted from April-May 1640

King Charles I Fact 18: In November of 1641 King Charles I was then forced to deal with military rebellion in Ireland. The Long Parliament was called by King Charles I on 3 November 1640, six months after the dissolution of the Short Parliament after the defeat of the English in the wars. King Charles I was reluctant to summon another Parliament but the expense of the wars had left him desperately short of money and in need of parliamentary subsidies.

King Charles I Fact 19: The following year the English Civil War erupted between the Parliamentarians known as the Roundheads, led by Oliver Cromwell, and the the Royalists, known as the Cavaliers, led by the king. The combination of the alliance between Parliament and the Scottish Covenanters, together with the formation of the professionally-run New Model Army, brought about the defeat of the Royalists in 1645-6.

King Charles I Fact 20: By 1646 the royalist were defeated by a alliance of the Parliamentarians and the New Model Army. King Charles I was detained by the Scots gave him over to Parliament. In 1647 he managed to escape to the Isle of Wight where he did what he could to encourage the Scottish discontents to attempt to invade England. King Charles I was captured and taken to London.

King Charles I Fact 21: Oliver Cromwell, the general of the New Model Army, put down the royalists and ended the Second Civil War within a year. The trial of King Charles I began on 20 January. The king refused to answer the charges of treason, saying that he did not recognise the authority of the High Court. King Charles I  was found guilty of the charges against him and sentenced to death on 27 January 1649.

King Charles I Fact 22: King Charles I was beheaded in public on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall, London on 30 January, 1649.

Influence & Legacy of King Charles I: Of his seven children six survived infancy and both Charles II and James II would follow their father on the throne.

Short Facts about King Charles I for Kids
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