Charles I: A Life of Religion, War and Treason

Charles I: A Life of Religion, War and Treason

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: B015MP6J02

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When Charles Stuart was a young child, it seemed unlikely that he would survive, let alone become ruler of England and Scotland. Once shy and retiring, an awkward stutterer, he grew in stature and confidence under the guidance of the Duke of Buckingham; his marriage to Henrietta of Spain, originally planned to end the conflict between the two nations, became, after rocky beginnings, a true love match. Charles I is best remembered for having started the English Civil War in 1642 which led to his execution for treason, the end of the monarchy, and the establishment of a commonwealth until monarchy was restored in 1660. Hibbert's masterful biography re-creates the world of Charles I, his court, artistic patronage, and family life, while tracing the course of events that led to his execution for treason in 1649.

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without the necessity of calling a Parliament. For the ordinary costs of government he and his ministers resorted to a number of devices, some of doubtful legality and none of them popular. Customs duties were collected as of right; Crown lands were managed with exigent severity; medieval laws were resuscitated to extend the limits of royal forests, and to fine encroachers, trespassers and all those owners of freehold land worth �40 a year or more who had not applied for knighthood at Charles’s

for business meetings and parties. Countrymen took their dogs in with them, let their pigs root about in the graveyard, shot birds in the nave, used the gravestones as cheese presses. Townsmen put their hats on the altar, or kept them on their heads as a sign of their superiority over the parson. Some clergy were known to wish the mayor good morning in the middle of reading the lesson; others cut up their surplices for towels or referred to the bishops in their sermons as ‘upstart mushrumps’.

and no taste. Before he had left Holland for England he had quarrelled with both Henry Jermyn and George Digby and most of the Queen’s other friends who were in exile with her. Henrietta herself wrote to warn Charles, ‘He should have someone to advise him for believe me he is yet very young and self-willed.… He is a person capable of doing anything he is ordered, but he is not to be trusted to take a single step of his own head’. It was true that he was impulsive and impatient; it was true, too,

break down his intractable resistance, his obstinate beliefs. They could not believe that he had come to the Scottish camp without intending to support the Scots on the Presbyterian issue, and they refused to be defeated by his obduracy. Deprived of the reassuring comfort and consoling, attentive flattery of his Gentlemen and courtiers, deserted even by his chaplain and Jack Ashburnham who had come with him to Newcastle but had been advised to leave him there to avoid being handed over as

(1578–1632), his daughter’s dowry; in command of fleet St James’s Palace, preparations for Infanta at; chapel for Henrietta Maria at; the King’s body lies in Saint-Georges, Madame de St Paul’s Cathedral Scotland, the King’s unpopularity in; raises an army; King obliged to negotiate with; King’s faith in; Parliament negotiates with; Scots at Marston Moor; Scots besiege Newcastle; Charles hopes for help from; Scots hope to get Charles to accept Presbyterianism; Scots urge Charles to accept

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