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★ Charles I & Charles the First

Charles I & Charles the First: see England & Great Britain & English Civil Wars & Charles II & Cromwell & Parliament & Ireland

Simon Schama TV - David Dimbleby TV - The English Civil War TV - Oliver Cromwell - Charles I - Andrew Marvell - John Philipps Kenyon - Barry Coward - Ronald Hutton - Great Britons: Cromwell TV - Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? TV - The Last Days of Charles I TV - The Strange Case of the Law TV - David Starkey TV - Clare Jackson TV - Brenda Emmanus: Charles I’s Treasure Reunited TV - Lisa Hilton: Charles I TV & Charles I: Killing a King TV - Charles I: Killing a King TV -  

 

 

 

On January 30th 1649 the English killed their king.  Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Revolutions, BBC 2000

 

For the Scots had invited the 20-year-old Charles II to come and be their king, and went to war on his behalf.  ibid.

 

 

Charles I by Van Dyke: Here he is then, the British Caesar riding high above mere mortals.  Face of Britain by Simon Schama, BBC 2015

 

 

It is said this is the waistcoat that King Charles I wore when he knelt for the executioner’s axe on 30th January 1649, the day this country killed its king.  David Dimbleby, Seven Ages of Britain, Age of Revolution, BBC 2010

 

 

On a freezing January day in 1649 the executioners axe ended the reign and the life of King Charles I.  It was the final melancholy episode in one of Englands saddest stories.  The English Civil War I, 2001

 

In November 1641 Parliament presented King Charles with the Grand Remonstrance.  A list of two hundred and one objections to his governmental methods.  ibid.

 

The days and weeks after the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642 had probably provided King Charles with his best and only chance of winning the Civil War outright.  He had failed to take it.  The English Civil War II: A Nation at War

 

 

The King surrendered himself to the Scots Army near Newark in Nottinghamshire 5th May 1646.  The English Civil War III: To Kill a King

 

Even though they had won a comprehensive victory over his forces, the army still recognised King Charles as their rightful sovereign.  They had taken to the field in order to curb the arbitrary excesses of his government which they attributed to his wicked advisers.  ibid.

 

Incredibly, the King had managed to engineer a second civil war in the country.  ibid.

 

Now, Cromwell was the Kings impalpable enemy certain that it was Gods will that Charles should die.  ibid.

 

 

The execution of King Charles in January 1649 was not the final chapter in one of Britains most tragic stories.  If the people of the British Isles imagined a new era of peace and stability, they were to be sorely disappointed.  The English Civil War IV: The Shadow of the Scaffold

 

 

Cruel necessity.  Oliver Cromwell, on the execution of Charles I

 

 

I tell you we will cut off his head with the crown upon it.  Oliver Cromwell, December 1648

 

 

Never make a defence or apology before you be accused.  Charles I  

 

 

Remember that parliaments are altogether in my power for their calling, sitting and dissolution.  King Charles I, address Lords & Commons 1626

 

 

I see all the birds are flown.  Charles I, House of Commons 4th January 1642

 

 

Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy fathers head.  Mark, child, what I say: they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king.  But mark what I say: you must not be a king, so long as your brothers Charles and James do live.  Charles I, to son Henry Stuart

 

 

If I would have given way to an arbitrary way, for to have all laws changed according to the power of the sword, I needed not to have come here; and therefore I tell you (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) that I am the martyr of the people.  Charles I  

 

 

Princes are not bound to give account of their actions but to God alone.  Charles I

 

 

A subject and a sovereign are clean different things.  Charles I

 

 

You manifestly wrong even the poorest ploughman, if you demand not his free consent.  Charles I, declining judgment of High Court

 

 

He nothing common did or mean

Upon that memorable scene:

But with his keener eye

The ax’s edge did try.  Andrew Marvell, 1650

 

 

Charles Stuart is a man of contradictions and controversy.  John Philipps Kenyon

 

 

The most incompetent monarch of England since Henry VI.  Professor Barry Coward

 

 

The worst king we have had since the Middle Ages.  Ronald Hutton

 

 

To the horror of Charles I parliament began make assertions and pushing for a series of measures that challenged the authority of the king and the established church.  But Charles wouldn’t back down.  Great Britons: Cromwell, BBC 2002

 

On 20th January 1649 King Charles I was put on trial in Westminster Hall.  ibid.

 

Early on 30th January 1649 King Charles I walked through the Banqueting House at Whitehall and stepped through a first floor window on to a great scaffold.  ibid.

 

 

By October 1647 the King was imprisoned and the Cavaliers were in disarray.  Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? BBC 2012

 

After a seven-day trial the king was found guilty.  ibid.

 

 

On 30th January 1649 a 48 year old man put his head on the block and waited for the axe blow that would change the course of British history.  The Last Days of Charles I, Channel 5 2015

 

‘Was the defendant guilty?  Undoubtedly.’  ibid.  Geoffrey Robertson QC

     

 

Over 80,000 soldiers died on the battlefield.  By the end of the war parliament had emerged triumphant.  The civil war like many of the era’s seismic upheavals was born out of legal disputes.  The Strange Case of the Law II: The Story of English Justice: The Pursuit of Liberty, BBC 2012

 

All cases in England are carried out in the name of the King.  Rex v Defendant.  Could Rex be against Rex?  ibid.

 

Charles repeatedly declined to plead.  ibid.

 

 

After a dozen battles and thousands dead the war had bogged down: for the parliamentarian the stalemate provoked crisis and soul-searching.  Monarchy by David Starkey s2e5: Cromwell the King Killer, Channel 4 2005  

 

1645: The New Model Army: this was England’s first truly professional fighting force.  ibid.

  

Charles characteristically overplayed it rejecting the astonishingly lenient terms he was offered by Cromwell and the other army leaders in order to guarantee religious toleration.  ibid.

 

 

Charles was a weak physical specimen.  Charles was also a stammerer.  Dr Clare Jackson, The Stuarts I: And I Will Make Them One Nation, BBC 2018

 

 

For the first time in almost 400 years King Charles I’s art collections, one of the greatest ever assembled, is reunited for a once in a lifetime exhibition here at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.  Brenda Emmanus, Charles I’s Treasures Reunited, BBC 2018

 

Charles’s royal palaces were bursting with 2,000 art works that would bring a taste of the Renaissance to Britain.  ibid.

 

 

This is the [bronze] head of Charles I.  It was cut off in a brutal act that ended centuries of royal power and paved the way for democracy.  This story explores Charles’s mind.  Lisa Hilton, Charles I: Downfall of a King I: Two Worlds Collide, BBC 2019     

 

Nine years of bloody civil war and regicide all stemmed from the events of just fifty tempestuous days.  ibid.

 

All this starts with a rift between two men: on one side is King Charles, and on the other, a scheming politician called John Pym.  ibid.

 

Charles’s court reached staggering heights of indulgence.  ibid.

 

Pym’s fear resonates with MPs … The King is being misled by his Catholic queen and his wrongheaded advisers.  ibid.

 

The Grand Remonstrance caused uproar in parliament.  ibid.

 

Some of the Irish rebels claim to be acting in his name … a brilliant PR coup for Pym.  ibid.

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