For eleven years, from 1629 to 1633 Charles rules in a total dictatorship, and refuses to call Parliment for this entire time. William Laud, a High Churchman, was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stafford, is appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, continue to work with Charles to illegally raise taxes. Eventually, Charles runs out of money and is forced to call Parliment in 1640. At this time Parliment refuses to talk about raising taxes unless he controls Laud and Wentworth who are running Ireland and Scotland, and who the Parliment think are gangsters.
Charles tries to force the Church of Scotland to use the English Book of Common Prayer, which is not at all in line with their religion. Because of Charles’ attempts to control the Church of Scotland, many in the kingdom turned against him, and this made the parliaments of both England and Scotland stronger. In 1642 the English Civil War broke out, and Charles fought against the armies of these two parliaments. The first battle of the English Civil War took place at Edgehill, Warwickshire in 1643. The last battle, which was the 14th took place at Naseby, Northamptonshire in 1645. This last battle of Naseby was handily won by Oliver Cromwell, who was well educated in the tactics of war. After this defeat, Charles retreated to Oxford.
Charles finally surrendered to the Scottish in 1645. The Scottish army later handed him over to the English Parliament forces. The English Parliament demanded that a constitutional monarchy was put into place, but Charles refused to agree to these requests. Charles escaped to the for a short period in November 1647 but was recaptured and put into prison on the Isle of Wight. Charles then attempted to build a partnership with Scottland, but by then in 1648 Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army had control over England. In January 1649, Charles was convicted and executed for high treason.
Charles was accused of treason against England because it was said that he was using his power as King to follow personal interests, instead of interests for the good of the country. The treason charge said that, “for accomplishment of such his designs, and for the protecting of himself and his adherents in his and their wicked practices, to the same ends hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament, and the people therein represented”, and that the “wicked designs, wars, and evil practices of him, the said Charles Stuart, have been, and are carried on for the advancement and upholding of a personal interest of will, power, and pretended prerogative to himself and his family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, and peace of the people of this nation.”
After Charles was executed, his wife, who was French, fled to Paris with their children, including Prince Charles who was next in line for the throne. Parliment then decided that the monarchy was ended, and the Commonwealth of England was born. This was a republic, and different from the absolute monarchy that Charles I had tried to wield. In 1660 the monarchy was then reinstated and turned over to his son, Charles II. The monarchy, while the same in name, now had a more limited power, that was shared with Parliment.
A Short Chronology of Charles I:
- 1600: Charles born in Scotland.
- 1612: Charles older brother Frederick is killed. Charles is now next in line for the throne.
- 1613: His sister Elizabeth marries German Prince Fredrick.
- 1619: 30 Years War begins in Europe.
- 1624: England enters 30 Years War and goes to war with Catholic Spain.
- 1625: King James dies. Charles then marries the Catholic Henrietta Maria which creates tension.
- 1625: Charles calls Parliament to raise taxes to afford the continuation of war on Spain. Parliament refuses. The war effort fails.
- 1626: Charles is crowned King.
- 1633: Charles appoints Laud and Wentworth to control Scotland and Ireland.
- 1637: Charles begins war with Scotland.
- 1639: First Bishops War begins.
- 1640: Charles finally calls Parliament to raise taxes, but it’s a failure.
- 1642: English Civil War begins. It continues until 1649.
- 1649: Charles is convicted and executed for high treason.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "King Charles I" https://englishhistory.net/stuarts/king-charles-i/, February 11, 2017