King Charles I

34101 | 15.03.2010 | £25

Printed by Royal Mail. Designed by Adrian Bradbury
King Charles I King Charles I
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15th March 2010
King Charles I Stamp Sheet (Smilers®)
A G Bradbury, History of Britain 55
The sheet is limited to 500 numbered copies.
Charles I (19 November 1600  30 January 1649), the second son of James VI of Scots and I of England, was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles believed was divinely ordained. Many of his English subjects opposed his actions, in particular his interference in the English and Scottish Churches, and the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent grew to be seen as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch.

Religious conflicts permeated Charles' reign. His failure to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years War, coupled with such actions as marrying a Catholic princess, generated deep mistrust concerning the king's dogma. Charles further allied himself with controversial religious figures, such as the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu, and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of Charles's subjects felt this brought the Church of England too close to the Catholic Church. Charles's later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops' Wars that weakened England's government and helped precipitate his downfall.

His last years were marked by the English Civil War, in which he fought the forces of the English and Scottish Parliaments, which challenged the king's attempts to overrule and negate Parliamentary authority, whilst simultaneously using his position as head of the English Church to pursue religious policies which generated the antipathy of reformed groups such as the Puritans.

Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642 45), after which Parliament expected him to accept its demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight. This provoked the Second Civil War (1648 49) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason.

The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England, also referred to as the Cromwellian Interregnum, was declared. Charles's son, Charles II, became king after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. In that same year, Charles I was canonized as "St. Charles Stuart" by the Church of England.

Text courtesy of Wikipedia