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Charles I of England
Historical Figure
Nationality: England
Religion: Anglican
Date of Birth: 1600
Date of Death: 1649
Cause of Death: Execution
Occupation: King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Parents: James I of England (father)
Spouse: Henrietta Maria
Children: Charles II of England, Mary (b. 4 November 1631), James II (b. 14 October 1633), several others
Relatives: Elizabeth (sister)
Affiliations: House of Stuart
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): 1633;
1634: The Baltic War
1635: A Parcel of Rogues
Type of Appearance: Direct
Children: Charles II, Mary[1]

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649), was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from March 1625 until his execution in January 1649. Charles famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England. He was an advocate of the Divine Right of Kings, which was the belief that kings received their power from God. This Divine Right of Kings could not be taken away (unlike the similar Mandate of Heaven), even if he was stripped of his power. Many subjects of England feared that he was attempting to gain absolute power. Many of his actions, particularly the levying of taxes without Parliament's consent, caused widespread opposition.

Religious conflicts permeated Charles' reign. He married a Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France, over the objections of Parliament and public opinion. He further allied himself with controversial religious figures, including 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 Roman Catholicism. 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 was opposed by the forces of the English and Scottish Parliaments, which challenged his attempts to augment his own power, and by Puritans, who were hostile to his religious policies and supposed Catholic sympathies. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642–45), after which Parliament expected him to accept 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 a 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 by the Church of England.

Charles I in 1632[]

With the arrival of Grantville, Charles I learned of his destined execution and of the English Civil War from William Harvey's copies of up-time history books. This was also later reinforced by copied textbooks sent by Cardinal Richelieu. Charles responded with draconian measures, including ordering the imprisonment of Oliver Cromwell in the Tower of London, and eliminating several other historical individuals who would have been responsible for the overthrow of the English monarchy. He also brought England into the League of Ostend, and had an embassy from Grantville placed under house arrest in the Tower. However, outside of providing English ships to the multi-national armada that defeated the Dutch fleet in 1633, Charles did not allow England to participate in the war on the continent. Already uninterested in England's North American ventures, Charles sold them all to France after learning about the American Revolution.

When the plague threatened to break out in London, Charles refused to stay in the city despite Thomas Wentworth's pleas that it was more important for the King to stay and see to the welfare of England. However, Charles was too concerned with himself and his dynasty. He also stubbornly refused to request the help of the knowledgeable Grantville delegation in dealing with the outbreak.

As Charles and his wife, Henrietta Maria, were leaving London to travel to Oxford, the carriage was confronted by members of London's Trained Bands. This was part of a plot by Richard Boyle designed to discredit Wentworth. Charles was impatient at the delay, and Henrietta Maria panicked. The horses pulling the carriage bolted, and after running out of control, the carriage finally crashed. Charles was crippled, and Henrietta Maria was killed.

Charles' injuries and the death of Henrietta caused an outrage in Whitehall. Richard Boyle quickly placed the blame for the disaster on Wentworth, and obtained his seat as Prime Minister. Charles remained crippled and became more paranoid about his own safety.

By late November 1635, Charles had not been seen in public for months,[2] and had become melancholic and withdrawn from the affairs of his realm.[3]  While he was believed to still be alive in January 1636, he was rumored to be in very poor health.[4]


  1. While she was born after the Ring of Fire, she would have been conceived prior to it.
  2. Grantville Gazette 43, "Snared by a Good Book"
  3. Grantville Gazette VI (paper), "The Masque"
  4. Grantville Gazette XXIII, "The Homecoming"

See Also[]

Regnal titles (OTL)
Preceded by
James I as King of England, Scotland and Ireland
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Succeeded by
Period of vacancy followed by Charles II
Regnal titles (1632)
Preceded by
James I as King of England, Scotland and Ireland
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Succeeded by