Charles I

Portrait of Charles I

Born: 1600
Died: 1649
Reigned: 1625–49

  • Second son of James VI and I, and the second sovereign of the Stuart dynasty in England
  • Married Henrietta Maria of France in 1625; their children included Charles II, James II, and Mary, who married Prince William of Orange
  • His stubborn adherence to the Divine Right of Kings, particularly his right to rule without Parliament, and his High Church beliefs, precipitated the Civil Wars of the 1640s
  • After defeat by Oliver Cromwell’s forces, he was imprisoned, tried and executed in January 1649
  • Formed a spectacular collection of works of art, making purchases throughout Europe, but particular in Italy
  • Bought a superb collection of paintings and sculpture from the Duke of Mantua in 1628
  • Bought the Raphael Cartoons, to be copied as tapestries at Mortlake
  • Patron of Le Sueur and Van Dyck, who created many portraits of the King, his family and members of the court
  • Commissioned Rubens to paint ceiling panels depicting an allegory of Divine Right, for the Banqueting House, Whitehall
  • Much of his art collection, including paintings by Raphael, Titian and Rubens, was sold after his execution

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