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906
[ENGLAND
CHARLES I.

sorrows of Job. During the War of the Austrian Succession (q.v.) he was a mere puppet in the hands of the anti-Austrian coalition, and was often in want of mere necessaries. In the changes of the war he was able to re-enter his capital, Munich, in 1743, but had immediately afterwards to take flight again. He was restored by Frederick the Great in October 1744, but died worn out at Munich on the 20th of January 1745.

See A. von Arneth, Geschichte Maria Theresias (Vienna, 1863–1879); and P. T. Heigel. Der österreichische Erbfolgestreit und die Kaiserwahl Karls VII. (Munich, 1877).


CHARLES I. (1600–1649), king of Great Britain and Ireland, second son of James I. and Anne of Denmark, was born at Dunfermline on the 19th of November 1600. At his baptism he was created duke of Albany, and on the 16th of January 1605 duke of York. In 1612, by the death of his elder brother Henry, he became heir-apparent, and was created prince of Wales on the 3rd of November 1616. In 1620 he took up warmly the cause of his sister the queen of Bohemia, and in 1621 he defended Bacon, using his influence to prevent the chancellor’s degradation from the peerage. The prince’s marriage with the infanta Maria, daughter of Philip III. of Spain, had been for some time the subject of negotiation, James desiring to obtain through Spanish support the restitution of his son-in-law, Frederick, to the Palatinate; and in 1623 Charles was persuaded by Buckingham, who now obtained a complete ascendancy over him in opposition to wiser advisers and the king’s own wishes, to make a secret expedition himself to Spain, put an end to all formalities, and bring home his mistress himself: “a gallant and brave thing for his Highness.” “Steenie” and “Baby Charles,” as James called them, started on the 17th of February, arriving at Paris on the 21st and at Madrid on the 7th of March, where they assumed the unromantic names of Mr Smith, and Mr Brown. They found the Spanish court by no means enthusiastic for the marriage[1] and the princess herself averse. The prince’s immediate conversion was expected, and a complete religious tolerance for the Roman Catholics in England demanded. James engaged to allow the infanta the right of public worship and to use his influence to modify the law, but Charles himself went much further. He promised the alteration of the penal laws within three years, conceded the education of the children to the mother till the age of twelve, and undertook to listen to the infanta’s priests in matters of religion, signing the marriage contract on the 25th of July 1623. The Spanish, however, did not trust to words, and Charles was informed that his wife could only follow him to England when these promises were executed. Moreover, they had no intention whatever of aiding the Protestant Frederick. Meanwhile Buckingham, incensed at the failure of the expedition, had quarrelled with the grandees, and Charles left Madrid, landing at Portsmouth on the 5th of October, to the joy of the people, to whom the proposed alliance was odious. He now with Buckingham urged James to make war on Spain, and in December 1624 signed a marriage treaty with Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV. of France. In April Charles had declared solemnly to the parliament that in case of his marriage to a Roman Catholic princess no concessions should be granted to recusants, but these were in September 1624 deliberately promised by James and Charles in a secret article, the first instance of the duplicity and deception practised by Charles in dealing with the parliament and the nation. The French on their side promised to assist in Mansfeld’s expedition for the recovery of the Palatinate, but Louis in October refused to allow the men to pass through France; and the army, without pay or provisions, dwindled away in Holland to nothing.

On the 27th of March 1625 Charles I. succeeded to the throne by the death of his father, and on the 1st of May he was married by proxy to Henrietta Maria. He received her at Canterbury on the 13th of June, and on the 18th his first parliament assembled. On the day of his marriage Charles had given directions that the prosecutions of the Roman Catholics should cease, but he now declared his intention of enforcing the laws against them, and demanded subsidies for carrying on the war against Spain. The Commons, however, responded coldly. Charles had lent ships to Louis XIII. to be used against the Protestants at La Rochelle, and the Commons were not aware of the subterfuges and fictitious delays intended to prevent their employment. The Protestant feelings of the Commons were also aroused by the king’s support of the royal chaplain, Richard Montagu, who had repudiated Calvinistic doctrine. They only voted small sums, and sent up a petition on the state of religion and reflecting upon Buckingham, whom they deemed responsible for the failure of Mansfeld’s expedition, at the same time demanding counsellors in whom they could trust. Parliament was accordingly dissolved by Charles on the 12th of August. He hoped that greater success abroad would persuade the Commons to be more generous. On the 8th of September 1625 he made the treaty of Southampton with the Dutch against Spain, and sent an expedition to Cadiz under Sir Edward Cecil, which, however, was a failure. In order to make himself independent of parliament he attempted to raise money on the crown jewels in Holland, and to diminish the opposition in the Commons he excluded the chief leaders by appointing them sheriffs. When the second parliament met, however, on the 6th of February 1626, the opposition, led by Sir John Eliot, was more determined than before, and their attack was concentrated upon Buckingham. On the 29th of March, Charles, calling the Commons into his presence, accused them of leading him into the war and of taking advantage of his difficulties to “make their own game.” “I pray you not to be deceived,” he said, “it is not a parliamentary way, nor ’tis not a way to deal with a king. Remember that parliaments are altogether in my power for their calling, sitting, and dissolution; therefore as I find the fruits of them good or evil, they are to continue or not to be.” Charles, however, was worsted in several collisions with the two houses, with a consequent loss of influence. He was obliged by the peers to set at liberty Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, whom he had put into the Tower, and to send a summons to the earl of Bristol, whom he had attempted to exclude from parliament, while the Commons compelled him, with a threat of doing no business, to liberate Eliot and Digges, the managers of Buckingham’s impeachment, whom he had imprisoned. Finally in June the Commons answered Charles’s demand for money by a remonstrance asking for Buckingham’s dismissal, which they decided must precede the grant of supply. They claimed responsible ministers, while Charles considered himself the executive and the sole and unfettered judge of the necessities of the state. Accordingly on the 15th Charles dissolved the parliament.

The king was now in great need of money. He was at war with Spain and had promised to pay £30,000 a month to Christian IV. of Denmark in support of the Protestant campaign in Germany. To these necessities was now added a war with France. Charles had never kept his promise concerning the recusants; disputes arose in consequence with his wife, and on the 31st of July 1626 he ordered all her French attendants to be expelled from Whitehall and sent back to France. At the same time several French ships carrying contraband goods to the Spanish Netherlands were seized by English warships. On the 27th of June 1627 Buckingham with a large expedition sailed to the Isle of Ré to relieve La Rochelle, then besieged by the forces of Louis XIII. Though the success of the French Protestants was an object much desired in England, Buckingham’s unpopularity prevented support being given to the expedition, and the duke returned to Plymouth on the 11th of November completely defeated. Meanwhile Charles had endeavoured to get the money refused to him by parliament by means of a forced loan, dismissing Chief Justice Crewe for declining to support its legality, and imprisoning several of the leaders of the opposition for refusing to subscribe to it. These summary measures, however, only brought a small sum into the treasury. On the 2nd of January 1628 Charles ordered the release of all the persons imprisoned, and on the 17th of March summoned his third parliament.

Instead of relieving the king’s necessities the Commons immediately proceeded to discuss the constitutional position and to formulate the Petition of Right, forbidding taxation without

  1. Hist. MSS. Comm. 11 Rep. app. Pt. iv. 21.