Scotlands History

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649)

Second son of James VI and I and Anne of Denmark, Charles became heir when his elder brother Henry died in 1612. He succeeded his father in 1625 and reigned until his execution in 1649.

Charles I married Henrietta Maria of France in 1625 and they had five children who survived childhood: Charles II, Mary, James VII and II, Henry, and Henrietta Anne.

His attempts to force religious reform on Scotland and to force his will directly on the country regardless of his parliament’s opinions caused civil unrest and twice led to civil war. Eventually his parliament (including the radical Oliver Cromwell) believed that peace was impossible so long as Charles lived – they tried him for treason, found him guilty and executed him.

Charles I went to the block on Tuesday 30 January 1649.

  • Painting of Charles 1 at about 10 years old, wearing ornate red and silver clothes

Click on the image to view a larger version.