King Vs Parliament: A Story of Two(And a Half) Charles’
Abdul gives us a UK history lesson on the past kings named Charles.
There's a new King on the British Throne- his name: King Charles III. The past two (and a half) rulers that have shared this name have not had an easy time on the throne; their story is one of civil wars, execution, exile, restoration, revolution, and rebellion.
The story of these monarchs is the final chapter of the 500 year old conflict between Parliament and The King over who's really in power over the British Isles. Here I'll tell you of the life and times of these troubled and embattled monarchs:
Charles I - “Murdered King”
King Charles I, ruler of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 to 1649. Charles was a stubborn and inflexible man incapable of compromise, having nothing but results that affirmed his view that Kings were given the right to rule by God himself. This way of thinking would lead to conflict between The King and Parliament.
Things came to a head in 1642, when the English Civil Wars started over disagreements between the King and Parliament. After two Civil Wars ended with Royalist defeat and Charles’ imprisonment, Charles was put on trial for treason and executed on January 30, 1649. Even though Charles had been killed and Parliament had abolished the Monarchy, the royalist cause would be continued by his son, Charles II.
Charles II - “Restored King”
After fleeing the country, Charles II would return to the British isles and gain the support of the Scottish and the Irish, however he would be defeated, having to make a daring escape back to France.
With Protector Cromwell’s death, Parliament invited Charles to take the throne. Charles would arrive in London on May 29, 1660 with thunderous appraisal and become King Charles II of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Charles’ court would be known as one of extravagance and luxury. The King had to keep parliament in line, cool religious tensions, deal with plague and fire, and manage external affairs. Charles' heir was his brother, the Catholic Duke of York. A Catholic monarch was unacceptable to many people who then moved against James. Charles ensured that his brother was his heir before his death from a stroke.
Charles was succeeded by his brother King James VII and II.
Charles “III” - “The Young Pretender”
Bonnie Prince Charlie is an icon on the British isles, known for his struggle against the Crown and serves as the symbol of Jacobites (Supporters of James II and his descendants). He was the grandson of James II (who had been overthrown by Parliament and replaced with his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband), and the son of the Old Pretender (James´ son who had failed to retake the throne).
The young prince would grow up to be a talented man, eager to restore his father and oust the Hanoverians who had inherited the throne after the death of James’ other daughter Anne. The prince would attempt to seize the throne in 1745, the invasion started off well, but the cause would falter and be crushed in the Battle of Culloden. Charles “III” would be forced to flee, he continued to attempt to retake the throne until his death in 1788, the death of his brother Henry in 1807 marked the end of the royal house of Stuart.
The Stuart monarchs played a significant role in the history of The British Isles. Their dynasty marked the final chapters of two major overarching conflicts in Britain, whether parliament was the true power in the government and whether catholicism or protestantism ruled in the land.
All of King Charles had their part to play in history but for the real King Charles III, only time will tell how history will remember him.