King Charles the Martyr.

posted by: Joan | on: Saturday, 25 February 2017, 16:45


King Charles the Martyr.

King Charles the Martyr.

King Charles 1 ascended to the English throne on March 27, 1625 and was already at loggerheads with the Puritans. He took a high view of church governance and worship, demanding compliance with the Book of Common Prayer and taking a traditional view of the importance of the sacraments. He was a great believer in the episcopacy which alienated him further from the Puritans in Parliament. From the time of his accession to the throne Charles I was at odds with Parliament and within five months of his coronation he dissolved Parliament.

In 1640, in need of funds to pay for war with Scotland he reluctantly recalled Parliament and in the following year Parliament presented Charles with a list of grievances against him. As the situation deteriorated, Charles left London in 1642 and rode to Nottingham where he raised an army and the civil war began.

Parliament remained in session and, dominated by the Puritans, outlawed the episcopacy. In 1644 the Book of Common Prayer was made illegal.

By 1647 Charles had been defeated on the battlefield and he pretended to negotiate a settlement with Parliament whilst, at the same time, forming an alliance with Scotland which resulted in the “Second Civil War” and led to defeat of the Royalists in 1648.

Charles was tried by Parliament for treason. When asked to plead, he refused which was accepted as an admission of guilt. He was executed in front of the banqueting hall at Whitehall Palace on January 30, 1649.

After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Charles was declared a martyr and a saint by the Church of England in 1662. He was the last person canonised by the Anglican Church. It is said that if Charles had been willing to abandon the church and give up the episcopacy he might have saved his life and his throne but he refused to either demand, and Gladstone said, “it was for the Church that Charles shed his blood on the scaffold”.

Charles was removed as a saint from the calendar in 1859 but his feast day continues to be observed in a number of Anglican churches. Alan Vine - Cathedral MU


 Posted: 25 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments


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