Was King Charles I of England a bad man, or just a bad leader?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,107
#11
Charles I was unusual among kings for having no obvious mistresses. There is research showing he had a relationship with a daughter of a courtier. It is likely he had other affairs.

His son Charles II was notorious for this mistresses and involvements with married women. His father James I was notorious for the political power of his young favorites.

James I's made his apparent lover the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham has effectively running the kingdom when James was dying. Charles I kept him on as the 2nd most powerful man in the government, despite his being incompetent and extremely unpopular. Charles I twice dissolved Parliament to keep it from impeaching Buckingham. Buckingham was assassinated by an army officer, who was viewed as a hero by most. Obviously Charles' handing of this was terrible, and many kings would have immediately thrown Buckingham out of the government, and maybe had him arrested and maybe executed. Any of that would have been a popular move.

Going to war with Scotland to make it use the Church of England prayer book sparked the Civil War. The implications were bad. It not only threatened to force the Anglican religion on Scotland, but also threatened to make Scotland subservient rather than an equal kingdom under the same king.

The Church of England had tried to keep Puritans and Catholics in the Church by force of law and by allowing differing theology. Puritans and other strong protestants felt threatened by the attack on Scotland as well as by the king's Arminian or high church policy and Roman Catholic wife. Many thought the king and / or people around him were trying to make Britain Roman Catholic.

Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James I had been able to take a middle approach and avoid religious war as occurred in France and Germany. Charles I unecessarily upset the balance and brought on civil war.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,175
Las Vegas, NV USA
#12
Charles I was not a bad man. He Certainly underestimated the opposition but it was reasonable to believe that the English people of all classes would favor the Monarch over a Parliament controlled by religious extremists. Did the people of England including the aristocracy really want live that life? Or perhaps he thought Cromwell just couldn't get it done and his supporters would abandon him. Actually they tried, but Cromwell dismissed Parliament with his famous speech. Unfortunately that was too late for Charles.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,107
#14
Charles I was not a bad man. He Certainly underestimated the opposition but it was reasonable to believe that the English people of all classes would favor the Monarch over a Parliament controlled by religious extremists. Did the people of England including the aristocracy really want live that life? Or perhaps he thought Cromwell just couldn't get it done and his supporters would abandon him. Actually they tried, but Cromwell dismissed Parliament with his famous speech. Unfortunately that was too late for Charles.
Most people did not want rule by the Puritans, which is partly why they were thrown out. Charles I's actions created fear of absolute monarchy and enforced Roman Catholicism that caused Cromwell to get support.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,893
Caribbean
#15
Most people did not want rule by the Puritans, which is partly why they were thrown out. Charles I's actions created fear of absolute monarchy and enforced Roman Catholicism that caused Cromwell to get support.
Are you implying that Roman rule is even less popular than Puritan rule? What do you include in "enforced Roman Catholicism?" The massacres in Ireland?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,107
#17
Are you implying that Roman rule is even less popular than Puritan rule? What do you include in "enforced Roman Catholicism?" The massacres in Ireland?
People were afraid Charles I was trying to make Britain Roman Catholic. There were many "heretics" burnt under Mary I. They were afraid that all other religions would be suppressed as in Spain.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,893
Caribbean
#18
People were afraid Charles I was trying to make Britain Roman Catholic. There were many "heretics" burnt under Mary I. They were afraid that all other religions would be suppressed as in Spain.
But that didn't answer the question of which was more unpopular: Puritans rule or Catholics rule.

I am asking part because of post 12 stating that people didn't want to be ruled by religious extremists - and seemed to imply that was the Puritans, not the Papists. I know it's 2 Stuarts too soon, but the Bill of Rights of 1689 answers the question the other way around. .
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,107
#19
But that didn't answer the question of which was more unpopular: Puritans rule or Catholics rule.

I am asking part because of post 12 stating that people didn't want to be ruled by religious extremists - and seemed to imply that was the Puritans, not the Papists. I know it's 2 Stuarts too soon, but the Bill of Rights of 1689 answers the question the other way around. .
Charles I's Anglo Catholic religious policies were fairly popular. Strong protestants were a minority.

The problem was that he created controversies over religion and the role of the king and Parliament that didn't need to be created. He created the fear that he was moving towards an absolute monarchy with an established Catholic Church like France or Spain.
 
Feb 2015
3,893
Caribbean
#20
Charles I's Anglo Catholic religious policies were fairly popular. Strong protestants were a minority.

The problem was that he created controversies over religion and the role of the king and Parliament that didn't need to be created. He created the fear that he was moving towards an absolute monarchy with an established Catholic Church like France or Spain.
First, I don't know how you calculate popularity 1625-1649
If his policies were popular, why would he have to dismiss Parliament?

And then you seem to contradict yourself further - his "Catholic...policies" were "fairly popular," but created "fear" that he was a Romanist? So, Romanism was fairly popular or something to be feared?
Are you sure you have thought this through?
 
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