This Week’s Question: Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England during the Commonwealth, was beheaded on this day in 1661. What was unusual about this execution? Last Week’s Question: The union of Scotland and England, which was ratified by Scotland on 16 January 1707, may have been partly prompted by which financial disaster? Answer: That would be the Darien Scheme, or the Darien Disaster, as it … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: Off With His Head!
On 27 March 1625, one of England’s less successful monarchs, Charles I, ascended the throne after the death of his father, James I and VI. As we all know, the match between king and country was not to be a happy marriage. One of the biggest problems was that Charles was an extreme believer in the Divine Right of Kings, which he took to mean … Continue reading Absolute Monarch
On 19 March 1649, to the surprise of probably nobody, an Act of Parliament abolished the House of Lords, declaring that ‘the Commons of England [find] by too long experience that the House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England.’ The abolition of the House of Lords came on the heels of the execution of Charles I on 30 January; presumably … Continue reading Off With You, Now!
On March 10, 1629 Charles I decided he’d had quite enough of this whole “Parliament” thing and dissolved it, beginning an 11-year period known politely as the Personal Rule and less politely as the Eleven Years’ Tyranny. It did not end well for him. Charles’s father, James, was something of a spendthrift during his reign and found himself frequently begging Parliament for money—a fact Parliament … Continue reading The Eleven Years’ Tyranny
On 22 August 1642, Charles I lost his royal patience and declared Parliament traitors, effectively kicking off the English Civil War. Things had been, well, unpleasant between Charles and Parliament for some time. In fact, things between Charles and just about everyone in the country had been tense for a while. The people were upset because he’d married a Roman Catholic, dissolved Parliament, ruling on … Continue reading Oh, It’s On Now!
January 4 was a rather auspicious day for King Charles I of England. In 1642, the king ordered Parliament to hand over six members accused of treason—an act that would add fuel to the smoldering civil war fire. And on that same day, seven years later, Parliament itself would vote to put Charles on trial, which would eventually cost him his life. Charles had a … Continue reading I’ll Show You!
This was not a particularly good day for the Stuarts. On September 3, 1651 King Charles II got his ass handed to him by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the English Civil War. Charles was determined to make one last attempt to regain his throne, and he was backed by the Scots. Charles was counseled to fight in Scotland, where … Continue reading The Battle of Worcester
This is quite a week for kings going into battle. First there was George II leading his troops during the War of the Austrian Succession on June 27, 1743. Almost a hundred years earlier, on June 29, 1644, Charles I defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, marking the last time an English king won a battle on English soil. 1644 hadn’t … Continue reading Warrior King: Part II
On March 27, 1625, the ill-fated Charles I became King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Sadly, as with his grandmother, it was not a job to which he was well suited. Charles, the grandson of Mary, Queen of Scots, was born during Elizabeth’s reign and came to the throne at the young age of 24. He believed firmly in the divine right of kings and … Continue reading Charles I
Once upon a time (specifically, on or around February 7, 1102) a pretty little princess was born to Henry I of England and his wife, Matilda of Scotland. The girl was named after her mother, and it seemed, for some time, that she would have a fairly average life for a girl of her class and time. She was married twice, to the Holy Roman … Continue reading The First Queen of England