Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss

CHARLES I

DASSIER, Jean: England, 1731, Bronze, 41 mm
Obv: Bust of Charles I    CAROLUS. I. D.G. M. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REX.
Rev: Britannia, seated on monument weeping, raises a pall revealing the amputated head of the king. On one side is an ax and on the other side a rose fallen from its stem.
Exergue:  NAT. 13 NOV. 1600. COR. 2. FEBR. 1626. M. IANV. 1649.
Signed:  I.D. F.
Charles was born Nov. 19, 1600.
Ref: M.I. i, 353/212; Eimer 43/164; Eisler I, 262/27; Thompson 31/25;  Weiss BW616

Charles I (1600-1649) was the second surviving son of James VI of Scotland (later James I King of England) and Anne of Denmark. He was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 to 1649. His marriage in 1625 to Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII of France, raised fears of a Catholic succession to the throne among Puritan leaders in Parliament. Many subsequent disagreements with Parliament led to Charles’ insistence on the "divine right of kings", and he adjourned Parliament, ruling without it for the next 11 years. Attempts to impose Anglican liturgy on Scotland led to the Bishops’ Wars. Charles was obliged to recall Parliament to raise revenue for the war, but they refused to grant funds. As a result Parliament was again dissolved. Charles was once more compelled to recall Parliament following further defeats in Scotland. This Parliament insisted on imposing numerous conditions and grievances against the king. Charles refused to relinquish control of the army, and his attempt to arrest five leading opponents in the Commons precipitated the English Civil War. After suffering a succession of defeats by the army led by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, Charles surrendered and was taken prisoner. In 1647 Charles reached a secret agreement with the Scots, promising to accept Presbyterianism in return for military support against Parliament. The second phase of the Civil War ended with Scottish defeat. In 1649 Charles was tried for treason and was beheaded as a tyrant and public enemy to his people. The sentence was carried out on a scaffold erected outside the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall.

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