Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
CHARLES I MEMORIAL
ROETTIERS, James and Norbert: England, 1649, Bronze, 51 mm
Charles I (1600-1649), son of James I, was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 to 1649. His marriage in 1625 to Henrietta Maria, the Catholic daughter of Henry IV of France and 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 on a scaffold erected outside the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall.
This medal was struck by order of his son Charles II after his restoration in 1660. Although previously attributed to John Roettiers, this medal is now considered to be by James (second son of John Roettiers) and Norbert Roettiers and to have been issued about 1695 (see A. Griffiths, "Advertisements for Medals in the London Gazette", The Medal, no. XV, pp. 4-6)
LINK to painting of Charles I of England by Sir Anthony van Dyck (from WebMuseum)
LINK to Portrait and Biography of Henrietta Maria (from Wikipedia)