The Fall of Charles I
- Jane Hayter-Hames
15th January 2022
Was Charles I a tyrant? He was a small man with a stammer who inherited three kingdoms when young but ultimately lost his head. His mistakes were blatant but the conflicts that arose over religion and royal power would have tested a more skilful king.
First with Scotland, then in Ireland and finally in England, powerful men with strong passions set themselves in opposition to him. English MPs, Scottish Calvinists and Irish Catholics all made demands. A nervous man and poor negotiator, Charles was nonetheless a courageous general. As sides coalesced and broke apart, new forms of government were hotly debated but no agreement reached.
It was a tragic time, with lives and fortunes lost; for Ireland it was a catastrophe as England broke Irish Catholic society and confiscated land. Yet it was also a time of radical ideas, commercial success and scientific advancement.
Who were Charles Stuart and Henrietta‑Maria, his French queen? What motivated their opponents, and why was it Oliver Cromwell who rose to power? Extraordinary characters like Alasdair MacDonald, John Lilburne, Murrough the Burner and Montrose all blazed their trails. This book combines the story of all three kingdoms and explores the motives of the principal protagonists to show why government collapsed and the king was finally executed.