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Synopsis

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles believed was divinely ordained. Many of his English subjects opposed his actions, in particular his interference in the English and Scottish churches and the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, because they saw them as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch.

Charles's reign was also characterised by religious conflicts. His failure to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years' War, coupled with the fact that he married a Roman Catholic princess, generated deep mistrust concerning the king's dogma. Charles further allied himself with controversial ecclesiastic figures, such as Richard Montagu and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of Charles's subjects felt this brought the Church of England too close to the Roman Catholic Church. Charles's later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops' Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments and helped precipitate his own downfall.

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