English Monarch. He reigned as the King of England, Ireland and Scotland, and is remembered for taking his nation into a six-year Civil War, which ended with him losing the war. This was only time in English history that the monarchy has been ousted. He was the second son of King James VI of Scotland, who later became James I of England, and his wife, Anne of Denmark. He became heir to the throne upon the death of his older brother Henry in 1612. At the death of his father, he succeeded to the throne in 1625, and on May 1st of that year was married to Princess Henrietta Maria of France by proxy. They were married at Canterbury on June 13, 1625. Charles was crowned at Westminster Abbey on February 2, 1626 without his Roman Catholic queen at his side. Dispute and controversy followed Charles throughout his reign and, like his father, he mismanaged financial and political affairs. Religious disagreements, which were mainly caused by his religious adviser, the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, had become a major problem, and his marriage to a Roman Catholic only made matters worse. Continually at odds with Parliament, Charles dismissed his fourth Parliament in 1629, determined to rule without any advice and the taxes that Parliament alone could legally collect. The ensuing period was called the "Eleven Years' Tyranny". He reconvened Parliament twice in 1640, but by this time, his reign was in trouble. The Scottish riots of 1637 and the Irish Rebellion of 1641, which followed by an attempt by Parliament to impeach the queen, were the catalysts leading up to six years of civil war between Charles' Royalist Army and the Parliamentary forces led by Oliver Cromwell. The Battle of Preston in August of 1648 was a decided victory for Parliament, and the army decided that peace was impossible while Charles lived. The king was charged with high treason on January 20, 1649; sentenced to death on January 27th; and beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall three days later. Charles' final words were "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be." On February 7th, the office of King was formally abolished.
Bio by: Kristen Conrad