Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'M the King, Dammit!

There had been tentative negotiations w/ Spain for betrothing the late lamented Prince Henry to Philip's granddaughter, Maria Anna.

Maria Anna of Spain
did she invent hedge clippers,
b/c her hair sure looks like it LOL

Reckon the English woulda called her Mary Anne LOL Anyway, the English peeps were all um NO b/c of that whole we hate the Spanish thing & they were just as opposed when twas suggested Charles fill in as the bridegroom. Plus, after Jemmy let Raleigh out of the Tower (where he'd spent his imprisonment writing a grandiose tome called The Historie of the World), Raleigh said meh to England & trotted off to the New World w/ one of his sons (tediously) Walter & got into an altercation w/ the Spanish in which Walter Jr was kilt. Raleigh was meddling where he shouldn't have been & the Spanish were irked & poked Jemmy & said, hey, didn't you sentence this peep to the axe a good 15 yrs ago for that Main Plot? What's he still doing w/ a head?

So Raleigh got another Tower Fun Pass & became a head shorter. Jemmy was trying to avoid getting into war w/ Spain b/c he was already ensnared in that whole mess his SIL & DD got into in Bohemia, so he gave up Raleigh's head to appease em. Buckingham, who was a bad influence on Charles, decided it would be fun times if he & Charles took a little incognito trip to Spain & settled the whole Princess Mary Anne matter in person. Peeps were vastly unamused when this came out, but Mary Anne & Charles ended up not getting hitched b/c the Spanish wouldn't have it unless Charles turned Catholic, to which he said um NO.

Instead, Charles had decided he fancied a Frenchie princess he'd met on his travels, Henrietta Maria.

Henrietta Maria of France

She was the daughter of Henry of Navarre, now demised, so sis of the current Louis (there are 11dy6 of those & Scarlet gets their #s confoozled LOL so I disrecall which one). The Frenchies were OK w/ Charles staying Protestant as long as Henrietta Maria & her household could stay Catholic, so Parliament said OK & approved the match.

Then there was a scandal involving one of Jemmy's favs, Robert Carr. Cecil Jr had demised & peeps was irked b/c that meant Jemmy's lads had their fingers in all the pies & were trying to run the joint. Jemmy pushed thru a divorce for one of the rich Howard chicks, Frances, so that Carr could wed her & get her goodies. Carr's asst (b/c he was too stupid to run the joint alone), Sir Thomas Overbury, ended up poisoned b/c he frowned publicly at the match, Frannie being a notorious loose chick, & it developed Robbie & Frannie did the deed & peeps was all :O

Buckingham was pleased b/c this meant he was now the sole fav & running the joint all by himself, b/c Jemmy was getting old & sickly by now (he had arthritis, gout, kept swooning a lot, got a bad case of tertian fever, & started having strokes), the queen had demised (from what was said to be a bad case of gout but that don't kill ya, so twas prolly something else that caused the swells like bad arteries or kidneys), & Charles thunk Buckingham was the cat's pajamas.

James I in old age

Not long after that Jemmy was lollygagging at Theobalds (used to be Cecil Sr's fab country house but somehow Jemmy got his mitts on it) & ended up w/ a yucky case of dysentery atop all else & demised right quick w/ Buckingham hovering at his bedside, aged 59, just 3 days past Elizabeth's demise & his accession. He had a splendid funeral & even tho he was a little weird (there was a saying going round of "Elizabeth was King, & James is Queen" b/c of his male favs LOL), for the most part peeps genuinely mourned him.

Now little Charles, age 24, was planning for both his wedding & his coronation.

4 days after Jemmy's funeral, Charles was married by proxy (that's when some peep stands in for one of the parties & tis considered perfectly legal) to Henrietta Maria, who came over to England a month later & did it all over again at Canterbury Cathedral.

Charles I & Henrietta Maria
he's giving her bedroom eyes & she's all meh LOL

Peeps were still muttering b/c she was Catholic & got special religious privileges that the seecrud English Catholics couldn't have b/c of all the legislation Jemmy shoved thru Parliament. Charles wasn't crowned until Candlemas (we call that Groundhog Day LOL), nigh on a yr after Jemmy's demise, & Henrietta Maria didn't get to play b/c there was so much muttering, so she never got crowned at all. She wasn't breeding yet, either, & at 21 was plenty old enough to commence it, so peeps was doubly unamused w/ her.

These 2 peeps put Elizabeth to shame when it came to having their portraits done & there are about 11dy6,000 of em still extant to gawk at.

The Three Faces of Charles I
betcha he had 11dy6 mirrors in which to preen LOL

Charles was rather shrimpy but he was a snappy dresser & brought giant hats & high heels into fashion for guys. Ruffs was finally out & lace collars was in, along w/ puffy sleeves instead of puffy pants. No chicks had to cram themselves into stomachers, busks, or bumrolls any more, so they were at least pleased w/ the Frenchie fashions.

Charles I
lookin' stylin'
That whole 30 Yrs' War was still going on & Charles declared war on Spain b/c they'd come in & stolen his BILs goodies & occupied them. Parliament was not amused at the expense, nor at Charles putting Buckingham in charge of it; he didn't do such a hot job. This is where all the trouble w/ Parliament started. Jemmy had kicked out those pesky religious fanatic Pilgrims to the New World, but there were lots of peeps who began leaning drastically to the right on religious stuff & were even more unfussed than the average Englishman over that Catholic queen.

Queen Henrietta Maria

Charles refused to pull Buckingham from being in charge, but pretty soon he had to find a new peep anyway.

Buckingham returned to England to have a nice war break & was toddling down the docks when a peep jumped out at him w/ a knife & assassinated him real good. Peeps was all YAY b/c no one liked him, but the king & queen did & they were appalled at the general rejoicing. Ya'd think that woulda made em hmmm some but um NO. Charles just kept glaring at most peeps & at Parliament, who were putting to screws to his personal income & the war efffort. The latter petered out & they had to make peace w/ Spain. Charles was so irked he sent Parliament home & didn't bother calling em back for 11 yrs.

After 4 yrs of marriage the queen finally commenced w/ the breeding, but their 1st son, Charles James, was stillborn. A yr later there was the usual celebrations b/c this time it was another boy, Charles, & he lived & thrived. HM called him her "black boy" b/c he'd managed to get a hefty dose of Italian de Medici gene pool & was quite dark & swarthy.

Henrietta Maria, baby Prince Charles, & Charles I

Then HM & Charles REALLY got busy. By the end of the next yr there was Princess Mary, 2 yrs later Prince James, 2 yrs later Princess Elizabeth, 2 yrs later Princess Anne (tho she died age 3), 2 yrs later another stillbirth, Princess Catherine, a yr after that Prince Henry, & 4 yrs after that Princess Henrietta Anne WHEW! 9 kids in 15 yrs!

The Children of Charles I
(& a REALLY big dog)
L to R: Mary, James, Charles, Elizabeth, Henry

So there was plenty of heirs & spares, at least. Charles was supposedly devoted to HM & never had any GFs awwww. Dunno where he'd have found the time what w/ all the marital breeding & portrait posing.

Charles I

W/ all these kids & their extravagant tastes, Charles had to raise money somehow, so he began researching & re-introducing all sorts of obscure medieval laws where he could fine & tax peeps sans Parliament's consent, in Scotland as well as in England. Peeps began looking at him sideways. They liked their groats better. They also didn't like Charles's religious stance.

Charles I &  a pregnant Henrietta Maria

Charles was widely suspected of being a seecrud Catholic b/c his DW was, but he really wasn't. He was just looking askance at all the Puritan fanatics cropping up & wanting to shove stuff back over toward the middle where it was nice & non-confrontational. Some peeps wanted to reform English Protestantism into a more severe Calvinist type of church & Charles was all um NO! His Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, agreed, & started banning Puritan stuff left & right & getting rid of fanatic clergy. More Puritan peeps said meh went to the colonies. So did lots of Catholics. The Catholic colony of Maryland was named for the queen.

But lots more Puritans stayed & muttered & grumbled. The Scots Presbyterians of the Kirk were ticked b/c they thunk Charles was trying to cram the Anglican Church down their throat when Laud revised Edward VIs Book of Common Prayer & decreed USE IT OR ELSE.

This caused a Scots rebellion called The Bishops' War. B/c he was unfussed w/ Parliament & didn't want to call em back, Charles had to raise the money to put down this rebellion himself & then he wound up rather broke. So finally he sighed & had to call em back to get some bucks for those growing kidlets. This was called the Short Parliament b/c he didn't get as much $$$ as he wanted & Parliament was irking him, so he dissolved it & sent em home again w/ a raspberry.

The Scots thumbed their noses at him & said pffft we don't need no steenking king up here to call us into session, we'll just govern ourselves, how do ya like them apples, Charlie? Well natch, not very well at all. Those pesky Scots Covenanters, as the Kirk was now called, had the audacity to march on York next. W/o the English Parliament to vote him funds, Charles had to make a humiliating treaty w/ the rebels.

All this rebelling was hard on the wallet so he sighed & re-opened Parliament again. This one was known as the Long Parliament & wasn't Charles & HM shocked when, instead of the $$$ issue, the 1st thing they did was call for the impeachment of Laud on the grounds of high treason.

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury

And they passed a bill what said Parliament just couldn't be sent home anytime the king pleases, it had to meet at least once every 3 yrs, & if they king didn't call em to assemble, why, then, they could jolly well do it themselves, just like the Scots. Charles was standing there w/ his mouth open at all this uppity-ness going but....but...I got me the Divine Right of Kingship, dammit! WTF? Who do these peeps think they ARE?

Charles I

After impeaching the archbishop. Parliament then turned its attn to Charles's council prez, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. They said he was governing like carp & that was treason as well. A Bill of Attainder was introduced & Charles said pfffft I ain't signing none of this nonsense! I'M THE KING! YOU PEEPS GOTTA LISTEN TO ME, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND!

Those pocky Parliamentarians twirled their moustaches in a Snidely Whiplash-like fashion & said o yeah? That's rich HA HA How 'bout we go after your Catholic DW next, huh?

Henrietta Maria
I so want that dress!!!

Charles gulped & signed & Strafford lost his head posthaste. Then they patted Charles on the head & said there, that wasn't so hard, was it? You just been led astray by evil councillors & now they're gone, so we'll play nicely w/ ya from now on, won't we, guys?

Next they introduced the Grand Remonstrance, a laundry list of every little thing they thunk Charles had done wrong since he became king, sticking to the evil councillors thing & throwing in a dash of Catholic conspiracy to undermine the govt as well. Charles was so gobsmacked tis a wonder he could sit for those portraits & not have his mouth hanging open in shock.

Charles I

1st the Scots, now the English, & b4 ya knew it there was a rebellion in Ireland to boot! When he asked for funds for this, Parliament shook their heads & tried to take control of the military themselves in exchange for the money. Charles said NO NOT SIGNING! In fact, tis y'all who are committing high treason here & I want these 5 instigating peeps in the Tower posthaste! Um NO they said.

So Charles had a confab w/ HM, who was worried about rumors they might still go after her & send her banished & packing, & decided to storm Parliament by force & drag these treasonous peeps to the Tower.

Somebody tattled about the arrest warrants Charles had drawn up, so when he stormed into Parliament w/ his armed guard, flourishing them, the 5 peeps in ques had already done a bunk & no one would tell him where they went. Infuriated, he confabbed w/ HM some more & sent her to the continent to raise support & money to quash these pocky Parliamentarians, & he himself left London to go to the north of England & attempt to rally support there from the peeps who were all overrun by those irksome Scots & were outta steaks & burgers. The whole ride he muttered, HOW DARE THEY TELL ME WHAT I CAN & CAN'T DO? I'M THE KING! DADDY WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT, EVEN!

Charles I

He raised the royal standard at Nottingham & set up his court at Oxford. His smokin' hot nevvy, Rupert of the Rhine, who was reknowned far & wide as the bestest cavalry peep there ever was, hurried to support Uncle Charlie's efforts, as did some other peeps.

Rupert of the Rhine

Tis rumored Rupert was involved in a hopeless romance with the married Mary Villiers, the Duchess of Richmond, & tis why he never wed & bred smokin' hot sons (tho he did acknowledge a bastard daughter w/ the ridic name of Ruperta). 

Mary Villiers, Duchess of Richmond

The Royalists (or Cavaliers as they were oft called) were trounced at the battle of Naseby & then Oxford was put under siege. Charles gulped & ran away. He was caught by those pesky steak-stealers at Newark, who smiled & nodded at what he had to say & pretended they were going to play nicely, while all the time they were negotiating w/ the Parliamentarians to hand him over. Charles was put under house arrest at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire

Holdenby House

& then sent to Hampton Court & then to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. Islands are usually good places to make sure peeps don't escape, but hey, MQOS managed it. HM had taken the baby, Minette, w/ her, Mary was married to the Prince of Orange b4 the trouble began, & the 2 eldest lads, Charles & James, were also escaped to the continent, but their other kids Elizabeth & Henry were sent to Carisbrooke to share Daddy's prison.

Carisbrooke Castle

O man, this is some baaad shite, Charles whinged, & hmmm'd some & decided mayhap twas time to start playing one grp of assorted nuts off the other in the hopes they'd just all annihilate each other. So he started treating w/ those irksome Scots & promised to toss out that prayer book thing & let em have whatever sort of whacko religion they pleased up there. This was known as the Engagement & the Scots agreed to invade England, trounce the Parliamentarians, & restore Charles to his throne. Unfortunately for him, they got trounced themselves at the battle of Preston, grabbed a few steaks & burgers out of habit, & made a run for the border.

Charles was transferred to Windsor Castle after this debacle. Parliament decided that since the fighting was all done & they were gonna let him stay king w/ limited powers until he started sneaking round w/ the Scots & encouraging further bloodshed, this was a nice act of treason on his part & he was going to stand trial for it.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell was the head Parliamentarian peep now (& I do believe he's related to Henry VIIIs Cromwell) & in charge of setting this novel concept up. Charles sputtered in disbelief at the notion of a King of England being put on trial by pocky peeps who were sooooo not his peers, & all for trying to keep his backside on his throne & pay for it! When his trial began he refused to enter a plea, insisting they had no right to try him & he wasn't playing. Under English law then, a peep who wouldn't plead either guilty or not guilty was assumed to be guilty as charged on all counts. They spent a wk trying to get this salient fact to sink into the king's skull & Charles just kept going um NO! I'M THE KING! YOU GOT NO AUTHORITY OVER ME!


W/o a plea there could be no trial, but there could be sentencing, & a death warrant was signed. A scaffold was erected outside the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall Palace, where the king was now confined. Tis unclear whether all those sad scenes in movies where he said good-bye to Elizabeth & Henry are true or not, b/c the following yr Elizabeth demised at age 14 at Carisbrooke & her grave is on the Isle of Wight, so the kidlets may have been kept there. Henry was released to his mother's custody in France 2 yrs after his sis died. Imagine the issues these kids had from all this mess.

The execution date was set for Jan 30th & b/c tis mighty cold in England in the winter, legend has it Charles wore 2 shirts b/c he didn't want peeps to think he was scared if he shivered from the cold. To avoid any last-min heroics, Cromwell placed a buffer of soldiers round the scaffold to keep the common peeps back. This meant nobody really got to hear his speech at the time he said it, tho peeps did write it down. Charles emerged all snappily dressed as usual, removing his cloak & hat after speechifying, & told the executioner he would stretch out his arms as a signal when he was ready.

Nobody knows who the executioner was b/c the official executioner of London refused the job. But it had to be some kind of official dude b/c there was none of that mess like what happened w/ Margaret Pole & MQOS. Charles said a prayer, put his head on the block, & his last words b4 giving the signal were, "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown".

The Execution of Charles I

His head came off cleanly w/ a single stroke of the axe & was raised to the hushed crowd; peeps were like slowing down to look at the car accident on this execution, repellently fascinated but still appalled b/c, jeez, deposed kings were supposed to be tossed into the bowels of some castle & demise quietly, not have a public spectacle made of it. This was an unprecedented event. There was no king or queen! Who was gonna run the joint? What was gonna happen? YIKES......

contemporary depiction of Charles the Martyr

1 comment:

  1. I'm not even kidding, the way you describe things made me laugh, it was like if i was explaining it to someone, you are epic :')