King Charles I
King Charles I
by Unknown artist
line engraving, after 1649
4 7/8 in. x 2 7/8 in. (123 mm x 74 mm) paper size
This portraitback to top
The combination of a simple verse and a picture in this print was designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. To this end, the suffering figure of Charles is removed from the allegorical landscape of Eikon Basilike and placed behind prison bars. Below him, symbols of Majesty, State and Church - a crown, sword, orb, sceptre and bishop's mitre - are shown discarded and broken, signifying the causes for which Charles died.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Charles I: King and Martyr (19 July 2008 - 14 December 2008)
Events of 1649back to top
Current affairsCharged with subverting the nation's laws and liberties and cruelly making war against Parliament and the English people, Charles I is found guilty by a court of 159 commissioners, and beheaded outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall.
England is declared a commonwealth and power is entrusted to a Council of State.
Art and scienceEikon Basilike, a self-exonerating account of Charles I's rule, is published days after his death. Allegedly written by the king himself, John Gauden, Bishop of Worcester, claimed authorship after the Restoration. Other tributes followed the king's death giving rise to a royalist cult of Charles the Martyr.
InternationalOliver Cromwell, as lord lieutenant of Ireland, begins his campaign in Ireland to subdue royalist support, and leads English Parliamentarian forces against the Royalist-Confederate coalition. The campaign's bloody massacres, in particular, the Siege of Drogheda and Wexford where Cromwell's troops slaughtered soldiers and civilians alike, became notorious.
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