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What kind of king was Charles I?

Case Study 2: Charles I as a ruler – Source 1

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An image of Charles I from the records of the Court of King’s Bench, c.1625

(Catalogue ref: KB 27/1542/2)

 
KB 27/1542/2; Charles 1, c.1625
 

What is this source?

This image of Charles I appears at the start of a document recording a court case.

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What's the background to this source?

Charles did not actually sit in the court and make the judgements. His image is in this record to show that he was the ruler of the kingdom. However, Charles was very involved in the daily business of government.

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It's worth knowing that...

Charles had very similar ideas to his father about the Divine Right of Kings. This was the idea that kings were appointed by God, therefore their subjects should obey them.

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Your turn: What does this source tell us?

  1. In what ways is this image similar to the images in the seals of Elizabeth I and James I? (See Case study 1: Monarchs before Charles I)
  2. Does this image give you any clues about Charles’s views on how a king should rule?
  3. Study some other images of Charles I painted at the time. What do they tell us about how Charles saw his role as king? Good examples can be found at: