The interactive parts of this resource no longer work, but it has been archived so you can continue using the rest of it.

The National Archives Civil War
Download and print PDF version Civil War > What kind of king was Charles I?

Find out more from the original sources:

What kind of king was Charles I?

CO1/7: Charles, 1632

Charles I came to power in 1625. He ruled three kingdoms – England, Ireland and Scotland – but he spent most of his time in his most powerful kingdom, England. What do sources from the time tell us about the monarchs who came before Charles I? What do they tell us about Charles I as a ruler?


Key people & events

Your challenge

Write a report on Charles I’s early years as ruler. The main focus of your report will be on his relations with a very important group, the political nation. The political nation means the top people in the country – the lords, the local gentry, the wealthy merchants. The king needed them to collect the taxes, serve in Parliament, make sure the laws were obeyed, and help recruit and pay for his army.

Start the activity