Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
Charles was the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life.
Charles's decapitation was scheduled for Tuesday, 30 January 1649. Two of his children remained in England under the control of the Parliamentarians: Elizabeth and Henry. They were permitted to visit him on 29 January, and he bid them a tearful farewell. The following morning, he called for two shirts to prevent the cold weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have mistaken for fear:
- "... the season is so sharp as probably may make me shake, which some observers may imagine proceeds from fear. I would have no such imputation."
Charles put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready by stretching out his hands; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.
On the day after the execution, the king's head was sewn back onto his body, which was then embalmed and placed in a lead coffin.
My own lineage from King James and my wife's bloodline from King Charles prompted the portrait (oil on canvas) which I have attempted to keep dignified and solemn as befits the subject.