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Charles and French Princess Henrietta Maria

The relief felt in Britain was swiftly quashed by Charles’ engagement to the French Princess Henrietta Maria, as the marriage articles pledged her freedom to practice Catholicism, and allowed upbringing of any, children until the age of 13.

Charles was married in 1625, the year he succeeded, to the throne. The marriage had a difficult start and within a year, despite the Queen’s tearful protestations he deported her entire troublesome retinue of 30 priests and over 400 attendants. After this the relationship, settled down.

Charles tried to dispense with parliament as far as possible, and was an absolute monarch by nature. He was cool, obstinate, and quite devious if need be. He relied on favourites such as Buckingham who were able to gain great personal profit from their privileged positions. After Buckingham’s murder in 1628, there were two spheres of influence on the King. One a Catholic tendency from the Queen, Treasurer Weston, and Cottington the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The other was a high Anglican style Protestantism, known as Arminianism espoused by Bishop Laud. Both trends were anathema to the attitudes and beliefs of most people in Britain and especially to the Calvinism widespread in Scotland, with its rejection of hierarchy and its dour sense of predestination.

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