Monday, January 30, 2012

The Regicide of Charles I

The Feast of Charles the Martyr

Great Charles his double misery was this,
Unfaithful friends, ignoble enemies;
Had any heathen been this prince's foe,
He would have wept to see him injured so.

(Katherine Philips, 1632-1664).


Michael said...

"Charles the Martyr"

I note from the Wikipedia article, that he was canonized by the Church of England. Do the Orthodox recognize this canonization? I don't see him referred to as a saint anywhere outside the Anglican communion.

Clarification would be much appreciated.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

He is not commemorated on the Orthodox Calendar. That said the Orthodox Church considers regicide to be a particularly evil sin. And the background of his case strongly suggests he was in fact a Christian martyr who died in defense of catholic (small 'c') principals.

William Tighe said...

If one were to put it simply, Charles I was a martyr for, more than anything else, jure divino episcopacy, that is, that an episcopal church polity was an absolute necessity for the existence of a "true" church.

One might read the chapter "The Man Charles Stuart" in Conrad Russell's *The Causes of the English Civil War* (Oxford University Press, 1990) for a good portrait of the king penned by one who is not very sympathetic towards him. In short, he portrays him as an egregiously incompetent politician (due to his personality), but as a man of firm, and usually inflexible, principles.

James said...

A number of supporters, including officials, of the, mainly Anglo-Catholic, Society of King Charles the Martyr are Roman Catholic.

Chris Jones said...

Dr Tighe is right, as he so often is on historical questions. It seems clear that the King could have saved his neck and his throne had he been willing to compromise on the episcopal polity of the Church of England.

If I am not mistaken, Charles has the distinction of being the only saint canonized by a Protestant Church.