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Death of a Tyrant - April and May 1651
Charles unending scheming to reacquire the English mainland began to hinder, and even annoy, his government . Many of his advisers began to wonder about his health and sanity, and his family even began to consider if Charles was still capable of ruling the young kingdom. Charles II, son of, predictably, Charles the First, was in the midst of preparing to take the reins of ruler ship from his father as his sanity declined and declined further. As this unfortunate event was ongoing, Charles and his wife Catherina kept in constant contact with her father, then King of Portugal, via letter. Catherina had married Charles due to her infertility, as her father believed it would be best to get her out of his sight. The two both believed that it would be best to keep the improving relationship out of Charles's father’s mind, as he was too preoccupied with his neighbors to the north. Sadly for them, on April 23rd, 1651, Charles II and Catherine were awoken by their servants and some of his father’s most trustworthy advisors that Charles I had passed away because of a heart attack in his sleep. His personal physician believed Charles’ death was caused by the recent travels to New Sweden, and increasing tensions and stress with New Netherlands and New England. This stress added to the already inexorable decline of his sanity. The medicine at the time didn’t allow for a full diagnosis, and some of the doctors simply believed it was a matter of sinning against God.
“I saw him laying there, looking paler than a full moon. I could not even comprehend it. I always knew I was beleaguered to succeed my father, but I did not think it would be this soon. My mother wept for hours on end, while James kept silence throughout the day. Elizabeth had locked herself in her quarters, and Henry and Henrietta hid away to not face the reality. I tried my best to help them, but I presume the shock is still fresh. However, it does not change the fact that I am the new ruler of my father’s young kingdom. I will hopefully make him proud, while he watches down from his chamber in heaven…” - Journal of King Charles II, April 24th, 1651
The day after the death of Charles the First was a flutter of hurried activity, as his son, Charles II, began to send out many letters. He also sent letters to places his father had formerly held connection to. Places like Portugal, to be given to John IV of Portugal, who in return sent his heartfelt condolences and hoped his daughter was maintaining composure. He sent one to his sisters, Mary, who returned a letter alongside her husband William, hoping the best for the families health. Prince Rupert was even sent a letter, who in return also sent his condolences, and returned the medals Charles I had given him during the English Civil War. While the relationship between Carolina and the Netherlands had grown cold, this event brought them briefly closer together, for a time. Sending letters to Sweden was for strictly business purposes, in order to inform Queen Christina that business would now be between them for any more dealings. The hardest letter he was forced to send was the letter to the Commonwealth of England. Charles humbly said that his father was dead, and hoped that he would be a valuable successor to him. Hoping to at least get a some what respectful return letter, the letter he received back nearly broke the sliver of respect he held for the Commonwealth. Most of the letter was rude, and much of it seemed to be personal retorts against Charles I himself. It seemed oddly unprofessional for the Commonwealth, and seemed to be spurred from a sudden outburst of Cromwell. This would end up only pushing relations to get even worse between the two nations.
“Your father was a tyrant, clear and simple. He betrayed his country, and hurt his people. All tyrants deserve to die, and he has joined the ranks of the worst in hell.” - Letter from the Commonwealth of England, upon learning of King Charles I death.
Charles II, the second King of Carolina.
|Chapter Six||Chapter Seven|