Charles I died for the Church of England, with its hierarchy of clergy and its beautiful liturgy as set out in the English prayer book. In copies of this prayer book published before this century, you will see that 30 January is set aside as a day of prayer and fasting in memory of "the martyrdom of the blessed King who was delivered up into the hands of cruel and unreasonable men".
Had Charles I been a Catholic, is it not surprising that the ceremony on 30 January, described by Mr Fox, was presided over by an Anglican clergyman and that St Mary le Strand, which has strong links with the Society of King Charles the Martyr, is an Anglican Church ?
Catholicism to Charles I was anathema. Though his wife, Henrietta Maria, was a Catholic, he insisted she send home most of her priests and religious advisers who had accompanied her from France. He also made her promise that she would not attempt to convert any of their children.
The character and motives of this saddest of all kings have been much in dispute but about this fact there is no argument: he lived and died a Protestant.
Yours sincerely SHIRLEY ANDREWS Guildford, Surrey 1 FebruaryReuse content