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Charles I, King of Great Britain

1600 - 1649

Charles I was born in 1600, crowned King of England in 1625, and beheaded outside the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall in 1649. He was an important patron of the arts and a notable collector.

Van Dyck, whose magnificent 'Equestrian Portrait of Charles I' is in the Collection, was his court painter. Works from the King's collection now in the National Gallery include Rubens's 'Peace and War' and Correggio's 'School of Love'.

This person is the subject of ongoing research. We have started by researching their relationship to the enslavement of people.

Biographical notes

English monarch and art collector.

Slavery connections

There are multiple relevant connections to slavery. For instance, in 1632 King Charles I granted a licence to a syndicate of traders that gave them royal approval to transport enslaved Africans from Guinea. (‘Portraits, People & Abolition: King Charles I’, National Portrait Gallery [online], n.d., <> accessed 23 June 2021.)

Abolition connections

No known connections with abolition.

National Gallery painting connections

Former owner: King Charles I once owned NG3, NG10, NG46, NG624, NG658, NG946, NG1086, NG1938, and NG1172.


History of Parliament Trust (ed.), The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, London 1964-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

M. A. Kishlansky and J. Morrill, 'Charles I', in C. Matthew et al. (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 1992-,
Checked and foundItem on publisher's website

S. Madocks, 'Stuart, House of family [Stewart] (6) Charles I, King of England and Scotland', in J. Turner et al. (eds), Grove Art Online, Oxford 1998-,
Checked and foundItem on publisher's website

UCL Department of History (ed.), Legacies of British Slave-ownership, London 2020,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website