We can learn numerous things about Charles I from Sir Philips Warwick’s description of the King as it provides information both on his character and his appearance. Sir Philip Warwick shows that James was very aware of his royal status ” His deportment was very majestic” He shows that Charles, unlike James, was very conscious of the correct and proper manner a monarch should conduct themselves, with great decorum. Furthermore, Warwick shows that Charles was careful to maintain his regal deportment and ” majesty” as he ” would be approached with respect and reverence”, indicating Charles’ need to be treated with great formality.
Furthermore, Charles’ to be treated with ” reverence” suggests that he believes himself to have quasi godlike status as a result of his belief in his divine right to rule. Sir Philip Warwick presents Charles as having a great sense of superiority as he shows another royal etiquette Charles was insistent upon, (” he would discountenance any bold or forward address upon him” ), the fact that no-one was allowed to approach the King directly.
It is likely that Charles’ need to be treated with great formality was as a result of his stammer and feeble stature, as it allowed him to hide his insecurities. Furthermore, Warwick suggests that Charles was not educated ” With any artist or good mechanic, traveller or scholar he would discourse freely, and as he was commonly improved by them, so he often gave light to them in their own knowledge” Warwick shows that Charles often gained much knowledge from speaking to people, indicating he knew little before.
Furthermore, Warwick furthers this idea of superiority by presenting Charles as very arrogant, as he shows that Charles believes himself to be more informed than the experts despite having little knowledge of the subject. In addition Sir Philip Warwick shows that Charles has a very limited academic knowledge as his ” proportion of books was but small” as he was only interested in ” necessary learning”. Warwick shows that Charles ” like Francis the First of France learnt more by the ear” though it is possible he is suggesting that Charles has more interest in court gossip than academia.
A further way in which Warwick indicates that Charles is not clever is by showing that he stammers, ” he was as slow a pen as of speech”. Furthermore, Warwick shows that Charles is unskilled as he makes his officials write letters, ” He would willingly make his own despatches, but that he found it better to be a cobbler than a shoe-maker” once again emphasizing his lack of intellect. Sir Philip also shows that Charles was a poor rider, ” they were not wont to say of him that he failed not to do any of his exercises artificially, but not very gracefully”
Warwick shows that Charles despite his ” great horse” lacked the skill of a great rider as he described him as a ” laborious hunter or field man”. Furthermore, it is possible that by showing that Charles was not a skilled rider Sir Philip Warwick was suggesting that Charles was not a skilled king as at the time a persons ability to ride was considered to be a reflection of the person themselves. Therefore, Warwick is not only showing Charles was laborious in his riding exercises but also in his exercises of office.
Furthermore, Warwick uses Charles riding to illustrate his small stature (” he rode the great horse very well, and on a little saddle”) and to show the popular perception of Charles great stature, shown in propaganda portraits was false. In addition, Sir Philip Warwick shows Charles to be extremely religious ” His exercises of religion were most exemplary” Warwick illustrates how devout a Christian Charles was by showing ” he never failed before he sat down to dinner to have part of the liturgy read unto him”.
However, Warwick shows that as a result of this strict religious observance must ” reflect and be alone”. It is possible that this is a criticism of Charles as the King is expected to be a public figure. Therefore, we learn many things about Charles I from Sir Philip Warwick’s description of the king, such as his majesty, lack of learning and devout religious nature. Furthermore, we also get a sense that Sir Philip Warwick found Charles I frustrating as a result of his need to be treated with great formality and controlling nature.