| Charles I |
|Born|| 19 November 1600|
|Died|| 30 January 1649 (aged 48)|
|Spouse||Henrietta Maria of France|
|Children|| Charles II|
5 other children
|Position||King of England, Scotland, and Ireland|
|Behind the scenes|
|Appearances|| "The Musgrave Ritual"|
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear
Charles I was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles' attempts to impose an absolute monarchy in England against the interests of Parliament and the landed gentry, along with his apparent sympathies with Roman Catholicism, made him highly unpopular among large segments of English society. His actions sparked a civil war against the forces of Parliament in 1642 that eventually led to his downfall. The war ended with his execution for high treason, the abolition of the monarchy, and the institution of a military dictatorship under the rule of the puritanical Oliver Cromwell: the monarchy was later restored after Cromwell's death by Charles' son, Charles II of England.
Reginald Musgrave, a university acquaintance of Sherlock Holmes, asks Holmes to visit him at his house, Hurlstone, to investigate the disappearance of two of his staff. The two vanished after reading a secret family heirloom, the titular Musgrave Ritual, dating from the 17th century, which Holmes deduces is in fact a guide to a hidden treasure. At the close of the mystery they discover a bag containing coins from the reign of Charles I and the twisted remains of the Tudor crown, hidden by Royalist forces after Charles' execution in anticipation of the return of the Monarchy. Reginald confirms this theory by reveals than an ancestor, Sir Ralph Musgrave, was a close companion of Charles II in exile. Why the crown was never uncovered remains a mystery: Holmes speculates that by an oversight the instigator of the ritual died while accidentally only passing on the guide and not its meaning. Following the case Musgrave is allowed to keep the crown.
Sir Hugo Baskerville I was the owner of Baskerville Hall during the chaos of the Civil War and was renowned for his cruelty and debauchery. Holmes, admiring a portrait of him in the hall from 1647, describes him as a Cavalier, which was the name given to Charles' Royalist supporters.
A pamphlet on the history of Birlstone Manor recounts how King Charles hid in a secret room within the house for several days during the Civil War to escape from Parliamentarian forces. This piece of trivia helps Holmes solve the case, as he realizes that John Douglas was actually still alive and hiding in the same place.
- Charles I of England on Wikipedia.