King Charles I (1600-1649) at his Trial
after Edward Bower (fl. London 1629 – d. London 1667)
This is a version of a much-copied portrait, of which there are four signed originals, showing the King, bearded, and defiantly wearing his hat before his judges. They were firstly reputedly painted for the King’s opponents but the image later became a Royalist icon. On 20th January 1649 Charles was committed to trial in Westminster Hall. John Bradshaw, the President of the Court, ordered a chair covered with crimson velvet for the King, who did not recognise the legality of the court nevertheless and the inclusion of his silver-tipped cane alludes to that. A week later he was found guilty and was executed on 30th January. The artist would have made sketches during the trial.
Oil painting on canvas, King Charles I at his Trial, after Edward Bower (fl.London 1629 - d. London 1667), circa 1670. It is a copy of one of four signed originals, one, signed and dated 1648 at Antony House (NT). He is seated on a red chair, towards the right, facing holding a silver-tipped cane in his left hand and a piece of paper in his right and still wearing his hat.
Bequeathed to the National Trust by Edgar Graham Lister (1873 – 1956) with the house and collection of furniture in 1956.
Westwood Manor, The Lister Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
after Edward Bower (fl. London 1629 – d. London 1667), artist
Waterhouse 1949 Ellis K. Waterhouse, 'Edward Bower, Painter of King Charles I at his Trial', The Burlington Magazine, vol. XCI (1949), pp. 18-21.