In S1E13, Rory’s class is given a debate assignment. Their teacher says, “Your subject: Did Charles I receive a fair trial? The pros will represent the Parliament who deemed they had sovereignty, and the cons will represent the monarch and try and prove that the charge against him was not legal.”
Charles I was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 until 1649. He prompted the beginning of two English civil wars. After the second, Parliament set up the High Court of Justice to try the king. This was the first time in history that Parliament had put a reigning monarch on trial. Charles I was found guilty of treason for acting in his own best interests and negotiating with a faction of Scots to set up Presbyterianism as the established church in England. He was beheaded in 1649.