"He was king and that was right, kings were divine and that was right, kings were right,
and that was right, and therefore everything was alright"
We may find the ideas of Divine Right ludicrous and amusing today, but what must be remembered is the cost of it to our ancestors.
While researching my 17th century Cornish ancestors I wondered if any of them found themselves in this position, for many were loyal to their king - however a few were not, I have discovered it certainly placed friend against friend. Sir Bevill Grenville of Stowe in Cornwall was a Royalist whose allegiances were torn when his friend St John Eliot of St Germans was incarcerated, on more than one occasion, in the Tower of London for his views on parliamentary rights. Eliot eventually died in the Tower and King Charles refused his son permission to bury his father in his homeland cruelly stating
"Let Sir John Eliot be buried in the church of that parish where he died."
These men were dealing directly with the fall out of King Charles I's ideas of the Divine Right of Kings and his attempt to enforce it in the wars that raged between 1642 and 1651. These wars resulted in the loss of over eighty thousand lives plus the hundreds of thousands who died from war related diseases, ultimately though King Charles I would be held responsible and he would pay with his life.
My research into this period is presently focusing on my family in the years 1636 to 1646, this family lived in the Cornish village of St Columb Major. You can see some of the architecture from that period in two of the images below.