The Caroline Era

Following the death of James I and VI, Charles I reigned over England and Scotland for 24 years, between 1625 and 1649, a period known as the Caroline era. This ended when Charles I was beheaded by Oliver Cromwell’s new regime in 1649.

In 1642, the English Civil war had begun, and major changes began happening right across the country, affecting people of every social class. Before that, however, fashion for the elite and middle ranking people of England and Scotland reflected the tastes of the new court.

Charles’ wife, Henrietta Maria, was a supporter and patron of the arts, and both she and her husband were enthusiastic collectors. She also continued the tradition of court masques, and performed in several herself.