King Charles the Martyr, Tunbridge Wells

The Parish Church of King Charles the Marty, Tunbridge Wells

The King Charles Lecture

Given annually on a topic relating to Charles I and his times.

The next King Charles Lecture will take place on Saturday 28 January, 2023.

Saint or Tyrant?: The Visual Image of Charles I. David Howarth looks at how our most controversial monarch, greatest of our royal patrons, has been seen either as a saint, or a sinner against the sanctities of English liberty. 

David Howarth is an Emeritus Professor of Edinburgh University. His book on the genesis of the East India Company and entitled: Adventurers: The Improbable Rise of the East India Company, 1550-1650, is to be published by Yale University Press at the end of February.


A “Vain Amatorious Poem”: John Milton and Charles I Between Politics and Literature
Professor Joe Moshenska, University College, Oxford


“The Sweetest of Sweets”? George Herbert and the music of the 17th century church
Dr Simon Jackson, Director of Music, Peterhouse, and Director of Studies in English Literature at Hughes Hall, Cambridge


The Harpsichord in the English Manner – an illustrated exploration of English Keyboard Music 1600 – 1685
Steven Devine,  Principal Keyboard Player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


The cult of King Charles – the Tyrant King?
Rev Canon Professor Mark D Chapman, Professor of the History of Theology, University of Oxford and Vice-Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon


King Charles and Sir Antony van Dyck
Catharine Macleod, Senior Curator of 17th century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery


Who really killed the King?
Mr John Cunningham, Chair, RTW Civic Society Local History Group


Dr Richard Busby, Headmaster of Westminster School 1638-95 – Royalist throughout the Commonwealth
Eddie Smith, Formerly Under Master and Archivist, Westminster School


Music in the Chapels Royal of Charles I and his Queen
Professor John Harper, University of Birmingham


The Royal Actor: King Charles 1 “Eikon Basilike” and the Performance of Prayer
Dr Robert Wilcher, Honorary Fellow, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham


“Comfortable Words”: The Book of Common Prayer and English Literature
Helen Wilcox, Bangor University


George Herbert and the spirituality of the building
Mrs Colleen Wethered, King Charles the Martyr


The King James Version: The First Four Hundred Years
Revd Robert Avery, Vicar of King Charles the Martyr


The three Nineteenth Century Ministers of the King Charles Chapel Tunbridge Wells with particular reference to William Law Pope
David Bushell, King Charles the Martyr




King Charles, His Churches and His Religion: An Ecumenical Perspective
Revd Dr David Lyall, King Charles the Martyr


Samuel Pepys at the Rhenish Wine-House: The Earth, Religion, Science and What Went Wrong
Dr John Fuller, King Charles the Martyr


Beyond 1606 – a 400th Anniversary Retrospective
Dr Philip Whitbourn, President, Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society


Restoration and Transformation: Cathedral Music from Charles II to Queen Anne
Dr Keri Dexter, MA, MMus


The Furie of the Ordnance: Gun Founding in the Weald in the Stuart Period
Jeremy Hodgkinson, Chairman Wealden Iron Research Group


The Bishops of Rochester in the Restoration Church: Francis Turner and Thomas Sprat
Dr Kenneth Fincham, Reader in History, University of Kent


Sir Samuel Morland and Stuart Espionage
Dr Alan Marshall, Bath Spa University College


The Most Proper Day in all the Year: sermons commemorating Charles I’s death
Dr Clare Jackson, Fellow and Lecturer and Director of Studies in History, Trinity Hall, Cambridge


Medicine and Society in Stuart Times
Dr Andrew Wear, Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London


The King’s Head: Portraits of King Charles I
The Hon. Mrs Jane Roberts, Curator of the Print Room, Windsor Castle


Food at the Time of the Stuarts
Elizabeth Ray, former food-writer for The Observer newspaper


Music at the Court of Queen Henrietta Maria
Dr Jonathan Wainwright, Professor of Music, University of Nottingham


Music at Court, from James I to Charles I
Dr Peter Holman, Lecturer in Music, King’s College, London


The Political Style of Charles I
Dr Richard Cust, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Birmingham


Puritanism in Kent and the Steps to the Civil War
Dr Jacqueline Eales, Senior Lecturer in History, Christchurch College, Canterbury


The Royal Supremacy: 1634 to the present day
Lord Conrad Russell, Professor of History, King’s College, London


James I and Charles 1I, Supreme Governors of the Church of England 1603-40
Dr Kenneth Fincham, Lecturer in History, University of Kent


Art and Kingship: Visual Images of Charles I
Dr Felicity Heal, Fellow, Jesus College, Oxford


Order, Monarchy and the One Body Politic
Canon Iain Mackenzie, Worcester Cathedral


Charles I and the Witches
Dr Clive Holmes, Fellow, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford



The History of the Royal Observatory and Hurstmonceux Castle
Adam Perkins, Archives Office, Royal Greenwich Observatory


English Baroque Church Decoration
Robert Chitham, Head of Historic Buildings Division, English Heritage


Architectural Tastes in Stuart Times
Dr Philip Whitbourn, Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England


The Opponents of King Charles
Jasper Ridley, Historian and Barrister


Caroline Piety
Revd Dr Gordon Huelin


King Charles: Myth or Reality
John Cooper, Head of Education, National Portrait Gallery


The Sanctity of King Charles
Revd J M Charles-Roux, St Eltheldreda R C Church, Ely Place, City of London


English Oak Furniture
Leonard Lassalle, antiques dealer, The Pantiles


The Caroline Divines or Caroline Piety
Canon Paul Welsby


Kent and East Sussex before the Civil War
Andrew Reekes, History Master, Tonbridge School


The Divine Right of Kings
Anthony Maclean, Senior Extra-Mural Lecturer, University of Kent


Royalist Sentiment After the Execution of King Charles
Dame Veronica Wedgewood


Kentish Homes and People at the Restoration of Charles II
Frederick Lansbury. University of Kent


Was King Charles a Martyr?
Revd Charles Gordon-Clark, Vicar King Charles the Martyr


Charles and the Church of England
J G Parker, Head of History, Tonbridge School