This essay explores the contested reputation of Charles, comparing the judgments of contemporaries and posterity. Whereas apologists considered Charles the best of all monarchs, some historians have declared him unfit to govern. Far from being anachronistic, as hyper-Revisionists have protested, this view echoes extreme expressions of dissatisfaction from the 1620s to the 1640s. David Cressy reviews contemporary understandings of the business of kingship, whereby a monarch could be judged. He concludes that Charles I was largely responsible for his troubles.