Charles - Discontent 1626-28

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  • Why was there discontent in 1626-28?
    • Social Unrest
      • 1. Charles started to 'billet' his troops in civilian homes near the South Coast of England. These unfrequently paid troops were unruly and destructive but people were powerless as soldiers only have to follow Martial Law.
        • 2.Billeting of troops was so unpopular that Charles used it as a form of punishment for his opponents. Eg. in Barnbury, the stronghold of William Fiennest, troops started fires that burnt down most of the town.
    • Financial Problems
      • Charles needed money but he couldn't get this without parliamentary approval so he took it upon himself to take it without the agreement of parliament.
        • Charles did this by demanding free gifts from JP's however this had little response. As a result of this Charles turned to the 'Forced Loan' - which he had no intention of paying back. Charles accumulated £250,000 from this yet it was of dubious legality
    • Power Struggle
      • Most of Charles's subjects had no choice but to pay the Forced Loan however 76 gentlemen refused to pay. Charles imprisoned the gentlemen yet didn't charge them as he was afraid the courts would rule against him.
        • 5 of the imprisoned Knights (THE FIVE KNIGHTS CASE 1627) applied to the court of the Kings Bench of a writ of Habeas Corpus however the courts didn't release the knights and thus sided with the King as they said that it was his 'prerogative'
    • Foreign Policy
      • Failure in France caused further discontent (CADIX EXPEDITION 1625) and the French started to seize English ships at Bourdeux and placed a TRADE EMBARGO.
        • To fight Spain and France at the same time was unheard of showed Buckingham's ineptitude - further increasing public dislike towards him.
          • The aim was to support French Huguenots in La Rochelle by taking a fortress off the Isle of Rhe however, despite some initial success, lack of supplies and reinforcements meant that Buckingham was forced to withdraw -- which further demonstrated his ineptitude - whilst the French captured La Rochelle
            • Unable to continue the war without money, Charles decided to release the men that he had imprisoned for refusing the forced loan before summoning another parliament.
    • Religious Issues
      • 1. Tried to mobilize the church in favour of the Forced Loan. Robert Sibthorpe preached sermons supporting the King and his right to levy the loan and Charles ordered the publication of these Sermons. Charles told Archbishop George Abbot to licence Sibthorpe's sermon; when he refused, Abbot was suspended from power.
        • William Laud, despite telling Charles that it was a bad idea, licenced the Sermons an then he became Archbishop..
          • Charles's actions convinced many of his subjects that he wanted to make the church Roman Catholic and the state absolutist.


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