Charles I's personal rule

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  • Personal Rule
    • Social Policies
      • The Book of Orders 1631 (add more centralism to local g'ment)
        • Asked JPs to report to the Privy council on issues such as vagrancy and drunkenness
        • generated ill-will among the nobility and gentry
      • Exact Militia and Nobility
        • wanted gentry to take more responsibility for their counties including raising and training militia
        • ordered gentry to leave London for 40 days, 248 brought before the Star Chamber in 1633 for disobeying.
      • Popish Soap
        • Sold monopolies on on certain products
          • Alienated businesspeople( the middling sort)
        • Soap monopoly sold to Lord Portland (had catholic backing)
      • Fenland Drainage
        • Sold patents for draining the fens to powerful friends at court
          • Sir Anthony Thomas: appropriated 24 000 acres of drained fenland
          • Young 1957: 'perhaps Charles had supported a worthwhile public work, but he also ran roughshod over local authorities and gratified the rapaciousness of a few well connected speculators'
      • Historian's views
        • Russel: 'social issues were one of the few things the civil war was definitely not about'
        • Gardiner: 'a government not of fierce tyranny, but petty annoyance'
        • Zagorin: court vs country- Charles had little respect for local government, as shown by his social policies.
    • Financial Policies
      • Why did Charles need money?
        • Russell: functional breakdown, feudal dues were no longer able to pay for government due to inflation and higher cost of warfare
        • The navy especially had become more expensive
        • feudal dues didn't rise with inflation
        • Young: 'there was a gap between the price of government and the king's revenues'
          • Tonnage and poundage were the only permanent taxes
            • Previous monarchs had made up the difference by plundering the churches or selling off estates.
      • Methods of raising money
        • Purveyance: the crown could buy goods at below market value, unpopular in the country
        • Tonnage and Poundage : customs duties. HAD NOT been approved by parliament
        • Credit:borrowed money from the City. Crown Jewels pawned in the Netherlands in the 16202
        • Monopolies: led to charges of corruption at court
        • Distraint of Knighthood: fining small gentry who hadn't shown up to be knighted at Ci's coronation.
          • People (eg Cromwell) felt caught out by an outdated law)
        • Enclosure Fines: seen by landowning gentry (PARLIAMENT) as unfair
        • Ship Money: traditionally monarchs could get money from ports in order to build up the army
          • 1634: traditional levy
          • 1635: not just coastal regions
          • from 1636 onwards it was an annual levy
          • fears that Ci had found a way of creating a non-parliamentary tax.
    • Religious Policies
      • Promotion of William Laud of AofC in 1633
        • Laud, like Charles was obsessed with order: he wanted to regularise the CofE
        • He was also an Arminian and brought in Arminian church reforms.
          • Reinforce clerical authority: Bishops given prominent place in politics (offended aristocracy) Make church more financially independent of Laity (offended gentry as church tithes were often paid to them)
          • Restricted Preaching: Book of Common Prayer brought in. 1633: recommended that afternoon sermons be replaced by cachetism. Told clerics to preach sermons on Divine right/ royal authority
            • DISSOLVED the Feeoffees for Impropriations in 1633 (a group of wealthy puritans who gave benefices to godly preachers
          • Emphasised ceremonies and 'the beauty of holiness'
        • close to Strafford: shared ideas of 'thorough'
        • Added to fears of popery: Laud thought catholicism was 'a true church but not the true church'
      • Arminianism: James I had tried to balance between Puritan/Presbyterians and Anglicans: Charles took sides.
        • Conrad Russel : 1559-1625 had been a 'custody battle' for the Cof E. After 1625 'the crown seemed to have become party to the dispute, instead of the impartial judge looking on.
        • Promotion of William Laud of AofC in 1633
          • Laud, like Charles was obsessed with order: he wanted to regularise the CofE
          • He was also an Arminian and brought in Arminian church reforms.
            • Reinforce clerical authority: Bishops given prominent place in politics (offended aristocracy) Make church more financially independent of Laity (offended gentry as church tithes were often paid to them)
            • Restricted Preaching: Book of Common Prayer brought in. 1633: recommended that afternoon sermons be replaced by cachetism. Told clerics to preach sermons on Divine right/ royal authority
              • DISSOLVED the Feeoffees for Impropriations in 1633 (a group of wealthy puritans who gave benefices to godly preachers
            • Emphasised ceremonies and 'the beauty of holiness'
          • close to Strafford: shared ideas of 'thorough'
          • Added to fears of popery: Laud thought catholicism was 'a true church but not the true church'
      • In England the  Jacobean Church had attempted to balance between different religious beliefs.
        • The 'mainstream conformists' or 'Prayer Book Protestants': the MAJORITY: normally predestinarian but had limited understanding of Calvinism
          • Followed the book of Common Prayer (Maltby: 500 000 copies printed) but welcomed preaching
          • Liked the Elizabethan/ Jacobean church and rejected the reforms of the 1630s- became alienated by Laudianism
        • The Ceremonialist/ Arminians: believed communion was the most important part of preaching. A small group of intellectuals who believed in ceremony, decoration and ritual
        • The Puritans/ the 'godly': believed the CofE needed a further reformation which would bring it closer to Calvinism. Predestinarians. Liked preaching and attended excises (religious discussion groups) Wanted to get rid of all of the things (ceremony, ritual) that the Arminians wanted more of.
    • Opposition
      • Ship Money
        • 90% of Ship money was paid in 1634-8, and the majority of disputed were over ratings and assessments
        • 1637: Hampden Trial- defended by Oliver St John
          • Found guilty of not paying but 5 judges ruled in his favour
          • in 1639 only 25% of tax was collected
          • Alison Gill: afterthe trial, opposition became 'more determined and more violent'
      • Laudian reforms
        • John Morril: 'coiled spring of godly zeal'
        • had puritan preachers (eg Prynne, Batstwick and Burton 1637) put on trial and punished by mutilation
        • 1633: dissolved the feeoffees for impropiations
        • alienated mainstream non-conformist protestants (prayerbook protestants)
        • Braddick 2000: 'a connection between religious and civil liberties, clerical ambition and 'innovation' was... seen as expanding royal control'
      • Godly faction
        • LJ Reeve: 'intricate ties of blood and marriage...linked godly country familied together'
        • Bedford, Warwick, Lord Daye and Sele, Pym, Hampden, St John, Denzill Holles, Fiennes.
        • Used Colonial enterprises ( the Providence Island Company and the Saybrooke company) to meet and co ordinate
        • Not WIDESPREAD resistance, but a small core of radicals. they co-ordinated the ship money trial, which partially gained them popular support.
          • Pym was their treasurer and general assistant. the connections he made would be instrumental in the Short and Long parliaments.
      • The Scottish Crisis
        • Timeline
          • July 1637: riots in Edinburgh over the English prayer Book. petitions, letters etc sent to the Scottish Council
            • Feb 1638: thousands sign the national covenant
              • Nov 1638: Scots Parliament called. Abolishes episcopacy and reinforces Presbyterianism
        • Causes
          • Problem of ruling multiple kingdoms at once- each territory has its own interests
            • But Ci wanted UNIFORMITY
          • absentee monarch caused resentment
          • The Scots presbyterian church- much more protestant
            • LAUDIANISM: resented as 'popery'. this culminated in the unsuccessful attempt to impose the Prayer Book
          • CI's unwillingness to compromise
            • He referred to religion as 'the common cloak for all disobedience
          • Support from the godly faction in England.
        • Effects
          • sparked off more opposition
          • Total loss of control in Scotland
          • encouraged the godly faction in England
          • Strafford had gathered an army in Scotland and negotiated with the Spanish- exacerbated fears of a catholic plot.
          • hardened opposition to ship money (only 25% collected in 1639)
          • Resulted in the Long Parliament, which Ci couldn't dissolve.
          • Sharpe: it completely wrecked the Personal Rule, which was fine before.
        • Why did CI lose the Bishop's wars?
          • First Bishop's War
            • Deficient English military system 'caught in the transition from medieval private armies to modern public armies'
              • poorly trained uncommitted militias- lack of pay increased desertion
            • The unpopularity of the war- many Englishmen were unwilling to fight Scots when England wasn't fighting in the 30 years war.
            • Local government officials had to raise militia: facing criticism from friends and neighbours, which led to foot-dragging
            • weapons owned privately within the counties
            • CI's political blunders: threatened the Scots that he would raise Catholic armies in Spain and Irleand. in 1639 he allowed Spanish troops to march border to border across Southern England
              • provoked the Scots into open rebellion
            • Difficulty in trying to finance the war due to a lack of parliament
            • a lack of parliaments led  to a 'paralysed' local government due to grievances and poor communication
          • Second Bishop's War
            • Lack of armies mobilised due to the failure to collect resources from England or Ireland.
              • The seaborne invasion force did not land at Aberdeen and the Irish expeditionary force did not mobilise in time
            • the English armies which WERE mobilised were poorly trained and disciplined
            • there was a shortage of weapon makers due to years of peace; most musket makers had emigrated to the netherlands
            • poor leadership, especially due to catholic officers: in 1640 2 catholic officers were murdered by soldiers
            • Northumberland: 'a mighty army is intended for the North, but no-one knows how it will be paid
            • growing mutiny and ill discipline
            • CI opened negotations with the covenanters, postponing most of the army's arrival at the border
            • CI's dubious respect for law and parliament made his army reluctant. In particular he allowed the church CONVOCATION to sit after the dossolving of the SP in order to pass teh Laudian Canons in 1640
            • CI's lack of care for local government had led to foot-dragging and made people unwilling
            • English puritans (and some prayer-book protestants) hated CI more than they hated the Scots
            • the 'substitution clause' allowed militiamen to hire somenbody else to replace them, inevitably somebody poor, with low discipline and training.
          • Short Parliament
            • Ci: refused to address any grievances before subsidies had been voted. Parliament knew he intended to dissolve them as soon as he had the money
            • lasted three weeks
            • Lord Saye and Sele and the Godly Faction: openly opposed the Scottish war. Nathaniel Fiennes was in correspondence with the Scots
              • they wanted the Short Parliament to fail without having to take the blame for it
        • CONTROVERSY LINK: New British History (Conrad Russell)
          • Evidence for NBH
            • Ship money: up to 90% was collected until 1639, when only 25% was collected
            • Morrill: Charles' government was 'in difficulties but not in crisis' by the summer of 1638
            • Ireland was under control and there was little organised large scale resistance in England
            • The godly faction were able to exploit the Scottish situation to make CI call the Long Parliament
            • The Scots were in the driving seat until 1640-1?
          • Billiard ball theory: an effect from the three kingdoms caused the civil war.
            • The Bishop's Wars caused the calling of the Long Parliament, even 'created' new opposition in England
            • Sharpe: 'War [with Scotland] undoubtedly provided the opportunity for the expression of discontents. But more significantly.. it created problems and grievances not in evidence before'
            • England as 'dancing to a Scottish tune'
          • Evidence against NBH
            • there WAS opposition to PR within England: the godly faction were a minority but a powerful one
            • the godly faction were able to INFLUENCE the covenanters as well as the other way around
              • Scott: 'they were part of a three kingdoms puritan network that shaped as well as exploited the Scottish troubles'
            • The kept their own ideas, not just following the Sots and the Irish
            • There was a 'coiled spring' of resentment whic was just released by the Scottish crisis
            • Kieth M. Brown: ''the Scots did revolt because of HOW they were being governed' C 'might have gotten away with it' but there was ' a depth of discontent that did not appear out of nowhere'
            • Scott: 'the shortcomings of the royal war effort must be seen in the context of a general dissatisfaction within England'
            • Adamson in 'the Noble Revolt': the actions of a fifth column in England contributed to CI's defeat
      • Ireland
        • Strafford's unpopular  policies in Ireland had alienated all three groups of people
        • 'If Wentworth was the most feared man in England, Laud was the most hated'
    • Irish Policy
      • Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
        • Background and character
          • wealthy gentleman elected as MP for Yorkshire in 1614- originally opposed CI
            • one of the MPs who Charles picked out as a sheriff in 1626 to prevent his return to parliament
          • committed to hard work and public duty- believed in actions not words
          • reluctant to compromise or tolerate
        • career
          • 'a forceful personality, outstanding administrative ability and considerable political skill. his weaknesses were a lack of subtlety, a tendency to oversimplify and a total incapacity to compromise' Smith
          • Buckingham (who he opposed) died in 1628. S became 'the ultimate in poachers turned gamekeeper'
          • 1629- appointed to the Privy Council 1632:appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland
          • Fall from power and execution
            • In 1639 he was recalled as CI's chief advisor for the Scottish war. he said there was no alternative but full war and advised calling parliament
            • he advised dissolving the Short Parliament, telling CI he was 'loose and absolved from all rules of government'
            • failed to defend against the Scots rebellion
              • promised CI 9000 Irish troops which never arrived
              • negotiated with Spain for support
            • The Long parliament targeted him out of fear, believing he was about to introduce a catholic dictatorship with Spain's help
              • they accused him of constructive treason, plotting to use an Irish Army to overthrow Parliament
                • He was impeached, and executed on May 12 1641
        • Political Beliefs
          • Wrote regularly to Laud about 'thorough'. this meant making central government more efficient, forceful and uniform
            • but was used to disguise profiteering(eg in Irish tobacco) and to attack political rivals
          • David L. Smith: 'Wentworth's natural concern for order and authority hardened into an obsession'
      • Religious
        • The Old English (catholics) had been granted three 'graces' in 1628; Wentworth refused to allow them to continue despite the OE paying £120 000 in subsidies
        • Imposed Laudianism on the New English (39 Articles 1634)
        • Used prerogative institutions to bypass Common Law and reclaim former Church lands
        • Ordered the tomb of the Earl of Cork's wife to be moved to make room for an altar rail
      • Irish Remonstrance November 1640
        • Autumn 1641- Irish Catholic rebellion
    • Controversy: K Sharpe on Personal Rule (Revisionist)
      • Sharpe's View
        • PR was mostly successful and could have gone on indefinitely if not for Short term factors (Scotand)
          • Successful collection of Ship Money until 1639; the Hampden case only slowed it down
            • most refusals were due to ratings disputes
              • 'purses were more in evidence than principles'
                • Religious tensions and grievances 'neither stymied government not threatened revolt'
          • The Book of Orders: successful despite local complaints
          • distraint of knighthood brought in £173,537
          • CI's Progress in Scotland; 'he enjoyed the love and dutiful demonstrations of his subjects'
            • KISHLANSKY: reassessed CI. he was willing to compromise and accept disagreement (eg Strafford) CI had a case of 'mistaken identity'
      • Criticism of Sharpe
        • Christopher Durstan: the small amount of organised resistance was 'the visible tip of a large iceberg of more passive resentment'
          • people expressed their dissatisfaction in ratings disputes beacuse it was safer
            • Hirst:: 'challenges to the equity of the assessments were clearly in some cases camouflage fore more principled opposition'
              • resistance ORGANISED by Hampden, Pym, Saye and Sele etc
        • people paid distraint of knighthood v slowly and the forest laws caused widespread resentment in woodland regions
          • Fissel- the book of Orders and 'exact militia' was not followed through locally and made no real change
        • Genuine fear of a catholic plot
          • Henrietta Maria openly practiced Catholicism at court
          • opposition to Laudianism: by 1640 only 1/4 of parishes in Somerset had railed off the altar
        • Morrill: by 1640 most Englishmen had a limited but clear and firm belief in a partial royal tyranny... convinced that England was in the process of being subjected to the forces of the antichrist'

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