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Hampden was a MP who refused to pay ship money; he was arrested and brought to trial.
Charles was hoping for the judges to convict Hampden and therefore strengthen his claim to
the collection of the money, something the Petition of Right has forbid. "[Y]our subjects
have inherited this freedom that they should not be compelled to contribute to any tax,
tallage, aid, or other like charge not set by common consent, in parliament."
The judges had to decide whether the King had the authority to raise ship money and
whether he was justified in naming it an emergency (threat of piracy to trade) or whether
the common law protected against the misuse of power by the monarch.
If ruling was not in favour of the King then his royal prerogative would be under threat. It
would also be a risky move for the judges to reprimand the King as the King hired and fired
judges. The court that was sitting was the court of the Exchequer, which consisted of 12
judges. 7 ruled in favour whilst 5 ruled against. Also technically Hampden was guilty it was a
moral victory as nearly half thought it illegal. Historians argue that Hampden's case was the
first nail in the coffin of Charles I's personal rule because the judgement encouraged others
to resist royal tax demands.
Finch "Kings Word is law"
Berkeley "A King doesn't need Parliaments consent"
Croak "a person's property cannot be taken from them"
Income from ship money didn't drop much until 1638, so it suggested the public weren't
that inspired by Hampden. In 1638 however, sheriffs found collection of ship money more
difficult and income/receipts for ship money fell by 20% sheriffs were threatened with
imprisonment if they didn't raise the money.
Court of the Star Chamber
Star Chamber was a way of dealing with opposition during time without Parliament. Star
Chamber was a prerogative court that punished those who were seen as opponents of the
crown or government. Made up of members of the Privy Council and judges. Archbishop
Laud sat on the Privy Council and the Star Chamber. Tried to raise revenue by imposing large
fines as punishments, this created lots of resentment among those called before the court.
Laud used it to enforce his unpopular church reforms.
Most infamous cases:
Prynne, Burton and Bastwick 1637 (see later notes
City of London was fined £70,000 in 1635 and had lands in Ireland confiscated (failed
to populate plantation of Londonderry)
City of London was alienated from the King and because of this when Charles needed
money to fight to Scots London only gave him a small amount and after that leant him
Foreign Policy during Personal Rule 162940
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Neutrality after the war with Spain as Charles couldn't afford to spend any more money on
an active foreign policy.
Relations with Spain
Charles began to favour Spain more and more. Spanish wanted to break England's alliance
with the Dutch. There was cooperation between England and Spain in the 1630's. Spanish
ships captured by the Dutch were seized in English ports and allowed to return to Spain.…read more
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Restore Church's Position
Improve Church Finances
During the 1630's when Laud became Archbishop (1633) of Canterbury Arminianism started
to be felt. In the 1620's Arminian Churches were promoted while Calvinist teachings were
supressed. During Charles' Personal Rule the King's program of reform and change
intensified. There was the suppression of preaching and changes to conduct of services.
Charles and Laud disliked preaching because it was difficult to control the content of
sermons which could challenge the authority of Bishops.…read more
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Laud tried to address economic reasons for why the churches had fallen into disrepair. Since
the reformation tithes were charged to the gentry instead of the clergy. This provoked
hostility from some landowners who accused Laud of threatening their property. He
intended to use the money raised to restore buildings (St Pauls Cathedral) and better
educate the clergy (many clergy were illeducated and deferred to the local gentry)
Curb/ Destroy Puritanism
Laud insulted and bullied the gentry in the Star Chamber and High Commission.…read more