Charles: 1625-1629

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  • Created by: Kate H
  • Created on: 31-03-15 20:52

Foreign Policy: War with Spain

1625 Parliament

  • Charles assumes subsidies will be given, wanted immediate grant
  • Would only grant two worth £140,000- no war declared, doubt about commitment to Protestant cause, relaxation of recusancy fines, no account of 1624 grant
  • Unprecedented request for more-unites Commons against him. Dissolved in August when it attakcs Buckingham

Expensive foreign commitments

  • Fit out navy assemling in Plymouth for expedition. In a poor state-needed food, clothing
  • End of August only £600 in treasury 
  • Queen's dowry of £120,000, borrowed £70,000 for international financer
  • 1/2 million spent but still short of many essentials

October 1625 Cadiz

  • Soldiers get drunk and attack abandoned. Achieved nothing, Buckingham gets blame, 12,000 went 5,000 came back

October 1625- failed second attempt to attack Spain

  • Needed to go, supplies would not keep over Winter
  • Struck by violent storms - why is Buckingham preparing war with France?
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Foreign Policy: Relations with France

  • September 1625, Treaty of SouthamptonEngland and United Provinces, offensive and defensive. 

December 1625, Treaty of the Hague

  • France and others invited, only Denmark accepts
  • Charles to pay King of Denmark £30,000/week for army and some ships
  • France's refusal arouses suspicion about how trustworthy it was

September 1625-embarrassing incident 

  • English ships on loan to France used to defeat Hugenots at La Rochelle
  • P thought it was a sign Charles was becoming Catholic- Charles should protect them

Peace of Monzon Feb. 1626 and Buckingham's planned attack on France(to destroy Richelieu)

  • France can't be trusted- make seperate peace with Spain
  • Need to remove Richelieu to damage policy- plans three pronged attack - needs parliamentary funds
  • P want rid of Buckingham and Parliament dissovled

Money shortage and forced loan:  Jan 1627 workers in Cheltnam dockayrd demand £8,000. Charles decided to levy forced loan from richer subjects

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Foreign Policy: War with France

June 1627- La Rochelle, what happened; Blame Buckingham?

  • Went well, citadel besieged. Went wrong - Buckingham inexperienced, ladders too short
  • Buckingham not completely to blame for failure but responsible for policy leading to it 


  • France and Spain agreed upon attack on England (came to nothing)- required more defence
  • Danes not given neccessary money and beaten in Germany , had to withdraw
  • Hugenots need aid, Protestantism apparently retreating 

Spring 1628 La Rochelle

  • Failed, Buckingham already dead
  • P in session when returned snd fuelled a crisis; determination to remove Buckingham

Assasination of Buckingham

  • April 1629 Treaty of Suza with France
  • November 1629 Treaty of Madrid with Spain, agreed to restore Palatinate
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Foreign Policy: Impact

Charles ' Relationship with Parliament

  • Poisons it; apparent lack of direction gave way to bungled military expeditions
  • Raises issue of money, power, religion and favourites

Effect on Finance

  • Unwilling to vote large subsidies that would be frittered away
  • Drove Charles to find money from other places, despite unpopularity
  • Continued to collect tonnage and poundage 
  • Forced loan 
  • Meant foregin affairs less successful
  • Troops billeted on unwilling households

John Eliot becomes prominent member of opposition and did much to turn commons against king's policy

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Religion: Arminianism

  • William Laud preaches opening sermon of first parliament; Richard Montagu AB of Chichester
  • Laud becomes AB of London 1628 and all leading church posts filled by Arminians
  • Calvinists progressively excluded
  • Teaching of predestination forbidden at Cambridge when Buckingham is Chancellor 1626
  • Support king's prerogative- appealing to Charles
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Religion:Clashes with Parliament 1625-1629

  • Majority of Commons low Church, Calvinist, anti-Catholic, and favour of an active Protestant foreign policy 
  • Although Charles was the last of these, the war with Spain wasn't turning out well
  • Led to attacks from outspoken MPs
  • 1627 Roger Mainwaring supported non-Parliamentary taxation and was impeached, fired, imprisoned and barred from office, but after only a few weeks Charles pardoned him and gave him a new living
  • Actions like this undermined trust in Charles as protector of their rights
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Religion:York House Conference


  • Attempt to heal religious divisions by holding conference of Puritans and Arminians
  • Served merely to confirm that the Arminians had support of Buckingham and by implication, Charles
  • Commons could protest at direction of religious policy but could do little to stop it 
  • One MP,regarding the Puritan label as bad and suggesting they were part of a sect said of Montagu: "casting the odious name of Puritans..upon his Majesty's loving subjects"
  • By 1629 religion taking precedence in the Commons
  • Charges of heterodoxy made against Laud 
  • Sir Robert Phelps: "two sects...ancient Popery... and Arminianism"
  • Commons felt Protestantism under threat- Catholicism being openly celebrated at court
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Religion: Three Resolutions


  • Atmosphere of alarm
  • Against Arminianism and tonnage and poundage 
  • First protested about "innovation in religion". Anyone who sought to extend or introduce Popery or Arminianism would be regarded as a "capital enemy to the king and the commonwealth"
  • Charles not impressed- determined to impose his own sense of order in religion
  • "Arminians are the spawn of papists"
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Finance:Forced loan 1625

  • Dissolution of Parliament left enormous outgoings of war with no additional income except the captured French ships which brought in £50,000 in 1626
  • Drop in the ocean- undertakings of 1 million
  • Forced loan worth two subsides
  • Levied on Charles' richer subjects 
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Finance: Forced Loan 1626

  • Against some opposition from the council 
  • Worth five subsidies and levied on all subsidy payers
  • Ill feeling- it was a parliamentary taxation that had not been sanctioned by parliament
  • "never any monies demanded and paid with greater grief"- the Commons
  • Subsidy payers individually summoned to meetings where pressed to pay
  • Had some loyal supporters
  • By the end of 1627 over £260,000 had been raised -removed threat of immediate bankruptcy


  • Heavy political cost
  • Only a bit of support- highly placed clerks seeking to further their career saw it as kings right "as the reward of their pains and protections'
  • Many saw it as invasion of fundamental liberty - that they held the rights to their own property and for the king to take it was theft
  • Move to tyranny and arbitary government- could he rule without parliament now?
  • Wentworth and 76 others arrested 
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Finance: Judges and 5 Knight's Case

  • When the judges wouldn't pronounce it legal, Charles dismissed Chief Justice of King's Bench Ranulph Crewe- shows Charles not following and respecting the law
  • Five Knight's challenged for haebus corpus, but Charles didn't want it to go to court in case they got released
  • Council stated they have been imprisoned by 'special command of our Lord the King'.
  • Imprisoning at pleasure
  • Insisted on publications of sermons in favour of Forced Loan
  • E.g 1627 George Abbot refused to authorise the publication of the Arminian Robert Sipthorpe's sermon justifying it which led to temporary suspension

Billeting and marital laws 

  • Make matters worse. Southern counties where expeditions against France and Spain were being fitted out> liberties of all kinds being attacked
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Finance: Finance by September 1627

  • Forced loan had helped short term but in Sept. 1627 a treasury official wared Buckingham "revenue of all kinds is now exhausted"
  • Charles had already extracted another loan from the City but only by giving it the last major body of crown lands worth £350,000 to cancel past debts and as security
  • Ended traditional role of land as major source of royal revenue and meant the City was unwilling to lend in the future
  • Now the crown had to rely almost exclusively on customs farmer (imports/exports etc) but they could not supply king's needs>> had to call parliament
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Favourites: Buckingham's role

  • Increased role under Charles
  • Stories began to circulate that the duke was the real leader- rode in the carriage
  • After 1625 favoured Arminianism-suspcious when combined with lax enforcement of laws against Catholics
  • Control of armed forces prompted fears he was planning to establish Catholic state
  • Commons identified him as "source of all miseries" and refused to work with Charles as long as he was in power
  • So Charles had to use prerogative measures> made P even more suspicious
  • Death did not solve problems- Charles blamed P; became even more remote ; no shield of b anymore so he was to blame for all his increasingly unpopular policies
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