Divisions and the outbreak of Civil War 1641-42


The trial and execution of Strafford, April-May 16

  • to be found guilty of high treason he would have to be tried in the House of Lords after a vote in the house of commons.
  • Pym resorted to an Act of Attainder. Basically, a death warrant. The Act only required a suspicion of guilty, and as long as it was passed by both houses and the king no trial was required.
  • to secure the passage of the act Pym revealed the First Army Plot, which was a catholic plot to release Strafford and remove parliament by force.
  • The attainder was passed with 204 votes to 59, and Strafford was executed, Charles passed it under pressure from parliament and the london mob. He believed this was his greatest mistake.
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Other steps taken to further erode the prerogative

  • tonnage and poundage were abolished.
  • ship money was declared illegal.
  • distraint of knighthood abolished.
  • forest fines were banned.
  • prerogative courts were outlawed.
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The Irish Rebellion, October 1641

  • Catholic rebellion.
  • Reacting to increased influence of puritans.
  • Led to debates over who controlled the militia.
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The Grand Remonstrance, 1641

  • Pym's lengthy document that outlined his criticisms of Charles' reign. 
  • Parliament should approve Charles' ministers and a request that parliament have more control of the military. 
  • Approved by the common 159 to 148. Divide in parliament. 
  • militia bill caused moderates to flock to Charles' side.
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The Five Members Incident

Charles felt that he was now in a stronger position. However, this was a miscaluation.

  • he targeted five members of the commons: John Pym, John Hampden, Holles, Haselrig, and Strode.
  • 1642 he entered the commons with an armed escort, to arrest the five members, but they had escaped.
  • charles fled london fearing for his families safety. 
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The slide into war, January-August 1642

  • parliament issued the militia ordinance in march. acted as a call of arms.
  • charles responded with the commissions of array.
  • in june, parliament issued the nineteen propositions as a settlement. control of the king's ministers, royal tutors and royal marriages.
  • charles raised his standard in august at nottingham.
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