Personal Rule

Personal rule

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Overveiw of Personal Rule

The Personal rule, between 1629 and 1640 lasted 11 years. It was after the assasination of Buckingham when Charles finally decided to dismiss Parliament.

Charles had to look for different ways of sourcing finance (without parliamentary subsidies), therefore his new revenue raising schemes caused a few problems during Personal Rule.

Religion changed significantly during the Personal Rule as Charles and Laud no longer saw a need for a "Broad church"  - which caused resentment from Puritans (accusing Laud of being a catholic and fearing his policies.)

Foreign policy during this period was English nuetrality, but a nuetrality that favoured Spain.

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Religion During Personal Rule

By 1628, Laud was practically in charge of the church (& after the suspension of Abbott in 1633 became the Arch Bishop of Cantebury) Bishops (as soon as they died) were being replaced by Laudians - in an attempt to enforce high-church practices. Laudians were different to previous bishops taking NO notice of the Gentry and people living in their dioceses (church organisations which Bishops controlled). This made the Gentry resent Laud!

 What did Laud want? To restore the power and influence the church used to have. To restore the "beauty of holiness" to church services. To change the position of the Altar (which he thought was an important part of the Church), which was seen as Roman Catholic. He wanted to adapt ceremonies (bowing at the name of Jesus), which was seen different to the normal Protestant way.

Laud caused opposition and people feared his policies.

 He beleived in divine right (Laudian church-men supported this and royal will) The Puritans/and anyone that liked the broad church had suspicions of him being Roman Catholic (in 1634 pope offered him post of Cardinal - Roman Catholic high rank - which he weakly refused, still causing suspicion. He also wanted to bring status to the parish (wanting to make them independent of local gentry < which annoyed them.) He had no respect for the gentry!  By 1636, Laud had appointed a Bishop, Juxon as Lord Treasurer < and seen as a sign of the Church taking over the Government.

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The Case of Prynne, Burton and Bastwick 1637

The case occured in 1637, and highlights Laud's determination to show off the power of the Chruch.

William Prynne 9puritan writer of pamphlets) had attacked what he saw as the excesses of Laud's church. In 1633 - he published an attack on the theatre therefore imprisoned and had his ears cropped, continuing to attack Laud etc in prison, only to result of the rest of his ear being chopped!

The three men, were basically punished for libels against the bishops - and even though they were gentlemen they were treated like criminals! (having their ears clipped and having to stand in the pillory! Although the idea that Laud did this to silence opposition failed and there was alot of support for the Puritans and the Gentry felt it was a threat to their position socially.

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Finance of Personal Rule

Finance was a problem (Charles could no longer ask for subsidies) so he made peace with France and Spain.. it would be less expensive. (1630/31) He still needed to finance the royal household so did this by:Forest fines. Those living in areas that were named "The Royal Forests" and previously had to pay fines and Charles re-introduced this. The biggest fine was on the Earl of Salisbury who was fined £20,000 for "enroaching" on royal forest, but many other landowners were also fined. James had made money by selling Knighthoods in his reign, however Charles too decided to raise funds from them. Instead he fined those who had refused Knighthoods (it had become unpopular) called, distraints of knighthood, causing great offence. Monopolies also re-appeared in different forms (monopolies on soap etc) and aroused much resentment as previous monopolies had done. The hated Custom Farmers gave the Crown a larger sum in exchange for the right to collect the customs (passed on to merchants). & the court of wards (disliked) doubled its income in this period to £76,000. Ship money = caused strongest opposition. In 1634 sheriffs were required to collect ship money even though England was not at war. By 1635 it was required by all counties. Every year until 1640 it was collected (in the first 3 years raising about £190,000 a year - spent on navy.) However, it raised several issues (new to inland counties/it became a permanent tax).

Charles financial policies did cause alot of resentment (people didn't want to pay tax) However without going to war he could survive using these methods. ( so his freedom was limited) He needed parliamentary subsidies for Foreign Policy OR loans from the City Of London. But due to the City being alienated by financial policies in the twenties, nobody really wanted to lend him any money!!

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Hampden's Case 1637

The ship money idea was tested when John Hampden a Buckinghamshire Gentlemen refused to pay ship money. (Sheriffs had received difficulty with collection and this was a test case.)

 It was an arguement whether the King had the right to declare this tax (as it became permanent and not an emergency.) In the end, although the King (if found not to have the right to decide when there was an emergency) there would be a problem. In the end, the judges decided to favour Charles. But the fact they were royal appointments favouring him "took the gloss of the King's victory"

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Life at Court through Personal Rule

Charles and Henrietta (after the assasination Of Buckingham) became much closer with only one difference in religion. She continued to be a convinced Catholic and also tried to persuade members to convert & even though Charles (in 1627) had sent scores of her Catholic attendance back to France, her religion was still strong.

 Henrietta was a big influence on Charles leading up to Civil war and during the personal rule, her Catholicism and conversions did bring suspicion to Puritans. The Culture of Court = Charles favoured court architect Indigo Jones (bringing a neo classical style) Court entertainment = Masques were a big part of the court in the personal rule and displayed Charles as a victor and also made him and Henrietta look the best they could.

The Death of GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS (Charles refused to let people mourn) for the death of the king in 1632. & Charles' refusal seemed to confirm the "country" veiw of a papist pro-spanish court. The court became isolated and out of touch with rest of nation. In 1632 Charles ordered the Gentry to leave the courts (live on their estates.)

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Scottish crisis = A crisis of his own making, did it lead Charles to the downfall of the personal rule? The events in Scotland shaped the events in England between 1637 - 1640. In 1633 Charles' coronation in Edinburgh was conducted with high-church Laudian ceremonial (offending the vewis of the scots). In 1636 Laud also used a proclomation to issue new Canons to conduct services. In 1637 a version of the new prayer book (1633) was introduced and proved to cause the Scots utter outrage. Weakness in the English Army (through lack of training and finance which he couldn't cope with/ the soliders deserted and many even had sympathy for the scots.) SO the 1639 first bishop's war was a lead up to the downfall of Personal Rule.

The short parliament April - 1640 = This proved to be a massive dissappointment and MP's were reluctant to support a war against prtestants rebelling against Laudianism. Pym leading the Commons demanded that "greivances" be dealt with before subsidies could be voted. So Laud inflamed the situation by issuing a new set of canons and Charles dissolved Parliament.

The Second Bishops war, 1640 August = The failure of the short parliament led to the Scots fighting. (and this war ended by the treaty of Ripon, OCT 1640, negotiated by the Council of peers (humiliatiing for Charles)

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Henry Barnes


To many notes on one page, also, make it clear by using larger fonts. I'd rather have more cards than more words. Also, proofread your work, needs to be neatened.

On the other hand, brilliant content, I would find this really useful if condensed!

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