Relations with Parliament 1625-29

Charles' Policy

Cogswell historian: Charles was James' polar opposite. 

Young argued he set out to be the polar opposite.

Charles believed very much in obedience to the crown and personal monarchy, and refused to meet compromise.

Charles' policy of attacking Spain followed 4 policies:

- Financial backing of Christian IV of Denmark, his uncle, who would attack Catholics through North Germany. 

- Financial backing of Protestant Dutch.

- Money for Mansfeld expeditionary force of 6,000 Englishmen.

- Naval attack on Spain to capture gold from South America.

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1625 Parliament

In 1625, Charles wanted £1m for the war effort, but Parliament only voted 2 subsidies of £140,000, and tonnage&poundage for one year. Charles took this as a personal attack, but this was more an attack on Buckingham, supported by MPs such as Sir Edward Coke and Sir Robert Phelips, who persuades Parliament, seeing Buckingham's failure of naval duties as Lord High Admiral

There were rumours he had bewitched the King. 

Charles also received criticisms from supporting Richard Montagu and appointing him royal chaplain after writing Appello Caesarem in 1625, a clear show of his approval of anti-Calvinism. He didn't make the enemy clear and didn't engage with influential court supporters in the countryside or Commons like Edward Sandys. 

Parliament was dissolved.

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York House Conference 1626

In February 1626, at the Earl of Warwick's request, Charles held the York House Conference to discuss religious issues, focusing on the writing of Richard Montagu. 

Buckingham supported the stance of William Laud, the Arminian, and was not persuaded away from anti-Calvinism, supporting Charles as his favourite. 

Richard Cust argued that Charles refused to engage in discussion of his religious policy as he believed his royal authority was at stake. 

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Failure of Cadiz

- In 1625, the Mansfeld expeditionary force of 6,000 was sent to Holland, with no training and limited equipment, and 4,000 died of disease/starvation. 

- In August 1626, Christian IV's forces were defeated by Catholics.

- Edward Cecil sent the troops to Cadiz in September, but they failed to take the port or the treasure fleet, distracted by the wine.

- Failure to obtain the treasure made Charles reliant again upon Parliament in 1626.

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1626 Parliament

Before the 1626 Parliament, opponents such as Coke and Thomas Wentworth were made sheriffs, making writs for the elections. 

Moreover, Buckingham removed Parliamentary/court opposition including the Earl of Arundel, using his influence, alongside lord and deputy lieutenants, his opposition. 

Charles tried to make concession by punishing recusants, and threatening return of ships used at La Rochelle against the Huguenots, potentially starting war with France.

Parliament poorly funded. 

Laud opened the second Parliament with a sermon on obedience to Charles.

In 1626, Buckingham's impeachment in the Lords was attempted with a Parliamentary petition, with John Eliot directing his attack. Earl of arundel, who had been arrested from the Lords, also supported it.

The Earl of Bristol, who had been ambassador to Spain in 1623, knew Charles had tried to bribe Spanish courtiers in 1623, promising concessions, so he was charged with treason, but he issued evidence to the Lords to persuade them that Buckingham was guity. 

Dissolved.

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1626 Forced Loan

In 1625 benevolence was requested, and in 1626, with ship money failing to finance Charles, the Forced Loan was written, equivalent to five subsidies, where those liable to pay would be summoned to public meetings where refusal to pay would be outright opposition. Richard Cust said it would be a 'test of political loyalty.'

In 1627 Thomas Scot, MP for Kent, likened Buckingham to Agag and Charles to Saul, claiming that subjects may disobey the King's order if he acted in a way of tyranny, falling out with parliaments and using loan and impositions to oppress the people. 

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Consequences of the Forced Loan of 1626

Opponent judges, who doubted the loan's legality, were dismissed, such as Chief Justice Carew.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbott, a Puritan, was suspended by Charles for refusing to licence Arminian cleric Robert Sibthorpe's sermon which promited the Forced Loan, persuading people it was their duty to pay as propaganda.

76 were imprisoned for refusal to pay the loan and only 70% of the loan was collected, £267,000. 

Richard Cust: Charles' forced loan created 'principled opposition,' leading to the 1641 Grand Remonstrance as there was a path of dissent, with people feeling they could not trust the paranoid Charles.

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Five Knights Case 1627

In November 1627, five of the main loan resistors were imprisoned by Charles who claimed a writ of habeas corpus, where they had to be tried for an offence or released at the Five Knights' Case. Charles' prerogative to imprison those who refused to pay was upheld. 

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Petition of Right 1628

In 1628, as Charles used his Secretary of State, Sir John Coke, to negotiate, Parliament offered 5 subsidies on terms that their grievances would be addressed:

- Illegality of extra-parliamentary taxation such as tonnage and poundage. 

- Billetting, where troops in the south-west had to be taken up by locals, housed and fed, as free quarter, with no promised future payment. 

- Martial law to control the troops reeked of absolutism to gentry.

Another grievance was the imprisonment without trial. At the Five Knights' Case, Charles claimed he could imprison people for no good reason, in that particular case, for safety of the state, but his attorney-general, Heath, falsified the legal records of the judgement to make it a general right, meaning anybody could end up in the Tower. MPs like Sir John Eliot considered a Bill of Rights which would state rights of subjects Charles couldn't overrule, but Parliament made a less radical version, the Petition of Right, with Sir Edward Coke. 

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Petition of Right 1628

In 1628, as Charles used his Secretary of State, Sir John Coke, to negotiate, Parliament offered 5 subsidies on terms that their grievances would be addressed:

- Illegality of extra-parliamentary taxation such as tonnage and poundage. 

- Billetting, where troops in the south-west had to be taken up by locals, housed and fed, as free quarter, with no promised future payment. 

- Martial law to control the troops reeked of absolutism to gentry.

Another grievance was the imprisonment without trial. At the Five Knights' Case, Charles claimed he could imprison people for no good reason, in that particular case, for safety of the state, but his attorney-general, Heath, falsified the legal records of the judgement to make it a general right, meaning anybody could end up in the Tower. MPs like Sir John Eliot considered a Bill of Rights which would state rights of subjects Charles couldn't overrule, but Parliament made a less radical version, the Petition of Right, with Sir Edward Coke. 

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John Eliot

John Eliot was a leading critic of Buckingham, and in Parliaments 1625-9 was involved in Petition of Right and Three Resolutions, considered to be one of the 'fiery spirits,' by Charles alongside an MP gone too far by fellow MPs. In 1629, he was put in the Tower of London and died by 1632. 

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Petition of Right approval and Remonstrance.

England had unwritten constitution based on the Magna Carta, 'ancient law,' Common Law, and custom/tradition. However, this was open to interpretation. While this allowed compromise to be achieved with a working King and Parliament, MPs had concerns. The Petition of Right was approved by Charles on 7 June 1628 under threat of Parliament action against Buckingham and threat that he would not receive 5 subsidies if his response was not correct.

- Freedom from arrest for unfair cause. 

- Parliament consent to taxation. 

- Imposition of martial law/billetting outlawed. 

Parliament turned to look at the state of the kingdom and Buckingham's rule, and Coke denounced it the 'cause of all our miseries.' 

17 June 1628 Remonstrance established to criticise Buckingham and his foreign policy, with another a week later as Charles collected tonnage and poundage against the Petition of Right, with Charles then suspending their session the next day and claiming his right to collection.

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Buckingham's Execution

On 23 August, 1628, as Buckingham left the Greyhound Inn, Portsmouth, he went to bid farewell to courtiers. As one colonel bowed, Sir John Felton emerged and stabbed him in the left side of his chest. A search commenced for a 'Frenchman,' as it was suspected he was working under Louis XIII, emerging as the man who was guilty. 

Buckingham's funeral was set on 18 September 1628, with a torchlit procession through London to Westminster Abbey. Felton was a lone assassin, a soldier who had wanted to be promoted to captain, alongside disliking being plunged into debt by pay delay. He had left a note in his hat summarising his reasons for killing Buckingham and was executed at Tyburn before his body was hung in chains outside Portsmouth.

Buckingham's death was celebrated with bonfires and Charles became disenfranchised with Parliament, growing closer to Henrietta Maria. 1625 Seven Problems Concerning AntiChrist criticised her for her religion and Charles' succumbing to her. 

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Buckingham's Execution

On 23 August, 1628, as Buckingham left the Greyhound Inn, Portsmouth, he went to bid farewell to courtiers. As one colonel bowed, Sir John Felton emerged and stabbed him in the left side of his chest. A search commenced for a 'Frenchman,' as it was suspected he was working under Louis XIII, emerging as the man who was guilty. 

Buckingham's funeral was set on 18 September 1628, with a torchlit procession through London to Westminster Abbey. Felton was a lone assassin, a soldier who had wanted to be promoted to captain, alongside disliking being plunged into debt by pay delay. He had left a note in his hat summarising his reasons for killing Buckingham and was executed at Tyburn before his body was hung in chains outside Portsmouth.

Buckingham's death was celebrated with bonfires and Charles became disenfranchised with Parliament, growing closer to Henrietta Maria. 1625 Seven Problems Concerning AntiChrist criticised her for her religion and Charles' succumbing to her. 

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1629 Parliament

In 1628 Parliament following issues were not mentioned: 

- Impositions/tonnage and poundage, and Charles' refusal to surrender rights. 

- Support of anti-Calvinists, appointing Montagu to Chichester and William Laud as Bishop of London, 1628. 

Charles could not be trusted, writing his first and second unconstitutional answers in the Petition of Right, ordering the royal printer to do this. This came out in Parliament in 1629 - formal means of limiting powers would be needed. 

Moderates still wanted comporomise, but Charles' refusal led to 2 March 1629 MPs Denzil Holles and Benjamin Valentine suspending the end of the session until the Three Resolutions had been supported opposing tonnage and poundage, and Arminianism. Charles dissolved Parliament two days after and issued a Declaration, ensuring true religion would be conserved with ancient rights and liberties. Holles, Valentine, and Eliot were put on trial, and while Holles exiled, Eliot was in the Tower until 1632, and Valentine until 1640. 

Morrill J : ' three Parliaments of 1625-29 showed frustrations over organised resistance.'

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Dissolution of Parliament 1629

In March 1629 Charles issued 'His majesties declaration of the causes which moved him to dissolve the last Parliament,'...

- aimed to present the royal case not in the way some 'turbulent...spirits..would represent us.' 

- Parliament was accused of blasting government with passion. 

- Turbulent and ill affected spirits rejected tonnage and poundage and encouraged merchants to refuse to pay, infusing the country. 

- Concerns made about religion to 'deprave our government.'

- The attack on the 2nd March 1629 hurt the 'better part of the house.'

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Historian Opinion

Kevin Sharpe: The 'encroachment,' on Charles' authority reached a crescendo, but he promised he had not 'diminished his love or care,' for his people, expecting respect for his prerogative in return, as this was only natural, and many blamed the dissolution on 'fiery spirits,' such as Simonds D'Ewes.

Michael Young: Charles had developed 'antipathy,' to the institution, in May 1629 telling the Venetian ambassador that whoever mentioned Parliament, 'shall be my enemy,' and in 1635 saying he would do 'anything,' to never have another Parliament. This would increase Parliamentary grievance.

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