The Short Parliament 1640



The Short Parliament proved to be a great dissappointment to Charles. From the begining, distrust of Charles was evident. 

Mp's were reluctant to support a war against fellow Protestants who had rebelled against Laudianism. Comments of MP's were not directed at Charles but directed at Laud and his other advisers, and the Roman Catholic Circle at court. While these people had an influence over Charles Parliament was not going to grant the 12 subsidies Charles had requested. 

MP's attitudes towards Scotland in 1640

rejection of the prayer book changed many MP's attitudes towards the Scots. Instead of being viewed as cronies at Jame I's court, looking to England as a land of milk and honey, the scots now became heroic Protestant rebels.

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Settling of 'grievances'

The commons who were led by Pym demanded that 'grievances' be dealt with before subsidies could be voted. Laud had already inflamed the situation by issuing a new set of canons with clear support for divine right

Laud's canons 1640

Every church minister was to read aloud the following "The most high and sacred order of Kings is of divine nature...a supreme power is given to this most excellent order by God himself...Kings should rule and command all persons of rank or estate soever..."

The King, rather than negotiate with Parliament, dissolved Parliament after only three weeks in May 1640.

It was to prove a serious mistake, as attitudes were to harden after the dissolution.

In the short Parliament there had been a sinificant minority who were supportive of Charles. 

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The Second Bishops War 1640

July 1640- Charles confiscated bullion (gold and silver coinage) held in the Tower of London for safe keeping by English Merchants. 

After toying with a new scheme to use it as a basis for new coins mixed with copper, therefore creating a less pure, 'debased', coinage with a smaller amount of gold or silver in it), Charles held on to £30,000 worth as a 'loan'.

This, of ourse, did nothing for his already stained relations with the City of London merchants. These were desperate measures which could not save the situation.

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Post Short Parliament

Failure of the Short Parliament was followed by the outbreak of new fighting with the Scots. 

August 1640- At a skirmish at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne the English were beaten. 

Straffords description of the Scottish advance in August helps to explain why the Scots were able to capture Newcastle, cutting off Londons vital coal supply, and occupy the six northern countries. 

The Bishops war was ended by the Treaty of Ripon in 1640. It was negotiated by the Council of Peers, it was a complete humilation for Charles. The scots secured £850 to cover the costs of their occupation of Northumberland and Durham, but also, in effect as their price for not moving further south. With Charles defeated and unable to pay the costs of scottish occupation he had no choice but to call another Parliament to vote the subsidies required. 

Personal rule had finally collapsed and Parliament was called 3 November 1640.

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