The Successes/Failures of the Personal Rule 1629-1637

These cards concentrate on the successes and failures of Charles I's Personal Rule from 1629- 1637, which was the crisis year and from then things went wrong. We will be concentrating on religion, finance and opposition.

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Central & Local Government

When Charles dismissed Parliament in 1629, he brought about changes which were to a certain extent successful:

  • Central government worked well through the Privy Council and key councillors such as Weston, Windebank & Laud.
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  • There were prerogative courts such as Star Chamber & High Commission, which enforced Charles' will.
    • Star Chamber- Charles held key cases here & it was done in secret- advantage was that no pubilc trial, it couldn't sentence to death
    • High Commission- chief court of Church- Laud would use it to enforce conformity- sent to Star Cahmber if found guilty
  • There were regional courts:
    • Council of the North
    • Council of the Welsh Marshes
  • Attempt at 'good government'- Book of Orders & increased central interference in local government- tried to manage JP's & increase reporting to council
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Financial Policies & Opposition

Methods used by Charles to raise money (fiscal feudalism):

  • Custom duties- tonnage & poundage (£270,000) from 1631-1635
  • Distraint of Knighthood/ Forest fines- got him money
  • Monopolies- notoriously the 'Popish soap' monopoly
  • Ship Money:
    • 1634- extended to every county 1635
    • raised £200,000 until 1639- successful 90% collection rate
    • caused discontent- Hampden case in 1637- Charles won case 7:5, but it wasmoral victory for Hampden. It also showed that the King's own men thought he was wrong. Links to Scots' Rebellion because he wanted to continue to collect S.M to put down rebellion
    • Collection fell to 20% between 1639-1640 because case led to difficulties in collection
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Religious Changes

  • Laud's 'Beauty of Holiness'- reparing churches which had been neglected
  • Altar Policy- movement of communion table to east side, covering it, railed off & called 'Altar'
  • Reading of Catechism from Prayer Book
  • Attack on Feoffeess of Impropriation- Laud had them banned and took over their parishes
  • Book of Sports- direct attack on the Puritans and their Sabbatarianism
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Opposition to Religion

  • PRYNNE, BASTWICK& BURTON- they opposed and criticised Laud's innovations. They were fined, imprisoned and had their ears cropped. It brought about even more resentment because it had been done publically to gentlemen of status
  • JOHN LILBURNE- whipped through the streets of London for distributing unlicenced literature
  • SCOTTISH REBELLION- they rebelled because of the imposition of the Prayer Book and they wanted to get rid of the episcopacy- they saw it as something very catholic
  • Most people feared the changes to religion because of the 30yrs war, Gun powder plot, Bloody Mary and there was no forum to voice grienances

HOWEVER: some welcomed changes as sermons weren't boring & churches looked nicer and things were nicer

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