Charles and the Parliament of 1625- 29

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The Parliament of 1625 (May-August)

 

Charles called this Parliament because he wanted money to persuade the war against Spain. Charles did not attempt to woo MP’s to get their support and there was little guidance in debates

Subsidies

Commons voted two subsidies of £140,000 to Charles to demonstrate their loyalty to the King (but Charles gave no indication of the sum that he required)

Tonnage and Poundage

Tonnage and Poundage was a custom revenue traditionally granted to the king by the first parliament of his reign and made up a good portion of his income. Privateers from North Africa were raiding the coast suggesting the money was being misplaced so the Commons gave Charles a grant of one year to give them time for a full discussion of reform. This inflicted with Charles Parliamentary Privilege which was that he was to be granted all tonnage and poundage. Charles was deeply offended, especially as the lords refused to pass the bill of tonnage and poundage. Charles continued to collect the tonnage and poundage without parliamentary sanction saying it was a necessity, he said he couldn’t live on ordinary income when he was faced with major war.

The Oxford Parliament and its dissolution

It was a mistake to reassemble parliament at Oxford just three weeks after having adjourned it due to fear of plague because MP’s had made it clear they were unwilling to grant more money and were unsympathetic towards Charles plea. Parliament turned its attention to Buckingham who they blamed for mishandling the session and the Kings affairs- Charles saw this as an attack on his authority and dissolved parliament.

Assessment of 1625 Parliament

-          King and commons lost trust in each other

-          Charles felt betrayed, he couldn’t understand why they had failed to fund a war they approved

-          Charles resented attacks on Buckingham

-          Annoyed at failure to grant tonnage and poundage which was in violation of his Royal Prerogative

-          Commons were bewildered by refusal to negotiate

 

 

 

The Parliament of 1626 (February to June)

 

Summoned to raise funds. In order to remove the people he considered responsible for the failure of the last parliament he made some MPs into sheriffs so they could be taken out of Parliament and couldn’t run as an MP. However this didn’t help as it instead gave an opportunity for others to show their dissatisfaction.

York house conference

This was a conference of Puritans and Arminians (Arminians being favoured) were they would debate religious issues it was to be chaired by Buckingham but Buckingham sided with the Arminians so to strengthen his relationship with Charles. John Eliot (a favourite of Buckingham who had turned against him) demanded an enquiry into expenditure of 1624 subsidy and suggested that the crowns income could be increased by taking back excessive grants bad feeling towards Buckingham increases

Parliament’s attacks

Parliament wanted a scapegoat and chose Buckingham because of his disastrous foreign policy and influence on

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