Charles Personal Rule

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Personal Rule of Charles I, 1629-1640


11 years of Personal rule. This was different because Charles kept it up for so long.

Key features of Personal rule

·        Sources of Finance

·        Attempt to clamp down of Puritans, make church more uniform

·        Foreign policy- quiet but mildly pro-Spanish

Running the government



Charles chose to rule without Parliament due to his frustration at Parliament not giving him what he wanted. There was no evidence of Absolutism, if Charles wanted to be an Absolute Monarch he would have attempted to disband Parliament.

How the country was run

By Privy Council, they met twice a week to handle issues. Laud was on the Privy Council.

Role of government

To ensure localities were run well, they had a duty to oversee the people.

Sheriffs were used to enforce justice of the courts and upkeep the law, they collected ship money in Charles personal rule.


Poor Relief 1630-1631


The Harvest of 1630 was the worst in the early Stuart history. Food riots became in the West Country. The Book of Orders was Published which directed poor relief. Initially the book was successful the localities seemed to be doing as directed and the reports coming back were detailed and positive. Then the reports became vague and useless!



The Royal Court


The court was formal and dignified verging on austere and restrained. Very different to James court which was lavish. There was no tolerance of bad behaviour lead to suspicions of what was really going on in court. Unlike Elizabeth, Charles did not seek to win peoples love by showing himself to them. He remained private.



The royal family and interests


After a rocky start Charles and Henrietta Maria had grown very fond of each other and were in a caring and loving relationship. His Eldest son Charles II born in 1630 gave Charles deep satisfaction. 7 other children followed in the years 1630-1644. The other interests in Charles life were Patronage and the visual arts. He spent a lot of time developing his art collection, there were fears that Charles would be swayed by the Catholic art of Rome. Charles and Henrietta would often take part in Masques. Pyenne- a leading Protestant pamphleteer against Arminianism- called all women to take part in these masques “Whores” which was unfortunate as the Queen was taking part in one. He had the tops of his ears chopped off.



Charles’ patronage of Catholics such as Ruben (who painted the Banqueting Hall) aroused suspicion, Rubens was seen as an attempt to woo the king into Catholicism. His love of art was seen as very Catholic and as his wife and her surrounded herself with Catholics- very suspicious, Francis Windibank (Secretary of State) and Cottington (Chancellor) very Catholic. Many feared an introducing of Catholicism through Arminianism and thus forging an alliance with Spain and abandoning the Protestant cause and with it the Palatinate. In 1632


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