The Long Parliament

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The Long Parliament

The First Session

The fall of Strafford

  • Pym tried to get him impeached on 11th November 1640 but Lords refused due to lack of evidence
  • In 1641 Pym launched an Act of Attainder (an act of parliament) as that needed no evidence, but had to be signed by Commons, Lords and the King to execute Strafford
  • The London Mob (puritan apprentice protestors) put pressure on Lords to pass the Attainder, they signed it, assuming Charles wouldn't
  • But Charles had little choice as he needed money, so he signed it
  • Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, was executed May 12th in front of 10,000

Why was he hated?

  • Active role in Thorough and helped the King rule alone
  • Accused of bringing a R/C army over from Ireland to support Charles' personal rule and establish military absolutism
  • He changed sides from parliament to court after the death of Buckingham 


  • The future of Ireland was now in question as Strafford had reigned them in and now they had no firm leader to make them conform
  • Many MPs did not like the use of the London Mob or the Act of Attainder and they thought it was unjust of Pym
  • Bedford called it "a rock on which we should all be split"

Root and Branch Petition

  • December 1640
  • Wanted to eliminate all catholic elements hence root and branch
  • called for the abolition of bishops
  • most MPs hated laudian reforms but didn't want a presbyterian system either
  • Pym knew this was controversial and was likely to split his anti-court consensus 
  • he gave it to a committee to discuss - Assembly of the Divines

Demolition of Personal Rule

  • Ship Money was declared illegal
  • The boundaries of forests were put back to how they were in 1623 under James
  • Distraint of Knighthood became illegal
  • May 1641 - Trinnial Act which said parliament must be called once every three years
  • May 1641 - Act against forcible Dissolution - only parliament could close themselves down (only for this parliament)
  • Court of Wards abolished

Death of Bedford

  • May 1641, Bedford = Francis Russell
  • 'man with a foot in both camps'
  • he was seen as the last hope of a compromise between Charles and parliament
  • he was arranging for pym to became chancellor of the exchequer
  • only he could have built a 'government of national confidence'

10 Propositions

  • Demands by parliament such as the right to control Charles' ministers
  • More radical than any previous reforms
  • Never officially passed
  • A six week recess of parliament undermined the issue
  • It encroached on Charles' prerogative
  • Pym tried to convince MPs they were 'defensive' demands so they were generally accepted

The Summer of 1641

  • Most MPs were happy with the first session of parliament 
  • there was still a fear of a catholic conspiracy
  • some MPs began to dislike Pyms use of the London Mob but he was still uniting commons
  • questions arose like the future of the church and the role of parliament in crown affairs
  • Most MPs just wanted a balanced constitution
  • the…


Timothy Sherwood


really, really good



This is a superb set of notes that details England's road to civil war in the 1640's. It uses contemporary quotations and analysis, as well as providing a clear chronological account.

Henry Barnes


Hi Tim :D - But yeah, fab! :D

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