Charles I

Charles I

Charles I was the son of James I and his personality and way of ruling England proved to be very controversial, and even a factor leading to the English Civil War.

He reigned England between 27 March 1625 – 30 January 1649, his coronation was on the 2 February 1626.

Charles followed his father’s beliefs in the sense of the Divine Right. The Divine right states that the King is superior to all of his subjects as his rule is implemented by God. Only God can challenge the King and his authority. Therefore, he believed that Parliament should not be able to take any power away from the King.

Unfortunately, his personality did not allow room for negotiation, but instead made him increasingly disliked and disrespected. He hated Parliament because they challenged his Divine Right.

Like father, like son, Charles locked up Parliament in 1629 after much dispute and arguments. Westminister was locked down for what was known as the Eleven Years Tyranny.

In 1635, he announced that Ship Money would be extended to inland counties, not just seaside towns and villages as it had previously been employed.This tax aimed to gather money to maintain the navy to protect these seaside places. Most people were happy to pay it on the coast, but inland many people thought this tax was unjust.

The Scots were angered by his proposal to change their prayer book, invading England in response in 1639. Charles was broke and had to recall Parliament to try and fund their defence.

1642 was the flashpoint of the origins of the Civil War. Charles tried to arrest 5 critics which really shocked and worried Parliament. 6 days after a fruitless attempt at arresting these critics, he raised an army in Oxford which would match up against Oliver Cromwell’s army.


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