Posted by: internationalroutier | June 3, 2010

1642 in 320 words or less.

This was the intro to the period we posted on the Creppelgate Ward Noticeboard for the Blacktown show.

Welcome to 1642 in London, England.
Charles I is King but his continual quarrels with Parliament are disrupting the smooth government of the country & dividing the loyalty of the people.
Charles believed that Kings had ‘divine rights’ & needed to answer to no one but God. Parliament disagreed. Charles married Henrietta Maria, a French Roman Catholic princess. The Puritans disagreed. Charles fought expensive & unsuccessful wars in Spain & wanted Parliament to raise taxes to help pay for the war. Parliament again disagreed. Charles angrily dissolved parliament & raised money by levying forced loans. He imprisoned, without trial, anyone who refused to pay. Best not to disagree with the King sometimes.
Charles desperate need for money forced him to recall, & work with, the Parliament but when he didn’t get his way he disbanded them again. For 11 years Charles ruled without a Parliament; invoking obscure, ancient laws to raise money. He also tried to introduce a new prayer book to Scotland. Edinburgh rioted. Charles recalled Parliament to help him & dismissed them 3 weeks later when they didn’t.
Desperate for money, Charles was forced to call Parliament again in November 1640. Parliament passed laws to protect their existence (finally!). They outlawed many of Charles’ unpopular taxes; declared his trusted advisor a traitor & executed him. Unfortunately Parliament then divided. Many began to feel the opposition to the King was going too far.
The whole country started to become dangerously divided over religion which was far more important to their everyday life than ours is now. When Charles failed to arrest 5 House of Commons members as traitors (they fled after a tip off) Charles feared for his safety & he left London. Further negotiations between the King & Parliament proved fruitless. Cities & towns declared for one side or the other. The country descended further into war preparations & the first battle of the English Civil War was fought at Edgehill on 23 October 1642.

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