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King Charles I 1625 - 1641


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Title: King Charles I 1625 - 1641

(No Transcript)
King Charles I 1625 - 1641
The English King who tried to rule the
country without parliament - and lost!
What was he like? Where did it all go wrong? What
did he do to upset his enemies so much? Was it
all about money? Was it all about religion? Was
he badly advised by others?
King Charles I The King with blood on his
The English King who ran out of money and failed
to get parliament to give him more!
The only English King ever to be executed by his
own people!
The English King who married a French Catholic
princess even though he knew the people would
hate it!
An interview with King Charles I
In this unit you are going to study the years
1603 to 1660. This is the most violent period in
the history of England. Your aims are as
follows Why was there a Civil War in England
after 1641? What was the role of King Charles
I? What was the role of Oliver Cromwell? Was
England turned upside down by the Civil
Wars? The first thing we are going to look at is
the role of King Charles I in this affair. To
find out about him we are going to carry out an
interview with the man himself! As you read his
answers to our questions, write down any
important information you think might help you
understand Charles I and his role in the events
of 1603 to 1649. Use the notes sheet provided for
this task.
The first part of the interview will focus on the
background to the fights between King Charles I
and Parliament. We will try to find out what King
Charles I thinks about religion and
parliament. We wont worry about any actual
events at this stage!
Good evening, your majesty. Could you please tell
us where you believe your power comes from?
My father was King James VI of Scotland and King
James I of England and Ireland. He became king of
England and Ireland after Queen Elizabeth I died
in 1603. I am now King of England, Scotland and
Ireland. I believe my power comes from inheriting
my fathers crown and from God. This is because I
believe I was chosen to be king by God thats
called The Divine Right of Kings.
And what is your home life like, Sire?
I am very happily married to Queen Henrietta
Maria. She is a French Catholic. She prays in her
own chapel and not in my Protestant Church of
England. I get very shy in public and often
stutter when I speak to parliament. I like fine
paintings and statues. I get my personal painter,
Anthony Van Dyck, to paint me about two inches
taller than the five feet two inches I actually
What are your views on how the Protestant Church
of England should be run?
As you know, I lead the Church of England. I
expect my bishops to make sure that each church
is kept as I believe it should be. This means
there should be a rail around the altar at the
front of the church with candles on the altar
table. Every priest should wear a special shirt
called a surplice. Priests have to use the Book
of Common Prayer. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
William Laud forces all priests to agree to my
Does everyone in the country agree with your
ideas about the Church of England?
No. Some of the people, the religious extremists
who call themselves Puritans, disagree a
lot. They dont like bishops, candles, surplices,
or the Book of Common Prayer. They even accuse me
of being dominated by my Catholic wife and of
taking orders from the Pope in Rome! They attack
Archbishop Laud, calling him a papist. They seem
to think he is a Catholic! They are so wrong! I
fine Catholics who are caught going to mass. The
Puritans just want the church for themselves.
I see. And how does your Majesty get on with
Not well, I have to say. Parliaments are a real
nuisance. As you know, Parliament is split up
into two Houses The House of Lords, which
includes my bishops and lords, and the House of
Commons. The men in the House of Commons are rich
men called Members of Parliament (MPs), who are
elected by other rich men like themselves. Parliam
ents job is to pass laws, and Im supposed to
ask the House of Commons if I want to collect
extra taxes. But I say that its the King who
rules the country, not Parliament. I dont see
why I have to ask!
That's the end of the first part of the interview.
Let's take stock of what we have found out so far!
How did Charles I get to be King of England,
Scotland and Ireland? What is The Divine Right of
Kings? Why is this important? Who is King Charles
Is wife? Why is her religion important? Why
might the kings stutter be important? Why does
the king want to be painted two inches taller?
Why is it important that Charles I is head of the
Church of England? What is the importance of the
rail around the altar table? What do the candles
represent? Who is the Archbishop of
Canterbury? How does the king control the Church
of England? Why might this be unpopular?
Which group does not agree with how the king runs
the Church? Explain what you think their name
means about their ideas? What dont they like
about the way the king runs the church? What do
the Puritans accuse King Charles I of being? What
do the Puritans accuse Archbishop Laud of
being? What evidence do the Puritans have against
the two men? Why is being seen as a papist so
bad in England in the 17th century? What evidence
can the king offer to defend himself?
What does Charles I think of the Houses of
Parliament? Why does the king like the House of
Lords more than the Commons? How does he
criticise the MPs in the House of Commons? What
is the job of the House of Commons? What does the
king think about the powers of the House of
Now that we know lots about the general problems
that existed in England and the ideas that the
king had, we can find out what happened to cause
the Civil War to start in 1642. We shall ask the
King about events that happened after 1629 and
how these caused the Civil Wars to start. We will
try to find out who was to blame and what each
side did!
Welcome back, King Charles I. You were telling us
how you got on with Parliament
Well, its all come to a head now, as you know. I
quarrelled with Parliament really badly in 1629
and actually ruled without them for 11 years. The
real problems started in 1637, when I decided
that the Scottish Church should have its own
prayer book like the Church of England. But the
Scots rebelled and I had to recall the English
Parliament because I ran out of money to use
against the Scots.
So what happened when you called the MPs back in
1640 after ignoring them for 11 years? (I bet
they werent very happy!)
  • Thats putting it lightly! The MPs in the
    Commons, especially the Puritans, then accused me
    of all sorts of things
  • Ruling without Parliament for 11 years.
  • Collecting what they said were illegal taxes,
    like the Ship Money to pay for the navy.
  • Imposing my rules on the Church of England.
  • Using force to get loans of money from rich
  • Using special law courts like the Star Chamber to
    force my wishes on the country.
  • This was not what I had called Parliament for.

So what did you do?
  • Well, at first I had to give Parliament some of
    what it wanted. I had to agree to
  • Stop collecting taxes without Parliaments
  • Call a Parliament at least every three years.
  • Put Archbishop Laud in prison!
  • Stop using force to get what I wanted.
  • Get rid of special courts like the Star Chamber.
  • Execute my best friend and most loyal adviser,
    Lord Strafford.
  • I was not going to let this humiliation go!

Why did you give way to Parliament so much?
I couldnt really do anything else, because in
the end only Parliament could let me collect
enough taxes to run the country. The Scots had
invaded and controlled part of the north of
England and my enemies in Parliament were in
contact with them. Then last year, in 1641,
rumours reached England that Catholics in Ireland
were massacring thousands of Protestants. I
wanted to send an army to protect them, but of
course I had to go to Parliament for the money.
Please go on
Once again they stood in my way and tried to take
away my powers! The MPs demanded to control the
Army. This is my right as King. This is treason.
That means an illegal attempt to challenge the
Kings power. So I sent hundreds of armed men to
arrest five of my main enemies. Unfortunately,
they were warned and managed to escape. Now
Londons not safe for my family and supporters.
So I have raised my flag here in Nottingham to
defend my rights as king and the rights of my
people against these rebel Puritans and MPs. I
urge all men to join me!
That's the end of the second part of the
Let's have a look at what we have found out now!
What did Charles I do between 1629 and 1640? How
did this store up problems for the future? What
happened in 1637 to cause Charles I problems? Why
did Charles I have to recall Parliament in
1637? Which group of MPs started to attack
Charles I? What things did Parliament accuse
Charles I of doing? Why would the MPs not have
liked each of these things?
What things did Charles I have to agree to that
Parliament wanted? Why was each of these things a
problem for the King to agree to? Why does this
attempt to find a peace seem likely not to work?
Why did Charles I have to agree to what
Parliament wanted? What happened in 1641 to make
things worse for the King? How did the MPs use
the crisis in Ireland to their advantage? What
did Charles I do when the MPs demanded control of
the army? What did Charles I do when he felt
forced to leave London?
Was King Charles I a successful monarch?
  • Your task is to write an answer to this question
    based on the work you have done in todays
  • You will have three things to help you
  • The What do successful rulers do? spider
  • The notes you made during the interview with
    Charles I
  • The writing frame your teacher will give you
  • Remember that the website, intranet, e-mail link
    and your teacher are always available to help you.

The End
Produced by Mr. Drew, Passmores School, August