388 Runaway Down

    July 1643 would see two critical contests at Bath and in Yorkshire. And the death of The Patriot

    387 Sinews of War

      Early 1643 was not a good idea for peace. By April, both the Scots and English parliament had tired of Charles’ negotiating style and started talking to each otherRead More

    384 The Breaking Storm

    Charles’ situation in August looked dire. But at Shrewsbury, soldiers came to his call, arms reached him from Henrietta Maria, and in October he had an army, and set ofRead More

    382 War of Words

    Both sides lay out their stalls. And Henry Parker lays out some underlying foundations of English political thought

    381 Six Days

    Six days in January 1642 which changed the course of English history

    380 Irish Revolt

    A revolt and massacres in Ireland, and the struggle over the Grand Remonstrance. 

    378 Protestations

    In a time of national danger and an explosion of print and debate, the Protestation Oath of 1641 was a remarkable act of nation building

    375 Divisions

    Charles’ response to the Scottish Declaration was severe; but it also caused a division in the Junto, and among MPs. Meanwhile, as poublic religious debate exploded, divisions also grew betweenRead More

    370 Reduce to Obedience

    ‘I expect not anything can reduce that people to obedience but force only’ Charles wrote in 1638. The following year that would be put to the test. in the First Bishops War (Bishops not included).

    368 A Prince’s Punishments

    In 1633 Thomas Wentworth arrived in Ireland – and despite great administrative efficiency, managed to separately outrage each of the components of Irish Society Meanwhile in London, William Prynne and John Lillburne stood form against tyranny.

    363 Laud Unleashed

    With Parliament banished, there was little restraint on Laud and Charles to implement the reforms they felt were needed to improve the quality of religious observations and the spiritual wealth of all English. Not everyone would approve their efforts.

    362 Free Men not Villeins

    In 1637 Charles sought an example to squash opposition to Ship Money, and chose a minor country squire. John Hampden refused to back down.

    361 Charles in Charge

    Charles had done the right thing of we wanted to avoid parliaments – reducing costs by making peace. But, how was he to raise money to clear that £2m debt? Well, two words came in to play – many, and various.

    360 Charles Abroad

    Relationships with the other kingdoms was definitely the royal preserve. But policy options might vary, from favouring the desires of his protestant subjects, to the Spanish faction on the privy Council. But his clout was always hampered by the poor state of the Royal Navy

    359 Charles is At Home

    Charles was determined to run his court completely differently to his father. Controlled, regulated, ordered; an example of a warm, loving and enlightened household that would prove an example of the majesty and stability of his reign.

    358 New Counsels

    Was it an ‘Eleven years tyranny’ or ‘Halcyon Days’ that followed 1629? Either way, foreign ambassadors were not hopeful of England’s future. But Charles first priority was to reduce the Vipers of parliament to submission.

    357 Vipers

    Dramatic events in 1628 – a horrible murder, and one of the great set pieces of the English Revolution. Mayhem! Treason!  Murder!

    356 Petition of Right

    As so often, war demands money, and in England, money meant parliament. So the outcome of ‘The Favourites’ War’, Buckingham’s attempt to relieve La Rochelle in 1627, would be  critical.

    355 The Hearts of our People

    The battle of Lutter in 1626 convinced Charles of the tearing need to intervene in the Thirty Years War in defence of hos sister Elizabeth’s rights and in the cause of Protestantism. But the cupboard was bare – how to raise money? Without calling that pesky parliament!

    354 Parlement a sa Mode

    The 1626 parliament was opened by William Laud – not a good sign for the resolutely Calvinist parliament. Despite a remarkably positive response to the call for subsidies – their linkage to resolutions of grievances did not go down well with Charles

    353 Lawyers Vs Clerics

    As the 1626 parliament opens, full of hope once more, we take a while to introduce William Laud, and discuss the idea that a theme of the English civil wars is an ideological struggle between lawyers and Arminian clerics

    352 A Beard UnSinged

    The reconvened parliament in Oxford went poor, and after a month Charles closed it down, and concentrated instead on the Spanish war.  Surely, the recapturing the glory of Drake & Hawkins would relight Parliament’s fire for war!

    351 Bred in Parliaments

    For Charles I, April to June 1625 was his like the honeymoon  period given to new football managers – enthusiastic full of hope – and depressingly brief. The honeymoon period with his newly arrived wife Henrietta Maria, was similarly brief.

    350 Charles’ Inheritance

    In March 1625 Charles came into his inheritance on the death of his father. Was it a poison chalice or the holy grail? What sort of man accepted the chalice and duty and would place his hands on the tillers of the Three Kingdoms?

    HiT Cromwell

    Cromwell was a 1970 film starring Richard Harris as the eponymous, and Alec Guiness as Charles I. Massive in scale and ambition, in its attempt to present Oliver as a democratic hero of the people. Does it manage it?

    347 The English Revolution

    Well this is exciting! The English Revolution. A title which is controversial, and a historiography which is bigger than the eponymous crocodile.