Poetry and Revolution: An Anthology of British and Irish Verse, 1625-1660

By Peter Davidson | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 4
CHRONOLOGY 1625-1660

1625 Charles I acceded, aged 25, and married the Catholic Henrietta Maria of France. Conflict between Charles and his ministers began almost immediately, since Parliament was hostile to the continental projects suggested to Charles by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham ( 1592-1628), now Charles's favourite, and formerly his father's. Following Buckingham's advice, he engaged in war with Spain (Catholic) and an alliance with Holland and Denmark (Protestant): both decisions had a religious dimension, and also involved family loyalties: the husband of his sister Elizabeth ('the Winter Queen', no. 167) had lost his Palatinate to Spain in 1621. Charles's desire to play a significant role in European politics made him anxious to assure himself of adequate financial resources.

1626 Charles's Second Parliament impeached Buckingham, declared the taxes of tonnage and poundage (a form of Customs tax, which represented a substantial portion of the King's revenue) illegal, and was dissolved by the King. Charles then tried to assure himself of income by other means, and resumed non-parliamentary levies.

1627 Both parliament and country resisted Charles's attempts to raise money by levying forced loans to the Crown. Two high-church clergymen, Sibthorpe and Manwaring, preached 'Apostolic Obedience' to the King's wishes, which helped to confirm Puritan opposition to the established church, as opposition to apostolic authority was identified with opposition to unpopular taxes. George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, was sequestered for refusing to license Sibthorpe's sermon for the press. Expedition to the Ile de Rhé: an abortive gesture towards an attack on France.

1628 Third Parliament. The Petition of Right (which gave the judiciary ultimate power even over Parliament) became law. The King's pressing need for money was met to some extent by subsidies voted him by Parliament. William Laud ( 1573-1645), who enjoyed the King's favour, and promoted an extremely unpopular policy of the imposition of religious uniformity, became bishop of London, while Archbishop Abbot was restored to favour. The Duke of Buckingham was assassinated (no. 241), leaving Charles without a mentor. His relations with his Queen had been cold and distant up to this point, but the royal couple suddenly began to show a mutual devotion which continued without interruption for the rest of their lives. A second expedition to La Rochelle, where the Huguenot (Protestant) subjects of the French King, Louis XIII, continued to endure a prolonged siege, was a total failure. Aiding the Huguenots was a matter of personal honour to Charles, who had guaranteed an earlier treaty subsequently broken by the French king, and had been strongly supported by Buckingham, who had led the first expedition. Thomas Wentworth ( 1593-1641), later the Earl of Strafford, became President of the Council of the North (the King's deputy north of the Humber).

1629 Parliament passed resolutions against Popery and the high-church doctrine of Arminianism, voicing a widely felt suspicion that the King, now devoted to his Catholic wife, was gradually transforming the Church of England into an imitation of the Church of Rome. It also renewed opposition to tonnage and poundage, and to the King's claim that he had the right to levy duties without the consent of Parliament. It was again dissolved by the King. Some leading parliamentarians were imprisoned. The King went ahead with exacting the impositions

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