The King's Peace, 1625-40

The early reign of Charles I and his attempt to rule without Parliament

King Charles the First inherited the throne of the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1625. He believed that his authority to rule was granted by God alone and was thus beyond earthly reproach or criticism. He expected a subservient Parliament to fulfil its traditional role of raising revenue for the Crown by approving subsidies and taxes, but the King's religious authoritarianism and his unpopular foreign policies were out-of-step with the prevailing Puritanism of his most powerful subjects.

The court of Charles IKing Charles holds court

When Parliament refused to co-operate with him, King Charles decided to rule alone. No Parliament was called for eleven years from 1629-1640. Charles governed as an absolute monarch. On the surface, the period of the King's personal rule appeared tranquil, but with no Parliament to grant subsidies, Charles was obliged to raise revenue through obscure and legally dubious methods. In combination with his controversial religious reforms and robust repression of his critics, these policies caused deep anger and resentment. The legality of some of the King's methods was challenged in court, though no magistrate would dare to rule against the Crown.

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