1603 - 1642


James VI of Scotland becomes King James I of England

24 March 1603

Became King after the death of Queen Elizabeth I.
He was the only son of Mary Queen of Scots.
Had a difficult childhood - never saw his mother again after she was forced to abdicate.

Speech on Divine RIght of Kings


"Estate of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth"
Significance: shows James' view over his own supremacy and his disregard for Parliament.

Addled Parliament

5 April 1614 - 7 June 1614

James' second Parliament.
Failed to resolve the conflict between the King and the House of Commons; the King wished to raise £65,000 but the Commons refused to authorise further taxation.
Significance: James ruled for the next 7 years without a Parliament.

James I dies - Charles I becomes King

March 1625

Charles is intransigent (refuses to compromise)
He is highly religious and pro-war, unlike his peaceful father.

Petition of Right

7 June 1628

contains restrictions on non-Parliamentary taxation, forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause, and the use of martial law.
Charles was forced to accept it after the two Houses worked together and he bowed to the pressure.
Significance: Charles could no longer rely on the Lords to defend himself from the Commons, and it marked a constitutional crisis of the two houses working together. This would lead to the English Civil War.

11 year Personal Rule

10 March 1629 - 13 April 1640

On the 2 March, MPs held down the speaker in his chair and then passed three resolutions, which condemned the King's financial and religious privileges.
Significance: the King dissolved Parliament 8 days later and ruled without a Parliament for the next 11 years.

The Short Parliament

13 April 1640 - 5 May 1640

After ruling 11 years without a Parliament (Personal Rule), Charles was forced to call one in April in order to finance his military struggle against Scotland in the Bishops War.
Significance: Parliament refused to grant the funds unless some of the Royal abuses were attacked and reformed. Charles then dissolved the Parliament and the Long Parliament followed it.

Long Parliament

3 November 1640 - 1642

The Scottish Army had gained control of Northern England so Charles was forced to call another Parliament,in order to provide financial assistance to pay the Scottish army's expenses.
Significance: MPs used the Long Parliament to voice angry complaints against the King. The long Parliament further worsened relations between the King and Parliament, which in turn would lead to Civil War.

Triennial Act

15 February 1641

Passed by the Long Parliament.
The Act required Parliament to meet for at least one 50-day session once every three years.
It was intended to prevent King's ruling without Parliament, as Charles I had done.
Significance: The Act came into force straight away but was repealed 1664 and, although it was kept, there was no way of enforcing it so Charles II was able to rule without a Parliament for four years.

Grand Remonstrance

November 1641

This set out all Parliament's objection to Charles' religious, legal, foreign and financial policies. It called for reform in several areas, including removal of bishops from Parliament and Parliament's right of veto over Crown appointments.
It was first proposed by John Pym.
Passed by a narrow majority on 22 November.
It was presented to the King on 1 December, but he delayed his reply (which refused to remove bishops and ministers from Parliament, saying they were not guilty of any crime) until 23 December.
Significance: worsened relations between the King and Parliament and so would be one of the chief causes to the outbreak of the English Civil War the following year.

Charles I attempts to arrest 5 MPs

4 January 1642

Charles feared that the Commons were trying to seize his political control and impeach his French wife, he marched to the Commons to arrest 5 leading MPs.
Significance: great embarrassment for the King, as the MPs had been forewarned and slipped away, so he was forced to leave empty handed. Also significant because it led to the passing of the Militia Ordinance.

Militia Ordinance

March 1642

Parliament did not trust the King after he attempted to arrest 5 MPs and one Lord in January 1642. They therefore passed this piece of legislation which tried to deny him control of the military forces, so he could not use it against the Parliament.
Significance: the King refused to grant the legislation the Royal Assent but Parliament decreed that it would become law anyway. This was the first time any piece of legislation had been used without the Royal Assent. This was a major step towards the Civil War.

Start of the English Civil War

22 August 1642

Charles called for his loyal subjects to join him against his fight against Parliament. He raised his standard at Nottingham.
Significance: effectively signalled the start of the Civil war.


Millenary petition

March 1603

A list of requests given to James by the Puritans in 1603 when he was travelling to London to claim the English throne.
Thought to have had around 1,000 signatures.

Hampton Court Conference

January 1604

Lasted three days with three meetings.
Conference between King James and representatives of the Church of England, including leading English Puritans.
Discussed the Puritan complaints that had been outlined in the millenary petition.

Gunpowder plot

4 November 1605

13 Catholics, led by Catesby, plotted to blow up the House of Lords during the opening ceremony of Parliament in an attempt to assassinate King James.
The reason for the plot was that many Catholics had hoped for greater religious tolerance under James, but were left disappointed.
The Plot was discovered on 4 November after the plot was revealed in a letter to William Parker and Fawkes was found guarded 36 barrels of gunpowder under Parliament.
Significance: fuelled anti-Catholic feeling in England.

Anti-Catholic Laws

May 1606

After 3 Catholic attempts of assassination against James, he sanctioned stricter measures to oppress them.
This Act meant every citizens had to take an Oath of Allegiance, which stated the King's supremacy over the Pope.

Act of Revocation

April 1625

Stated that any royal or church land that had been alienated since 1540 was to be taken back by the Crown. This alarmed much of the nobility and made relations with the Scottish kirk even more difficult.

William Laud becomes Archbishop of Canterbury


Wanted to impose uniformity in the Church of England.
Was described as autocratic in his role and wanted to tightly impose rituals, which is why he was executed in 1645.

Prayer Book Riots


New Bible was used in Scotland for the first time. It was highly unpopular and lead to riots, including a woman called Jenny Geddes throwing a stool at a ministers' head.
Significance: led to the National Covenant being drafted.

National Covenant


After Charles' religious reforms, the National Covenant was drafted. This was a Presbyterian agreement between the Scottish people and God. Thousands of common people had signed it within days.
The reason for its signing was that many Scots feared that Charles' religious reforms, such as the new prayer book, were popish.
Significance: it led to the first bishops' war, as Charles marched an army north to face the Covenanter army.

The Bishops War

1639 - 1640

Charles marches a weak army north to face the Covenanter army, who have captured Newcastle due to Charles' religious policies. Supplies of coal are cut-off from Newcastle to London. Charles is forced to negotiate and agree to pay large expenses to the Scots, so he is forced to call his first Parliament in 11 years to finance the settlement.
Significance: Charles has to call a Parliament (The Long Parliament) which attacks his government until it is dissolved in 1648. Poor relations between Parliament and King eventually lead to the English Civil War.

Irish Rebellion


Began when Catholics in Ireland feared an invasion from the Long Parliament and the Covenanters. Catholics tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland in order to force through Catholic concessions, but failed.
Significance: turned into an ethnic conflict between the Irish Catholics and the English and Scottish Protestant settlers.

Foreign Policy

War ended with Spain

August 1604

James I ended the 20-year war with Spain, which greatly eased England's near bankrupt state.
Significance: Spain and England were at peace for the next 50 years.

James I's daughter Elizabeth marries Frederick V

February 1613

Significance: it was through Elizabeth's descendants that the House of Hanover came to inherit the English throne.

Charles marries Heneritta-Maria


She was a French Catholic.
Significance: the marriage was highly unpopular with both Parliament and Protestants.

Cadiz expedition


The Duke of Buckingham wished to make an attack on Spain with Dutch forces, including taking over many Spanish treasure ships.
Buckingham wished to attack Spain successfully because it would return respect for the country after the political disruption of the past few years.
However, the expedition was unsuccessful as stormy weather delayed vessels and Cadiz was too well protected to attack.

Barbados becomes a British colony

May 1625

Became a major sugar plantation which gave a great boost to the British economy by using slaves from West Africa.

War with France

1627 - 1629

Part of the Thirty Years War.
Mostly involved battle at sea, including the events at La Rochelle.

British forces defeated at La Rochelle

October 1627

Charles sent an army, under the command of the Duke of Buckingham, to La Rochelle in France in order to help the French Protestants there, who were being supressed by Catholic figures.
A year later, when Buckingham attempt an attack again, he was stabbed by a former soldier in Plymouth.