Causes of the British Civil Wars

1625-03-27 00:00:00

Coronation of Charles I

Charles Stuart crowned King Charles I of Great Britain and Ireland. Charles believed in the Divine Right of Kings. This was the belief that monarchs got their power from God and didn’t have to answer to anyone else but God.

1625-05-11 00:00:00

Charles I married Henrietta Maria of France

In 1625 Charles I married the Catholic princess of France, Henrietta Maria. She was not allowed to be crowned Queen, as she was Catholic. Many of Charles I’s subjects mistrusted Charles and suspected that he had Catholic sympathies.

1628-08-23 17:00:04

Duke of Buckingham Assassinated

George Villiers (the 1st Duke of Buckingham) was a favourite of King Charles, but unpopular with Parliament. He was murdered by John Felton in Portsmouth 1628.

1629-03-10 00:00:00

Personal Rule Began

Charles had been disappointed with Parliament for a long time and when members of Parliament criticised the King’s religious and financial policies, Charles was outraged and dissolved (closed down) Parliament. Thus, began eleven years of government without Parliament, known as ‘Personal Rule.’

1633-10-01 00:00:00

William Laud appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

Charles appointed William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud introduced changes that Puritans claimed made English churches look like Catholic churches.

1635-02-04 20:44:32

Charles ordered everyone to pay Ship Money

In 1635 King Charles I ordered everyone in the country to pay Ship Money. This was very unpopular as Ship Money was usually only paid by people in coastal towns when there was a fear of foreign invasion. By 1636 it became clear this was not intended to be an emergency tax, but an annual source of income for the King.

1637-07-23 00:00:00

Edinburgh Prayer Book Riots

Charles I introduced a new Book of Common Prayer in Scotland. This was very unpopular, and in Edinburgh enraged crowds rioted.

1637-10-01 00:00:00

Three Puritan MPs arrested and had their ears cut off

Three Puritan MPs John Bastwick, Henry Burton and William Prynne were arrested and had their ears cut off for writing pamphlets attacking Archbishop Laud's views.

1638-04-23 00:00:00

This was met with anger, and in Edinburgh enraged crowds rioted.

Charles I and Archbishop Laud were attempting to make changes to the Scottish church, by implementing measures that many viewed as Catholic. This led to widespread protests across Scotland. In response the Scots rallied together to sign the National Covenant (agreement) in which they committed to defending Scottish Presbyterianism. Charles saw the Scottish Covenant as an act of rebellion, and it led to the start of the Bishop Wars.

1640-04-13 13:12:00

The Short Parliament

Charles I was forced to summon parliament, to ask them for money to fight the invading Scots. Initially, it seemed parliament may grant the King his money. However, members of parliament remained angry with Charles and parliament was dissolved within the month.

Causes of the British Civil Wars

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