The Stuarts- Interesting Facts on the First Kings of the United Kingdom

(See Main Article: The Stuarts- Interesting Facts on the First Kings of the United Kingdom)

The Stuarts Archives - History


The Stuarts were the United Kingdom’s first kings. For the first time, two thrones were combined when King James VI of Scotland became also King James I of England.

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Tudor and Stuart Timeline

The Tudor and Stuart Monarchs and some of the main events of their reigns.

“The Most Powerful Women in the Middle Ages, Part 3: Elizabeth of Tudor and Ottoman Queen Mother Kösem Sultan”

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The Stuarts

Why is Guy Fawkes Celebrated?

Also known as Bonfire Night or Firework Night, Guy Fawkes is celebrated every year on the 5th of November in England (and some other countries). The history of Guy Fawkes dates back to 1605, when a group of Catholic extremists planned to assassinate King James I and hopefully get a catholic monarch on the throne. Guy Fawkes was the unfortunate soul who was put in charge of guarding the explosives that they have placed underneath the House of Lords. He was discovered and arrested, bringing an end to the Gunpowder plot and saving the king’s life. To celebrate the fact that their King survived an attempt to kill him, people lit bonfires all over London. A couple of months after the incident, the “Observance of 5th November Act” was passed as an annual public holiday.

Interesting Facts about Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes has been celebrated for over 400 years already, although Guy was not the main conspirator. Legend has it that the word, “guy” actually used to mean “ugly and repulsive,” after the name of Guy Fawkes. After years frequent use, it lost the negative connotation and just became a synonym for “man.” The 2,500kg gunpowder stashed beneath the House of Lords had the potential of causing damage in a 500 meter radius, according to the estimates of physicists.

British Monarchy – Twentieth Century Timeline

(See Main Article: British Monarchy – Twentieth Century Timeline)

Below is listed the members of the British Monarchy in the twentieth century and the main events that took place during their reign.

British Monarchy: Edward VII: 1901-1910

  • Anglo-French Entente: 1904
  • Anglo-Russian Entente: 1907

British Monarchy: George V: 1910-1936

  • World War One begins: 1914
  • Battle of the Somme: 1916
  • End of World War One: 1918
  • General Strike: 1926

British Monarchy: Edward VIII: 1936

  • Abdication Crisis: 1936

British Monarchy: George VI: 1936-1952

  • Munich Conference: 1938
  • World War Two begins: 1939
  • Battle of Britain: 1940
  • D-Day: 1944
  • World War Two ends: 1945
  • NATO founded: 1949
  • Festival of Britain: 1951

British Monarchy: Elizabeth II: 1952-

  • Cold War begins: 1950
  • Suez Crisis: 1956
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: 1962
  • Cold War ends: 1973
  • Britain joins EEC: 1973
  • Falkland Wars: 1982
  • Gulf War: 1991
  • Death of Princess Diana: 1997
  • Scottish Devolution: 2000

The Stuarts – The Pilgrim Fathers

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – The Pilgrim Fathers)

“The Pilgrims and Native Americans Were Both On the Verge of Death Upon Meeting. Here’s How They Saved Each Others’ Lives.”

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The Stuarts

When James I came to the throne, he adopted a moderate Protestant religious policy. Both Catholics and Puritans were forbidden to practice their religions. Many extreme Puritans left England for Holland where Puritanism was accepted.

In 1607 Walter Raleigh had founded the colony of Virginia in America and a number of English companies had begun trading tobacco and other products between the colony and England.

One stock company, anxious to protect their business interests in Virginia recruited 35 members of the radical, Puritan, English Separatist Church, who had fled to Holland. The stock company agreed to finance the voyage for them and in return they would look after the company’s business in Virginia. Other Puritans keen to start a new life in America joined the voyage.

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The Mayflower left the port of Southampton in August 1620 but was forced to put into Plymouth for repairs. The 102 passengers and 30 crew eventually left Plymouth for America on 16th September 1620 and steered a course for Virginia. The ship was a double-decked, three-masted vessel and initially the voyage went well but then storms blew up which blew them off course.

Land was sighted on November 9th and anchor was dropped. A landing party of sixteen men left the ship on November 15th but failed to find a suitable site to establish a settlement. They set sail again and resumed their search. On December 17th they reached Plymouth Harbour and dropped anchor.

On December 21st the first of the Pilgrim Fathers set foot on what would become Plymouth settlement. The harsh winter weather meant that they were unable to build adequate shelter and many of the travellers died during that first winter. Those that survived the winter went on to build houses and defences. In the late spring of 1621 a native American Samoset Indian offered to show the settlers how to farm the land and become self-sufficient if the men would help them fight a rival tribe. The settlers agreed and the Plymouth settlement flourished.

The Stuarts

The Stuarts – Great Fire of London 1666

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – Great Fire of London 1666)

Early hours
The fire began in the Pudding Lane house of baker Thomas Farriner. When questioned later Farriner said that he had checked all five fire hearths in his house and he was certain that all fires were out. Nevertheless, when the family were woken by smoke in the early hours of the morning, the fire was so well established that the family could not use the stairs had to escape through an upstairs window.

The fire was so well established that it could be seen from a quarter of a mile away.

Early morning
The Lord Mayor was advised to order the demolition of four houses. He decided not to issue the order because the city would then be responsible for re-building those houses. The fire spread destroying houses west of Pudding Lane. The City’s water engine was also destroyed.

7 am
Samuel Pepys’s maid reported to him that more than 300 houses had been destroyed.

The Stuarts
Samuel Pepys kept a diary of events

News of the fire spread through the city and the streets were filled with people running to escape the fire.

Sunday Night
The fire had burned for half a mile to the East and North of Pudding Lane. King Charles II had been informed of the fire and he had instructed the Mayor to pull down any houses necessary to stop the spread of the fire. However, in a City where the houses were very tightly packed, pulling down enough houses to stop the fire before the fire took hold was a difficult, almost impossible task.

The Stuarts

Monday 3rd September 1666

Weather Report: hot dry and windy

Early morning
The fire continued to spread and householders had to choose whether to help the fire-fighting effort or attempt to save goods from their own houses. The Thames was full of boats laden with property rescued from houses that had burnt down.

Profiteers made money by hiring carts and boats at high prices. Most people could not afford their prices and could only save what they could carry.

Late Morning
To reduce the numbers of people in the area of the fire, an order was given that carts could not be brought near to the fire.

Charles II attempted to bring some order to the City by establishing eight fire posts around the fire with thirty foot soldiers assigned to each. His brother, the Duke of York (below), was put in charge.

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Late Evening
Because the wind was blowing from the East the fire had spread eastwards more slowly. Fire-fighters managed to prevent Westminster School from being destroyed although it was badly damaged.

The fire was now 300 yards from the Tower and orders were given for extra fire engines to be sent to prevent its destruction. Many of London’s wealthiest citizens had taken their money and valuables to the Tower for safekeeping.

The Stuarts

Tuesday 4th September 1666

Weather Report: hot, dry and windy

Early morning
The fire showed no sign of stopping. All attempts to check its spread had failed and the fire-fighters were getting very tired.

All carts, barges, boats and coaches had been hired out.

8 p.m.
The roof of St Paul’s cathedral caught fire.

End of the Day
This had proved to be the most destructive day of the fire. St Paul’s cathedral was among the many buildings destroyed on this day.

 Great Plague 1665

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – Great Plague 1665)

Bubonic Plague, known as the Black Death, first hit the British Isles in 1348, killing nearly a third of the population. Although regular outbreaks of the plague had occurred since, the outbreak of 1665 was the worst case since 1348.

London – 1665


  • 100,000 people – Dead!
  • 40,000 dogs – destroyed!
  • 200,000 cats – destroyed!

Medieval London

London had changed little since this engraving was made in 1480. Houses were tightly packed together and conditions insanitary – ideal conditions for the plague to spread, particularly during the hot summer of 1665.

Spring 1665

When plague broke out in Holland in 1663, Charles II stopped trading with the country in an attempt to prevent plague infested rats arriving in London. However, despite these precautions, plague broke out in the capital in the Spring of 1665. Spread by the blood-sucking fleas that lived on the black rat.

Black Rat

June 1665

The Summer of 1665 was one of the hottest summers recorded and the numbers dying from plague rose rapidly. People began to panic and the rich fled the capital. By June it was necessary to have a certificate of health in order to travel or enter another town or city and forgers made a fortune issuing counterfeit certificates.

rich on horseback

July 1665

The temperature and the numbers of deaths continued to rise. The Lord Mayor of London, desperate to be seen to be doing something, heard rumours that it was the stray dogs and cats on the streets that were spreading the disease and ordered them to be destroyed. This action unwittingly caused the numbers of deaths to rise still further since there were no stray dogs and cats to kill the rats.

cat and dog

Bring out your dead!

Those houses that contained plague victims were marked with a red cross. People only ventured into the streets when absolutely necessary preferring the ‘safety’ of their own homes. Carts were driven through the streets at night. The driver’s call of ‘bring out yer dead’ was a cue for those with a death in the house to bring the body out and place it onto the cart. Bodies were then buried in mass graves.

November 1665

The numbers of deaths from the plague reached a peak in August and September of 1665. However, it was November and the onset of cold weather that brought a drastic reduction in the number of deaths. Charles II did not consider it safe to return to the capital until February 1666.


(See Main Article: The Stuarts – Puritans)

Towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign, an extreme branch of the Protestant religion was becoming more popular. They called themselves Puritans.

This picture clearly shows the simple, plain clothing worn by the Puritans. Their clothing was usually black, white or grey and they lived a simple and religious life. The importance of religion to the Puritans is shown in the picture by the woman carrying a Bible. They believed that hard work was the key to gaining a place in heaven. Sundays and Holy days were strictly observed, with these days being devoted entirely to God.

Throughout the reign of James I the Puritans gained power in Parliament. By the time of Charles I’s reign they had gained enough support in Parliament to pass laws imposing their views about living on all English people.

Activities Banned by the Puritans:

Horse Racing, cock-fighting and bear baiting

Any gathering of people without permission

Drunkenness and swearing

Theatre-going, dancing and singing

Games and sports on Sundays (including going for a walk)


Visiting brothels

Many public houses were closed down.

Fire and Fire – Fighting

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – Fire and Fire – Fighting)

The risk of fire was great in Stuart England. People used candles for light and open fires for cooking. Houses were built close together and were made out of wood. Tradesmen used large ovens and often kept supplies of fuel in their houses and the many inns had stables attached to them filled with hay and straw.

This picture shows a group of musicians. They are sitting next to an open fire, over which their food is cooking. The room is lit by a candle on the wall. The fire place and the roof are made from wood and there seems to be mats on the floor. It is easy to see that this type of house would set fire very quickly.

There were many fires in seventeenth-century London. A fire in 1633 destroyed houses on London Bridge and in 1643 another fire caused £2,880 worth of damage. In 1650 seven barrels of gunpowder exploded in a fire in Tower Street that made 41 houses uninhabitable.

People did not have house insurance and if their house was damaged by fire they had to rely on the charity of other people to replace their possessions.

Many Puritans believed that fire was a punishment from God for man’s sinfulness. In the years before 1666, Puritans who criticised Charles II’s love of women and good living predicted that there would be a ‘Great Fire’.

As early as 1200 laws had been passed banning people from thatching their roofs. By 1600 most houses in London did not have thatched roofs.

In 1620 a new order was made that new buildings should be made from brick or stone and that top floors should not jut out into the street.

Suburbs appointed officers who inspected houses for fire hazards and fined owners if they did not remove the hazard.

Householders were instructed to investigate any smell of smoke and raise the alarm if necessary.

At night it was the night-watchman’s job to guard against fire and in hot weather householders were often told to leave buckets of water outside their doors in case of fire.

The Gunpowder Plot

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – The Gunpowder Plot)

A Conspiracy or Not?

‘Remember, remember, the fifth of November.

Gunpowder, treason and plot.’

Or was it?

Read the two different versions of the Gunpowder Plot and decide for yourself…

The Facts

A small group of Catholics, Robert Catesby, Guido (Guy) Fawkes, Thomas Winter, John Wright and Thomas Percy decided to blow up the King on the State opening of Parliament. They hoped that this would lead to a Catholic King coming to the throne. Guido (Guy) Fawkes was an explosives expert who had served with the Spanish army in the Netherlands.

The group rented a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament and stored 20 barrels of gunpowder, supplied by Guido Fawkes. The date for the deed was set for November 5th. They recruited others sympathetic to their cause including Francis Tresham whose brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle, was a member of Parliament. Concerned for his brother-in-law’s safety, Tresham sent him a letter advising him not to attend Parliament on November 5th.

Monteagle alerted the authorities and a search of the Houses of Parliament led to the discovery of Guido Fawkes standing guard over the barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and revealed the names of the conspirators. Catesby and Percy and two others were killed resisting arrest. The others were tried for treason and executed.

The Protestant View – The Conspirators were Guilty

Gunpowder Plot Conspirators

This picture shows the conspirators hatching the plot to blow up the King and parliament. They are grouped close together which shows that they are hatching a secret plot.

Robert Catesby, Guido (Guy) Fawkes, Thomas Winter, John Wright and Thomas Percy were known to be Catholics.

Guido Fawkes was an explosives expert. He had only recently returned to England maybe specifically to set the explosives.

Francis Tresham was only thinking of his brother-in-law’s safety when he sent the letter.

Gunpowder was not normally kept in the cellars under the Houses of Parliament. It was obviously put there by the conspirators.

Guido Fawkes revealed the names of the conspirators.

The Stuarts and Their Monarchs: 1603 – 1714

(See Main Article: The Stuarts and Their Monarchs: 1603 – 1714)

“The Last King of America: George III, His Battles With Madness, and Being a Thoroughly Underrated Monarch”

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The first English monarch of the Stuarts, James I of England and VI of Scotland, succeeded to the throne of England when Elizabeth I died. He was the son of Mary Queen of Scots by her second husband Lord Darnley, and great-great grandson of Henry VIII’s sister Margaret.

In all there were seven monarchs among the Stuarts: James I, Charles I, Charles II, James II, William III and Mary II Anne. The period from 1649 to 1660 was an interregnum (time without a monarch), that saw the development of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell.

James I (1603 – 1625)

James I

The accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England, united the countries of England and Scotland under one monarch for the first time.

James believed in the Divine Right of Kings – that he was answerable to God alone and could not be tried by any court. He forbade any interpretation of church doctrine different to his own and made Sunday Church-going compulsory. Catholics were not allowed to celebrate Mass and he refused to listen to Puritan demands for church reform, instead authorising use of the King James Bible that is still in existence today.

James I also introduced English and Irish Protestants into Northern Ireland through the Ulster Plantation scheme and tried to keep England at peace with the rest of Europe. Although he was a clever man, his choice of favourites alienated Parliament and he was not able to solve the country’s financial or political problems. When he died in 1625 the country was badly in debt.

Northern Ireland Timeline

(See Main Article: Northern Ireland Timeline)

The following is a Northern Ireland timeline and an overview of the Irish influence on civilization.




400s AD St Patrick Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland.
Patrick had been had been taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped to France where he studied to become a priest. He later returned to Ireland and successfully converted the people .
1170 First English involvement in Ireland Turlogh O’Connor overthrew Dermot MacMurrough King of Leinster, MacMurrough asked King Henry II of England for help. MacMurrough rewarded the English soldiers that helped him to regain his kingdom with land.
1171 Earl of Pembroke – Strongbow – King of Leinster
When MacMurrough died, Strongbow proclaimed himself King of Leinster.
After 1171 Irish Land seized by English Barons
English Barons seized land in Ireland.
1300s All land in Ireland under English control.  English Barons continued to seize land in Ireland and by the 1300s they held nearly all land in Ireland. However, loyalty to England had weakened and many of the former English Barons now considered themselves Irish rather than English.
1400s English control confined to the Pale By the end of the fifteenth century English control was confined to a small area around Dublin. This area was known as the Pale. Those beyond the Pale were considered barbarians.
1534 Henry VIII took control in Ireland Ireland was ruled by the Earls of Kildare who were English noblemen who had settled in Ireland. Henry invaded and tried to take that control away.
1541 Henry VIII King of Ireland Henry VIII forced Ireland’s government to declare him King of Ireland. Once declared King, Henry began to introduce new laws that increased English control of Ireland. Henry also tried, without success to introduce Protestantism to Ireland.
1500s English Monarchs continue to control Ireland After Henry VIII’s death, his children, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I continued to try to increase English control in Ireland. Mary attempted to do this by using plantation – giving land in Ireland to settlers loyal to England. She seized land in central Ireland, gave it to English settlers and renamed the land ‘Queens County’ and ‘Kings County’. Elizabeth tried to establish Protestantism in Ireland by outlawing Catholic services and executing some Bishops and Priests. However, this only had the effect of uniting the Catholics more strongly against English rule.
Late 1500s Ulster Revolts Shane O’Neill and Irish chieftain and later his son the Earl of Kildare led a series of revolts in Ulster protesting against English rule in Ireland.
Summer 1610 Ulster Plantation began James I attempted to stop the Ulster revolts by using plantation. He gave land in Ulster to English and Scottish Protestant settlers and created a Protestant majority in Ulster. Catholics became worried as plantation increased fearing that they too would lose their land.
October 1641 Ulster Rebellion The Irish in Ulster rebelled against English rule. The violence of the rebellion saw the deaths of many. In England it was alleged that the Catholics had massacred Protestants and many people wanted revenge.
 11th September 1649 Massacre of Drogheda Oliver Cromwell took an army to Ireland determined to put an end to Irish revolts against English rule. He massacred a large number of Catholics at Drogheda as ‘revenge’ for the alleged massacre of Protestants in 1641. Cromwell then gave even more Irish land to English Protestants and new established anti-Catholic laws which took away many political rights.
23rd April 1685 James II King of England James II became King of England and Scotland. James was a Catholic and he abolished many of the anti-Catholic laws established in Ireland.
November 1688 Glorious Revolution The British invited William of Orange to come take the throne of England and Scotland. When William arrived in England with his army, James II fled to Ireland. James II organised an army to help him fight William and regain the throne. However, many Protestants, especially those in Ulster supported William of Orange.
1st July 1690 Battle of the Boyne William’s army defeated James II at this battle fought on the river Boyne in the North East of Ireland. Many Ulster Protestants fought with William and they became known as Orangemen. The event is still commemorated today. Every 12th July Orangemen march through Ulster to mark the defeat of Catholic James II at this battle.
1703 Protestants own 90% of the land Over the past century, thousands of Catholics had been transported abroad or resettled in new areas and even more land had been seized by English Protestants. By 1703 90% of the land in Ireland was owned by English nobles to whom the Catholic peasants had to pay rent.
1695 – 1728 Penal Laws These were a series of laws passed against Catholics in Ireland including –

  • Preventing Catholics from carrying weapons and owning horses worth more than £5
  • Restricting the rights of Catholics to education
  • Restrict their rights to education.
  • Preventing Catholics from buying land
  • Stating that on death property should be equally divided between all sons rather than inherited by the eldest.
  • Banning Catholics from serving in the army
  • Preventing Catholics from holding public positions
  • Preventing Catholics from entering the legal profession
  • Preventing Catholics from voting or serving as MPs
January 1801 Act of Union This act abolished the Irish parliament and formally united Ireland and Great Britain to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Charles I (1625 – 1649)

Charles I

(See Main Article: The Stuarts – Charles I – The Slide to Civil War)

Charles I came to the throne after his father’s death. He did not share his father’s love of peace and embarked on war with Spain and then with France. In order to fight these wars he needed Parliament to grant him money. However, Parliament was not happy with his choice of favourites, especially the Duke of Buckingham and made things difficult for him.

In 1629 he dismissed Parliament and decided to rule alone for the next 11 years. Like his father he also believed in the Divine Right of Kings and he upset his Scottish subjects, many of whom were Puritans, by insisting that they follow the same religion as his English subjects. The result was the two Bishops Wars (1639-1640) Charles’ financial state had worsened to such a degree that he had no choice but to recall a Parliament whose condemnation of his style of rule would lead the country to Civil War and Charles I to his execution in 1649.

Interregnum Oliver Cromwell (1649 – 1658)

Oliver Cromwell

In 1649, Oliver Cromwell took the title Lord Protector of the newly formed republic in England, known as the Commonwealth. His parliament consisted of a few chosen supporters and was not popular either at home or abroad.

Cromwell disliked the Irish Catholics and, on the pretence of punishment for the massacre of English Protestants in 1641, he lay siege to the town of Drogheda in 1649 and killed most of its inhabitants. Having conquered Ireland he declared war on the Netherlands – England’s greatest trade rival. He went on to establish colonies in Jamaica and the West Indies.

Although he faced opposition from those who supported Charles I’s son, Charles II, as the rightful King, (especially the Scots), Oliver Cromwell succeeded in establishing a sound reputation for the Commonwealth by the time of his death in 1658. He was succeeded by his son Richard, who had no wish to rule.

Cromwell’s opponents were easily able to overthrow him and after a period of anarchy the monarchy was restored with the accession of Charles II.

Charles II (1660 – 1685)

Charles II

After the execution of his father in 1649, Charles assumed the title Charles II of England, and was formally recognised as King of Scotland and Ireland.

In 1651 he led an invasion into England from Scotland to defeat Cromwell and restore the monarchy. He was defeated and fled to France where he spent the next eight years.

In 1660 he was invited, by parliament, to return to England as King Charles II. This event is known as the Restoration.

He is known as the ‘Merry Monarch’ because of his love of parties, music and the theatre and his abolishment of the laws passed by Cromwell that forbade music and dancing.

Charles was extravagant with money and was forced to marry Portuguese Catherine of Braganza for the large dowry she would bring. He continued to have money problems and allied England with France, a move that led to war with the Dutch and the acquisition of New Amsterdam (now New York) for England. Charles II died in 1685.

James II (1685 – 1688)

James II

James II succeeded his brother Charles to the throne. After the Restoration he had served as Lord High Admiral until he announced his conversion to Roman Catholicism and was forced to resign.

He succeeded despite the passing of the Test Acts in 1673 (which barred all Roman Catholics from holding official positions in Great Britain) and the efforts of Parliament to have him by-passed. The Duke of Monmouth immediately mounted an uprising against James II but it was crushed and a series of treason trials known as the Bloody Assizes followed. The Lord Chief Justice, George Jeffreys, sentenced more than 300 people to death and had another 800 forcibly sold into slavery.

The Bloody Assizes led to an increasing number of calls for James to be replaced by his son-in-law, William of Orange and in 1688 the Dutchman was invited to take the English throne. William’s subsequent invasion of England and accession to the throne is known as The Glorious Revolution. James fled to France where he lived until his death in 1701.

William III  (1688 – 1702) and Mary II (1688 -1694)

William III and Mary II

William III and his wife Mary II (daughter of James II), were proclaimed joint sovereigns of England in 1688 following the Glorious Revolution. They were accepted by Scotland the following year, but Ireland, which was mainly Catholic, remained loyal to James II. William led an army into Ireland and James was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Mary II died in 1694 and William ruled alone until his death in 1702.

Queen Anne (1702 – 1714)

Queen Anne

Queen Anne was the sister of Mary II and was married to Prince George of Denmark. She was a committed Protestant and supported the Glorious Revolution that deposed her father and replaced him with her sister and brother-in-law. In 1707 the Act of Union formally united the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. She was the last monarch of the Stuarts, as none of her eighteen children survived beyond infancy.

English Civil War Timeline: What Exactly Happened?

(See Main Article: English Civil War Timeline: What Exactly Happened?)

This English Civil War timeline is part of a larger resource featuring other articles on the war, including the main factionsbattles, and other information. Click these links for more information.

English Civil War Timeline 13th June 1625 King Charles Marries King Charles I married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France at St Augustine’s Church, Canterbury, Kent. The marriage was not popular because she was a Catholic.
English Civil War Timeline: May 1626 Parliament Dismissed English Civil War Timeline: Parliament were unhappy with the activities of Charles’ chief minister, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham had led a failed mission to Cadiz and it appeared that he was planning to help the French to put down the Protestant Huguenot uprising. Parliament moved to have Buckingham dismissed from office. Charles retaliated by dismissing parliament.
13th March Parliament Recalled Charles needed money to finance the war with France and Spain and reluctantly recalled Parliament.
1628 Thirty-Nine Articles Charles re-issued the Thirty Nine Articles into the Church of England. This was seen as a move towards Rome and evidence of the King’s Catholic leanings.
7th June 1628 Petition of Right English Civil War Timeline: Parliament formed a committee of grievances and prepared a Petition of Right which was presented to the King. The Petition was designed to protect subjects from any further taxation unauthorised by Parliament.
Charles signed the document reluctantly.
22nd August 1628 Buckingham Assassinated George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, was stabbed to death by naval lieutenant John Felton.
March 1629 The Three Resolutions English Civil War Timeline: There were outbursts in Parliament when the Petition of Right was debated and the doors were locked to keep royal guards out. The Speaker, who wanted to adjourn the proceedings, was held in his chair. Parliament passed three resolutions:
1.That they would condemn any move to change religion.
2. That they would condemn any taxation levied without Parliament’s authority.
3. That any merchant who paid ‘illegal’ taxes betrayed the liberty of England.
Charles dismissed Parliament.
March 1629 MPs Arrested English Civil War Timeline: Charles arrested nine members of the Commons for offences against the state. Three were imprisoned. This action by the King made him more unpopular. The King, defended his action by stating his belief in his own divine right saying that ‘Princes are not bound to give account of their actions, but to God alone.’
1632 Thomas Wentworth Known as ‘Black Tom Tyrant’ by the Irish, Thomas Wentworth, Lord Deputy of Ireland, ruled Ireland with a firm hand. However, his rule alienated the planters of Ulster and antagonised the landowners of Connaught.
August 1633 Archbishop Laud Charles appointed William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud was known to have Catholic leanings and Charles hoped that his appointment would help to stop the rise of the  Puritans.
18 June 1633 King of Scotland Charles was crowned King of Scotland at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
1634 – 1636 Ship Money This tax was paid by coastal towns to pay for the upkeep of the Royal Navy. In a bid to raise more money, Charles now imposed the tax on inland towns as well.
June 1638 Ship Money John Hampden, challenged the King’s right to impose such a tax but he lost the case and the court ruled that the King was the only authority that could impose such a tax.
February 1638 National Covenant and Book of Common Prayer English Civil War Timeline: Charles demanded that the Book of Common Prayer be used in the Scottish Kirk. The Calvinist-dominated Scottish church resisted the move. There were riots and a National Covenant was formed which protested against any religious interference in Scotland by England. The Scottish Kirk was so incensed that it expelled the Bishops installed in Scotland by James I.
1639 Pacification of Berwick Thomas Wentworth’s had led a scratch army against the Scots but had been defeated on the border and had been forced to sign a temporary truce at Berwick. Wentworth told the King that in order to raise an efficient army he must recall Parliament. Charles, who had enjoyed his eleven years tyranny, was forced to recall Parliament.
13th April 1640 Short Parliament The new Parliament refused to authorise any new taxes until the King agreed to abandon ‘ship money’. The King said that he would only abandon ship money if Parliament would grant him enough money to re-open the war with Scotland. Parliament refused and was dismissed after three weeks.
1640 Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell was elected to Parliament for the second time. He openly criticised Charles taxes and the level of corruption in the Church of England.
Oct 1640 Scotland Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, set out for the Scottish border with a makeshift army. However, the army mutinied and the Scots seized English land. The Scots demanded a daily rate be paid until a satisfactory treaty was put in place.
21 Oct 1640 Treaty of Ripon This treaty between Scotland and England allowed the Scots to stay in Durham and Northumberland until a final settlement was concluded.
Nov 1640 Long Parliament Charles had to have money to pay for an efficient army with which to defeat the Scots. However, he couldn’t have the money until he agreed to Parliament’s demands which included an Act which stated that parliament should meet once every five years and the arrest for treason of Strafford. Charles had no choice but to comply.
20 May 1641 Wentworth Beheaded Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was executed on Tower Hill.
Summer 1641 Triennial Act This act allowed Parliament to be summoned without royal command and declared ‘ship money’ to be illegal.
Late Summer 1641 Revolt in Ireland English Civil War Timeline: A revolt broke out in Ireland. Parliament critical of the King’s handling of matters in both Ireland and Scotland, passed propositions that the Parliament and not the King should be responsible for the country’s defence.
22 Oct 1641 Catholic Rebellion in Ireland A Catholic rebellion broke out in Ulster and quickly spread across the country. Many Protestant settlers were driven from their homes and the rebellion became war.
November 1641 Grand Remonstrance This document, put together by Pym, listed parliament’s grievances against the King since his reign began.
4 Jan 1642 Charles Arrests five MPs English Civil War Timeline: Charles instructed his attorney-general to issue a charge of treason against one peer and five members of the Commons including Pym and Hampden. When Parliament refused to recognise the charge, Charles sent a troop of horsemen to make the arrests. However, Parliament had been warned and the five men had fled. this move by Charles was extremely unpopular and across the country people declared themselves for Parliament and against Popery. Charles removed himself and his family from Whitehall to Hampton Court.
Jan 1642 Preparations for War English Civil War Timeline: Charles sent his wife Henrietta Maria to the Continent to enlist Catholic support for his cause against Parliament. She was also to pawn the crown jewels to buy arms. Although both sides were now preparing for war, negotiations continued.
March 1642 Militia Ordinance This allowed Parliament to take control of the Militia, virtually the only armed body in the country.
April 1642 Charles – Hull English Civil War Timeline: Charles tried to secure an arsenal of equipment left in Hull from his Scottish campaign. He was blocked by Sir John Hotham, with parliamentary and naval support and was forced to retire to York. Charles made his headquarters in York.
June 1642 Nineteen Propositions The Nineteen Propositions were issued by Parliament in the hopes of reaching a settlement with the King. They called for a new constitution recognising their own supremacy; demanded that ministers and judges should be appointed by parliament not by the King and also that all Church and military matters should come under the control of Parliament.
22 Aug 1642 Civil War – Standard raised Charles raised his standard at Nottingham formally declaring war. However, both sides hoped that either war could be averted or that one decisive battle would put an end to the matter.
7 Sept 1642 Portsmouth falls to Parliament The vital port and fortress of Portsmouth surrendered to Parliament.
23 Oct 1642 Battle of Edgehill English Civil War Timeline: In the early afternoon, Charles sent his army down the hill to meet the Parliamentary army commanded by Essex. On the royalist right was Prince Rupert who broke Essex’s left flank. In the centre, reinforcements arrived and they managed to push forward putting the lives of the King’s sons, Charles and James, in danger.  The battle was a stalemate with neither side able to advance.
12, 13 Nov 1642 Small Battles English Civil War Timeline: The Royalists led by Prince Rupert managed to surprise and capture Brentford. However, the following day Rupert was surprised to find his route to the city of London barred at Turnham Green by Essex and an army of some 24,000. The Royalist commander decided to retire rather than fight.
Jan 1643 Royalist Victories The Royalists had victories over Parliament at Braddock Down and Nantwich
1643 Skirmishes and Battles Parliament took Lichfield, Reading, Wakefield, Gainsborough,Royalists took Ripple Field, Tewkesbury, Chewton Mendip, Chalgrove Field, Landsdowne Hill, Bristol and Yorkshire. Re-took Lichfield and Gainsborough, and held Cornwall, Newark and Devises
30 June 1643 Battle of Adwalton Moor English Civil War Timeline: the Royalist commander, William Cavendish decided to try and enclose the Parliamentarian army in Bradford. However, Fairfax, the Parliamentary commander decided that his army had a better chance of survival if they fought the Royalists in a battle rather than being surrounded and forced to surrender. The Royalists won the battle.
13 July 1643 Battle of Roundaway Down English Civil War Timeline: The Royalists were the first to charge but there was no counter-charge. After two more charges the Parliamentary cavalry had fled. Waller then turned his attention to the Parliamentary infantry who stood firm until a force led by Hopton attacked them from behind. Caught between two Royalist armies the majority of Parliamentarian soldiers simply fled from the battlefield giving the Royalists victory.
Aug 1643 Solemn League and Covenant This document swore to preserve the Church of Scotland and reform the religion of England and Ireland ‘according to the word of God and the example of the best reformed churches’ and to protect ‘the rights and liberties of parliaments’. It was accepted by the English Parliament in September.
20 Sept 1643 First Battle of Newbury Essex’s force of tired wet and hungry Parliamentarians intended to rest at Newbury, a town sympathetic to the Parliamentarians. However, Rupert had arrived there first and Essex had no choice but to fight.
Essex moved the Parliamentarians before daybreak and secured the ‘Round Hill’, just south of Newbury. The surrounding countryside was criss-crossed with lanes and hedgerows which offered excellent cover for the foot soldiers but was quite unsuitable for horse. Parliament won the battle
June 1644 Battle of Marston Moor This was the largest single battle of the Civil War involving 45,000 men. Although the Royalists were outnumbered, they decided to fight. They were defeated by Parliament. For the first time since the Civil War had began Rupert’s cavalry were beaten by a Parliamentarian cavalry charge.
27 October 1644 Second Battle of Newbury The Royalists were sandwiched between two Parliamentary forces. Each time Parliament made some gain they were beaten back by the Royalists. The battle, which lasted all day, ended in a draw.
14th June 1645 Battle of Naseby The Parliamentarians broke their siege on Oxford and forced the Royalists into battle. Initially the Royalists took up a defensive stance but later the order to attack was given. The battle lasted just three hours and saw the death of most of the Royalist foot soldiers. It was a decisive victory for Parliament. Charles fled the battlefield as soon as it was apparent that he had lost both the battle and the war.
6th May 1646 Surrender to the Scots Charles I surrendered to the Scots
24th June 1646 Surrender Oxford, Charles I’s capital surrendered to Parliament
30th January 1647 Charles I Imprisoned The Scots handed Charles over to parliament. He was imprisoned in Holdenby House, Northamptonshire
November 1647 Putney Debates This was a series of debates held by different Parliamentarian forces to try to decide on a new constitution.
November 1647 Charles Escaped Charles I escaped imprisonment and fled to Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
December 1648 Charles Recaptured Charles was recaptured and sent to Windsor Castle
6th January 1649 Rump Parliament The Rump Parliament began. All members of Parliament who were in favour of negotiating with the King had been expelled. The Rump Parliament gave parliament the right to make new Acts of Parliament without the king’s approval
20th January 1649 Trial of King Charles began King Charles was tried for treason by a High Court of Justice specially set up for the trial. The court found Charles guilty and sentenced him to death.
30 Jan 1649 Execution King Charles I was executed by beheading, outside Whitehall Palace, London. He was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

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