Skip to main content

November 1603-1640

March 1603
Accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England, the first Stuart King

November 1605
Gunpowder Plot, in which Catholics angered by their continued persecution were thwarted in their plan to blow up Parliament on its opening day

November 1621
James I himself tore the 'Protestation' against limits he had placed on the Commons' freedom of speech out of the Commons Journal

March 1625
Death of James I and accession of Charles I. In June Parliament granted the new king customs duties (tonnage and poundage) for one year only, instead of for life

September 1626
Charles I levied a Forced Loan, without parliamentary approval, to raise money for war and imprisoned without trial many of those who refused to pay

June 1628
Charles I assented to the Commons' Petition of Right, which condemned extra-parliamentary taxation and arbitrary imprisonment, but it was not enrolled properly as a statute

March 1629
The Speaker of the Commons was physically prevented, by three Members in the Commons, from adjourning the House until resolutions were passed against the king's policies. Parliament was dissolved

August 1630
Exchequer judges confirmed the King's prerogative right to levy knighthood fees on landowners worth £40 a year or more

June 1635
Ship money contributions were demanded by the King for the first time from all counties, not just those on the coast. At the same time forest courts were revived to raise money by forest fines

November 1638
Scottish Presbyterians, Covenanters, revolted against Charles I's religious innovations and started the first Bishops' War against England

April 1640
Charles I, needing money for the Bishops' War, summoned Parliament, which met for less than a month and is known as the Short Parliament

October 1640
English troops were defeated in the second Bishops' War. Treaty of Ripon demanded that Charles I pay Covenanter troops £850 a day while they remained in England

November 1640
Charles I, desperate for money, summoned Parliament again - the Long Parliament

Also within Living Heritage


You can access biographies of

James I
Charles I

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.

Glossary link