Charles I and the People of England by David Cressy

By David Cressy

The tale of the reign of Charles I - throughout the lives of his humans.

Prize-winning historian David Cressy mines the widest variety of archival and revealed resources, together with ballads, sermons, speeches, letters, diaries, petitions, proclamations, and the court cases of secular and ecclesiastical courts, to discover the aspirations and expectancies not just of the king and his fans, but additionally the unruly energies of lots of his matters, exhibiting how royal authority was once constituted, in peace and in struggle - and the way it all started to disintegrate.

A combination of micro-historical research and constitutional conception, parish politics and ecclesiology, army, cultural, and social historical past, Charles I and the folks of England is the 1st significant try and attach the political, constitutional, and non secular historical past of this significant interval in English historical past with the adventure and aspirations of the remainder of the inhabitants. From the king and his ministers to the typical dealings and evaluations of parishioners, petitioners, and taxpayers, David Cressy re-creates the broadest attainable landscape of early Stuart England, because it slipped from complacency to revolution.

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A day to men and 6d. a day to women for harvesting peas in 1641, but only 3d. 90 The Bayning household paid 3s. 6d. for ‘the woman in the kitchen for seven days’ in 1633 and 4s. 8d. ‘to a woman labourer fourteen days’ (4d. 91 Occasional work in Sir Henry Oxinden’s kitchens brought goodwife Ladd 3s. 6d. for seven days (6d. a day) at Christmas 1634, 2s. to her girl for six days to help her, and 1s. 6d. 92 A skilled nurse employed by a gentle household could command 44s. a quarter, or £8 16s. 93 Domestic servants and servants in husbandry were commonly hired by the year, and might enjoy other perquisites besides relative security.

The nobilitas major comprised just 122 English peers in 1633, though Caroline creations made their numbers higher than under Queen Elizabeth or King James. Another 300 men had courtesy titles as sons of nobles, baronets, or members of the Scottish or Irish peerage. Ninety-six lay peers of the realm sat by right in parliament in 1625, a number that grew to 124 by November 1640. These were the men King Charles cultivated, as courtiers, office-holders, and honourable companions. It was to these great lords that the king turned in September 1640 when he summoned a baronial assembly at York.

129 To Henry King, dean of Rochester, ‘the people are as an inundation of water, like the waves for number and for noise, and would resemble the wild disorder of a wrought sea . . did not the king in his authority limit their incessant motion’. 132 The East Anglian cleric John Yates was scathing of the ‘multitude, whose very wisdom . . 137 ‘There is no trust to be put in the common people, they have neither constancy nor gratitude . . 138 Rhetorically as well as socially, the distance between governors and governed was growing.

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