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Lecture 7: The Seventeenth Century in the three kingdoms 1.

Before the Civil Wars a) Scotland In 1592, James VI agreed to establish Presbyterianism in the Church of Scotland. In 1603, on the death of Queen Elizabeth, James became king of England (and Ireland) too, as James I. He moved to England, and never returned to Scotland, which he said he could govern more easily at a distance with his pen than his predecessors had been able to do by the sword. He would have liked to have united Scotland and England completely, but this was opposed in both countries. In 1610 he succeeded in restoring episcopacy in the Scottish Church. b) Ireland In 1541 Henry VIII had himself proclaimed King of the kingdom of Ireland, and during the sixteenth century English control in Ireland increased. The Reformation was officially imposed in the Irish Church as in England, although it had little support, except among the “New English” (recent settlers, as opposed to the “Old English” whose ancestors had settled in the Middle Ages and who were largely integrated with the native Irish). The last Irish leaders to oppose English rule, Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, and Rory O’Donnell, earl of Tyrconnell, both from the Province of Ulster, surrendered in 1603 and went into exile in 1607 (the “Flight of the Earls”). Under James I, large areas of land were taken from the native Irish in Ulster and given to Protestant colonists (“planters”) from Scotland and England (the origins of the present-day Protestant population of Northern Ireland). c) James I and Charles I in England As king of England, James maintained the Elizabethan church settlement, which he preferred to the Presbyterianism he had had to accept in Scotland, as he believed that monarchy and episcopal government of the church were interdependent. Despite a Catholic assassination attempt early in his reign (the Gunpowder Plot of 1605), he was generally tolerant of Catholics, provided they were prepared to take an oath of allegiance to him. He made peace with Spain, and tried to play the role of a peacemaker, keeping good relations with both Catholic and Protestant countries. His high opinion of the status of a king brought him into conflict with Parliament. Charles I succeeded his father on the thrones of the three kingdoms in 1625. After early difficulties with Parliament, he attempted to rule without it from 1629 to 1640, finding alternative, often controversial ways of raising money. Meanwhile, his Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, promoted a move away from Calvinism and a revival of hierarchy and ceremony (“High

Anglicanism”). Puritans thought this was as a step back towards Catholicism. The open Catholicism of his French Queen, Henrietta Maria, also caused unease. Court culture was inward-looking, centred on masques (elaborate and expensive multimedia spectacles) celebrating an idealized image of the king and queen. The leading English artist involved in these masques was Inigo Jones, who also designed Charles’s Banqueting House at Whitehall, inspired by Italian Renaissance architecture. 2. The outbreak of war In 1637, Charles attempted to impose Laud’s reforms in the Church of Scotland, including the introduction of a new Scottish prayer book, and provoked rebellion there. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland abolished episcopacy. Opponents of the king’s religious policies signed a document called the National Covenant in 1648, so came to be known as “Covenanters”. They assembled an army, and Charles had to summon the English Parliament to raise money to fight them. The “Short Parliament” met for only three weeks in 1640, before being dissolved by the king because it would not agree to give him money until he dealt with the grievances that had accumulated over the previous eleven years. After losing a short war with the Scots, he had to call Parliament again to ratify the peace treaty. This became known as the “Long Parliament”, which sat from 1640 to 1649, and was not formally dissolved till 1660. It took steps to restrict the king’s powers by law. Charles’s leading adviser, the earl of Strafford was impeached and executed. Archbishop Laud was also impeached (and executed later, in 1645). In 1641, rebellion broke out among the displaced Catholic Irish of Ulster, and reports came to England of terrible atrocities committed against Protestants. Parliament was unwilling to let the king have control of the army that would have to be sent to put down the rebellion. Relations between the king and Parliament finally broke down in 1642, when Charles personally tried to arrest five members of Parliament whom he accused of treason. He failed in this attempt, and left London for Oxford. Both sides began to assemble armed forces. In August Charles raised his standard in Nottingham. 3. Civil war The first battle of the English Civil War was fought at Edgehill in October 1642, and was claimed as a victory by both sides. In 1644, Parliament, with Scottish support, defeated the king’s forces at Marston Moor, in Yorkshire. The Parliamentary forces were reorganized as the “New Model Army” under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, and defeated the Royalists again at Naseby in 1645. Charles surrendered to the Scots, who handed him over to the Parliamentary army in 1647.

British Culture and Civilization – James Brown – 2011-2012

A majority in Parliament were prepared to restore the king, in return for concessions including the establishment of Presbyterianism in the Church of England, but more radical views were being discussed in the New Model Army. Particularly influential were the Levellers, who wanted to abolish the monarchy and nobility and to have a parliament elected by all men (not just a property owning minority as was actually the case), with religious toleration and freedom of speech. By this time Puritan religious and moral principles had been imposed in areas under Parliamentary control: for example there was new legislation calling for the destruction of religious images, the abolition of traditional festivals, and the closure of theatres—but also an end to censorship, and increased possibilities for new religious movements to emerge, such as the Quakers. Meanwhile much of Ireland had come under the control of a Catholic Confederacy, which claimed to be loyal to Charles. And in Scotland, the Marquis of Montrose, supported by the Irish Confederates, led an ultimately unsuccessful Royalist campaign against the Covenanters from 1644 to 1646. War broke out again in England in 1648, including a Scottish intervention after the king made an agreement with the Covenanters, but ended with complete Parliamentary victory in January 1649. The Rump Parliament (the members that were left, after moderates had been ejected by the Army) tried Charles for high treason. He was sentenced to death, and executed on 30th January 1649. Cromwell was sent to Ireland with the New Model Army to crush the Confederate and Royalist forces there. Having thoroughly conquered Ireland, in a notoriously brutal campaign in 1649, he went on to impose severe punishments on those who had supported the rebellion and to introduce very harsh restrictions on Catholics (the vast majority of the population). Charles’s son, Charles II, was crowned in Scotland, where the Covenanters had did not want to abolish monarchy. Returning from Ireland, Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1650 and defeated the Covenanters. In 1651 Charles II led a Scottish army into England, but he was defeated at the battle of Worcester and fled. Scotland was brought under English control 4. The Commonwealth The three former kingdoms of the British Isles were now united under the rule of an English republic known as the Commonwealth of England. Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament by force in 1653, and was appointed Lord Protector for life. He attempted to restore stability to the country, and also to

pursue moral reform along Puritan lines (but with toleration of religious differences —including the return of Jews to England). However he failed to establish a lasting republican constitution. He died in 1658, and was briefly succeeded by his son Richard. Power then came into the hands of George Monck, the commander of the army, who negotiated the return of Charles II. 5. Restoration Charles II returned to England and monarchy was restored in 1660. The three kingdoms were separated again (with separate governments and parliaments, but under the same king). Anglicanism was restored in the Church of England, and the rights of Nonconformists (non-Anglican Protestants, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers etc) and Catholics were restricted. In Scotland, the previously dominant Presbyterians now suffered persecution. Puritan domination of English society ended. Theatres re-opened, now with actresses playing female roles (including Charles’s mistress, Nell Gwynn). In 1660 a group of “natural philosophers” (scientists), including Robert Boyle, John Wilkins and Sir Christopher Wren, set up a “college for the promoting of physico-mathematical experimental learning”. The king gave his approval to the project, and it became the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Its journal Philosophical Transactions was launched in 1665, and is now the longest running scientific journal in the world. In 1666, much of central London was destroyed by a terrible fire. The rebuilding programme included a new St Paul’s Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Hostility to Catholicism continued to be an important issue in politics. Political parties began to emerge in the late 1670s, when the Country Party, also known as Whigs, attempted to exclude Charles’s II Catholic brother, the duke of York, from succession to the throne. They were opposed by the Court Party, or Tories (a name still sometimes used nowadays to refer to the Conservative Party) 6. Revolution Charles II had no legitimate children, so when he died in 1685, he was succeeded by the duke of York, who became James II (of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland). James, himself a Catholic, introduced religious toleration for Catholics and Nonconformists (also known as Dissenters). His inclination towards absolute monarchy also created tensions with Parliament. James had two adult daughters from his first marriage, both Protestants, but in 1688 the birth of a son to his second wife, Mary of Modena, raised the possibility of a permanent Catholic dynasty. A group of Protestant nobles invited William of Orange, the Statholder of the Dutch Republic, and husband of James’s daughter Mary, to invade England. William landed with an army in Devon, and James fled to France. In 1689, Parliament declared that James had abdicated and that the English throne was

British Culture and Civilization – James Brown – 2011-2012

therefore vacant, and offered it to William and Mary jointly. They became William III and Mary II. In the same year, the English Parliament passed an Act of Toleration, which gave toleration to Nonconformists, and the Bill of Rights, which established restrictions on royal power and secured the rights of Parliament, effectively making England a constitutional monarchy. In Scotland, Presbyterianism was permanently re-established in 1689, and similar restrictions on royal power were introduced. Some supporters of James (Jacobites) rebelled, but were defeated. James invaded Ireland in 1690, with the support of Louis XIV of France, but was defeated at the battle of the Boyne (still commemorated by Northern Irish Protestants with processions on the 12th of July). The Irish Parliament passed laws severely restricting the rights of the Catholic majority, including excluding Catholics from politics and facilitating the takeover of Irish land by Protestants landowners, by restricting the inheritance rights of Catholics. While England and Scotland thus entered the eighteenth century with constitutional monarchy established and a relatively tolerarnt religious settlement, Ireland was subject to what came to be called “Protestant Ascendancy”—rule by an Anglican minority to the disadvantage of the Catholic majority (and of Presbyterians and other non-Anglican Protestants, especially in the north).

British Culture and Civilization – James Brown – 2011-2012