History of British Social and Culture Week 7 Rebellion, Restoration and Unrest By Yusuf Kurniawan, SS, MA
The King from Scotland
Before she died Elizabeth I had signaled that her successor would be James VI of Scotland.
Therefore not long after her death she was succeeded by James of Scotland who mistakenly thought that ruling England would have been easier than ruling Scotland.
However, in fact he could not rule England well. He had bad personality and was not a smart ruler.
James VI was proven a greedy and ambitious king. Honours could be purchased. E.g. with payment of £1,000 to the king, a man could become a baronet.
Even more, £10,000 could make someone to become an earl (prince)
James VI’s bad behaviours
During the reign of James VI, Catholics, Protestants and Puritans never came to an end in discussing about their faiths and the wrongs of others.
Many witches were burned. They had to belong to the Church of England and acknowledge James VI as just second to God in order to avoid persecution from the king.
Consequently, a number of Puritans from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire were determined to migrate to America. They came at Cape Cod and named the land “New England”
Since then, a number of explorers paved the way to the North America. One of them was Sir Robert Raleigh, the Elizabethan explorer who was accused of plotting against the King . He was sent to jail for 13 years. After his release, he promised the King to bring him gold if he was let to Guiana. However, the Spanish ambassador in London told the King about his brutality. At last he came back without bringing any gold. So, Sir Walter Raleigh was executed.
The Causes of Civil War
Henry, James I’s eldest son died of typhoid in 1616. Therefore, the monarch was succeeded by the-next-line, Charles . In the year of his father’s death, Charles had married the King of France’s daughter, Henrietta Maria. The parliament, which was predominantly Puritan disagreed, because the new queen was a Roman Catholic; she insisted that her children should be brought up in the Catholic faith, but they were not.
The Parliament members who represented Westminster suspected their sovereign.
Like his father, Charles also underwent financial troubles. He demanded cash to finance his war in Europe. Since the Parliament refused it, he collected his own contributions. Anyone refusing it was either thrown into gaol, or else had his home taken over “as a billet (house) for soldiers”
Charles’s bad attitude
Parliament became more and more discontent with Charles’s conduct. At last it presented the king with “Petition of Right”. One of the demands was “nobody should be levied without the consent of Parliament.”
However, Charles ignored the petition. He dissolved Parliament instead. In the next eleven years he ruled without Parliament’s assistance. Instead, he was helped by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, and the Earl of Strafford.
Laud who was almost Roman Catholic, condemned (punished) Puritans to imprisonment and mutilation.
Because the Scots objected to using English prayer book in 1637, Strafford marched his troops to the north. However, his troops were weak and untrained.
The luck took the side to the Scots since the troops betrayed.
Consequently, the Parliament had to be recalled to raise more cash.
The Eleven-Year-Lone-Ruling of Charles
He levied taxes on towns and landowners to pay for his fleet.
He applied customs duties on almost all goods trade.
Unreasonable (often brutal) use of the Court of Star Chamber to support Archbishop Laud’s rules about religion.
In 1640 the Parliament was recalled, dissolved, and then recalled again.
After the comings and goings, the Parliament was settled down without farther interruption for twenty years, which was then known as “The Long Parliament.” It then became much stronger than ever before.
The Parliament in actions
The parliament demanded that the Earl of Strafford should be executed.
At first Charles refused but at last he surrendered and agreed with the death penalty.
Laud was also imprisoned.
The situation then calmed down.
The Irish rose against the English and Scots who had exploited their lands. They killed some of their victims outright; others were stripped naked and turned out of door to die of cold.
The Long Parliament was getting some of its own way.
The King was compelled to polish the Court of Star Chamber. Even so, he refused to follow the House of Commons to approve the appointment of ministers and judges, and he turned down its demand for a share in the control of the armed forces.
The Commons were still not satisfied.
In 1641 they published a document entitled Grand Remonstrance, containing 204 clauses. It was a catalogue of royal misdeeds. They hoped that Charles read them carefully.
The King was hopeless since his ally, Strafford had been beheaded.
He challenged by riding a horse with his horsemen to the House of Commons and demanded the arrest of five MPs and one peer.
The King finally withdrew. Charles moved the rest of his family and all the court to York because it’s not possible to live in the capital anymore. The situation was heading to a state of civil war. In Summer on October 1642 Charles marched to Nottingham and in Edgehill the first battle was fought.
Roundhead vs Cavalier
The Royalists were called Cavaliers and the Parliament’s troops were called Roundheads.
Cavalier came from the fact that their forces were renowned for their cavalry.
Roundhead, the Queen had met a Puritan MP with close-cut hair. She said that he was a ‘handsome roundhead.’
People were confused which party should be supported. Some of the landed gentry supported Charles I; whilst the middle classes backed Parliament.
In short, the north and the west of the country sided with the King. Parliament was taking the side with the south and the east.
The Battle continued
The first decisive battle was at Marston Moor in Yorkshire. The victory was taken by Roundheads due to a new regiment known as Ironsides. It was a cavalry unit led by a gentleman from Huntingdon who represented Cambridge in Parliament, i.e. Oliver Cromwell.
Because he was still not satisfied with his troops, Cromwell created the New Model Army, in which the men were properly trained and equipped. Since Cromwell was a Puritan, each of his soldiers carried a copy of the Bible in his knapsack/rucksack.
In Scotland, the Earl of Montrose supported the King but the Earl of Argyll was for Parliament. In fact, Montrose was a better soldier. He could defeat Argyll’s men at Perth in August 1645 and occupied Glasgow.
However, about two months later Charles got trouble; his men were smashed by Cromwell’s New Model Army.
The Royalist baggage train was captured. One of the items discovered was a parcel of letters from Charles to the Queen. Most appeal for foreign support. When they were published, the effect was disastrous. Nobody much minded the King fighting Parliament. To invite foreign support was not easy. Finally, sympathy for the Royalists immediately decreased.
In Scotland Charles surrendered to the Scots, hoping to win them over. Instead, they sold Charles to Parliament for £400,000
The civil war was over but Cromwell and his soldiers still had problems.
The Parliament tried to disband the army without paying their wages but they rebelled. Cromwell stepped in and set up an Army Council to consider reforms. He took the control of the armed forces away from the MPs (Military Police).
Some members of the Long Parliament now opposed Cromwell’s demands for a republic.
Thomas Pride, a colonel, was ordered to the House of Commons, where he threw out ninety-six members. The sixty who remained were known as the Rump Parliament.
Cromwell in action
Cromwell wanted to teach the King a lesson. But he had gone too far.
In January 1649, Charles I was put on trial for his life and he was said ‘Guilty’
On January 30 he was beheaded. By command of the Puritans, no prayers were uttered on his burial ceremony.
Shortly afterwards, the House of Lords was abolished and Britain was declared a Commonwealth.
Since 1641 there had been continual fighting in Ireland. Once the civil war was over a rebellion spread across the land.
Remembering how the Irish Catholics butchered Protestants, then Cromwell avenged them more dramatically.
In Scotland, the late king’s son (the future Charles II) won support. Cromwell’s general, Sir Thomas Fairfax, had been terrified the execution of Charles I. So, he refused to march against the Scots.
Cromwell himself had to conduct the campaign. He won.
The Prince’s followers were defeated at Dunbar in 1650. Charles II then escaped to France.
The Rump Parliament in actions
In 1651 the Rump Parliament passed the Navigation Acts. They insisted that goods to and from British ports must be carried in British ships. This led to a war with Holland.
In 1653 Oliver Cromwell made himself supreme ruler of Britain, calling himself “Lord Protector”, a title which he held until his death in 1658.
The country was also known as the ‘Protectorate’
Further, as a fanatical Puritan, Cromwell did many contrary actions.
Cromwell’s Fanatic Actions:
Theaters were closed down
Dancing was forbidden
Sunday was strictly observed so it became the gloomiest day of the week.
Laughter seemed to be outlawed.
Churches were stripped of anything related to Catholicism. A so-called Parliamentary Visitor named William Dowsing went from place to place; smashing, burning, and generally carrying on in a manner that is now called vandalism.
On Cromwell’s death in 1658, his son, Richard briefly held the title of Lord Protector. However, it was only nine months when the army took over and he went back to his life as a farmer.
Parliament was expelled, courts of justice was unable to function; lawlessness and chaos were everywhere.
Fortunately, General Monck and Sir Thomas Fairfax took control. The Long Parliament (the leftover) was recalled.
In May 1660, Monck, Thomas and a committee recruited from their supporters left for Holland. They asked the exiled Charles II to return to Britain.
Finally, Charles II made his way to London with triumph.
The Return of Charles II
The gloom of the Protectorate was over after more than 15 years of Puritan rule.
The Britons enjoyed their life better than before.
Twelve years after his return, Charles II announced the Declaration of Indulgence. It was an attempt to create religious freedom. However, in 1673 the Parliament countered it by passing the Test Act, which made sure that Catholics could not hold important public positions. E.g. the king’s Roman Catholic brother (who later became James II) had to resign his post of Lord High Admiral in charge of the Navy.
The enjoyments restored
Theatres were reopened
Music was re-introduced to churches
Actresses were employed
About King Charles II
He loved richness and colour
He loved horse racing
His mistresses loved extravagant meals and watching plays
He liked to encourage sciences
In 1662 he gave blessing to the Royal Society for Promoting Natural Knowledge. Among its members were Isaac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren (the architect), and the Rev Jon Flamsteed (the first Astronomer Royal)
The wars with Holland continued
He professed to Church of England belief, but on his death he admitted that he was a Roman Catholic
In 1678, a troublesome clergyman named Titus Oates and his friend, Dr Israel Tonge, visited London magistrate. They talked about fictitious Catholic plot to assassinate the King. They proposed the King’s brother, James, to become the monarch.
Soon afterwards, the magistrate was found dead. Immediately, a number of Catholics were executed; others were put in prison.
James had to flee from Britain.
It was known as the Popish Plot
It’s effect was strengthening the distinction between the two sides in Parliament.
The death of the King
The King’s party was then known as the Tories (after a gang of Irish rogues (criminals) who robbed both rich and poor). Whilst the opposition was known as Whigs (after “whiggamore” – a Scotish word for a horse-drover (a group of horses).
King Charles II died in 1685. His last statement was an apology for taking so long to die.
Overview of the condition during the reign of King Charles II
During the reign of Charles II, conditions in the City of London were little better than they had been in the Middle Ages.
Mean and cramped houses were huddled together on either side of the narrow lanes. Sanitation was poor, so the land became the breeding grounds of the old enemy of the British, i.e. the bubonic plague (penyakit pes ) .
Its victims were even much more fearful; between three to four thousand people died every week.
There was no time to make coffin. Carts roamed the streets at night, their drivers calling “ Bring out your dead! ’
The dead were dumped in big burial pits on the outs kirts of the city.
The ruler took actions
Fit people were required to stay indoors by 9 pm, to allow the sick to take air without passing on the infection.
The bubonic plague ended just after the New Year of 1666. The frost killed off the germs.
The fire of London
On September 2, 1666 fire broke out a baker’s shop in London. The fire lasted for four days causing £10,730,000’s worth of damage.
Eighty-seven churches and 13,200 houses, all public buildings and two prisons were destroyed. Strangely however, only six people died.
Since afterwards, Sir Christopher Wren proposed a plan to rebuild London. But, the plan ceased since there’s not enough fund.
The Removal of James II
Earl of Argyll and Duke of Monmouth attempted to remove James II, but both of them were executed.
James was Roman Catholic, but he pretended to hold Church of England. He demanded to have a large army. It made the Parliament worried, since he actually didn’t need it anymore. He was suspected to restore Roman Catholicism to Britain by force.
In 1686 he won a law case that enabled him to employ Catholics in defiance of the Test Act. James’ apparent heir was Mary, his daughter from his first wife. Mary got married with the Dutch Prince, William of Orange. Mary and his husband were Protestants. But his second wife (a catholic bore him a son).
Attempts to prove that the baby was illegitimate failed. To make matters worse, James’ Declarations of Indulgence in 1687 and 1688 removed the ban on Catholics holding public office.
A party of Whigs went to Holland and invited Prince William to come to Britain, and he agreed.
The arrival of William in Britain
William arrived in Britain with a force of 14,000 men. The country welcomed him.
James and his family escaped to France.
According to the Parliament, the lawful ruler was obviously William’s wife, Mary. But William insisted he and his wife should be joint King and Queen; the parliament agreed.
James had not given up. He sought for support from France, as many as 7,000 French infantrymen. They landed in Ireland. Though he got support there, William could defeat him on July 12, 1690 at the River Boyne.
Afterwards, William and his Dutch troops were shocked by the brutality of the Irish Protestant soldiers. They massacred prisoners.
The Irish protestants considered it a triumph, and it is remembered as Orange Day.
In Scotland, William gained victory though it was achieved with hard efforts. He insisted that the Highland chiefs must swear loyalty to him. Each must sign the oath by New Year’s day 1692. All the chiefs obeyed, except Macdonald of Glencoe who was finally killed.
The War of Spanish Succession
The reigns of the Stuart Kings (James I, Charles I, Charles II and James II) had interrupted an English tradition, i.e. being almost continually at war with France.
William whose hatred of the French was chronic made sure that the war ended already. It was because the King of Spain died without heir in 1700.
Whoever ruled Spain also governed Low Countries, the Kingdom of Naples and the Spanish colonies in the North and South America.
Louis XIV proposed his grandson, Philip, to become the candidate of the King of England.
William backed the Archduke Charles of Austria.
Louis XIV struck first.
He occupied territory on the Dutch frontiers; banned English goods from French ports; and proclaimed James II’s exiled son as James III of England.
The consequence was the war with Spain.
Queen Marry II had died in 1694; her husband, William III, was killed in a riding accident in 1702. his successor and sister-in-law, Anne, was not able to lead an army. She then depended on the husband of her close friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.
John Churchill Marlborough (Sarah’s husband) was in fact known as one the greatest military commanders in history.
Marlborough won many victories against French soldiers. For the time, France was no longer considered a warlike nation.
But, the British businessmen backed by the Whigs demanded angrily for more war. According to them it was the only way to defeat Spain in trade.
However, the Tories opposed.
Finally, in 1713 peace was restored by the Treaty of Utrect (collective name for several treaties concluded at Utrecht in the Netherlands between 1713 and 1714 which ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) and established a balance of power in Europe.
Marlborough was less well rewarded. Queen Anne was angry at his suggestion that he (Marlborough) should be appointed captain-general of the Army for life.
Somehow, the Tories had replaced his wife, Sarah, as the Queen’s intimate adviser by Abigail Masham.
The Duke was dismissed from all his offices.
The war he had fought cost the nation £54 million.
The Initiation of the Act of Union
James II of England had also been James VII of Scotland. Since the two countries shared the same monarch shows that they are one nation. But, the Scots had their own parliament, their own laws, their own religion, and their own trading problems.
When Queen Anne came to throne in 1702, England was prospering but Scotland was not.
In 1694, a Scotsman named William Paterson helped to found the Bank of England.
In the following year he published the scheme that, he said, would rival the English East India Company.
The Scots should establish a colony on the Darien isthmus (now Panama), which joins North and South America. They would open up a trade route across the Pacific Ocean to the Far East.
William III opposed it.
Scotsmen showed their approval by investing £400,000 in the project.
Unluckily, it was a disaster. Two thousand colonists died either from disease, shipwreck, or by the swords of Spaniards who had settled in Darien.
The investors lost all their money.
The Union Act passed
There was an idea to unite Scotland and England. Queen Anne agreed.
English merchants feared the rivalry of Scottish trade and the Scots feared the loss of their independence.
Eventually, commonsense won. The Union Act was passed in 1707. It abolished the Scottish parliament.
Instead, the Scottish members were elected to the House of Commons at Westminster. On the contrary, the Act allowed the Scots to retain their own system of law, education and religion.
Soon after Queen Anne came to throne, the first English newspaper was established, known as the Daily Courant . It marked a victory for freedom of thought. Before that, any attempts to spread the news had been heavily censored, and all printing presses had had to be registered.
Two years later, Daniel Defoe (author Robinson Crusoe) founded The Review .
In 1709 Richard Steele published the first issue of The Tatler , which was the British first magazine.
Later, Steele joined up with Joseph Addison to publish The Spectator .
Thank you! See you next week on the discussion about “The Age of Elegance”