Charles 1's Authority Was Never Seriously Threatened in England in the Years 1629 to 1638

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It would appear that there are differing interpretations with regards to the success or failure of the Personal Rule (PR), with some noting it as the ‘eleven years tyranny’, whereas historians such as Kevin Sharpe have viewed it in a far more positive light. The Scottish Rebellion 1637 would be a turning point with regards to open opposition; however, one must address the nature of opposition both underlying and open and to what extent Charles’ authority was threatened between 1629 and 1638. It is clear that there are some positives in relation to the Charles PR. Firstly with regards to finance savings in the court were made thanks to Weston. Moreover, by signing the treaties of Susa and Madrid in 1629 and 1630, Charles had saved money on fighting expensive wars and it seemed that he was beginning to adapt his financial policies to ‘suit the cloth of non parliamentary government’ (Smith). With reference to raising finance, fiscal feudalism in purely fiscal terms was a success. One most note the success of Ship Money (SM) which earned on average £200,000 per annum with a collection rate of 90%. Kevin Sharpe has referred to SM as a ‘great success story’, thus with reference to finance there appears to be positives which may support the view that Charles’ authority was never seriously challenged. One could continue the positive interpretation of Charles’ PR by extending it into religious policy. Through Laud a greater emphasis was placed on ceremony, churches were refurbished which can all be labelled under the term ‘beauty of holiness’. However, these may appear to be positives but in the context of earl modern Britain they caused some discontent and it appeared to upset the ‘Jacobethan balance’. Some of the physical changes received opposition, thus one must look at the role of religion in relation to whether Charles’ authority was severely questioned. Religious

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