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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In explaining the collapse of royal power in England in 1642, despite the relative resilience of the regime during the previous decade, this chapter highlights the role of the Scottish prayer book rebellion in destabilizing British politics and providing a precedent for successful rebellion against the crown. It then explores the role of the noble-led ‘Junto’ in the Long Parliament, emphasizing that their determination to strip Charles of much of his authority within a parliamentary commonwealth drove much of the political conflict of 1641–2. The king’s efforts to resist this through attempted coups against the Junto, notably the First Army Plot and the Attempt on the Five Members, proved ill-judged and led to his flight from London. The main question thereafter was whether he could gather enough support to fight a civil war and regain his capital. In May–June 1642 he persuaded forty peers to join him at York and thereafter, despite final efforts at settlement, armed conflict became unavoidable.

Keywords: Charles I, Junto, prayer book rebellion, English civil war, First Army Plot, Attempt on the Five Members, Personal Rule

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