Chris Monaghan: Impeachment, Personal Rule and the Lead up to the English Civil War
Time & Location
About the event
In 1621 impeachment, the great parliamentary weapon from the middle ages, was ‘revived’ by parliamentarians including Sir Edward Coke, who had been previously dismissed as Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for defying the king. Those individuals impeached during the reign of James I (1603-1625) included the Lord Chancellor, Francis Bacon, and the king’s great favourite, the Duke of Buckingham.
When Charles I (1625-1649) ascended the throne, he inherited a realm where parliaments were assertive and royal authority was held in check. Within four years of becoming king Charles dispensed with the need for summoning Parliament and embarked on a period of personal rule that was to last for eleven years. During this time Charles was assisted by his advisors and the judiciary in using and enforcing measures under the prerogative to raise money. This was a time of constitutional crisis, as well as a period of landmark significance, as had Charles not been forced to summon what became the Long Parliament, there would have been no impeachment and attainder of his advisors, Strafford and Laud, and importantly no civil war and no Battle of Worcester. This raises questions as to whether Charles may have been able to avoid summoning Parliament and what this would have meant for his successors. Would the great clash between Crown and Parliament have been merely postponed until a future monarch was compelled to summon a Parliament, or would future generations accept the demise of Parliament and rule by the prerogative?
Chris Monaghan is a Principal Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester. He is currently studying for a PhD at Kings College London and his thesis looks at impeachment from a historical, comparative and a contemporary perspective.
The Civil War Nights programme has been running for four years and we have had the privilege to host some incredible speakers such as Professor Ronald Hutton and Charles Spencer. The talks take place in the historic Great Hall of The Commandery where seating is limited, so we would advise pre-booking for all talks. The Commandery Cafe will be open from 6pm until the talk starts should you wish to arrive early.
Members of the Battle of Worcester Society, Cromwell Association or the Battlefield's Trust are able to purchase the discounted £5 tickets (normally £7).
- Adult Ticket (Non Member)£7£70£0
- Adult Ticket (Member's Ticket)£5£50£0
- Student Ticket£3£30£0