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Charles Personal Rule

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by

George Vanburgh

on 9 February 2011

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Transcript of Charles Personal Rule

Charles Personal Rule
- Finance - Charles aimed to increase royal revenue dramatically during his personal rule He attempted this in several ways... Customs Revenue Curbing Royal Expenditure Monopolies and Grants Ship Money Distraint of Knighthood Forest Law Court of Wards Enforcing Prerogative Many of Charles plans for the economy involved the enforcing of prerogative rights to generate $$$ These included: Various treatys had ended Englands involvement in European wars BUT The wars in Europe still raged - creating a great opportunity for tradeoppertunity for trade Under Charles, England traded
Foodstuffs
Arms
Military and Navel Supplies
With the rest of Europe Customs accounted for nearly 2/3 of Crown revenue in 1630 Like his father - Charles and his household accounted for a huge amount of royal income In 1629, 40% of the crowns income was spent on his court and household Illustrative Pie Chart #2 (Because Pie Charts make me look like I know what i'm talking about) So Robert Weston (then Lord Treasurer) was tasked with reducing the cost of the Royal household - which stood at £260,000 annually in 1629 One major reason for this cost was the size of the royal household, which averaged between 1,800 and 2,600 people - the size of Exeter at that time! One of the major sources of waste in the Kings household was called 'Charles' - who ate.... 24 Meat dishes daily The amount of money Charles 'ate away' easy day could have kept 1,962 people in food for a year Charles didn't really care however, and so although Weston managed to 'halt the upwards curve' of Charles household, he was unable to significantly reduce it's expenditure In theory (according to tradition) every man who earned more than £40 per year, was supposed to present himself at the Kings coronation to be Knighted All English males over the age 14 are to carry out 2 or so hours of longbow practice a week supervised by the local clergy. Not that anybody bothered However Charles decided to take offence, and fined all eligable men for "failing to support the King" Using this method, Charles was able to raise £170,000 by the end of 1630 - The equivalent of three Parliamentary subsidies Obviously, this was very unpopular - and Charles lost a great deal of support with the nobility - something he would later regret... Under William the Conqueror, the English Royal Family had laid claim to vast amounts of English forests Suddenly under Charles, large amounts of people found themselves living in a "Royal Forest" Of course, this was ridiculous, Charles had enlarged the forests so that he could charge people within their boundries Indeed, Rockingham forset grew overnight from 6 square miles to... 60 square miles And the Earl of Salisbury simply HAD to be charged £20,000 "As with most of the financial expedients (doings) of the Personal Rule, the intention was not to rectify an evil, but to extract money" [Katherine Brice] Between 1617 and 1622, the Court of Wards had raised £35,000 Between 1638 and 1640, the Court of Wards had raised £83,000 This was acheived by increasing wardship fines and improving the efficiency of the courts This further reduced Charles' popularity, especially with the nobility Charles broke the 1624 Statute of Monopolies by exploiting a loophole, which enabled him to grant monopolies to companies rather that individuals It was estimated that for every £100,000 raised from monopolies, £750,000 went to patent holders - therefore the real winners were the monopolists One of the most unpopular monopolies was that of soap Dubbed 'popish' soap becuase the company producing it contained a large number of Cathlics - it is estimated that the crown generated £29,000 from this venture alone The selling of monopolies also lead to wider corruption, with Government officials neglecting their duties, because they had paid to secure their positions for life, and contractors being chosen not on their merits, but the size of their bribes The most profitable source of revenue for Charles was ship money I FINALLY get to use this table Ship money was levied against countys to pay for protection against "pirates" The tax initially did well - as many people considered it a "one-off thing" However soon people came to regard it as another "inventive" and greatly unpopular tax by Charles To conclude, Charles was very successful in raising additional revenue during his Personal Rule However, the methods he used made him extremely unpopular with Parliament, the nobles and the peasants - and may indeed have contributed to the start of the civil war in 1642 THE END
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