Charles I and the Road to Personal Rule by L. J. Reeve

By L. J. Reeve

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By the summer of 1628 Buckingham was considering an end to the Spanish war, and peace with Spain became the cornerstone of state policy during Weston's years of power. 125 Weston strengthened the pro-Spanish interest at court as the year progressed. He effected a reconciliation between Charles and Arundel and the earl was readmitted to the Council in October. 127 The assassination of Buckingham was the decisive English political event of 1628. On 23 August he was stabbed to death in Portsmouth by a naval lieutenant, John Felton, with a tenpenny butcher's knife.

London, 1739), i, p. 46. Buckingham's England in crisis 35 successfully recommended Wentworth to Buckingham. In July Sir Thomas was raised to the peerage, and in December he was appointed Lord President of the North. Weston's selection of Wentworth and his rejection of overtures from Eliot were largely responsible for rendering Eliot an implacable opponent of Weston and of the government during the next parliamentary session. Wentworth had effectively selected himself. He was the abler man; he had not launched explicit public attacks on Buckingham as had Eliot in 1626 and 1628; and very significantly he favoured (as did Weston) a policy of peace with Spain.

C, 15,404, pp. 213-14. Birch, i, pp. 3 5 8 - 9 ; Lockyer, Buckingham, p. 4 4 0 ; see also SP16/529/19. H. R. Trevor-Roper, Archbishop Laud, 1573-1645 (2nd edn, London, 1962), pp. 8 6 - 7 . Russell, Parliaments, pp. 5, 339. 24 Charles I and the road to personal rule prerogative jure divino: a notion strongly resisted by the common lawyers who framed the Petition. Clearly the broad (if loosely defined) Jacobean constitutional consensus had been gravely weakened. Charles's rule had triggered an unwanted debate as to the true character of English government.

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