At a young age Charles was a quiet, solitary prince. His brother Henry was the heir to the throne until his death aged 12, and he enjoyed much more popularity in court than his younger brother. The effects of living in his brother’s shadow from an early age gave Charles inadequate training as a public speaker, and ruling alone with only a handful of advisors to guide him would have seemed logical for such a private man.On the other hand, although Charles’ firm belief in the divine right led him to be sceptical about using parliament frequently, those in the commons caused the king many problems which hay have dissuaded him from calling parliament to session after 1629.On 2nd March 1629, after continued suspicions about Charles’ appointments of anti-Calvinists to many senior positions such as the bishops of York and Winchester, Parliament started to proceed against customs officers who had seized the property of one of their members for not paying tonnage and poundage, a tax the king believed he had right to claim from his wealthy citizens without the consent of Parliament.Although Charles was desperate to fund his expensive foreign commitments such as the payment of £30,000 monthly to Denmark as part of an anti-Hapsburg alliance, he was in direct violation of the ‘Petition of Right’ that he had only recently, in 1628, agreed with Parliament.
The petition stated that no one should be forced to make a loan or pay tax without the consent of Parliament.The King’s own view was that he was not bound by the Petition of Right and that the right to disregard such agreements was his royal prerogative. His actions only inflamed the existing poor relationship with Parliament and as a result two MPs held the speaker in the chair whilst the Commons passed resolutions attacking the ‘illegal’ taxation and the growth of Arminianism within the establishment. The kind ordered the arrest of those involved and nine MPs were imprisoned. This was to be the start of Charles’ eleven-year personal rule.Overall, Parliament’s actions although merely attempting to keep check on the King, infuriated Charles as he believed they directly attacked his right to absolute rule.
Ultimately the decision of personal rule was solely the King’s decision and that makes him responsible for the following eleven years without a session of Parliament. The Commons may not have always acted in the King’s favour, but they were understandably cautious in their aiding of the King, especially considering his reliance on calling Parliament solely to be granted extra subsidies.