3rd Parliament of King Charles I

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The Speaker, John Finch, 1st Baron Finch John Finch, 1st Baron Finch by Sir Anthony Van Dyck lowres color.jpg
The Speaker, John Finch, 1st Baron Finch

The 3rd Parliament of King Charles I was summoned by King Charles I of England on 31 January 1628 and first assembled on 17 March 1628. The elected Speaker of the House of Commons was Sir John Finch, the Member of Parliament for Canterbury.

John Finch, 1st Baron Finch English politician

John Finch, 1st Baron Finch was an English judge, and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1629. He was Speaker of the House of Commons.

Canterbury (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885 onwards

Canterbury is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Rosie Duffield of the Labour Party.


Following the debacle of the previous Parliament, when Parliament had refused the grant the King funds until their concerns about his favourite, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, had been addressed, it had proved difficult to prosecute the war with Spain. When Charles’s uncle, Christian IV of Denmark, was soundly defeated by Imperial forces at Lutter in August 1626 Charles needed funds urgently to go to Christian's aid. He therefore decided to bypass Parliament by levying a Forced Loan, which actually raised more money, some £243,000, than Parliament had been prepared to give him in exchange for Buckingham's impeachment. In the event the money raised by the levy, the raising of which so alienated Parliament and its supporters, was spent on preparing to wage war on France after relations with that hitherto friendly country had deteriorated. When the Duke of Buckingham wanted to take a fleet to raise the siege at La Rochelle and was prevented by financial restraints, Charles reluctantly accepted the need to call this 3rd Parliament.

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham English politician

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, KG, was an English courtier, statesman, and patron of the arts. He was a favourite and possibly also a lover of King James I of England. Despite a patchy political and military record, Buckingham remained at the height of royal favour for the first three years of the reign of King Charles I, until a disgruntled army officer assassinated him.

Christian IV of Denmark 17th-century King of Denmark and Norway

Christian IV was king of Denmark and Norway and duke of Holstein and Schleswig from 1588 to 1648. His 59-year reign is the longest of Danish monarchs, and of Scandinavian monarchies.

Battle of Lutter battle

The Battle of Lutter took place during the Thirty Years' War, on 27 August 1626, between the forces of the Lower Saxon Circle, combining mostly Protestant states, and led by its Circle Colonel Christian IV of Denmark, and the forces of the Catholic League. Lutter am Barenberge lies to the south of the modern town of Salzgitter, then within the Imperial Circle of Lower Saxony, and now in northwest Germany.

Once assembled, the Commons indicated that it would vote the King five subsidies in return for his acceptance of a Petition of Right, confirming the rights of the individual as against the divine right of the King. After much debate, prevarication and delay, the King finally backed down and gave his assent to the petition in such a way it could be considered law. The Subsidy Bill passed through its final stage in the House of Lords by 17 June 1628.

Petition of Right English/British Constitutional law document

The Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing. Passed on 7 June 1628, the Petition contains restrictions on non-Parliamentary taxation, forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause, and the use of martial law. Following disputes between Parliament and King Charles I over the execution of the Thirty Years' War, Parliament refused to grant subsidies to support the war effort, leading to Charles gathering "forced loans" without Parliamentary approval and arbitrarily imprisoning those who refused to pay. Moreover, the war footing of the nation led to the forced billeting of soldiers within the homes of private citizens, and the declaration of martial law over large swathes of the country.

Parliament then turned its attention to tonnage and poundage, two onerous taxes on which the King was dependent and which Parliament considered illegal. The King brought the session to a rapid close.

Tonnage and poundage were duties and taxes first levied in Edward II's reign on every tun (cask) of imported wine, which came mostly from Spain and Portugal, and on every pound weight of merchandise exported or imported. Traditionally tonnage and poundage was granted by Parliament to the king for life, but this practice did not continue into the reign of Charles I. Tonnage and poundage were swept away by the Customs and Excise Act 1787.

Over the summer the fleet to relieve La Rochelle was assembled, but the commander Buckingham was murdered by a disgruntled army officer. The fleet nevertheless sailed under a new commander but achieved little success.

When Parliament reconvened in January 1629 it returned to the issue of tonnage and poundage, claiming that its continued imposition contradicted the Petition of Right. Matters got so heated that Charles dissolved Parliament by proclamation on 2 March 1629 and had nine of the leading protagonists arrested, one of whom, Sir John Eliot, would die in the Tower of London three years later. Charles then dissolved Parliament in person on the 10 March and was so disillusioned that he did not recall it again until 1640.

John Eliot (statesman) Member of Parliament, Statesman, Vice-Admiral of Devon

Sir John Eliot was an English statesman who was serially imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he eventually died, by King Charles I for advocating the rights and privileges of Parliament.

Notable Acts passed by the Parliament

See also

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