For most parliamentarians the civil war was a defensive war: in May 1642 the two Houses resolved that ‘the king, seduced by wicked counsel, intends to make war against the Parliament’. Lord Saye, as shown in Chapter 2, looked back on the 1640s as a struggle against moves to ‘destroy the Parliament of England, that is the Government of England’.1 This contemporary belief that Charles made the war, while the parliamentarians defended themselves, has found favour also with modern historians. Chapter 1 of this book explored arguments that Charles’s particularly aggressive approach to the financial difficulties of the monarchy, and his stance on the problems of the multiple kingdoms of the British Isles, were crucial to the collapse of his authority in England. Chapter 2 discussed the impact of Charles’s adoption of ‘new counsels’ and his rejection of orthodox Calvinist divinity. The elaborate and remote culture of the Caroline court was a practical embodiment of Charles’s kingship, as well as a symbol of it.
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