British Civil Wars

(1.1.2) British Civil Wars - Volume 1 Episode 2 - Personal Rule

Fiona takes a first look at the causes of the conflict, focusing on Charles's personal rule, which involves, amongst other things, making good money out of bad soap.


Writer and Presenter: Fiona Barnett @stitchthisfiona

Producer: Emily Benita @BenitaEmily

Technical Producer and Sound Engineer: Ali Alnajjar @Alithelampie

Historical Consultant: Mary Jacobs @msmaryjacobs

Music Composer and Performer: Harry Harris @CmonHarris



Two of the most prominent artists in Charles’s court are Anthony van Dyck and Daniel Mytens . Apart from the fact that both are really great painters, Mytens in particular painted some of the key players in court, often several times - and it’s always nice to put a face to a name.

If Cavalier poets are your bag - and they’re mine - this Luminarium page is great for wandering round and getting to know them all. One of the most famous poems is Richard Lovelace’s “To Lucasta, Going to the Warres”, which finishes with the beautiful pair of lines:

“I could not love thee (Deare) so much,

Lov’d I not Honour more.”

…which apart from being really elegant phrasing (or so thinks this poetry nerd), is a great example of chivalry being alive and well in Caroline England.

I promised you in the episode that there’d be lewdness. If that’s what you’re here for, look no further than Robert Herrick, who knows exactly what he wants. Beyond that, the whole group is well worth a browse.



Charles I - 1600-1649; King of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1625-1649. Leader of the Royalist (Cavalier) faction; ultimately beheaded for treason.

James VI/I - 1566-1625; King of Scotland 1567-1625; King of England 1603-1625. Father of Charles I, Henry Frederick, and their younger sister Elizabeth. Only son of Mary, Queen of Scots. Staunch Presbyterian, and commissioner of the King James translation of the Bible.

William Laud - 1573-1645; English Privy Councillor from 1627, Bishop of London from 1628, and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633. Steered Charles’s religious policy during the 1630s, which made him increasingly unpopular.

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham - 1592-1638; lover and adviser of James VI/I; adviser to Charles I. Extremely influential politician due to his closeness with James and Charles - but shockingly bad at foreign policy, and extremely unpopular with the general populace. Assassinated in Portsmouth in 1628 by John Felton, a naval officer.

Henrietta Maria - 1609-1669; wife of Charles I 1625-1649 (until his death); mother of Charles II and James II/VII, and seven other children (including three who died in infancy). French by birth, and practising Catholic. After Charles’s death, she settled in France, and largely remained there (with a few stints in London when her son was king) until her death.

John Hampden - 1594-1643; MP for Buckinghamshire and leading critic of Charles during his Personal Rule. Best known for strongly opposing Ship Money, and for being the defendant in Rex v Hampden when he refused to pay it. He lost the case, by a narrow margin, and would end up being a leading Parliamentarian in the Civil War.



  • Bank of England. Inflation Calculator.
  • Buchan, John. Montrose. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1928; and electronic edition, Perennial Press, 2015.
  • Burgess, Glenn. “On Revisionism: An Analysis of Early Stuart Historiography in the 1970s and 1980s”, The Historical Journal 33 no. 3 (1990) 609-627.
  • Hill, Christopher. The Century of Revolution 1603-1714. 2nd edn. Oxford: Routledge Classics, 2002.
  • Hunt, Tristram. The Civil War at First Hand: Selected Readings. London: Penguin Books, 2002.
  • Kishlansky, Mark. A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714. London: Penguin Books, 1997.
  • Kishlansky, Mark. “Charles I: A Case of Mistaken Identity”, The Past and Present Society 189 (2005) 41-80.
  • Langelüddecke, Henrok. “‘I finde all men & my officers all soe unwilling’: The Collection of Ship Money, 1635-1640”, Journal of British Studies 40 no. 3 (2007) 509-542.
  • Morrill, John. Revolt in the Provinces: The People of England and the Tragedies of War 1630-1648. 2nd edn. London: Addison Wesley Longman, 1999. First published George Allen & Unwin, 1976.
  • Noble, Richard. “Lions or Jackals? The Independence of the Judges in Rex v. Hampden”, Stanford Law Review 14 no. 4 (1962) 711-761.
  • Plant, David. The BCW Project: British Civil Wars, Commonwealth & Protectorate 1638-1660.
  • Royle, Trevor. Civil War: The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660. London: Abacus, 2004.
  • Sharpe, Kevin. The Personal Rule of Charles I. London: Yale University Press, 1992.
  • Sharpe, Kevin. Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England 1603-1660. London: Yale University Press, 2010.
  • Skelton, Robin, ed. The Cavalier Poets. London: Faber and Faber, 1970.
  • Stone, Lawrence. The Causes of the English Revolution 1529-1642. London: ARK Paperbacks, 1986. First published 1972.
  • Zagorin, Perez. “Did Strafford Change Sides?”, The English Historical Review 101 no. 398 (1986) 149-163.



I am not one for conspiracy theories in general, but that being said - this is George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham. Pay close attention to his footwear.





So far, so dashing. This is James Hamilton, the Earl of Arran:



...who has, to my mind, slightly less good taste in tights, but a remarkably similar pair of kitten-heeled sandals.

This is Philip Herbert, the Fourth Earl of Pembroke:

Philip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke.jpg


The Earl of Pembroke is trying to hide his sandals beneath his massive cloak, but we all know he borrowed them off Buckingham for the photoshoot. Either they're the same pair, or on Wednesdays we all wear white cut-out sandals with big rosettes on them.

So if you got to the end of the episode and wondered what my last-minute fascination with the Duke of Buckingham's footwear was, this is it.

Aren't you glad you found out?


(1.1.3) British Civil Wars - Volume 1 Episode 3 - North Of The Border

(1.1.1) British Civil Wars - Volume 1 Episode 1 - Setting The Scene