Ship Money (1634-1639)

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One of the financial measures implemented by Charles I in his attempt to rule without calling Parliament, and one of the factors that led to the outbreak of the Civil War. The first ship money writ of 1634 simply requests the coastal towns to provide ships, following on from earlier acts of Elizabeth I. This could be justified at a time when pirates threatened coastal trade around the country, but that was not Charles's intention, and the following year ship money writs demanding money were sent to inland areas, provoking increasing resistance, especially after John Hampden refused to pay. The resulting court case found for Charles I but by a very small margin, and the judgement, which in effect gave Charles the power to do whatever he wished, alienated almost the entire nation, including many who fought for Charles in the Civil War. Ship money was made illegal by the Long Parliament in 1641.
cover The English Civil War , Richard Holmes & Peter Young, an early work by one of the country's best known military historians, this is a superb single volume history of the war, from its causes to the last campaigns of the war and on to the end of the protectorate. cover cover cover

See Also
Books on the English Civil War
Subject Index: English Civil War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (13 April 2001), Ship Money (1634-1639), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/concepts_shipmoney.html
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