A rude poem sent to Sir John Coke, 4 May 1639
(Catalogue ref: SP 16/420/48)
This report was sent to Sir John Coke in May 1639 by a local judge. Coke was Secretary of State to Charles I.
Judges often sent reports to the king’s top officials. In the 1630s the reports were mainly concerned with discovering any evidence of opposition to the king.
In 1639 Charles I’s kingdoms were very tense. Charles was facing a major rebellion in Scotland. There was also tension in England. One of the biggest concerns was religion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, was bringing in changes to the English church that some people were against.
During the 1630s Charles and William Laud brought in new types of church services. Charles also gave greater power and wealth to the church. To some Protestants (especially hard-line Protestants, called Puritans), his actions seemed to be making the Church of England more like the Roman Catholic Church. They began to be against Charles.
Charles had no time for opponents of his policies.
Charles ordered his officials to look out for people who might oppose him. The person being reported in this source was probably a Puritan who was against the changes that Charles and William Laud were bringing into the church.