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Why did people want the king back in 1646?

Case study 2: Viewpoints, 1645-46 - Source 2

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A letter written by Charles I to Parliament about a treaty, 26 December 1645

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/511/87)

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SP16/511/87; letter from Charles, 1645

What is this source?

This is part of a letter written by Charles I to the Speaker of the House of Parliament in December 1645. The two sides were attempting to work out the terms of a treaty to end the war.


What's the background to this source?

By the time this source was written it was clear that Charles was losing the war. He eventually surrendered in May 1646. The problem for both sides was to work out peace terms.


It's worth knowing that...

Charles tried to make peace with both Parliament and the Scots in 1645. The Scots had been against him since 1637 and Parliament had been at war with him since 1642. Parliament and the Scots had become allies in 1643 and fought together against Charles.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. According to this document, what did Charles want?
  2. Does the source suggest Charles was being fair and reasonable?
  3. From what you know about Charles, why do you think he asked for a treaty?
  4. How does this source help to explain why Charles gained support in 1646?