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Why did people go to war in 1642?

Case study 2: 1640-42 - Source 1

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A petition from the citizens of London, September 1640

(John Rushworth, Historical Collections, Vol III, 1639-1640, p.1263. Published in London, 1680-1701)

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Rushworth, vol.III p1263, petition from Londoners, 1640

What is this source?

This petition was sent to Charles I on 24 September 1640. Petitions were a way for Parliament or the citizens of a town to show that they were unhappy about something.


What’s the background to this source?

During the 1630s Charles tried rule the country without calling Parliament. This led to problems.


It's worth knowing that...

London was by far the biggest city in the country in the 1600s, just like today. As a result, London paid a lot of taxes, collected in money and in goods. It was a rich and important city.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. What were the people of London complaining about?
  2. Is it possible to tell from this document which issues caused the greatest concern?
  3. Does this source give us any clues about why the kingdom went to war in 1642?