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Why did people want the king back in 1646?

Case study 2: Viewpoints, 1645-46 - Source 5

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A letter on economic conditions in Cheshire, 11 July 1646

(Catalogue ref: SP 23/197/39)

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SP23/197/39; conditions in Cheshire, 1646
 

What is this source?

This is an extract from a letter written by George Manley to his brother Thomas.

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What's the background to this source?

The Civil War was virtually over. However, there were pockets of Royalist soldiers still fighting. Parliament and the army commanders were also very suspicious of areas of the country that had supported Charles, even if they were no longer fighting. As a result, they stationed large numbers of soldiers in these areas and forced the local people to pay for the soldiers through harsh taxes.

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It's worth knowing that...

Even areas that had not supported Charles had to pay heavy taxes to support the army. As discontent with taxes grew, army control gradually got tighter.

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Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. How bad were things in Cheshire in 1646?
  2. What did Manley blame for the conditions?
  3. How does this source help to explain why Charles gained support in 1646?