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Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 1: Death of Charles I - Source 1

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A request from army leaders at Putney to Parliament, October 1647

(Catalogue ref: SP 9/245)

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SP9/245; request from army leaders, 1647

What is this source?

This comes from a news sheet published regularly during the 1640s. News sheets were similar to modern newspapers.


What’s the background to this source?

At the time of this source the army had effectively moved in on London and taken over the city. After the war many MPs became concerned about the cost of the army and the increasing power of its leaders.


It's worth knowing that...

The source gives a clear sense of the growing power of the army in the later 1640s. Although the tone of the document was polite, requesting that Parliament deal with key issues, in reality the army was putting great pressure on the MPs. The biggest problem was pay, but there were other problems too.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. What was the main complaint of the army in this source?
  2. What did they want done?
  3. How would you describe the tone of this source - angry, respectful or careful? Try and think of some other words to define it.
  4. Read the supporting notes. How would you outline relations between most MPs and the army by late 1647?