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Why did people go to war in 1642?

Case study 1: 1637-39 - Source 4


An announcement from Charles to the people of Scotland, May 1639

(Catalogue ref: SP 45/10/225)

By the King

Charles by the grace of God, King of ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, FRANCE and IRELAND, Defender of the Faith, &c.

To all our loving Subjects whom it shall or may concern, greeting. Whereas we are thus farre advanced in Our Royall Person with Our Armie, and the attendance of Our Nobilitie and Gentry of this Kingdome, and intend to be mostly at Our good town of Barwicke, with purpose to give Our good people of Scotland all just satisfaction in Parliament, assoone as the present disorders, and tumultuous proceedings of some there are quieted; and will leave Us a fair way of comming like a gratious King to declare Our good meaning to them. But finding some cause of Impediment, and that this Nation doth apprehend (that contrarie to their professions) there is an intention to invade this Our Kingdom of England. We doe therefore to cleare all doubts, that may breed scruples in the mindes of Our good Subjects of either Kingdome, reiterate this Our just and reall Protestation: That if all civill and temporall obedience be effectually and timely given and shewn unto Us, we doe not intend to invade them with any hostility. But if they shall without Our special Authoritie and Command raise any armed Troups, and draw them downe within ten miles of Our Border of England we shall then interpret that as an Invasion of Our said Kingdome of England, and in that case doe expressly command the Generall of Our Army, and Our Superior Officers of the same, respectively to proceede against them as Rebells, and Invaders of this Kingdome of England, and to the utmost of their power to set upon them and destroy them, In which they shall doe a singular service, both to our honour and safety.

Given at Our Court at Newcastle the fourteenth day of May, in the fifteenth yeer of Our reign.

God save the King.