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The National Archives Civil War
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Why did people go to war in 1642?

Case study 1: 1637-39 - Source 8

Simplified transcript

Report of a discussion between Charles I and Sir Thomas Wilford on the situation with Parliament, 28 May 1639

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/422/65)

During our stay at Newcastle, Sir Thomas Wilford of Kent came to court …

He came to the king and told him (in the hearing of various servants, including myself) that he had come on a long journey from Kent...
He told the king how many men and horses he had brought him. "I pray God sends us to do well in this business but," said he, "I don't like the beginning." The king asked him why! His reply was: "Because you go about this the wrong way." The king smiled and asked him what was the right way. He answered: "If you think to make a war with your own parliament, you fool yourself. The only way to succeed is to go back and call Parliament and you would have enough money to do your business easily." The king replied that there were fools in the last Parliament. "True," said Sir Thomas, "but there were wise men too. …