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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


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 New Castle there came to Court one Sir Thomas Wilford of Kent ...
He came to the King his presence & told him (in the hearing of divers of his servants) & my selfe among the rest) that hee was come out of Kent, a long & Chargeable journey & withall told him how many men & horses hee had brought him, said I pray God send us well to doe in this busynes, but (said hee) I like not the beginning, the King asked him why! his reply and because you go the wrong way to work, the King smiled & asked him which was the right way, hee answered, If you think to make a warre with your owne parliament you deceive yourselfe, the only way to prosper is to go back and call Paliament & so should hee have monies enough & do your busyness handsomely. The King replyed there were fooles in the last Parliament, true (said Sir Thomas) but there were wise men too. …