This is an extract from a proclamation, or order, made by Charles I at Newcastle on 14 May 1639 telling people in Scotland what he wanted them to do. He was trying to end rebellion in Scotland. Charles had been facing rebellion from his subjects in Scotland since 1637. The Scots refused to accept changes that Charles wanted to make to the church in Scotland. Charles raised an army to fight the Scots in 1638. By May 1639, when this proclamation was made, Charles did not have enough money to continue the fight. This meant he had to try and reach an agreement with the Scottish rebels.
A printed pamphlet which is offers 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.
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 etc.
To all our loving subjects, greetings. We have advanced with our army and our nobles and gentry of this kingdom. We intend to be mostly at Berwick, to give our good people of Scotland all justice in Parliament, as soon as the present disorderly actions of some there are quieted. We will come like a gracious King to declare our good will to them. But we find there is a barrier. This nation knows (unlike their claims) there is an intention to invade England. So to clear all doubts, that may breed worries in your minds, we repeat our just and real demand. If all civil obedience is effectively and quickly given to us, we do not intend to invade with any hostility. But if they raise any armed troops without our authority, and bring them down to within ten miles of the border of England, we shall then interpret that as an invasion of our kingdom. In that case, we command the general and senior officers of our army to proceed against them as rebels and invaders of England, and to the utmost of their power to set upon them and destroy them. In this they shall do a great service to both our honour and safety.
Given at our court at Newcastle, the 14th day of May, in the 15th year of our reign.
God save the King.« Return to Civil War person: Scottish Covenanter
- What did Charles I offer the Scots?
- What did the Scots have to promise in return?
- How would you describe the king’s attitude towards the Scots?
- Does this source give us any clues about why the kingdom went to war in 1642?
- What problems did the Scottish rebellion cause for Charles I?
- What criticisms does the video Scottish Covenanter make of Charles I’s religious policy in Scotland?
- What makes this video an ‘interpretation’ of a Scottish Covenanter? [Think about how the actor uses her voice, facial expression and what is said.]
- What are the differences between using a video actor and an original document to find out about the past?
- Find out more about the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. How does it differ from the Church of England at this time?