Short Parliament
The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, so called because it lasted only three weeks.

After 11 years of attempting Personal Rule
Personal Rule
The Personal Rule was the period from 1629 to 1640, when King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland ruled without recourse to Parliament...

 (1629-1640), Charles recalled Parliament in 1640 on the advice of Lord Wentworth, recently created Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

. He was forced to call the Short Parliament primarily to obtain money to finance his military struggle with Scotland in the Bishops' Wars
Bishops' Wars
The Bishops' Wars , were conflicts, both political and military, which occurred in 1639 and 1640 centred around the nature of the governance of the Church of Scotland, and the rights and powers of the Crown...

. Like its predecessors, the new parliament had greater interest in redressing perceived grievances occasioned by the royal administration than in voting the King funds to pursue his war against the Scottish Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...


John Pym
John Pym
John Pym was an English parliamentarian, leader of the Long Parliament and a prominent critic of James I and then Charles I.- Early life and education :...

, MP for Tavistock
Tavistock (UK Parliament constituency)
Tavistock was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Devon between 1330 and 1974. Until 1885 it was a parliamentary borough, consisting solely of the town of Tavistock; it returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1868, when its...

, quickly emerged as a major figure in debate; his long speech on 17 April expressed the refusal of the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

 to vote subsidies unless royal abuses were addressed. John Hampden
John Hampden
John Hampden was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, John Hampden (ca. 15951643)...

, on the other hand, was persuasive in private: he sat on nine committees. Charles's attempted offer to cease the levying of ship money
Ship money
Ship money refers to a tax that Charles I of England tried to levy without the consent of Parliament. This tax, which was only applied to coastal towns during a time of war, was intended to offset the cost of defending that part of the coast, and could be paid in actual ships or the equivalent value...

 did not impress the Members of Parliament. A flood of petitions concerning abuses were coming up to Parliament from the country. Impatient with their resuming debate where it had left off in 1629, touching the violation of Parliamentary privileges by the arrests of Members in 1629, and unnerved about coming scheduled debate over the deteriorating situation in Scotland, Charles dissolved the body (5 May 1640) after only three weeks' sitting. It was followed by the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...


See also

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