Ship money during the personal rule of Charles I : politics, ideology and the law 1634-1640
This thesis focuses on ship money as a key to examining politics, ideology and the law during the Personal Rule of Charles I. The work is divided into five chapters, with an Introduction and a Conclusion. The first chapter traces the origins of ship money, places it in the context of the government's foreign arid domestic concerns, and analyses the first writ of 1634. The second chapter examines the development of national ship money from the Privy Council's perspective of "new counsels", as the great experiment In prerogative taxation and as a key to the relationship between central and local governors. This is followed by discussion of the impact of ship money, emphasising the wide variety of response it evoked and the ways In which this response changed, placing this in turn against a background of debate about the nature of authority In the state. The contemporary accounts for ship money are used as the statistical base to illustrate changing response to the service arid the political implications of this. The fourth chapter is concerned with opposition to ship money, which was shaped by the continued absence of a parliament during the Personal Rule. All of the different forms this opposition took, varying from the court to parish level served to strengthen the importance of law and tradition in English society. It is argued that the experience of ship money substantiated fears that there was a conspiracy to subvert the fundamental laws and religion of England, and contributed significantly to a growth in -political consciousness across the country and down the social scale. The fifth chapter covers the period from the summer of 1639 until the abolition of ship money by the Long Parliament, when politics without parliament collapsed in spite of the efforts of the government to unite the country against the Scots.