In 1649, on this day the Rump Parliament voted to put Charles I on trial. But Dirk Puehl wonders what if the outbreak of the English Civil War had actually been avoided by a game-changing point of divergence?
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
The Fortuitous Death of Thomas WentworthWhen Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Stafford (pictured), succumbed to disease in September 1640 it was as if an evil spirit had been banished from King Charles said. Even though still lingering between bankruptcy, dangerous continental ideas of Absolutism and flirting with Catholicism, Charles was no longer goaded into conflict at all costs with his parliament.
When the latter went into session in September of that year, later known as the "Long Parliament" the doors were finally open for reconciliation. As King Charles was not able to lay his hands on the late Earl of Stafford's financial assets, he made quite a lot of concessions to avoid total bankruptcy - one of them being the agreement to finally divorce his unpopular French Catholic wife Henrietta Maria. This announcement made before the Long Parliament on January 4th 1641 eased tensions palpably.
During the rest of Charles rule, things never went to easy between him and parliament with his lingering demands of royal supremacy, but never went as far as being an open conflict again after the approval of almost all members to the war with France that broke out when Henrietta Maria fled with both her sons to her native lands after Charles had married Lady Anne Montagu, daughter of one of his generals and parliamentary leader Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester.