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Charles reforms in 1629

King Charles was a great lover of art and culture and amassed a huge collection of paintings from all over Europe. He w as also very fond of drama, poetry and music Britain had never before or since experienced the magnificence of Charles’ court which rivalled that of any court in Europe at the time. The style at the court was a reflection of the King, a mannered high culture, in contrast to the more riotous, nature of his father’s court. Yet it still placed a great burden on the Exchequer, and was characterised by those on the outside as “popery, pictures and play acting”.

The 1630′s were times of change in the country. Having dissolved the English Parliament in 1629, Charles was ruling as an absolute monarch, all decisions on internal government and foreign policy were his. He had instigated some action for poor relief and other social measures, but the government constantly spent more than it raised.

The economy was in recession bringing widespread hardship to the common man. Bad weather led to poor harvests 1630 being particularly bad. A trade slump especially in textiles, had been affecting the economy since 1629. This combined with rent and food price rises had led to unemployment and poverty.

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