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In This Category People
Abigail Masham
Charles Montagu
George Monck
Inigo Jones
John Churchill
Oliver Cromwell
Thomas Fairfax
William Of Orange
Anthony A Cooper
Christopher Wren
George Villiers
James I
John Lilburne
Queen Anne
Thomas Osborne
Charles I
Edward Hyde
Grinling Gibbons
James I I
John Pym
Robert Harley
Thomas Wentworth
Charles I I
Frances Stewart
Henry Ireton
James Scott
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Sidney Godolphin
William Laud

The Stuarts of England

The Stuarts were a royal family who ruled over Scotland for more than 300 years, as well as ruling England and later the unified Great Britain. Prior to the Stuarts' ascension to the throne, Elizabeth I of Tudor was the reigning queen of England and she established the Church of England, in an attempt to reconcile the religious beliefs of Catholics and the Presbyterians. Elizabeth I left no legitimate heir to the throne, when she died in 1603, and so her closest living relative, James the VI, King of Scotland became James I King of England.

As King of England, James I united Scotland and Wales with England and ruled over all three countries. One of the most enduring acts of James was a retranslation of the Bible, which is known as the King James Version of the Bible and used to this day. Unfortunately, James sought to force Catholics to worship at Protestant churches and this was a source of much conflict between both factions. James also had various policies and actions that put him at odds with the Parliament of England throughout his reign. This tenuous relationship eventually culminated in an attempt on the life of James, as well as his court and family. Known as the Gunpowder Plot, this act was supposed to have been carried out in the House of Parliament when James was scheduled to appear there but the plan was uncovered and the instigators were arrested and later executed. To this day Guy Fawkes, who was one of the conspirators, is remembered during Guy Fawkes Day on November 5 when an effigy (called a Guy) is burned as a reminder of that fateful day.

James descendant to the throne was his son Charles I, and during his reign, the uneasy relationship between the monarchy and the Parliament continued. Charles' unfair taxation policies were often the point of contention between the two parties, along with various religious issues that affected the entire country. Many Puritans made up the ranks of the Parliament and they were opposed to the bishops and formal ceremonies, which have come to characterize the Church of England. These Puritans wanted to go back to a simpler from of worship and many escaped to America in order to avoid religious persecution in their home country.

The religious discord did not end at home in England after this mass exodus of Puritans. Charles made an unpopular decision to have bishops take over the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The Presbyterians rejected this ruling an assembled an army to attack England. Charles had to raise money to ward off this attack by the Scottish and was forced to ask help from an entity which he was often in conflict with, the Parliament.

A series of clashes followed between the monarchy and Parliament, which culminated in a civil war wherein Charles was tried and subsequently beheaded.

A period followed wherein England was without king until Charles' brother, James ascended to the throne as James II. He proved to be an unpopular king and was later replaced by William and Mary who ruled Scotland and England jointly.

The last Stuart monarch was Queen Anne and under her rule, England and Scotland were united under the name Kingdom of Great Britain.

Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 11/04/2007



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