Charles I Aids a Gentleman in the Recovery of Debts While Facing His Own Royal Struggles with Parliament over Forced Loans and the Petition of Right, 1628
Category: World Leaders
Item Number: 15006
King Charles I
Charles I. King of Great Britain until the outbreak of Civil War and his beheading in 1649. 1 page Letter Signed "Charles R" and dated November 15, 1628. Writing to the Viscount Falkland, Charles sends aid to a gentleman "by whom there are many debts due unto him from several persons, the recovery whereof by legal and ordinary course of proceeding would prove tedious and expensive." To mitigate these difficulties for the gentleman, Thomas Mall, Charles advises Falkland that he does "hereby authorize and require that you call before you such as are so indebted to him, and take such course as they may answer the debts that are justly due unto him." He signs in his hand "Charles R."
Charles' extension of assistance to Sir Mall in the gathering of money owed to him ironically coincided with Charles I's own struggles with royal debt. Large fiscal deficits inherited from Elizabeth I and his father James I left Charles with limited funds for military and diplomatic efforts early in his reign; and for this reason, he had begun levying unpopular taxes and granting illegal monopolies in order to raise funds. One of his most controversial acts was the taking of Forced Loans, wherein he forcibly took money from citizens and called it a Loan to the Crown. By the time of this letter in 1628, Parliament had stepped forward in an attempt to override Charles' actions through the Petition of Right, which remains one of England's most important Constitutional amendments. According to the Petition, Charles had committed an overstep of authority and was barred from levying taxes without Parliamentary consent.
A letter connected with the deeply ingrained struggles of Charles I's reign, which ultimately led to his trial and beheading. Letter measures approximately 8x12" and is affixed to a slightly larger page. Address panel included on second adjoining sheet. Some mild foxing and soiling, with mailing folds. In very good condition.