CHARLES I (1600-1649), king of England, Scotland and Ireland. Document signed (‘Charles R’) to Dudley, 3rd Baron North, Westminster, 31 October 1626.
Ordering that he lend the sum of 110 pounds to the Crown. 39 lines on one page, folio (320 x 210), bifolium, docket (docket darkened and the text significantly faded, one small loss affecting the text, some tattering to edges and folds). [With:] a copy of Charles II's 1680 appointment of Lord Chancellor Heneage Finch to preside at the trial of William, 1st Viscount Stafford, for high treason.
Charles states that ‘the accidents of Germany and the intelligences wee receave from divers other parts’ have made the King's needs more urgent than he had stated in a previous letter in August, ‘caring (as befitts us) to have o[u]r kingdomes defended, o[u]r Allies succoured (that are so ingaged for us), the partie of religion supported, which are now so strongly opposed’: the King therefore requires that ‘every one, both Lords and others, who were assessed the last subsidy should lend unto us for a time that entire somme which he was assessed at: As he that was assessed at one hundred pounds to lend us one hundred pounds’, and outlining that ‘you of our Nobilitie (whom we have alwayes found readiest to provide for the publique)’ should play their part in helping to expedite this business, else it ‘will turne to the irreparable losse & dishonor of the State & us’; a postscript notes that ‘For the more expedicion Thomas Paramoure Esq is appointed Collector of this Loane’.
The forced loan of October 1626 formed part of the disastrous opening to Charles's reign, and rather than being prompted by foreign intelligence had a more immediate cause in Parliament's refusal to subsidise the King's intended war on Spain. Charles's desperation may be measured by the present letter to one of his most impecunious noblemen – in the 1630s Lord North was described as 'the least-estated lord in the kingdom', and he at one point resorted to obliging his son and daughter-in-law to live with him, and charging them £200 a year for the privilege.