Impeachment of the Earl of Strafford

(130 words)

Historical Context Note

Thomas Wentworth was one of the most trusted of King Charles I's advisors, and his power peaked in January 1640, when he was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland (with the power to govern it in Charles' absence) and created First Earl of Strafford. However, this zenith was not long lasting. He became heavily unpopular with the Irish as a result of his brutal approach, gaining the nickname 'Black Tom Tyrant'. When the Long Parliament opened in November 1640, it quickly instigated impeachment proceedings against him. The court case was eventually unsuccessful, but Parliament responded by passing a bill of attainder, effectively declaring him guilty without trial. Charles recognised that in allowing Stafford's execution, he was losing …

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