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Bishops' Wars

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Two brief conflicts over Charles I's attempt to impose Anglicanism on the Scots, and important as a factor leading to the outbreak of the English Civil War. Since 1625 the king had been trying to take back former church lands from Scottish noblemen, provoking great bitterness. In 1637, a modified version of the English Prayer Book was introduced in Scotland. This spurred the Covenanters into abolishing the episcopacy. The first war (May–June 1639) was a bloodless fiasco. Charles had refused to call a Parliament to vote funds and, acknowledging that his new recruits were no match for the Covenanters, he made peace at Berwick. For the second war (August–September 1640), refused supplies by the English ‘Short Parliament’, he obtained money from the Irish Parliament, but his army was routed by the Covenanters at Newburn, near Newcastle upon Tyne. With the Scots occupying Northumberland and Durham, Charles was forced to make peace at Ripon, and to call the Long Parliament.

Subjects: History

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