chapter  7
13 Pages

The search for a settlement, 1646–9

Charles’s surrender to the Scots in April 1646 signalled the end of the Civil War, a war won by Parliament. Yet, what had Parliament actually won? The King had been defeated but among the ranks of those who had fought against him there was little clear idea of what the post-war settlement should look like. The issues of 1641-2 were still unresolved. Many Parliamentarians had fought for religious ideals, but not necessarily the same ones. Some believed that they were protecting the old, traditional Church of England, others wanted to see the introduction of Presbyterianism, or even independence from any kind of Church government. For those who were more concerned with constitutional issues, there was the problem of what balance of power there was to be between the Crown and Parliament. Should a settlement seek to restore the traditional balance of the constitution or to fundamentally reduce the powers of the monarch?