Author Topic: Charles II & Dismissing Parliment  (Read 4620 times)

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Offline carl fraley

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Charles II & Dismissing Parliment
« on: March 10, 2006, 01:02:37 AM »
BBC produced a Movie series in 2005 Called "CHarles II, the Power and Passion)

In the movie HM charles II, dissolves parliment and gave a pretty good speech (or albeit the brief tv version).  Does anyone know if it was based on historical fact?

Is there a real version somewhere?  i have looked online and can't find any speeces from hiim dissolving Parliment.. Anyone know of any anywhere?

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Charles II & Dismissing Parliment
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 06:04:15 AM »
It is indeed based on fact. A lot of the time, Charles would 'prorogue' parliament rather than dissolve it. This meant that he 'closed' that particular session of parliament. MPs retained their seats, and there was no elections, but parliament didn't meet again until the King wished.

However, in March 1681 Charles II actually dissolved parliament, to prevent the reading of the Exclusion Bill, which would have excluded his brother James from the throne. Charles summoned parliament to meet in Oxford - away from the exclusion supporters in London. He travelled in a sedan chair, with his regalia concealed in another. He then changed into his regalia, and dissolved parliament in a few words, to the shock of the MPs. He had lunch, went to Windsor, and left Oxford in disarray!  ;)

I think the speech he gives in the series is fairly accurate. I'm currently reading Fraser's bio of him, so if I come across the speech, I'll let you know.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
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palatine

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Re: Charles II & Dismissing Parliment
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 02:15:08 PM »
The speech in the movie is accurate.  I've seen it quoted in biographies of Charles II.  Alas, the movie oversimplified Charles’s motivations for dissolving the Oxford Parliament.  Charles and James were in a lot more (self-inflicted) trouble than the movie implies.  Antonia Fraser discusses the problems they faced, but I think the best explanation of Charles and James's problems at the time is found in Ronald Hutton's biography of the Merry Monarch.  Basically, dissolving Parliament was the best short-term solution that Charles could find.  England was perilously close to another Civil War, and shutting down Parliament was the easiest and best way for Charles to avert it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »