August 22 - 1642 - King Charles I Raises His Royal Standard at Nottingham
The English Civil War, or really the First English Civil War, began when King Charles I raised his Royal Standard at Nottingham. This was not actually the beginning of the conflicts between the English Parliament and King Charles, nor was it even the first moment either side had raised armies. Yet by raising his Royal Standard, Charles had taken deep seated conflicts around the role of Parliament in taxation, religion, and foreign affairs and asked for the country to rally around him. It was an astonishing step, as it was an official acknowledgement by the King that he was powerless against his own Parliament. The Parliament had previously driven Charles and his court out of London and prevented him from amassing arms. Yet Parliament always held open the possibility that open military conflict could be prevented if Charles acquiesced to certain demands. Charles could never countenance such a thing, and he thought it would be better if he would try and raise an army. Such thinking is what led to Charles losing his head some seven years later and would lead to the interregnum and rule of Oliver Cromwell.