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Summary Article: Bishops' Wars
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Struggles between King Charles I of England and Scottish Protestants 1638–40 over Charles' attempt to re-impose royal authority over the church in Scotland. The name derives from the Arminian bishops in England who were seen as the driving force behind Charles' attempt.

The dispute began with Archbishop Laud's attempt to introduce the new Anglican prayer book into Scottish churches – there were riots in Edinburgh when the prayer book was first used July 1637. This resistance led Charles to issue a proclamation defending the new book and upholding its use. The Scottish Protestants viewed this as a challenge to the integrity of their church and issued the National Covenant March 1638, in which they agreed to resist Charles's imposition of a the new prayer book. The General Assembly of the Kirk met in Glasgow November 1638 without Charles permission and passed resolutions abolishing Scottish bishops and rejecting the new Prayer Book. The Scots began mobilizing their forces for war and took Edinburgh and other key towns March 1639. Charles was reluctant to call an English Parliament to fund a war against the rebels, and so his forces were gathered hastily and were obviously no match for the Covenanters. The first Bishops' War was ended without a battle by the Treaty of Berwick June 1639.

However, the Scots continued to defy Charles who turned to the Irish for help after being refused assistance by the Short Parliament April 1640. The second Bishops' War started August 1640 when the Scots invaded England, defeating Charles at Newburn and occupying Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Charles withdrew to York and concluded the Treaty of Ripon with the Scots October 1640. Charles was obliged to pay £3,600,000 to the Scots, who by then controlled six English counties, and agree to reform of the English Church. To raise this huge sum, payable in three instalments, Charles was forced to call the Long Parliament and largely accede to its wishes.

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