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Finding Aid

SIR GEORGE CROOKE'S ACCOUNT OF SHIP-MONEY
MS 92-10

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Size: 0.5 linear feet

Literary rights:
Literary rights were not  granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Restrictions: None

Content note:
One manuscript bound in book form. This account contains information about the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I of England. Sir George Crooke is one of the judges on the King's Bench. It was written in 1638 and contains the reasons why Sir George Crooke believed that the writ was illegal and why judgement should be found in favor of the defendant.

Ship-money is a tax collected in the coastal towns of southern England to build up a navy to defend the country. In 1634, King Charles I levied this tax without parliamentary consent. His reason was that is was an emergency tax to suppress piracy. The king could levy a tax without parliamentary consent in the case of an emergency. Charles hoped that this "emergency tax" would turn into a permanent tax.

Charles did not limit the tax to coastal towns but expanded it to include inland towns as well. There was little opposition to this writ until 1636, when Charles issued a third writ for ship-money. John Hampden, Parliamentary leader, refused to pay the tax because it had not been approved by Parliament. He went to trial in 1637 in Exchequer Court. He lost his case and was fined. Out of the twelve judges, five voted in favor of his case.

As a result of this dissent about ship-money, Long Parliament put an end to it.

There is reference in Sir George Crooke's book about John Hampden and his case (p. 6). It is not clear if Hampden is the defendant but it is clear that Judge Crooke was in favor of the defendant.

Acquisition: Purchased by Martin Bush from Sotheby's

Processed by: TGT, 11-04-1991; JEF, 4-20-1998

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