It was, of course, a tyrannical Scotsman who started to cause the events which led to the English Civil War. Long-term causes
King James VI of Scotland, who came down to England and put himself on the Throne as King James I of England, not only had an abnormally long tongue which often lolled out of his mouth causing ugly scenes when he ate and which caused drink to dribble out of each side of the cup and his mouth when he drank, but he was also a firm believer in the Divine Right of Kings. This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong, neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation. He expected the English Parliament to do as he wanted.
James and Parliament often clashed over money - Parliament had plenty of money but James hardly had any. One source of the King's income was Custom Duty, but Parliament declared that he could not have it without its permission.
In 1611, James suspended Parliament and it did not meet for another 10 years. James used his friends to run the country and they were rewarded with titles. This caused great offence to those Members of Parliament who believed that they had the right to run the country.
In 1621, James re-called Parliament to discuss the future marriage of his son, Charles, to a Spanish princess. Parliament was outraged. If such a marriage occurred, would the children from it be brought up as Catholics? Spain was still not considered a friendly nation to England and many still remembered 1588 and the Spanish Armada. The marriage never took place but the damaged relationship between king and Parliament was never mended by the time James died in 1625. Short term causes
James's son, Charles I, took to the Throne in 1625.
Like his father, Charles was arrogant, conceited and a strong believer in the divine rights of kings. He had witnessed the arguments between his father and Parliament and considered Parliament to be wrong.
From 1625 to 1629, Charles argued with parliament over most issues, but money and religion were the most common causes of arguments.
In 1629, MPs arrived at Parliament to find that they were locked out, and weren't able to get back in for 11 years. This became known as the Eleven Years Tyranny. Charles ruled by the Court of Star Chamber.
To raise money for himself, Charles heavily fined those who were brought before the Court. Rich men were persuaded to buy titles. If they refused to do so, they were fined the same sum of money it would have cost for a title anyway!
What was almost the final straw came in 1635 when Charles ordered that everyone in England should pay Ship Money. This was historically a tax paid by COASTAL towns and villages to pay for the upkeep of the navy. The logic was that coastal areas most benefited from the navy's protection, but Charles decided that everyone in the kingdom benefited from the navy's protection and that everyone should pay.
John Hampden, the MP for Wendover in Buckinghamshire and one of the most powerful men in England, refused to pay Ship Money. Hampden was put on trial and found guilty. However, he had become a hero for standing up to the King. The towns of Hampden, Maryland, Hamden, Connecticut and Hampden, Maine, as well as the county of Hampden, Massachusetts are named in his honour. There is no record of any Ship Money being extensively collected in the areas Charles had wanted it extended to.
By 1642, relations between Parliament and Charles had become very bad. Charles had to do as Parliament wished as they had the ability to raise the money that Charles needed. However, as a firm believer in the "divine right of kings", such a relationship was unacceptable to Charles.
In 1642, he went to Parliament with 300 soldiers to arrest his five biggest critics. Someone close to the king had already tipped off Parliament that these men were about to be arrested and they had already fled to the safety of the city of London where they could easily hide from the king. This event means that today the British Monarch is not allowed to step foot inside the Commons.
Six days after trying to arrest the five Members of Parliament, Charles left London to head for Oxford to raise an army to fight Parliament for control of England. A civil war could not be avoided, a civil war that would cost Charles his head and lead to England becoming a republic.