Thomas Wentworth's Trial

The Earl of Strafford attempted to reconcile the newly arrived settlers from England and Scotland with the native population of Ireland. However, his attempts to do so embittered powerful Protestant and parliamentarian forces against him. The fact that he attempted to bring the newly arrived settlers together with the indigenous population under the umbrella of the royal leadership of King Charles ended up offending settler and parliamentarian sensibilities. Indeed, his policies were later wielded as a weapon by his enemies when he was finally impeached over his actions in Ireland. Actually, all he was trying to do was to bring the Protestant settlers into accommodation with the Irish. However, many of the Protestants in Ireland had no desire to cede their privileged position and power to the local Catholic population. His perseverance alienated parliamentarians back home who were angered that King Charles was attempting to rule without them. When monetary and political concerns forced Charles to call for a return of the English Parliament, their first condition was the impeachment and execution of Strafford. Ireland had become drawn into the political divisions of the British Isles as a whole - whether she liked it or not.

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by Stephen Luscombe