Proceedings in the Opening Session of the Long Parliament: House of Commons: v.3: Strafford Trial - 22 March 1641-17 April 1641

In the English Parliament during the spring of 1641, two closely related matters came to a head: the trial of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and the completion of articles forming the framework for a treaty with Scotland. Strafford was one of King Charles I's closest associates, and his trial and eventual execution marked the beginning of the long-fought out conflict between the Parliament and the Crown over political control in England. The treaty and the trial reflect the interconnectedness of the three kingdoms - Ireland, Scotland, and England - and their relationships to one another under the English monarchy. In the parliamentary debates recorded in this volume, the interplay between public and private interests, military, religious, and mercantile, with and outside the court in England becomes clearer, as does the extent of state-driven policy and imperial design which had evolved during the years when Charles ruled without a Parliament. These records constitute the definitive account of the Strafford trial, as well as detailing other early impeachment proceedings, which would set the precedent for later impeachment trials in Great Britain and America (including the recent impeachment of United States President William Jefferson Clinton). With regards to the treaty, the journals and diaries present a detailed narrative of the step-by-step construction of peace with Scotland. Maija Jansson is Director of the Yale Center for Parliamentary History.