English Civil War

Army Plots
George Goring (right) with Mountjoy Blount (left), to whom he revealed details of the First Army Plot
1641 May 1

Army Plots

London, UK

The 1641 Army Plots were two separate alleged attempts by supporters of Charles I of England to use the army to crush the Parliamentary opposition in the run-up to the First English Civil War. The plan was to move the army from York to London and to use it to reassert royal authority. It was also claimed that the plotters were seeking French military aid and that they planned to seize and fortify towns to become Royalist strongholds.

The exposure of the plots allowed John Pym and other opposition leaders to gain the upper hand by imprisoning or forcing into exile many of the king's supporters, including his wife Henrietta Maria. According to Conrad Russell, it remains unclear "who plotted with whom to do what" and that "Charles I's plots, like his grandmother's lovers, are capable of growing in the telling". Nevertheless, there were clearly real attempts to negotiate the movement of troops to London.