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Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford collection

Call Number: MS Q11:4, 5


Includes an article of impeachment brought by the English House of Commons against Strafford, with his answers, and proofs for each article, as well as a brief of the charge against him and his answer.


  • Creation: February 1641 or later


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Thomas Wentworth, 1st earl of Strafford, 1593-1641

Viscount Wentworth, born in 1593, was a supporter of royal prerogative and became lord-deputy of Ireland in 1632. He was a firm ruler, instituting economic and political reforms, and made enemies. In 1640 he became the King's chief advisor, and was created Earl of Strafford; he planned to bring the Irish army against the Scots, encouraged despotic actions, and was a threat to the House of Commons.

On November 11 1640 the Commons resolved to accuse him of high treason, and on November 20 produced 10 articles of accusation; on January 28, 1641 the committee handling the affair produced a revised 28-article version, and sent it to the Lords as the basis of a charge of impeachment to be brought by Commons in the Lords against Strafford. On February 23 Strafford gave his answer to each article to the Lords, which returned the answers to Commons.

On March 22, 1641 the trial began in the Lords (Commons attending as a committee of the whole); on April 21 the trial was broken off because of dissension between the Lords and the Commons. The Commons thereupon passed a Bill of Attainder against Strafford, which the Lords passed on May 8; King Charles I assented under pressure on May 10; and Strafford was executed on May 11, 1641.

[Biographical account based on Rushworth's Trial of Stafford, 1680; State Trials, 1776, vol.1 cols 723-753; DNB; Journals of Commons and Lords.]


2 folders (2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS Q11:4

Physical Location

MS Q11:5

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Hofmann, 1977; Sotheby, 1978. Purchased as gifts to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library by Helen Foresman Spencer.

Guide to the Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, Collection
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1979; revised by ksc, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006; revised by mwh, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford collection, Department of Special Collections, MS Q11:4, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States