To Althea from Prison
In a power struggle in England between King Charles I and Parliament, Lovelace sided with the king. King Charles believed strongly that his authority was God-given and pre-eminent. This viewpoint disconcerted Parliament. Charles further unsettled Parliament when he married a French Catholic, Princess Henrietta Maria, and when he championed the authority of the Church of England, insisting on preservation of its elaborate rituals in opposition to the wishes of a large bloc of Puritans in Parliament. After Parliament took issue with his foreign policy and his administration of the national purse, Charles dissolved Parliament (1629) and governed without it until 1640, when he convened a new Parliament. However, he had his defenders–notably a group of writers known as Cavalier poets. They were refined, cultured, fashionably dressed gentlemen such as Lovelace. When Parliament Puritans known as Roundheads ousted Anglican bishops from Parliament, Lovelace presented a petition calling for their restoration. In response, Parliament imprisoned him in Gate House.