A deeply unpleasant, irascible and gout-ridden Yorkshireman, Strafford had made his name enforcing the King's authority in the north of England. For his loyalty and service he was sent out to Ireland as Lord Deputy to keep control of the province.
He played the role of the brutal but necessary advanced guard, ready and willing to sort out any problems and protect the King from any enemies. He was the King's hatchet-man, a hardliner who had no truck with the rebellious Covenanters.
Strafford's arrival coincided with a dramatic hardening of policy against the Scots. To finish off the Covenanters, Strafford advised Charles to recall Parliament to secure a proper subsidy for the military campaign. However, Parliament had not assembled since 1629 and when it was recalled, many long suppressed grievances burst forth to the surface.