James and Finance


James and Finance


  • Avoided costly war
  • Lord Treasurer Cecil farmed out customs duties more effectively
  • 1604 Book of Rates reissued with higher chargers/ adjustments for current financial situation, raised extra £70,000/ year
  • Salisbury as Lord Treasurer followed up outstanding debts from recusants and grew up Book of Bounty for courtiers to draw up grants
  • Cranfield as Lord Treasurer cut down on expenditure of household/ wardrobe, saving £100,000 a year


  • Debt of £420,000 from Elizabeth - but £3000,000 to be apid back by parliament
  • Irregular parliamentary subsidies, Book of Rates hadn't been updated since Mary I's reign - ineffective tonnage and poundage
  • £3000 cost of 1621 ante-supper, other elaborate masques, hunting etc.
  • Gave Scottish friends lavish gifts e.g. James Hay £400,000
  • Giving away £80,000 a year in 1610 whereas Liz only gave £30,000
  • Combined cost of Henry's funeral and Elizabeth's marriage £160,000
  • Failure of the Great Contract- parliament pay debts and give £600,000 a year for concessions over purveyance and wardships- parliament too conservative
  • Cockayne Project 1614- James gave them £10,000 but venture failed and cloth trade ruined by 1617
  • 1622 James promised treasury no grants would be made without approval, but then immediately gave £30,000 to Buckingham
  • Suffolk and Cranfield both corrupt but James did nothing about it
  • Charles and Buckingham's Madrid trip 1623 cost £50,000


James frivolous expenditure, did try and improve financial system a bit but not enough, parliament too conservative to make meaningful change.


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