James I final years

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James I's final years 16211625
The 1621 Parliament
Challenge of the puritans
Some puritans had left on the Mayflower in 1620 these puritans were a very small minority most
puritans were content to stay within the church of England, the issue was the great struggle going
on in Europe between the Catholics and the Protestants in the 30 years' war. Some believed
England was the nation chosen by God to lead a protestant campaign across Europe. These
members of the gentry ­ Sir Edward Coke were in Parliament and therefore unhappy with James
foreign policy. Parliament was anxious to support Fredrick of the Palatine (James son in law) who
was seen by many as a protestant hero. So they called for war with Spain, although they voted
only two subsides for military support to recover the palatine, which was inadequate as the
Spanish army was the most powerful in Europe.
The Protestation
James was annoyed at the commons discussing foreign policy, which was his royal prerogative,
and he ordered them to stop doing so. The commons produced the Protestation to the King,
arguing that their ancient right of freedom of speech allowed them to discuss any matter
regardless of royal prerogative
Subsidy for war
Middlesex knew England could not afford a war with Spain, Parliament was prepared to vote
money to recover the Palatinate from Spain but didn't favour a direct military attack. James said if
they were going to fight he would need subsidies as well as nearly £1 million to pay off his debts,
given the promises by Charles and Buckingham (That if Parliament appointed commissioners to
oversee the spending they could decide how the war was to be fought) given this parliament
voted subsidies of £300,000 not enough for serious war with Spain.
The fall of Lord Chancellor Bacon
Encouraged by Sir Edward Coke, the commons turned on Sir Francis Bacon. He had been dismissed
by James in 1616 for supporting the independence of judges and the importance of the laws made
by Parliament against prerogative laws. Bacon was an old court rival of Coke. The commons saw
Bacon as a symbol of court corruption and mismanagement because of his gifts and monopolies.
They impeached him for taking bribes as Lord Chancellor. He was fines £40,000 and briefly
Economic Depression and Monopolies
Economic depression, caused by the 30 years' war and the consequent fall in the exports had
devastated Europe. There was a poor harvest in 1621 which caused widespread distress.
Parliament tried to deal with the problem by pushing through the statue of monopolies, which
made monopolies that were not concerned with new inventions illegal.

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Lionel Cranfield and Royal finances
Became Lord Treasures in October 1621. He became Earl of Middlesex in 1622. He realised the
only way James could be financially sound would be by cutting expenditure, preventing gifts and
pensions to be given to courtiers. He managed to get more money from custom farmers. He knew
England could not afford a war with Spain and was therefore in favour of a peacefully foreign
policy.…read more

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Europe. The new proposed marriage by Buckingham was of the Catholic French princess
Henrietta Maria.
The impeachment of Cranfield
Cranfield supported Spain, because he knew the Spanish dowry would cover all of James debts,
while war would undo all his attempts for financial reform. As Charles and Buckingham were in
favour of war they wished to remove Cranfield from office. So Cranfield was found guilty of
corruption, fined £50,000 and lost is offices thanks to Parliament.…read more


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