James I and Parliament

Four pages of medium-detailed notes on James I and all four of his Parliaments.
Also briefly covers James' financial situation, The Earl of Salisbury and James' favourites in court.

Twelve questions to answer at the end.

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  • Created on: 13-03-14 20:23
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James and Parliament notes
Privileges of Parliament
- Free elections to Parliament
- Free speech for MPs
- Freedom from arrest
The First Session of the First Parliament (1604)
- Extremely important for both the Crown and Parliament.
- Opening issues involved obvious questions of prerogative and
privilege in disputed election matters.
- The Buckinghamshire election dispute raised the privilege of free
elections. In 1603, James had issued a proclamation to the effect that no
one who was bankrupt or an outlaw was to be elected to Parliament. This
led to Sir Francis Goodwin's election being declared null and void. The
Commons saw this as an abuse of their privilege to free elections and
insisted that Goodwin had been wrongly described as an outlaw.
- The case of Sir Thomas Shirley was raised at the same time. He had
been elected MP for Steyning, but imprisoned for debt before the
Parliament met. They secured the release of Shirley and an Act that
allowed creditors of MPs to take out new writs against such MPs at the
close of the Parliament.
- The grievance of purveyance was deeply felt. A substitute was
needed for James' purveyance, but the grievance was unresolved.
- The grievance of wardship was raised. Robert Cecil held the office of
Master of the Wards, and was aware of the corruption associated with
wardship. He was prepared to look into schemes to compensate the King
for wardships, but James and others opposed this.
- The grievance of monopolies was voiced.
- James' aims to unite England and Scotland under one King, one
faith, one law, one people and one name (Britain) were brought up as
well.
- The First Parliament was uncooperative; some Members were also
hostile to Union. Union threatened an unprecedented increase in the
royal powers of prerogative.
- The testing first session ended with The Form of Apology and
Satisfaction (1604) from 72 MPs to James.
Second and Third sessions of the First Parliament (1606
and 1606-1607)
- The second and third sessions began more cordially because of the
relief felt at the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.
- Subsidies voted to encourage James to take an anti-Catholic stand.
- The grievances of purveyance and wardship were urged.
- Complaints at the increase in customs duties and Union were spoken.
Fourth session (1610)
- The Fourth Session saw the culmination of a number of serious issues

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Page 2

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The Parliament was dissolved in January 1611
James' finance issues
James' financial situation was mainly caused by two factors:
- James' financial inheritance
- Excessive expenditure
Financial inheritance
An inadequate revenue system
- Elizabeth had sold off land to the value of £372,000 in the last
five years of her reign, reducing the potential income for James
- Crown lands were rented out, often on long leases with rents
below their real value.…read more

Page 3

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The Second (Addled) Parliament (1604) ­ Why was it a
failure?
- After the death of Robert Cecil in 1612, James was under pressure to
fill the key posts that Cecil had held. The most active supporter was the
Howard faction.
- The Howards were crypto-Catholics, and so wanted softening on
anti-Catholic laws as well as a foreign policy that supported Spain.
- The anti-Catholic faction was the Abbot-Pembroke group.
- Both groups tried to influence the king through Robert Carr (Viscount
Rochester).…read more

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Monopolies had been declared illegal in 1603. However, the Crown
continued to grant them, and the Commons demanded an inquiry.
- This eventually led to the revival of impeachment.
Concern for the Protestant cause
- This concern produced a discussion on the direction of foreign policy.
- Above all, the House wanted the King to abandon the Spanish marriage
scheme.
- James dissolved the Parliament and ripped the page from the House of
Commons' Journal.…read more

Page 5

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What was the nature of, and how serious was, opposition to Crown
policies in Parliament?…read more

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