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The Addled Parliament 1614
The Addled Parliament
MP's were concerned at the royal attacks on the House of Commons independence and accused
the crown of interfering with elections through "undertakers" courtiers who had promised to
get MP's who were friendly with the court elected.
James asked for money for the funeral of Henry his eldest son who died in 1612 and for the costs
of the marriage of Elizabeth and Fredrick. The House of Commons was not sympathetic, the
debates became disorganised attacks on the court and no money was voted to James. James
expressed to the Spanish ambassador that he would like to be rid of Parliament. No subsidies were
voted and the Addled Parliament was dissolved in June 1614 and not called again until 1621.
Side Note: Robert Cecil (Secretary of State) died in 1612
Most prominent faction at court. Lead by Henry Howard (Earl of Nottingham) family included
Charles (Earl of Nottingham) Charles was in charge of the navy lord high admiral. Thomas (Earl of
Suffolk) was the father of Francis Howard who married the Earl of Essex (ref. the Overbury
Scandal).Howard were generally cryptoCatholics
They wanted James to have a tougher stand on Parliament, wanted penal laws abolished,
Recusancy fines reduced and a peaceful relationship with Spain. Talks with Spanish ambassador
Sarmieuto (count Gondomar) James didn't care if they were Catholic, as long as they were loyal to
the Church of England.
Pembrook Abbot Faction (AntiHoward)
This faction didn't like the Howard faction. They didn't want anything the Howard faction wanted.
Concerned that if Howards gained more influence at court it would result in a more proSpanish
Overbury Scandal 16121616
Factions tried to influence James' choice of favourites who could convince James to appoint a
certain person to court. And therefore strengthen their power base at court. Robert Carr was
Scottish and became viscount Rochester in 1611. Both factions tried to influence James through
Carr. Carr had no relation to the Howards but Carr's secretary Thomas Overbury favoured the
AntiHoward Faction. Overbury would try to stop the Howard faction getting Cecil's free position.
But James dithered and had the treasury run by committee, he acted as his own secretary of State,
although the committee was packed with AntiHoward faction members.
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1607 Frances and Carr started their affair
1613 James granted Frances an annulment to her marriage of the Earl of Essex because he was
impotent, she claimed to still be a virgin, and Howards wanted Frances to marry Carr as it would
give them more influence. Overbury apposed the marriage as it would mean James' favourite
would marry into the Howard faction. Overbury tried to persuade Frances not to marry Carr.…read more