Crown and Parliament- 1603-1629

Based of Clodaghs amazing mindmap:

I added some Charles too.

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Jame's first parliament 1603-11


  • The Apology of the House of Commons 1604
  • Grievances of Wardship
  • Shirley Case 1604
  • Buckinghamshire case 1604
  • The Great Contract 1610
  • Jame's spending Problems
  • Grievances around Purveyance
  • The Union 1603-1607
  • Impositions and the Bates case 1606

The next cards will address each of these issues.

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The Apology and Wardship

The Apology of the House of Commons 1604

This established parlaiments prerogatives including free speech, freedom from arrest and authority over religious matters.

Quite an aggressive way to start parliamentary relations.

Grievances over Wardship

Wardship is when land or estate is looked after by the crown for an underage successor to the land. The crown would cream off the profits, and earned around £60,000 every year from it.

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Shirley case and the Buckinghamshire election 1604

Shirley Case 1604

Thomas Shirley had been a corrupt government official, and once he started gaining from his position as an MP for Sussex, James had him arrested for his debts. However, parliament was outraged and re established their immunity from arrest.

The Buckinghamshire election 1604

Goodwin was elected as MP of Buckinghamshire, but he had debts, so James put forward another candidate, Fortesque. There was a dispute, and it was decided another election would be polled and parliament would have the final say.

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The Great Contract and James spendings

The Great Contract 1610

Proposed by Salisbury

offered James £200,000p/a  in return for all his fuedal dues. He refused, and the idea was dropped. Parliament also drove a very hard bargain.

James' spendings and extravagance

He gave away £60,000-£80,000 every year in gifts, and household expenditure when up by £50,000 to £114,000 in one year 1610.

Crown land had to be sold off, as well as using parliamentary subsidies to pay off debts.

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Grievances over Purveyance and the Union

Grievances over Purveyance

The Commons was divided over giving the King £50,000 for the right to purveyance. In the end, £20,000 was offered and refused. Salisbury tried various schemes to reduce purveyance, but the commons was too disgruntled by James expenditure.

The Union between Scotland and England 1603-1607

James wanted this because:

  • free trade
  • carry out will of God
  • simpler
  • free immigration for Scottish advisors

However, it was given up in 1607, because:

  • Lots of English prejudice against Scottish people
  • Very different legal systems
  • Religious differences
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Impositions and the Bates Case

Impositions were a tax put on all trade by the Monarch. It raised up to £70,000 (1628)in James' reign ; this is equal to a parliamentary subsidy. They threatened the Kings reliance on parliament, and therefore its existence.

The Bates Case 1606

Bates was a merchant who challened the legality of the imposition. However, he lost the case, and this lead to further impositions being levied.

Parliament objected as it was a tax they had no control over. James said he would give them up if parliament could come up with an alternative; he also agreed to not levy any further impositions without their permission.

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Years without parliament 1611-1621

Only the brief Addled Parliament of 1614 interuppted these years.

Here were the key issues:

  • Court Factions and Rivalry
  • Favourites and their influence
  • Financial Corruption including Suffolk and the Cockayne Project
  • General Finance
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Court Factions and Rivalry

The Howard Faction

  • Headed by the Earl of Nottingham and supported by Robert Carr, a key favourite.
  • Dominated until the rise of Buckingham in 1613.
  • They were pro-spanish.
  • Brought down by the Overbury Scandal

The Anti-Howard Faction

  • Headed by George Villiers/Buckingham
  • Wanted to stop James' increasingly pro-spanish foreign policy.
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Favourites and Corruption in Court

Robert Carr

  • A french educated Scot that James lusted after, showering him with titles and offices.
  • Married Lady Francis Howard who had just been scandalously divorced.
  • Brought down by the Overbury Scandal 1616. Overbury was a courtier who knew of Frances and Carr's affair. James tried to make him dissappear by offering him a foreign post. When he refused, he was arrested, and sent a poisoned pie in the tower in 1614. A few years later it was discovered Frances had sent the pie, resulting in her and her husbands sentence to death. However, James saved them, and sent them to the country.

Villiers (Buckingham)

  • Hugely influential in Foreign Policy
  • Friends with Charles- went on the Madrid trip in 1623 to woo the Spanish Infanta.
  • Increased sales of offices and titles until it was a scandal.

The main problem was the way James littered his favourites with money, titles and gifts. This was a huge expense to the public, and infuriated parliament.

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Financial Corruption

  • Suffolk, Lord Treasurer, was extremely corrupt - by 1616 the royal deficit had reached £160,000.
  • Selling of offices and lands was rife.
  • The Howard faction contributed to corruption.

The Cockayne Project 1614

  • The Cloth trade was down slightly.
  • Cockayne suggested they changed their trade from plain cloth to finished cloth.
  • He persuaded James to give him £10,000 towards it, and also to take away the main cloth companies monolpoly.
  • The plan was a distaster; the cloth trade collapsed as no European country wanted the finished cloth.
  • This caused huge hostility towards James especially from London Merchants. They wouldn't lend him money anymore.
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General Finance from 1618

Lionel Cranfields reign as Treasurer

  • Suffolk was sacked in 1618 for corruption after the Cockayne failure.
  • Cranfield was a notoriously organised and meticulous financial man.
  • He reduced the King's expenses by 50% by 1620.
  • However, he vehemently disagreed with war with Spain, so Buckingham had him impeached in 1624 for corruption. He lost all his titles and was fined heavily.
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Addled Parliament 1614

Parliament insisted:

  • Elections had been meddled with.
  • complaining about impositions
  • didn't vote any subsides depite James needing £65,000 to pay for a wedding and a funeral.

Arguments soon became disorganised, and the parliament was dissolved very quickly. It was 7 years until another was held.

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Third parliament 1621-22

1618- Thirty Years War breaks out as Fredrick is ousted from Bohemia and the Palatinate.

James had to call Parliament to help fund Fredricks war to gain back the Palatinate.

  • Cranfield would not support the war, and refused to pay out pensions. This made him unpopular.
  • Thd commons tuned against Bacon, as he recieved monopolies, and this was a sign of corruption. This was all fuelled by Coke, Bacon's rival at court.
  • Bacon fined £40,000 and briefly imprisoned.
  • James and parliament were behaving well, but the commons were soon reminded of the addled parliament when the King attmpted to suspend talk on a topic to a later date. The commons wanted to get Charles to marry one of his own faith.
  • James refused to discuss royal prerogative.
  • Parliament wrote the Protestation, which was then ripped out the book by James.
  • Parliament was dissolved.
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Fourth Parliament 1624-25

James require subsidies both for war, but also to pay of £1milion in debt.

  • Parliament was willing to pay to help recover the Palatinate. They voted £300,000 subsidy, but this was not enough.
  • Cranfield had made many enemies with his anti-war policy, and was impeached in 1624 for corruption.
  • James became very ill, so Charles and Buckingham were in control. The king could not oppose their war mongering.


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Charles first parliament 1625


Charles and Henrietta Maria marry.

The Commons attack

  • Arminian clergy supported by Charles.
  • Buckingham and his influence
  • Tunnage and poundage- only voting one year
  • subsidies- only voted two.

Later that year, the Cadiz expedition fails due to Buckingham choosing a poor commander, lack of communication and drunkeness.

It cost the crown over £250,000.

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Charles' second Parliament 1626

Buckingham removes key opponents by appointing them as Sheriffs.

He is also purging the court of people who are not full supporters e.g. This included Bristol, Lord Keeper Williams and Lord Arundel.

  • Sibthrope makes an absolutist-style speech, telling the commons that obedience to the king should be 'a subject's honour.'
  • The Commons quickly attacked Buckingham, and supported his opponents e.g. Bristol, who knew disturbing facts about the 1623 Spanish match attempt. This included bribing and cooperation on the position of Catholics in England. Bristol threatened to reveal this information in 1626.
  • Bucking had Bristol tried for treason, but Bristol charges him back in return, with significant evidence. The Commons accept the charge.

Charles had to dissolve parliament, to avoid his favourite's impeachment. However, this meant he had no subsidies.

This lead to the forced loan of 1627.

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Years 1626-8 (no parliament) FINANCE

Financial difficulties:

  • The forced loan of 1627- this pressured all people who paid taxes to 'lend' to the Crown. It was illegal, and the 5 knights case attempted to remove it. These five gentlemen were arrested, and applied for a writ. However, Charles's lawyer argued the Crown needed emergency powers of arrest, and attempted to change records to be in Charles' favour. This considerably damaged the kings reputation.
  • Charles sold £350,000 of crown lands, leading to significant problems in the future.
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Years 1626-8 (no parliament) MARTIAL LAW

Billeting and martial law:

  • 50,000 troops had been raised betwen 1625-7. They were then dustributed to how the local government wished. The local peopel found themselves having to pay for their food, and even house them. The troops often committed crimes in the surrounding area. Martial law was declared in places where the troops were complained about.

Also, War with France began, and there were more and more naval failures e.g. Cadiz, La Rochelle, Ile de Re'.

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1628 Parliament

A mood of distrust came from

  • Hatred towards Buckingham, with his failed foreign policy and control of Patronage
  • Rise of Armenian faction at court.
  • Martial law and billeting were illegal.
  • Kings conduct in 5 knights case showed he had little regard for the law.

Charles needed around half a millon pounds, so he called parliament.

The Commons were determned to get the King to acknwledge there were limits to his power.

The Petition of Right 1628

Sir Edward coke said this would establish the ancient and due rights of parliament e.g.

  • forced loans were illegal, 
  • arrest without trial was illegal, 
  • billeting soldiers on individuals is illegal and so is martial law.

At first Charles was reluctant to sign, but finally he did so.

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Further Parliament of 1628

The Petition of Right meant the Commons voted about 5 subsidies (Charles needed 10).

However, the air of crisis continued:

  • Charles attempted to raise a proffesional calvary, perhaps to begin an absolutists state.
  • Laud becomes Bishop of London.
  • Commons voted for tougher rescusancy laws, and Buckingham to have less power.
  • Commons complained about the collection of tunnage and poundage.


The favourite was murdered by John Felton. Charles was devastated, but Anglo-French relations improved as C and Henrietta Maria drew closer, and parliament had seen Buckingham as a barrier betwen them and Charles.

However, parliaments celebration of Buckingham's death horrified Charles, and he thought they had even engineered his murder.

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1629 Parliament

Key issues:

Religion: Leading Arminian, Montague, annointed as Bishop of Chichester proved that Charles did not see Arminianism as a threat to the CofE.

Tunnage and Poundage: Many merchants refused to pay it, and had their goods confiscated.

The Three Resolutions 1629

Eliot held down the speaker at parliament and announced:

  • Popery and Arminianism encouragement is a capital enemy.
  • Anyone who advises the collection of tunnage and poundage is a 'capital enemy'.
  • Anyone who pays tunnage and poundage is a 'capital enemy'.

Many MP's thought Eliot had gone too far, and Charle's dismissed parliament and begins self rule.

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This is really useful for revision cards. Thanks so much. Trying to give it a five star rating, but having problems.

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