Excluding the failure of the rotten egg parliament (addled parliament) which occured in 1614, these years saw NO parliament. & it can kinda be seen as a drift ..... period, with no real direction of policy!
Most of what happened is down to COURT FACTIONS (groups of courtiers who had different opinions about stuff... important families such as the howards)
rivalry between groups of courtiers around king james who wished to gain offices of profit and have influence over James.
The Addled Parliament 1614
This parliament was A ROTTEN EGG (acheiving nothing and lasting only a few weeks)
It got off to a bad start, because MP's though the Crown had been interfering with elections (through undertakers << courtiers who had undertaken and promised to get Mps elected who were freindly to the court.)
James NEEDED money, (as usual) and asked for a subsidy to cover the cost of his son Henry's funeral who died in 1612, and the costs of his Daughter Elizabeth's marraige, his daughter.
The House of Commons WAS NOT BOVEREDDD (no sympathy) and they presented instead, petitions about impositions.
Bishop Neile of Lincoln (supporting the court) attacked the commons from the house of lords. The commons replied with an attack on him. YADDA YADDA YADDA. The debates became disorganised attacks on courts and still NO subsidies were voted for James (aww :() The house of commons annoyed James, and although he couldn't get rid of parliament, he dissolved it in June 1614, and never called it again until 1621.
Overbury Scandal. 1615-1616 !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Robert Carr (royal favourite) = earl of rochester,
he was having an affair with LADY ESSEX... and his freind who helped the affiar along, and knew everything was THOMAS OVERBURY. Lady essex annuled her marraige leaving her free and able to marry earl or rochester (or robert carr) Overbury, although he had helped and stuff, tried to persuade his freind Carr not to marry her... ooo.
James, tried to get Overbury outta the way, and offered him an ambassadorship abroad! (but it didn't work) and james was PERSUADED to send him to the tower (doubtful charge) in 1615, <<<< lady essex (omg) sent him a poisened pie!!! and then both rochester and his wife, were charged with murder BUT james pardoned them (what the hell!)
2 effects. 1)Rochester was no longer James' favourite. < he was already being edged out by george villiers anyway! 2) The story became PUBLIC and it lowered respect for James and his court (as you can imagiane!!!!)
The rise of George Villiers, Duke Of Buckingham.
Between 1618 + 1628 (when he was assassinated) Duke of Buckingham, < made duke in 1623... was chief minister (AND MOST POWERFUL MAN IN ENGLAND!!)
He caused a lot of resentment (through foreign policy in 25-29<)
and also from the gentry, through his COMPLETE CONTROL of patronage (granting of titles favours and pensions.) from the crown. If you fell out with Buckingham, you had no future career!
He also (to help finance) increased the sale titles of honour until it became a scandal! (knighthoods earldoms and names were being sold to anyone in the public!) (and the gentry refused titles because they were worthless... this brought Charles to introduce the distraint of knighthoods scheme in the personal rule)
He was largely responsible for foreign policy, (throughout this period without parliament. 1610-1621. and he seems to have been unreliable with no FIXED principles (favouring Spain one minute and pushing for war with them the next.
& when James fell ill, he transferred his affections to Charles.
"FACTIONS FIGHT FOR CONTROL" < what?
The rise of Buckingham, (naturally) caused divisions in court. & since the Earl of Rochester had lost influence over James (through Overbury scandal in 1615/1616, rival factions at court tried to interest James in a new favourite, a young man who would be under their influence.
The Howard Faction = led by earl of Northampton, were PRO- CATHOLIC/PRO-SPANISH.
The anti Howard Faction = (included Abbot the current Archbishop of Canterbury.) wanted to STOP James increasingly pro-Spanish policy. THEY put forward the young son of a country gentleman ... George Villiers. (< who gave, at this point, the impression he'd do the bidding of the Anti-Howard Faction. By 1618, (however he didn't need backers at court) His influence over James was SO STRONG that ALL the court would have to defer to him !!!!!!!!
Finance still remained an obvious problem (1610-16
During these years (howard influence) << AT COURT (1611 - 1616)
corruption was crazy! Suffolk < lord treasurer, dishonest man! (incompetent)
^ he couldn't stop James spending either! Crazy spender! and by 1616, ordinary revenue had gone up loads (deficit on ord revenue = £160,000)
so basically JAMES WAS BUILDING UP A HUGE DEBT !!
1615-1617 <<<<< REMEMBER !!!
Alderman Cockayne in 1615 came up with a plan (going to be a disaster for trade) < he was a city merchant and a friend of the Howard Faction. he wanted too, (instead of exporting half finished cloth to northern europe where it was finished) England should export finished cloth!! This trade was currently in the hands of "the merchant adventurers" a comp based in the city of London. Cockayne PERSUADED James that a new company should be made (modern, and exciting!!) This company would be run by Cockayne and James would have to lend them £10,000 to get them going? The new company was called "The King's merchant adventurers" and the scheme was NOT WELL PLANNED (o no) Cockayne's associates didn't have enough money to buy the wool, nor expertise to make the finished cloth.... or contacts (abroad) to sell it DOH!
By 1618 <<< cloth trade collapsed leading to social distress and depression, (sheep farmers/weavers < countryside) James had to RESTORE the Merchant adventurers monopoly, but they in turn had to pay the £10,000 to get what they saw as their rights back! WAR BROKE OUT in 1618 (in Europe) just as the merchant adventurers were trying to re-establish their trade 9so the export of cloth never reached the level it was at in 1614.) War was a reason, but also the City of London, never trusted James again! (no lendy money) and blame went onto James for the collapse of the cloth trade. (his dealings with Cockayne) SO loans to the crown from the city of London, gradually dried up! This continued in 1620's when BUCKINGHAM (surprise surprise) interfered with the priveleges of companies! By 1625, the great companies (such as LEVANT COMPANY/EAST INDIA COMPANY) had stopped looking to the crown to protect them, and stopped being lenders to the crown!!!!!!
FINANCIAL REFORM (or not) 1618-1620)
SUFFOLK (treasurer) fell from power in 1618 as the Hoard faction lost their grip at court to the rising favourite BUCKINGHAM. The treasury (instead of having a treasurer like Suffolk) was put into commission (run by a committee) that was basically full of Anti-Howard faction members.
They managed to make savings in the costs of running the royal household, the navy, and the royal wardrobe! (success!)
HOWEVER... despite all this, royal debt rose in one year from £100,000 to £800,000.
Sir Francis Bacon (Lord chancellor) TRIED to cut back pensions by giving .. patents of monopoly!
BUT a new member (brought in by Buckingham TO dominate royal finances), was Lionel Cranfield... a London Merchant....
Saved money on wardrobe...... (£20,000 per anum)