The Legacy of James I

Religious issues and divisions

  • 1604, conference held at Hampton Court to adress grievances of Puritans.
  • James rejected calls for abolition of episcopacy.
  • Anti-Puritan Richard Bancroft was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury in same year.
  • James issued Book of Sports in 1618. Angered Purians: allowed nbumber of reactional activies to happen on Sundays, a day that they felt was to be reserved for religious worship and instruction only.
  • 1605, group of Catholic terrorists attempted to blow up parliament and kill James in Gumpoder Plot = increased recusancy fines and general anti-Catholic hysteria.      
  • Both Catholics and Protestants had high hopes of James. Catholics hoped he would be more tolerant to them out of respect for his Catholic mother, Mary Queen of Scots; many Protestants hoped that his upbringing in the Presbyterian Scottish church would encourage him to reform the Church of England further.
1 of 5

Relations between Crown and parliament

  • English parliament unlike Scottish = confrontational and independent
  • English parliament = Bicamral unlike Scotland
  • Unable to intervene in elections like he could in Scotland
  •  James did not always get on well with his Parliaments. Many MPs disliked his strong belief in ‘divine right’, about which he had written a book in 1598. He also argued with MPs over his desire to bring England and Scotland into a more ‘perfect’ union; many English men were deeply anti-Scottish!
  • Despite this, James could work reasonably well with Parliament. Although he often spoke dismissively of Parliaments’ rights, he did communicate frequently with them. His son, Charles, would take a very different approach.
2 of 5

Relations with foreign powers

  • 1604 signed Treaty of London - ended war with Spain.
  • Later attempted to arrange marriage for Charles to Infanta Maria - Spanish Princess
  • 1609 - alliance with France = Catholic but anti-Spanish
  • 1613, arranged marriage for Elizabeth to Frederick V of Palatine
  • Parliament keen for James to intervene in 30 years war but he was reluctant
3 of 5

Financial weaknesses

  •    James had inherited a debt of £100,000 from Elizabeth I.   James had a family and so the expenses of his court were much higher.
  •    The tax system was old and inefficient.
  • James was not good at recognising these problems and lived an extravagant life, giving over-generous gifts to friends and ‘favourites’ at court.
  •       James’ court developed a bad reputation for excessive eating and drinking, hunting and general merriment. There are accounts of a masque at court where two of the young actresses were so drunk, they were found vomiting in the hallway when they should have been on stage.
  •      Historians differ over whether the biggest financial problem was James’ own extravagance or more underlying financial problems.
  • In order to meet his expenses, James had to ask Parliament to grant his money through taxation. This was often a source of tension and disagreement between the MPs and the Crown.
  • 1606 parliament granted him 3 subsidies to help pay off debts
  • Resorted to selling titles and honours cheaply
  • Economic depression and poor harvest in early 1620s. Royal debt - £900,000 in 1620 and parliament met 1621 and 1624 = reluctant to grant James subsidies.
4 of 5

Financial weaknesses

  •    James had inherited a debt of £100,000 from Elizabeth I.   James had a family and so the expenses of his court were much higher.
  •    The tax system was old and inefficient.
  • James was not good at recognising these problems and lived an extravagant life, giving over-generous gifts to friends and ‘favourites’ at court.
  •       James’ court developed a bad reputation for excessive eating and drinking, hunting and general merriment. There are accounts of a masque at court where two of the young actresses were so drunk, they were found vomiting in the hallway when they should have been on stage.
  •      Historians differ over whether the biggest financial problem was James’ own extravagance or more underlying financial problems.
  • In order to meet his expenses, James had to ask Parliament to grant his money through taxation. This was often a source of tension and disagreement between the MPs and the Crown.
  • 1606 parliament granted him 3 subsidies to help pay off debts
  • Resorted to selling titles and honours cheaply
  • Economic depression and poor harvest in early 1620s. Royal debt - £900,000 in 1620 and parliament met 1621 and 1624 = reluctant to grant James subsidies.
5 of 5

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all English revolution resources »