The Addled Parliament 1614

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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

Two Factions

Howard Faction

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 crypto-Catholics

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 (Anti-Howard)

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 pro-Spanish foreign policy.

Overbury Scandal 1612-1616

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…


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