The Stuarts 1603 - 1618: James and Finance

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THE GREAT CONTRACT

1610

Why James Needed Money

  • Money was drying up
    • 'live off his own'
      • Live of ordinary revenue (rent from crown lands, monopolies, selling titles, customs farmers, impositions, feudal dues - wardship and purveyance, subsidies)
        • subsidies had to be granted by Parliament and only in times on emergency
        • Rent from lands not in line with inflation (so money worth less)
    • 'conspicuous consumption'
      • courtiers wanted to show off wealth
        • Buckingham spent £3,000 on clothes by 1627
      • James giving £60-80,000/year on gifts and pensions
  • No one wanted to tell him he was spending too much
    • courtiers liked the gifts
  • Lord Treasurer from 1608 (Robert Cecil, Earl of Sailsbury) wanted to reform the crown spendings
    • So no debt and more efficient spending
    • Proposed Great Contract to Commons to grant £600,000 and give extra £200,000/year
      • In return, King

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