James and Catholicism

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  • Created on: 22-05-22 15:37
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  • James and Catholicism
    • Plots against James
      • The Bye Plot
        • Planned to kidnap James and hold him in the Tower of London until he promised to grant increased toleration towards Catholics.
        • Betrayed to Cecil.
      • The Main Plot
        • The main leader was Lord Cobham and his brother George. The plan was to kill James and his son Henry and put Arabella Stuart on the throne.
        • Cobham had written to Arabella discussing the plan and she gave the letter to Cecil exposing the plan
      • The Gunpowder Plot
        • Catesby led a group of catholics including Dutch Guido Fawkes.
          • Houses of parliament would be blown up with James and Henry and they would put Princess Elizabeth on the throne under their control.
        • January 1607: 8 of the plotters were put on trial and found guilty and were hanged drawn and quatered.
          • Sir Edward Coke put a lot of blame on Jesuits but in reality they opposed the plot as they wanted to convince James that Catholics were not a threat.
    • Impacts of Plots
      • After the betrayal of the Main Plot James suspended recusancy fines.
        • However, in early 1605 James then enforced the recusancy laws so thoroughly that 5.560 people were convicted and fined for recusancy.
      • After the conclusion of the Gunpowder Plot. laws against Catholics became extremely harsh.
        • They were forbidden to be doctors or lawyers.
        • Homes could be searched with any excuse.
        • They could not travel without permission.
        • If they did not take Holy Communion at least 3 times a year from a Protestant minister, they were fined.
        • Recusants could have up to two thirds of their property confiscated.
      • In 1606, James made everyone take an oath of allegiance which clarified that the Pope did not have the power to absolve or depose monarchs. This was to expose potential plotters.
    • At the beginning of the reign
      • Before his rule in England James had shown willingness to be lenient to the Catholics.
        • When English Catholics were visiting Scotland they were assured by James he intended to be tolerant.
      • In a letter to  the Earl of Northumberland: 'As for Catholics I will neither persecute any that will be quiet and give an outward obedience to the law, neither will I spare to advance any of them that will by good service worthily deserve it'
      • Catholic population in this time was 35,000 to 40,000 about 1%.
      • James really disliked Jesuits describing them as 'venomous wasps and firebrands of sedition'.
        • As for Secular Priests, he did hate them as much as the Jesuits but he did not want them in his realm either.
          • Secular Priests were Catholics priests who did not belong to a religious order and rivalled the jesuits.
      • James did not believe in religious persecution.
    • Later in the reign
      • Some time after the shock of the plots had worn off, James returned back to his former tolerance towards Catholics but this did waver at points throughout his reign.
      • After the assassination of Henry IV of France he put more pressure on Catholics but it wore off soon after.
      • A total of 25 Catholics were executed throughout his reign none after 1619.
      • James also lessened pressure when negotiating the Spanish Match.


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