James I Foreign+Financial+Religion



  • He was wildly extravagant. He spent £185,000 on jewels by 1612. He was giving away £80,000 each year. His ante-supper costs £3,200.
  • He paid for the wedding of his daughter and Henry's funeral (1612). He spent £116,000
  • He ended the war with Spain. Therefore, military expenditure should have decreased. However, he still financed the army in Ireland (£600,000)
  • The system was corrupt. The Duke of Buckingham whose income was £400,000 was assessed at £400
  • Inflation. Therefore, the value of money decreased. The real value of subsidies decreased. MPs don't realise it as they are stooopid. Income from renting lands decreased
  • MPs believed at peace times Crown should not receive any subsidies, "live off ones own". The problem of the non-existent  stable taxation system
  • Elizabeth sold £800,000 land = smaller income
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  • Robert Cecil Earl of Salisbury
  • GREAT FARM OF CUSTOMS Government agents would collect customs duties -> encouraged being max. productive and discouraged smuggling. HOWEVER, if trade boomed, the gov agents would benefit more
  • 1604 - increased rates in the Book of Rates
  • Book of Bounty (puts limit to royal gifts)
  • 1606 - Bates Case. Bates refused to pay a customs duty not sanctioned by P. and judges said James had full rights to do it.
  • 1610 - The Great Contract. It proposed to get rid of wardship and purveyance in return for £600,000 to clear the crown's debt and £200,000 annually. Failed due to mistrust. MPs were concerned James won't need them anymore
  • 1611 - the title of Baronet was sold at £1095. It generated £90,000 revenue. It angered honours and the court as decreased in the value
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  • Suffolk. The debt doubled from £500,000 to £900,000. In 1618 charged with corruption
  • Cockayne Scheme. Cockayne wanted to get into the Monopoly of the Merchant Adventures and convinced James to prohibit the exporting of unfinished cloth, saying it would increase employment and customs revenue
  • Cranfield
  • Reduced household expenditure from £77,000 to £18,000
  • He cut military expenditure and balanced the books
  • Cranfield could not stop James extravagance
  • Book of Bounty 1619 and 1621. no pensions and new grants will be screened by Cranfield
  • He refused to sell Crowns land as saw it as reducing King's authority.
  • Problems in foreign policy ruined Cranfield's achievements. The trip to Madrid cost £50,000. Buckingham returned from Spain intent on war. Cranfield opposed war as it will increase expenditure. Was found guilty of corruption and imprisoned in the Tower
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  • 1604 - Peace with Spain
  • 1614 - He negotiated a settlement of Julich Cleves dispute
  • 1618 - The Thirty Years War. This is why he was tolerant of RC and Prot.
  • 1613 - Spanish Match. Spanish Infanta + £600,000 dowry. Children should be brought up as RC. MPs would ban this
  • 1623 - Charles and Buckingham incognito travelled to Infanta. They got caught. Everything James was working on now was ruined. Bucki+Charles want a war with Spain


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  • James Aims. 1. Keep CofE tolerant 2. Separate moderate RC and Purit from the extremists 3. Ensure that any religious problem does not affect the relationship with P.
  • James recognised that the Pope was powerful and might turn Catholic foreign powers against him if he was too anti-Catholic.
  • Unlike Elizabeth, James recognised that there were some problems in the Church of England and was willing to consider some changes.
  • 1603 - Millenary Petition. Moderate Puritans were willing to make reforms. no bowing, no surplice etc
  • 1604 - Hampton Court Conference. James promised to issue a new version of the Bible (achieved in 1611). James promised to reduce pluralism and educate the clergy. James agreed the Sabbath should be observed more strictly.
  • A Puritan representative raised the idea of more involvement of lower clergy in organising the Church. James was angered and declared 'no Bishops, no King!' because he saw this as a threat to his authority.
  • 1604 - Bancroft Canons. Rules of Church so everyone knew what to expect. The most important Canon was 36. It required the clergy to declare loyalty to James as Head of the Church and use the Book of Common Prayer. Only 1% refused to do it so.
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  • 1603 - James reduced by 75% recusancy fines. It angered Puritans and pleased RC
  • 1605  - Gunpowder Plot.  James became more popular. It improved the relationship with Parliament
  • 1606 - Parliament passed an Act which banned RC living in London and ordered RC to take the Oath of Allegiance
  • While the gunpowder plot forced the abandonment of James' tolerant attitude towards Catholics, because of its possible consequences for himself and his government, he still remained very tolerant.
  • James was able to separate extremists from moderates.
  • 1618 - Book of Sports. It angered Puritans. He thought it would appeal to Catholics who would see the CofE as more fun. 
  • 1618 - 30YR War. It encouraged anti-catholicism. The failure of the Spanish Match only worsened 
  • In the 1621 Parliament, anti-Catholic feeling encouraged Parliament to comment on the proposed Spanish Match. Protestation of 1621.  James was furious so he dismissed  the Parliament
  • Spanish Catholics did not threaten the throne of James but English anti-catholics made it difficult for the King in relations to Parliament.
  • It has been said that the Catholic issue was even more significant at the end than the beginning of James' reign
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