The Legacy of James I

The Legacy of James I


  • Conflict managed between Catholics and Puritans
  • James supports the episcopacy
  • James chooses an anti-puritan Archbishop
  • Book of Sports angers Puritan Sabbatarian’s
  • Gunpowder plot: Catholic terrorists try to blow up parliament. James responds with more recusancy fines

Foreign policy

  • Known as Rex Pacifus for trying to use diplomacy to solve 30 years war
  • Ends war with Spain in 1604. Builds relations with attempted Spanish match
  • 1609 French alliance, Catholic, anti-Spanish
  • Elizabeth to marry Frederick V of the Palatine: pro-Protestant stance in Holy Roman Empire
  • Parliaments wants to intervene in 30 years war, but James reluctant: destabilising effect


“The House of Common is like a body without a head.” James fails to understand differences between ENG and SCOT parliament. Scot was loyal, but ENG independent and challenging. Can’t intervene in elections; like he could in Scotland. Only one chamber in Scotland too.


  • Massive debt due to war.
  • Personal spending high
  • Lavish entertainer, gives money to his advisors
  • Parliament do try to help with 3 subsidies
  • James sells titles and honours cheaply
  • Economic depression: and poor harvests early 1620’s.
  • Royal Debt £900,000 1620…in 1621/4 Parliament, they were reluctant to grant James subsidies.

Character of Charles

  • Poor speaker: stammer
  • Inferiority complex
  • Shy and withdrawn, didn’t like to explain his decisions
  • Believed in Divine Right and that his power was unquestionable, god given…from father
  • Did not like fathers extravagant court
  • Prioritised order in court over access



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