JAMES I. 1603 - 1625
The only son of Mary, queen of Scotland, by her cousin Henry, lord Darnley, Mary, queen of Scotland, born at Edinburgh Castle in 1566. Married Anne, daughter of Frederick II. of Denmark, by whom he had two sons and one daughter. Began to reign, 1603. Reigned 22 years. Died 1625.
A conspiracy in favour of Arabella Stuart discovered, and the conspirators punished, 1603. The Gunpowder Plot, and Guy Fawkes and other conspirators executed, 1605. Insurrections in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire suppressed, 1607. A. new translation of the Bible published, 1611. The title of Baronet first created, 1612. Execution of the brave and learned Sir Walter Raleigh, 1618. James re-establishes episcopacy in Scotland, and quarrels with the Commons, 1621. War declared against Spain and Germany, 1624.
England, Scotland, Ireland.
As a consequence of the peace with Spain successful
colonization began in America.
James I. of England ( and VI. of Scotland ).
James possessed good abilities and a good heart, but had many defects as a ruler, prominent among them being subservience to unworthy favourites and disregard for the kingly dignity. He was also vain pedantic, and gross in his tastes and habits. His name is sullied by the part he played in bringing Raleigh to the block. In his reign the authorized translation of the Bible was accomplished .
In 1567 (his mother being forced to resign the crown) he was crowned at Stirling, and his childhood was passed under the direction of the Earl of Mar, and the tuition of the famous Buchanan. He had much trouble with his nobles, a party of whom made him captive at Ruthven Castle in 1582; but a counter party soon set him at liberty. When his mothers life was in danger he exerted himself in her behalf (1587); but her execution took place, and he did not venture upon war. In 1589 he married Princess Anne of Denmark. In 1603 he succeeded to the crown of England, on the death of Elizabeth, and proceeded to London. One of the early events of his reign was the Gunpowder Plot .
He soon allowed his lofty notions of divine right to become known, got into trouble with parliament, and latterly endeavored to rule as an absolute monarch, levying taxes and demanding loans in an arbitrary manner. In 1606 he established Episcopacy in Scotland. In 1613 his daughter Elizabeth was married to the elector palatine, an alliance which ultimately brought the present royal family to the throne. He wished to marry his son Charles prince of Wales, to a Spanish princess, but this project failed, and war was declared against Spain. The king, however, died soon after in 1625.
The first twenty-one years of James' reign are distinguished as being free from foreign or domestic wars, with the exception of troubles in Ireland in 1608. No similar period of peace is recorded before, and no such time has elapsed since without a war of some description. The time of the ascendancy of Sir Robert Walpole is the nearest approach to such a peace since, and then there was actual though not declared war with Spain in 1727. Between Elizabeth's peace with France in 1564 and formal war with Spain in 1585, there was rebellion in England in 1569 - 70, war on the Scotch border, and practically a naval war in the West Indies with Spain.. In the so-called forty years' peace of the present century, from 1815 to 1854, occurred two great Sikh wars, an Afghan war, two Burmese wars, a Mahratta war, a Caffre war, the battle of Navarino, the bombardment of Acre and many smaller conflicts.
The energies of the King were constantly bent on preserving the peace of Europe, which the ambition of Henry IV. of France, the chaos of Germany, the decline of the Protestants in Germany, the intrigues of the Jesuits and the progress of Catholic schemes in their hands, made increasingly difficult. The intentions of James were wiser than his measures. The Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618, on Frederick the Elector Palatine accepting the Bohemian throne, and England was involved in 1624, but no operations of importance ensued. Abroad James' son-in-law, the Elector Palatine, was driven out of Bohemia by the battle of Prague, 1620, the Palatinate was overrun by the Spaniards, and war recommenced in the Netherlands between the Spaniards and the Dutch.
1603. Sir Thomas Egerton, afterwards Lord Ellesmere and Viscount Brockley, Keeper, lord Chancellor, July 24.
1617. Sir Francis Bacon, afterwards Lord Verulam and Viscount St. Albans, Keeper.
1618. Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, Chancellor.
1621. Sir Julius Caesar and Sir John Ley, afterwards Earl of Marlborough, Commissioners to hear causes in Chancery.
Viscount Mandeville, afterwards Earl of Manchester
the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Arundel Commissioners of the Great Seal, May 1 to July 10.John Williams, Dean of Westminster, afterwards Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of York, Keeper, July 10.
1603. Earl of Dorset Treasurer.
Lord Hume and Sir Fulke Greville, Chancellors of the Exchequer.
1608. The Earl of Salisbury, Treasurer.
1612. The Earl of Northampton, first Commissioner.
1614. Lord Ellesmere, Lord Chancellor, Commissioner.
July 11, The Earl of Suffolk, Treasurer.
1618. George Abbott, Archbishop of Canterbury, Commissioner.
1620. Sir Richard Weston, afterwards Lord Weston and Earl
of Portland, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Sir Henry Montagu, afterwards Earl of Manchester, Treasurer.
1621. Lord Cranfield, afterwards Earl of Middlesex, Treasure;
162t Sir Richard Weston, Treasurer.
Dec. 11. Sir James Ley afterwards Earl of Marlborough, Treasurer.
Secretaries of State
1603. Sir Robert Cecil, afterwards Earl of Salisbury.
1609. Sir Alexander Hay.
1612. Thomas Hamilton.
1016. Sir Ralph Winwood, till 1618. Sir Thomas Lake, till 1619,
1618. Sir John Herbert. Sir Robert Naunton, vice Herbert, till 1622.
1619. Sir George Calvert afterwards Lord Baltimore.
1622. Sir Edward Conway, afterwards Lord Conway.
Robert Ken, Viscount Rochester 1611, Earl of 8omerset 1613, Privy Councillor 1612, Acting Secretary of State 1612 - 15, Acting Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal 1614. Prisoner in the Tower 1616 - 1622.
George Villiers, Viscount ViIliers 1616, Earl of Buckingham 1617, Marquis 1619, Duke 1623, Privy Councillor 1617, Lord High Admiral 1619.
ACTS AND DOCUMENTS
1604. Jac. I 1,33. Tunnage and Poundage granted
to the King for life.
A Conference on religion held at Hampton Court to examine into the grievances of the Puritan party. It resulted in some slight changes in the Prayer Book, and in an order for an amended (the present authorized) version of the Scriptures. (Rymer; xvi. 565, 574.)
In the same year Convocation drew up Canons to which the clergy were required to subscribe.
The Canons have been published by the Christian Knowledge Society, 1841.
Peace of London concluded with the King of Spain, and the Archdukes, Albert and Isabella, rulers of the Spanish Netherlands. The cautionary towns in the Netherlands in English hands were to be at present considered neutral. The Inquisition was to be restrained in dealing with English sailors and merchants in Spanish ports. The American trade was finally passed over in silence, with the result that the English traders continued to go to America at their own risk, and the Buccaneers, or independent pirate traders of the West Indies were the speedy result.
Another result of the peace was the desperation of the Recusants in England, who felt themselves abandoned by the Spaniards, and some of whom were shortly in consequence to enter upon the Gunpowder Plot (Rymer, xvi. 585.)
1606. An important decision was given in the Court of Exchequer, in the case of Bate, a Levant merchant, who refused to pay an imposition upon currants levied by royal authority. The Judges decided that it was within the King's prerogative to make such impositions, and it had been undoubtedly done in the previous reign. Bate's case in State Trials, ii. 371. An instance under James is seen in the imposition of six and eightpence in the pound upon Tobacco. (Printed in Rymer, xvi. 601.)
1608. James made a treaty with the United Provinces, with a view to recovering the money spent for them by Elizabeth and terminating their war with Spain (Rymer; xvi.667, 673.)
1609. Consequently the Truce of Antwerp was concluded between the United Provinces and Spain for twelve years, on the mediation of France and England. The independence of the Provinces and their East Indian trade were practically admitted by Spain for that time. (Dumont, v. part ii. 99.)
1619. The Synod of Dort in Holland was held to settle the questions between Calvinists and Arminians. English divines were presents and the decisions were generally, though not authoritatively, accepted in England, and not only by the Puritan party, as defining the faith of Protestantism. The complete condemnation of the Arminians at Don undoubtedly strengthened the Puritan party here, all their opponents being stigmatised as Arminians, though Laud always repudiated the description for himself Motley, John of Barnevelde, contains a full account of the circumstances of the Synod and a brief resume of its conclusions.
1624. Jan I. 21, 3. An Act for the abolition of Monopolies, of which much complaint had been made since the late reign. Patents for new inventions and licenses for keeping taverns excepted.
The act was passed by the parliament in the course of their attack upon the policy and advisers of the marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta. The Earl of Middlesex was impeached soon afterwards. The latter part of this reign saw the revival of parliamentary impeachment, which had been in abeyance since Henry VI's reign, in the case of Bacon in 1621, and the Earl of Middlesex 1624.