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James VI & I 1603 - 1625. Historical Perspective’s on James PERSONALITY Physically, personally, morally grotesque. Drunken, pedantic, slovenly eating.

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Presentation on theme: "James VI & I 1603 - 1625. Historical Perspective’s on James PERSONALITY Physically, personally, morally grotesque. Drunken, pedantic, slovenly eating."— Presentation transcript:

1 James VI & I

2 Historical Perspective’s on James PERSONALITY Physically, personally, morally grotesque. Drunken, pedantic, slovenly eating habits Scots accent & spoke as if his tongue was too big for his mouth. Homosexual tendencies? Attracted to young men and choose them as his servants. It clouded his judgement when choosing advisors & companions (Robert Carr, George Villers) Fear of violence, a coward. TRADITIONALIST How important is personality. It never cost him his throne, created rebellion or got him executed. Other monarchs like George I never spoke English & George VI stuttered and thi was never considered an obstacle to effective rule. Much of this criticism rests on the somewhat unreliable testimony of Sir Anthony Weldon who was a disgruntled English courtier. There is no proof that James was a practising homosexual. REVISIONIST

3 EXTRAVAGANCE Was always in debt and gave lavish gifts to ensure friendship Notstein alleged James inability to solve the Crown’s financial problems after 1610 was proof he was senile. It was true he ran an expensive court and gave extravagant gifts up to the value of 10,000. Remember, he inherited debt and this was not helped by the expensive was costs with Spain & Ireland and also growing inflation. As a foreigner he had to give expensive gifts to buy loyalty in an openly hostile climate. There was never any revolt against him while Elizabeth & Charles did. To say James was senile is stretching the point, as a solution to the Crown’s financial problems would have been difficult for anyone to fix. James extravagance was not the sole cause of the Crowns financial problems; eg inherited debt, war with Spain, rebellion in Ireland & inflation which eroded Crown assets were also factors. TRADITIONALIST REVISIONIST

4 PARLIAMENT Lazy, inept politician who didn’t know how to deal with Parliament. Allowed Parliaments to get stronger at the expense of the monarchy. James had to adjust to the more complex nature of the English Parliament in comparison to the Scottish Parliament. James became skilful in dealing with the large House of Commons, which became increasingly divided by factionalism. While Parliament did get new powers to decide on disputed elections and the committee of the whole House was formed this did not negate Royal Power. Disruptions due to factional disputes i.e between Salisbury and Essex in 1590’s. Historian Zaller has shown James to be a sophisticated and skilful, especially in his dealings with Buckingham and Charles. TRADITIONALIST REVISIONIST

5 CHOICE OF SERVANTS His eye for the young drew comment A look at wider group of high ranking appointments does not support this view. Salisbury one of Elizabeth’s ablest administrators was kept at the centre of the Government until he died in Bacon, Cole & Cranfield were all selected by James for their ability. Buckingham was not stupid. He revived the Royal Navy and arranged for James’ marriage. At one time Buckingham was out of favour and James did not always follow his advice. TRADITIONALIST REVISIONIST

6 James Polices There were the major policy areas James was concerned about: 1.Government He believed his power came from God as a matter of divine right While the above was his conviction, James wanted to run things but no change the English system of government. Was in no hurry to introduce financial reform. 2.Religion To retain the Elizabethan system of bishops which was a feature of Catholicism. To avoid religious persecution. 3.Peace His religious tolerance led him to seek peace between Protestants and Catholics


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