At the start of the reign of James I, he received a tolerably good welcome from Parliament. James seemed to offer Parliament a fresh start after the unpredictable behaviour of Elizabeth in her last few years. However, James was to quarrel with Parliament over a number of issues and this positive early relationship soon faltered. The major issues that caused James and Parliament to fall out were royal finances, royal favourites and the belief by James that he could never be wrong.


The first Parliament of Stuart England lasted from 1604 to 1611. The major issues it dealt with were royal finances – monopolies as an example – and the raising of money for James without the consent of Parliament.


In 1614 the Adled Parliament sat. This parliament dealt with religious issues (primarily the spread of Catholicism) and royal finances. However, it only sat for eight weeks before being dissolved by James as it wanted to discuss the whole thorny issue of the raising of money by the Crown without Parliamentary consent – a topic James was not prepared for them to discuss.


The next Parliament under James was in 1621. The Thirty Years War had started in 1618 – so foreign policy matters were of primary concern. Parliament also wanted the right to discuss its own powers and rights – something that James was not prepared to allow. As with the Adled Parliament, the life of this Parliament was cut short in December 1621.


Parliament also sat in 1624. The two major issues it dealt with were raising money for war with Spain and the imprisonment of Lionel Cranfield, the finance minister for the Crown.

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