Parliamentary Debates in 1610

Parliamentary Debates in 1610

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Parliamentary Debates in 1610

Parliamentary Debates in 1610

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When James I. left Scotland to take possession of the English throne, he imagined that he was about to enter into the enjoyment of almost unlimited wealth. He believed that he would be able not only to reward his companions and favourites for whom he had hitherto been able to do so little, but he fancied that he would have little difficulty in relieving his new subjects from their principal burthens, without any perceptible injury to his own resources. He had not been long in England before he had swept away, with scarcely an exception, the monopolies which Elizabeth still retained; he had given up all the recusancy fines, and the greater part of the rents of recusants' lands; and, though he did not persist in his attempt, he had astonished the universities by informing them that he intended to give up the impropriate tithes belonging to the Crown, and recommending them to follow his example.

The real state of the treasury, however, was such as to cause deep anxiety to the Government. With all her parsimony Elizabeth had been unable to raise sufficient money to meet the expenses of the war. During the last five years of her reign she had been forced to sell Crown property to the amount of 372,000l., and had contracted a debt of at least 300,000l. It is, of course, impossible to arrive at anything more then a very rough estimate of the sum for which it was possible for James to carry on the government if he had con-

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