chapter  6
18 Pages

Foreign Policy and the 1621 Parliament

After the paranoid anxieties created by the rule of an apparently vulnerable spinster plagued by enemies within and outside the realm, the peaceful accession of an experienced ruler with children to succeed him opened up the tantalising prospect of a golden age of peace and stability. Such aspirations were evident during the King's state entry into London in March 1604, when images of James's kingship were displayed that were to recur in civic and Court festivals throughout the reign. He was hailed as a new Augustus, as Great Britain's Solomon and, by the relentless repetition of the motto Beati Pacifici (blessed are the peacemakers), as a possible restorer of unity to a divided Europe. This was not empty rhetoric. The King genuinely hated war, especially religious war, and his image of himself as rex pacificus moulded English foreign policy for the remainder of the reign.