chapter  2
13 Pages

Finance: The Canker of Want

James I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was, thus, a Bad King. This famous judgement from 1066 And All That reflects a tradition of writing about James that can be traced to the memoirs of renegade courtiers who fought for parliament in the civil war. Although Samuel Rawson Gardiner tried hard to reach balanced judgements, his brilliant and detailed account of James's reign is influenced by a number of questionable preconceptions. To James, parliament was not a major feature of government. During James's reign the parliamentary atmosphere began to change as some members became increasingly sensitive to the possibility of arbitrary government. To King James, the great enemies of Union were the barbarous inhabitants of the borders, the highlands, and Ireland. His policy towards Ireland and the Scottish Isles was essentially the same: conquest followed by the plantation of lowland entrepreneurs who would dominate and 'civilise' the native popula.