THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLES I
Charles’s problems were never entirely of his own making. His inheritance in 1625 was undoubtedly a secure one; but there were also weaknesses within the Jacobean polity. The monarchy was already clearly under-funded in peacetime by 1603, and it was to remain so in circumstances which made the Exchequer judgement on impositions in Bate’s case, as interpreted by the Crown, both financially rewarding and politically contentious. The union of the crowns of England and Scotland had not led on to a wider union of the kingdoms, leaving the Scots imperfectly integrated into the new arrangement. As with the fragile unity of the Church of England, much depended on the person of the King. The flight of Frederick V and his wife Elizabeth from Bohemia and the fall of the Palatinate to Habsburg forces had exposed the limitations of Jacobean foreign policy. It might have paid more heed to France; for, as Charles discovered during his stay in Madrid in 1623, his father exercised no compelling influence on Spain.