This paper was prompted by a passage in James’s speech to both houses at the beginning of the Addled Parliament, on Tuesday 5 April 1614. Having pledged that he would be no merchant, James answers a complaint which has evidently been made against him:

And whereas it is given out that my proclamations are instead of laws because of making my long proclamation against duels was not that they should be as laws but to express myself against fighting and massacring one another until such time as a statute could be made against it, which I conceived to be a godly action.1