King James I disbands the English parliament
- February 8, 1622
James I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots (and descended from Henry VII’s daughter Margaret), had been King of Scotland for 36 years when he became King of England. Although he was King of both countries, James’s attempt to create a full governmental union proved premature.
King James I of England did have a strained relationship with Parliament, which sometimes led to periods of conflict and dissolution.
Disputes between King James I and Parliament regarding the proposed marriage between his son, Charles, Prince of Wales, and Princess Maria Anna of Spain, the dissolution of Parliament on February 8, 1622, was not directly related to this specific issue.
The dissolution of Parliament in 1622 occurred primarily due to disagreements over matters of foreign policy and taxation, rather than solely focusing on the marriage proposal. King James I faced criticism from Parliament for his pro-Spanish policies and his handling of negotiations with Spain.
The proposed marriage between Charles and Maria Anna was part of James’s broader efforts to secure peace with Spain and advance his diplomatic goals. However, Parliament’s concerns over the marriage were likely intertwined with broader grievances against the king’s foreign policy decisions.
While the marriage proposal may have contributed to the tensions between James I and Parliament, it was not the sole reason for the dissolution of Parliament in 1622. The dissolution was part of a pattern of conflict and disagreement between the king and Parliament that characterized much of James I’s reign.
James I, who ruled from 1603 to 1625, believed in the divine right of kings, which asserted that monarchs derived their authority to rule directly from God and were not subject to earthly authority, including that of Parliament. This belief often put him at odds with Parliament, which sought to assert its own authority and influence over matters of governance.
In 1621, tensions between James I and Parliament reached a peak during the Parliament session known as the “Addled Parliament.” This session was dissolved without achieving any significant legislative progress due to disputes between the king and Parliament over issues such as taxation and foreign policy.
His son and successor, King Charles I, who famously dissolved Parliament multiple times, leading to the English Civil War in the 1640s.