How Far Do the Sources Suggest That James I’s Extravagance?
How far do the sources suggest that it was James I’s extravagant giving was the cause of his financial problems? On the face of it the sources seem to disagree on this issue. Sources ten and twelve seem to show that James’ extravagant giving was the cause of his financial problems however source eleven seems to show that it was not James’ extravagant giving that caused his financial problems.
In source ten, ‘Matthew Hutton’ states that, “His Majesty’s subjects hear and fear that King James’ heroical and excellent nature is too inclined to giving” and that this will soon ‘exhaust the treasury of his kingdom’, thus implying that James’s extravagant nature was and will be the cause of his financial problems. This is further backed up by source twelve as it states that James ‘is very generous with his gifts’ and that ‘gifts to the scots are causing an incurable leak from the cistern, this is demonstrating how James’ extravagance is causing him financial trouble.
Whereas on the face of it source eleven seems to disagree with the other two sources as it demonstrates how it was not James’ extravagance that was causing him financial trouble. In this source it states that payments to the king, for example taxes are not paid or collected and also ‘The Earl of Dorset’ goes on to say that the fact James I has a family is another reason for his financial trouble.
Furthermore as this this is a letter from the ‘Lord Treasurer’ to ‘The Chancellor of the Exchequer’ this is the most reliable source about whether it was James’ extravagance that was causing him financial problems as between them they are the people who look after and maintain the treasury. However it can be argued that all three sources agree to a large extent that it was not James’ extravagant personality that caused his financial problems.
Firstly in source twelve it does not specifically say that he is ‘extravagant’ also at the time it was written, 1604, James the I was not actually in debt and so this is not a very reliable source to find out whether James’ extravagance caused him financial problems. Source twelve can also back up the point that it was not James’ extravagant giving that caused him financial difficulty as it states that, “Parliament could replenish the treasury of his Majesty’ Treasury.
This implies that it was parliament who caused James’ financial troubles as they did not give him the funds needed to suffice all of his needs, and so in order to negotiate with others he had to resort to giving as he was not given the money needed to create an army. Also, in source twelve the person who wrote the letter was not a part of the government and so this means that he would not have been that close to James to be able to judge whether he was an extravagant giver or not.
This is backed up further by his statement, “I understand from common talk” thus implying that these are just rumours and so they are not a reliable source of information for the listener, in this case John More, and as the information was not reliable that makes the source not reliable. Furthermore, as source ten was written a few years before the rest it was not that reliable and this was further proved by the fact that it is written before the time that James ends up in debt.
Therefore the sources, when taken together, show that it was not James I’s extravagant giving that caused his financial difficulties, but that there were a lot of contributing factors stated in source eleven which is the most reliable source and should therefore have the most weight put onto it. This is because the source is between the two leading members who are looking after James I’s money.
And sources ten and twelve are not that reliable so they do have so much weight put onto them thus backing up further that it was not James’ extravagant personality as on the face of it that was they suggest but. But when the sources are looked at collectively they show that it was not James’ extravagant giving that caused him financial trouble. Brendon Head Word Count (686 words)