The National Archives Civil War
Download and print PDF version Civil War > What kind of king was Charles I? > Monarchs before Charles I > Source 3

What kind of king was Charles I?

Case study 1: Monarchs before Charles I - Source 3

source selector

Part of a speech by James I to Parliament in 1609

(Catalogue ref: SP 14/53/31)

SP14/53/31; speech by James 1 to parliament, 1609
SP14/53/31; speech by James 1 to parliament, 1609
View transcript View simplified transcript
 
To listen to this podcast, you will require Adobe Flash 9 or higher and must have Javascript enabled.
 
SP14/53/31; speech by James 1 to parliament, 1609
 

What is this source?

This is an extract from a major speech which James I made to the Parliament of England.

More

What's the background to this source?

In this speech, James set out his views on how he would run the country.

More

It's worth knowing that...

James had a poor reputation as a monarch in some ways because his court was rather disorganised and he often drank too much. However, historians now point out that James was good at reaching compromises with his opponents on difficult issues.

More

Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

What was James trying to say? Try to identify parts of the speech showing that:

  1. James believed in the Divine Right of kings – that kings were appointed by God.
  2. James would not accept anyone challenging his authority.
  3. James accepted that he had a responsibility to look after his people.
  4. James would respect the laws of the land.