4th Parliament of King James I

The Happy Parliament was the fourth and last Parliament of England of the reign of King James I, sitting from 19 February 1624 to 29 May 1624, and thereafter kept out of session with repeated prorogations. It was dissolved on the death of the King on 27 March 1625.[1]


The parliament was referred to as "Fælix Parliamentum" or the "Happy Parliament" by Sir Edward Coke.[2] The three previous parliaments of James I had been a source of conflict and the King's opening address to the Commons commented on the "desire of all parties to forget past disagreements." However the parliamentary session was clouded by mutual suspicion and nearly every speech made tacit or explicit comments with reference to previous sessions.[3] Charles, Prince of Wales and the Duke of Buckingham used the Parliament to aid their push for a war against Spain. Buckingham and Charles played a large role in ensuring the impeachment of Lord High Treasurer Lionel Cranfield, who was opposed to a war for financial reasons.[4]

The Fourth Parliament sat for only one session (labelled in statutes as "21 James I"), which ran from 19 February 1624 to 29 May 1624. Its second session was scheduled to start on 2 November 1624, but it was prorogued before opening to 16 February 1625 then again to 15 March and once more to 20 April. However, before that last date arrived, King James I died (27 March 1625), and the Fourth Parliament was dissolved.[5]

See also


  1. Coke 1680, p. 2; Willis 1750, p. 187; Ruigh 1971, Preface
  2. Coke 1680, p. 2.
  3. Ruigh 1971, p. 2.
  4. Smith 1998, p. 63.
  5. Cobbett 1806, p. 1506.


Further reading

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