King James pp 69-86 | Cite as

Early Years in England

  • Pauline Croft


After the first heady months following the king’s accession it became clear that despite the private wealth acquired by some Scots, they did not wield much executive power in England. Cecil remained as secretary of state and master of the court of Wards (probably the most lucrative single office in the royal gift). His rivals hoped that Cecil might lose influence and become only one among several senior advisers, but his great administrative abilities and extraordinary attention to detail rapidly made him as indispensable to James as he had been to Elizabeth. Cecil was granted a barony in 1603, made Viscount Cranborne in 1604 after negotiating the peace with Spain, and earl of Salisbury in 1605. In 1606 he became a knight of the Garter, but James, ever a devotee of ancient nobility, had already granted the honour to the earls of Southampton (a former follower of the rebel earl of Essex), Pembroke and Northampton, and the Scots aristocrats Lennox and Mar before honouring his chief councillor. In response Salisbury staged a magnificent procession from London to Windsor, where the Garter was conferred, that reportedly surpassed the coronation procession itself.


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    E. R. Foster, Proceedings in Parliament 1610 (2 vols New Haven 1966) vol. 2, p. 11.Google Scholar

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© Pauline Croft 2003

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  • Pauline Croft

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