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James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was
King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of government by which a hereditary monarchy, hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United ...
as James VI from 24 July 1567 and
King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from about 886, and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the , his ...
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
and
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
were individual
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
s, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
. James was the son of
Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenn ...

Mary, Queen of Scots
, and a great-great-grandson of
Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland Henry VII ( cy, Harri Tudur; 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of ...
, and thus a potential successor to all three thrones. He succeeded to the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, after his mother was compelled to
abdicate Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and ...
in his favour. Four different
regent A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
s governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last
Tudor Tudor most commonly refers to: * House of Tudor, English royal house of Welsh origins ** Tudor period, a historical era in England coinciding with the rule of the Tudor dynasty Tudor may also refer to: Architecture * Tudor architecture, the fi ...

Tudor
monarch of England and Ireland,
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
, who died childless. He continued to reign in all three kingdoms for 22 years, a period known as the
Jacobean era The Jacobean Era was the period in English and Scotland, Scottish history that coincides with the reign of James VI and I, James VI of Scotland who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I. The Jacobean era succeeds the Elizabetha ...
, until his death. After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England (the largest of the three realms) from 1603, returning to Scotland only once, in 1617, and styled himself "
King of Great Britain and Ireland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...
". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for England and Scotland. In his reign, the
Plantation of Ulster The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...

Plantation of Ulster
and
English colonisation of the Americas The British colonization of the Americas was the history of establishment of control, settlement, and colonization of the continents of the Americas by England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the ...
began. At 57 years and 246 days, James's reign in Scotland was the
longest of any Scottish monarch
longest of any Scottish monarch
. He achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of b ...
. Under James, the "Golden Age" of
Elizabethan literature Elizabethan literature refers to bodies of work produced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island ...
and drama continued, with writers such as
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

William Shakespeare
,
John Donne John Donne ( ; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, scholar, soldier and secretary born into a recusant Recusancy, from the Latin ''recusare'' (to refuse or make an objection), was the state of those who refused to attend ...

John Donne
,
Ben Jonson Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours The comedy of humours is a ge ...
, and Sir
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General for England and Wales, Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of K ...

Francis Bacon
contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented writer, authoring works such as ''
Daemonologie ''Daemonologie''—in full ''Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogue, Divided into three Books: By the High and Mighty Prince, James &c.''—was first published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June ...
'' (1597), ''
The True Law of Free Monarchies The True Law of Free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprocal and Mutual Duty Between a Free King and His Natural Subjects (original Scots title: ''The Trve Lawe of free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprock and Mvtvall Dvtie Betwixt a free King, and his natura ...
'' (1598), and ''
Basilikon Doron The ''Basilikon Doron'' is a treatise on government written by King James VI James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of ...

Basilikon Doron
'' (1599). He sponsored the
translation of the Bible The Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regi ...
into English later named after him, the
Authorized King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translations of the Bible, English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and publ ...

Authorized King James Version
. Sir
Anthony Weldon Sir Anthony Weldon (1583–1648) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has ...
claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on th ...

Christendom
", an epithet associated with his character ever since. Since the latter half of the 20th century, historians have tended to revise James's reputation and treat him as a serious and thoughtful monarch. He was strongly committed to a peace policy, and tried to avoid involvement in
religious wars A religious war or holy war ( la, bellum sacrum) is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...
, especially the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
that devastated much of Central Europe. He tried but failed to prevent the rise of hawkish elements in the English Parliament who wanted war with Spain. He was succeeded by his second son,
Charles Charles is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, histor ...

Charles
.


Childhood


Birth

James was the only son of
Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenn ...

Mary, Queen of Scots
, and her second husband,
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (1546 – 10 February 1567) was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. From his marriage in 1565, he was List of Scottish consorts, king consort of Scotland.Elaine Finnie Greig, 'Stewart, Henry, duke of Albany [L ...

Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
. Both Mary and Darnley were great-grandchildren of Henry VII of England through Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII. Mary's rule over Scotland was insecure, and she and her husband, being Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Roman Catholics, faced a rebellion by
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
noblemen. During Mary's and Darnley's difficult marriage, Darnley secretly allied himself with the rebels and conspired in the murder of the Queen's private secretary,
David Rizzio David Rizzio (; ; – 9 March 1566), sometimes written as David Riccio (; ), was an Italian courtier A courtier () is a person who is often in attendance at the court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institut ...

David Rizzio
, just three months before James's birth. James was born on 19 June 1566 at
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdi ...

Edinburgh Castle
, and as the eldest son and
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
of the monarch automatically became
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
and
Prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, hereditary, in so ...
and
Great Steward of Scotland Prince and Great Steward of Scotland are two of the titles of the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold ...
. Five days later, an English diplomat Henry Killigrew saw the queen, who had not fully recovered and could only speak faintly. The baby was "sucking at his nurse" and was "well proportioned and like to prove a goodly prince". He was baptised "Charles James" or "James Charles" on 17 December 1566 in a Catholic ceremony held at
Stirling Castle Stirling Castle, located in Stirling Stirling (; sco, Stirlin; gd, Sruighlea ) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The So ...

Stirling Castle
. His godparents were
Charles IX of France Charles IX (Charles Maximilien; 27 June 1550 – 30 May 1574) was List of French monarchs, King of France from 1560 until his death in 1574 from tuberculosis. He ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II of France, F ...
(represented by
John, Count of Brienne John, Count of Brienne (c. 1235 – c. 1260) was the eldest son of Walter IV of Brienne Walter IV (french: Gauthier (1205–1246) was the count of Brienne from 1205 to 1246. Life Walter was the son of Walter III of Brienne and Elvira of Si ...
),
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I of England
(represented by the
Earl of Bedford Earl of Bedford is a title that has been created three times in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a gener ...
), and
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy Emmanuel Philibert (in it, Emanuele Filiberto or Testa di ferro, pms, Testa 'd fer, "Ironhead", because of his military career; 8 July 1528 – 30 August 1580) was Duke of Savoy from 1553 to 1580. He is remembered for the Italianization of the ...

Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
(represented by ambassador Philibert du Croc). Mary refused to let the
Archbishop of St Andrews The Bishop of St. Andrews ( gd, Easbaig Chill Rìmhinn, sco, Beeshop o Saunt Andras) was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of St Andrews The Diocese or Archdiocese of St Andrews was a territorial episcopal jurisdiction in early modern ...
, whom she referred to as "a pocky priest", spit in the child's mouth, as was then the custom. The subsequent entertainment, devised by Frenchman
Bastian PagezBastian is a German short form of Sebastian Sebastian may refer to: People * Sebastian (name) Sebastian is a given name. It comes from the Greek language, Greek name ''Sebastianos'' (Σεβαστιανός) meaning "from Sebastia" (Σεβάστ ...
, featured men dressed as satyrs and sporting tails, to which the English guests took offence, thinking the satyrs "done against them". James's father, Darnley, was
murdered Murder is the unlawful killing of another human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture ...
on 10 February 1567 at Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, perhaps in revenge for the killing of Rizzio. James inherited his father's titles of
Duke of Albany Duke of Albany was a peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, ...

Duke of Albany
and
Earl of Ross The Earl or Mormaer of Ross was the ruler of the province of Ross, Scotland, Ross in northern Scotland. Origins and transfers In the early Middle Ages, Ross, Scotland, Ross was part of the vast earldom of Moray. It seems to have been made a sep ...
. Mary was already unpopular, and her marriage on 15 May 1567 to
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell James Hepburn ( – 14 April 1578), 1st Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell Earl of Bothwell was a title that was created twice in the Peerage of Scotland. It was first created for Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell, Patrick Hepburn ...

James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
, who was widely suspected of murdering Darnley, heightened widespread bad feeling towards her. In June 1567, Protestant rebels arrested Mary and imprisoned her in
Loch Leven Castle Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven (Kinross), Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the site of military action during the Wars of Scottish In ...

Loch Leven Castle
; she never saw her son again. She was forced to abdicate on 24 July 1567 in favour of the infant James and to appoint her illegitimate half-brother,
James Stewart, Earl of Moray James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray (c. 153123 January 1570), a member of the House of Stewart as the illegitimate son of King James V, was the regent of Scotland for his half-nephew, the infant King James VI, from 1567 until his assassination ...
, as
regent A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
.


Regencies

The care of James was entrusted to the
Earl Earl () is a rank of the nobility in Britain. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''S ...
and
Countess of Mar The title Mormaer or Earl of Mar has been created several times, all in the Peerage of Scotland. Owing to a 19th-century dispute, there are currently two Earls of Mar as both the first and seventh creations are currently extant. The first creation ...
, "to be conserved, nursed, and upbrought" in the security of
Stirling Castle Stirling Castle, located in Stirling Stirling (; sco, Stirlin; gd, Sruighlea ) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The So ...

Stirling Castle
. James was anointed King of Scotland at the age of thirteen months at the
Church of the Holy Rude The Church of the Holy Rude ''(Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çh ...
in Stirling, by
Adam Bothwell Adam Bothwell, Lord of Session The senators of the College of Justice are judges of the College of Justice, a set of legal institutions involved in the administration of justice in Scotland. There are three types of senator: Lords of Session (j ...
,
Bishop of Orkney The Bishop of Orkney was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Orkney, one of thirteen medieval bishoprics of Scotland. It included both Orkney and Shetland. It was based for almost all of its history at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall. The bis ...
, on 29 July 1567. The sermon at the
coronation A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the stand ...

coronation
was preached by
John Knox John Knox ( – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish Ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland, minister, Christian theology, theologian, and writer who was a leader of Scottish Reformation, the country's Reformation. He was the founder of t ...

John Knox
. In accordance with the religious beliefs of most of the Scottish ruling class, James was brought up as a member of the Protestant
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
, the Kirk. The
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
selected
George Buchanan George Buchanan ( gd, Seòras Bochanan; February 1506 – 28 September 1582) was a Scottish historian and humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as th ...
, Peter Young, Adam Erskine (lay
abbot of CambuskennethThe Abbot of Cambuskenneth or Abbot of Stirling (later Commendator of Cambuskenneth) was the head of the Arrouaise (Abbey and Order), Arrouaisian (Augustinians, Augustinian) monastic community of Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling. The long history o ...
), and David Erskine (lay
abbot of Dryburgh 150px, Seal of abbot of Dryburgh The Abbot of Dryburgh (later, Commendator of Dryburgh) was the head of the Premonstratensian community of canons regular Canons regular are canons (a category of clergy Clergy are formal leaders within establ ...
) as James's
preceptor A preceptor (from Latin, "''praecepto''") is a teacher responsible for upholding a ''precept'', meaning a certain law or tradition. Christian military orders A preceptor was historically in charge of a preceptory, the headquarters of an orders of ...
s or tutors. As the young king's senior tutor, Buchanan subjected James to regular beatings but also instilled in him a lifelong passion for literature and learning. Buchanan sought to turn James into a God-fearing, Protestant king who accepted the limitations of monarchy, as outlined in his
treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set theory, set of requirements (substantial form, forms, in Ancient Greek). They may refer to: Dress code and events * For ...
''De Jure Regni apud Scotos''. In 1568, Mary escaped from her imprisonment at Loch Leven Castle, leading to several years of sporadic violence. The Earl of Moray defeated Mary's troops at the
Battle of Langside The Battle of Langside was fought on 13 May 1568, between forces loyal to Mary Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the ...
, forcing her to flee to England, where she was subsequently kept in confinement by Elizabeth. On 23 January 1570, Moray was assassinated by
James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh and Woodhouselee (died 1581) was a Scottish supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, reigned over Scotland ...
. The next regent was James's paternal grandfather
Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox (21 September 1516 – 4 September 1571) was a leader of the Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, larg ...
, who was carried fatally wounded into Stirling Castle a year later after a raid by Mary's supporters. His successor, the Earl of Mar, "took a vehement sickness" and died on 28 October 1572 at Stirling. Mar's illness, wrote James Melville, followed a banquet at
Dalkeith Palace Dalkeith Palace is a country house in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. It was the seat of the Duke of Buccleuch, Dukes of Buccleuch from 1642 until 1914, and is owned by the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust. The present palace was built 1701-1711 on ...

Dalkeith Palace
given by
James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton (c. 1516 – 2 June 1581, aged 65) was the last of the four regent A regent (from the Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin Language, Latin: 'for the time ...
. Morton was elected to Mar's office and proved in many ways the most effective of James's regents, but he made enemies by his rapacity. He fell from favour when Frenchman Esmé Stewart, Sieur d'Aubigny, first cousin of James's father Lord Darnley and future
Earl of Lennox The Earl or Mormaer of Lennox was the ruler of the district of the Lennox (district), Lennox in western Scotland. Ancient earls Image:Lennox (district).PNG, 200px, Map of Scotland showing the Lennox The first earl recorded is Ailin I of Lennox, A ...
, arrived in Scotland and quickly established himself as the first of James's powerful favourites. James was proclaimed an adult ruler in a ceremony of Entry to Edinburgh on 19 October 1579. Morton was executed on 2 June 1581, belatedly charged with complicity in Darnley's murder. On 8 August, James made Lennox the only duke in Scotland. The king, then fifteen years old, remained under the influence of Lennox for about one more year.


Rule in Scotland

Lennox was a Protestant convert, but he was distrusted by Scottish
Calvinists Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
who noticed the physical displays of affection between him and the king and alleged that Lennox "went about to draw the King to carnal lust". In August 1582, in what became known as the
Ruthven Raid The Raid of Ruthven was a conspiracy (political), political conspiracy in Scotland which took place on 22 August 1582. It was composed of several Presbyterian nobles, led by William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, who abducted James VI of Scotland, Kin ...
, the Protestant earls of
Gowrie Gowrie ( gd, Gobharaidh) is a region in central Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic langua ...

Gowrie
and
Angus Angus may refer to: Animals * Angus cattle, a breed of cattle taking its name from Angus, Scotland * Red Angus, a breed of Angus cattle with a red coloured coat Media * Angus (film), ''Angus'' (film), a 1995 film about an overweight boy humilia ...
lured James into
Ruthven Castle
Ruthven Castle
, imprisoned him, and forced Lennox to leave Scotland. During James's imprisonment (19 September 1582), John Craig, whom the king had personally appointed royal chaplain in 1579, rebuked him so sharply from the pulpit for having issued a proclamation so offensive to the clergy "that the king wept". After James was liberated in June 1583, he assumed increasing control of his kingdom. He pushed through the Black Acts to assert royal authority over the Kirk, and denounced the writings of his former tutor Buchanan. Between 1584 and 1603, he established effective royal government and relative peace among the lords, ably assisted by John Maitland of Thirlestane who led the government until 1592. An eight-man commission known as the
Octavians The Octavians were a financial commission of eight in the government of Scotland first appointed by James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), vari ...

Octavians
brought some control over the ruinous state of James's finances in 1596, but it drew opposition from vested interests. It was disbanded within a year after a riot in Edinburgh, which was stoked by anti-Catholicism and led the court to withdraw to Linlithgow temporarily. One last Scottish attempt against the king's person occurred in August 1600, when James was apparently assaulted by
Alexander Ruthven Alexander Ruthven, master of Ruthven (12 January 1580 – 5 August 1600) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European languag ...
, the
Earl of Gowrie Earl () is a rank of the nobility in Britain. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Old Norse, Scandinavian form ''jarl'', and meant "Germanic chieftain, chief ...
's younger brother, at Gowrie House, the seat of the Ruthvens. Ruthven was run through by James's page John Ramsay, and the Earl of Gowrie was killed in the ensuing fracas; there were few surviving witnesses. Given James's history with the Ruthvens and the fact that he owed them a great deal of money, his account of the circumstances was not universally believed. In 1586, James signed the Treaty of Berwick with England. That and his mother's execution in 1587, which he denounced as a "preposterous and strange procedure", helped clear the way for his succession south of the border. Queen Elizabeth was unmarried and childless, and James was her most likely successor. Securing the English succession became a cornerstone of his policy. During the
Spanish Armada The Spanish Armada ( es, Grande y Felicísima Armada, links=no, lit=Great and Most Fortunate Navy) was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal ...

Spanish Armada
crisis of 1588, he assured Elizabeth of his support as "your natural son and compatriot of your country". Elizabeth sent James an annual subsidy from 1586 which gave her some leverage over affairs in Scotland.


Marriage

Throughout his youth, James was praised for his chastity, since he showed little interest in women. After the loss of Lennox, he continued to prefer male company. A suitable marriage, however, was necessary to reinforce his monarchy, and the choice fell on fourteen-year-old
Anne of Denmark Anne of Denmark (; 12 December 1574 – 2 March 1619) was Queen of Scotland, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotlan ...

Anne of Denmark
, younger daughter of Protestant
Frederick IIFrederick II, Frederik II or Friedrich II may refer to: * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194–1250), King of Sicily from 1198; Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 * Frederick II of Denmark (1534–1588), king of Denmark and Norway 1559–1588 * Freder ...
. Shortly after a
proxy marriage A proxy wedding or proxy marriage is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not physically present, usually being represented instead by other persons. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs. Marriage ...
in Copenhagen in August 1589, Anne sailed for Scotland but was forced by storms to the coast of Norway. On hearing that the crossing had been abandoned, James sailed from
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. The earliest surviving historical references are in the royal charter authorising the construction of Holyrood Ab ...

Leith
with a 300-strong retinue to fetch Anne personally in what historian David Harris Willson called "the one romantic episode of his life". The couple were married formally at the Bishop's Palace in Oslo on 23 November. James received a dowry of 75,000 Danish dalers and a gift of 10,000 dalers from his mother-in-law
Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (4 September 1557 – 14 October 1631) was Queen of Denmark and Norway by marriage to Frederick II of Denmark Frederick II (1 July 1534 – 4 April 1588) was King of Denmark and Norway and Duke of Schleswig ...
. After stays at Elsinore and
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
and a meeting with
Tycho Brahe Tycho Brahe ( ; born Tyge Ottesen Brahe; 14 December 154624 October 1601) was a Danish astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. T ...

Tycho Brahe
, they returned to Scotland on 1 May 1590. By all accounts, James was at first infatuated with Anne and, in the early years of their marriage, seems always to have shown her patience and affection. The royal couple produced three children who survived to adulthood:
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (19 February 1594 – 6 November 1612), was the eldest son and heir apparent of James VI and I, King of Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland; and his wife Anne of Denmark. His name de ...
, who died of
typhoid fever Typhoid fever, also known as typhoid, is a disease caused by ''Salmonella ''Salmonella'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living an ...
in 1612, aged 18;
Elizabeth Elizabeth or Elisabeth may refer to: People * Elizabeth (given name), a female given name (including people with that name) * Elizabeth (biblical figure), mother of John the Baptist Ships * HMS Elizabeth, HMS ''Elizabeth'', several ships * Elisab ...
, later
queen of Bohemia This is a list of the wikt:consort, royal consorts of the List of rulers of Bohemia, rulers of Bohemia. The first Duchess of Bohemia (''česká kněžna'') was Ludmila of Bohemia, St. Ludmila, while the first Queen consort, Queen of Bohemia ('' ...
; and
Charles Charles is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, histor ...

Charles
, his successor. Anne died before her husband, in March 1619.


Witch hunts

James's visit to Denmark, a country familiar with
witch-hunt A witch-hunt, or a witch purge, is a search for people who have been labeled witches or a search for evidence of witchcraft. The classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America The colonial history of the Uni ...
s, sparked an interest in the study of
witchcraft In many cultures, witchcraft traditionally means the use of magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from m ...

witchcraft
, which he considered a branch of theology. He attended the
North Berwick witch trials The North Berwick witch trials were the trial In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and i ...
, the first major persecution of witches in Scotland under the Witchcraft Act 1563. Several people were convicted of using witchcraft to send storms against James's ship, most notably Agnes Sampson. James became concerned with the threat posed by witches and wrote ''
Daemonologie ''Daemonologie''—in full ''Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogue, Divided into three Books: By the High and Mighty Prince, James &c.''—was first published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June ...
'' in 1597, a tract inspired by his personal involvement that opposed the practice of witchcraft and that provided background material for Shakespeare's ''Macbeth, Tragedy of Macbeth''. James personally supervised the torture of women accused of being witches. After 1599, his views became more sceptical. In a later letter written in England to his son Henry, James congratulates the prince on "the discovery of yon little counterfeit wench. I pray God ye may be my heir in such discoveries ... most miracles now-a-days prove but illusions, and ye may see by this how wary judges should be in trusting accusations".


Highlands and Islands

The forcible dissolution of the Lord of the Isles, Lordship of the Isles by James IV of Scotland, James IV in 1493 had led to troubled times for the western seaboard. He had subdued the organised military might of the Hebrides, but he and his immediate successors lacked the will or ability to provide an alternative form of governance. As a result, the 16th century became known as , the time of raids. Furthermore, the effects of the Reformation were slow to affect the , driving a religious wedge between this area and centres of political control in the Central Belt. In 1540, James V of Scotland, James V had toured the Hebrides, forcing the Scottish clan chief, clan chiefs to accompany him. There followed a period of peace, but the clans were soon at loggerheads with one another again. During James VI's reign, the citizens of the Hebrides were portrayed as lawless barbarians rather than being the cradle of Scottish Christianity and nationhood. Official documents describe the peoples of the Highlands as "void of the knawledge and feir of God" who were prone to "all kynd of barbarous and bestile cruelteis". The Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic language, spoken fluently by James IV and probably by James V, became known in the time of James VI as "Erse" or Irish, implying that it was foreign in nature. The Scottish Parliament decided that Gaelic had become a principal cause of the Highlanders' shortcomings and sought to abolish it. It was against this background that James VI authorised the "Gentleman Adventurers of Fife" to civilise the "most barbarous Isle of Lewis" in 1598. James wrote that the colonists were to act "not by agreement" with the local inhabitants, but "by extirpation of thame". Their landing at Stornoway began well, but the colonists were driven out by local forces commanded by Murdoch and Neil MacLeod. The colonists tried again in 1605 with the same result, although a third attempt in 1607 was more successful. The Statutes of Iona were enacted in 1609, which required clan chiefs to provide support for Protestant ministers to Highland parishes; to outlaw bards; to report regularly to Edinburgh to answer for their actions; and to send their heirs to Lowland Scotland, to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. So began a process "specifically aimed at the extirpation of the Gaelic language, the destruction of its traditional culture and the suppression of its bearers." In the Northern Isles, James's cousin Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney, Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, resisted the Statutes of Iona and was consequently imprisoned. His natural son Robert led an unsuccessful rebellion against James, and the Earl and his son were hanged. Their estates were forfeited, and the Orkney and Shetland islands were annexed to the Crown.


Theory of monarchy

In 1597–98, James wrote ''
The True Law of Free Monarchies The True Law of Free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprocal and Mutual Duty Between a Free King and His Natural Subjects (original Scots title: ''The Trve Lawe of free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprock and Mvtvall Dvtie Betwixt a free King, and his natura ...
'' and ''
Basilikon Doron The ''Basilikon Doron'' is a treatise on government written by King James VI James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of ...

Basilikon Doron
'' (''Royal Gift''), in which he argues a theological basis for monarchy. In the ''True Law'', he sets out the divine right of kings, explaining that kings are higher beings than other men for Biblical reasons, though "the highest bench is the sliddriest to sit upon". The document proposes an absolutist theory of monarchy, by which a king may impose new laws by royal prerogative but must also pay heed to tradition and to God, who would "stirre up such scourges as pleaseth him, for punishment of wicked kings". ''Basilikon Doron'' was written as a book of instruction for four-year-old Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, Prince Henry and provides a more practical guide to kingship. The work is considered to be well written and perhaps the best example of James's prose. James's advice concerning parliaments, which he understood as merely the king's "head court", foreshadows his difficulties with the English Commons: "Hold no Parliaments," he tells Henry, "but for the necesitie of new Lawes, which would be but seldome". In the ''True Law'', James maintains that the king owns his realm as a feudal lord owns his fief, because kings arose "before any estates or ranks of men, before any parliaments were holden, or laws made, and by them was the land distributed, which at first was wholly theirs. And so it follows of necessity that kings were the authors and makers of the laws, and not the laws of the kings."


Literary patronage

In the 1580s and 1590s, James promoted the literature of his native country. He published his treatise ''Reulis and Cautelis, Some Rules and Cautions to be Observed and Eschewed in Scottish Prosody'' in 1584 at the age of 18. It was both a poetic manual and a description of the poetic tradition in his mother tongue of Middle Scots, Scots, applying Renaissance principles. He also made statutory provision to reform and promote the teaching of music, seeing the two in connection. One act of his reign urges the Scottish burghs to reform and support the teaching of music in ''Sang Sculis''. In furtherance of these aims, he was both patron and head of a loose circle of Scottish Jacobean era, Jacobean court poets and musicians known as the Castalian Band, which included William Fowler (makar), William Fowler and Alexander Montgomerie among others, Montgomerie being a favourite of the king. James was himself a poet, and was happy to be seen as a practising member of the group. By the late 1590s, his championing of native Scottish tradition was reduced to some extent by the increasing likelihood of his succession to the English throne. Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, William Alexander and other courtier poets started to anglicise their written language, and followed the king to London after 1603. James's role as active literary participant and patron made him a defining figure in many respects for English Renaissance poetry and drama, which reached a pinnacle of achievement in his reign, but his patronage of the Stylistics (linguistics), high style in the Scottish tradition, which included his ancestor James I of Scotland, became largely sidelined.


Accession in England

From 1601, in the last years of Elizabeth's life, certain English politicians—notably her chief minister Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Robert Cecil—maintained a Secret correspondence of James VI, secret correspondence with James to prepare in advance for a smooth succession. With the Queen clearly dying, Cecil sent James a draft proclamation of his accession to the English throne in March 1603. Elizabeth died in the early hours of 24 March, and James was proclaimed king in London later the same day. On 5 April, James left Edinburgh for London, promising to return every three years (a promise that he did not keep), and progressed slowly southwards. Local lords received him with lavish hospitality along the route and James was amazed by the wealth of his new land and subjects, claiming that he was "swapping a stony couch for a deep feather bed". James arrived in the capital on 7 May, nine days after Elizabeth's funeral. His new subjects flocked to see him, relieved that the succession had triggered neither unrest nor invasion. On arrival at London, he was mobbed by a crowd of spectators. His Coronation of the British monarch, English coronation took place on 25 July at Westminster Abbey, with elaborate allegories provided by dramatic poets such as Thomas Dekker (writer), Thomas Dekker and
Ben Jonson Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours The comedy of humours is a ge ...
. An outbreak of plague restricted festivities, but "the streets seemed paved with men," wrote Dekker. "Stalls instead of rich wares were set out with children, open casements filled up with women." The kingdom to which James succeeded, however, had its problems. Monopolies and taxation had engendered a widespread sense of grievance, and the costs of Nine Years' War (Ireland), war in Ireland had become a heavy burden on the government, which had debts of £400,000.


Early reign in England

James survived two conspiracies in the first year of his reign, despite the smoothness of the succession and the warmth of his welcome: the Bye Plot and Main Plot, which led to the arrest of Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham, Lord Cobham and Sir Walter Raleigh, among others. Those hoping for a change in government from James were disappointed at first when he kept Elizabeth's Privy Councillors in office, as secretly planned with Cecil, but James soon added long-time supporter Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton, Henry Howard and his nephew Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Thomas Howard to the Privy Council, as well as five Scottish nobles. In the early years of James's reign, the day-to-day running of the government was tightly managed by the shrewd Cecil, later Earl of Salisbury, ably assisted by the experienced Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley, Thomas Egerton, whom James made Baron Ellesmere and Lord Chancellor, and by Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, Thomas Sackville, soon Earl of Dorset, who continued as Lord Treasurer. As a consequence, James was free to concentrate on bigger issues, such as a scheme for a closer union between England and Scotland and matters of foreign policy, as well as to enjoy his leisure pursuits, particularly hunting. James was ambitious to build on the
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
Union of the Crowns, of the Crowns of Scotland and England to establish a single country under one monarch, one parliament, and one law, a plan that met opposition in both realms. "Hath He not made us all in one island," James told the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of b ...
, "compassed with one sea and of itself by nature indivisible?" In April 1604, however, the Commons refused his request to be titled "King of Great Britain" on legal grounds. In October 1604, he assumed the title "King of Great Britain" instead of "King of England" and "King of Scotland", though Sir
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General for England and Wales, Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of K ...

Francis Bacon
told him that he could not use the style in "any legal proceeding, instrument or assurance" and the title was not used on English statutes. James forced the Parliament of Scotland to use it, and it was used on proclamations, coinage, letters, and treaties in both realms. James achieved more success in foreign policy. Never having been at war with Spain, he devoted his efforts to bringing the long Anglo–Spanish War (1585), Anglo–Spanish War to an end, and Treaty of London (1604), a peace treaty was signed between the two countries in August 1604, thanks to the skilled diplomacy of the delegation, in particular Robert Cecil and Henry Howard, now Earl of Northampton. James celebrated the treaty by hosting a great banquet. Freedom of worship for Catholics in England, however, continued to be a major objective of Spanish policy, causing constant dilemmas for James, distrusted abroad for repression of Catholics while at home being encouraged by the Privy Council to show even less tolerance towards them.


Gunpowder Plot

A dissident Catholic, Guy Fawkes, was discovered in the cellars of the parliament buildings on the night of 4–5 November 1605, the eve of the State Opening of Parliament, state opening of the second session of James's first English Parliament. He was guarding a pile of wood not far from 36 barrels of gunpowder with which Fawkes intended to blow up Parliament House the following day and cause the destruction, as James put it, "not only ... of my person, nor of my wife and posterity also, but of the whole body of the State in general". The sensational discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, as it quickly became known, aroused a mood of national relief at the delivery of the king and his sons. Salisbury exploited this to extract higher subsidies from the ensuing Parliament than any but one granted to Elizabeth. Fawkes and others implicated in the unsuccessful conspiracy were executed.


King and Parliament

The co-operation between monarch and Parliament following the Gunpowder Plot was atypical. Instead, it was the previous session of 1604 that shaped the attitudes of both sides for the rest of the reign, though the initial difficulties owed more to mutual incomprehension than conscious enmity. On 7 July 1604, James had angrily Prorogation, prorogued Parliament after failing to win its support either for full union or financial subsidies. "I will not thank where I feel no thanks due", he had remarked in his closing speech. "... I am not of such a stock as to praise fools ... You see how many things you did not well ... I wish you would make use of your liberty with more modesty in time to come". As James's reign progressed, his government faced growing financial pressures, partly due to creeping inflation but also to the profligacy and financial incompetence of James's court. In February 1610, Salisbury proposed a scheme, known as the Great Contract, whereby Parliament, in return for ten royal concessions, would grant a lump sum of £600,000 to pay off the king's debts plus an annual grant of £200,000. The ensuing prickly negotiations became so protracted that James eventually lost patience and dismissed Parliament on 31 December 1610. "Your greatest error", he told Salisbury, "hath been that ye ever expected to draw honey out of gall". The same pattern was repeated with the so-called "Addled Parliament" of 1614, which James dissolved after a mere nine weeks when the Commons hesitated to grant him the money he required. James then ruled without parliament until 1621, employing officials such as the merchant Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, Lionel Cranfield, who were astute at raising and saving money for the crown, and sold baronetcies and other dignities, many created for the purpose, as an alternative source of income.


Spanish match

Another potential source of income was the prospect of a Spanish dowry from a marriage between Charles I of England, Charles, Prince of Wales, and Maria Anna of Spain, Infanta Maria Anna of Spain. The policy of the Spanish match, as it was called, was also attractive to James as a way to maintain peace with Spain and avoid the additional costs of a war. Peace could be maintained as effectively by keeping the negotiations alive as by consummating the match—which may explain why James protracted the negotiations for almost a decade. The policy was supported by the Howards and other Catholic-leaning ministers and diplomats—together known as the Spanish Party—but deeply distrusted in Protestant England. When Sir Walter Raleigh was released from imprisonment in 1616, he embarked on a hunt for gold in South America with strict instructions from James not to engage the Spanish. Raleigh's expedition was a disastrous failure, and his son Walter was killed fighting the Spanish. On Raleigh's return to England, James had him executed to the indignation of the public, who opposed the appeasement of Spain. James's policy was further jeopardised by the outbreak of the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
, especially after his Protestant son-in-law, Frederick V, Elector Palatine, was ousted from Bohemia by the Catholic Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Ferdinand II in 1620, and Spanish troops simultaneously invaded Frederick's Rhineland home territory. Matters came to a head when James finally called a Parliament in 1621 to fund a military expedition in support of his son-in-law. The Commons on the one hand granted subsidies inadequate to finance serious military operations in aid of Frederick, and on the other—remembering the profits gained under Elizabeth by naval attacks on Spanish gold shipments—called for a war directly against Spain. In November 1621, roused by Sir Edward Coke, they framed a petition asking not only for war with Spain but also for Prince Charles to marry a Protestant, and for enforcement of the anti-Catholic laws. James flatly told them not to interfere in matters of royal prerogative or they would risk punishment, which provoked them into issuing a statement protesting their rights, including freedom of speech. Urged on by the George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Duke of Buckingham and the Spanish ambassador Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, conde de Gondomar, Gondomar, James ripped the protest out of the record book and dissolved Parliament. In early 1623, Prince Charles, now 22, and Buckingham decided to seize the initiative and travel to Spain incognito, to win the infanta directly, but the mission proved an ineffectual mistake. The infanta detested Charles, and the Spanish confronted them with terms that included the repeal of anti-Catholic legislation by Parliament. Though a treaty was signed, the prince and duke returned to England in October without the infanta and immediately renounced the treaty, much to the delight of the British people. Disillusioned by the visit to Spain, Charles and Buckingham now turned James's Spanish policy upon its head and called for a French match and a war against the House of Habsburg, Habsburg empire. To raise the necessary finance, they prevailed upon James to call another Parliament, which met in February 1624. For once, the outpouring of anti-Catholic sentiment in the Commons was echoed in court, where control of policy was shifting from James to Charles and Buckingham, who pressured the king to declare war and engineered the impeachment of Lord Treasurer Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, Lionel Cranfield, by now made Earl of Middlesex, when he opposed the plan on grounds of cost. The outcome of the Parliament of 1624 was ambiguous: James still refused to declare or fund a war, but Charles believed the Commons had committed themselves to finance a war against Spain, a stance that was to contribute to his problems with Parliament in his own reign.


King and Church

After the Gunpowder Plot, James sanctioned harsh measures to control English Catholics. In May 1606, Parliament passed the Popish Recusants Act 1605, Popish Recusants Act, which could require any citizen to take an Oath of Allegiance of James I of England, Oath of Allegiance denying the Pope's authority over the king. James was conciliatory towards Catholics who took the Oath of Allegiance, and tolerated crypto-Catholicism even at court. Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton, Henry Howard, for example, was a crypto-Catholic, received back into the Catholic Church in his final months. On ascending the English throne, James suspected that he might need the support of Catholics in England, so he assured the Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, Earl of Northumberland, a prominent sympathiser of the old religion, that he would not persecute "any that will be quiet and give but an outward obedience to the law". In the Millenary Petition of 1603, the Puritan clergy demanded the abolition of confirmation, wedding rings, and the term "priest", among other things, and that the wearing of cap and surplice become optional. James was strict in enforcing conformity at first, inducing a sense of persecution amongst many Puritans; but ejections and suspensions from livings became rarer as the reign continued. As a result of the Hampton Court Conference of 1604, a new translation and compilation of approved books of the Bible was commissioned to resolve discrepancies among different translations then being used. The
Authorized King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translations of the Bible, English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and publ ...

Authorized King James Version
, as it came to be known, was completed in 1611 and is considered a masterpiece of Jacobean prose. It is still in widespread use. In Scotland, James attempted to bring the Scottish Kirk "so neir as can be" to the English church and to reestablish episcopacy, a policy that met with strong opposition from Presbyterianism, presbyterians. James returned to Scotland in 1617 for the only time after his accession in England, in the hope of implementing Anglican ritual. James's bishops forced his Five Articles of Perth through a General Assembly the following year, but the rulings were widely resisted. James left the church in Scotland divided at his death, a source of future problems for his son.


Personal relationships

Throughout his life James had close relationships with male courtiers, which has caused debate among historians about their exact nature.: "... his sexuality has long been a matter of debate. He clearly preferred the company of handsome young men. The evidence of his correspondence and contemporary accounts have led some historians to conclude that the king was homosexual or bisexual. In fact, the issue is murky." In Scotland Anne Lyon, Countess of Kinghorne, Anne Murray was known as the king's mistress. After his accession in England, his peaceful and scholarly attitude contrasted strikingly with the bellicose and flirtatious behaviour of Elizabeth, as indicated by the contemporary epigram (Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen). Some of James's biographers conclude that Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox, Esmé Stewart (later Duke of Lennox), Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, Robert Carr (later Earl of Somerset), and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers (later Duke of Buckingham) were his lovers. Sir John Oglander observed that he "never yet saw any fond husband make so much or so great dalliance over his beautiful spouse as I have seen King James over his favourites, especially the Duke of Buckingham" whom the king would, recalled Sir Edward Peyton, "tumble and kiss as a mistress." Restoration of Apethorpe Palace undertaken in 2004–08 revealed a previously unknown passage linking the bedchambers of James and Villiers. Some biographers of James argue that the relationships were not sexual. James's ''
Basilikon Doron The ''Basilikon Doron'' is a treatise on government written by King James VI James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of ...

Basilikon Doron
'' lists sodomy among crimes "ye are bound in conscience never to forgive", and James's wife Anne gave birth to seven live children, as well as suffering two stillbirths and at least three other miscarriages. Contemporary Huguenot poet Théophile de Viau observed that "it is well known that the king of England / fucks the Duke of Buckingham". Buckingham himself provides evidence that he slept in the same bed as the king, writing to James many years later that he had pondered "whether you loved me now ... better than at the time which I shall never forget at Farnham, where the bed's head could not be found between the master and his dog". Buckingham's words may be interpreted as non-sexual, in the context of seventeenth-century court life, and remain ambiguous despite their fondness. It is also possible that James was bisexual. When the Earl of Salisbury died in 1612, he was little mourned by those who jostled to fill the power vacuum. Until Salisbury's death, the Elizabethan administrative system over which he had presided continued to function with relative efficiency; from this time forward, however, James's government entered a period of decline and disrepute. Salisbury's passing gave James the notion of governing in person as his own chief Minister of State, with his young Scottish favourite Robert Carr carrying out many of Salisbury's former duties, but James's inability to attend closely to official business exposed the government to factionalism. The Howard party, consisting of Northampton, Suffolk, Suffolk's son-in-law William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury, Lord Knollys, and Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, along with Thomas Lake, Sir Thomas Lake, soon took control of much of the government and its patronage. Even the powerful Carr fell into the Howard camp, hardly experienced for the responsibilities thrust upon him and often dependent on his intimate friend Sir Thomas Overbury for assistance with government papers. Carr had an adulterous affair with Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset, Frances Howard, Countess of Essex, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, whom James assisted by securing an annulment of her marriage to free her to marry Carr. In summer 1615, however, it emerged that Overbury had been poisoned. He had died on 15 September 1613 in the Tower of London, where he had been placed at the king's request. Among those convicted of the murder were Frances and Robert Carr, the latter having been replaced as the king's favourite in the meantime by Villiers. James pardoned Frances and commuted Carr's sentence of death, eventually pardoning him in 1624. The implication of the king in such a scandal provoked much public and literary conjecture and irreparably tarnished James's court with an image of corruption and depravity. The subsequent downfall of the Howards left Villiers unchallenged as the supreme figure in the government by 1619.


Health and death

In his later years, James suffered increasingly from arthritis, gout and kidney stones. He also lost his teeth and drank heavily. The king was often seriously ill during the last year of his life, leaving him an increasingly peripheral figure, rarely able to visit London, while Buckingham consolidated his control of Charles to ensure his own future. One theory is that James suffered from porphyria, a disease of which his descendant George III of the United Kingdom exhibited some symptoms. James described his urine to physician Théodore de Mayerne as being the "dark red colour of Alicante wine". The theory is dismissed by some experts, particularly in James's case, because he had kidney stones which can lead to blood in the urine, colouring it red. In early 1625, James was plagued by severe attacks of arthritis, gout, and fainting fits, and fell seriously ill in March with tertian ague and then suffered a stroke. He died at Theobalds House on 27 March during a violent attack of dysentery, with Buckingham at his bedside. James's funeral on 7 May was a magnificent but disorderly affair. Bishop John Williams (archbishop of York), John Williams of Lincoln preached the sermon, observing, "King Solomon died in Peace, when he had lived about sixty years ... and so you know did King James". The sermon was later printed as ''Great Britain's Salomon'' . James was buried in Westminster Abbey. The position of the tomb was lost for many years until his lead coffin was found in the Henry VII vault, during an excavation in the 19th century.


Legacy

James was widely mourned. For all his flaws, he had largely retained the affection of his people, who had enjoyed uninterrupted peace and comparatively low taxation during the
Jacobean era The Jacobean Era was the period in English and Scotland, Scottish history that coincides with the reign of James VI and I, James VI of Scotland who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I. The Jacobean era succeeds the Elizabetha ...
. "As he lived in peace," remarked the Earl of Kellie, "so did he die in peace, and I pray God our king [Charles I] may follow him". The earl prayed in vain: once in power,
Charles Charles is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, histor ...

Charles
and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham sanctioned a series of reckless military expeditions that ended in humiliating failure. James had often neglected the business of government for leisure pastimes, such as the hunt; his later dependence on favourites at a scandal-ridden court undermined the respected image of monarchy so carefully constructed by Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth. Under James, the
Plantation of Ulster The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...

Plantation of Ulster
by English and Scots Protestants began, and the British colonisation of the Americas, English colonisation of North America started its course with the foundation of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, and Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland, in 1610. During the next 150 years, England would fight with Spain, the Netherlands, and France for control of the continent, while religious division in Ireland between Protestant and Catholic Segregation in Northern Ireland, has lasted for 400 years. By actively pursuing more than just a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
of his realms, he helped lay the foundations for a unitary British state. According to a tradition originating with anti-House of Stuart, Stuart historians of the mid-17th-century, James's taste for political absolutism, his financial irresponsibility, and his cultivation of unpopular favourites established the foundations of the English Civil War. James bequeathed Charles a fatal belief in the divine right of kings, combined with a disdain for Parliament, which culminated in the execution of Charles I and the abolition of the monarchy. Over the last three hundred years, the king's reputation has suffered from the acid description of him by Sir
Anthony Weldon Sir Anthony Weldon (1583–1648) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has ...
, whom James had sacked and who wrote treatises on James in the 1650s. Other influential anti-James histories written during the 1650s include: Sir Edward Peyton, 2nd Baronet, Sir Edward Peyton's ''Divine Catastrophe of the Kingly Family of the House of Stuarts'' (1652); Arthur Wilson (writer), Arthur Wilson's ''History of Great Britain, Being the Life and Reign of King James I'' (1658); and Francis Osborne's ''Historical Memoirs of the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James'' (1658). David Harris Willson's 1956 biography continued much of this hostility. In the words of historian Jenny Wormald, Willson's book was an "astonishing spectacle of a work whose every page proclaimed its author's increasing hatred for his subject". Since Willson, however, the stability of James's government in Scotland and in the early part of his English reign, as well as his relatively enlightened views on religion and war, have earned him a re-evaluation from many historians, who have rescued his reputation from this tradition of criticism. Representative of the new historical perspective is the 2003 biography by Pauline Croft. Reviewer John Cramsie summarises her findings:
Croft's overall assessment of James is appropriately mixed. She recognises his good intentions in matters like Anglo-Scottish union, his openness to different points of view, and his agenda of a peaceful foreign policy within his kingdoms' financial means. His actions moderated frictions between his diverse peoples. Yet he also created new ones, particularly by supporting colonisation that polarised the crown's interest groups in Ireland, obtaining insufficient political benefit with his open-handed patronage, an unfortunate lack of attention to the image of monarchy (particularly after the image-obsessed regime of Elizabeth), pursuing a pro-Spanish foreign policy that fired religious prejudice and opened the door for Arminians within the English church, and enforcing unpalatable religious changes on the Scottish Kirk. Many of these criticisms are framed within a longer view of James' reigns, including the legacy—now understood to be more troubled—which he left Charles I.


Titles, styles, honours, and arms


Titles and styles

In Scotland, James was "James the sixth, King of Scotland", until 1604. He was proclaimed "James the first, King of England, France, and Ireland, Fidei defensor, defender of the faith" in London on 24 March 1603. On 20 October 1604, James issued a proclamation at Westminster changing his style to "King of Great Brittaine, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c." The style was not used on English statutes, but was used on proclamations, coinage, letters, treaties, and in Scotland. James styled himself "King of France", English claims to the French throne, in line with other monarchs of England between 1340 and 1801, although he did not actually rule France.


Arms

As King of Scotland, James bore the ancient Royal coat of arms of Scotland, royal arms of Scotland: Or (heraldry), Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure (heraldry), Azure within a double tressure flory counter-flory Gules. The arms were Supporter, supported by two unicorns Argent armed, crined and unguled Proper, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lys a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or. The Crest (heraldry), crest was a lion sejant affrontée Gules, imperially crowned Or, holding in the Dexter and sinister, dexter paw a sword and in the Dexter and sinister, sinister paw a sceptre both erect and Proper.John Pinches, Pinches, John Harvey; Pinches, Rosemary (1974), ''The Royal Heraldry of England'', Heraldry Today, Slough, Buckinghamshire: Hollen Street Press, , pp. 159–160. The Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland under James was symbolised heraldically by combining their arms, supporters and Heraldic badge, badges. Contention as to how the arms should be Quartering (heraldry), marshalled, and to which kingdom should take precedence, was solved by having different arms for each country.Pinches and Pinches, pp. 168–169. The arms used in England were: Quarterly, I and IV, quarterly 1st and 4th Azure three fleurs de lys Or (for France), 2nd and 3rd Gules three lions passant guardant in Pale (heraldry), pale Or (Royal Arms of England, for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Coat of arms of Ireland, for Ireland, this was the first time that Ireland was included in the royal arms).John Brooke-Little, Brooke-Little, J. P. (1978) [1950], ''Boutell's Heraldry'' Revised edition, London: Frederick Warne, , pp. 213, 215. The supporters became: dexter a lion rampant guardant Or imperially crowned and sinister the Scottish unicorn. The unicorn replaced the Welsh Dragon, red dragon of Cadwaladr, which was introduced by the Tudors. The unicorn has remained in the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, royal arms of the two united realms. The English crest and motto was retained. The compartment often contained a branch of the Tudor rose, with shamrock and thistle engrafted on the same stem. The arms were frequently shown with James's personal motto, ''Beati pacifici''. The arms used in Scotland were: Quarterly, I and IV Scotland, II England and France, III Ireland, with Scotland taking precedence over England. The supporters were: dexter a unicorn of Scotland imperially crowned, supporting a tilting lance flying a banner Azure a saltire Argent (Flag of Scotland, Cross of Saint Andrew) and sinister the crowned lion of England supporting a similar lance flying a banner Argent a cross Gules (St George's Cross, Cross of Saint George). The Scottish crest and motto was retained, following the Scottish heraldry, Scottish practice the motto ''In defens'' (which is short for ''In My Defens God Me Defend'') was placed above the crest. As Royal Badges of England, royal badges James used: the Tudor rose, the thistle (for Scotland; first used by James III of Scotland), the Tudor rose Dimidiation, dimidiated with the thistle ensigned with the royal crown, a harp (for Ireland) and a fleur de lys (for France).


Issue

James's queen,
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Anne of Denmark
, gave birth to seven children who survived beyond birth, of whom three reached adulthood: # Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, Henry, Prince of Wales (19 February 1594 – 6 November 1612). Died, probably of
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, aged 18. # Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia (19 August 1596 – 13 February 1662). Married 1613, Frederick V, Elector Palatine. Died aged 65. # Margaret Stuart (1598–1600), Margaret (24 December 1598 – March 1600). Died aged 1. # Charles I of England, Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649). Married 1625, Henrietta Maria. Succeeded James I & VI. # Robert Stuart, Duke of Kintyre, Robert, Duke of Kintyre (18 January 1602 – 27 May 1602). Died aged 4 months. # Mary Stuart (1605–1607), Mary (8 April 1605 – 16 December 1607). Died aged 2. # Sophia of England, Sophia (June 1607). Died within 48 hours of birth.; ; .


Genealogical chart


List of writings

* ''Some Reulis and Cautelis to be observit and eschewit in Scottis poesie, The Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie'' (also called ''Some Reulis and Cautelis''), 1584
''His Majesties Poeticall Exercises at Vacant Houres'', 1591
** ''Lepanto'', poem * ''
Daemonologie ''Daemonologie''—in full ''Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogue, Divided into three Books: By the High and Mighty Prince, James &c.''—was first published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June ...
'', 1597 ** ''Newes from Scotland'', 1591 * ''
The True Law of Free Monarchies The True Law of Free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprocal and Mutual Duty Between a Free King and His Natural Subjects (original Scots title: ''The Trve Lawe of free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprock and Mvtvall Dvtie Betwixt a free King, and his natura ...
'', 1598 * ''
Basilikon Doron The ''Basilikon Doron'' is a treatise on government written by King James VI James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of ...

Basilikon Doron
'', 1599 * ''A Counterblaste to Tobacco'', 1604 * ''An Apologie for the Oath of Allegiance'', 1608 * ''A Premonition to All Most Mightie Monarches'', 1609


Notes


References


Sources

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Further reading

* Akrigg, G. P. V. (1978). ''Jacobean Pageant: The Court of King James I''. New York: Atheneum. * Antonia Fraser, Fraser, A. (1974). ''King James VI of Scotland, I of England''. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. * Barry Coward, Coward, B. (2017). ''The Stuart Age – England, 1603–1714'' 5th edition ch.4. Routledge. * Durston, C. (1993). ''James I''. Routledge. * Fincham, Kenneth; Lake, Peter (1985). "The ecclesiastical policy of King James I" ''Journal of British Studies'' 24 (2): 169–207 * Samuel Rawson Gardiner, Gardiner, S. R. (1907). "Britain under James I" in ''The Cambridge Modern History'' vol. 3 ch. 1
online
* Julian Goodare, Goodare, Julian (2009). "The debts of James VI of Scotland" ''The Economic History Review'' 62 (4): 926–952 * Hirst, Derek (1986). ''Authority and Conflict – England 1603–1658'' pp. 96–136, Harvard University Press. * Houston, S. J. (1974). ''James I''. Longman. * Lee, Maurice (1984). "James I and the Historians: Not a Bad King After All?" ''Albion'' 16 (2): 151–163
in JSTOR
* Montague, F. C. (1907). ''The History of England from the Accession of James 1st to the Restoration (1603–1660)''
online
* Peck, Linda Levy (1982). ''Northampton: Patronage and Policy at the Court of James I''. Harper Collins. * Schwarz, Marc L. (1974). "James I and the Historians: Toward a Reconsideration" ''Journal of British Studies'' 13 (2): 114–13
in JSTOR
* Smith, D. L. (1998). ''A History of the Modern British Isles – 1603–1707 – The Double Crown'' chs. 2, 3.1, and 3.2. Blackwell. * Jenny Wormald, Wormald, Jenny (1983). "James VI and I: Two Kings or One?" ''History'' 68 (223): 187–209 * Young, Michael B. (1999). ''King James VI and I and the History of Homosexuality''. Springer. * Young, Michael B. (2012). "James VI and I: Time for a Reconsideration?" ''Journal of British Studies'' 51 (3): 540–567


External links

* * *
Documents on James I
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