|James VI and I
who united the thrones of England and Scotland
and sponsored the most popular translation of the
Bible ever published
James was born at Edinburgh Castle on June 19, 1566, the only son of Mary,
Queen of Scots, and Henry, Lord Darnley, who was
murdered eight months after James's birth. Mary
was deposed by Scottish lords in 1567 and fled to
England, where she sought protection from her
cousin, Elizabeth I,
who instead put her in prison.
King James VI of
James became King James VI of
Scotland upon the abdication of his mother, on
July 24, 1567, and was formally crowned at the
Church of the Holy Rood, Stirling, on July 29,
1567. Since he was only a year old at the time of
his accession, the first years of his reign were
managed by a series of regencies. He was educated
by a series of tutors, including poet, dramatist
and humanist George Buchanan and Peter Young, and
developed a genuine love of learning, as well as
some skill in the writing of poetry and prose. As
was the political custom of the time, he was
raised as a Scottish Presbyterian, despite his
mother being an active Roman Catholic.
King James married Anne of
Denmark by proxy on August 20, 1589, and in
person on November 23, 1589. The couple
eventually had eight children, but only three
survived to adulthood -- Henry, Prince of Wales
(February 19, 1594-November 6, 1612); Princess
Elizabeth (August 19, 1596-February 13, 1662; her
marriage to Frederick V, Elector Palatine and
King of Bohemia, eventually resulted in the
Hanoverian succession to the British throne); and
Charles (November 19, 1600-January 30,1649, who
succeeded his father as king).
As King of Scotland, James managed
to reconcile the warring factions among his
nobility with such success that he has been
described as "the most effective ruler
Scotland ever had." He was also one of
Scotland's most literary rulers, publishing three
books during his reign -- The
Essays of a Prentice in the Divine Art of Poesy
(1584), His Majesties Poetical Exercises at
Vacant Hours (1591), and Bailikon Doron
(1599) -- as well as numerous essays. Many of his
writings were concerned with theology and
justification of the theory of a ruler's Divine
Right to Rule, but he also addressed other
subjects. One, "A Counterblast to
Tobacco" (1604), was one of the first
attacks on smoking ever published.
King James I of
Throughout his reign as King of
Scotland, James's greatest ambition was to
succeed Queen Elizabeth on the throne of England
and unite Scotland and England under one ruler.
His ambition was achieved when Elizabeth died on
March 24, 1603, leaving him as the only
legitimate heir to the childless queen. He moved
south almost immediately, and was formally
crowned as King James I at Westminster Abbey soon
after. Although he had achieved his goal of
uniting Scotland and England under one ruler,
Scotland retained its own Parliament and church
throughout his reign, and James only returned to
Scotland once, in 1617. He also held the title of
King of France, as had all his predecessors on
the English throne since October 21, 1422, but by
then the title carried no active legitimate claim
to the French throne.
Major Events of His
Soon after ascending to the
throne, a plot to overthrow James in favor of his
cousin Arabella Stuart was thwarted; Sir
Walter Raleigh, once a
favorite of Queen Elizabeth, was imprisoned for
his role in the plot.
Somerset House Peace Conference brought peace
between England and Spain.
Fawkes and other Catholic dissidents attempted to
blow up Parliament.
English Parliament rejected a Union with
Scotland. The colony of Jamestown, Virginia, was founded.
James I encouraged and financed the most popular
translation of the Bible into English ever
mathematician John Napier
published his theory of logarithms.
Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
February 8, 1622
King James I dissolved Parliament following a
dispute involving parliamentary criticisms of the
proposed marriage of Prince Charles to Princess
Maria Anna of Spain.
King James I died at Theobalds
Park, Hertfordshire, on March 27, 1625; he is
buried at Westminster Abbey. He was succeeded by
his second son, who took the throne as King Charles I.
British Royal Family History http://www.britroyals.com/kings.asp?id=james1
Sir Walter Raleigh
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