Essay PreviewMore ↓
born June 19, 1566, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
died March 27, 1625, Theobalds, Hertfordshire, England
King of Scotland (as James VI) from 1567 to 1625 and first Stuart king of England from 1603 to 1625, who styled himself “king of Great Britain.” James was a strong advocate of royal absolutism, and his conflicts with an increasingly self-assertive Parliament set the stage for the rebellion against his successor, Charles I.
James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley. Eight months after James's birth his father died when his house was destroyed by an explosion. After her third marriage, to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, Mary was defeated by rebel Scottish lords and abdicated the throne. James, one year old, became king of Scotland on July 24, 1567; Mary left the kingdom on May 16, 1568, and never saw her son again. During his minority James was surrounded by a small band of the great Scottish lords, from whom emerged the four successive regents, the earls of Moray, Lennox, Mar, and Morton. There did not exist in Scotland the great gulf between rulers and ruled that separated the Tudors and their subjects in England. For nine generations the Stuarts had in fact been merely the ruling family among many equals, and James all his life retained a feeling for those of the great Scottish lords who gained his confidence.
The young king was kept fairly isolated but was given a good education until the age of 14. He studied Greek, French, and Latin and made good use of a library of classical and religious writings that his tutors, George Buchanan and Peter Young, assembled for him. James's education aroused in him literary ambitions rarely found in princes but which also tended to make him a pedant.
Before James was 12 he had taken the government nominally into his own hands when the Earl of Morton was driven from the regency in 1578. For several years more, however, James remained the puppet of contending intriguers and faction leaders. After falling under the influence of the Duke of Lennox, a Roman Catholic who schemed to win back Scotland for the imprisoned Queen Mary, James was kidnapped by William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, in 1582 and was forced to denounce Lennox. The following year James escaped from his Protestant captors and began to pursue his own policies as king.
How to Cite this Page
"King James I." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Witchcraft in early Scotland The Demonology of King James I paired with the influence of the protestant church and their 5th general assembly can be linked to the outpour of what has been labeled as witchcraft in early Scotland. King James I created an uproar in early Scotland with his publication of the Demonology paired with his involvement with the Berwick witch trials. Written in 1597 (Charles, 111-12) and containing primarily delineations of the witchcraft trials King James’ Demonology also gave many other sources which all dealt with that which was considered taboo or ungodly during the given time.... [tags: Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Salem witch trials, Magic]
1287 words (3.7 pages)
- The King James Bible is known as the Bible and in the Bible there is more than 1,200 years of books and different stories in 2 main parts. The Old Testament was written by the Hebrews and New Testament was written by the Greeks. It was completed in 1611 and was a main corner stone to European culture. Back in the day it was in Egyptian which meant that the priests had to learn how to read the Egyptian language. The parable called “The Prodigal Son” is in the King James Bible and when you read this there are some good lessons that you can get out of it and some bad things that you can get out of it.... [tags: New Testament, Old Testament, Family, Septuagint]
754 words (2.2 pages)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:22 brandishes itself as a passage that has led to the misapplication of its meaning and significance. Moreover, the King James translation of the passage had inclined many to misapply its meaning and significance. In the King James Version the verse states, “Abstain from all appearance of evil”.(1 Thess 5:22, KJV) We can already attest the difference with the English Standard Version, “Abstain from every form of evil”.(1 Thess 5:22, ESV) If we scrutinize these two verses alone, we witness a stark contrast of the words “form” versus “appearance”.... [tags: Jesus, Holy Spirit, Parashah]
722 words (2.1 pages)
- Simply Solutions Prodigal Son Siblings often like to argue about who got treated better and who had it the hardest when it came to their parents. In most cases the younger of the children gets spoiled because their “the baby” of the bunch. Then the oldest always seemed to have the hard end of the deal. With them being the first child the parents are just trying to get the hang of things, which ends up them being stricter and setting more rules for the older child. In “The Prodigal Son,” by King James, the eldest brother feels like the father was treating him unfairly.... [tags: Family, Son, Parable of the Prodigal Son]
1022 words (2.9 pages)
- Matthew 6:16-18 declares, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” In looking into the King James Bible we look at the book of Matthew and how it is refereing to fasting, Jewish tradition is what this Christianity faith is derived from and the fasting aspect is just one more facet that this faith follows.... [tags: Jesus, Christianity, Islam, Heaven]
1900 words (5.4 pages)
- English Catholicism had significantly changed by the time of James’s accession to the throne. Under Henry VIII, England broke away from the Catholic Church in Rome. The King was now the head of the Church of England. By the time Elizabeth came into power a substantial number of the population were still Catholic. Principled dissent to the Elizabethan Settlement came from two directions: Catholic and radical Protestant. Of the two the Roman Catholic menace seemed the more important and the government and the Church spent more time combating it.... [tags: European Religion, Elizabethan Settlement]
2916 words (8.3 pages)
- On May 29, 1660, King Charles II arrived in London amongst a sense of euphoria and great fanfare. The monarch, recently arrived from exile on the European continent, seemed to air a sense that the troubles of the past were behind England, and the nation was poised to enter a new period with a Stuart monarch at its helm. Unfortunately, the newly arrived King produced no legitimate heirs during his reign, and the monarchy fell to his younger brother upon his death. After the death of King Charles II, King James II ascended the throne of England.... [tags: british history, catholics, protestants]
1220 words (3.5 pages)
- King James 1 and the Church King James IV, of Scotland, seized the English throne in 1603 after the death of Elizabeth I and became James I of England. He was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and had been King of Scotland since 1567. During his reign, James increased the power of the monarchy making his rule absolute. James I was involved with every area of government. Under his rule Scotland and England were united, the King James Version of the Bible was published, William Shakespeare and various other writers prospered, education thrived, and the American colonies were founded. However, James faced many problems with unifying the government.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1217 words (3.5 pages)
- King James I was a devoted Christian who wanted the all common people to have their hands on the holy bible. Since King James was multi-lingual in, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish and English. He became the king of Scotland in 1556 at only thirteen months old and in 1603 acceded to the throne of England. At that point he combined Scotland and England the first to call it Great Britain. It is said that he also endured racism since he was Scottish but ruling over England but as a child he received his knowledge and education from Scottish tutors which he loved do much.... [tags: Bibliography]
351 words (1 pages)
- King James I born June 19, 1566, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland died March 27, 1625, Theobalds, Hertfordshire, England King of Scotland (as James VI) from 1567 to 1625 and first Stuart king of England from 1603 to 1625, who styled himself “king of Great Britain.” James was a strong advocate of royal absolutism, and his conflicts with an increasingly self-assertive Parliament set the stage for the rebellion against his successor, Charles I. James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.... [tags: Papers]
1781 words (5.1 pages)
- Investigating the Relationship Between Surface Area and the Rate of Oxygen Produced When Potato is Placed in Hydrogen Peroxide
- The Battle of the Somme as a Great Military Tragedy
- Comparing Films Independence Day and Close Encounters
- Work Experience
- The Contribution of Hippocrates to Medicine
- Richard III and the Stability of England
In 1589 James was married to Anne, the daughter of Frederick II of Denmark, who, in 1594, gave birth to their first son, Prince Henry. James's rule of Scotland was basically successful. He was able to play off Protestant and Roman Catholic factions of Scottish nobles against each other, and through a group of commissioners known as the Octavians (1596–97), he was able to rule Scotland almost as absolutely as Elizabeth ruled England. The king was a convinced Presbyterian, but in 1584 he secured a series of acts that made him the head of the Presbyterian church in Scotland, with the power to appoint the church's bishops.
Photograph:James I, painting attributed to John de Critz, c. 1620; in the National Maritime Museum, …
James I, painting attributed to John de Critz, c. 1620; in the National Maritime Museum, …
Courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Eng.
When James at length succeeded to the English throne on the death of Elizabeth I (March 24, 1603), he was already, as he told the English Parliament, “an old and experienced king” and one with a clearly defined theory of royal government. Unfortunately, neither his experience nor his theory equipped him to solve the new problems facing him; and he lacked the qualities of mind and character to supply the deficiency. James hardly understood the rights or the temper of the English Parliament, and he thus came into conflict with it. He had little contact with the English middle classes, and he suffered from the narrowness of his horizons. His 22-year-long reign over England was to prove almost as unfortunate for the Stuart dynasty as his years before 1603 had been fortunate.
There was admittedly much that was sensible in his policies, and the opening years of his reign as king of Great Britain were a time of material prosperity for both England and Scotland. For one thing, he established peace by speedily ending England's war with Spain in 1604. But the true test of his statesmanship lay in his handling of Parliament, which was claiming ever-wider rights to criticize and shape public policy. Moreover, Parliament's established monopoly of granting taxes made its assent necessary for the improvement of the crown's finances, which had been seriously undermined by the expense of the long war with Spain. James, who had so successfully divided and corrupted Scottish assemblies, never mastered the subtler art of managing an English Parliament. He kept few privy councillors in the House of Commons and thus allowed independent members there to seize the initiative. Moreover, his lavish creations of new peers and, later in his reign, his subservience to various recently ennobled favourites loosened his hold upon the House of Lords. His fondness for lecturing both houses of Parliament about his royal prerogatives offended them and drew forth such counterclaims as the Apology of the Commons (1604). To parliamentary statesmen used to Tudor dignity, James's shambling gait, restless garrulity, and dribbling mouth ill-befitted his exalted claims to power and privilege.
When Parliament refused to grant him a special fund to pay for his extravagances, James placed new customs duties on merchants without Parliament's consent, thereby threatening its control of governmental finance. Moreover, by getting the law courts to proclaim these actions as law (1608) after Parliament had refused to enact them, James struck at the houses' legislative supremacy. In four years of peace, James practically doubled the debt left by Elizabeth, and it was hardly surprising that when his chief minister, Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, tried in 1610–11 to exchange the king's feudal revenues for a fixed annual sum from Parliament, the negotiations over this so-called Great Contract came to nothing. James dissolved Parliament in 1611.
The abortive Great Contract, and the death of Cecil in 1612, marked the turning point of James's reign; he was never to have another chief minister who was so experienced and so powerful. During the ensuing 10 years the king summoned only the brief Addled Parliament of 1614. Deprived of parliamentary grants, the crown was forced to adopt unpopular expedients, such as the sale of monopolies, to raise funds. Moreover, during these years the king succumbed to the influence of the incompetent Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset. Carr was succeeded as the king's favourite by George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, who showed more ability as chief minister but who was even more hated for his arrogance and his monopoly of royal favour.
In his later years the king's judgment faltered. He embarked on a foreign policy that fused discontent into a formidable opposition. The king felt a sympathy, which his countrymen found inexplicable, for the Spanish ambassador, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Count of Gondomar. When Sir Walter Raleigh, who had gone to Guiana in search of gold, came into conflict with the Spaniards, who were then at peace with England, Gondomar persuaded James to have Raleigh beheaded. With Gondomar's encouragement, James developed a plan to marry his second son and heir Charles to a Spanish princess, along with a concurrent plan to join with Spain in mediating the Thirty Years' War in Germany. The plan, though plausible in the abstract, showed an astonishing disregard for English public opinion, which solidly supported James's son-in-law, Frederick, the Protestant elector of the Palatinate, whose lands were then occupied by Spain. When James called a third Parliament in 1621 to raise funds for his designs, that body was bitterly critical of his attempts to ally England with Spain. James in a fury tore the record of the offending Protestations from the House of Commons' journal and dissolved the Parliament.
The Duke of Buckingham had begun in enmity with Prince Charles, who became the heir when his brother Prince Henry died in 1612, but in the course of time the two formed an alliance from which the king was quite excluded. James was now aging rapidly, and in the last 18 months of his reign he, in effect, exercised no power; Charles and Buckingham decided most issues. James died at his favourite country residence, Theobalds, in Hertfordshire.
Besides the political problems that he bequeathed to his son Charles, James left a body of writings which, though of mediocre quality as literature, entitle him to a unique place among English kings since the time of Alfred. Chief among these writings are two political treatises, The True Lawe of Free Monarchies (1598) and Basilikon Doron (1599), in which he expounded his own views on the divine right of kings. The 1616 edition of The Political Works of James I was edited by Charles Howard McIlwain (1918). The Poems of James VI of Scotland, 2 vol., were edited by James Craigie (1955–58). In addition, James famously oversaw a new authorized English translation of the Bible, published in 1611, which became known as the King James Version.
A good though unflattering biography is D.H. Wilson, King James VI and
I (1956). Antonia Fraser, King
James VI of Scotland, I of England (1974), argues for a
reinterpretation in the light of new research.
Maurice Lee, Jr., Great Britain's Solomon: James VI and I in His Three
Kingdoms (1990), contains
Corrective essays on aspects of his life, personality, and career.
David M. Bergeron, Royal Family, Royal
Lovers: King James of England and Scotland (1991) examines his life
and family relationships.
Related Spectrum Topics
James I (1603-25) of England (James VI of Scotland) and establishment
of the Stuart dynasty:
Developments in religious doctrine, foreign relations, economic
policy, and the arts; conflicts between crowns
Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries: reigns of James IV and James
V; Mary, Queen of Scots
(1542-67), and the Scottish Reformation; John Knox and Calvinism;
James VI (1567-1625) of Scotland
(James I of England, 1603-25) and personal union of the two crowns