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James VI of Scotland was the first king of both England and Scotland. He also held the title of King of France, as had all his predecessors on the English throne since October 21, 1422, although by his time the title didn’t come with an active claim of this throne. James succeeded Elizabeth I as the closest living relative of the unmarried childless English monarch, through his descent from one of Henry VIII’s sisters. Below are some more facts and information on King James I or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Because of Queen Elizabeth I’s death, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. His name has become synonymous with the famous printing of the Bible that bears his name, the “King James Bible” of 1611 AD. He was one of the most intelligent Kings to reign over England.
- King James I was born in June 19, 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. His parents were Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.
- His father, Lord Darnley, was murdered when he was 8 months old. His mother married again but was forced to renounce the throne in favor of him. James was formally crowned at the Church of the Holy Rood, Stirling on July 29, 1567.
- Mary fled to England where she was imprisoned for the next 19 years.His childhood and adolescence were unhappy, abnormal, and precarious; he had various guardians, whose treatment of him differed widely.In accordance with the religious atmosphere of the time, he was brought up as a Scottish Presbyterian, though his mother had been a Roman Catholic.
- 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 was married to Anne Oldenburg of Denmark on 23 November, 1589. Anne was the daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Sophia von Mecklenburg-Gustrow. She gave birth to their first son Prince Henry in 1594.
- They had quite a large family, eight children in all but only three survived.
- Their eldest son Henry died aged 18 of typhoid, and their 2nd son Charles became King Charles I. The marriage of their daughter Elizabeth to Frederick V, Elector Palatine and King of Bohemia, was to result in the eventual Hanoverian succession to the British throne.
- James was considered to be an intellectual and wrote several books. An interesting book on witchcraft came about after his return from Kronborg where his marriage to Anne took place. This book was the result of his attendance at the North Berwick Witch Trial.
- Another interesting writing was The True Law of Free Monarchies in which he states that “the sovereign succeeds to his kingdom by right from God.” He believed that subjects owe absolute obedience, and that his rights as sovereign could not be attacked or limited. Though he believed in the divine right of kings, his Parliament most definitely did not.
- He authorized a translation of the bible which is now known as the King James Version published in 1611.
- James’s rule of Scotland was basically successful. He limited the power of the nobility, although his attempts to limit the authority of the Kirk (Church of Scotland) were less successful.
- When Elizabeth I of England died in 1603 unmarried, James moved to London and was crowned King James I of England on 25 July, 1603. He was the first of the Stuart Kings of the combined crowns of England and Scotland.
- The two kingdoms were now united under one crown. However, they were in fact, two separate kingdoms each with their own legislatures and own administrative bodies. Being under one crown, they could not go to war with each other, they could not take opposing sides in foreign wars and could not make any hostile agreements.
- He was a supporter of literature and arts. William Shakespeare was among the ‘Kings Men’ troupe of actors who performed plays for their patron James.
- Guy Fawkes’ and his co-conspirators attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605, which produced an anti-Catholic reaction, which gave James temporary popularity, however this soon dissipated.
- James dissolved the English Parliament on February 8, 1622, following a dispute involving parliamentary criticisms of a marriage proposed by James, between his son Charles and Princess Maria Anna of Spain.
- His foreign policy was aimed primarily at achieving closer relations with Spain but this was not liked by Parliament, who saw Spain as the Old Catholic enemy of the Armada and a competitor for world trade.
- During his reign the East India Company expanded trade, bringing spices from the East, and Jamestown was founded in Virginia.
- James ruled Scotland as James VI from July 24, 1567. He ruled England and Ireland as James 1st from 24th March, 1603.
- He died on March 27, 1625 at Theobalds House, and his remains lie in the Henry VII Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
King James I Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use King James I Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about James VI of Scotland who was the first king of both England and Scotland. He also held the title of King of France, as had all his predecessors on the English throne since October 21, 1422, although by his time the title didn’t come with an active claim of this throne.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- King James I Facts
- Theme Paper
- Fill in the Blanks
- Matching Type
- King James I Anagram
- Fact or Bluff
- Word Search
- Who Are You?
- Venn Diagram
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