King James I

Brianna Ruiz Period 2 03-11-07 King James: Political and Personal Who is King James I? Many may know him as the man who translated the bible into the English language. Or the one who not only controlled English monarchy, but also the Scottish. Some may beg to differ, but, King James played an important role in history. According to Paul Van Somer, James was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Danley guaranteed him a spot to one day take the throne. Unfortunately his inheritance occurred sooner than expected.

Soon after his birth, Lord Danley passed away under mysterious circumstances and his mother was forced to abdicate because of her future imprisonment. So there he was, 13 months old, and now the king of Scotland. As if becoming king wasn’t enough, he had to grow up without a mother or father; instead he was raised by his tutor, George Buchanan. Although he despised Buchanan, James learned a lot from him, many have even said James was one of the most intellectual kings in England. Under Buchanan’s studies James learned how to speak fluent Greek, Latin, French, English and Scots.

James was also well educated in history, composition, arithmetic, dialectics, rhetoric and theology. James had been born with many physical disabilities in which he had to suffer from most of his life. His handicaps consisted of leg disabilities and a tongue too large for his mouth. Because of this he often would choke on his own saliva and had a very noticeable lisp. James also suffered from crippling arthritis, abominable colic, gout, insomnia, spastic limbs, constant nausea/diarrhea and kidney pains. Bruce)Despite the fact that he was not the most physically gifted man, he was able to find a wife that loved him. When he was nineteen years old, he met the woman that would soon be his wife, Anne of Denmark. Together they had nine children, three of which lived past child birth. James and Anne had a great relationship together, even though James was allegedly bi-sexual. These allegations occurred soon after his somewhat intimate relationship with Esme Stuart, whom James crowned Duke of Lennox. According to Linda Bruce, these two men had a public homosexual relationship with each other.

Despite these rumors, Anne and James continued to live their life, as a happily married couple. When one speaks of King James I, you cannot help but mention the fact that he strongly believed in the divine right of kings, which he was supposedly introduced to by Esme. This was the idea that kings or ruler was not chosen by the people, but instead they are given the opportunity to rule from god. God must have really wanted James to be a ruler, because when James was about 36 years old, his cousin, Elizabeth I had died.

Since she did not have any other living relatives, the throne of England was passed down to James. Therefore causing James to become the first ruler to take over the thrones of both England and Scotland. After this sudden coronation, James felt it would be necessary that he moved, so he immediately packed his bags and moved to London, England his now permanent home. Within months after this sudden move, Scotland became sudden chaos. Things in England didn’t end up too well either.

Within immediate arrival to London, James had already sent a thief to be hanged without undergoing the proper trial. Along the trip to London he knighted 300 people, and within a time period of four months he had knighted more people than Elizabeth did during her entire reign. Another problem that the English did not appreciate, was that James did not know how to manage his money, so he was constantly spending money on expensive clothes and jewelry because of the assumption that England was a rich country Shortly after the king’s shopping sprees, prices began to drastically rise.

This obviously upset the people greatly; James even had to sell off some of the English land to pay off his debt. Along with the English, the Catholic Church was also greatly agitated with James. The Catholics and James have had conflicts for years, but once peace was declared between Spain, they assumed that James would finally let go of his anger with the church. James had even promised to decrease the amount of laws pertaining to the Catholics and to get rid of the fines that they would have to pay for attending sermons.

James did not fulfill his promises and reinstated the old laws. This enraged the Catholics and they decided to get revenge and summon up a plot to blow up the House of the Lords, if they’re plan was successful everyone inside the house would be killed. The House of the Lords was warned about this plot, and before anything happened they imprisoned most of the plotters.