James I of England facts for kids

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James I
James I of England by Daniel Mytens.jpg
Reign 24 July 1567 – 27 March 1625
Coronation 29 July 1567
Predecessor Mary, Queen of Scots
Successor Charles I
Reign 24 March 1603 – 27 March 1625
Coronation 25 July 1603
Predecessor Elizabeth I
Successor Charles I
Born (1566-06-19)19 June 1566
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Died 27 March 1625 (aged 58)
Burial 7 May 1625
Westminster Abbey
Spouse Anne of Denmark
House House of Stuart
Father Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Mother Mary, Queen of Scots
Religion Protestant (Published the King James Version bible)
Signature James  I's signature

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He was the first monarch to be called King of Great Britain. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, England and Ireland from 24 March 1603 all until his death in 1625.

His reign was important because it was the first time England and Scotland agreed to have the same monarch. He was the first monarch of England from the House of Stuart. The previous English monarch had been Elizabeth I. She had died without any children, so the English agreed to have a Scottish monarch because James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, thus the closest relative Elizabeth had. By being king of both, he created a personal union.

James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland, positioning him to eventually accede to all three thrones. After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England (the largest of the three realms) from 1603, only returning to Scotland once in 1617, and styled himself "King of Great Britain and Ireland". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for England and Scotland. In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster and British colonisation of the Americas began.

At 57 years and 246 days, James's reign in Scotland was longer than those of any of his predecessors. 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.

Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a growing literary culture. James himself was also a talented scholar. He sponsored the translation of the Bible into English that would later be named after him: the Authorised King James Version.

Since the latter half of the 20th century, historians have spoke of 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, especially the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) that devastated much of Central Europe.


Portrait of Anne of Denmark c. 1605

A suitable marriage was necessary to reinforce his monarchy, and the choice fell on Anne of Denmark, younger daughter of Protestant Frederick II. The couple were married formally at the Bishop's Palace in Oslo on 23 November and returned to Scotland on 1 May 1590. The royal couple produced three children who survived to adulthood: Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died of typhoid fever in 1612, aged 18; Elizabeth and Charles, his successor. Anne died before her husband in March 1619.


After about the age of fifty, James suffered increasingly from arthritis, gout and kidney stones. The King was often seriously ill during the last year of his life, leaving him rarely able to visit London.

In early 1625, James fell seriously ill in March and died at Theobalds House on 27 March. James's funeral on 7 May was a magnificent affair. 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 in the 19th century, during an excavation.

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