King James I of England: Facts, History, Timeline: Life, Biography, Achievements, Pictures:
Mother, Succession, Bible, Reign, Beliefs, Guy Fawkes, The Gunpowder Plot

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays British History Kings of England James I


James VI of Scotland became King James 1 of England in 1603 when Queen Elizabeth 1 died. Elizabeth had no children so the succession went to James 1.

James 1 was the son of Mary Queen of Scotts and the grandson of Margaret Tudor who was the sister of Henry Tudor or Henry VIII. Margaret was married to the King of Scots to ensure stability in that region.

James I was 37 when he became king of England. He ruled England for 22 years.

James I was an outsider. James I dressed different. His manners were rougher. He believed in the divinity of kings and did not see much use in Parliament.

King James followed Queen Elizabeth I 1603-1625. King James I was despised by the Puritans for being too Catholic. Puritans were radical Calvinists who believed the royal family had not fully enough broken with Catholicism. The Puritans wanted to purify the English church of Catholic rituals.

King James sponsored the King James Bible in 1611.

He did not engage England in warfare, which made him appear too friendly with Englandís enemies. James I dissolved parliament so he could gain more wealth through unauthorized taxes. He granted monopolies and privileges to favored companies.

James 1 was an extravagant spender who gave small fortunes to his favorites (Scots) which irritated Parliament. His wife, also, spent a fortune on dresses every year.

It is thought that James I was gay because of his close relationships with some of the men at court (Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.) A history professor explained that King James I had fullfilled his duty as King by producing his heirs to the throne so the English looked the other way, after all he was king.

James I executed Sir Walter Raleigh for treason.

king james 1 portrait

portrait of King James

The gunpowder plot, Nov 5, 1605 was a plan to blow up King James 1 and Parliament by Catholic extremists wishing to return England to the Catholic faith and Rome. It was headed by Guy Fawkes. Before the plot got underway, some of the conspirators warned Catholic mps to stay away from Parliament. These mps informed the authorities. Guy Fawkes was caught red handed as he was trying to light the fuse to the gun power. Fawkes was tortured along with the other conspirators and executed as a traitor.

Each year, England celebrates the deliverance of King James by burning the effigy of Guy Fawkes.

When James I died, the succession went to his son Charles I.