James VI

James VI. was born in the Castle of Edinburgh on 19 June 1566, and became King of Scots on his mother's abdication on 24 July 1567. Three of the four Regents who held the reins of government during the King's minority met violent deaths; James, Earl of Moray (the King's uncle), being assassinated at Linlithgow on 23 January 1569-70; Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox (the King's grandfather), being shot near Stirling on 4 September 1571; while James Douglas, fourth Earl of Morton, was beheaded on 2 June 1581.

King James assumed the Royal power on 15 July 1578, but was captured and detained in Ruthven, near Perth, by the Earl of Gowrie, the Earl of Mar, and the Master of Glamis, from 22 August 1582 to 27 June 1583. For his share in this and a later treason the Earl of Gowrie was beheaded in the following year.

On 22 October 1589 King James set sail for Denmark, and at Upslo on 24 November 1589, married Anna, second daughter of Frederick II., King of Denmark and Norway.

On the death of Queen Elizabeth on 24 March 1602-3 James succeeded to the throne of England in virtue of his descent from Henry VII. of England, through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, that King's daughter. He was proclaimed at the Cross of London on 24 March 1602-3, as 'James I., King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland,' and similarly at the Cross of Edinburgh on 31 March 1603, and under the same style he was formally anointed and crowned in Westminster Abbey on 28 July 1603.

Queen Anna died on 2 March 1618-19, and the King himself on 27 March 1625, leaving issue:-
  • 1. Henry Frederick, Duke of Rothesay and Prince of Wales, born in Stirling Castle on 19 February 1593-4, who died unmarried on 6 November 1612.
  • 2. Elizabeth, born 19 August 1596, was married at Whitehall 14 February 1612-13, to Frederick V., Count Palatine of the Rhine (Zu Simmern), King of Bohemia, who died 9/19 November 1632. She died in London, 13 February 1661-2, having had issue who survived early youth:-
    • (1) Charles Louis, Elector Palatine, from whose daughter Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orleans, the House of Bourbon-Orleans descends.
    • (2) Rupert, the cavalier 'Prince Rupert,' who took service under his uncle, King Charles I. He died 1682, without issue.
    • (3) Maurice, also a cavalier leader, lost at sea in the West Indies 1654.
    • (4) Edward, became a Catholic, and married Anne de Gonzaga of Mantua, by whom he had three daughters.
    • (5) Philip, died unmarried, killed in the Fronde wars at the battle of Rethel in 1650.
    • (6) Elizabeth, Abbess of Hervorden, died unmarried, 8 February 1680.
    • (7) Charlotte.
    • (8) Louise Hollandine, entered into religion, and became Abbess of Maubisson in France, died 11 February 1709.
    • (9) Henriette, died s.p. 18 September 1651, married, three months previously, to Sigismund Racoczy, Prince of Transylvania (Siebenburgen), who died 11 February 1652.
    • (10) Sophia, the youngest child, born 13 October 1630. As nearest Protestant relative she was, on 22 March 1701, declared heiress to the Crown of Great Britain. She was married, 30 September 1658, to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and Elector of Hanover, who died 13/23 January 1698. The Electress died 8 June 1714, and was succeeded in her rights by her son
      • George I., who became King of Great Britain in 1714 according to the Parliamentary Settlement, and from whom the present Royal Family are descended.
  • 3. Margaret Stewart, born in the Castle of Dalkeith 24 December 1598, and died in infancy.
  • 4. Charles, who succeeded his father as King Charles I.
  • 5. Robert, born at Dunfermline 18 January 1602; died there 27 May same year.
  • 6. Mary, born at Greenwich 8 April 1605; died 16 December 1607.
  • 7. Sophia, born at Greenwich 22 June, died 23 June 1606; buried in Westminster Abbey.


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