Saturday, June 01, 2013

King James VI of Scotland and I of England.

There seems to be surprisingly little written about this monarch, and yet I think he was important and interesting.  So far I have acquired the following books:

and gleaned the following facts:

He unified the kingdoms of Scotland and England.
He had a succession of male favourites which he petted and kissed in public.
He had seven children by his Danish wife Anne, only four of whom survived childhood.
His first son died in young adulthood, so it was Charles who succeeded him - and was executed by the Roundheads.
His single surviving daughter, Elizabeth, married Frederick, 'The Winter King' of Bohemia, and is the direct ancestor of the modern British royal family.
He survived several plots including the famous Gunpowder Plot.
He had an American colony named after him.
He met Tycho Brahe.
He had to borrow a pair of silk stockings to keep up appearances when the English ambassadors came to visit him in Stirling.
His father was murdered by his mother, Mary Queen of Scots ....probably.
He ordered the writing of a modern version of the bible which was the standard used for centuries.
He preferred hunting to duties in government.
He was scared of loud noises.
He disliked violence.
His wife employed Inigo Jones to build an ornate silkworm house in her garden at Oatlands.
When he was five he saw his grandfather died from a stab wound and never forgot it.
He planted mulberry trees all over his kingdom including the site of Buckingham Palace.
He hoped to make his new kingdom a monger of silk as well as wool.
The idea that his venture failed because he planted the 'wrong sort of mulberry trees' (red rather than white) is wrong.
He hated tobacco and wrote a Counterblaste to Tobacco in 1604.
He also campaigned against witchcraft and was personally involved in witchhunt trials and torture.
He wrote a book called Daemonologie against witchcraft and provided the background material for Shakespeare's Macbeth.
He wooed Anna by writing a sonnet which went into rather too much detail on the effects of lovesickness.
In his writing he bared his soul.
He loved silkworms.


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