King James VI of Scotland (1566-1603)
- King James was born in 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
- At the age of thirteen months, James succeeded to the Scottish throne. His mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, succumbed to the political pressure to abdicate in his favor. Queen Mary was known as an incompetent ruler who frequently quarreled with politicians and the church. There is a theory that she may have also been involved in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley, to avenge the execution of her secretary and possible lover, David Rizzo.
- As an adolescent, King James was fond of literature, poetry and plays, including those of Shakespeare, that he even published numerous books. The majority of his works examined the theology and justification of the Divine Right theory. The Divine Right theory endorses the belief that monarchs are appointed by God, and thus their authority is invincible.
- In 1589, King James married Anne of Denmark, who bore him three children including the future Charles I.
King James I of England (1603-1625)
- England was in political panic when Queen Elizabeth died in 1603. Queen Elizabeth never married, therefore she had no children to ascend her throne. She also had no nieces or nephews.
- So the throne was offered to King James VI of Scotland who was a faraway cousin of Queen Elizabeth and a descendant of Margaret Tudor, the sister of Elizabeth's father.
- Even though his mother, Mary, was executed on Queen Elizabeth's orders, King James VI of Scotland held no grudge whatsoever against England and gladly took the offer. In 1603, he became King James I of England.
- During his reign, King James I was constantly anxious over the possibility of rebellions. Since he was not a direct relative of Queen Elizabeth, he feared that others who believed they had a strong claim might gather forces and overthrow him.
- King James I was in conflict with the British Catholics as well. Raised under the Scottish Protestant government, he maintained a Protestant regime in England in the succession of Queen Elizabeth.
- King James I initiated an English translation of the Christian Bible in 1607 and completed in 1611. The King James Version of Bible had left significant impacts on English literature and is considered the best to this day.
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Shakespeare: The King's Man
There once existed a popular belief that Shakespeare translated some parts of Pslam for the King James Version of the Bible. This was found to be untrue.