James I

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James I

(James the Conqueror), 1208–76, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1213–76), son and successor of Peter II. After a minority was disturbed by private wars among the nobles, James soon consolidated royal power and tried to create a new nobility dependent on him. He seized the Balearic Islands (1229–35) and Valencia (1238) from the Moors and helped Castile to recover control of Murcia after a Moorish rebellion (1266). A crusade to Palestine (1269) was unsuccessful. By the Treaty of Corbeil (1258) with Louis IX of France, James gave up several claims in S France, while the French king renounced his rights in Catalonia, derived from Charlemagne. James's own chronicle of his reign has been translated into English. He was succeeded in Aragón by his son Peter III. Another son was king of Majorca as James I.

James I,

1566–1625, king of England (1603–25) and, as James VI, of Scotland (1567–1625). James's reign witnessed the beginnings of English colonization in North America (Jamestown was founded in 1607) and the plantation of Scottish settlers in Ulster.

Early Life

The son of Lord Darnley and Mary Queen of ScotsMary Queen of Scots
(Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII.
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, James succeeded to the Scottish throne on the forced abdication of his mother. He was placed in the care of John Erskine, 1st earl of MarMar, John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of,
d. 1572, regent of Scotland. As Lord Erskine he was keeper of Edinburgh and Stirling castles, a source of much political strength.
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, and later of Mar's brother, Sir Alexander Erskine. The young king progressed in his studies under various teachers, notably George BuchananBuchanan, George,
1506–82, Scottish humanist. Educated at St. Andrews and Paris, he became (1536) tutor to James V's illegitimate son James Stuart (later earl of Murray). He was imprisoned (1539) for satirizing the Franciscans but escaped to the Continent.
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, and acquired a taste for learning and theological debate. During James's minority, Scotland was ruled by a series of regents—the earls of Murray, Lennox, Mar, and MortonMorton, James Douglas, 4th earl of,
d. 1581, Scottish nobleman. A nephew of Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus, he married Elizabeth Douglas, from whose father he inherited (1553) the earldom of Morton.
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. The king was the creature of successive combinations of the nobility and clergy in a complicated struggle between the remnants of his mother's Catholic party, which favored an alliance with France, and the Protestant faction, which wished an alliance with England.

In 1582, James was seized by William Ruthven, earl of Gowrie (see RuthvenRuthven
, Scottish noble family, believed to trace its ancestry to Thor, a Saxon or Dane, who settled in Scotland in the reign of David I. The name is derived from lands in Perthshire held by the family.
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, family), and other Protestant adherents. He escaped in 1583 and began his personal rule, though influenced by his favorite, James StuartStuart or Stewart, James, earl of Arran
, d. 1595, Scottish nobleman. He spent his early years as a soldier of fortune fighting in the Dutch revolt against Spain, returned to Scotland in 1597, and ingratiated himself at
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, earl of Arran. James considered an alliance with his mother's French relatives, the GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise

The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
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, but in 1586, to improve his prospects of succeeding to the English throne, he allied himself with Elizabeth I. This caused a break with his mother's party, and he accepted her execution in 1587 calmly.

James, by clever politics and armed force, succeeded in subduing the feudal Scottish baronage, in establishing royal authority, and in asserting the superiority of the state over the Presbyterian Church. In 1589, against the wishes of Elizabeth, James married Anne of DenmarkAnne of Denmark,
1574–1619, queen consort of James I of England (James VI of Scotland), daughter of Frederick II of Denmark and Norway. She married James in 1589. Brought up a Lutheran, she became a Roman Catholic some time in the 1590s and at James's English coronation
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. He succeeded in 1603 to the English crown by virtue of his descent from Margaret TudorMargaret Tudor,
1489–1541, queen consort of James IV of Scotland; daughter of Henry VII of England and sister of Henry VIII. Her marriage (1503) to James was accompanied by a treaty of "perpetual peace" between Scotland and England, a peace that was ended when James
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, daughter of Henry VII.

King of England

Although at first welcomed in England, James brought to his new kingdom little understanding of its Parliament or its changing political, social, and religious conditions. James's reliance on favorites whose qualifications consisted more of personal charm than talent for government, the extravagance and moral looseness of the court, and the scandalous career of James's favorite Robert Carr, earl of SomersetSomerset, Robert Carr, earl of,
1587?–1645, Scottish favorite of James I of England. His family name also appears as Ker. He may have accompanied James to England as a page in 1603, but he appears to have spent some time in France before returning to the English court.
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, all furthered discontent.

Religious Controversies

On his arrival in England, the king was presented with the Millenary Petition, a plea for the accommodation of Puritans within the Established Church. However, at the Hampton Court Conference (1604), called to consider the petition, James displayed an uncompromising anti-Puritan attitude, which aroused great distrust. (This conference commissioned the translation of the BibleBible
[Gr.,=the books], term used since the 4th cent. to denote the Christian Scriptures and later, by extension, those of various religious traditions. This article discusses the nature of religious scripture generally and the Christian Scriptures specifically, as well as the
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 that resulted in the Authorized, or King James, Version.)

James's inconsistent policy toward English Roman Catholics angered both Catholic and Protestant alike. The Gunpowder PlotGunpowder Plot,
conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James I on Nov. 5, 1605, the day set for the king to open Parliament. It was intended to be the beginning of a great uprising of English Catholics, who were distressed by the increased severity of penal laws
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 (1605), which sprang from Catholic anger at the reimposition of fines and penalties that James had earlier relaxed, led to greater harshness toward Catholics and prevented any cordial relations thereafter. Yet the suspicion arose that the king favored the Catholics, because he sought to conciliate Spain and attempted to arrange a marriage between the Spanish infanta and Prince Charles (later Charles ICharles I,
1600–1649, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1625–49), second son of James I and Anne of Denmark. Early Life

He became heir to the throne on the death of his older brother Henry in 1612 and was made prince of Wales in 1616.
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Conflicts with Parliament

James's relations with the English Parliament were strained from the beginning because of his insistence upon the concept of divine right of monarchy and his inability to recognize Parliament as representative of a large and important body of opinion. As it was, Parliament—and particularly the House of Commons, where Puritanism was strong—soon became the rallying point of the forces opposing the crown. The Commons blocked (1607) James's cherished project of a union with Scotland. They also complained bitterly about James's methods of raising revenue by imposing new customs duties and selling monopolies. The Great Contract of 1610, a compromise whereby James would relinquish some of his feudal rights in return for a yearly income, did not come to fruition.

In 1611, James dissolved Parliament and except for the Addled Parliament of 1614, which produced no legislation, ruled without one until 1621. After the death (1612) of his capable minister, Robert Cecil, earl of SalisburySalisbury, Robert Cecil, 1st earl of,
1563–1612, English statesman; son of William Cecil, Baron Burghley. He entered Parliament and came gradually to rank second only to his father as adviser to Queen Elizabeth I.
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, the king exercised the royal prerogative with even less restraint and entered into battle with the courts of common law, whose position was strongly defended by Sir Edward CokeCoke, Sir Edward
, 1552–1634, English jurist, one of the most eminent in the history of English law. He entered Parliament in 1589 and rose rapidly, becoming solicitor general and speaker of the House of Commons. In 1593 he was made attorney general.
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. After the fall of Somerset, George Villiers, later 1st duke of BuckinghamBuckingham, George Villiers, 1st duke of
, 1592–1628, English courtier and royal favorite. He arrived (1614) at the English court as James I was tiring of his favorite, Robert Carr, earl of Somerset.
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, rose to favor and by 1619 was in complete possession of the king's confidence.

At the Parliament of 1621, called in order to raise money for the cause of the German Protestants and James's son-in-law, Frederick the Winter KingFrederick the Winter King,
1596–1632, king of Bohemia (1619–20), elector palatine (1610–20) as Frederick V. The Protestant diet of Bohemia deposed the Roman Catholic King Ferdinand (Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II) and chose Frederick as king.
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, in the Thirty Years War, James was forced to abolish certain monopolies that had been abused by their holders. This Parliament also impeached the lord chancellor, Francis BaconBacon, Francis,
1561–1626, English philosopher, essayist, and statesman, b. London, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at Gray's Inn. He was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper to Queen Elizabeth I.
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. It was dissolved by James for asserting its right to debate foreign policy.

The unpopular Spanish policy was pursued until the 1623 expedition of Prince Charles and Buckingham to Spain to facilitate the marriage arrangements ended in failure. A marriage treaty with France was concluded in 1624, and James was unable to prevent Parliament from voting a subsidy for war against Spain. James left to his son, Charles ICharles I,
1600–1649, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1625–49), second son of James I and Anne of Denmark. Early Life

He became heir to the throne on the death of his older brother Henry in 1612 and was made prince of Wales in 1616.
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, a foreign war and events leading up to the English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
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Literary Works

James I was active as an author. He produced several youthful essays on literary theory, poetry, and numerous political works. Two other important writings are his True Law of Free Monarchy (1598), an assertion of the concept of divine right of kings, and Basilikon DoronBasilikon Doron
[Gr.,=royal gift], book written by James VI of Scotland (subsequently James I of England) as a guide for the conduct of his son Henry when he became king. The work was completed in manuscript in 1598 and published the following year.
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 (1599), a treatise on the art of government. His political works have been edited by C. H. McIlwain (1918, repr. 1965).


See biographies by D. H. Willson (1956, repr. 1967) and D. Mathew (1967); G. Davies, The Early Stuarts (2d ed. 1959); J. P. Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958); G. P. V. Akrigg, Jacobean Pageant (1962, repr. 1967).

James I,

1243–1311, king of Majorca (1276–1311), count of Roussillon and Cerdagne, lord of Montpellier, son of James I of Aragón. In 1278 he was forced to become a vassal of his brother, Peter III of Aragón. Having supported the French crusade against Peter, he was expelled (1285) from his territories by Peter's son, Alfonso III, but was restored 10 years later as the vassal of James II of Aragón. He was succeeded by his son Sancho IV (reigned 1311–24).

James I,

1394–1437, king of Scotland (1406–37), son and successor of Robert III. King Robert feared for the safety of James because the king's brother, Robert StuartStuart or Stewart, Robert, 1st duke of Albany,
1340?–1420, regent of Scotland; third son of Robert II.
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, 1st duke of Albany, who was virtual ruler of the realm, stood next in line of succession after the young prince. Albany had already been suspected of complicity in the death of James's older brother, David Stuart, duke of Rothesay. Accordingly, in 1406 the king sent James to France for safety, but the prince was captured on the way by the English and held prisoner until 1424. So, although James technically succeeded his father in 1406, the regent Albany ruled until his own death and was succeeded by his son, and the king's ransom was arranged only at the insistence of Archibald DouglasDouglas, Archibald, 4th earl of Douglas,
1369–1424, Scottish nobleman, called Tyneman [loser]; 2d son of Archibald Douglas, 3d earl of Douglas. In 1390 he married Margaret Stuart, daughter of Robert III.
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, 4th earl of Douglas, and other nobles. The king had been well educated by his captors, Henry IV and Henry V of England, who had treated him as a royal guest. Shortly before his return to Scotland in 1424, James married Joan Beaufort, daughter of the earl of Somerset. The Kingis Quair [the king's book] (rev. ed. by W. W. Skeat, 1911), the story of his captivity and his romance with Joan, is usually considered to have been written by him. It and other poems attributed to him would establish him as one of the leading poets in the Chaucerian tradition. James was crowned at Scone and set about governing energetically. He asserted his authority over the nobility, ruthlessly exterminating members of the Albany family and a number of other barons and reducing the Highland clans to order. He also achieved important financial and judicial reforms and sought to remodel the Scottish Parliament, which he convened annually, along English lines. His plans for including burghers in the Parliament and improving commerce and the army were opposed by his militantly feudal nobles, and his vindictiveness, cupidity, and quick temper understandably diminished his popularity. He was assassinated by a group of nobles, one of whom, the earl of Atholl, probably hoped to claim the throne. However, James was succeeded by his son, James II.


See biography by J. Norton-Smith (1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

James I


(Jaime I), known as El Conquistador. Born Feb. 2, 1208, in Montpellier; died July 27, 1276, in Valencia. King of Aragón from 1213.

During the Reconquest, James expanded the borders of Aragón by seizing various territories from the Arabs, including the Balearic Islands (1229–35) and Valencia (1238). These events are described by James in his Chronicle. In 1258, James succeeded in having the French king Louis IX relinquish sovereignty over Roussillon and Barcelona in favor of the kings of Aragón; James himself gave up his claims to territories in southern France, except for Montpellier. He arranged the marriage of his son, the future Peter III, to the heiress of the king of Sicily, thus providing a legal basis for the House of Aragón’s claim to Sicily.

Royal authority was significantly strengthened by James in the course of his protracted struggle against the nobility of Aragón and Catalonia. He is partly responsible for drawing up a single code of laws; he protected trade and founded several universities. Before his death, he divided the kingdom of Aragón between his sons, which considerably retarded the unification of the state and sharply revived the struggle of various factions of the nobility.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

James I

1. called the Conqueror. 1208--76, king of Aragon (1216--76). He captured the Balearic Islands and Valencia from the Muslims, thus beginning Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean
2. 1394--1437, king of Scotland (1406--37), second son of Robert III
3. 1566--1625, king of England and Ireland (1603--25) and, as James VI, king of Scotland (1567--1625), in succession to Elizabeth I of England and his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, respectively. He alienated Parliament by his assertion of the divine right of kings, his favourites, esp the Duke of Buckingham, and his subservience to Spain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
While the first half of the book focuses on the debate begun by the excommunication of Elizabeth, the second half centers on James I's oath of allegiance and the polemical battles that followed.
The royal wedding which took place in February 1613 between the Stuart Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, and Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, was an event of major importance.
There had been various late medieval and Tudor riffs on the original statute, several continental commentaries on authority (especially Jean Bodin's) or on the legitimacy of tyrannicide, the disparate utterances of jurists such as Sir Edward Coke and Sir John Davies on the common law and its nature, and all manner of case law relevant to the theory of sovereignty (for instance Calvin's case in the very early part of James I's reign), itself critical in turn to the definition of treason.
Half of those quizzed did not know that her successor, James I, was Scottish.
IN 1605, the Gunpowder Plotters planned to seize James I's daughter Elizabeth from nearby Coombe Abbey, where she was being educated, and proclaim her queen.
It was Sir Henry Wotton, Ambassador to the courts of Venice and Bohemia under James I, who originated the remark, and what he said was, "An ambassador is an honest (not 'good') man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country (not 'sent abroad to lie for')."
James I and his circle, including William Alexander, William Fowler, and
Manlove traces the line of Scottish fantasy from early ballads through James I's The King is Quair up to the present day.
In contrast the essays by Patrick Collinson (a rather 'blokish' piece which still bears the marks of its oral delivery, on the Martin Marprelate tracts), Jenny Wormald (a robust defence of James I's political shrewdness and relatively liberal values which were hopelessly misread by those in the paranoid Tudor state over the border), Jim Sharpe (on the frequency of rebellion, sedition, and the articulate sense of being excluded among many of the lower classes, in the 1590s), Richard McCoy (on the poetry of Francis Davidson, whose poetry, according to McCoy, 'exposes the tensions and resentments behind the smooth facade of the cult of Elizabeth), and Guy himself (on the sharp move to the right in the ecclesiastical establishment), all support the dramatic thesis of the collection.
In this respect the most interesting chapter in the book is that on the building of the new hall (still standing) for Trinity College in 1605, which was to become King James I's favourite playing-place, in spite of everything that Inigo Jones could construct at court.
He wrote Poems (1614, 1616), Flowres of Sion (1623), and Forth Feasting (1617), a poem celebrating James I's visit to Scotland in that year, and he was apparently the author of Polemo-Medinia inter Vitarvam et Nebernam (1645?), a macaronic piece intermingling Scots and Latin.