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Essay/Term paper: King james i

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities

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This is a paper over King James I of England that I wrote for

my honors english class. I received an A on the the

assignment. King James I On June 19, 1566 in Theobalds,

Hertfordshire, England, Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to

her only child, a boy whom she named James. James' father

was Henry Stewart, also known as Lord Darnley. Darnley

was killed in an unexplained explosion at his house when

James was eight months old. Only seven months later, Mary

Queen of Scots had to give up her throne because she was

defeated by rebels. Mary left the country and James never

saw her again. James took the throne of Scotland when he

was only 15 months old and became King James VI of

Scotland ("James I" 481). James got most of his culture and

education before he was 14 years old. During his early life,

the boy king spent most of his time with Scottish lords and

his tutors, especially George Buchanan, his favorite tutor

("James I, King of England" 1). He received a superior

education and was known for his great knowledge. He

always had a great respect for the Scottish lords that were

around him as he grew up ("James I" 481). James enjoyed

writing. He wrote and published many poems and translated

many long French works. Later in life he also wrote many

books on topics such as kingship, theology, withcraft, and

tobacco. He also ordered the translation of acient Greek and

Hebrew versions of the Bible into English in the Authorized

King James Version of the Bible ("James I, King of England"

1). 2 He also enjoyed riding horses and hunting. This may be

due to the fact that he was very frail and sometimes needed

help walking. When he was on a horse, he was able to

function normally. Despite his physical hinderances, King

James was regarded as being very confident in his decisions.

At the age of 15, James ordered the execution of a man

suspected to have been involved with the death of Henry

Stewart, James' father ("James I" 481). James wanted to

follow Queen Elizabeth I of England to the throne so badly

that he would have done anything to keep peaceful relations

with her. When his mother was beheaded in 1587, he merely

made a formal protest and let the incident blow over ("James

I, King of England"1). In 1589, James was married with

Anne of Denmark, the daughter of Fredrick II of Denmark.

They had there first child, Prince Henry, in 1594 ("James I"

481). Prince Henry was an ideal prince and won the love of

the people. Following Henry were Princess Elizabeth and

Prince Charles. Prince Henry and Princess Elizabeth were

both very beautiful children, but Prince Charles was a

different story. Charles, like his parents, was a sickly child

and had to have help walking when he was young (Chute

260). Apparently James was not very fond of women and

never had a mistress ("James I" 481). The only time he ever

paid a great deal of attention to his wife was when she

converted to Roman Catholicism ("James I, King of

England" 1). King James was a very giving man. He liked to

gain support from people by buying them gifts. In 1605, he

spent 2530 pounds at two jewellers (Levi 4). Although he

spent a lot of money, he was not very good at budgeting it

("James I" 481). In 1603, King James VI got his wish. As

Stanford E. Lehmberg states in the Grolier Electronic

Encyclopedia, "Since Elizabeth had no children and there

were no other descendants Guy 3 of Henry VIII, the Tudor

line was extinguished upon her death. Throughout her reign

Elizabeth refused to designate a successor, but it is clear that

she expected King James VI of Scotland to follow her.

When Elizabeth died on Mar. 24, 1603, James, the son of

Mary Queen of Scots, but a Protestant, succeeded without

incident as King James I of England" (1). King James I was

also the first Stuart king of England. Many people came to

see the new king's coronation in London. The town was

bustling with people and unfortunately the plague. At the time

the king was crowned, over 1100 people a week were

dying from the plague (Chute 258). There were two things

that James loved even more than giving or receiving money;

and those were peace and expansion. He tried his hardest to

keep the peace. One of his men stated that he would "rather

spend 100,000 pounds on embassies, to keep or procure

peace with dishonor, than 10,000 pounds of an army that

would have forced peace with honor" (Chute 261-2). King

James greatly supported the expansion in America. He

chartered the London Company in 1606. By doing this, he

hoped to start a colony in North America. The London

Company founded Jamestown in Virginia in 1607 ("London

Company" 1). King James I made many great contributions

to the theater. Shortly after he became king, he made the

Chamberlain's Men, a group of travelling actors who made

their living preforming plays, royal servants. The

Chamberlain's Men were changed to the King's Men. There

were nine actors named to the elite group. Among them was

none other than William Shakespeare. The King's Men were

sponsered by James, which was a great relief for thier

pocket books. They were issued scarlet cloth to make

uniforms that represented the king. The royal family saw five

times as many plays a year as Queen Elizabeth had (Reese

155). 4 Shakespeare made references to events surrounding

King James in many of his plays. In 1605, the Gunpowder

Plot was discovered. Someone planted several barrels of

gunpowder under the Parliament. If their plan would have

worked, King James, his family, and all of the Lords and

Commons would have been killed. Shakespeare was

thought to have based his play Macbeth on those events

(Rowse 379). In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet made a

speech against Danish drunkenness. Once, when Christian of

Denmark payed a visit to his son in law, King James I, he

did not stay sober past dinner. His daughter, the Queen of

England, passed out while dancing, three other women were

too drunk to appear in masque, someone else was sick, and

another woman spilt custard on the King. It quite an

embaressment for James, but it made Shakespeare a great

anecdote (Levi 219). Although it appeared the King James I

of England was a great ruler, it was said that the fall of

English politics and religion that led to the English Civil War

can be traced back to him. On March 27, 1625, after

warning his heir, Charles I, of future dangers to the

monarchy from the Parliament, King James I breathed his

last breath ("James I, King of England" 2). Works Cited

Chute, Marchette. Shakespeare of London. New York:

Penguin Books, 1991. "James I." The New Encylopedia

Britannica. Chicago: Encylopedia Britannica, Inc., 1992.

"James I, King of England." Multimedia Encyclopedia

Version 1.5. CD-ROM. Grolier Electronic Publishing. 1992.

Lehmberg, Standford E. "Queen Elizabeth I." Multimedia

Encyclopedia Version 1.5. CD-ROM. Grolier Electronic

Publishing. 1992. Levi, Peter. The Life and Times of William

Shakespeare. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1988.

"London Company." Multimedia Encyclopedia Version 1.5.

CD-ROM Grolier Electronic Publishing. 1992. Reese, M.

M. Shakespeare: His World and His Work. New York: St.

Martin's Press, 1980. Rowse, A. L. William Shakespeare: A

Biography. New York: Harper and Row, 1963.  

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