James Charles Stuart...later James I of England and VI of Scotland...was born during the time known as the Reformation. His birth took place on June 19, 1566 at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. He was the son of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots (who was beheaded in 1587), and her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (who was murdered in 1567). James was a mere 13 months old when he ascended to the throne of Scotland on July 29, 1567, his mother having been forced to abdicate in favor of her infant son. He assumed the official rule of Scotland at the age of 19. On March 24, 1603, upon the death of his childless aunt, Elizabeth I (who named no successor), James united the kingdoms of Scotland, Ireland and England under one rule, forming the foundation for what would later come to be known as the British Empire. Thus, the line of Scottish kings ended with James VI.
Like many monarchs of the time, James was reared by tutors and became an exceedingly capable linguist. Indeed, he once remarked that he could speak Latin before he could speak his native Scots and typically had no need for a translator when conducting business with other heads of state.
James was married by proxy on August 20, 1589 to Anne Oldenburg of Denmark, the official wedding between the couple taking place on November 23 of that same year. Born on October 14, 1574 in Skanderborg Castle, Anne was the second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway. Anne died on March 4, 1619 at Hampton Court Palace and is buried in Westminser Abbey. Together, Anne and James had nine children: (1) Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (who succumbed to typhoid at the age of 18); (2) a stillborn child (sex undetermined); (3) Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia (also known as "The Winter Queen"); (4) Margaret (who died at the age of two); (5) Charles (later King Charles I who ascended to the throne upon the death of his father and was later martyred); (6) Robert Bruce, Duke of Kintyre (who died at the age of four months); (7) a son (name unknown, who died within hours); (8) Mary (who died at the age of two); and (9) Sophia (who died when she was only one day old).
James held the Roman Catholic religion in comtempt and believed strongly in the Divine Right of Kings. Despite the fact that he endured racism and slander as a native Scot ruling the English populace, he managed to cultivate the love and admiration of many of his subjects and proved himself as a highly capable monarch. During the reign of James, the first successful colonies were planted upon the American mainland...Virginia, Massachusetts and Nova Scotia (in SouthEast Canada), for example.
In July 1604, James appointed 54 men to a committee organized for the purpose of formulating a new translation to the Bible. This proposed translation did not go without opposition. The Catholic religion, for instance, was vehemently against translating the Bible into the "common tongue." Nevertheless, the work continued and the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible was published in 1611. It is the best-selling book of all time and, for many Christians, remains the absolute and final word of God.
Throughout his life, James was something of a sickly man, plagued with crippling arthritis, weak/spasmic limbs, abdonimal colic, gout, insomnia and a number of other chronic illnesses. He also had physical handicaps which affected his legs and a tongue which was too large for his mouth. In addition, some authorities believe he may have had congenital diseases of the nervous system. To add to his ill-health, James suffered from depression after the loss of his beloved Anne. James I of England and VI of Scotland died on March 27, 1625 at Theobolds Park in Hertfordshire, England. He was 59 years old and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Prince William of England is directly descended from James I of England and VI of Scotland through the lineage of both his father (Charles, present Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the throne) and mother, the now deceased former Princess of Wales...the Lady Diana Spencer.
Personal Observation: The above image of James' wife appears to bear a striking
resemblance to England's present Princess Royal...also named Anne...who is the only
daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. However, perhaps this is not so
surprising since both Annes are related through a direct bloodline.