King James I of England (VI of Scotland)
King James I was a Christian who wanted the Bible in the hands of the common man. Commissioned the Authorized King James Bible in 1611.
Fluent in Greek, Latin, French, English, and his native Scots. Schooled in Italian and Spanish.
Wrote extensively including Basilicon Doron (the Kingly Gift), Daemonologie, and tracts on varied subjects such as "Counterblaste to Tobacco" which condemned the use of tobacco.
William Shakespere was one of his subjects. Learning and writing thrived under the King's reign.
Formed the foundation for what is now known as the British Empire by uniting warring tribes of Scotland and then enjoining the crowns of Scotland and England in 1603. First to call it Great Britain.
King James was became King of Scotland in 1567 when he was 13 months old and acceded to the English throne in 1603.
Reformation leader John Knox read the sermon when he was crowned King.
He endured racism as a Scot ruling over the English, nevertheless had the love and admiration of many subjects. Years after his death, detractors tried to sully his good name. Unfortunately, it continues today, yet KJV translators, yea the King himself had predicted such.
King James was sickly having crippling arthritis, weak limbs, abdominal colic, gout, and a number of other chronic illnesses. He also had physical handicaps which affected his legs and tongue. Coupled with numerous attempts on his life, he required constant attention and watchcare.
His mother was Mary Queen of Scots who was deposed in 1567 and executed in 1587 after 19 years in prison. His father, Lord Darnley, was murdered in 1567.
Held the Roman Catholic religion in contempt. Roman clerics tried to kill him more than once. The King was born during the time of the Reformation and well knew popery's atrocities. In 1536, popery burned William Tyndale to death for distributing the Bible and it was MUCH displeased with King James' authorization of a Bible in English (see translator's notes). Roman Catholic Nicolo Molin, an Ambassador said this of King James:
"...He is a Protestant...The king tries to extend his Protestant religion to the whole island. The King is a bitter enemy of our religion (Roman Catholic)...He frequently speaks of it in terms of contempt. He is all the harsher because of this last conspiracy (Gun Powder Plot) against his life...He understood that the Jesuits had a hand in it."
King James said this in Basilicon Doron:
"I am no papist as I said before...Now faith...is the free gift of God (as Paul sayeth). It must be nourished by prayer, which is no thing else but a friendly talking to God. Use oft to pray when ye are quiet, especially in your bed..."
He led a chaste life. Sir Henry Wotton (June 1602) said this of King James:
"There appears a certain natural goodness verging on modesty...He wears short hair...among his good qualities none shines more brightly than the chastness of his life, which he has preserved without stain down to the present time. Contrary to the example of almost all his ancestors, who disturbed the kingdom with the great number of bastards which they left."
F.A. Inderwick wrote in 1891:
"James had a reputation for learning, for piety, for good nature, and for liberality."
In 1603, Sir Roger Wilbaham wrote:
"The King is of sharpest wit and invention...of the sweetest most pleasant and best nature that I ever knew, desiring nor affecting anything but true honor."
King James loved literature and wrote extensively including the Basilicon Doron which contains instructions to his son on how to live and be a just king. King James' advice to his son concerning chastity:
"Keep your body clean and unpolluted while you give it to your wife whom to only it belongs for how can you justly crave to be joined with a Virgin if your body be polluted? Why should the one half be clean, and other defiled? And suppose I know, fornication is thought but a veniall sin by the most part of the world, yet remember well what I said to you in my first book regarding conscience, and count every sin an breach of God's law, not according as the vain world esteems of it, but as God judge and maker of the law accounts of the same: hear God commanding by the mouth of Paul to abstain from fornication, declaring that the fornicator shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, and by the mouth of John reckoning out fornication among other grievous sins that declares the commiters among dogs and swine."
Advice to his son on how to treat his wife.
"And for your behavior to your wife, the Scripture can best give you counsel therein. Treat her as your own flesh, command her as her lord, cherish her as your helper, rule her as your pupil, please her in all things reasonable, but teach her not to be curious in things that belong not to her. You are the head, she is your body, it is your office to command and hers to obey, but yet with such a sweet harmony as she should be as ready to obey as you to command, as willing to follow as you to go before, your love being wholly knit unto her, and all her affections lovingly bent to follow your will."
King James loved his wife, Queen Anne, and wrote beautifully of her. They had nine children together. Once, while out hunting, Queen Anne mistakenly killed King James' favorite dog. Sir Dudley Carleton wrote in 1613:
The queen shooting a deer mistook her mark and killed Jewel, the King's most special and favourite hound; at which he stormed exceedingly awhile; but after he knew who did it he was soon pacified and with much kindness wished her not to be troubled with it for he should love her never the worse; and the next day sent her a diamond worth £2000 as a legacy from his dead dog....The Queen by her late pacification hath gained Greenwich.
King James is the founding Monarch of the United States. Under his reign, we have the first successful colonies planted on the American mainland--Virginia, Massachusetts and Nova Scotia. King James ordered, wrote and authorized this Evangelistic Grant Charter to settle the Colony of Virginia:
"To make habitation...and to deduce a colony of sundry of our people into that part of America, commonly called Virginia...in propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness...to bring a settled and quiet government."
The morality of King James has come under attack from a number of groups. Among the most vociferous are sodomites and apologists who defend modern Bible versions like the NIV. He's being falsely accused of atrocities such as homosexuality, being a closet papist (Catholic) and burning baptists! These fallacies are not going without rebuttal, however. Historians who've studied this great King for many years, are setting the record straight.
More questions about the great King James? I highly suggest, "King James, Unjustly Accused?" by Stephen A. Coston, Sr., A.V. Publications Corp., P.O. Box 280, Ararat, VA 24053, 1-800-435-4535.
Back to His Majesty King James VI & I Index
"Where the word of a king is, there is power."—Ecclesiastes 8:4