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James I.jpg

James VI of Scotland and I of England (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was the King of Scotland from 24 July 1567 to 27 March 1625, succeeding Mary, Queen of Scots and preceding Charles I of England, and King of England from 24 March 1603 to 27 March 1625, succeeding Elizabeth I of England and preceding Charles I. James was a serious and thoughtful monarch, with his reign of almost 58 years in Scotland being the longest yet in Scottish history; during his reign, the Scots settled the Plantation of Ulster in Northern Ireland, and colonists headed to the Americas to create new settlements, with Jamestown being named for him. Another achievement of his was the creation of the King James Bible, the most widely-used Bible in Christendom.


James was born on 19 June 1566, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley; he patrilineally belonged to the House of Stuart. Through both of his parents, he was a great-great-grandson of Henry VII of England, who was also the ruler of Ireland; this put James in a position to inherit the thrones of Scotland, England, and Ireland, uniting the British Isles. At the age of a year and one month, he became King of Scotland on 24 July 1567 upon his mother's abdication. He would not gain full control of his government until 1583, and in 1603 he was chosen to succeed Queen Elizabeth I of England as King of England when she died without issue. For 22 years, King James ruled over all three kingdoms in the British Isles, and he advocated a single parliament for both England and Scotland; in 1603, he moved to London, but in 1617 he returned to Scotland and ruled from there. James' belief in "divine right" (which justified absolute monarchy) and his support of religious moralism (the persecution of Catholics) led to clashes with Parliament, and the minority groups of England either rose up (such as in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot) or fled to the New World to form new colonies. The settlement of Jamestown was named for King James, who also oversaw the growth of new settlements along the eastern coast of what is now the United States. He died in 1625, and his son Charles I of England succeeded him.