King James I of England and VI of Scotland in Parliament

1 portrait

King James I of England and VI of Scotland in Parliament, possibly by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke), published 1610 (published 1608) - NPG D18234 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King James I of England and VI of Scotland in Parliament

possibly by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke)
line engraving, published 1610 (published 1608)
12 1/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (308 mm x 190 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Reference Collection
NPG D18234


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King James had a well-grounded fear of plots. His father Lord Darnley was blown up when James was eight months old and his mother Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned by Elizabeth I and beheaded in 1587. When James was crowned King of England following Elizabeth's death in 1603, he tried to foster a new sense of national unity and peace. This print shows James and his ministers as they would have appeared in Parliament on 5 November 1605.

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Current affairs

Lady Arabella Stuart, cousin of James I, secretly marries William Seymour, Marquess of Hertford. James I's chaotic finances prompts Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury to submit to Parliament the great contract which proposed increases to the king's income for James's relinquishment of his feudal rights; however, it was not implemented.

Art and science

The Alchemist, by playwright Benjamin Jonson, is first performed by the acting troupe, the King's Men. Jonson also writes Prince Henry's Barriers, in honour of Henry, Prince of Wales. Stationers' Company agrees to give Thomas Bodley a copy of every book registered with them for his growing Bodleian Library.

International

Henry IV, King of France, is assassinated in Paris by Catholic fanatic, François Ravaillac. Henry, born a Calvinist, converted to Catholicism before ascending the throne to appease his future subjects. Although a popular king, much loved by his people, two earlier attempts had been made on his life.

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