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LGBT People of History 5 - James VI and I
Here is our fifth foray into LGBT People of History.
James VI of Scotland and I of England
Mary, Queen of Scots was perhaps one of the most famous monarchs of history and led a turbulent life. She gave birth to James in 1566. His father was Lord Darnley. Mary was forced to abdicate in 1567 and James became King of Scotland at the tender age of one. Regents were in power in Scotland until 1578, after which James took over the reins and ruled over the government from 1583. Mary was executed in 1587.
When Elizabeth of England died in 1603, James also became King of England and reigned until his death in 1625, spending most of his time in England from 1603. Thus he was James VI of Scotland and James I of England.
By all accounts, he seemed to have been a scholarly monarch encouraging literature and presiding over a translation of the bible. He faced political opposition in England – an example being the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
James was married to a woman, Anne, and had several children.
However, during his life he had many male favourites and companions with whom he spent a lot of time. These relationships caused much intrigue and scandal at the time.
Most notable in Scotland was Esme Stewart, the Earl of Lennox who was James’s late father’s cousin. Lennox had much influence with James and made enemies with the protestant barons as they believed that the relationship between Lennox and the King was that of carnal lust. It was said that he made his way from Scotland to England via a chain of young male peasant lads!
In England, his favourites were Robert Carr (Earl of Somerset) and George Villiers (Duke of Buckingham). Recently discovered secret passages between the bedrooms of James and Buckingham in a stately mansion tend to reinforce the idea that there was a close relationship between the two. This relationship lasted for 10 years.
James died in 1625 after several years of poor health. His reign is often regarded as one of relative peace in turbulent times.
Ian and Callum.
Thanks to Wikipedia and Ian’s memory.
Here is a link to all of our Hubs on LGBT People of History:
- LGBT People Of History Collection
Here are the links to each of the LGBT People Of History hubs that Ian and I have wrote. As mentioned above, each time a new one is published you will find it on here.