son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Darnley, born in Edinburgh Castle; was proclaimed king of Scotland when only 13 months old, in 1567; entrusted to the Earl of Mar, and educated by George Buchanan; Moray, Lennox, Mar, and Morton were successively regents, till James assumed the government in 1581, executing Morton and choosing Arran and Lennox for his advisers; plots and counter-plots, the Raid of Ruthven (1582), the siege of Stirling by some of the nobles with 10,000 troops, mostly from England, the surrender of the king and the fall of Arran in 1585, the insurrection of the Catholic nobles 1491-94, and the Gowrie Conspiracy in 1600, betrayed the restlessness of the kingdom, and the weakness of the king; James married Anne of Denmark 1589; on the death of Elizabeth, in 1603, he succeeded to the throne of England as JAMES I.; was at first popular, but soon forfeited all confidence by his favouritism; he governed through creatures like Carr, Earl of Somerset, and the infamous Buckingham, whose indiscretion brought about a war with Spain in 1624; James died immediately afterwards; he has been described by Sully as "the wisest fool in Christendom"; his conduct was certainly much less creditable than his conversation; he held absurdly high views of the royal prerogative; but he sold patents of nobility, and was careless of the misdeeds of his ministers; he did not live to see revolution, but he saw its precursor in the loosening of the bonds of sympathy between sovereign and people (1566-1625).

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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