1566 (19th June)
Mary was determined to divorce her husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
James’s mother, Mary was taken very ill and at one point was thought to be dying but she recovered.
1566 (17th December)
James was christened at Stirling Castle. His godparents were Charles IX of France, Elizabeth I of England and Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy.
1567 (10th February)
James’s father was murdered and his house was blown up. James’s mother, Mary, was incriminated in the murder.
1567 (11th February)
James became Duke of Albany, Earl of Ross and Baron Ardmannoch following the death of his father.
1567 (around 22nd April)
James was visited by his mother, Mary, it was the last time he saw his mother.
1567 (24th April)
Mary was either abducted by Bothwell or went with him of her own free will to Dunbar Castle.
1567 (15th May)
James’s mother, Mary Queen of Scots, married James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the man behind her husband’s murder. The marriage shocked people including Scottish councillors who now believed that she may have been party to Darnley’s murder.
1567 (after 15th May)
James’s mother’s marriage to Bothwell had left her opposed by the majority of the lords who raised an army against her.
1567 (15th June)
James’s mother surrendered to the Scottish lords at Carberry Hill after many of her troops deserted her. She was taken to Edinburgh.
1567 (16th June)
James’s mother, Mary,was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle.
1567 (24th July)
James became King James VI of Scotland after his mother, Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the throne in his favour. Mary remained imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle and her son was taken to Stirling Castle to be raised by the Earl and Countess of Mar as a Protestant, away from his mother’s Catholic influence.
1567 (29th July)
James was crowned King James VI of Scotland by Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkeny at the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling. His mother’s half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray ruled as regent for the infant king.
1568 (2nd May)
James’s mother escaped from Loch Leven Castle with the help of the owner of the castle, George Douglas. She began to rally troops loyal to herself.
1568 (13th May)
Battle of Langside
Mary’s army of around 6,000 men, was beaten by Moray’s smaller force of Scottish Protestants. Mary fled the field and spent the night at Dundrennan Abbey.
1568 (16th May)
James’s mother, Mary, crossed the Solway Firth into England where she sought the protection of Elizabeth I
. She was taken to Wokington Hall.
James was given a strict Protestant education.
1570 (23rd January)
James’s uncle, Earl of Moray, regent of Scotland was assassinated by James Hamilton. James’s grandfather, Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox became regent.
James’s grandfather, Matthew Stewart, died from injuries sustained during a raid by Mary’s supporters. John Erskine, Earl of Mar became regent and guardian of the young King.
1572 (28th October)
James’s guardian, John Erskine, Earl of Mar, died. James Douglas, Earl of Morton, became regent of Scotland.
1572 (after October)
James Douglas, Earl of Morton, regent for James, although a fairly efficient ruler, was not popular after giving posts to his favourites.
James created his cousin and favourite courtier, Esme Stuart, Earl of Lennox.
1581 (2nd June)
James Douglas, Earl of Morton, regent for James, was executed on charges of conspiracy in the murder of Lord Darnley.
The Earl of Gowrie and the Earl of Angus persuaded James to go to Ruthven Castle and imprisoned him. Once he was there the two earls imprisoned him and exiled Lennox.
James was released from captivity.
1583 (after June)
James wrote ‘Some Reulis and Cautelis to be observit and eschewit in Scottis poesie’ (Some Rules and Cautions to be Observed and Eschewed in Scottish Prosody). The treatise was designed as a poetic manuel and description of poetic tradition.
James began to take control of the government of Scotland.
1586 (6th July)
Treaty of Berwick
This treaty agreed an alliance between England and Scotland.
1586 (11th August)
James’s mother, Mary, was arrested and charged with being a party to the Babington Plot which sought to depose Elizabeth I and put Mary on the throne of England.
1587 (8th February)
James’s mother, Mary, was executed by beheading at Fotheringhay Castle in England. James did not denounce the execution because he wanted to succeed to the English throne.
1587 (late July)
James’s mother, Mary was buried at Peterborough Cathedral.
James sent messages of support to Elizabeth I during the invasion of the Spanish Armada
1589 (20th August)
James married by proxy Anne of Denmark
, the daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark at Kronborg Castle, Copenhagen, Denmark.
1589 (late August)
Anne of Denmark sailed from Copenhagen bound for Scotland but was forced to put in to port in Norway following storms in the North Sea.
1589 (22nd October)
When he heard that his bride had landed in Norway due to storms he sailed to Norway to personally escort her to Scotland.
1589 (23rd November)
James married Anne of Denmark, the daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark at the Bishop’s Palace, Oslo, Norway.
1589 (after 23rd November)
James and Anne spent time in the Danish cities of Elsinore and Copenhagen.
1590 (1st May)
James returned to Scotland with his new bride.
1590 (17th May)
James’s wife, Anne of Denmark, was crowned Queen Consort at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
1594 (19th February)
A son, Henry Frederick, was born to James and Anne of Denmark. He was styled Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Lord of the Isles.
1595 (late July)
James’s wife, Anne, was delivered of a stillborn child.
1596 (19th August)
A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Dunfermline Palace, Fife, Scotland.
James published Daemonologie, a study of demonology and black magic. The work was written after James developed an obsession with witchcraft following his visit to Denmark in 1590.
Unlike his father and grandfather, James did not speak Gaelic, the language of the people of the north of Scotland (the Highlands). Furthermore he believed that the language was foreign to Scotland and that those that spoke it were barbarians. He demanded that all Highland chiefs produce deeds to prove that they owned the land they inhabited.
Gentlemen Adventurers of Fife
The MacLeod clan had failed to produce evidence of ownership of their land as demanded by statute in 1597 so James had declared their land forfeit to the crown. He then gave lands on the Isle of Lewis to a group of 12 men known as the Gentlemen Adventurers of Fife. These men were to colonise the island and begin to ‘civilise’ the native inhabitants. However when the landed in the capital of the island, Stornoway, the locals prevented them from colonising the land and drove them out.
James published ‘The True Law of Free Monarchies’ in which he set out the notion that Kings are above the law of the land and answerable only to God (the divine right of kings).
1598 (24th December)
A daughter, Margaret, was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Linlithgow Palace, Fife, Scotland.
James wrote Basilikon Doron, a treatise on the theory of government, for his eldest son and heir, Prince Henry.
The Gowrie Conspiracy
A plot to kidnap King James by John Ruthven, Lord Gowrie and his brother Alexander was uncovered. Both brothers were killed and their sisters, who were ladies in waiting to Anne, were dismissed. Anne, who was fond of the sisters, protested and refused to get out of bed for two days, a move which infuriated James.
James’s daughter, Margaret died.
1600 (19th November)
A son, Charles
, was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Dunfermline Palace.
1600 (23rd December)
James’s son, Charles, was baptised by the bishop of Ross. He was created Duke of Albany, Marquess of Ormonde, Earl of Ross and Baron of Ardmannoch on the same day.
James began secret correspondence with Elizabeth I’s chief minister, Robert Cecil to prepare for his succession to the English throne.
1602 (18th January)
A son, Robert Bruce, was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Dunfermline Castle.
1602 (2nd May)
James’s son, Robert Bruce, was created Duke of Kintyre and Lorne, Marquess of Wigtown, Earl of Carrick and Lord of Annerdale.
This petition, signed by Puritans, called on James to make reforms to the Church of England.
1603 (24th March)
James became King of England, Ireland and Wales after Elizabeth I died. James’s eldest son, Henry became Duke of Cornwall. As had been previously agreed with Robert Cecil, James kept membership of the Privy Council the same as it had been under Elizabeth I.
1603 (5th April)
James left Edinburgh for London. He stopped at the houses of many leading nobles along the route and received a warm welcome.
A stillborn son was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Stirling Castle.
1603 (7th May)
James reached London.
The Bye Plot
This was a plot by a number of Catholic priests and Puritans who wanted greater tolerance for their religions who aimed to kidnap James. It is called the Bye Plot due to its being a part of another plot (the Main Plot) and was uncovered after details were leaked.
1603 (14th June)
James’s eldest son and heir, Henry, was made a Knight of the Garter.
Having recovered from her miscarriage, James’s wife, Anne, travelled south to London with Prince Henry.
The Main Plot
This was a plot by a number of courtiers to remove James from the throne and replace him with his cousin, Arabella Stuart, granddaughter of Margaret Douglas and Matthew Stewart. It is called the Main Plot because the Bye Plot was a part of it. It was uncovered after the Bye Plot had been discovered.
1603 (19th July)
Walter Raleigh was arrested on a charge of treason for his part in the Main Plot. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1603 (25th July)
James and Anne were crowned King and Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
James’s request to unite England and Scotland and be named King of Great Britain was refused by both the English and Scottish governments.
James published ‘A Counterblaste to Tobacco’ in which he denounced the practice of smoking tobacco.
Somerset Peace Conference
This conference agreed a peace between England and Spain.
Despite not having the backing of either the English or Scottish governments, James proclaimed himself King of Great Britain. He was not able to use the title on English statutes but he forced its use in Scotland.
Gentlemen Adventurers of Fife
The Gentlemen Adventurers of Fife made a second attempt to colonise the Isle of Lewis, but had no more success than their first attempt in 1598.
1605 (6th January)
James’s son, Charles, was created Duke of York and made a Knight of the Bath.
1605 (8th April)
A daughter, Mary was born to James and Anne of Denmark at Greenwich Palace.
1605 (5th November)
A plot to assassinate James and the government by blowing up the Houses of Parliament on the day of the state opening of Parliament by the King, was uncovered. Guido Fawkes and the other perpetrators were executed.
play Macbeth was first performed. The playwright had been inspired to write the play following the publication of James’s word Daemonologie in 1597.
1606 (22nd June)
A daughter, Sophia, was born to James and Anne of Denmark. She died soon after birth.
Plantation of Ulster
James encouraged a number of Protestants to settle in Ulster, Ireland. Around 300 Protestant Scots settled in Antrim.
Jamestown, Virginia was founded when English colonists settled in North America.
1607 (16th September)
James’s daughter, Mary died at Stanwell Park, Staines, Middlesex.
Statutes of Iona
This series of acts required all Highland clan chiefs to send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated as Protestants, to support Protestantism and allow Protestant ministers in the Highlands and to provide regular reports of their actions.
Plantation of Ulster
A number of British Protestants settled in Ulster.
English settlers arrived in Cuper’s Cove, Newfoundland.
1610 (4th June)
James’s eldest son, Henry, was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
1610 (31st December)
James dismissed the English parliament after disagreements over finances.
The King James Authorised Version of the Bible was published.
1611 (24th April)
James’s son, Charles, was made a Knight of the Garter.
James removed his mother’s body from Peterborough Cathedral and had it reinterred in Westminster Abbey.
1612 (6th November)
James’s son and heir to the throne, Henry, died of typhoid.
1612 (6th November)
James’s son, Charles, became Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay following the death of his elder brother.
1613 (14th February)
James’s daughter, Elizabeth married Frederick V, Elector of Palatane at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall Palace, London.
1614 (5th April)
The Addled Parliament
This parliament was called by James in a bid to raise money.
1614 (7th June)
The Addled Parliament
James dismissed parliament after it refused to impose a tax to raise funds for the King.
Walter Raleigh was released from prison. He gained permission to lead an expedition to South America to search for gold on condition that he did not antagonise the Spanish. During the expedition a group of Raleigh’s men attacked a Spanish outpost. James was furious and Raleigh was sentenced to death.
The playwright, William Shakespeare, died.
1616 (4th November)
James’s son, Charles, was invested Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester at Whitehall Palace, London.
James’s favourite, George Villiers, was created Earl of Buckingham.
James returned to Scotland and attempted to impose Anglicanism in Scotland. The move was strongly resisted by most of the Scottish clergy.
1618 (23rd May)
Thirty Years’ War
This war began as a conflict between Catholic and Protestant states but descended into a power struggle between European powers especially the French and the Habsburgs. The war put a strain on the peace between England and Spain.
1618 (29th October)
Walter Raleigh was executed for disobeying James’s orders and attacking the Spanish in South America.
1619 (2nd March)
James’s wife, Anne of Denmark, died from dropsy at Hampton Court Palace, London.
1619 (13th May)
James’s wife, Anne of Denmark, was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Thirty Years’ War
James’s daughter, Elizabeth and her husband Frederick of Palatine were deposed and exiled from Bohemia by the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II and Spanish troops invaded the Rhineland.
A group of Puritans set sail for America in the Mayflower.
James called for Parliament to grant him funds for military support for his daughter and son-in-law. Parliament granted the funds but called for James to declare war on Spain and for James’s son, Charles to marry a Protestant. James was angry with Parliament for imposing conditions on the grant of money and dissolved parliament.
Despite Parliament’s wish that he marry a Protestant, Prince Charles travelled to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham in an attempt to secure a marriage to Maria Anna, daughter of Philip III of Spain. Maria Anna did not want to marry Charles and the Spanish insisted on impossible terms if the marriage were to go ahead.
Having failed to win the hand of Maria Anna of Spain, James’s son, Charles determined to find a French bride and make war against the Habsburgs and Spain. Although Charles had the support of Parliament, James refused to declare war on Spain.
James’s health began to worsen. He suffered with arthritis, gout and fainting.
1625 (early March)
James suffered a stroke.
1625 (27th March)
James died at Theobald’s House after contracting dysentery.
1625 (7th May)
James was buried in Westminster Abbey.