King James I of England (19 June 156627 March 1625) ruled over England, Scotland and Irelandthe first Sovereign to reign in the three realms simultaneouslyand the first English monarch of the Stuart dynasty, succeeding the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, who died unmarried and childless. He was the only son of Mary Queen of Scots, and reigned in Scotland as James VI for 36 years before becoming James I of the combined kingdoms after Elizabeth's death in 1603.
James is considered to have been one of the most intellectual and learned individuals ever to sit on the English or Scottish Throne, but also impulsive and conceited, with the nickname "the wisest fool in Christendom." Luminaries such as Sir Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare flourished during his reign (Shakespeare's company became The King's Men, which also required them to act as courtierssomething the poet wasn't keen on). James himself was a talented scholar, writing works such as Dæmonologie (1597), The True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), Basilikon Doron (1599) and A Counterblast to Tobacco (1604).
But his biggest public relations problem had to do with religion. There was a strong Catholic minority in England, a few of who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605 with Guy Fawkes. The Church of England, meanwhile, had splintered into a radical Puritan movement, which was taking over that same Parliament. And neither side liked James. He was unable to deal with a hostile English Parliament, and the refusal on the part of the House of Commons to impose sufficiently high taxes crippled the royal finances. But he endeared himself to Protestants by marrying Anne of Denmarka Princess from a Protestant country and daughter of Frederick II of Denmarkby proxy in 1589. They married again, this time with both parties personally present, on 21 January 1590 at Krondborg during James's visit to Denmark.
Soon following his return via Leith on 1 May, he attended the North Berwick Witch Trial, in which several people were convicted of having used witchcraft to create a storm in an attempt to sink the ship on which James and Anne had been traveling. This made him very concerned about the threat that witches and witchcraft were posing to himself and the country. He wrote the aforementioned Dæmonologie (Demonology). As a result, hundreds of females were put to death for witchcraft; their bodies were found in what used to be called Nor Loch (now Princes Street Gardens). This event set the tone for what our British ancestors in Salem, Massachusetts, would face a hundred years later in America.
At first, James and his new queen were close, but they gradually drifted apart. The couple produced eight children, three of whom survived infancy and one was stillborn. They decided to live apart after the death of their last child, Sophia:
From 1618 onwards, the religious conflict known as the Thirty Years' War convulsed Europe. James I was forced to become involved because his daughter, Elizabeth, was married to the Protestant Frederick V, Elector Palatine, one of the war's chief participants...
PALATINE STUART: ELIZABETH
But Elizabeth was finally married in 1613 to Elector Palatine Frederick V, in order to cement an alliance between English and German Protestantism. But when Frederick tried to take over Bohemia, everything fell apart.
James I was allied with Catholic Spain, an opponent of Elizabeth's Palatinate. This occurred because James had been faced with financial difficulties after Parliament refused to approve new taxes, and he had sought to enter into a profitable alliance with Spain by marrying his eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, off to the daughter of the King of Spain. The proposed alliance with a Roman Catholic kingdom was not well-received in Protestant England, especially when the Spanish were trying to overthrow his daughter.
Frederick and Elizabeth were defeated and exiled to Holland, and the Spanish took over the Palatinate. This created a wedge in the family that lasted for the next Century, and doomed the dynasty. The union turned out to be a strong one, outlasting his rule over the Palatinate (detailed here in our family history), through years of exile.
Frederick and Elizabeth took up their residence in Holland, where she courageously endured privation and misfortune. She received little support from abroad, even from her son Charles Louis, who was restored to the Palatinate in 1648.
In 1661, Elizabeth returned to England against the wishes of her nephew, King Charles II, who, however, pensioned her. The continuing Stuart interest in the Palatinate would be a driving force behind England's assistance to Palatines fleeing to the New World in the early 1700's, as the Stuarts were still in control there. (Ironically, Elizabeth's Stuart line would one day rule England, too. After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, there were no direct descendants in England, so Elizabeth's grandson would rule as George I.)
Frederick and Elizabeth had the following children:
Anne died on 4 March 1619 at Hampton Court Palace and was buried at Westminster
Abbey. Rumors were later spread that James was little moved by the death due to
his supposed affections for George Villiers. The two met in 1614 and James is
said to have nicknamed the young man "Steenie" and bestowed honor upon
honor to him, ending with the dukedom of Buckingham in 1623. George Villiers was
the first non-royal duke to be created for over a century.
nephew, the Duke of York, was the next in line to rule. He married Anne Hyde,
daughter to Charles II's chief advisor, the Earl of Clarendon. Whether through
years of Royal inbreeding or just bad luck, the Stuarts were not a hearty family,
and although this union bore eight children, only Mary and her younger sister,
Anne, survived into adulthood.
This did not go over well with the largely Protestant Parliament, or the people of England, because the Duke was in line to become the next King. So the Duke used his daughter, Mary (pictured at left), to ease their discontent. And nothing pleases the masses like a good, old-fashioned Royal Wedding.
So at the age of fifteen, Mary became betrothed to her first cousin, the Protestant Stadtholder and Prince of Orange, William III (he was the son of Mary's aunt, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange) of the Netherlands. William was one of the most significant players on the European continent, and constantly strove to spread Protestantism and decrease the Catholic influence of France and Spain.
Pressured by a very Protestant Parliament, the very Catholic Duke of York agreed to the marriage of Princess Mary to William, falsely assuming that it would improve his popularity. But it didn't work, and in fact it eventually sealed his doom after his ascension to the throne as King of England.
But the marriage did not ease the fears of Protestant England: By converting to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed, Charles II became the first Roman Catholic to reign over England since the death of Mary I in 1558 and over Scotland since the deposition of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1567. To make matters worse, he had died without legitimate issue in 1685, so Mary's father became King, as James II in England and Ireland, and as James VII in Scotland. But he also was Catholic!.
Public alarm increased when James's second wife gave birth to a sonJames Francis Edwardin June 1688, for the son would, unlike Mary and Anne, be raised a Roman Catholic. Some charged that the boy was "suppositions," having been secretly brought in as a substitute for the Queen's stillborn baby. Although there was no evidence to support the allegation, Mary publicly challenged the boy's legitimacy, leading to a breach with her father.
Parliament was so desperate to prevent a Catholic dynasty that they actually begged a foreign ruler to invade their country! A group of English noblemen called the "Immortal Seven" secretly asked William III to come to England with an army and take over their country. At first William hedged, because he was afraid that if Mary was queen, she would have more power than him. But she assured him that she had no interest in running the British Empire, and he finally agreed to invade. The Dutch army landed on November fifth.
This was many centuries before politicians could learn of their approval ratings (or even care about them), but the English people's support for James stood so low that they didn't attempt to save him. On the 11th of December, he tried to flee, but was intercepted, then exiled to France.
And with that, William and Mary became rulers of England, the country of her birth, having conquered her very own dad.
Mary, although a Sovereign in her own right, did not wield actual power during most of her reign. But she did govern the realm when her husband was abroad fighting warswhich was often. She was very involved in the affairs of the Church; and found herself especially concerned with ecclesiastical appointments.
But then Mary died of smallpox in 1694. William then ruled until he died in 1702 after being thrown from his horse.
Meanwhile, the Palatine line of the Stuarts, descended from Elizabeth, the daughter of James I, were having Catholic issues, too. Their land was being decimated by the Dauphin, the French, and other German states, who were battling over the remnants of their once-Reformist domain The official religion of the Palatinate was changing constantly, and the people who stayed true to their chosen religion were being tortured, killed and robbed of their land.
Despite what's written in the Hause Family Bibles, it was probably Anne who offered our family sanctuary, not Mary, because she was very active in government, and was particularly involved in the Palatines' emigration to the American Colonies.
Lutherans and Calvinists from the Palatinate were begging for sanctuary from the ravaged, war-torn area, which for centuries had been a haven for non-Catholic Christians. Not only that, the besieged people had been subjects of Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of Anne's great, great grandfather, James the First.
So in the early 1700's, Anne began recruiting Palatines to sail to the New World, in order to develop and protect British holdings, as described in the last chapter. She began offering poor Palatines good land and religious freedom in the Colonies around 1709, in exchange for indentured servitude. It was a harsh, terrifying and dangerous journey across the ocean to a rough, uncivilized territory filled with hostile Indians, Dutch, French, animal predators and disease. In other words, it was the last place a queen would send a "cousin." But she did send the Hauss family to America.