James I and Anne of Denmark

25 July 1603

James was born at Edinburgh Castle on 19 June 1566, the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots and her second husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He was crowned James VI of Scotland in 1567 and in 1589 married Anne, daughter of the King of Denmark. Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, their eldest son, died suddenly in 1612 and is buried in the south aisle of Henry VII's Lady Chapel. Their second son was Charles I (1600-1649). Two of James's infant daughters, Mary (1605-1607) and Sophia, who died in 1606 aged 3 days, have splendid monuments in the north aisle of the Lady Chapel, Sophia being shown in her cradle (pictured). Another daughter, Elizabeth (1596-1662), married Frederick V, King of Bohemia and is buried near Henry Frederick.

Anne of Denmark died of dropsy on 2 March 1619 and after lying in state at Somerset House her funeral took place in the Abbey on 13 May. The head of her wooden funeral effigy can still be seen in the Abbey Museum. Her grave in the south eastern area of the Lady Chapel is marked by a modern stone "ANNE OF DENMARK QUEEN OF KING JAMES 1st 1619". But her coffin plate gives a longer inscription which can be translated "Here lies buried the Most Serene Queen Anne, consort of James, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway and of the Vandals and Goths, sister of Christian IV and mother of many Princes. She died at Hampton Court, in the year of salvation 1618, on the 4th March, aged 43 years, 4 months and 18 days". The plate gives the year in Old Style dating, and the accepted day of her death is now 2 March.

James succeeded to the English throne as James I on the death of Elizabeth and was crowned in the Abbey on 25 July 1603, uniting the two kingdoms. He arranged for the body of his mother to be transferred from Peterborough Cathedral to the south aisle of the Abbey's Lady Chapel in 1612 and erected a large monument for her. In the opposite aisle he had also erected a monument for Elizabeth I. The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the publication of the Authorized Version of the Bible in 1611 are two well-known events of his reign. James died on 27 March 1625 and his funeral took place at the Abbey on 17 May. The funeral address lasted two hours and his wooden funeral effigy (of which only the framework now remains) was displayed on a magnificent hearse. He was laid in the vault beneath Henry VII's monument and lies next to Elizabeth of York. Only a simple modern inscription nearby marks his grave, as no monument was erected for him.

King James I - The English & Scottish Thrones are Joined

When Elizabeth I died she left the throne to her cousin, King James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots. He came to London with Anne of Denmark, his consort, to be crowned James I of England in 1603. His coronation was very significant: it represented the uniting of the English and Scottish crowns, and he was the first Scottish King to be crowned sitting on the Stone of Scone (contained in the Coronation Chair) for over 300 years.

Further Reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
"The Theatre of Death 1570-1625" by Jennifer Woodward, 1997

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