Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

J – James I/VI

Today I’m delving into the history of James Stuart. To some he is James I to others, he is James VI. Both are correct. He was King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England.
James was the son of Mary of Scotland and her second husband Lord Darnley who was also her first cousin. He ascended the throne in 1567 at the age of thirteen months when Mary was forced to abdicate in his favor. He did not achieve full control of the government until sixteen years later in 1583.
In 1603 he succeeded Elizabeth I as king of England. He was a noted scholar and continued the era of literature and drama started under Elizabeth.
Perhaps his most well-known achievement was the King James Version of the Bible which he authorized.
James was known to prefer the company of men over that of women, although many scholars doubt the sexual nature of his relationships. They point to the fact that after his favorite, Lord Lennox, was forced to leave Scotland, James married Anne of Denmark with whom he produced seven children three of whom survived infancy.
He felt threatened by the power of witchcraft and personally supervised the torture of women thought to be witches.
It was during James’ reign that the colonization of American started.
James believed in the divine right of kings and held that there were Biblical reasons that kings were higher than normal men.
Suffering with arthritis and kidney stones, James died in 1625. He had ruled Scotland for nearly 58 years making him the longest reigning kind in Scottish history.

Sorry no pictures.


I – Isle of Iona

The Isle of Iona is a very small island (part of the inner Hebrides) off the west coast of Scotland. To get there, one must take the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull then either take a bus or drive to the southernmost point of Mull via a one-track road.
Iona is most known for its monastery which was founded in the sixth century by Saint Columba who had been exiled from Ireland along with several of his monks. Iona is considered the seat of Christianity in Scotland. The monastery was abandoned in the mid-ninth century because of excessive raids by the Vikings.
In the early thirteenth century, an order of Benedictine nuns established a nunnery and abbey on Iona. The ruins of the nunnery are still there. During the Reformation of the sixteenth century when the Scottish Church broke from Rome and formed the Presbyterian Church or Church of Scotland, most of the buildings were destroyed. This was also about the same time Henry VIII was breaking from Rome and establishing the Church of England (Anglican Church).
Another interesting sight is the stone Celtic crosses on the island. Saint Martin’s Cross was carved in the late eighth century. It is over seventeen feet tall and has stood in its present location in front of the abbey for over 1200 years.
Also in front of the abbey is a replica of Saint John’s Cross which is not as tall as Saint Martin’s. The remnants of the original Saint John’s Cross are inside the abbey.
When I was there in 2003, the abbey itself was being restored

Northern coastline of Iona – where the ferry from Mull lands

The nunnery at Iona is probably the most complete in the British Isles.

Saint Martin’s Cross