"The wisest fool in Christendom!"
Nearing death, the childless Elizabeth I acquiesced to the Privy Council’s wishes for James VI of Scotland to succeed her. Charles James Stuart was the son of Mary Stuart Queen of Scots. A successful monarch in Scotland, James was unable to deal with a hostile Parliament. Refusal by Parliament to impose sufficiently high taxes crippled royal finances. His political absolutism and mismanagement of funds laid the groundwork for England’s future Civil War.
James is regarded as one of the most intellectually active and learned of English rulers. During his reign, science, literature and art flourished. He was responsible for the “King James Version” of the Bible. He was called "The Wisest Fool In Christendom."
Portrait by artist-historian George Stuart.
Courtesy Museum of Ventura County.
Images © copyright by Peter d'Aprix