A guide to the key names from the James I podcast episode:
The Royal Family
James I – the King!
Anne of Denmark – James’s wife.
Prince Charles – James’s surviving son, whom he tries to marry to the Spanish Infanta.
Princess Elizabeth – James’s surviving daughter.
James’s Scottish Lineage
Robert the Bruce – Legendary Scottish king who defeated Edward II in the Battle of Bannockburn.
Marjorie Bruce – Only daughter of Robert the Bruce, who is the matriarch of the Stuart royal dynasty.
Walter Stewart – 6th High Steward of Scotland, who married Marjorie Bruce.
Robert II – Son of Marjorie and Walter who would eventually become the first Stuart monarch of Scotland.
Robert III and James I-V – The Subsequent Stuart Scottish monarchs.
James’s English Lineage
Margaret Tudor – eldest child of Henry VII (and sister of Henry VIII), who married James IV of Scotland and Archibald Douglas.
Mary Queen of Scots – daughter of James V and granddaughter of Margaret Tudor. Mother of James, who was forced to abdicate in favour of her baby son in 1568 and going into English exile where she was eventually executed in 1587.
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley – Grandson of Margaret Tudor from her second marriage and thus a tenuous claim to the English throne. Married Mary Queen of Scots and fathered James but was murdered when his son was a baby.
James VI – James I’s title in Scotland!
Ministers and Favourites
Robert Cecil – Elizabeth I’s final chief minister who secured James’s peaceful succession an acted as his chief minister for the first part of his reign.
Lord Cranfield – A businessman who became Lord Chancellor and tried, in vain, to resolve James’s financial woes.
Robert Carr/Earl of Somerset – James’s Scottish favourite who won notoriety in England with his beau, Frances Howard, after his wife-to-be arranged the poisoning of her almost-ex husband, Lord Overbury.
George Villiers/Duke of Buckingham – the principal favourite of James’s later years. A young and beautiful man whom James doted on and promoted to the highest possible honours, though extremely unpopular in Parliament and London.
Bothwell – A Scottish earl related to the man who killed his father. After accusations of sponsoring witchcraft, he became something of a fugitive, popping up every now and again threatening to kill James.
Sir Walter Raleigh – The last great Elizabethan adventurer. Unpopular with James’s ministers and imprisoned for much of the reign, he won national sympathy when he came to a sticky end at James’s hands.
Hugh O’Neill – Head of a powerful clan in Ulster who led an Irish rebellion against England in the Nine Years War and left Ireland under James in the Flight of the Earls.