PERSON OF THE MONTH
James VI & I

James VI & I was the first monarch of both Scotland and England. His accession to the English throne began the long process of union.

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  • On This Day 25th June 1533

    On 25th June 1533, Mary, sister of Henry VIII, died. Mary, who was reputed to be one of the most beautiful princesses of her time, was the youngest surviving child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. From 1507, she was betrothed to Charles of Castile, later Emperor Charles V, but political machinations scuppered the match, and instead she married Louis XII, King of France. Louis soon died and Mary remarried. During Henry’s annulment proceedings, Mary was staunchly supportive of her sister-in-law, Katharine of Aragon, to whom she was close. She did not attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn, although whether that was an outright refusal or the result of terminal illness is unclear. At her death she left three surviving children by her second marriage – Frances, Margaret and Henry. This second match was gave rise to some scandal – read more here

  • On This Day 24th June 1509

    On 24th June 1509 Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon were crowned in Westminster Abbey. Everyone was rejoicing as the handsome young couple were seen as a breath of fresh air, after the gloomy final years of Henry VII’s reign. As was customary, Henry and Katharine stayed at the Tower of London, then processed through the City to Westminster the night before the ceremony. The next morning, they walked in procession to the Abbey, where Henry was crowned with St Edward’s Crown, and Katharine with her own consort’s crown. The ceremony was performed by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterward, the King and Queen ate in state in Westminster Hall.

    Sir Thomas More wrote a ‘coronation suite’ of poems (in Latin, of course) for presentation to the King.
  • On This Day 23rd June 1456

    23rd June 1456 was the birthday of Margaret of Denmark. Margaret was married, aged thirteen, to James III, King of Scots. Her father did not have the ready money for her dowry, so the Orkney Islands were pledged as security. The dowry was never paid and the Orkney Islands became part of Scotland. Margaret seems to have fulfilled all of the requirements of a mediaeval queen – she bore sons, had a reputation for piety, and was considered learned and attractive. Her relationship with her husband seems to have been mixed – initially, they lived harmoniously enough, but later, things seem to have soured. James III was a difficult man, and Margaret was placed in the position of mediating between him and his nobles. She was closely involved in the upbringing of her son, James IV. Read more about that here


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