James VI & I: Life Story

Chapter 12 : Wedding

James set out with a contingent of six ships and arrived in Oslo in November. He immediately raced to see his young bride and attempted to steal a kiss from her at their first meeting, which somewhat embarrassed the young lady. Within a couple of weeks they had been married at St Halvard’s Church in Oslo and their marriage got off to a good start with both of them appearing to be happy to follow the convention that married couples should love each other.

Although over time they did not prove to be particularly well-suited, in the main they rubbed along pretty well and despite some questions about James’s fondness for his male favourites, Anne bore seven children, the first in 1594 and the last in 1606 although only three survived infancy, of whom the eldest, Henry Frederick, died at eighteen.

James’ honeymoon trip was something of a holiday. He remained at the court of his young brother-in-law Kristin IV until late April 1590, entertaining and being entertained in both the traditional fashion of drinking and feasting but also in intellectual pursuits, such as religious debates, a discussion about demonology with a Lutheran theologian, Hemmingius, an introduction to Copernican theory and meetings with the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. James was given a silver goblet in commemoration of a three-hour speech which he delivered in Latin to the University of Copenhagen.

After James and Anne had witnessed the marriage of her sister, Elizabeth, to the Duke of Brunswick, the Royal couple departed, landing at Leith on 1 st May. The new Queen of Scots make a formal entry into Edinburgh on 6 th May in her silver carriage drawn by eight white horses. On 17 th May she was crowned as Queen in Holyrood Abbey. There had been fierce objections by the Kirk about the use of oil to anoint her during the ceremony – this being traduced as papist superstition. James overrode their objection by pointing out the frequency with which biblical Kings had been anointed with oil and suggested that if the general moderator of the assembly, Robert Bruce, did not wish to perform the ceremony he was sure that one of the bishops could be prevailed upon to do so. No further complaints were made!

James VI & I

James VI & I

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