The Cradle King: The Life of James VI and I, The First Monarch of a United Great Britain by Alan StewartAs the son of Mary Queen of Scots, born into her bloody nest, James had the most precarious of childhoods. Even before his birth, his life was threatened: it was rumored that his father, Henry, had tried to make the pregnant Mary miscarraige by forcing her to witness the assasination of her supposed lover, David Riccio. By the time James was a one-year-old, Henry was murdered, possibly with the connivance of his mother, Mary was in exile in England and he was King of Scotland. By the age of five, he had experienced three different regents as the ancient dynasties of Scotland battled for power and made him a virtual prisoner in Stirling Castle. In fact, James did not set foot outside the confines of Stirling until he was eleven, when he took control of the country. But even with power in his hands, he would never feel safe. For the rest of his life, he could be caught up in bitter struggles between the warring political and religious factions who fought for control over his mind and body.
List of Scottish monarchs
He acceded to the English throne upon the death of the heirless Queen Elizabeth I in James I was not a popular king. Although he had ruled as king of Scotland, he was unprepared for the challenges he faced upon assuming the English throne. A slew of politically ill-advised decisions—from imposing levies to attempting to forge an alliance with Spain—put him at odds with Parliament and the public and were partially to blame for his unpopularity. Other factors included his Scottish origins glaringly obvious from his thick accent , his cultivation of favourites often also of Scottish origins , and his widely recognized attraction to other men which may have led him to confer honours upon his favourites.
After returning from exile at the court of Charlemagne in , he regained his kingdom of Wessex. Following his conquest of Mercia in , he controlled all of England south of the Humber. A year before he died aged almost 70, he defeated a combined force of Danes and Cornish at Hingston Down in Cornwall. He is buried at Winchester in Hampshire. In Aethelwulf defeated a Danish army at the battle of Oakley while his eldest son Althelstan fought and beat the Danes at sea off the coast of Kent , in what is believed to be the first naval battle. A highly religious man, Athelwulf travelled to Rome with his son Alfred to see the Pope in
The monarchy of the United Kingdom , commonly referred to as the British monarchy , is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom , its dependencies the Bailiwick of Guernsey , the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II , who ascended the throne in The monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the prime minister. The monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative , these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent. The British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England , which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century.
The House of MacAlpin
Scotland , now part of the United Kingdom , was ruled for hundreds of years by various monarchs. The table provides a chronological list of kings and queens of Scotland. Kings and Queens of Scotland. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
This section of our history covers the lives and reigns of all the monarchs of Scotland from the first Scottish King, Kenneth MacAlpin, who emerged from the mists of the Dark ages as the first King of Scotland in , to the death of that ill fated seductress, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was beheaded in an English prison on the orders of Elizabeth I. Our section on this dynasty includes the reign of Kenneth I himself and covers the bitter blood feud fought out between the two opposing lines of his successors for possession of the throne. The following chapter, on the short lived House of Moray, includes an account of the reign of Macbeth, of Shakespearian fame, who usurped the throne of Scotland and reveals that the actual history of Macbeth and Duncan was very different to how Shakespeare has presented it to his audiences down the ages. At the dawn of the Middle Ages, the House of Dunkeld seized the Scottish throne replacing the line of Gaelic Kings which had ruled since the ninth century. The House of Dunkeld could also claim a saint in it's midst, in the person of Margaret, the wife of Malcolm Canmore, who was also one of the last representatives of the Anglo-Saxon House of Wessex. Edward I of England's overbearing attempts to rule Scotland resulted in the Scottish Wars of Independence, which saw the meteoric rise of one of Scotland's most famous sons, the patriot William Wallace, who raised his countrymen to fight for the cause of freedom and was destined to suffer an agonizing death at the hands of his English enemies. After the demise of Wallace, the banner of Scottish resistance was taken up by Robert the Bruce, Scotland's greatest monarch, who lead his country to finally win her freedom from English dominance at the Battle of Bannockburn in
Attempted to expand his kingdom southwards with a notable victory at the Battle of Carham, Northumbria in He was driven north again in by King Cnut. Invaded northern England and besieged Durham in Acquired the throne after defeating Duncan I in battle following years of family feuding. He was the first Scottish king to make a pilgrimage to Rome. A generous patron of the church it is thought he was buried at Iona, the traditional resting place of the kings of the Scots.