James I belonged to the House of Stuart. Born in 1566, he ascended to the throne in 1603 and died in 1625. He was preceded as monarch by Elizabeth I and was succeeded by Charles I.
James was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, and a grandson of James V of Scotland. Born in Edinburgh Castle, he became king of Scotland when Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate in 1567. Until 1581, he was under the guidance of regents, of whom Moray and Morton were the most important, and his rule in Scotland was much disturbed by political and religious discontents.
James was captured in 1582 during the Raid of Ruthven by some discontented nobles. He later forced them to flee but they returned in 1585. In that year, he made a treaty with Elizabeth I. That, along with his marriage to Anne of Denmark, brought him closer to the Protestants.
On the death of Elizabeth I, James became king of England and Ireland. He believed in the Divine Right of Kings, which put him in frequent conflict with Parliament. He sought improved conditions for Catholics but failed.