Who Was King James?


Quick Answer

King James was crowned the King of Scotland in 1567 at the age of 1 and was then also crowned the King of England and Ireland in 1603. He was the first man to serve as king of both Scotland and England, but he is most famous for commissioning the King James version of the Bible.

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Full Answer

After James' mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, was forced to give up her throne, James was named King James IV. He then inherited the English throne after his mother's cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, died. He commissioned the King James Bible the year after taking the throne, and the first edition was published in 1611. This version was a translation of earlier Hebrew and Greek versions and remains the most widely used version as of 2014. It is also the best-selling book of all time.

James was a very smart, well-educated man but a very unpopular king. In 1622, he dissolved the English Parliament after it criticized his choice of wife for his son and heir Charles. It is widely thought that James' actions as king led to the English Civil War that occurred during his son Charles' reign, which ultimately culminated in Charles' beheading. King James died from gout and old age in 1625, when he was 69 years old.

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