Jenny Wormald

Jenny Wormald a fellow in history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, is currently working on a book about King James VI and I.

Don’t blame him

Jenny Wormald, 4 August 1994

In 1603, England went Back to Basics. Unlike their late 20th-century descendants, contemporary Englishmen knew what that meant: an adult king, of the right religious persuasion, and with a family. Fifty years of that abnormal phenomenon, petticoat government, 45 of a monarch without an heir, and, more immediately, ten of the gloom and doom caused by a sterile war, economic distress and mounting fears for the future, were over. Elizabeth, the ruler who had hung on to life for too long, was dead. The reaction which she had feared, she herself having experienced it in 1558 as heir to a dying monarch, happened. Relief, rather than mourning, greeted Gloriana’s passing; and all eyes turned to Scotland and James VI.

Stewarts on the dole

Rosalind Mitchison, 10 November 1988

Recent anniversaries for Scotland have been encouraging the simplified version of its history that obtains in most English minds. Two topics are sufficiently dramatic to break through cultural...

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