James VI, the son of Mary Queen of Scots was born in 1566 and crowned king of Scotland when he was just over a year old after his mother fled to England. While James was still a boy, Scotland was governed by a series of regents who ruled until James was old enough to govern the country himself. In 1603, when Queen Elizabeth I of England died, James became king of England and Ireland as well, where he was known as James I.
King James believed in the ‘Divine right of kings’ – that the king should have complete power over everything, even religion. He often came into conflict with the church, and tried to control the General Assemblies of the church and force them to introduce bishops but he was opposed by Andrew Melville who stood up for Presbyterianism. Melville reminded James that ‘there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland’ – king James and King Jesus. In 1618, by which time he had imprisoned and then banished Melville, James tried to interfere with the worship of the church by introducing the Five Articles of Perth.
James died in 1625 and was replaced by his son, Charles I, who continued and advanced the religious policies of his father.
Vos, The Scottish Covenanters, pp 28-39.
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