Regum Scotorum published by Ruddiman. The Poems of Sir David Lindsay are also of great importance, from Lindsay's close intimacy with James and the historical character of several of his works. Of modern historians Pinkerton is the fullest and best. Brewer's Henry VIII and vol. i. of Froude's History represent the English view of James's political position. Michel's Les Écossais en France and the documents in Teulet's Relations de la France avec l'Écosse, vol. i., give the most detailed account of his French marriages, as to which Miss Strickland's Lives of Queens of Scotland deserves also to be consulted. His relations with the Vatican are partially shown by the documents in Theiner, Monumenta Historica; but independent search of the papal records with reference to Scottish history is still urgently required.]
JAMES VI (1566–1625), king of Scotland, afterwards James I, king of England, son of Henry Stuart, lord Darnley, and Mary Queen of Scots, was born on 19 June 1566, in Edinburgh Castle. On 24 July 1567 he became king by his mother's enforced abdication, and was crowned at Stirling on 29 July. The child was committed to the care of the Earl and Countess of Mar. The regency was given to the Earl of Moray, the illegitimate brother of James's mother, and in 1570, on Moray's murder, to James's paternal grandfather, the Earl of Lennox, whose accession to power was followed by a civil war. On 28 Aug. 1571 the young king was brought into parliament, and, finding a hole in the tablecloth, said that ‘this parliament had a hole in it’ (History of James the Sext, p. 88). This childish remark was thought to be prophetical of the death of Lennox in a skirmish in September. Mar succeeded as regent, and on his death was followed by Morton, who in 1573 put an end to the civil war. On Mar's death the care of James's person was entrusted to Mar's brother, Sir Alexander Erskine, under whom the education of the young king was conducted by four teachers, of whom the most notable was George Buchanan [q. v.] Buchanan made his pupil a good scholar, and James felt considerable respect for his teacher, though he afterwards expressed detestation of his doctrines. At the age of ten James had a surprising command of general knowledge, and was ‘able extempore to read a chapter out of the Bible out of Latin into French and out of French after into English’ (Killigrew to Walsingham, 30 June 1574, printed in Tytler, Hist. of Scotland, ed. Eadie, iii. 97). Buchanan wanted to make of James a constitutional king, subject to the control of what he called ‘the people.’ As a matter of fact, neither was James fitted by character to assume that part, nor did the times demand such a development. There was in Scotland a strong body of nobles still exercising the old feudal powers, and lately gorged with the plunder of the church. The parliament, which consisted of a single house, was at that time virtually in the hands of the nobles, and a merely constitutional king would therefore have been no more than the servant of a turbulent nobility. On the other hand, the only popular organisation was that of the presbyterian church, in which the middle class, small and comparatively poor as it was, took part in the kirk sessions and presbyteries, and thus acquired an ecclesiastical-political training. It was, however, guided by the ministers, naturally hostile to the lawless nobles who kept them in poverty, and also fiercely intolerant of anything savouring of the doctrines and practices of the papacy.
With elements thus opposed to one another there was no possibility of parliamentary union. There were, so to speak, two Scottish nations striving for the mastery, and only a firm royal government could moderate the strife and lay the basis of future unity. Something of this kind was attempted by Morton as regent, but he made enemies on both sides, and was compelled on 8 March 1578 to abandon the regency, the boy king, now nearly twelve years of age, nominally taking the government into his own hands [see Douglas, James, fourth Earl of Morton]. Before long, however, Morton regained his authority, but on 8 Sept. 1579 the situation was changed by the arrival in Scotland of Esmé Stuart, a son of a brother of the regent Lennox.
It was not only in domestic matters that Scotland was divided. The old policy of leaning upon France was confronted by the new policy of leaning upon England. Morton strove, as far as Elizabeth would let him, to be on good terms with England. Esmé Stuart was sent by the Guises to win the boy king back to the French alliance. Temporarily at least he succeeded. He was created earl and afterwards duke of Lennox, and an instrument of his, James Stewart, was made earl of Arran. Morton was seized, and on the charge of complicity with Darnley's murder was condemned to death, and executed on 2 June 1581.
Lennox had attempted to disarm the hostility of the clergy by professing himself a protestant. He soon found it impossible to overcome their suspicions, and the conflict between himself and the ministers came to a head in 1582, when he induced James to appoint Robert Montgomery to the vacant bishopric of Glasgow. The general assembly,