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KING JAMES OF GREAT BRITAIN And the design of Macbeth for his approval The late 16th century was a time of massive change for England as old traditions were being discarded and new concepts discovered in science commerce religion technology and perhaps most prominently the arts In 1603 Queen Elizabeth I the major instigator of this change died James I who until then had reigned Scotland for 36 years as James VI succeeded the throne combining the Scottish and English empires to form what was eventually called Great Britain A sufferer of chronic illnesses all his life James had been a king since he was 13 months old His mother Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded in 1587 and his father Lord Darnley was killed by an explosion for which James held the Roman Catholic Church in contempt James publicly despised the Catholics and they did him trying to assassinate him numerous times - the most famous of these being the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 led by Guy Fawkes King James also held strong views about The Divine Right of Kings Although this concept had been founded long before it became almost exclusive to James who tenaciously believed he was Gods chosen representative on earth and that any act of treason or treachery against him was a mortal sin against God This conformed to the foundation belief of society at that time called The Great Chain of Being In this the King was ranked just below God and was followed by nobility then commoners slaves animals and plants Any disruption of this order was believed to cause chaos in the universe bringing with it disease darkness and evil A third aspect of James life which he explored mostly outside his kingship was his passion for education James was extremely fond of literature and actually became a writer himself his major works focussing on kingship the supernatural and issues of the church
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