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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the efforts of James I and his government to consolidate royal authority both within the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and in matters involving relationships between them. It looks specifically at James’s views on hereditary monarchy, and his handling of the nobilities of his kingdoms, as well as the roles played by ethnic diversity, differing attitudes toward law and custom in the three kingdoms. It also discusses the growing authority of royal magistrates and officers in the localities and at how the concept of service to both Crown and community shaped participation in public life. James was not always effective in maintaining communication with groups within his kingdoms dissatisfied with key elements of royal policy, such as Irish Catholics and Scottish Presbyterians. His governance also suffered from mounting financial problems. Nevertheless he was largely successful in establishing a secure and stable polity during the first half of his reign.

Keywords: James I, government, nobility, honour, ethnicity, law, custom, magistracy, office, service

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