Wednesday, April 18, 2007

King James the Sixth of Scotland became also King James the First of England when Queen Elizabeth died without an heir. The Virgin Queen. She might or might not have died a virgin, but she had no husband and no kids.

Which probably enhanced her power while she was alive. Elizabeth's older half-sister, Mary I, called Bloody Mary, married Philip of Spain. He was ruling an empire, the Spanish empire at a high point, and did not spend much time in England.

I read an article in a history journal that showed that in the brief time Mary was married and queen, before she died young, the drawing made of her and Philip moved more and more toward portraying him as the ruler and her as the ruler's wife. Drawers did that partly by putting him on the right. Hugely significant when lots of people couldn't read words much, but most people could read things like that--the person on the right is the person with power.

Elizabeth didn't marry and used the possibility of her marrying someone to play other countries off against each other. She was able to put off killing Mary Queen of Scots who kept plotting because it was just her decision.

Governance was a harsh game. Elizabeth who made James her heir had order his mother executed, his mother Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth seemed reluctant, relative to the standards of her time, to kill Mary Queen of Scots.

That might be