king james vi

A treaty on February 23rd 1573 was agreed at a Privy Council meeting in Perth.

The Pacification of Perth brought an end to the war between the Roman Catholic supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Protestant Lords who had forced her 1567 abdication in favour of her son King James VI.

The peace was facilitated by an English envoy, Henry Killigrew, and the principal parties to the agreement were James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton and Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll , who were the principal Protestant Lords, and Mary’s supporters George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly, the Hamiltons, and other Catholic nobles. Mary’s supporters agreed to recognise Morton as Regent and end their fight in return for a full pardon and return of their lands.

The peace ended any possibility of Mary regaining the Scottish throne and reinforced the position of the Post-Reformation Protestant Church.

"Kings" ask game
  • Since so many people liked the “Queens” ask game, I decided to do the “Kings” ask game as well (yes, I know, I included emperors too).
  • Henry VIII.: most overrated ruler?
  • Alexander III of Russia: favorite historical person from your country?
  • Louis XIV: favorite crown jewels?
  • Frederick the Great: 3 things you love about your favorite ruler?
  • Philip II of Spain: favorite biography?
  • Richard III.: most interesting mystery in history?
  • Alexander the Great: favorite pharaoh?
  • Franz Joseph I. : favorite palace/castle?
  • Louis XVI: myth about your favorite ruler?
  • Gustav II Adolf: one question you would ask your favorite ruler?
  • Nicholas II of Russia: the most beautiful ruler?
  • James V of Scotland: favorite coat of arms?
  • Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor: favorite ruler with the same zodiac as you?
  • Frederick VI of Denmark: favorite era?
  • Maximilian I of Mexico: favorite royal house?
  • Genghis Khan: three facts about your favorite ruler?
  • George VI: favorite history blog on tumblr?
the signs as real witches
  • Aries: Agnes Waterhouse// Had a deal with the Devil and wasn't afraid to say so. The Brave witch.
  • Taurus: Joan Wytte// Clairvoyant and healer who eventually became possessed by the Devil, getting involved in many fights.
  • Gemini: Marie Laveau// Voodoo Queen. Performed necromancy, mind control, telekinesis and pinning.
  • Cancer: Chedipe// Witch-vampire who rode on tigers in the moonlight, choosing houses to visit to cast spells on men.
  • Leo: Agnes Sampson// Tried to sink the ship of Queen Anne, wife of King James VI of England.
  • Virgo: Isobel Gowdie// Could control the weather and would often write poetry about witch practices. Allegedly marked by the Devil.
  • Libra: Circe// Transformed random sailors into wolves and lions and all kinds of animals.
  • Scorpio: Mother Shipton// Clairvoyant, sorceress. An outcast with a great talent.
  • Sagittarius: Maret Jonsdotter// Frequently tricked men. Attended witch sabbaths.
  • Capricorn: Alice Kyteler// Poisoned her rich husbands, disappeared the night before her execution.
  • Aquarius: Angele de la Barthe// Allegedly had sex with the Devil.
  • Pisces: Catherine La Voisin// Fortune Teller & Love Potions expert. Plotted to murder Louis XIV.
Kings of England

Reacting to a post I just read in which Henry VII was described quite rightly as seriously underrepresented in historical fiction and more interesting than his son Henry VIII: You know what I don`t get?

Why people - that is books, television shows etc., which must have a market - love Henry VIII so much. Not just why he is inexplicably the Tudor they all focus on, why he is the one King of England they deem worthy of attention. I mean, yes, certainly, he had six wives and had two of them killed, but that just means the man was crazy. And usually that`s all the focus is on. Henry VIII and his sex life. Not even Henry VIII and his crazy wavering on religious issues plunging the country into turmoil, Henry VIII and the time the north of England rose against him, Henry VIII and the other time the north of England rose against him, Henry VIII and the time he failed at campaigning while Catherine of Aragon managed just fine, but Henry VIII and his sex life.

Why? What`s so great about Henry VIII? Even if you want crazy sex stories, I can easily name three English kings who had more interesting stories and did not kill their wives. But for real, as far as interesting stories go, why don`t people go for:

(1) William the Conqueror. William the fucking Conqueror. The bastard son of the Duke of Normandy, whose mother was about as low on the social ladder as you could get and whose father died when he was seven, and who still managed to become this ultra-powerful magnate first and then straight-up went and declared himself King of England and won the title? Who was ruthless and powerful and whose invasion changed just about everything for the country?

(2) Henry I - a man with about 20 bastards, if you`re interested in historical sex stories - who went about making kingship hugely powerful and subordinating the church a bit. Who lost his only legitimate son in a shipwreck and spent the rest of his life trying to father another heir and convincing his nobles that, lacking that, his daughter would make a good queen.

(3) King Stephen, with his badass wife, who both fought strongly so he could keep his wrongly aquired throne. Who was apparently a failure as a king but universally regarded as actually a fairly nice guy, who gave his rebelling first cousin once removed money so he could return home after a failed rebellion and didn`t even demand it back when the guy didn`t leave him in peace after that.

(4) Henry II, generally regarded as one of the best medieval kings England had, who had an extraordinarily turbulent life, first started leading armies at fourteen, accidentally had his best friend murdered, spent the better part of the second half of his life fighting against his own sons and still maintained control over the Angevin empire, and was the most powerful man in all of Europe since Charlemagne. He also was rather promiscuous.

(5) King John, who had to fight against pretty much everyone in his life and had the odd habit of being constantly forgiven. Who did an astounding lot for the justice system, especially regarding his poor reputation, and was yet so unpopular the nobles managed to force Magna Carta down his throat. Who then - having just pacified his nobles and having a French invasion looming - had the courage or perhaps the lack of common sense to renounce it. A story full of twists and turns. For the obligatory sex, he was notorious for seducing the wives and daughters of his nobles. The women never complained, though their husbands and fathers were less than pleased.

(6) Edward II, a man who had such fascinating hobbies as thatching and rowing and talking to people of low standing and generally being agreeable to them, but who couldn`t understand why his nobles kept being on his case. Who very likely had a relationship to one Piers Gaveston, who seems to have gotten on well with his wife, and had a pretty good relationship with his wife as well, until another royal favourite and possible lover was given so much power she kind of lost it. Who was then overthrown by his own wife.

(6) Henry VI, unsuited for kingship and still hanging on to it for an astoundingly long time. A king who seems to have wanted to be a monk. I mean, there`s a story in that right there. This guy was used to having ridiculous amounts of power since about the time he could think, and all he wanted was to be a monk. Who was several times found singing near a battlefield when his men waged battes against his enemies.

(7) Edward IV. For further information, I think I posted a lot about him already. 

(8) Richard III. For further information, I definitely posted loads about him already. (Although, to be fair, he gets a lot of coverage.)

(9) Henry VII. I already stated why a couple of weeks ago, but just as a reminder: This guy decided to go against a king who was known as a successful warrior, and won. That`s a story worth telling alone. To say nothing of the fact he managed to cling onto his throne despite Margaret of Burgundy, Francis Lovell, and lots of difficulties. And his relationship with his wife also deserves a balanced portrayal that shows they seem to have been quite loving.

(10) Charles II, who managed to gain the throne 11 years after his father had lost it alongside his head, mainly by charming everyone who so much as crossed his path. His nickname “the Merry Monarch” pretty much showed how he took life, and he had plenty of mistresses as well, but keeping the throne took quite a lot of political skill nonetheless.

And now can someone please tell me what makes Henry VIII have prominence over any of them in popular presentations? What makes him more interesting than them? Because I don`t see it. Any given one of them I find more exciting than Henry VIII.


On February 12th 1624 George Heriot, goldsmith to King James VI and founder of Heriot’s School, died.

A wealthy man, he also lent significant amounts of money to his King, who he followed to London when James acceded to the English throne.

Heriot died childless in London and left the considerable sum of £23,625 to found George Heriot’s Hospital (now School) for the education of the poor and orphans. Although the foundation stone for his Hospital was laid in 1628, it could not be completed until 1650 while Heriot’s executors recovered the sizeable debts owed to him by the Crown and others.

Although he is buried in St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), a monument to Heriot was one of the first erected in Greyfriars kirkyard. His name is also remembered in Heriot-Watt University or for those of us who didn’t aspire to University education, down Fleshmarket Close we attended the University of life in the pub named after him The Jinglin Geordie .


And now, ladies & gentlemen, one of the most exciting items of the night, a mainstay on the FBI’s most wanted list, this gentlemen has been on the list longer than any other criminal!

A former naval intelligence officer, he possesses a wealth of classified information and presides over one of the world’s most prosperous extralegal empires.

You may know him as the concierge of crime.

I present Raymond Reddington


Let me take you a few centuries back to the time of knights and noble ladies. This time the magic place I’d like to share is the town of Stirling in Scotland - the key to the Highlands. It’s one of the most important places in Scottish history, where Mary Queen of Scots raised her son James (future King of Scotland James VI and King of England and  Ireland James I). 

The famous Stirling Castle and the Church of the Holy Rude by its side witnessed several generations of the Stewart dynasty, as well as the famous Battle on the Stirling Bridge, in which general William Wallace tricked and defeated the English (Edward I’s) army. William Wallace Monument is still there to remind of the glory of those days.

This is the place that opens up the doors to the Highlands and let’s you embrace the greatness of that upper Scotland from above. It carries lots of legends and secrets, and even has an imitation of the King Arthur’s Round Table - the King’s Knot. The trick to find it is to go up…

The beast of Stirling is a wolf. According to the legend, when Vikings were about to attack the city, a wolf howled, alerting the townspeople in time to save the town. Now that very wolf sits still by the path to the castle silently howling to the sky…


Dryhope Tower, Scotland

Dryhope Tower was a peel tower or a watchtower along the borders of Scotland and England. It defended the north-eastern end of St Mary’s Loch. The site itself was protected on two sides, to the east by the Dryhope Burn and to the west by the Kirkstead Burn.

The 16th century castle belonged to the Scotts of Dryhope, and a daughter of the House, Mary Scott was known as the “Flower of Yarrow” and was also an ancestor of Sir Walter Scott. Mary was given in marriage to Wat Scott of Kirkhope, a notorious Border Reiver. The property passed to Wat Scott’s family, the Scotts of Harden, and Scott took possession of Dryhope following his marriage. However, in 1592, Wat Scott fell out of favor with King James VI due to his association with Francis Stewart, 1st Earl of Bothwell. King James levied an army and proceeded through the forest and slighted many houses of his opponents. Wat Scott did not get off lightly and Dryhope was amongst Scott of Harden’s fortalices that were slighted. The tower seems to have been rebuilt by 1613. The castle fell into terminal decay in the latter part of the 17th century and was acquired by the senior branch of the Scotts, the Dukes of Buccleuch.

Today the ruins belong to the Philiphaugh Estate. It is located in the valley of the Yarrow Water, in the historic county of Selkirkshire, now part of the Scottish Borders.


Drochil Castle, Scotland

James Douglas (c. 1516 – 2 June 1581, aged 65), 4th Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, started building Drochil Castle in 1578, three years before his execution by King James VI. It was no more than half built when he died, and was never finished. Douglas was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He was in some ways the most successful of the four, since he won the civil war that had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots. However, he came to an unfortunate end, executed by means of the Maiden, a primitive guillotine, which he himself was said to have introduced to Scotland.

In 1686, the castle was purchased by William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, and the ruins are still owned by his descendant, the Duke of Buccleuch. The outer walls consist of whinstone rubble, quarried at Broomlee Hill, dressed with red sandstone. In the early 19th century, stone was taken to build the adjacent farm.

The ruins are located above the Lyne Water, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-west of Peebles, and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of West Linton in the Scottish Borders.

On the 24 July 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the throne. 

After the “Battle”  of Carberry Hill Mary was held in Lochleven Castle, after miscarrying twins, she agreed to give up the crown to her son, who became King James VI. Since James was still a baby, Mary’s half-brother the Earl of Moray ruled Scotland as regent. After ten months, Mary escaped, with the help of Willie Douglas and his brother. Disguised as a servant, she slipped out of the castle to a waiting boat. Managing to raise an army of 6,000 men, she met Moray’s smaller forces at the Battle of Langside on 13 May.Defeated, she fled south; after spending the night at Dundrennan Abbey, she crossed the Solway Firth into England by fishing boat on 16 May never to set foot in Scotland again.

Daemonologie - with original illustrations Paperback by King James I of England (Author)

In 1590 three hundred Scottish ‘witches’ were tried for plotting the murder of their King, James VI of Scotland (soon to be James I of England). 

James is known to have suffered from a morbid fear of violent death, and the trial heightened his anxiety over this apparently treasonous 'un-Christian’ sect, and stimulated him to study the whole subject of witchcraft.

 'Daemonologie’ is the result of this royal research, detailing his opinions on the topic in the form of a Socratic dialogue between the sceptic Philomathes and witch-averse Epistemon, who reveals many aspects of witch-craft. The book consists of three sections, on magic, on sorcery and witchcraft, and on spirits and ghosts, and ends with a lurid account of the North Berwick witch trials, based on the evidence of Dr John Fian, the alleged head of the coven, whose 'confession’ was obtained with the aid of thumbscrews, the Boot, and by the ripping out of his fingernails.