chapter  2
22 Pages

James I, 1603–25

On 24 March 1603, Queen Elizabeth died and her crown passed to her cousin, James VI of Scotland. That this was accomplished without incident was mainly due to the efforts of Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, who had conducted secret negotiations with James and smoothed the path for his succession. The instability that many expected to follow the Queen’s death did not materialise, as one contemporary noted: ‘The contentment of the people is unspeakable, seeing all things proceed so quietly, whereas they expected in the interim their houses should have been spoiled and sacked.’