Within a few hours of Elizabeth I’s death at Richmond early on the morning of 24 March 1603, James VI of Scotland was proclaimed in London as James I of England. Three days later, a despatch rider, Sir Robert Carey, arrived in Edinburgh to convey the news to the King in person. James’s accession to the English throne was remarkably peaceful: according to one contemporary there was ‘no tumult, no contradiction, no disorder’, and as he journeyed south into England his new subjects warmly welcomed him, ‘their eyes flaming nothing but sparkles of affection’. 1 Early in May he arrived in London.