Tag Archives: King James I

On this day in 1573 – Inigo Jones was born

Inigo Jones was born on 15th July 1573 in Smithfield, London to Inigo Jones, a Welsh cloth worker. Little is known about his early life.

Jones is first credited for introducing the proscenium arch into English theatre along with the idea of movable scenery. Between 1605 and 1640 Jones staged over 500 performances mostly in collaboration with Ben Jonson. They would argue throughout their working relationship whether the stage or the words were the most important part of the theatre. Hundreds of drawings survive of Jones work as a draughtsman, which was an unknown concept at the time. Jones was also influenced by Italian design and not only learnt Italian but also visited the country.

In 1608 the first mention of structural work carried out by Jones is documented as a monument to Lady Cotton around the same time similar drawings appeared for the New Exchange in the Strand and the central tower of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

In 1609 Jones acted as an architectural consultant at Hatfield House and in 1610 he was appointed as Surveyor to the Prince of Wales, Henry Frederick. In this position he arranged a masque for the Prince and also contributed to alterations that were undertaken at St. James’ Palace, London.

On 27th April 1613 Jones was appointed to the position of Surveyor of the King’s Works and he travelled to Italy with the Earl of Arundel. It was here that Jones witnessed the architecture of Italy which would inspire his later work.

In 1615 Jones was appointed Surveyor-General of the King’s Works and Jones began building in London. In 1616 he began work on the Queen’s House, Greenwich for King James I’s wife but it was put on hold after his wife died in 1619, with only the foundations and the first storey built it would be a further 10 years before work would commence for King Charles I.

Banqueting HouseBetween 1619 and 1622 the Banqueting House in the Palace of Whitehall was built with the assistance of Jones assistant and nephew John Webb. It was designed in the style influenced by Palladio and cost £15,618.

In 1623 Jones would begin work on the Queen’s Chapel, St. James’ Palace in the style of the Pantheon of Rome. At the St Pauls Covent Gardensame time Jones was commissioned by the Earl of Bedford to build a residential square, which would later become known as the Covent Garden square.

Between 1634 and 1642 Jones worked on remodelling the dilapidated St. Paul’s Cathedral but his work was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Jones also had plans to redesign the Palace of Whitehall; however King Charles I’s financial difficulties and the outbreak of the civil war stopped this happening.

With the outbreak of civil war Jones found himself unemployed as the King’s houses were seized by the government. Jones retired to his home, Somerset House, and died on 21st June 1652. Unmarried Jones was buried next to his parents at St Benet Paul’s Wharf, a Welsh church within the city of London.

Inigo JonesInigo Jones

On this day in 1612 – Robert Cecil died

Robert Cecil was born in 1563 and was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke.

Cecil attended St John’s College in Cambridge during the 1580’s but he did not undertake a degree and in 1584 and 1586 he sat representing Westminster and Hertfordshire from 1589 at the House of Commons.

In 1588 Cecil joined Henry Stanley, Earl of Derby, in a diplomatic mission to the Spanish Netherlands to negotiate peace with Spain. This trip was unsuccessful and peace was not reached.

In 1589 Cecil married Elizabeth Brooke and the couple had a son, named William, in March 1591. His wife died when their son was six years old. The couple also had a daughter, Frances.

In 1590 Cecil took on the role of Secretary of State following the death of Sir Francis Walsingham. In 1591 Elizabeth knighted Cecil and he was sworn in as the youngest member of the Privy Council. Cecil took a leading role at Queen Elizabeth’s court after the death of his father in 1598 and served not only Elizabeth but also her successor, King James I.

Cecil saw many crises from the Spanish Armada to the war in Ireland. He also had many run-ins with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Devereux was unsuccessful in Ireland after Cecil convinced Devereux to go to Ireland to stop the uprising. With Devereux’s failure and unauthorized return after agreeing a truce with the Earl of Tyrone, Cecil saw this as an opportunity to place Devereux on trial. Later, in 1601 he led the ill fated Essex Rebellion and was sentenced to death.

Cecil’s position at court grew with the death of many of Elizabeth’s closest advisors such as, Robert Dudley, Sir Walter Midmay, Sir Francis Walsingham and even his own father William Cecil. Cecil was pivotal to matters of state security and he oversaw the smooth transition between Elizabeth and James’ rule. It is believed that he was in secret communication with the King of Scotland before Elizabeth’s death as he was to be Elizabeth’s heir, even if she would not publicly name him. Upon the Queen’s death she made a silent gesture to Cecil for him to write to James to invite him to be the next King of England.

Cecil was highly decorated by King James on 20th August 1603 he was created Baron Cecil of Essendon, in 1604 Viscount Cranborne and finally Earl of Salisbury in 1605. James also persuaded Cecil to exchange his home from Theobalds, Hertfordshire for Hatfield Palace which Cecil extensively rebuilt.

Cecil began pushing for the laws of the last monarch regarding Catholics to be reinstated pushing James to believe that Catholics could still not be trusted; this was proven for Cecil with the actions of the Gunpowder Plot. Catholics plotted against the new King and planned to blow up Parliament at the state opening.

Suffering from poor health and scurvy Cecil took a journey to Bath, to take the hot spring water but he died at Marlborough on 24th May 1612 before the trip could be completed and buried in Hatfield parish church. Despite his position at court Cecil died £30,000 in debt and much of his estate was sol off to pay his debts.

Robert Cecil

On this day in 1603 – Queen Elizabeth I funeral took place

On 28th April 1603 Queen Elizabeth I was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey after her death on the 24th March. When Elizabeth died she was placed in a lead coffin and taken from Richmond Palace to Whitehall. With the new King James I travelling to London from Scotland, to take the throne and oversee Elizabeth’s funeral proceedings, Elizabeth was to lie in state at Whitehall. With no anointed monarch on the English throne a life size effigy was placed atop of Elizabeth’s coffin as a representation of the throne.

With James now in the capital Elizabeth’s funeral was prepared and on 28th April her coffin was placed on a horse drawn hearse, which had black velvet hung around it and taken to Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth’s coffin was adorned with purple cloth, the colour of royalty, and the effigy was placed again on top of the coffin.

As the coffin was carried to the Abbey a canopy covered the hearse carried by six knights. Behind the hearse came the procession led by the Master of the Horse and her palfrey horses. The Countess of Northampton was the Chief Mourner and led the rest of the procession towards the Abbey. Over 1000 official mourners were part of the procession with many more Londoners taking to the streets as the procession past them by.

Elizabeth was originally buried in the chapel that her grandfather, King Henry VII, before she was moved three years later to the vault that she now shares with her sister, Queen Mary I, in the Lady Chapel. The sister’s vault was inscribed in Latin with the following phrase at the request of King James I;

“Regno consortes & urna, ic obdormimus Elizabetha et Maria sorores, in spe resurrectionis”

This translates in English to

Consorts both in throne and grave, here we rest two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in hope of our resurrection.”

John Stow attended Elizabeth’s funeral and later wrote:

“Westminster was surcharged with multitudes of all sorts of people in their streets, houses, windows, leads and gutters, that came to see the obsequy, and when they beheld her statue lying upon the coffin, there was such a general sighing, groaning and weeping as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory of man, neither doth any history mention any people, time or state to make like lamentation for the death of their sovereign”

Elizabeth’s funeral marked the end of the Tudor reign which had ruled England for 118 years.

Elizabeth I funeral procession

On this day in 1558 – Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed to Francis future King of France.

On 19th April 1558 Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland was betrothed to Francis the Dauphin of France. Mary was queen of Scotland since she was six days old.

On 27th January 1548 in the Châtillon treaty the marriage of Mary and Francis was put forward and aged six Mary was sent to France to be bought up in the French court until she was old enough to marry. Mary left Scotland in the hands of regents.

Formally betrothed on 19th April 1558 the agreement allowed Scotland to maintained their traditional rights but when Francis ascends the throne Scotland would unite with France. However, if Mary died without the couple having any children the Scottish throne would go to the Earl of Arran. The wedding was set for 24th April where Mary and Francis were married at Notre Dame Cathedral by Cardinal of Rouen. Mary wore a long trained white dress accompanied with a Diamond necklace and a golden coronet adorned with jewels.

Francis ascended the throne in 1559 to become King Francis II and Mary became his queen consort. As Francis was only 15 when he ascended the throne and already in ill health he created a regency to reign on his behalf, he appointed his wife’s uncles the Duke of Guise and Cardinal of Lorraine along with his mother Catherine de’Medici. However, with his mother still in mourning for her husband all orders were given by Mary’s uncles. At the time of the wedding Mary signed a secret agreement that contradicted the betrothal agreement. Mary agreed that if she died childless then Scotland would stay in control of the French.

King Francis II died in December 1560 and once it was established that Mary was not carrying the heir to the French throne she returned to Scotland landing in Leith on 19th August 1561. Mary went on to remarry and give birth to a son who would unite the thrones of Scotland and England.

Francis and Mary

On this day in 1578 – William Harvey was born

William Harvey was born on 1st April 1578 in Folkestone to Thomas Harvey.

Harvey’s educational life began in Folkestone before studying at Canterbury and then Cambridge. Upon graduation Harvey continued his studying in Europe where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts from Caius in 1597 and entered the University of Padua two years later. Harvey graduated from Padua in 1602 as a Doctor of Medicine.

Harvey returned to London and joined the College of Physicians and in 1607 he was employed by St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where he remained until he died. As a physician Harvey was required to see his patients and give a full analysis of them and simply write a prescription to help their ailments.

In 1615 Harvey was elected to be a Lumleian lecturer and gave lectures to spread the knowledge of the anatomy of the body throughout England. Harvey’s lecture notes are now in the possession of the British Museum.

In 1618 Harvey received the highest appointment he could ever dream of when he was given the position of Physician Extraordinary to King James I.

In 1628 Harvey had his works published in Frankfurt about the circulation of the blood, the first physician to discover the circulatory system within the human body. Harvey was able to further his research when he was appointed Physician in Ordinary to King Charles I. The King loved hunting and as a result Harvey was able to access many deer carcasses and could continue learning about the anatomy and how the body worked.

Harvey found himself with King Charles I during the English Civil War and in Oxford in 1645; this was the end of his royal career. Harvey began withdrawing from public life.

Harvey died childless at the home of his brother on 3rd June 1657. Harvey was buried in Hempstead, Essex and in his will left a substantial amount of money to the College of Physicians.

William Harvey

On this day in 1560 – Sir Edward Hoby born

Sir Edward Hoby was born on 20th March 1560 to Thomas Hoby and Elizabeth Cooke. Hoby was also the nephew of William Cecil, Lord Burghley and eventually the son in law of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.

Hoby was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. With his uncle’s guidance he quickly rose in the Elizabethan court and was sent on many confidential missions as a spy.

Hoby married Elizabeth Paulet, the daughter of William 1st Marquess of Winchester but then in 1582 remarried Margaret Carey, daughter of Elizabeth’s cousin, Henry Carey 1st Baron Hunsdon. The day after his wedding to Margaret he was knighted by the Queen.

In 1584 Hoby was sent on a mission to Scotland with his new father in law and greatly impressed King James VI, later the King of England. He was commended and highly praised in writing by the king and was asked to wear a token of appreciation and their brotherhood. Elizabeth’s disapproval of this relationship was a reason for Hoby to stay away from court for a time.

In July 1588 Hoby was again selected again to check on the progress on the preparation for the Spanish Armada.

Hoby received many accolades serving in Elizabeth’s court some of these included being made a knight of the shire in Berkshire in 1588, justice of the peace for Middlesex in 1591 and constable of Queenborough Castle, Kent in 1597.

Upon the ascension of King James I Hoby was made a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and had his debts wiped cleaned.

Hoby died at Queenborough Castle on 1st March 1617.

Sir Edward Hoby