Cultural depictions of James I of England

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James I of England has been depicted a number of times in popular culture.

Theatrical depictions[edit]

James was first depicted in depth for the modern stage in the four-act comedy Jamie the Saxt (1936) by Scottish playwright Robert McLellan. Set in Scotland in the years 1592-94, McLellan's play depicts the King's various conflicts with the Kirk and his Scottish nobles, most particularly with the outlawed Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell, in the aftermath of the murder of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray. The play The Burning (1971) by Stewart Conn deals similarly with events in the same period, but with a greater and more serious focus on James's persecution of witchcraft. The King also plays a significant role in Howard Brenton's Anne Boleyn (2010) depicted at the moment of his arrival in London around 1603. Of the three characterisations, Brenton's is the only one which touches comfortably on James's likely bisexuality. Common to all three characterisations, however, is a portrait, established by McLellan, of self-willed, seemingly cranky and almost arbitrary love of intellectual disputation for its own sake which belies an ultimately wily style of diplomacy.

Film and television[edit]

On screen, James has been portrayed by:




  1. ^ King James I (Character) from Kings and Queens of England Volume II (1994) (V), The Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ The British Museum. "The Revells of Christendome". Trustees of the British Museum. Retrieved 9 March 2012.