Kingship by Descent or Kingship by Election? The Contested Title of James VI and I

Rei Kanemura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Throughout the reign of Elizabeth I, a steady stream of tracts appeared in English print to vindicate the succession of the most prominent contenders, Mary and James Stuart of Scotland. This article offers a comprehensive account of the polemical battle between the supporters and opponents of the Stuarts, and further identifies various theories of English kingship, most notably the theory of corporate kingship, developed by the Stuart polemicists to defend the Scottish succession. James's accession to the English throne in March 1603 marked the protracted end of the debate over the succession. The article concludes by suggesting that, while powerfully renouncing the opposition to his succession, over the course of his attempt to unify his two kingdoms, James and his supporters ultimately departed from the polemic of corporate kingship, for a more assertive language of kingship by natural and divine law.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-342
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of British Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)
    • History
    • Cultural Studies

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