KING JAMES I OF ENGLAND AND VI OF SCOTLAND (d. 1625); Responsible for the accursed version of the Bible that bears his name, James was the son of a homosexual who was murdered in his bed at twenty-two, together with the page he was buggering. James, King of Scotland and England, was himself homosexual, but, understandably, unable to act on his own instincts.
All of James’ great loves were heterosexual men completely unable to return the love this unhappy man so desperately needed. Fewer heads in history were ever more uneasy wearing the crown. The joke that circulated about King James in his own day is telling: “Habuimus regem Elisabetham, habemus reginam Jacobum” (“We have had King Elizabeth, now we have Queen James.”)
Under James, the “Golden Age” of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie (1597) and Basilikon Doron (1599). Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed “the wisest fool in Christendom”, an epithet associated with his character ever since (and, I’m sure we need not remind you if you’ve been paying attention!…one of the essential archetypes of same-sex people across time and cultures in history.)