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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
King James IThe son of Mary Queen of Scots, known as James VI, King of Scotland (1567), and James I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1603). By the time James VI became James I of England, he was avidly interested in using scientific principles to prove or disprove witchcraft charges. James' interest in the efficacy of witches appears to have begun during the storms he encountered at sea while he sailed back from Denmark with his 15 year old wife Queen Anne. The captain of the ship blamed witches for the bad weather. James personally interrogated witches from the town of Trenton, including Gellis Duncane, Agnes Sampson (of Paddignton), Agnes Tompson (of Edinbrough), and Dr. Fian (an account featured in Newes From Scotland (1591)) Soon after, he wrote _Dmonologie_ (1597) while still in Scotland, a text which promoted the belief that female witches were the Devils students and servants; the Devil gave witches image magic, medicinal magic, and poisons with which to harm their enemies. In the Act of 1604, James I of England expanded the definition of witchcraft to include more specific crimes, and a more European understanding of maleficium; causing personal injury, the conjuration of spirits, and the use of corpses in magic became capital offenses. This new Act also divided the crime, creating first-degree and second-degree witchcraft. It is hard to know how much influence _Dmonologie_ had, although it was reprinted after James English coronation (1603), or how much influence the 1604 Witchcraft Act had. It would appear that once in print, these texts took on a life of their own, quite apart from the wishes of the King who invoked them. James' own interest in witchcraft soon faded; he would be key in exposing fraudulent witchcraft charges asserted by Anne Gunter in 1605, John Smith in 1616, and Katherine Malpas in 1621. The King also allegedly held somewhat of a mischievous side, encouraging an "imposture" in his court to call out the name of the knight Sir John, in order to get Sir John "to stamp with madness," and find himself unable to ever begin discourse with the King due to constant interruption.()James VI and I (15661625), king of Scotland, England, and Ireland, was born at Edinburgh Castle on 19 June 1566, the only son of Mary, queen of Scots (15421587), and her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545/61567) []There were, of course, other problems which rumbled on beneath the dramatic highlights, in an ongoing Greek chorus about witches and Catholics. Witch-hunting did not begin in the 1590s; there had been sporadic outbreaks since the passing of the Witchcraft Act in 1563, and awareness of the demonic pact at least since 1572. James himself had met a notorious witch when he was in Aberdeen in 1589; but neither she nor the witches who were menacing Edinburgh and Haddingtonshire in 1590 seemed to hold much terror or even interest for him. That changed virtually overnight, with the spectacular discovery of a coven at North Berwick [see North Berwick witches] which was purportedly in league with the devil to destroy the king, his greatest enemy on earth. This piece of flattery, helpfully relayed by the witches to the king, was not itself the flashpoint; James remained surprisingly sceptical, to the utter indignation of the witches. Their spokeswoman, that stately midwife Agnes Sampson, insisted that they were indeed witches and that she would prove it, which she apparently did by telling James of his conversation with his wife, Anne, on their wedding night in Oslo. Scepticism turned to fear and credulity; and the most famous witch-hunt in Scottish history began []The idea of a Danish match for James was being discussed from 1581, and a series of negotiations took place between 1585 and 1589. Another possibility, introduced in 1587, was Henri of Navarre's sister Catherine de Bourbon, but the future Henri IV wanted military support in his struggle for the French throne, which James could not or would not give, especially as Henri could not afford a generous dowry. The better choice remained a daughter of the Danish king Frederick II, and James married his younger daughter Anne (Anna) of Denmark (15741619)with a more acceptable dowry, if one cut down from the outrageous Scottish demand for 1 million Scots to 150,000 Scots. However, this was counterbalanced by the 100,000 Scots levied within Scotland to pay for attendant festivities. With a dash of real romance, James emulated his grandfather James V, who had had a splendid nine-month holiday in France when claiming his bride, Franois I's daughter Madeleine. When storms prevented Anne coming to Scotland in 1589 following her proxy marriage to him on 20 August, he sailed to Oslo, and had an equally enjoyable if rather shorter holiday, between November 1589 and April 1590, celebrating the marriage ceremony in church on 23 November, travelling about, having intellectual discussions with leading Scandinavian theologians and scientists, and falling in love with his new wife.()