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James VI Witchcraft

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James VI had many notable moments throughout his 58 years as King of Scotland from 1567-1625 but a large-scale witch hunt that he played a major role in and the 1000-2000 people who were burnt, tortured and strangled will not only go down as one of his most memorable times as King but also in the history of Scotland. This paper will argue that James notion of witchcraft was massively conditioned by his ideas about kingship. It will discuss his belief in Divine right kingship and that he never denied he was the lords vassal and glorified in that fact. He believed in one Kingdom, of which god was the head, with the king as his vicegerent. The fact that James was crowned at such a young age and therefore raised as a king and to believe he…show more content…
This kind of extreme punishment was in a way, James trying to stamp his authority and destroy any challenge to a throne he felt was his birth right, a gift from god that he would not lose to the devil. In 1597, James published his book Daemonologie which explained the acts of witchcraft and showed his view on the pacts with Satan as he describes the differences in witches “the Witches ar servantes onelie, and slaves to the Devil”. This belief of the King combined with the outbreak of the plague in 1597, famine and mass starvation from 1594-9 increased social tensions and this fear led to torturing the…show more content…
This is evident through many facts such as his lack of interest until his life is threated, something he believes a king chosen by god should never have to face. Also, due to many revolts and a push by the Presbyterian church he may have felt he had lost the respect of his subjects or looked weak as he had been as a child and used witchcraft to propel himself and prove he is the rightful king and should be respected as the lord’s vassal. James VI was not the most able Stewart but he was the most successful and controlled Scotland in a way many others could not. He also faced more dangers than any Stewarts before him . This use of witchcraft and fear to establish himself in Scotland was very successful as it led to him being crowned King of England and gave him the security and political stance he felt he deserved. James attitude toward witchcraft would have been the same for anything that threatened his
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