James VI and I united the crowns of England and Scotland. His books are fundamental sources of the principles which underlay the union. In particular, his Basilikon Doron was a best-seller in England and circulated widely on the Continent. Among the most important and influential British writings of their period, the king's works shed light on the political climate of Shakespeare's England and the intellectual background to the civil wars which afflicted Britain in the mid-seventeenth century. James' political philosophy was a moderated absolutism, with an emphasis on the monarch's duty to rule according to law and the public good. Locke quoted his speech to parliament of 1610 approvingly, and Hobbes likewise praised 'our most wise king'. This edition is the first to draw on all the early texts of James' books, with an introduction setting them in their historical context.
Abbreviations; Introduction; Principal events in James' life; Bibliographical note; 1. Basilikon Doron; 2. The Trew Law of Free Monarchies; 3. Triplici Nodo, Triplex Cuneus. Or an Apologie for the Oath of Allegiance; 4. Speech to parliament of 19 March 1604; 5. Speech to parliament of 9 November 1605; 6. Speech to parliament of 31 March 1607; 7. Speech to parliament of 21 March 1610; 8. Speech in Star Chamber of 20 June 1616; 9. A Meditation upon the 27th, 28th and 29th Verses of the 27th Chapter of Saint Matthew (1619); 10. His Maiesties Declaration, Touching his Proceedings in the Late Assemblie and Conuention of Parliament (1622); Select biographical notes; Glossary; Index.
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