James, the King of Scotland, assumes power in England and presumes royal power beyond the restriction of parliament. The struggle intensifies when his son becomes King and ends with Civil Wars in which Parliament and its New Model Army triumphs. Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector and all nations in the British Isles are declared a short-lived Commonwealth under his rule.
At the age of 36 James VI of Scotland came to London in May 1603. He was crowned James I of England in July. He had become King of Scotland when he was one year old, but he only returned to his home country once in the remaining 22 years of his life. Although they shared the same monarch, the two countries remained independent sovereign states with their own parliaments. James was also King of Ireland, which in effect was a vassal of the English crown. His ambition, never realised, was to unite Scotland and England as one political entity.
1603 The accession of James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, to the English throne as James I. He is a Protestant but has strong views about the absolute rights of monarchy.
~ The first extant version of Hamlet by William Shakespeare, his longest and possibly most powerful drama.
~ Sir Walter Raleigh is sentenced to death for his involvement in the Main plot and is confined in the Tower.
1604 The king and Robert Cecil negotiate an end to the war with Spain.
~ Jesuits and other Catholic priests are ordered to leave the country.
~ The Witchcraft Act rules witches may be liable to sentence of death.