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James I of England


James succeeded to the English throne after the death of Elizabeth in 1603. He was also James VI of Scotland, so the two thrones were now united.


James initiated the Plantation of Ulster, as a form of revenge against the Ulter Earls who had caused England so much trouble during the Nine Years War. Hugh O'Neill had submitted to Elizabeth, relying on her promises after their defeat at Kinsale, and O'Neill was horrified to find that she had died and he was now subject to James.


The lands of the Ulster Earls were declared forfeit and their practice of Catholicism was banned. James made their lives so difficult that they left Ireland, which gave him the opportunity to allocate their holdings to good Protestant settlers, mainly Scots.


  James 1, painted by Paulus van Somer. Click for larger image



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