James I (1566-1625) was the first Stuart king of England. He became James VI of Scotland in 1567 when his mother Mary, Queen of Scots, gave up that throne. When his cousin Elizabeth I died, he became King James I of England in 1603, and ruled both England and Scotland until his death. His son Charles I succeeded him.
James believed in the divine right of kings, the belief that kings get the right to rule from God, rather than from the consent of people. He set up a strong royal government in Scotland, but the English Parliament opposed his attempt to rule as absolute monarch in England. This dispute over who should have power continued under Charles I, and led to the English Civil War in 1642.
James supported the Anglican Church, and sponsored a translation of the Bible in 1611 that is now known as the King James Version. However, he persecuted certain Protestant groups such as the Puritans. Some of the Puritans migrated to America in 1620.
Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, was named in his honour. But James showed an interest in colonies only in Northern Ireland, where he seized land from Irish Catholics and gave it to English and Scottish Protestants.