James VII’s Irish background

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Issue 1 (Spring 2002), Letters, Volume 10

Sir,—It has been brought to my attention that you published thefollowing in your Autumn 1999 issue [‘Scotland and Ireland through theages’]: ‘Nevertheless the Gaels believed their time had come when aking of Irish descent, James VI of Scotland, ascended the throne ofEngland (1603)…’ [‘From the editors’, p.5]. What is the Irishconnection in the line of James VI/I?—Yours, etc.,

James VI was of the Stewart line of kings. The first of their number toreign in Scotland was Robert II (1371-90) whose mother Marjorie was thedaughter of Robert I (the Bruce). He became king through descent fromhis great-great grandfather David, younger brother of King William theLion (1165-1214), grandson of King Malcolm Canmore (1058-93). Thelatter in turn was nine generations removed from Kenneth MacAlpin(843-58), descended from the Irish kings of Dál Riada.
Trinity College


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