A loyal servant

No doubt the departure of James VI and his court for London left a void in Scotland's political and cultural life, and the record of his Stewart successors as rulers of Scotland is, to say the least, not very creditable; but to style James himself a traitor, as Archy MacPherson does (Letters, 24 June), is unreasonable.

At the time, James's accession to the English throne was hailed in Scotland as a triumph of national policy: it was not seen as desertion, much less treachery.

James continued to regard himself as Scotland's king, and maintained his interest in Scottish affairs, throughout his period of residence in England; and caused shock and consternation in his new kingdom by proposing to unite the two realms on equal terms, in defiance of his English counsellors' expectation that Scotland would now, as Wales had been under the Tudors, be simply absorbed into the English state.

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It was after his death, in the reigns of monarchs with none of his concern for and understanding of Scotland, that things went wrong with a vengeance; but he is hardly to be blamed for that.


Rosehill Terrace