Anne of Denmark, Queen consort of King James VI of Scotland

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Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), Queen consort of King James VI of Scotland and I of England. She was the daughter of Frederick II of Denmark and Norway. James VI had started negotiations to marry Frederick's eldest daughter but diplomatic delays, opposition from Elizabeth I and the English court and the death of Frederick II in 1588 prevented the completion of arrangements before she became engaged to someone else, but growing pressure for a Scottish-Danish alliance encouraged James to settle for the 14 year old Anne. They were married in 1589. Anne received the regality of Dunfermline as a marriage gift and later pursued John Maitland, Lord Thirlestane, to retrieve part of her lands at Musselburgh from him. She believed firmly in her royal prerogatives, making her a formidable opponent. She began to interfere in court politics under the guise of helping her husband, showing strength of will but not always judicious choice of advisors, as a dalliance with the charming but untrustworthy earl of Bothwell brought trouble.

She had a talent for languages, being bilingual in Danish and German as a child and learning French to talk to her husband and his court. She was also a patron of the arts and culture, encouraging music, art, literary works and architecture. She ran up debts in Scotland through the magnificence of her court, and when the royal family moved to Windsor after the union of the crowns in 1603, the greater affluence of the English court allowed her to expand and elaborate her entertainments, particularly in dances and masques where she employed Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones amongst others.

She had been brought up as Lutheran and retained her Danish Lutheran preacher but gradually was drawn towards Catholicism, eventually worshipping in private in the Catholic faith, surrounded by a small coterie of faithful Catholic servants. This private religious worship was tolerated by James, and she continued to attend public Protestant services.

Her first son Henry was born in 1594, although the heir was to be the future Charles I. She spent her last years involved in matchmaking schemes to procure suitable spouses for her children.

From the guide to the Charter of Anne of Denmark to David Routh, 1618, 26 March 1618, (University of St Andrews)

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Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Charter of Anne of Denmark to David Routh, 1618, 26 March 1618 University of St Andrews
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 person
associatedWith Routh David fl 1618 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Drumeldrie (Scotland)
Acquisition of land


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