Amy Juhala, Bismarck State College, will present ”For the King Favours Them Very Strangely’: The Rise of James VI’s Chamber, 1598 to 1603′
The later years of James VI’s Scottish residency saw a growth in the power and influence of the King’s Chamber. While factionalism and intrigue had been a constant part of court life since the regency, as James grew up, so too did his court, slowly shifting from a bachelor’s establishment to one that included a royal consort and heirs. But while the court changed and adapted, there was a noticeable lack of change in those who had gained the ear of the king and who occupied the Chamber. Here, one finds a handful of long-serving, highly-trusted friends, and numerous lesser gentlemen who had proved their worth through decades of steadfast service to the king. They had served and guided the king through financial crises, political uncertainty, and personal attacks. Several were his Stirling classmates; they and others were men whose personal wealth and positions were directly tied to their exemplary service to the king. Thus, as James gathered more personal control over his government, it was natural for him to increasingly rely upon the trusted counsel of these servitors who inhabited his Chamber.