This is the greatest progression of events I have ever read, where’s my historical gay romance novel about this
KING JAMES, CAN YOU CHILL?
Local King Cannot Stop Promoting His Boyfriend
where’s the lush period drama about this series of events?
fun thing about king James, this guy was fairly public about his bf (more public than what was acceptable). He threw lots of extravagant parties with his man on his arm. It pissed off the church obviously so to get them off his back, he’s the one that ordered the third translation of the Bible from Hebrew to English (the King James Version aka the Authorized Version) so the Bible every hot blooded all American Christian reads today was literally just written so a very gay king could fuck his boyfriend in peace.
oh my god this is hilarious
“guys, guys. I know this looks kinda gay, and i promise i have a good explanation for all this, but have you considered… that jesus… is also gay? checkmate, heteros.”
Can’t believe no-one’s expounded upon the secret passage between their bedchambers at Apethorpe Hall yet
I also need you to know that James I was a prolific writer of letters to his gentleman friends, particularly Villiers
All of his letters are collated, discussed and reproduced extensively in King James & Letters of Homoerotic Desire by David M. Bergeron, but you can also find some more examples here. And yes, he did call George Villiers his ‘sweet child’ and ‘wife’… James I was truly the original daddy (I’m so sorry.)
[letter text reads:
My only sweet and dear child,
Notwithstanding of your desiring me not to write yesterday, yet had I
written in the evening if, at my coming out of the park, such a
drowsiness had not come upon me as I was forced to set and sleep in my
chair half an hour. And yet I cannot content myself without sending you
this present, praying God that I may have a joyful and comfortable
meeting with you and that we may make at this Christmas a new marriage
ever to be kept hereafter; for, God so love me, as I desire only to live
in this world for your sake, and that I had rather live banished in any
part of the earth with you than live a sorrowful widow’s life without
you. And so God bless you, my sweet child and wife, and grant that ye
may ever be a comfort to your dear dad and husband.
His relationships with other men were so notorious that a French poet named Theophile de Viau apparently wrote a poem about it, basically boiling down to ‘I fuck just as good as the King, but he makes his boyfriends rich, and I can’t do that, because I’m fucking skint.’ This poem is attributed to Theophile de Viau in French, as discussed on page 103 of this source here, but it’s not definitive, so take it with a pinch of salt and just enjoy the imagery. I’ve translated it into English for your reading pleasure.
To the Marquis of Buckingham
Apollo with his songs
Debauched the young Hyacinthus.
If Corridon fucks Amyntas,
Caesar loved only boys.
One man fucks
the Baron of Bellegarde
Another fucks the Count of Tonnerre.
And this learned King of England,
Did he not fuck the Duke of Buckingham?
I have neither the status nor the rank
Which makes a Marquis of a wench.
And yet, you know I could
As well as any Prince of royal blood.
It’s also so important to me that you know that he met his second favourite, Robert Carr, when the saucy young man broke his leg and James insisted on nursing him back to health and ‘teaching him Latin’, which is definitely not a euphemism, no sir
In 1607, Carr happened to break his leg at a tilting match, at which King James VI and I was in attendance. According to Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, the king instantly fell in love with the young man, even helping nurse him back to health, all the while teaching him Latin. The king subsequently knighted the young Carr and took him into favour.]
Also, just to nitpick on a point above – we don’t know that James I’s motive for commissioning the KJV was to get the Church off his back about his boyfriends. James I was deeply religious (… James I was the king who was obsessively paranoid about witches and didn’t like women very much, just to put that out there) and it’s likely that he considered his relationships with men to be just fine under the eyes of God, provided that they maintain certain physical boundaries. He spoke out against sodomy in quite strong terms, which might have been hypocrisy, or it might indicate that he believed romantic attachments and possibly even limited physical or sexual attachments with other men were OK as long as there was no, erm, D in A.
But yes, he absolutely had boyfriends. And if you think he was bad about constantly promoting them and giving them fancy titles and shit, you’re gonna shit a brick when you hear about Edward II and his affairs with Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser, which literally caused wars. Brutal.