We begin a twisted tale of witchcraft, poison, and legal arguing over magically cursed genitals in the court of King James I. Sir Thomas Overbury tried his best to climb to a coveted position at court, but he made a lot of enemies along the way.
Content note: I’m going to throw an explicit label on this one because it involves a discussion of a legal case revolving around the mechanics of impotence.
Featured image: A portrait of Sir Thomas Overbury from 1610. (Image source)
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, painted by John Hoskins. (Image source)
Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset, painted after her marriage to Robert Carr. (Image source)
Robert and Frances after their marriage in 1615. (Image source)
King James I of England and VI of Scotland, painted in 1605 by John de Critz. (Image source)
Confused about how James managed to inherit both the Scottish and English thrones (with Ireland thrown in as a bonus)? Here’s a family tree showing how the English house of Tudor (Henry VII -> Henry VIII -> Elizabeth I) doesn’t manage to produce any heirs, so the crown ends up passing over to the Stuart line in Scotland. (Image source)
An image of suspected witches from North Berwick kneeling before King James. This was printed in his book Daemonologie. (Image source)
- Unnatural Murder: Poison At the Court Of James l
From Basilikon Doron, King James I, part 2
Scandals of the Royal Palaces: An Intimate Memoir of Royals Behaving Badly
1st duke of Lennox, Esmé Stewart
Overbury Story 500 Years in England and America
Did Henry FitzRoy and Edward VI Die of the Same Illness?