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Gunpowder, Treason and Plot: The Reign of James VI and I

Course Times & Enrolment

Friday 4th November 2022, (Code HS152-113) Friday 4th November 2022, 10:00am - 4:00pm • (One-day course) 3.02 Charteris Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: William Brydon MA MBA PhD
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

This course offers an insight into the reign of James VI of Scotland and I of England, exploring the politics and plotting of the 17th century. For anyone interested in the history of Scotland, England, politics, or just plain intrigue.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

This course is for anyone interested in the history of Scotland or England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, political history or political intrigue.

Content of Course

1. James' early life and reign in Scotland.

2. James' accession as king of England, and the circumstances of the gunpowder plot.

3. James' later reign as king of England and Scotland.

Teaching method(s)

Lecture and discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand what the Gunpowder Plot was and who was involved;

  • Explain why it happened and the events leading up to it;

  • Be aware of the consequences of the Plot and its aftermath.


Core Readings


  • Fraser, A., 1969. Mary Queen Of Scots. London: Weidenfeld And Nicolson.

  • Lockyer, R., 1989. The Early Stuarts, A Political History Of England 1603-1642. Harlow: Longman.

  • Stewart, A., 2003.The Cradle King, A life of James VI and I. London: Chatto and Windus.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.