How many folks know that King James (who commissioned the King James Bible and to whom it was dedicated) loved men and had sex with them? At the age of thirteen James fell madly in love with his male cousin Esme Stuart whom he made Duke of Lennox. James deferred to Esme to the consternation of his ministers. In 1582 James was kidnapped and forced to issue a proclamation against his lover and send him back to France.
Later, James fell in love with a poor young Scotsman named Robert Carr. "The king leans on his [Carr's] arm, pinches his cheeks, smooths his ruffled garment, and when he looks upon Carr, directs his speech to others." (Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, in a letter, 1611)
Carr eventually ended the relationship after which the king expressed his dissatisfaction in a letter to Carr, "I leave out of this reckoning your long creeping back and withdrawing yourself from lying in my chamber, notwithstanding my many hundred times earnest soliciting you to the contrary...Remember that (since I am king) all your being, except your breathing and soul, is from me." (See The Letters of King James I & VI, ed., G. P. V. Akrigg, Univ. of Calif. Press, 1984. Also see Royal Family, Royal Lovers: King James of England and Scotland, David M. Bergeron, Univ. of Missouri Press, 1991)
- Skip Church
King James' favorite male lovers were the Earl of Somerset and the Duke of Buckingham.
- Ben Edward Akerly, The X-rated Bible
James's sexual orientation was so widely known that Sir Walter Raleigh joked about it in public saying "King Elizabeth" had been succeeded by "Queen James."
- Catherine D. Bowen, The Lion and the Throne
King James 1 was a known homosexual who murdered his young lovers and victimized countless heretics and women. His cruelty was justified by his "divine right" of kings.
- Otto J. Scott, James the First
Although the title page of The King James Bible boasted that it was "newly translated out of the original tongues," the work was actually a revision of The Bishop's Bible of 1568, which was a revision of The Great Bible of 1539, which was itself based on three previous English translations from the early 1500s. So, the men who produced the King James Bible not only inherited some of the errors made by previous English translators, but invented some of their own.
Desiderius Erasmus was a "Christian humanist" who collected Greek (and Latin) New Testament manuscripts and compared and edited them, verse by verse, selecting what he considered to be the best variant passages, until he had compiled what came to be known as the "textus receptus." Early English translations of the Bible, like those mentioned above, were based on his "textus receptus." Erasmus was also a monk whom some historians believe engaged in homosexual activities.
But without both King James and Erasmus, the most widely touted Bible in Christian history would never have been produced, the KJV (or shall we say, Gay-JV?) Bible.
- Skip Church
A physical weakling, as an adolescent James had shown himself to be a coward, who liked only to hunt, to read (which he did, prodigiously) and to talk. To protect himself he wore thick quilted doublets, so padded that they provided a kind of armor against any assassin who might attack him with a knife. When he revealed a sexual preference for men, falling in love with his cousin Esmé Stewart and elevating him to a position of authority on the royal council, some of his nobles kidnapped James and held him captive, banishing Stewart and controlling James's every move. After nearly a year James escaped, but continued to resent his jailers; after he began to rule on his own behalf, at seventeen, he made it a priority to bring the turbulent Scots nobles under control.
As he aged James indulged his preference for handsome men, living apart from his wife. His doting fondness was part paternal, part erotic; he called his favorite George Villiers "sweet child and wife" and referred to himself as "your dear dad and husband." But to his courtiers, the sight of the aging, paunchy, balding monarch, who according to one court observer had a tendency to drool, leaning on his paramours was utterly repellant.
The first of the king's minions was Robert Carr, Groom of the Bedchamber, who the king elevated to earl of Somerset and appointed Lord Chamberlain. After six years of favors and royal gifts Carr was brought low, accused of murder and sent away from court. The second and greatest royal favorite, the extraordinarily handsome George Villiers, rose from cupbearer to Gentleman of the Bedchamber and ultimately to Earl of Buckingham.
"I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else," James announced to his councilors, "and more than you who are here assembled." He compared his love for the earl to Jesus's affection for the "beloved disciple" John. "Jesus Christ did the same," the king said, "and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had his John, and I have my George."
With such pronouncements King James seemed to reach a new level of outrage, especially when he compounded his offense, in the view of many, by heaping Buckingham with costly jewels, lands, and lucrative offices.
-Royal Panoply, Brief Lives Of The English Monarchs
Carrolly Erickson, History Book Club