A New King Arrives

Although James I himself had nothing to do with translating the King James Bible, the project is a major legacy of his early reign. As supreme governor of the Church of England, James gave approval to starting the project just ten months after becoming king.

Work on the new English Bible continued through the first years of his reign, a time that saw, among other developments, new plays by William Shakespeare (Macbeth, King Lear, The Tempest, and others), the founding of the Jamestown colony, and a failed plot to blow up the House of Lords, and King James with it.

The materials shown here from the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library offer an eclectic glimpse of the times in which the King James Bible translators lived and worked as the new, post-Elizabethan era began.

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