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James I and Religious Toleration

The accession of James VI, king of Scotland, as James I, king of England, on Elizabeth's death encouraged both Catholics and Puritans to hope for increased religious freedom. Catholics especially hoped that the son of the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, would bring toleration for the practice of their faith. Though James was suspicious of Puritans and, for a variety of political reasons, at times lenient towards Catholics, the attempt by a group of Catholic zealots to blow up Parliament, the Gunpowder Plot, ensured their continued status as a suspect minority.

This German engraving of the Gunpowder Plot depicts in intricate detail the plotters and their ultimate fates.

Crispijn van de Passe. Three views relating to the Gunpowder Plot (German). Engraving, 1606?

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