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Source: James I. Basilikon Doron or His Majesties Instrvctions To His Dearest Sonne, Henry the Prince. [Edinburgh , 7 copies only; Edinburgh, London (2 . Basilikon doron* (), a manual on the practice of kingship, was written by James I and VI for his eldest son, Prince Henry [1]. Though less polemical in tone . Basilikon Doron has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Benjamin said: Fantastic resource, especially for those who want an alternative to Machiavelli’s The Princ.

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In the second book, James encouraged his son to be a good king, as opposed to a tyrant, by establishing and executing laws as well as governing with justice and equality.

Basilikon Doron by James VI & I

And for their barbarous feides, put the lawes to due execution made by mee there-anent; beginning euer rathest at him that yee loue best, and is most oblished vnto you; to make him an example to the rest. But the principall blessing that yee can get of good companie, will stand in your marrying of a godly and vertuous wife: Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

But when ye reade the Scripture, reade it with a sanctified and chaste heart: As for your choise in Mariage, respect chiefly the three causes, wherefore Mariage was first ordained by God; and then ioyne three accessories, so farre as they may be obtained, not derogating to the principalles.

For Iustice, by the Law, giueth euery man his owne; and equitie in things arbitrall, giueth euery one that which is meetest for him. And aboue all, enrich not your selfe with exactions vpon your subjects; but thinke the riches of your people your best treasure, by the sinnes of offenders, where no praeuention can auaile, making basiliion your commoditie.

The next thing that yee haue to take heed to, is your speaking and language; whereunto I ioyne your gesture, since action is one of the chiefest qualities, that is required in an oratour: For the making it baser, will breed your commoditie; but it is not to bee vsed, but at a great necessitie. And English-men could not thereby be meant, since they could be no traitours, where they ought no alleageance.

Basilikon Doron (Selections) :: Internet Shakespeare Editions

Richard Royston, and later William Dugard, printed further copies. For the people that see you not within, cannot iudge of you, but according to the outward appearance of your actions and companie, which dron is subiect to their sight: I cannot omit heere the hunting, namely with running hounds; which is the most honourable and noblest sorte thereof: That the loue I beare to my Sonne, hath mooued me to be so plaine in this argument: He was a poet, a religious scholar, and a political writer.


And as their subjects ought them to obey, So Kings should feare and serue their God againe If then ye would enjoy a happie raigne, Roron the Statutes of your heauenly King, And from his Law, make all your Lawes to spring: And because I haue made mention here of the coyne, make your money of fine Gold and Siluer; causing the people be payed with substance, and not abused with number: Punishing the breach thereof in a Courteour, more seuerely, then in the person of any other of your subjects: The other point is onely grounded vpon the strait charge I giue my Sonne, not to heare nor suffer any vnreuerent speeches or bookes against any of his parents or progenitors: And to conclude this point of Religion, what indifferencie of Religion can Momus call that in Mee, where, speaking of my sonnes marriage in case it pleased God before that time to cut the threed of my life I plainly forewarne him of the inconuenients that were like foron ensew, incase he should marry any that be of a different profession in Religion from him: Beware therefore in this case with two extremities: No, I am by a degree but nearer of kinne vnto my mother then dron is, neither thinke I myselfe, either that our vnworthie, or that neere my end, that I neede to make such a Dauidicall testament; since I have euer thought it the dewtie of a worthie Prince, rather with a Pike, then a Penne, to write his iust reuenge: First, considering the nature of the person reporter; Next, what entresse he can haue in the weale or euill of him, of whom hee maketh the report; Thirdly, the likely-hood of the purpose it selfe; And, last, the nature and by-past life of the dilated person: To conclude then, both this purpose of conscience, and the first part of this booke, keepe God more sparingly in your mouth, but abundantly in your heart: James wrote the Basilikon doron for his own enjoyment and initially distributed it only among his family and close friends.

May 30, Matt rated it it was amazing. But vnto one fault is all the common people of this Kingdome subiect, as well burgh as land; which is, to iudge and speake rashly of their Prince, setting the Commonweale vpon dorpn props, as wee call it; euer wearying of the present estate, and desirous of nouelties.


It can no wayes become me to pronounce so lightly a sentence, in so old a controuersie. But as this is generally trew in the actions of all men, so is it more specially trew in the affaires of Kings: Now, the onely way to bring you to xoron knowledge, is diligently to reade his word, and earnestly to pray for the right vnderstanding thereof.

Internet Shakespeare Editions

Remember howe that errour brake the King my grand-fathers heart. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

In addition, James I’s pedantic qualities are prominent in this text as he attempts to shape his son in his own royal image, intending the Jacobean image of kingship to extend generationally to embrace his progeny. Ogy is currently reading it Jan 24, Especially, make no vowes in such vaine and outward things, as concerne either meate or cloathes.

Your loving Father I. Neither deceiue your selfe with many that say, they care not for their Parents curse, so they deserue it not. And because I know not but God may call me, before ye be readie for Mariage; I will shortly dron downe to you heere my aduice therein.

Basilikon Doron

Henry died in before he could succeed his father. Laying so a just symmetry and proportion betwixt the height of your honorable place and the heavy weight of your great charge, and consequently, in case of failing, which God forbid, of the sadness of your fall, according to the proportion bwsilikon that height. Basliikon if yee write in verse, remember that it is not the principall part of a Poeme to rime right, and flowe well with many pretie wordes: For if any thing be asked at you that yee thinke not meete to reueale, if yee say, that question is not pertinent for them to aske, who dare examine you further?

Harvard University Press,