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Jacobean Rycote

Portrait of James I on a deed of the University of Oxford.

James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne as James I in 1603, following the death of Elizabeth I. James continued the tradition of royal visits to Rycote and was entertained there on five occasions during his summer progresses of 1612, 1614, 1616, 1617 and 1619.

James I made his first visit to Rycote on 30 August 1612, where he was hosted by Francis, 2nd Baron Norris of Rycote (MS. Dugdale 25, p. 211). Francis had succeeded his grandfather Henry, 1st Baron Norris of Rycote, in both his title and ownership of Rycote in 1601. Francis was later created Earl of Berkshire by James in 1621 (CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 216). James spent one night at Rycote, as part of his summer progress, arriving from the Royal manor of Woodstock and departing for Bisham Abbey in Berkshire (Nichols, James I, vol. 2, p. 462). On this visit he knighted Sir Robert Ayton (Harvey Wood, 'Robert Ayton', ODNB). James visited Rycote again, on his summer progress, on 29 August 1614 (Nichols, James I, vol. 3, pp. 11, 24). The King's 1614 visit, however, stirred the proud and volatile temper of his host Lord Norris. A resentful Norris complained, in a letter to Sir John Holles, that James had not created any new knights at Rycote and that the King barely left his bedchamber throughout his stay (Portland Mss., vol. 9, pp. 145-7).

James returned to Rycote, during a summer progress, in August 1616. According to John Nichols, James’s visit was on 27 August (Nichols, James I, vol. 3, p. 186). A manuscript catalogue of knights created in James I’s reign, compiled c.1620-30 by Augustine and John Vincent, indicates that this visit may have been on 29 August, John Denham being knighted (MS. Wood B. 9, fol. 175v). The King next visited Rycote on 11 September 1617, staying for one night, with Robert Dormer, Anthony Vincent and John Culpeper knighted the following day (MS. Wood B. 9, fol. 180v; Nichols, James I, vol. 3, p. 436). James's final visit to Rycote was on 27 August 1619, upon which occasion he knighted William Guise, Edmond Fenner, Francis Duncombe and John Catcher (Nichols, James I, vol. 3, p. 564).

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Jacobean Rycote

James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne as James I in 1603 and made his first visit to Rycote on 30 August 1612.
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