James City County

James City County, highlighted in map of Virginia

One of the first eight counties in the state was named after the King of England when Virginia was colonized, James I. In 1634 James I had been dead for nine years, but his son Charles I was on the throne and it made sense to honor his father. In 1634 Virginia was a royal colony, and the King's favor could make life easier...

James was the first king to unite the thrones of Scotland and England. He was first the King of Scotland, assuming that role when his mother abdicated and he was one year old. He allied himself with Queen Elizabeth I of England in order to establish his power in Scotland - and shortly afterwards Queen Elizabeth I executed his mother, Mary Queen of Scots.

James I was a believer in the divine right of kings, not in the power of Parliament or the rights of the individual. King James was no believer in religious freedom, though he commissioned the new translation of the Bible known today as the King James Version. He repressed the Catholics, and a few of them planned to blow up the King and the Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

In addition to being one of the first counties, Virginia's first two capitals (Jamestown and Williamsburg) were located in James City County. James City County could claim to be the site of the oldest continuous government in English North America.


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