Contrary to the expectation of many, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne in a peaceful manner, and for the time b~ing, at least, was welcomed. None of the rival claimants in England had sufficient force or following to offer any effective resistance, even had they so desired. In fact, the people as a whole, however much they differed one from the other in religion, appear to have accepted his accession with hope, for diverse and, indeed, contrary reasons. James’s re-establishment of episcopacy in Scotland and the dominant position of Sir Robert Cecil gave assurance to the upholders of the established state church that there would be no change in the religious policy pursued by the late queen. As for the Puritans, James’s connection with the late Earl of Essex, who had had their support, might raise hopes in them of less harsh treatment than had been meted out to them in the latter years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Catholics, on the other hand, hoped for milder courses on account of their former attitude to Mary, Queen of Scots, and of the promises the new king had made in Scotland not to persecute them but to allow them liberty of conscience. They knew, too, his earlier friendly relations with the Catholic Scottish earls and ascribed the persecution of their coreligionists in Scotland rather to the fierce bigotry of the Kirk than to James himself. Their hopes, too, were increased by the fact that the new king’s wife, Anne of Denmark, was a Catholic, having been received into the Church a few years previously by a Scottish Jesuit.