The Meeting of King James VI of Scotland* and Tycho Brahe

(Extracted from, Tycho Brahe A Picture of Scientific Life and Work in the Sixteenth Century by J. L. E. Dreyer, Ph.d., 1860, pp. 203-204)

...[King James] set sail for Kronborg, where he arrived with his bride on the 20th January 1590. A month after he went to Copenhagen, where the usual festivities were held in his honour; but James did not neglect the opportunity of enjoying the conversation of learned men, and even went to see the theologian Hemmingsen at Roskilde. It is natural that he should wish to see the spot to which the eyes of all the learned men of Europe were directed, and on the 20th March he paid a visit to Tycho Brahe at Hveen, arriving at eight o'clock in the morning and remaining till three P.M. King James was particularly pleased to see in the library at Uraniborg the portrait of his former tutor, George Buchanan, which had been presented to Tycho by Peter Young, who had once taught James to spell, and had afterwards several times been sent to Denmark on various missions. The learned king and the astronomer had thus more than one interest in common, and it is easy to imagine the delight the former must have felt while conversing with his host. To show how gratified he was with his reception, he wrote at Uraniborg (whether it was in a " visitors' book " does not appear):

Est nobilis ira Leonis
Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.
Jacobus Rex.

...The king is said to have discussed the Copernican system and other matters with Tycho... He readily promised Tycho copyright in Scotland for his writings for thirty years, and sent him this three years later, expressing in the document the pleasure it had given him to converse with Tycho and learn with his own eyes and ears things which still delighted his mind. Two Latin epigrams accompanied the document and are printed with it at the beginning of Tycho's Progymnasmata. King James is also said to have presented Tycho with two fine English mastiffs before his departure. Various members of his suite paid visits to Hveen during the time between the king's visit and his final departure from Denmark, which took place on the 21st April.

*It would be over a decade before King James would accede to the English throne as King James VI of Scotland and I of England

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