image for Literary Event item typeBenjamin Woolley - The King’s Assassin at Coach House at Orleans House Gallery

Literary Event, Sun 12 Nov 2017




The rise of George Villiers seemed to defy gravity: becoming gentleman of the royal bedchamber in 1615 the young gallant enraptured James, Britain’s first Stuart king, to such intensity that the king declared he wanted the courtier to become his ‘wife’. For a decade Villiers was at the king’s side – at court, on state occasions and in bed, right up to James’s death in March 1625.

Almost immediately, Villiers’ enemies accused him of poisoning the king. A parliamentary investigation was launched and scurrilous pamphlets and ballads circulated London’s streets. But the charges came to nothing, and were relegated to a historical footnote.

Now, new historical scholarship suggests that a deadly combination of hubris and vulnerability did indeed drive Villiers to kill the man who made him. It may have been by accident, but there is compelling evidence that Villiers, overcome by ambition and frustrated by James’s passive approach to government, poisoned him.

This afternoon acclaimed author Benjamin Woolley examines this remarkable, even tragic story, recounting King James’s death and the captivating figure at its centre.

Event details

Dates Times
Sun 12 Nov 2017 15:00


£8 / £6.50



See location of Coach House at Orleans House Gallery on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TQ 168734  Lat: 51.44793 Long: -0.31951

Rail: St Margarets (South West Trains)
Alternatively, you can catch a District Line train to Richmond and catch a South West Train to St Margaret's (1 stop)

Bus: 33, 490, H22, R68, R70 and 290. Alight at The Crown Pub/Lebanon Park

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from St Margarets station