The Museum Project: Curating

High School ・English ・MLA


The concept of the divine right of kings is dated back to the medieval period between the 16th century and the 18th century. The idea was supposed to highlight the superiority and legitimacy of the monarch in the then societies. King James VI of Scotland and Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Louis XIV court preacher, were among the key contributors for this concept. Religious and political origins are at the core of the idea hence it was able to further its legitimacy claim. According to this concept, only God had the authority to judge the monarch, and the monarchical form of government is the most appropriate. The allegiance of the servants and the subjects were to be sworn only to the legitimate heir of the crown. Therefore, monarchs in the period between 16th century and 18th century took advantage of the people religious view to exercise authoritative rule in the society.


1. Divine Rights of Kings Origin

Origin of the concept can be traced back to the bible when prophets used to anoint kings chosen by God.

God angels choosing a ruler for the world

David and Uriah from the Bible.

2. History of Divine Right of Kings

King James VI of Scotland and Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Louis XIV court preacher were two of the most important supporters of the concept.

Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet pioneered the concept in France.

King James VI of Scotland introduced the concept in England.

3. Divine Right of Kings in England

People believed that being touched by the King cured their diseases because they had divine powers.

King Charles II touching scrofula sufferers.

King Charles I of England with a divine hand placing the crown on his head.

4. Divine Rights of Kings in France

King Louis XIV depicted as the Sun King in France.

The concept was pioneered by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet.

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