Recent pioneering work has rightly restored the reputation of James VI and I from “Whig” accusations of incompetence. Some historians regard King James’s religious policies as particularly successful. Others now argue that while James’s policies worked well in England, they were a disaster in Scotland, where a set of reforms known as the Five Articles of Perth polarized religious opinion. This article asserts that James’s personal determination to impose the Articles generated a crisis in one of Scotland’s most politically sensitive communities—the capital, Edinburgh. Through the presence there of the chief organ of royal government, the Privy Council, the crisis was not only confined to a Scottish locality, but also had repercussions for the British multiple monarchy. Charles I cannot be absolved from making poor decisions, but his actions on becoming king need to be reconsidered in terms of the legacy left by his father.