Scotlands History

Union of the Crowns 1603

With the death of Queen Elizabeth I the son of Mary Queen of Scots became King of England. James was already King of Scotland. He was married and had healthy children – heirs to the throne. Importantly, James was also a Protestant king.

James rode out of Edinburgh on 4 April 1603, telling the Scots that he would return every few years. He would only visit Scotland once, in 1617, and reigned from London for 22 years.

On 11 July 1603 the crowns of Scotland and England were united under King James VI of Scotland as he became King James I of England.

However, the ‘perfect union’ that King James hoped for was still far away. Scotland and England kept their own parliaments, their own laws and minted their own coinage.

  • Image of part of the Lyte Jewel showing a portrait of King James I of England (VI of Scotland).

Click on the image to view a larger version.