James VI and I - The first monarch to be called the king of Great Britain

19 Jun 2020  Fri

James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns. He was the first monarch to be called the king of Great Britain. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.

His reign was important because it was the first time England and Scotland had the same monarch. He was the first monarch of England from the House of Stuart. The previous English monarch had been Elizabeth I. She had died without any children, so the English agreed to have a Scottish monarch because James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, thus the closest relative Elizabeth had. By being king of both, he created a personal union.

The above shown Scottish gold coin was issued under his reign. The obverse depicts Half-length armored figure of king right, wearing Scottish crown and holding orb and scepter. The reverse of a coin shows thistle Crowned coat-of-arms dividing I R, Scottish arms in 1st and 4th quarters.

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

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