Allegorical work of the Union of the Crowns by Peter Paul Rubens

The son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Lord Darnley became King of Scotland upon his mother’s forced abdication in 1567.

He was thirteen months old at his coronation and brought up by extremely manipulative individuals. He successfully stopped the draw of power away from his position by the Calvinists, enjoyed torturing witches and Negroes, considered his Highlanders ‘barbarians’ and ordered their extinction so that English-speaking Lowlanders could be installed to replace them.

This seventeenth century ethnic-cleansing, which James called ‘kingcraft’, was eventually executed by him, though not in the Highlands, but in Northern Ireland.

Had Roman Catholicism still been in place across Britain then Henry VIII’s children from his various marriages would not have been recognised as heirs to the throne. The crown of England would then have gone to Mary, Queen of Scots, whose grandmother was Margaret Tudor, Henry’s sister. With Protestantism however, the crown went to Elizabeth.

After she had executed Queen Mary in 1587, and died herself in 1603 without issue, James VI of Scotland became James I of England. This became known as the Union of the Crowns. He moved to England and settled into his greater domain easily, never returning to Scotland. He died in 1625.