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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Great Britain

Articles of Union between England and Scotland, 1706 1706

RCIN 1142244

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In 1603, on the accession of James VI, King of Scotland, to the throne of England as James I, the Crowns of England and Scotland were joined, but the administration of the two countries remained separate, each having its own Parliament. A century later, this situation was proving problematical, with a serious economic crisis in Scotland, and tensions in discussions about which branch of the Stuart Royal Family should succeed Queen Anne, since it was by then known that she would have no surviving children. In 1706 Commissioners for the English and Scottish Parliaments, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chancellor of Scotland, the Earl of Seafield, met to work out a treaty to deal with these issues. At the conclusion of their deliberations, in late July 1706, four copies of the terms were written, signed and sealed by the Commissioners. This is one of the Scottish copies, since the Scottish signatures are on the left of the page. A major part of the agreement entailed both existing Parliaments passing an Act of Union, effectively dissolving themselves and forming the Union Parliament of Great Britain, which came into being in May 1707.