Scotland was a kingdom to the north of the island of Great Britain traditionally considered to have been founded in the 9th Century. Although it no longer legally exists, it remains a recognised nation within the Blessed Isles. Somewhat ironically, the Scottish national animal is a unicorn.
As with other former kingdoms within the Blessed Isles, it was formed by the amalgamation of several smaller kingdoms and regions, most notably:
- the Scots – settlers from Ireland
- the Picts – non-Romanised “P-Celts” or Britons
- the British – the remnants of the most northerly Romano-British settlement
There has also been a strong influence from Angle and (Hiberno-)Norse settlement.
Being a near neighbour, the royal families of England and Scotland had linked through marriage on a number of occasions but the Scottish royals – and their nobility – disdained the English monarchs’ second sight. However, Edmund VI of England and Mary I of Scotland were affianced by their parents shortly after Mary was born in 1542 to secure a stronger peace and the two decided to honour this. Their formal marriage was in 1558 and the two monarchs continued to campaign for a united, imperial Great Britain throughout their rules.
This ambition remained frustrated by the nobles of both kingdoms – as well as Ireland – until the ascension of their son, James I of England and Ireland, to the throne of Scotland on Mary’s death in 1597, as James VI. This became the personal Union of the Crowns.