Scotland and the Jacobean Union of 1604-7

The History of Parliament

In the latest of our series on English-Scottish parliamentary relations throughout the centuries, guest blogger Dr Alan MacDonald (University of Dundee) discusses the Scottish parliament’s response to James VI and I’s attempt at union between England and Scotland in 1604-7

On 11 August 1604, a parliament at Perth passed the ‘Act anent the unioun of Scotland and England’, completing a process that began three years previously. In merely abolishing hostile laws, establishing cross-border legal arrangements and opening up commercial interaction between the two realms, it was a pale shadow of what the king had sought.

The nature of the Scottish parliamentary record makes it harder to discuss what the Scots thought of the union proposals than is possible for England. The official record is restricted to procedure and legislation, while narrative accounts are laconic and few. Yet it is clear that, while many Scottish politicians were keen supporters of…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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