James I's family tree

This pedigree, or family tree, of James I links him with an ancient British imperial crown dating back to Julius Caesar. It was drawn up by Robert Bruce Cotton, the famous manuscript collector, to help legitimise the new kingdom of 'Great Britain', which James wanted to create out of the old kingdoms of England and Scotland. The crown descends via kings whose policies resemble James's own, such as the 'peaceful' King Edgar and King Alfred, 'who united the Heptarchy' and, like James, could be perceived as the bringer together of a falsely divided realm. Like James, Cotton was distantly related to Robert the Bruce, and he was keen to stress his own connections with the new ruling house.
Catalogue reference: SP 14/1, no. 3 (March 1603)

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