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The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful war of independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages.
James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 1566–1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.
James VI alone had eight issues of coins before he unified the thrones and to a large extent the coinages, of Scotland and England. Gold eighty shillings or four pounds are known as the "Hat Piece" from its design.
Right facing bearded bust of James VI with a tall presumably fine-fur Renaissance style hat, Latin legend "James the Sixth, by the Grace of God, King of Scots" ending with a cinquefoil and beaded borders surrounding both sides. A thistle to the left of the bust.
· IACOBVS · 6 · D · G · R · SCOTORVM ·
Depicts a crowned Scottish lion seated upon a throne to the left, holding a scepter that seems to pierce the heavens above with 'Jehovah' written in Hebrew above it, surrounded by two sharply beaded borders within which is enclosed the Latin legend "Thee alone do I fear" and the date finalized by a cinquefoil.