On This Day: 20th of October 1714

On this day, 20th of October 1714, Georg Ludwig von Hannover was crowned as King George I of Great Britain and Ireland.

King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Although Scotland and England had shared a monarch since 1603 they continued to have separate Parliaments until 1707. One of the parts of the Treaty of Union was the English Act of Settlement which England and Wales had enforced since 1701. The Act of Settlement disqualified anyone  who became a Roman Catholic, or who married one,  to inherit the throne.

Before The Treaty of Union back in 1704 The Scottish Parliament which did not agree to the Act of Settlement passed the Act of Security – meaning Scotland reserved the right to choose the next monarch. Scotland was punished severely for this by the English Parliament  with restrictions and other measures hampering Scottish trade.

The Act of Settlement was applied to all the countries and territories over which the British monarch reigned. It remains part of the laws of the 16 Commonwealth realms and the relevant jurisdictions within those realms. It was not until 2015 that the Act (amended in 2011) permitted the monarch to be married to a Catholic. 

The coronation of George I was to lead to civil war in 1715 and 1745 as Scots and English who opposed the Act of Settlement (known as Jacobites) sought to place a Stewart on the throne rather than Georg Ludwig von Hannover.

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