House of Stuart
The House of Stuart had ruled Scotland since 1371 but in 1603, on the death of Elizabeth I, James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, and the Stuarts ruled England too. Despite this the two countries did not officially unite for over 100 years.
The Stuart time was one of unrest, with religious reformation continuing across Europe and discord between Protestants and Catholics.
The power of kings was also being tested and in the reign of the second Stuart king, Charles I, the King went to war with Parliament. Charles I was defeated and executed and for a time England was a republic. But following the death of Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Parlimentary forces, Charles' son was invited back and became Charles II.