James IV

Some of our monarchs reigned over England only, others over the whole United Kingdom. But only one has different lengths of reign depending on which country you’re talking about. James IV of Scotland was on the throne for a mighty 57 years, 246 days from 1567 to 1625 but partway through that, he picked up the English throne as well for no better reason that there was no-one else to do it. After all of Henry VIII’s effort to ensure a male line, his three children had each died childless. So when the last of them died – Elizabeth I- the throne passed to Henry’s great-great-nephew James. His reign in England (as James I) was only averagely long, at 22 years but his early accession to the Scottish throne (our youngest yet, at a year and a month) ensures that he makes the list . He is also notable as the monarch that Guy Fawkes tried to assassinate in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which is marked every day in the UK with fireworks and bonfires.

James IV is found in...

Top 10 Longest Reigning British Monarchs
( 10 items )
Item Position (rank): 4