The Stewarts: Miniature Sheet


The Stewarts: Miniature Sheet PHQ Card The Stewarts: Miniature Sheet PHQ Card
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23rd March 2010
Stamp Type:
Stamp Details:
1st St Andrews University ...      ▼ expand stamp details
1st College of Surgeons
81p Court of Session
81p John Knox
Reference Images:
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Royal Mail provided background information for this issue
click on titles to view details.

Reason and inspiration

The third instalment of Royal Mail’s Kings and Queens series moves north of the border to the Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland from 1406 up until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.

With no direct descendants, Elizabeth became the last monarch of the House of Tudor and King James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England. This created The Union of the Crowns which brought England and Scotland under one monarch.

James was the first cousin (twice removed) of Elizabeth and he was also the great grandson of Henry VIII’s sister Margaret Tudor who married James IV of Scotland.

As the first of the Stuart Kings of England, James VI/I will be the only monarch to feature in two sets of the Kings and Queens stamps. He will also appear on the House of Stuart stamps issued in October 2010. This, the fourth in the Kings and Queens series, looks at the Kings and Queens from James I up until the death of Queen Anne in 1714.
Kings and Queens, The House of Stewart is the full title of this issue.

Stewart to Stuart?

During her time in France, Mary I (or Mary Queen of Scots) 1542-1587, became the first member of the House of Stewart to use the Gallicised spelling Stuart. By the time of James VI/I it had to all intents and purposes replaced the earlier spelling.

Kings and Queens stamp issues – time line:

England 2008 Houses of Lancaster and York 1399 – 1485
2009 House of Tudor 1485 – 1603
Scotland 2010 House of Stewart 1406 – 1625
United Kingdom 2010 (June) House of Stuart 1603 – 1714
2011 House of Hanover 1714 – 1901

The series will culminate in 2012 with the House of Windsor.

Stamp design and background

The House of Stewart stamp issue was designed by Atelier Works who also designed the previous Kings and Queens issues the Houses of Lancaster and York and House of Tudor. There are seven stamps featuring contemporary portraits of the monarchs and a Miniature Sheet of four stamps featuring significant individuals and events from their reigns.

The events featured on the Miniature Sheet, also designed by Atelier Works, are: the Foundation of the University of St Andrews in 1413, the foundation of the College of Surgeons in 1505, the foundation of Court of Session in 1532, and the religious reformer John Knox.

Royal Mail is producing a Miniature Sheet, Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Cachet Cover, Press Sheet, a set of Stamp Cards and Handstamps, to accompany the Kings and Queens, The House of Stewart Special Stamp issue.

The fully illustrated Presentation Pack contains both the stamps and the Miniature Sheet, inside Professor Richard Oram of the University of Stirling, takes an in-depth look at the Stewarts and their turbulent times.

The Press Sheet consists of 21 uncut Miniature Sheets.

A total of twelve Stamp Cards will be available: 11 showing enlarged versions of the seven House of Stewart stamps and four Miniature Sheet stamps, and one featuring an image of the complete Miniature Sheet.

Stamp by stamp (Mint Stamps)

1st Class – James I (1406-1437)

James I (1394 – 21 February 1437) was nominal King of Scotland from 4 April 1406 until his death, although his effective reign only began in May 1424.

He spent the earlier part of his reign as a prisoner in England. On his release he made moves to create a strong centralised monarchy in Scotland, and was assassinated by dissident nobles.

1st Class – James II (1437-1460).

James II of Scotland (16 October 1430 – 3 August 1460) was the son of James I of Scotland and of Joan Beaufort (daughter of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and of Margaret Holland). He gained the nickname "Fiery face" because of a conspicuous vermilion birthmark on his face. He was killed by the accidental explosion of one of his own cannon at the siege of Roxburgh Castle in 1460.

1st Class – James III (1460-1488)

James III (1451/2 – 11 June 1488) was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family. By 1479 this alliance was collapsing. In 1482 leading his subjects against an English invasion, James was arrested at Lauder Bridge. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, and a new regime, led by 'lieutenant-general' Albany, became established.

James regained power, by December 1482 but he became estranged from his wife, Margaret of Denmark, and increasingly his eldest son, favouring his second son. Matters came to a head in 1488 when he faced an army raised by the disaffected nobles at the Battle of Sauchieburn, where he was defeated and killed. His heir, the future James IV, took arms against his father, provoked by the favouritism given to his younger brother.

62p – James IV (1488-1513)

James IV (17 March 1473 – 9 September 1513) was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from Great Britain to be killed in battle.

62p – James V (1513-1542)

James V (c. 10 April 1512 – 14 December 1542) was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 being just 17 months old when James IV died at Flodden Field, until his premature death at the age of thirty, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss.

81p – Mary (1542-1567)

Mary (popularly known as Mary, Queen of Scots) (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587) was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V. She was six days old when her father died and made her Queen of Scots.

In 1558, she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who ascended the French throne as Francis II in 1559. However, Mary was not Queen of France for long; she was widowed on 5 December 1560. After her husband's death, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith in 1561. Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Their union was unhappy and in 1567, Darnley was found dead in the garden at Kirk o'Field, after a huge explosion in the house. She then married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was generally believed to be Darnley's murderer. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle on 15 June and forced to abdicate the throne in favour of her one-year-old son, James VI. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England seeking protection from her father's first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, whose kingdom she hoped to inherit. Elizabeth, however, ordered her arrest, because of the threat presented by Mary, who was considered the rightful ruler of England by many English Catholics. After a long period of custody, she was tried and executed for treason following her involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth.

81p – James VI (1567-1625)

James VI (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI from 1567 to 1625, and King of England and Ireland as James I from 1603 to 1625.

He became King of Scotland as James VI on 24 July 1567, when he was just thirteen months old, succeeding his mother Mary, Queen of Scots. Regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1581. On 24 March 1603, as James I, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died without issue. He then ruled the kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland for 22 years, often using the title King of Great Britain, until his death at the age of 58.

Stamp by stamp (Miniature Sheet)

1st Class – St Andrews

Until the 15th century, the people of Scotland went to England or the Continent for a university education. Wishing to improve training of priests in his diocese, in 1410 the Bishop of St Andrews allowed teaching to start in his city. Papal approval of new universities was difficult to obtain, but the Scots used the split in the Church between supporters of rival popes to obtain a formal charter in 1413.

1st Class – College of Surgeons

In 1505, the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh were given the Seal of Cause and incorporated as a Craft Guild to promote and maintain the high standards of their trade. King James IV’s personal interest in the new science of medicine guaranteed his support, and in October 1506 a Royal Charter confirmed its formal establishment. Today it remains one of the world’s oldest surgical associations.

81p – Court of Session

The supreme civil court of Scotland originated during the reign of James I in ‘sessions’ of parliamentary committees for civil justice. By the reign of James IV a permanent panel of judges had emerged, but it was only in 1532 that the body was formalised, when James V created the College of Justice with 15 professional ‘Lords of Session’ funded by a tax on the Church.

81p – John Knox

After time as a galley slave, John Knox became a preacher in England. In 1553 he fled to Geneva, but six years later he returned to Scotland and had a key role in the revolution against French influence and Catholicism. As minister of Edinburgh, he helped to devise the framework of Scotland’s Protestant Church, but died in 1572 with his plans unrealised.

Product portfolio

Miniature Sheet

The Miniature Sheet is made up of four new stamps (2 x 1st and 2 x 81p) featuring events and individuals from the reign of the House of Stewart. The border design features a timeline of the period.

Presentation Pack No. 439

The fully illustrated Presentation Pack contains the seven Kings and Queens stamps and the Miniature Sheet on a separate designed carrier. Inside the fully illustrated pack there is an overview of the period by historian Professor Richard Oram. The pack was designed by Atelier Works and printed by Walsall Security Printers.

Press Sheet

The press sheet consists of 21 uncut Miniature Sheets.

Stamp Cards

A total of twelve Stamp Cards will be available: 11 showing enlarged versions of the seven House of Stewart stamps and four Miniature Sheet stamps, and one featuring an image of the complete Miniature Sheet. The cards will go on sale about a week before the stamp issue date. Printed by St Ives.

Mint Stamps - Technical Details:

Feature Type/Detail
Number of stamps Seven
Design Atelier Works
Acknowledgements portraits of James I, James II and James III by unknown artists © Scottish National Portrait Gallery; James IV, 1626–34, Daniel Mytens © Private Collection; James V, c.1537, Corneille de Lyon © Private Collection; Mary Queen of Scots, 1558, François Clouet, The Royal Collection © 2009 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; James VI, 1595, Adrian Vanson (attributed)© Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Stamp format Portrait
Stamp size 27mm x 37mm
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Print process Lithography
Number per sheet 25/50
Perforations 14 x 14
Phosphor Bars as appropriate

Miniature Sheet - Technical Details:

Feature Type/Detail
Number of stamps 4
Size of Sheet 123mm x 70mm
Design Atelier Works
Acknowledgements S Andre sive Andreapolis Scotiae Universitas Metropolitana, c.1580, John Geddy (1571–94) © National Library of Scotland; stained-glass window at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, 1897, by Moxon & Carfrae, photography by Peter Wood; Great South Window at Parliament House, Edinburgh, 1868, artist unknown, photography by Peter Wood; John Knox, 1505–72, 1580, artist unknown (after Adrian Vanson) © National Galleries of Scotland
Stamp format Portrait
Stamp size 27mm x 37mm
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Print process Lithography
Perforations 14 x 14
Phosphor Bars
Text © reproduced with the permission of Royal Mail Group Ltd. All rights reserved.