This elaborate family tree was designed and commissioned by John Speed (1552-1629), a prolific cartographer and protégé of Sir Fulke Greville (1554-1628). Like Greville, Speed favoured a protestant Stuart succession after the death of Elizabeth I (1533-1603). This family tree was therefore designed to justify the claim of James VI of Scotland (1566-1625) to the English throne.
At the top of the print are James VI and I and Queen Anne of Denmark. The genealogical tree of the Stuarts is woven into that of the Tudors. It shows that James is descended from Henry VII on both his father’s and his mother’s side. In this print, the Stuart dynasty has grown out of the Tudor dynasty.