E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A strangely misspelled word, the last syllable being mistaken for the word reign. It is the Latin supern (supreme over all), with the p changed to v. The French souverain is nearer the Latin word; Italian, sovrano; Spanish, soberano.
Sovereign, a gold coin of the value of twenty shillings, was first issued by Henry VIII., and so called because he was represented on it in royal robes.