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History of Scotland

History of Scotland

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Topographic map of Scotland

Topics: Period

Topics: Theme


The recorded History of Scotland begins in the Roman period, around the first century AD. As such it is a vast and multifaceted field, but one which has only become professionalised since the late nineteenth century. Traditionally concerned with political and religious issues, in recent decades historians have expanded the discipline into fields such as cultural history, oral history and the history of everyday life. This page provides a narrative overview of Scottish history.


Scotland was first decisively settled after the end of the last glacial period (in the paleolithic), roughly 10,000 years ago. Prehistoric Scotland entered the Neolithic Era about 4000 BC, the Bronze Age about 2000 BC, and the Iron Age around 700 BC. People lived in Scotland for at least 8,500 years before recorded history dealt with Britain. At times during the last interglacial period (130,000–70,000 BC) Europe had a climate warmer than today's, and early humans may have made their way to Scotland, with the discovery of ten pre-ice age axes on Orkney and mainland Scotland. Glaciers then scoured their way across most of Britain, and only after the ice retreated did Scotland again become habitable, around 9600 BC.<ref>F. Pryor, Britain B.C.: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans (Harper Collins, 2003), 99</ref> Mesolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, and archaeologists have dated an encampment near Biggar to around 8500 BC. <ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7992300.stm (accessed 24th June 2014)</ref>

Numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone, stone and antlers.<ref>P. J. Ashmore, Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland: an Authoritative and Lively Account of an Enigmatic Period of Scottish Prehistory (Batsford, 2003)</ref> The oldest house for which there is evidence in Britain is the oval structure of wooden posts found at South Queensferry near the Firth of Forth dating from the Mesolithic period, about 8240 BC.<ref>R. Gray, "Bridge works uncover nation's oldest house", Herald Scotland, 18 November 2012, (accessed 24th June 2014)</ref>The earliest stone structures are probably the three hearths found at Jura, dated to about 6000 BC.<ref> A. Moffat, Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History (Thames & Hudson, 2005), 90–1</ref>

Neolithic farming brought permanent settlements. Evidence of these includes the well-preserved stone house at Knap of Howar on Papa Westray, dating from around 3500 BC and the village of similar houses at Skara Brae on West Mainland, Orkney from about 500 years later.<ref>I. Maxwell, "A History of Scotland’s Masonry Construction" in P. Wilson, ed., Building with Scottish Stone (Arcamedia, 2005), 19</ref><ref>Pryor, Britain BC, 98–104 and 246–50</ref>The settlers introduced chambered cairn tombs from around 3500 BC, as at Maeshowe, and from about 3000 BC the many standing stones and circles such as those at Stenness on the mainland of Orkney, which date from about 3100 BC, of four stones, the tallest of which is 16 feet (5 m) in height.<ref>C. Wickham-Jones, Orkney: A Historical Guide (Birlinn, 2007), 28</ref>These were part of a pattern that developed in many regions across Europe at about the same time.<ref>F. Lynch, Megalithic Tombs and Long Barrows in Britain (Osprey, 1997), 9</ref>

The creation of cairns and Megalithic monuments continued into the Bronze Age, which began in Scotland about 2000 BC.<ref>C. Scarre, Monuments and Landscape in Atlantic Europe: Perception and Society During the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (Routledge, 2002), 125</ref>

As elsewhere in Europe, hill forts were first introduced in this period, including the occupation of Eildon Hill near Melrose in the Scottish Borders, from around 1000 BC, which accommodated several hundred houses on a fortified hilltop.<ref>Moffat, Before Scotland, 182</ref> From the Early and Middle Bronze Age there is evidence of cellular round houses of stone, as at Jarlshof and Sumburgh on Shetland.<ref>B. Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities in Britain: An Account of England, Scotland and Wales from the Seventh Century BC Until the Roman Conquest (Routledge, 2004), 60</ref>There is also evidence of the occupation of crannogs, roundhouses partially or entirely built on an artificial islands, usually in lakes, rivers and estuarine waters.<ref>N. Dixon The Crannogs of Scotland: An Underwater Archaeology (Tempus, 2004)</ref>

In the early Iron Age, from the seventh century BC, cellular houses begin to be replaced on the northern isles by simple Atlantic roundhouses, substantial circular buildings with a drystone construction. From about 400 BC more complex Atlantic roundhouses began to be built, as at Howe, Orkney and Crosskirk, Caithness.<ref>Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities in Britain, 325</ref> The most massive constructions that date from this era are the circular broch towers, probably dating from about 200 BC.

This period also saw the first wheelhouses, a roundhouse with a characteristic outer wall, within which was a circle of stone piers (bearing a resemblance to the spokes of a wheel), but these would flourish most in the era of Roman occupation. <ref>V. Turner, Ancient Shetland (B. T. Batsford/Historic Scotland, 1999), 81</ref> There is evidence for about 1,000 Iron Age hillforts in Scotland, most located below the Clyde-Forth line, which have suggested to some archaeologists the emergence of a society of petty rulers and warrior elites recognisable from Roman accounts. <ref>J-D. G. G. Lepage, British Fortifications Through the Reign of Richard III: An Illustrated History (McFarland, 2012), 25 and 31</ref>

Roman Scotland

The surviving pre-Roman accounts of Scotland originated with the Greek Pytheas of Massalia, who in sometime around 325 BC may have circumnavigated the British Islands, referring to them as Albion and Ierne (Britain and Ireland). By the time of Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79, Roman knowledge of the geography of Scotland had extended to the Hebudes (The Hebrides), Dumna (probably the Outer Hebrides), the Caledonian Forest and the people of the Caledonii, from whom the Romans named the region north of their control Caledonia.<ref>D. J. Breeze, "The ancient geography of Scotland" in B. B. Smith and I. Banks, In the Shadow of the Brochs (Tempus, 2002)11-13</ref>

Ptolemy, possibly drawing on earlier sources of information as well as more contemporary accounts from the Agricolan invasion, identified 18 tribes in Scotland in his Geography, but many of the names are obscure and the geography becomes less reliable in the north and west, suggesting early Roman knowledge of these area was confined to observations from the sea.<ref>List in Ptolemy's Geography -in Greek- of all tribes-cities of Albion, including non-Scots: Claudius Ptolemy (1843). "Book II, chapter γ', paragraphs 7-30". In Nobbe, Carolus Fridericus Augustus. Claudii Ptolemaei Geographia. vol.1. Leipzig: sumptibus et typis Caroli Tauchnitii. 70–73</ref>

The recorded history of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century. The Roman province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall, built in 142-3, which once ran from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth<ref>Michael Lynch, Scotland A New History (Pimlico, 1991) 9</ref>Later, the Romans would be forced back to Hadrian's Wall, which remained the northerly outpost of Empire.

The Roman invasion of Britain began in earnest in AD 43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province of Britannia in the south. By AD 71 the Roman governor Quintus Petillius Cerialis had launched an invasion of what is now Scotland. <ref>Alexander Moffat, Before Scotland, 229-33</ref> In 78 AD Gnaeus Julius Agricola arrived in Britain to take up his appointment as the new governor and began a series of major incursions. He is said to have pushed his armies to the estuary of the "River Taus" (usually assumed to be the River Tay) and established forts there, including a legionary fortress at Inchtuthil.

After his victory over the northern tribes at Mons Graupius in 84 AD, a series of forts and towers were established along the Gask Ridge, which marked the boundary between the Lowland and Highland zones, probably forming the first Roman limes or frontier in Scotland. Agricola's successors were unable or unwilling to further subdue the far north.<ref>Moffat, Before Scotland, 245</ref> By 87 AD the occupation was limited to the Southern Uplands and by the end of the first century the northern limit of Roman expansion was a line drawn between the Tyne and Solway Firth The Romans eventually withdrew to a line in what is now northern England, building the fortification known as Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast.

Around 141 AD the Romans undertook a reoccupation of southern Scotland, moving up to construct a new line between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, which became the Antonine Wall. The largest Roman construction inside Scotland, it is a sward-covered wall made of turf around 20 feet (6 m) high, with nineteen forts.The Antonine Wall was built in 142-3 and extended for 37 miles (60 km). <ref>Michael Lynch, Scotland, A New History, (Pimlico, 1991)9</ref> Having taken twelve years to build, the wall was abandoned, then reoccupied and abandoned again as part of a retreat to Hadrian's Wall. <ref>Lynch, New History, 9</ref> Roman troops penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times, with at least four major campaigns.<ref>A. S. Robertson, The Antonine Wall (Glasgow Archaeological Society, 1960), 37</ref>

The most notable invasion was in 209 when the emperor Septimius Severus led a major force north and forced treaties from the northern tribes, but this proved shortlived. <ref>Lynch, New History, 9</ref> It has been argued that Severus was attempting to create a 'Pale' between the walls. But following his death in 210 the Romans again retreated to Hadrian's wall, until it was eventually abandoned around 400.<ref>Lynch, New History, 9</ref> By the end of the fourth century the last Roman outposts in Scotland had been abandoned. <ref>Fitzroy McLean, A Concise History of Scotland, (Thames and Hudson) 1970, 13</ref>

Post Roman Scotland

Dumbarton Rock

Post-Roman Scotland was a patchwork of warring kingdoms. Traditionally these are said to have been united in the ninth century by Cinead McAlpin into the Kingdom of Alba. His grandson Constantine II (900-43) is now understood as a key figure, who created a 'new form of kingship'.<ref>Broun, "Constantine II". The nature of that kingdom is, however, still a matter of debate, see Woolf, Pictland to Alba, pp. 342–350; Grant, Alexander (2000), "The Construction of the Early Scottish State", in Maddicott, J. R.; Palliser, D. M., The Medieval State: Essays presented to James Campbell, London: Hambeldon</ref>However it has been argued that Scotland did not achieve the unity associated with a state until the mid-thirteenth century, and perhaps was not truly unified until the integration of the Highlands and Islands in the eighteenth century. <ref>R. Houston and W.W.J. Knox, The New Penguin History of Scotland (Penguin, National Museums of Scotland, 2001) xvi</ref>

In the centuries after the departure of the Romans from Britain, there were four groups within the borders of what is now Scotland. In the east were the Picts, with kingdoms between the river Forth and Shetland. In the late 6th century the dominant force was the Kingdom of Fortriu, whose lands were centred on Strathearn and Menteith and who raided along the eastern coast into modern England.<ref>A. P. Smyth, Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000 (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), 43-6</ref> There may have been the consolidation of a Pictish kingdom between the sixth and ninth centuries but this is thought unlikely to have accorded to neat territorial designations. <ref>Lynch, New History, 15</ref> In 685 Bridei mac Bile defeated Northumbrian invaders in Angus and as a result is said to have been acknowledged High King of the Picts. <ref>Lynch, New History, 20</ref> From the reign of Bridei the writers of the Irish Annals use the name Fortriu as synonymous with Pictland. <ref>Lynch, New History, 21</ref>

Pictish Stone on display in the National Museum of Scotland

In the west were the Gaelic (Goidelic)-speaking people of Dál Riata with their royal fortress at Dunadd in Argyll, with close links with the island of Ireland. Each of the three or more tribes of Dalriada had their own petty king and territory. The Cenel nOengusa occupied the island of Islay, the Cenel Lorne, Colonsay and Lorne and the Cenel nGabrain held Kintyre and modern day Bute, Cowal and Argyll. <ref>Lynch, New History, 17</ref>

Cenél nGabraín enjoyed the status of overlords and were supported in this by the clerics of Iona. It was said that Áedán mac Gabráin was ordained as overking of Dalriada in 573 by St. Columba on the explicit instructions of an angel from heaven.<ref>Lynch, New History, 17</ref>In the eighth and early ninth centuries the kingdom declined in the face of external pressures. In 714 Dalriata was subjected to 'smiting' by Oengus, King of the Picts. The last known king was Áed mac Boanta (d. 839) and it is thought the area fell under the influence of the Vikings subsequently.

To the south was the British (Brythonic) Kingdom of Strathclyde, descendants of the peoples of the Roman influenced kingdoms of "The Old North", often named Alt Clut, the Brythonic name for their capital at Dumbarton Rock. <ref>A. Macquarrie, "The kings of Strathclyde, c. 400-1018", in G. W. S. Barrow, A. Grant and K. J. Stringer, eds, Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community (Edinburgh University Press, 1998), 8</ref> After the sack of Dumbarton Rock by a Viking army from Dublin in 870, the name Strathclyde comes into use, perhaps reflecting a move of the centre of the kingdom to Govan. In the same period, it was also referred to as Cumbria, and its inhabitants as Cumbrians. During the High Middle Ages, the area was conquered by the Kingdom of Alba, becoming part of the new Kingdom of Scotland. It remained a distinctive area into the 12th century.

Finally, there were the English or "Angles", Germanic invaders who had overrun much of southern Britain and held the Kingdom of Bernicia, in the south-east. <ref>A. Grant, "The construction of the early Scottish state", in J. R. Maddicott and D. M. Palliser, eds, The Medieval State: Essays presented to James Campbell (Continuum, 2000), 48</ref>The first English king in the historical record is Ida, who is said to have obtained the throne and the kingdom about 547. Ida’s grandson, Æthelfrith, united his kingdom with Deira to the south to form Northumbria around the year 604. There were changes of dynasty, and the kingdom was divided, but it was re-united under Æthelfrith's son Oswald (r. 634-42)<ref> B. Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (Routledge, 2002), 78</ref>

Christianity arrived in Scotland during the forth and fifth centuries, spread by missionaries such as St. Ninian, associated with Whithorn and St. Columba, associated with Iona (521-597).<ref>Lynch, New History, 28</ref>These missions tended to found monastic institutions and collegiate churches that served large areas.<ref>T.O. Clancy, "The Scottish provenance of the ‘Nennian’ recension of Historia Brittonum and the Lebor Bretnach " in: S. Taylor, ed., Picts, Kings, Saints and Chronicles: A Festschrift for Marjorie O. Anderson (Four Courts, 2000), pp. 95–6, and Smyth, Warlords and Holy Men, 82–3</ref> Partly as a result of these factors, some scholars have identified a distinctive form of Celtic Christianity, in which abbots were more significant than bishops, attitudes to clerical celibacy were more relaxed and there was some significant differences in practice with Roman Christianity, particularly the form of tonsure and the method of calculating Easter, although most of these issues had been resolved by the mid-7th century.<ref>C. Corning, The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church (Macmillan, 2006)</ref>

The Kingdom of Alba

Artist's impression of the Battle of Brunanburh
Modern depiction of St. Margaret of Scotland

Conversion to Christianity may have speeded a long term process of Gaelicisation of the Pictish kingdoms, which adopted Gaelic language and customs. There was also a merger of the Gaelic and Pictish crowns, although historians debate whether it was a Pictish takeover of Dál Riata, or the other way around. This culminated in the rise of Cínaed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin) in the 840s, which brought to power the House of Alpin.<ref> B. Yorke, The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain c.600-800 (Pearson Education, 2006), 54</ref> Cínaed (d.848) ruled over what has been described as a 'lesser Scotland' comprising Pictland and Dalriata, covering the area between the Forth, Moray and the Central Highlands. <ref>Houston, Knox, New Penguin History, xvi</ref>

David I knighting a squire

When he died as king of the combined kingdom in 900, Domnall II (Donald II) was the first man to be called rí Alban (i.e. King of Alba).<ref>Lynch, New History, 40</ref> The term Scotia was increasingly used to describe the kingdom between North of the Forth and Clyde and eventually the entire area controlled by its kings was referred to as Scotland.<ref> B. Webster, Medieval Scotland: the Making of an Identity (St. Martin's Press, 1997), 22</ref> The long reign (900–942/3) of Causantín (Constantine II) is often regarded as the key to formation of the Kingdom of Alba. He was later credited with bringing Scottish Christianity into conformity with the Catholic Church. After fighting many battles, his defeat at Brunanburh was followed by his retirement as a Culdee monk at St. Andrews. <ref>A. Woolf, From Pictland to Alba: 789 - 1070 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 128</ref> The period between the accession of his successor Máel Coluim I (Malcolm I) and Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Malcolm II) was marked by good relations with the Wessex rulers of England, intense internal dynastic disunity and relatively successful expansionary policies.

Alexander III as a guest of Edward I of England

In 945, Máel Coluim I annexed Strathclyde as part of a deal with King Edmund of England, where the kings of Alba had probably exercised some authority since the later 9th century, an event offset somewhat by loss of control in Moray. The reign of King Donnchad I (Duncan I) from 1034 was marred by failed military adventures, and he was defeated and killed by MacBeth, the Mormaer of Moray, who became king in 1040.<ref>Hudson, Kings of Celtic Scotland, 124</ref> MacBeth ruled for seventeen years before he was overthrown by Máel Coluim, the son of Donnchad, who some months later defeated MacBeth's step-son and successor Lulach to become king Máel Coluim III (Malcolm III).<ref>J. D. Mackie, A History of Scotland (Pelican, 1964) 43</ref>

It was Máel Coluim III, who acquired the nickname "Canmore" (Cenn Mór, "Great Chief"), which he passed to his successors and who did most to create the Dunkeld dynasty that ruled Scotland for the following two centuries. Particularly important was his second marriage to the Anglo-Hungarian princess Margaret.<ref>Hudson, Kings of Celtic Scotland, 124</ref>This marriage, and raids on northern England, prompted William the Conqueror to invade and Máel Coluim submitted to his authority, opening up Scotland to later claims of sovereignty by English kings.<ref>Duncan, Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom, 120</ref>

When Malcolm died in 1093, his brother Domnall III (Donald III) succeeded him. However, William II of England backed Máel Coluim's son by his first marriage, Donnchad, as a pretender to the throne and he seized power. His murder within a few months saw Domnall restored with one of Máel Coluim sons by his second marriage, Edmund, as his heir. The two ruled Scotland until two of Edmund's younger brothers returned from exile in England, again with English military backing. Victorious, Edgar, the oldest of the three, became king in 1097. <ref>Webster, Medieval Scotland, 23-4</ref>

Shortly afterwards Edgar and the King of Norway, Magnus Bare Legs concluded a treaty recognizing Norwegian authority over the Western Isles. In practice Norse control of the Isles was loose, with local chiefs enjoying a high degree of independence. He was succeeded by his brother Alexander, who reigned 1107–24.<ref>A. Forte, R. D. Oram and F. Pedersen, Viking Empires (Cambridge University Press, 2005) 238</ref>

When Alexander died in 1124, the crown passed to Margaret's fourth son David I, who had spent most of his life as an English baron. His reign saw what has been characterised as a "Davidian Revolution", by which native institutions and personnel were replaced by English and French ones, underpinning the development of later Medieval Scotland. <ref> G. W. S. Barrow, "David I of Scotland: The Balance of New and Old", in G. W. S. Barrow, ed., Scotland and Its Neighbours in the Middle Ages, (Hambleton, 1992), 9–11</ref>

Members of the Anglo-Norman nobility took up places in the Scottish aristocracy and he introduced a system of feudal land tenure, which produced knight service, castles and an available body of heavily armed cavalry. He created an Anglo-Norman style of court, introduced the office of justicar to oversee justice, and local offices of sheriffs to administer localities. He established the first royal burghs in Scotland, granting rights to particular settlements, which led to the development of the first true Scottish towns and helped facilitate economic development as did the introduction of the first recorded Scottish coinage.

He was continued a process begun by his mother and brothers helping to establish foundations who brought reform to Scottish monasticism based on those at Cluny and he played a part in the organisation of diocese on lines closer to those in the rest of Western Europe.<ref>Webster, Medieval Scotland, 29-37</ref>These reforms were pursued under his successors and grandchildren Malcolm IV of Scotland and William I, with the crown now passing down the main line of descent through primogeniture, leading to the first of a series of minorities.<ref>Webster, Medieval Scotland, 23-4</ref>

The benefits of greater authority were reaped by William's son Alexander II and his son Alexander III, who pursued a policy of peace with England to expand their authority in the Highlands and Islands. By the reign of Alexander III, the Scots were in a position to annexe the remainder of the western seaboard, which they did following Haakon Haakonarson's ill-fated invasion and the stalemate of the Battle of Largs with the Treaty of Perth in 1266.<ref>A. Macquarrie, Medieval Scotland: Kinship and Nation (Sutton, 2004), 153</ref>

The Wars of Independence

See also: Medieval Scotland

The sudden death of Alexander III in 1286 and the death of his granddaughter and heir Margaret, 'Maid of Norway' in 1290, left 14 rivals for succession. To prevent civil war the Scottish magnates asked Edward I of England to arbitrate, for which he extracted legal recognition that the realm of Scotland was held as a feudal dependency to the throne of England before choosing John Balliol, the man with the strongest claim, who became king in 1292. <ref>R. Mitchison, A History of Scotland (Routledge, 3rd edn., 2002), 40</ref>

Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale, the next strongest claimant, accepted this outcome with reluctance. Over the next few years Edward I used the concessions he had gained to systematically undermine both the authority of King John and the independence of Scotland. <ref> Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 42</ref> In 1295 John, on the urgings of his chief councillors, entered into an alliance with France, provoking Edward I to invade and depose King John. The following year the knights William Wallace and Andrew de Moray raised forces to resist the occupation and under their joint leadership an English army was defeated at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. For a short time Wallace ruled Scotland in the name of John Balliol as Guardian of the realm. Edward came north in person and defeated Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk (1298). <ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 43-4</ref> Wallace escaped but in 1305 he fell into the hands of the English, who executed him for treason despite the fact that he owed no allegiance to England.

John Comyn, brother in law of John Balliol, and Robert the Bruce, grandson of the claimant, were appointed as joint guardians in his place. <ref>David R. Ross, On the Trail of Robert the Bruce (Dundurn Press, 1999), 21</ref> In February 1306 Bruce and Comyn met at Greyfriars Church, Dumfries, and during the resulting quarrel Bruce stabbed Comyn to death. <ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 65</ref> Less than seven weeks later, on 25 March, Bruce was crowned as King. However, Edward's forces overran the country after defeating Bruce's small army at the Battle of Methven. <ref>G. W. S. Barrow, Robert Bruce (Berkeley CA.: University of California Press, 1965), 216</ref>

Despite the excommunication of Bruce and his followers by Pope Clement V, his support slowly strengthened; and by 1314 with the help of leading nobles such as Sir James Douglas and Thomas Randolph only the castles at Bothwell and Stirling remained under English control.<ref> G. W. S. Barrow, Robert Bruce (Berkeley CA.: University of California Press, 1965), 273</ref>

Artist's impression of the Battle of Bannockburn

Edward I had died in 1307. His heir Edward II moved an army north to break the siege of Stirling Castle and reassert control. Robert defeated that army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, securing de facto independence.<ref> G. W. S. Barrow, Robert Bruce (Berkeley CA.: University of California Press, 1965), 273</ref> In 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath, a remonstrance to the Pope from the nobles of Scotland, helped convince Pope John XXII to overturn the earlier excommunication and nullify the various acts of submission by Scottish kings to English ones so that Scotland's sovereignty could be recognised by the major European dynasties. The Declaration has also been seen as one of the most important documents in the development of a Scottish national identity.<ref>M. Brown, The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371 (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), 217</ref> Michael Lynch considers the Declaration to have in its language a 'timeless appeal' and an ability to condense national mythology into around 1,200 words. <ref>Lynch, New History, 111</ref>

In 1326, what may have been the first full Parliament of Scotland met. The parliament had evolved from an earlier council of nobility and clergy, the colloquium, constituted around 1235, but perhaps in 1326 representatives of the burghs — the burgh commissioners — joined them to form the Three Estates.<ref>Alan R. MacDonald, The Burghs and Parliament in Scotland, c. 1550-1651 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 14</ref> In 1328, Edward III signed the Treaty of Northampton acknowledging Scottish independence under the rule of Robert the Bruce. <ref>M. H. Keen, England in the Later Middle Ages: a Political History (Routledge, 2nd edn., 2003), 86-8</ref>

However, four years after Robert's death in 1329, England once more invaded on the pretext of restoring Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol, to the Scottish throne, thus starting the Second War of Independence. Despite victories at Dupplin Moor and Halidon Hill, in the face of tough Scottish resistance led by Sir Andrew Murray, the son of Wallace's comrade in arms, successive attempts to secure Balliol on the throne failed.Edward III lost interest in the fate of his protégé after the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War with France.<ref>M. H. Keen, England in the Later Middle Ages: a Political History (Routledge, 2nd edn., 2003), 86-8</ref> and the more lucerative prospect of ransoming King David II of Scotland, who had been captured by the English at the Battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham. <ref>Lynch, New History, 130</ref> Edward Balliol eventually resigned all claims to the throne in 1356, while David II eventually returned to Scotland in 1357 on the payment of a large ransom. <ref>Lynch, New History, 130, 132</ref>

Early Stewart Kings

See also: Medieval Scotland

Following the death of David II, Robert, High Steward of Scotland come to the throne in 1371, as Robert II, the first of the Stewart kings. Robert is mostly remembered for his fathering of twenty one children, which he used as an instrument of increasing royal influence. <ref>Lynch, New History, 133</ref>He was followed in 1390 by his ailing son John, who took the regnal name Robert III.

The new king had been seriously injured by a kick from a horse in 1388 and may never have recovered.<ref>Lynch, New History, 140</ref> Robert did however attempt to maintain authority in the face of his restive subjects and powerful relatives. In 1396 he presided,with court and foreign guests, over a set piece fight to the death between the warring Clans Chattan and Kay in Perth. <ref>Lynch, New History, 140</ref> For much of his reign actual power rested with his brother, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany.<ref>S. H. Rigby, A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003), 301-2</ref>

After the suspicious death (possibly on the orders of the Duke of Albany) of his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay in 1402, Robert, fearful for the safety of his younger son, the future James I, sent him to France in 1406. However, the English captured him en route and he spent the next 18 years as a prisoner held for ransom. Within three weeks of this catastrophe Robert III was dead, in his own epitaph: 'Here lies the worst of kings and the most wretched of men in the whole realm'. <ref>Lynch, New History, 141</ref>

As a result, after the death of Robert III, regents ruled Scotland: first, the Duke of Albany; and later his son Murdoch. When Scotland finally paid the ransom in 1424, James, aged 32, returned with his English bride determined to assert this authority.<ref>S. H. Rigby, A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003), 301-2</ref>James took revenge on the Albany family, executing Murdoch and several others.

James has been described as the most enigmatic of the Stewart kings. <ref>Lynch, New History, 144</ref> The king was a talented musician and poet, author of the Kingis Quair, a skilled archer and active in lawmaking. <ref>Lynch, New History, 144</ref> A contrary impression was recorded by Aeneas Sylvius (later Pope Pius II) who visited Scotland in 1435-6.<ref>Lynch, New History, 144</ref> He described James as thick set, fat and vindictive in nature. <ref>Lynch, New History, 144</ref> Despite dynastic successes such as the marriage of his eldest daughter to the son of the King of France in 1436 and the birth of a surviving male heir, James' financial rapacity and ineptitude as a military commander against the English led to his assassination at Perth in 1437. <ref>Lynch, New History, 145</ref>

James IV

His son James II (reigned 1437–1460), when he came of age in 1449, continued his father's policy of weakening the great noble families, most notably taking on the powerful Black Douglas family that had come to prominence at the time of the Bruce. Portrayed in a surviving image as 'confident, ruthless figure' James spent much of his short reign at war with the English or his own subjects. <ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 166</ref> James personally assassinated the rival Earl of Douglas in 1452.<ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 166</ref> He was killed by an exploding cannon in 1460. His successor, James III achieved a significant acquisition of territory when he married married Margaret of Denmark, receiving the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands in payment of her dowry.<ref>Roger A. Mason, Scots and Britons: Scottish political thought and the union of 1603 (Cambridge University Press, 1994) 162</ref>

Berwick upon Tweed was captured by England in 1482. With the death of James III in 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn, his successor James IV successfully ended the quasi-independent rule of the Lord of the Isles, bringing the Western Isles under effective Royal control for the first time. In 1503, he married Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, thus laying the foundation for the 17th century Union of the Crowns. <ref> Roger A. Mason, Scots and Britons: Scottish political thought and the union of 1603 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), 162</ref>

The Renaissance

From the early fourteenth century the ideas of the European Renaissance came to influence the Scottish monarchy and nobility, leading to a 'significant flowering' of literature, notably poetry and drama. <ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 270</ref> James I composed a notable love poem: 'The Kingis Quair' and possibly others.<ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 270</ref> Poets and scholars included the cleric and poet Gavin Douglas (1474-1522) William Dunbar (b.1459) and Alexander Scott (1520-83) produced works, but the most significant product of the era is the work of Sir David Lindsay (1490-1555).

His verse play 'An Satyre on Thrie Estates' openly criticised elite corruption.<ref>Donnachie, Hunt, Companion, 271</ref> the Stewart monarchs embarked on expensive building campaigns at Linlithgow, Stirling and Falkland Palaces. The famous 'Stirling Heads' are considered some of the finest artistic survivals of the period and have recently been restored. <ref>Donnachie, Hewitt, Companion, 270</ref><ref>http://www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/stirlingheadsgallery (accessed 17th June 2014)</ref>

Scotland advanced markedly in educational terms during the 15th century with the founding of the University of St Andrews in 1413, the University of Glasgow in 1450 and the University of Aberdeen in 1495, and with the passing of the Education Act 1496, which decreed that all sons of barons and freeholders of substance should attend grammar schools. <ref>P. J. Bawcutt and J. H. Williams, A Companion to Medieval Scottish Poetry (DS Brewer, 2006), 30</ref>

Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

James V

Early Modern Scotland

The reign of James IV is often considered to represent a high point in Scottish cultural and political achievement. However it would come to a sudden end due to the French alliance against England. When the French were attacked by the English under Henry VIII, James IV invaded England in support. The invasion was stopped decisively at the Battle of Flodden Field during which the King, many of his nobles, and a large number of ordinary troops were killed. Once again Scotland's government lay in the hands of regents in the name of the infant James V. <ref> G. Menzies The Scottish Nation (Edinburgh University Press, 2002), 179</ref>

James V finally managed to escape from the custody of the regents in 1528. He continued his father's policy of subduing the rebellious Highlands, Western and Northern isles and the troublesome borders. <ref> M. Nicholls, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1529-1603: the Two Kingdoms (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999), 82-4</ref>He also continued the French alliance, marrying first the French noblewoman Madeleine of Valois and then after her death Marie of Guise. <ref>M. Nicholls, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1529-1603: the Two Kingdoms (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999) 87</ref>

The Earl of Arran

James's short and turbulent reign ended after a 'complete breakdown' in relations with Henry IIIV of England after he failed to show at a proposed meeting between the two kings in 1541. <ref>Hunt, Donnachie, Companion, 171</ref> The resultant Battle of Solway Moss was another major defeat for the Scots and James V died several weeks afterwards, a demise blamed by contemporaries on "a broken heart". The day before his death, he was brought news of the birth of an heir: a daughter, who would become Mary, Queen of Scots.<ref> M. Nicholls, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1529-1603: the Two Kingdoms (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999), 87</ref>

Mary, Queen of Scots

Once again, Scotland was in the hands of a regent. Within two years, the Rough Wooing began, Henry VIII's military attempt to force a marriage between Mary and his son, Edward. This took the form of border skirmishing and several English campaigns into Scotland. In 1547, after the death of Henry VIII, forces under the English regent Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset were victorious at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the climax of the Rough Wooing, and followed up by the occupation of Haddington.

Mary was then sent to France at the age of five, as the intended bride of the heir to the French throne. Her mother, Mary of Guise, stayed in Scotland to look after the interests of Mary — and of France — although the Earl of Arran acted officially as regent.<ref>Dawson, Scotland Re-formed, 1488-1587</ref>

Guise responded by calling on French troops, who helped stiffen resistance to the English occupation. By 1550, after a change of regent in England, the English withdrew from Scotland completely. From 1554, Marie de Guise, took over the regency, and continued to advance French interests in Scotland. French cultural influence resulted in a large influx of French vocabulary into Scots. But anti-French sentiment also grew, particularly among Protestants, who saw the English as their natural allies. In 1560 Marie de Guise died, and soon after the Auld Alliance also ended, with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh, which provided for the removal of French and English troops from Scotland. The Scottish Reformation took place only days later when the Scottish Parliament abolished the Roman Catholic religion and outlawed the Mass. <ref>Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, 115-17</ref>

Meanwhile Queen Mary had been raised as a Catholic in France, and married to the Dauphin, who became king as Francis II in 1559, making her queen consort of France.<ref>J. E. A. Dawson, Scotland Re-Formed, 1488-1587 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 208</ref> When Francis died in 1560, Mary, now 19, returned to Scotland to take up the government. Despite her private religion, she did not attempt to re-impose Catholicism on her largely Protestant subjects, thus angering the chief Catholic nobles.

Her six-year personal reign was marred by a series of crises, largely caused by the intrigues and rivalries of the leading nobles. The murder of her secretary, David Riccio, was followed by that of her unpopular second husband Lord Darnley, and her abduction by and marriage to the Earl of Bothwell, who was implicated in Darnley's murder. Mary and Bothwell confronted the lords at Carberry Hill and after their forces melted away, he fled and she was captured by Bothwell's rivals. Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, and in July 1567, was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James VI.<ref> D. H. Willson, King James VI & I (Jonathan Cape, [1956] 1963), 19</ref>

Mary eventually escaped and attempted to regain the throne by force. After her defeat at the Battle of Langside in 1568, she took refuge in England, leaving her young son in the hands of regents. In Scotland the regents fought a civil war on behalf of James VI against his mother's supporters. In England, Mary became a focal point for Catholic conspirators and was eventually tried for treason and executed on the orders of her kinswoman Elizabeth I of England.

The Reformation

The Reformation

John Knox

During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominately Calvinist national Kirk, which became Presbyterian in outlook and severely reduced the powers of bishops. In the earlier part of the century, the teachings of first Martin Luther and then John Calvin began to influence Scotland, particularly through Scottish scholars, often training for the priesthood, who had visited Continental universities.

The Lutheran preacher Patrick Hamilton was executed for heresy in St. Andrews in 1528.<ref>Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, 102–4</ref> The execution of others, especially the Zwingli-influenced George Wishart, who was burnt at the stake on the orders of Cardinal Beaton in 1546, angered Protestants. Wishart's supporters assassinated Beaton soon after and seized St. Andrews Castle, which they held for a year before they were defeated with the help of French forces. The survivors, including chaplain John Knox, were condemned to be galley slaves in France, stoking resentment of the French and creating martyrs for the Protestant cause.<ref> M. F. Graham, "Scotland", in A. Pettegree, The Reformation World (Routledge, 2000), 414</ref>

Limited toleration and the influence of exiled Scots and Protestants in other countries, led to the expansion of Protestantism, with a group of lairds declaring themselves Lords of the Congregation in 1557 and representing their interests politically. The collapse of the French alliance and English intervention in 1560 meant that a relatively small, but highly influential, group of Protestants were in a position to impose reform on the Scottish church. A confession of faith, rejecting papal jurisdiction and the mass, was adopted by Parliament in 1560, while the young Mary, Queen of Scots, was still in France.<ref>Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community, 120-1</ref>

Knox, having escaped the galleys and spent time in Geneva as a follower of Calvin, emerged as the most significant figure of the period. The Calvinism of the reformers led by Knox resulted in a settlement that adopted a Presbyterian system and rejected most of the elaborate trappings of the medieval church. The reformed Kirk gave considerable power to local lairds, who often had control over the appointment of the clergy.

There were widespread, but generally orderly outbreaks of iconoclasm. At this point the majority of the population was probably still Catholic in persuasion and the Kirk found it difficult to penetrate the Highlands and Islands, but began a gradual process of conversion and consolidation that, compared with reformations elsewhere, was conducted with relatively little persecution.

Seventeenth Century

Early Modern Scotland

Riot against the Anglican Prayer Book in Edinburgh

In 1603, James VI King of Scots, inherited the throne of the Kingdom of England, and became King James I of England, leaving Edinburgh for London, uniting England and Scotland under one monarch. <ref> Ross, David (2002). Chronology of Scottish History. Geddes & Grosset. p. 56. "1603: James VI becomes James I of England in the Union of the Crowns, and leaves Edinburgh for London"</ref> The Union was a personal or dynastic union, with the Crowns remaining both distinct and separate—despite James's best efforts to create a new "imperial" throne of "Great Britain".<ref>D. L. Smith, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1603-1707: The Double Crown (1998), ch. 2</ref> The acquisition of the Irish crown along with the English, facilitated a process of settlement by Scots in what was historically the most troublesome area of the kingdom in Ulster, with perhaps 50,000 Scots settling in the province by the mid-17th century.<ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 175</ref> Attempts to found a Scottish colony in North America in Nova Scotia were largely unsuccessful, with insufficient funds and willing colonists. <ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 176</ref>

The era of the Union of the Crowns was dominated by religious conflict and violence. In Scotland this was sparked by the attempts of the Stuart monarchs to achieve religious uniformity between Scotland and England. Although James had tried to get the Scottish Church to accept some of the High Church Anglicanism of his southern kingdom, he met with limited success. His son and successor, Charles I, took matters further, introducing an English-style Prayer Book into the Scottish church in 1637. This resulted in anger and widespread rioting. <ref>J. D. Mackie, B. Lenman and G. Parker, A History of Scotland (Penguin, 1991), 203</ref>

Representatives of various sections of Scottish society drew up the National Covenant in 1638, objecting to the King's liturgical innovations. In November of the same year matters were taken even further, when at a meeting of the General Assembly in Glasgow the Scottish bishops were formally expelled from the Church, which was then established on a full Presbyterian basis. <ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 205-6</ref> Charles gathered a military force; but as neither side wished to push the matter to a full military conflict, a temporary settlement was concluded at Pacification of Berwick.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 205-6</ref>

In 1640 open hostilities broke out between Scotland and England over religious practice, known as the Bishop's Wars. Charles's northern forces were defeated by the Scots at the Battle of Newburn to the west of Newcastle.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 208-9</ref> Charles tried to raise an army of Irish Catholics, but was forced to back down after a storm of protest in Scotland and England. The backlash from this venture provoked a rebellion in Ireland and Charles was forced to appeal to the English Parliament for funds. Parliament's demands for reform in England eventually resulted in the English Civil War. This series of civil wars that engulfed England, Ireland and Scotland in the 1640s and 1650s is known to modern historians as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. <ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 209-10</ref>

Charles II

The execution of Charles I in 1649 was carried out in the face of objections by the Scottish Covenanter government and his son was immediately proclaimed as King Charles II in Edinburgh. Oliver Cromwell led an invasion of Scotland in 1650, and defeated the Scottish army at Dunbar and then defeated a Scottish invasion of England at Worcester on 3 September 1651 (the anniversary of his victory at Dunbar). Cromwell emerged as the leading figure in the English government and Scotland was occupied by an English force under George Monck. The country was incorporated into the Puritan-governed Commonwealth and lost its independent church, government parliament and legal system, but gained access to English markets.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 221-4</ref>Various attempts were made to legitimise the union, calling representatives from the Scottish burghs and shires to negotiations and to various English parliaments, where they were always under-represented and had little opportunity for dissent. However, final ratification was delayed by Cromwell's problems with his various parliaments and the union did not become the subject of an act until 1657 (see Tender of Union).<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 225-6</ref>

After the death of Cromwell and the regime's collapse, Charles II was restored in 1660 and Scotland again became an independent kingdom.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 225-6</ref> Scotland regained its system of law, parliament and kirk, but also the Lords of the Articles (by which the crown managed parliament), bishops and a king who did not visit the country. He ruled largely without reference to Parliament, through a series of commissioners. These began with John, Earl of Middleton and ended with the king's brother and heir, James, Duke of York (known in Scotland as the Duke of Albany).<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 239</ref>

The restoration of episcopacy was a source of trouble, particularly in the south-west of the country, an area with strong Presbyterian sympathies. Abandoning the official church, many of the inhabitants began to attend illegal field assemblies, known as conventicles.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 253</ref> Official attempts to suppress these led to a rising in 1679, defeated by James, Duke of Monmouth, the King's illegitimate son, at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 238</ref> In the early 1680s a more intense phase of persecution began, later to be called "the Killing Time". When Charles died in 1685 and his brother, a Roman Catholic, succeeded him as James VII of Scotland (and II of England), matters came to a head.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 241</ref>

When in 1688, James produced a male heir it was clear that his policies would outlive him. An invitation by seven leading Englishmen led William to land in England with 40,000 men, and James fled, leading to the almost bloodless "Glorious Revolution". James was deposed from the throne and fled to the Continent. However he still had a significant following, particularly in the Highlands. His cause, which became known as Jacobitism, from the Latin (Jacobus) for James, led to a series of risings. An initial Jacobite military attempt was led by John Graham, Viscount Dundee. His forces, almost all Highlanders, defeated William's forces at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, but they took heavy losses and Dundee was slain in the fighting. Without his leadership the Jacobite army was soon defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 283-4</ref> In the aftermath of the Jacobite defeat on 13 February 1692 in an incident known as the Massacre of Glencoe, 38 members of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by members of the Earl of Argyll's Regiment of Foot, on the grounds that they had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 287-8</ref>

The closing decade of the 17th century saw the generally favourable economic conditions that had dominated since the Restoration come to an end. There was a slump in trade with the Baltic and France from 1689–91, caused by French protectionism and changes in the Scottish cattle trade, followed by four years of failed harvests (1695, 1696 and 1698-9), an era known as the "seven ill years".<ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 291-2 and 301-2</ref>The result was severe famine and depopulation, particularly in the north.<ref>K. J. Cullen, Famine in Scotland: The “Ill Years” of the 1690s (Edinburgh University Press, 2010).</ref>The Parliament of Scotland of 1695 enacted proposals that might help the desperate economic situation including setting up the Bank of Scotland. The "Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies" received a charter to raise capital through public subscription.<ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 314</ref>

Act of Union

By the start of the 18th century, a political union between Scotland and England became politically and economically attractive, promising to open up the much larger markets of England, as well as those of the growing British Empire. With economic stagnation since the late 17th century, which was particularly acute in 1704; the country depended more and more heavily on sales of cattle and linen to England, who used this to create pressure for a union.<ref> R. Mitchison, Lordship to Patronage, Scotland 1603–1745 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1983), 143</ref>

The Scottish parliament voted on 6 January 1707, by 110 to 69, to adopt the Treaty of Union. It was also a full economic union; indeed, most of its 25 articles dealt with economic arrangements for the new state known as "Great Britain". It added 45 Scots to the 513 members of the House of Commons and 16 Scots to the 190 members of the House of Lords, and ended the Scottish parliament. It also replaced the Scottish systems of currency, taxation and laws regulating trade with laws made in London. Scottish law remained separate from English law, and the religious system was not changed. England had about five times the population of Scotland at the time, and about 36 times as much wealth.

Eighteenth Century

Scotland was a poor rural, agricultural society with a population of 1.3 million in 1755. Although Scotland lost home rule, Union allowed it to break free of a stultifying system and opened the way for the Scottish enlightenment as well as a great expansion of trade and increase in opportunity and wealth. Edinburgh economist Adam Smith concluded in 1776 that "By the union with England, the middling and inferior ranks of people in Scotland gained a complete deliverance from the power of an aristocracy which had always before oppressed them."<ref>S. J. Brown, "Religion and society to c. 1900", in T. M. Devine and J. Wormald, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 81</ref>

Historian Jonathan Israel holds that the Union "proved a decisive catalyst politically and economically," by allowing ambitious Scots entry on an equal basis to a rich expanding empire and its increasing trade.<ref>S. J. Brown, "Religion and society to c. 1900", in T. M. Devine and J. Wormald, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 81</ref> Scotland's transformation into a rich leader of modern industry came suddenly and unexpectedly in the next 150 years, following its union with England in 1707 and its integration with the advanced English and imperial economies. <ref>S. J. Brown, "Religion and society to c. 1900", in T. M. Devine and J. Wormald, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 81</ref> The transformation was led by two cities that grew rapidly after 1770. Glasgow, on the river Clyde, was the base for the tobacco and sugar trade with an emerging textile industry. Edinburgh was the administrative and intellectual centre where the Scottish Enlightenment was chiefly based.

1689 Map of Scotland

With the advent of the Union and the demise of Jacobitism, access to London and the Empire opened up very attractive career opportunities for ambitious middle-class and upper-class Scots, who seized the chance to become entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and soldiers.<ref>T. M. Divine, The Scottish Nation (Viking, 1999), 22-25</ref>Thousands of Scots, mainly Lowlanders, took up positions of power in politics, civil service, the army and navy, trade, economics, colonial enterprises and other areas across the nascent British Empire. Historian Neil Davidson notes that “after 1746 there was an entirely new level of participation by Scots in political life, particularly outside Scotland”.

Davidson also states that “far from being ‘peripheral’ to the British economy, Scotland – or more precisely, the Lowlands – lay at its core”.<ref>N. Davidson, The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (Pluto Press, 2000), 94–5</ref> British officials especially appreciated Scottish soldiers. As the Secretary of War told Parliament in 1751, "I am for having always in our army as many Scottish soldiers as possible...because they are generally more hardy and less mutinous".<ref>Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (Yale University Press, 1992), 120</ref>

The national policy of aggressively recruiting Scots for senior civilian positions stirred up resentment among Englishmen, ranging from violent diatribes by John Wilkes, to vulgar jokes and obscene cartoons in the popular press, and the haughty ridicule by intellectuals such as Samuel Johnson that was much resented by Scots. In his great Dictionary Johnson defined oats as, "a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." To which Lord Elibank retorted, "Very true, and where will you find such men and such horses?"<ref>William Prideaux Courtney and David Nichol Smith, A Bibliography of Samuel Johnson (1915), 47</ref>

Scottish politics in the late 18th century was dominated by the Whigs, with the benign management of Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682–1761), who was in effect the "viceroy of Scotland" from the 1720s until his death in 1761. Scotland generally supported the king with enthusiasm during the American Revolution. Henry Dundas (1742–1811) dominated political affairs in the latter part of the century. Dundas put a brake on intellectual and social change through his ruthless manipulation of patronage in alliance with Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, until he lost power in 1806.<ref>B. P. Lenman, Enlightenment and Change: Scotland 1746-1832 (2nd ed. 2009)</ref>

The main unit of local government was the parish, and since it was also part of the church, the elders imposed public humiliation for what the locals considered immoral behaviour, including fornication, drunkenness, wife beating, cursing and Sabbath breaking. The main focus was on the poor and the landlords ("lairds") and gentry, and their servants, were not subject to the parish's control. The policing system weakened after 1800 and disappeared in most places by the 1850s.<ref> T. M. Devine, The Scottish Nation, 84-89</ref>


Jacobitism was revived by the unpopularity of the union.<ref>M. Pittock, Jacobitism (St. Martin's Press, 1998), 32</ref> In 1708 James Francis Edward Stuart, the son of James VII, who became known as "The Old Pretender", attempted an invasion with a French fleet carrying 6,000 men, but the Royal Navy prevented it from landing troops.<ref>Pittock, Jacobitism, 33</ref> A more serious attempt occurred in 1715, soon after the death of Anne and the accession of the first Hanoverian king, the eldest son of Sophie, as George I of Great Britain.

This rising (known as The 'Fifteen) envisaged simultaneous uprisings in Wales, Devon, and Scotland. However, government arrests forestalled the southern ventures. In Scotland, John Erskine, Earl of Mar, nicknamed Bobbin' John, raised the Jacobite clans but proved to be an indecisive leader and an incompetent soldier. Mar captured Perth, but let a smaller government force under the Duke of Argyll hold the Stirling plain.

Part of Mar's army joined up with risings in northern England and southern Scotland, and the Jacobites fought their way into England before being defeated at the Battle of Preston, surrendering on 14 November 1715. The day before, Mar had failed to defeat Argyll at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. At this point, James belatedly landed in Scotland, but was advised that the cause was hopeless. He fled back to France. An attempted Jacobite invasion with Spanish assistance in 1719 met with little support from the clans and ended in defeat at the Battle of Glen Shiel.<ref>Mitchison, A History of Scotland, 269-74</ref>

In 1745 the Jacobite rising known as The 'Forty-Five began. Charles Edward Stuart, son of the Old Pretender, often referred to as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, landed on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides.<ref>M. McLaren, Bonnie Prince Charlie (Dorset Press, 1972), 39-40</ref> Several clans unenthusiastically joined him. At the outset he was successful, taking Edinburgh and then defeating the only government army in Scotland at the Battle of Prestonpans.<ref>McLaren, Bonnie Prince Charlie, 69-75</ref>The Jacobite army marched into England, took Carlisle and advanced as far as south as Derby. However, it became increasingly evident that England would not support a Roman Catholic Stuart monarch. The Jacobite leadership had a crisis of confidence and they retreated to Scotland as two English armies closed in and Hanoverian troops began to return from the continent.<ref>McLaren, Bonnie Prince Charlie, 98-108</ref> Charles' position in Scotland began to deteriorate as the Whig supporters rallied and regained control of Edinburgh. After an unsuccessful attempt on Stirling, he retreated north towards Inverness. He was pursued by the Duke of Cumberland and gave battle with an exhausted army at Culloden on 16 April 1746, where the Jacobite cause was crushed.<ref>McLaren, Bonnie Prince Charlie, 145-150</ref>

Charles hid in Scotland with the aid of Highlanders until September 1746, when he escaped back to France.<ref>McLaren, Bonnie Prince Charlie, 157-62</ref> There were bloody reprisals against his supporters and foreign powers abandoned the Jacobite cause, with the court in exile forced to leave France. The Old Pretender died in 1760 and the Young Pretender, without legitimate issue, in 1788. When his brother, Henry, Cardinal of York, died in 1807, the Jacobite cause was at an end.<ref>Mackie, Lenman and Parker, A History of Scotland, 298</ref>

Scottish Enlightenment

Historian Jonathan Israel argues that by 1750 Scotland's major cities had created an intellectual infrastructure of mutually supporting institutions, such as universities, reading societies, libraries, periodicals, museums and masonic lodges. The Scottish network was 'predominantly liberal Calvinist, Newtonian, and 'design' oriented in character which played a major role in the further development of the transatlantic Enlightenment'. <ref> Israel, Jonathan (2011). Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights 1750-1790. Oxford UP. 233</ref>

In France Voltaire said 'we look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization',and the Scots in turn paid close attention to French ideas.<ref>Harrison, Lawrence E. (2012). Jews, Confucians, and Protestants: Cultural Capital and the End of Multiculturalism. (Rowman & Littlefield) 92</ref> Historian Bruce Lenman says their "central achievement was a new capacity to recognize and interpret social patterns.<ref>R.A. Houston and W.W.J. Knox, The New Penguin History of Scotland (2001) 342</ref> The first major philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment was Francis Hutcheson, who held the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1729 to 1746. A moral philosopher who produced alternatives to the ideas of Thomas Hobbes, one of his major contributions to world thought was the utilitarian and consequentialist principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, 'the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers'.

Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method (the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience, and causation) and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion were developed by his protégés David Hume and Adam Smith.<ref>The Scottish enlightenment and the challenges for Europe in the 21st century; climate change and energy", The New Yorker, 11 October 2004, archived from the original on 17 May 2011</ref> Hume became a major figure in the skeptical philosophical and empiricist traditions of philosophy. He and other Scottish Enlightenment thinkers developed what he called a 'science of man', which was expressed historically in works by authors including James Burnett, Adam Ferguson, John Millar and William Robertson, all of whom merged a scientific study of how humans behave in ancient and primitive cultures with a strong awareness of the determining forces of modernity.

Modern sociology largely originated from this movement and Hume's philosophical concepts that directly influenced James Madison (and thus the U.S. Constitution) and when popularised by Dugald Stewart, would be the basis of classical liberalism.<ref>A. Swingewood, "Origins of Sociology: The Case of the Scottish Enlightenment", The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 21, no. 2 (June 1970), pp. 164-80 in JSTOR</ref><ref>D. Daiches, P. Jones and J. Jones, A Hotbed of Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment, 1730-1790 (1986)</ref> Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, often considered the first work on modern economics. It had an immediate impact on British economic policy and in the 21st century still framed discussions on globalisation and tariffs. The focus of the Scottish Enlightenment ranged from intellectual and economic matters to the specifically scientific as in the work of the physician and chemist William Cullen, the agriculturalist and economist James Anderson,chemist and physician Joseph Black, natural historian John Walker and James Hutton, the first modern geologist.

Early Industrialisation

Tobacco ships at Port Glasgow

With tariffs with England now abolished, the potential for trade for Scottish merchants was considerable. However, Scotland in 1750 was still a poor rural, agricultural society with a population of 1.3 million.<ref> Henry Hamilton, An Economic History of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (1963)</ref>Some progress was visible: agriculture in the Lowlands was steadily upgraded after 1700 and standards remained high.

There were the sales of linen and cattle to England, the cash flows from military service, and the tobacco trade that was dominated by Glasgow Tobacco Lords after 1740. Merchants who profited from the American trade began investing in leather, textiles, iron, coal, sugar, rope, sailcloth, glassworks, breweries, and soapworks, setting the foundations for the city's emergence as a leading industrial centre after 1815. The tobacco trade collapsed during the American Revolution (1776–83), when its sources were cut off by the British blockade of American ports. However, trade with the West Indies began to made up for the loss of the tobacco business, reflecting the British demand for sugar and the demand in the West Indies for herring and linen goods.<ref>T. M. Devine, "An Eighteenth-Century Business Élite: Glasgow-West India Merchants, c 1750-1815", Scottish Historical Review, April 1978, vol. 57 (1), 40-67</ref> Linen was Scotland's premier industry in the 18th century and formed the basis for the later cotton, jute, and woollen industries.<ref> Alastair J. Durie, "The Markets for Scottish Linen, 1730-1775," Scottish Historical Review vol. 52, no. 153, Part 1 (April, 1973) 30-49</ref>

Scottish industrial policy was made by the Board of Trustees for Fisheries and Manufactures in Scotland, which sought to build an economy complementary, not competitive, with England. Since England had woollens, this meant linen. Encouraged and subsidised by the Board of Trustees so it could compete with German products, merchant entrepreneurs became dominant in all stages of linen manufacturing and built up the market share of Scottish linens, especially in the American colonial market.<ref>Alastair Durie, "Imitation in Scottish Eighteenth-Century Textiles: The Drive to Establish the Manufacture of Osnaburg Linen", Journal of Design History, 1993, vol. 6 (2), 71-6</ref>

The British Linen Company, established in 1746, was the largest firm in the Scottish linen industry in the 18th century, exporting linen to England and America. As a joint-stock company, it had the right to raise funds through the issue of promissory notes or bonds. With its bonds functioning as bank notes, the company gradually moved into the business of lending and discounting to other linen manufacturers, and in the early 1770s banking became its main activity.<ref>C. A. Malcolm, The History of the British Linen Bank (1950)</ref>It joined the established Scottish banks such as the Bank of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1695) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1727). Glasgow would soon follow and Scotland had a flourishing financial system by the end of the century. There were over 400 branches, amounting to one office per 7000 people, double the level in England, where banks were also more heavily regulated. Historians have emphasised that the flexibility and dynamism of the Scottish banking system contributed significantly to the rapid development of the economy in the 19th century.<ref>M. J. Daunton, Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain 1700-1850 (1995), 344</ref>

German sociologist Max Weber mentioned Scottish Presbyterianism in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), and many scholars in recent decades argued that "this worldly asceticism" of Calvinism was integral to Scotland's rapid economic modernization.<ref> Callum G. Brown, Religion and society in Scotland since 1707 (1997), 178</ref>

Religious Fragmentation

In the 1690s the Presbyterian establishment purged the land of Episcopalians and heretics, and made blasphemy a capital crime. Thomas Aitkenhead, the son of an Edinburgh surgeon, aged 18, was indicted for blasphemy by order of the Privy Council for calling the New Testament "The History of the Imposter Christ"; he was hung in 1696.<ref>T.M. Divine, The Scottish Nation (1999) 64-65</ref> Their extremism led to a reaction known as the "Moderate" cause that ultimately prevailed and opened the way for liberal thinking in the cities.

The early 18th century saw the beginnings of a fragmentation of the Church of Scotland. These fractures were prompted by issues of government and patronage, but reflected a wider division between the hard-line Evangelicals and the theologically more tolerant Moderate Party. The battle was over fears of fanaticism by the former and the promotion of Enlightenment ideas by the latter. The Patronage Act of 1712 was a major blow to the evangelicals, for it meant that local landlords could choose the minister, not the members of the congregation.<ref>T.M. Divine, The Scottish Nation (1999) 73-75</ref>

Schisms erupted as the evangelicals left the main body, starting in 1733 with the First Secession headed by figures including Ebenezer Erskine. The second schism in 1761 lead to the foundation of the independent Relief Church. These churches gained strength in the Evangelical Revival of the later 18th century.<ref>G. M. Ditchfield, The Evangelical Revival (1998), 91</ref>A key result was the main Presbyterian church was in the hands of the Moderate faction, which provided critical support for the Enlightenment in the cities.

Long after the triumph of the Church of Scotland in the Lowlands, Highlanders and Islanders clung to an old-fashioned Christianity infused with animistic folk beliefs and practices. The remoteness of the region and the lack of a Gaelic-speaking clergy undermined the missionary efforts of the established church. The later 18th century saw some success, owing to the efforts of the SSPCK missionaries and to the disruption of traditional society.<ref>G. Robb, "Popular Religion and the Christianization of the Scottish Highlands in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries", Journal of Religious History, 1990, 16(1): 18-34</ref> Catholicism had been reduced to the fringes of the country, particularly the Gaelic-speaking areas of the Highlands and Islands. Conditions also grew worse for Catholics after the Jacobite rebellions and Catholicism was reduced to little more than a poorly-run mission. Also important was Episcopalianism, which had retained supporters through the civil wars and changes of regime in the 17th century. Since most Episcopalians had given their support to the Jacobite rebellions in the early 18th century, they also suffered a decline in fortunes.<ref>J. T. Koch, Celtic Culture: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-5 (ABC-CLIO, 2006), 416-7</ref>


Robert Burns

Although Scotland increasingly adopted the English language and wider cultural norms, its literature developed a distinct national identity and began to enjoy an international reputation. Allan Ramsay (1686–1758) laid the foundations of a reawakening of interest in older Scottish literature, as well as leading the trend for pastoral poetry, helping to develop the Habbie stanza as a poetic form.<ref>J. Buchan (2003), Crowded with Genius, Harper Collins, 311</ref>James Macpherson was the first Scottish poet to gain an international reputation, claiming to have found poetry written by Ossian, he published translations that acquired international popularity, being proclaimed as a Celtic equivalent of the Classical epics. Fingal written in 1762 was speedily translated into many European languages, and its deep appreciation of natural beauty and the melancholy tenderness of its treatment of the ancient legend did more than any single work to bring about the Romantic movement in European, and especially in German, literature, influencing Herder and Goethe.<ref>J. Buchan (2003), Crowded with Genius, Harper Collins, 163</ref>

Eventually it became clear that the poems were not direct translations from the Gaelic, but flowery adaptations made to suit the aesthetic expectations of his audience.<ref>D. Thomson (1952), The Gaelic Sources of Macpherson's "Ossian", Aberdeen: Oliver & Boyd</ref>Both the major literary figures of the following century, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, would be highly influenced by the Ossian cycle. Burns, an Ayrshire poet and lyricist, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and a major figure in the Romantic movement. As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country.<ref>L. McIlvanney (Spring 2005), "Hugh Blair, Robert Burns, and the Invention of Scottish Literature", Eighteenth-Century Life, 29 (2): 25–46</ref>


Glasgow University Old College

A legacy of the Reformation in Scotland was the aim of having a school in every parish, which was underlined by an act of the Scottish parliament in 1696 (reinforced in 1801). In rural communities this obliged local landowners (heritors) to provide a schoolhouse and pay a schoolmaster, while ministers and local presbyteries oversaw the quality of the education. The headmaster or "dominie" was often university educated and enjoyed high local prestige.<ref>William F. Hendrie, The Dominie: a profile of the Scottish headmaster (1997)</ref>The Kirk Schools were active in the rural lowlands but played a minor role in the Highlands, the islands, and in the fast-growing industrial towns and cities.<ref>Devine, Scottish Nation (1999), 99 R. D. Anderson, Education and the Scottish People, 1750-1918 (1995)</ref>The schools taught in English, not in Gaelic, because that language was seen as a leftover of Catholicism and was not an expression of Scottish nationalism.<ref>R. D. Anderson, Education and the Scottish people (1995), 217</ref> In cities such as Glasgow the Catholics operated their own schools, which directed their youth into clerical and middle class occupations, as well as religious vocations.<ref>R. D. Anderson, Education and the Scottish people (1995), 217</ref>

A "democratic myth" emerged in the 19th century to the effect that many a "lad of pairts" had been able to rise up through the system to take high office and that literacy was much more widespread in Scotland than in neighbouring states, particularly England.<ref>R. Anderson, "The history of Scottish Education pre-1980", in T. G. K. Bryce and W. M. Humes, eds, Scottish Education: Post-Devolution (2nd ed., 2003), 219-28</ref>Historical research has largely undermined the myth. Kirk schools were not free, attendance was not compulsory and they generally imparted only basic literacy such as the ability to read the Bible. Poor children, starting at age 7, were done by age 8 or 9; the majority were finished by age 11 or 12. The result was widespread basic reading ability; since there was an extra fee for writing, half the people never learned to write. Scots were not significantly better educated than the English and other contemporary nations. A few talented poor boys did go to university, but usually they were helped by aristocratic or gentry sponsors. Most of them became poorly paid teachers or ministers, and none became important figures in the Scottish Enlightenment or the Industrial Revolution.<ref>Devine, Scottish Nation (1999), 96-100</ref>

By the 18th century there were five universities in Scotland, at Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews and King's and Marischial Colleges in Aberdeen, compared with only two in England. Originally oriented to clerical and legal training, after the religious and political upheavals of the 17th century they recovered with a lecture-based curriculum that was able to embrace economics and science, offering a high quality liberal education to the sons of the nobility and gentry. It helped the universities to become major centres of medical education and to put Scotland at the forefront of Enlightenment thinking.<ref>R. Anderson, "The history of Scottish Education pre-1980", in T. G. K. Bryce and W. M. Humes, eds, Scottish Education: Post-Devolution (2nd ed., 2003), 219-28</ref>

Nineteenth Century

Scotland in the Nineteenth Century

Scotland's transformation into a rich leader of modern industry came suddenly and unexpectedly.

The population grew steadily in the 19th century, from 1,608,000 in the census of 1801 to 2,889,000 in 1851 and 4,472,000 in 1901.[203] The economy, long based on agriculture,[132] began to industrialize after 1790. At first the leading industry, based in the west, was the spinning and weaving of cotton. In 1861 the American Civil War suddenly cut off the supplies of raw cotton and the industry never recovered. Thanks to its many entrepreneurs and engineers, and its large stock of easily mined coal, Scotland became a world centre for engineering, shipbuilding, and locomotive construction, with steel replacing iron after 1870.[204]

Twentieth Century

Scotland in the Twentieth Century