History of Scotland
- 1 History of Scotland
- 2 Prehistory
- 3 Roman Period
- 4 Post-Roman Scotland
- 5 Rise of the Kingdom of Alba
- 6 Wars of Scottish Independence
- 7 The Stewarts
- 8 The Scottish Reformation
- 9 The Union of the Crowns
- 10 The Bishops Wars and the War of the Three Kingdoms
- 11 Commonwealth and Restoration
- 12 Deposition of James II and IIV
- 13 Economic Crisis and failure of the Darien Scheme
- 14 Act of Union
- 15 Jacobitism
- 16 Post-Jacobite politics
- 17 The Scottish Enlightenment
- 18 Collapse of the Clan System
- 19 The Highland Clearances
- 20 Early Industrialisation
- 21 Religious Fragmentation
- 22 Literature and the Scottish Enlightenment
- 23 Nineteenth Century
- 24 Romantic Highlandism
History of Scotland
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. 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, which once ran from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth. To the north lay the territory of Caledonia- whose people were described as "Picti" in Latin, meaning ‘painted ones’. Due to constant incursions from these Picti the Roman legions would be forced back to Hadrian's Wall within 20 years of its construction, and forced to abandon the territory by the beginning of the 3rd century.
According to 9th- and 10th-century literature, the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded on the west coast of Scotland in the 6th century. In the following century, Irish missionary Columba founded a monastery on Iona and introduced the previously pagan Scotti to Celtic Christianity, and with less success the Picts of Pictland. King Nechtan of Pictland later chose to expel the Columban church in favour of the Roman, principally to restrict the influence of the Scoti on his kingdom and to avoid a war with Northumbria. In the same period Angles had conquered the previously Brythonic territory south of the Clyde and Forth, initially creating the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Bernicia, later becoming a part of the Kingdom of Northumbria. Towards the end of the 8th century all three kingdoms were raided, settled and to some extent came under Viking control. Successive defeats by the Norse forced the Picts and Scoti to cease their historic hostility to each other and unite in the 9th century, to form the Kingdom of Scotland.
The Kingdom of Scotland was united under the descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin, first king of a united Scotland. His descendants, known to modern historians as the House of Alpin, fought among each other during frequent disputed successions. The last Alpin king, Malcolm II, died without issue in the early 11th century and the kingdom passed through his daughter's son, Duncan I, who started a new line of kings known to modern historians as the House of Dunkeld or Canmore. The last Dunkeld king, Alexander III died in 1286 leaving only a single infant granddaughter as heir- four years later, Margaret, Maid of Norway herself died in a tragic shipwreck en route to Scotland.
England, under Edward I, would take advantage of the questioned succession in Scotland to launch a series of conquests into Scotland. The resulting Wars of Scottish Independence were fought in the late 13th and early 14th centuries as Scotland passed back and forth between the House of Balliol and the House of Bruce. Scotland's ultimate victory in the Wars of Independence under David II confirmed Scotland as a fully independent and sovereign kingdom. When David II died without issue, his nephew Robert II established the House of Stewart (the spelling would be changed to Stuart in the 16th century), which would rule Scotland uncontested for the next three centuries. James IV of Scotland inherited the English throne in 1603, becoming James IV and I. The Stuart monarchs ruled both countries as independent kingdoms in an arrangement known as the Union of the Crowns until an Act of Union in 1707 which created the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The successors of the Stuarts attempted to regain the throne and overturn the Act of Union three times during the eighteenth century, until finally defeated in 1746. During the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Its industrial decline following the Second World War was particularly acute, but in recent decades the country has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services sector, and the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas.
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. Mesolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, and archaeologists have dated an encampment near Biggar, South Lanarkshire.
Numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone, stone and antlers. 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. The earliest stone structures are probably the three hearths found at Jura, dated to about 6000 BC. 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. 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 Standing Stones of Stenness on the mainland of Orkney, which date from about 3100 BC, of four stones, the tallest of which is 16ft in height.These were part of a pattern that developed in many regions across Europe at about the same time.
The creation of cairns and Megalithic monuments continued into the Bronze Age, which began in Scotland about 2000 BC. 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. From the Early and Middle Bronze Age there is evidence of cellular round houses of stone, as at Jarlshof and Sumburgh on Shetland. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The surviving pre-Roman accounts of Scotland originated with the Greek Pytheas of Massalia, who in sometime around 325 BC may have circumnavigated the nēsoi Brettanikai, i.e. the British Islands, that were called Albion and Ierne referring respectively to the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. The most northerly point of the island of Great Britain was called Orcas, conceivably a reference to Orkney. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. It extended for 37 miles (60 km). Having taken twelve years to build, the wall was overrun and abandoned soon after 160 AD. The Romans retreated to the line of Hadrian's Wall. Roman troops penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times, with at least four major campaigns. The most notable invasion was in 209 when the emperor Septimius Severus led a major force north. After the death of Severus in 210 they withdrew south to Hadrian's Wall, which would be Roman frontier until it collapsed in the 5th century. By the close of the Roman occupation of southern and central Britain in the 5th century, the Picts had emerged as the dominant force in northern Scotland, with the various Brythonic tribes the Romans had first encountered there occupying the southern half of the country. Roman influence on Scottish culture and history was not enduring.
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. 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, from whom comes the name Scots.
In 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. 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. 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). Scotland was largely converted to Christianity by Irish-Scots missions associated with figures such as St Columba, from the fifth to the seventh centuries. These missions tended to found monastic institutions and collegiate churches that served large areas. 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.
Rise of the Kingdom of Alba
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. In AD 867 the Vikings seized the southern half of Northumbria, forming the Kingdom of York three years later they stormed the Britons’ fortress of Dumbarton and subsequently conquered much of England except for a reduced Kingdom of Wessex, leaving the new combined Pictish and Gaelic kingdom almost encircled. 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). 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.
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. 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. 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. 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).
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Wars of Scottish Independence
The death of king 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. 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. In 1295 John, on the urgings of his chief councillors, entered into an alliance with France, known as the Auld Alliance. In 1296 Edward invaded Scotland, deposing King John. The following year 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). Wallace escaped but probably resigned as Guardian of Scotland. 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.
Rivals John Comyn and Robert the Bruce, grandson of the claimant, were appointed as joint guardians in his place. On 10 February 1306, Bruce participated in the murder of Comyn, at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. In 1328, Edward III signed the Treaty of Northampton acknowledging Scottish independence under the rule of Robert the Bruce. 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. In 1341 David II, King Robert's son and heir, was able to return from temporary exile in France. Balliol finally resigned his claim to the throne to Edward in 1356, before retiring to Yorkshire, where he died in 1364.
After David II's death, Robert II, the first of the Stewart kings, came to the throne in 1371. He was followed in 1390 by his ailing son John, who took the regnal name Robert III. During Robert III's reign (1390–1406), actual power rested largely in the hands of his brother, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. 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. 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 his authority. Several of the Albany family were executed; but he succeeded in centralising control in the hands of the crown, at the cost of increasing unpopularity, and was assassinated in 1437. 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.
In 1468 the last significant acquisition of Scottish territory occurred when James III married Margaret of Denmark, receiving the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands in payment of her dowry. 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. 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. James IV's reign is often considered to have seen a flowering of Scottish culture under the influence of the European Renaissance.
In 1512 the Auld Alliance was renewed and under its terms, 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, commemorated by the song Flowers of the Forest. Once again Scotland's government lay in the hands of regents in the name of the infant James V. 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. He also continued the French alliance, marrying first the French noblewoman Madeleine of Valois and then after her death Marie of Guise. James V's domestic and foreign policy successes were overshadowed by another disastrous campaign against England that led to defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss (1542). James died a short time later, 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.
Once again, Scotland was in the hands of a regent. Henry VIII began the 'Rough Wooing' - a military attempt to force a marriage between the infant 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, Marie de Guise, stayed in Scotland to look after the interests of Mary — and of France — although the Earl of Arran acted officially as regent. 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.
Meanwhile Mary, Queen of Scots 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. 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. 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.
The Scottish Reformation
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. 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. 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.
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 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.
The Union of the Crowns
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. 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". 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. Attempts to found a Scottish colony in North America in Nova Scotia were largely unsuccessful, with insufficient funds and willing colonists.
The Bishops Wars and the War of the Three Kingdoms
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. (The story goes that it was initiated by a certain Jenny Geddes who threw a stool in St Giles Cathedral.)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. 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. Matters remained unresolved until 1640 when, in a renewal of hostilities, Charles's northern forces were defeated by the Scots at the Battle of Newburn to the west of Newcastle. During the course of these Bishops' Wars 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. The Covenanters meanwhile, were left governing Scotland, where they raised a large army of their own and tried to impose their religious settlement on Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in the north of the country. In England his religious policies caused similar resentment and he ruled without recourse to parliament from 1629.
As the civil wars developed, the English Parliamentarians appealed to the Scots Covenanters for military aid against the King. A Solemn League and Covenant was entered into, guaranteeing the Scottish Church settlement and promising further reform in England. Scottish troops played a major part in the defeat of Charles I, notably at the battle of Marston Moor. An army under the Earl of Leven occupied the North of England for some time. However, not all Scots supported the Covenanter's taking arms against their King. In 1644, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose attempted to raise the Highlands for the King. Few Scots would follow him, but, aided by 1,000 Irish, Highland and Islesmen troops sent by the Irish Confederates under Alasdair MacDonald (MacColla), and an instinctive genius for mobile warfare, he was stunningly successful. A Scottish Civil War began in September 1644 with his victory at the Battle of Tippermuir. After a series of victories over poorly trained Covenanter militias, the lowlands were at his mercy. However, at this high point, his army was reduced in size, as MacColla and the Highlanders preferred to continue the war in the north against the Campbells. Shortly after, what was left of his force was defeated at the Battle of Philiphaugh. Escaping to the north, Montrose attempted to continue the struggle with fresh troops; but in July 1646 his army was disbanded after the King surrendered to the Scots army at Newark, and the civil war came to an end. The following year Charles, while he was being held captive in Carisbrooke Castle, entered into an agreement with moderate Scots Presbyterians. In this secret 'Engagement', the Scots promised military aid in return for the King's agreement to implement Presbyterianism in England on a three-year trial basis. The Duke of Hamilton led an invasion of England to free the King, but he was defeated by Oliver Cromwell in August 1648 at the Battle of Preston.
Commonwealth and Restoration
The execution of Charles I in 1649 was carried out in the face of objections by the 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. 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).
After the death of Cromwell and the regime's collapse, Charles II was restored in 1660 and Scotland again became an independent kingdom. 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). The English Navigation Acts prevented the Scots engaging in what would have been lucrative trading with England's colonies. 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. 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. 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.
Deposition of James II and IIV
James put Catholics in key positions in the government and attendance at conventicles was made punishable by death. He disregarded parliament, purged the Council and forced through religious toleration to Roman Catholics- alienating his Protestant subjects. It was believed that the king would be succeeded by his daughter Mary, a Protestant and the wife of William of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands- but when in 1688, James produced a male heir, James Francis Edward Stuart 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". The Estates issued a Claim of Right that suggested that James had forfeited the crown by his actions (in contrast to England, which relied on the legal fiction of an abdication) and offered it to William and Mary, which William accepted, along with limitations on royal power. The final settlement restored Presbyterianism and abolished the bishops, who had generally supported James. However, William, who was more tolerant than the kirk tended to be, passed acts restoring the episcopalian clergy excluded after the Revolution.
Although William's supporters dominated the government, there remained a significant following for James, 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. 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.
Economic Crisis and failure of the Darien Scheme
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". The result was severe famine and depopulation, particularly in the north. 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.
With the dream of building a lucrative overseas colony for Scotland, the Company of Scotland invested in the Darien scheme, an ambitious plan devised by William Paterson to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama in the hope of establishing trade with the Far East. The Darien scheme won widespread support in Scotland as the landed gentry and the merchant class were in agreement in seeing overseas trade and colonialism as routes to upgrade Scotland's economy. Since the capital resources of the Edinburgh merchants and landholder elite were insufficient, the company appealed to middling social ranks, who responded with patriotic fervor to the call for money; the lower classes volunteered as colonists. But the English government opposed the idea: involved in the War of the Grand Alliance from 1689 to 1697 against France, it did not want to offend Spain, which claimed the territory as part of New Granada. The English investors withdrew. Returning to Edinburgh, the Company raised 400,000 pounds in a few weeks. Three small fleets with a total of 3,000 men eventually set out for Panama in 1698. The exercise proved a disaster. Poorly equipped; beset by incessant rain; under attack by the Spanish from nearby Cartagena, and refused aid by the English in the West Indies, the colonists abandoned their project in 1700. Only 1,000 survived and only one ship managed to return to Scotland.
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. 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.
Jacobitism was revived by the unpopularity of the union. 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. 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.
In 1745 the Jacobite rising known as The 'Forty-Five’ began. Charles Edward Stuart- often referred to as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender- landed on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. 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. 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. 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. Charles hid in Scotland with the aid of Highlanders until September 1746, when he escaped back to France. 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.
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. 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”.
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 hardier and less mutinous'. 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?'
Scottish politics in the late 18th century was dominated by the Whig party 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.
The 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. 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. 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.
David Hume's philosophical concepts that directly influenced James Madison (and thus the U.S. Constitution). When popularised by Dugald Stewart they would be the basis of classical liberalism. 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 William Cullen, physician and chemist, James Anderson, an agronomist, Joseph Black, physicist and chemist, and James Hutton, the first modern geologist.
Collapse of the Clan System
After the battle of Culloden the leaders were declared to be traitors, with Jacobite officers executed and many of the rebel soldiers shipped to the colonies as indentured servants. Key laws included the Dress Act 1746, the Act of Proscription 1746, and especially the Heritable Jurisdictions Act of 1746. All aspects of Highland culture, especially the Scottish Gaelic language were forbidden. Parliament also banned the bearing of arms and the wearing of tartans, and limited the activities of the Episcopalian Church. After a generation the Highlands had been transformed, the laws were no longer needed and were mostly repealed. Historians debate whether the dramatic changes merely reflect long-term trends that were more-or-less inevitable, or whether government intervention played the decisive role in changing the goals and roles of the chiefs. As Conway (2006) concludes, the new policies ‘went far beyond earlier efforts to promote economic development in the Highlands and ...represented the first real endeavour to transform the region's social system....the post-rebellion legislation certainly seems to have accelerated the change’. However on the other side, Devine (1999) and Ray (2001) argue that long-term economic and social changes were already undermining the clan system.
One result was a continuous exodus from the land—to the cities, or further afield to England, Canada, America or Australia. Many of those who remained were now crofters: poor families living on "crofts"- very small rented farms with indefinite tenure used to raise various crops and animals. The kelp industry, in which seaweed was gathered and burnt for its ashes, which were used in glassmaking, was a staple source of income for many. Crofters could also be employed in military service, fishing, and the spinning of linen. The era of the Napoleonic wars, 1790–1815, brought prosperity, optimism, and economic growth to the Highlands. The economy grew thanks to higher wages, as well as large scale infrastructure spending such as the Caledonian Canal project. On the East Coast, farmlands were improved and high prices for cattle brought money to the community. However the end of the wars with France in 1815 caused a collapse in the price of kelp, as better materials could now again be imported from the Continent. The role of clan leaders was also changing. From the late 16th century, laws required clan leaders to appear in Edinburgh regularly to provide bonds for the conduct of anyone in their territory. This created a tendency among chiefs to see themselves as landlords, rather than leaders of men. The lesser clan-gentry increasingly took up droving, taking cattle along the old unpaved drove roads to sell in the Lowlands. This brought wealth and land ownership within the clan, though the Highlands continued to be overpopulated and poor. Crofters became a source of virtually free labour to their landlords, being forced to work long hours in activities such as harvesting and processing of kelp.
The Highland Clearances
What became known as the Clearances were regarded by the landlords as necessary improvements. They are thought to have been begun by Admiral John Ross of Balnagowan Castle in 1762. MacLeod of MacLeod (the chief of MacLeod) began experimental work on Skye in 1732. Chiefs engaged Lowland, or sometimes English, factors with expertise in more profitable sheep farming, and they "encouraged"- sometimes forcibly- the population to move off suitable land. To landlords, "improvement" and "clearance" did not necessarily mean depopulation. At least until the 1820s, when there were steep falls in the price of kelp, landlords wanted to create pools of cheap or virtually free labour, supplied by families subsisting in new crofting townships. Kelp collection and processing was a very profitable way of using this labour, and landlords petitioned successfully for legislation designed to stop emigration, leading to the Passenger Vessels Act 1803. Attitudes changed during the 1820s and, for many landlords, the potato famine which began in 1846 became another reason for encouraging or forcing emigration and depopulation. Another wave of emigration came in 1792, known as the ‘Year of the Sheep’. In 1792 tenant farmers from Strathrusdale led a protest by driving over 6,000 sheep off the land surrounding Ardross. This action, commonly referred to as the ‘Ross-shire Sheep Riot’, was dealt with at the highest levels in government; the Home Secretary Henry Dundas became involved. The Black Watch was mobilised; it halted the drive and brought the ringleaders to trial. They were found guilty, but later escaped custody and disappeared. The people were accommodated in poor crofts or small farms in coastal areas where farming could not sustain the population, and they were expected to take up fishing. In the village of Badbea in Caithness the conditions were so harsh that, while the women worked, they had to tether their livestock and even their children to rocks or posts to prevent them being blown over the cliffs. Others were put directly onto emigration ships.
In the early 19th century that the second, more brutal phase of the Clearances began- this was well before the visit by George IV in 1822, when Lowlanders set aside their previous distrust and hatred of the Highlanders and identified with them as national symbols. Most notorious are the examples of landlords trying to exploit changing economic circumstances to their financial advantage by clearing uneconomical tenants from their land, making room for more profitable uses such as sheep, deer forests or tourism. Two of the best documented such clearances are those from the land of the Duchess of Sutherland carried out by her factor Patrick Sellar, and the Glencalvie clearances which were witnessed and documented by a London Times reporter. In 1807 Elizabeth Gordon, 19th Countess of Sutherland, touring her inheritance with her husband Lord Stafford (later Duke of Sutherland), wrote that "he is seized as much as I am with the rage of improvements, and we both turn our attention with the greatest of energy to turnips". As well as turning land over to sheep farming, Stafford planned to invest in creating a coal-pit, salt pans, brick and tile works and herring fisheries. That year his agents began the evictions and 90 families were forced to leave their crops in the ground and move their cattle, furniture and timbers to the land they were offered 20 miles (32 km) away on the coast, living in the open until they had built themselves new houses. This plan has been described as a ‘typical example... of social engineering which met neither the hopes of the benefactors nor the needs of the beneficiaries, but produced social disaster’.
The Sutherlands' first Commissioner, William Young, arrived in 1809, and soon engaged Patrick Sellar as his factor, who pressed ahead with the process while acquiring sheep farming estates for himself. The Sutherlands were responsible for brutal clearances between 1811 and 1820. Sellar threw people out in person if they showed any reluctance to go, and burned down their crofts to make sure they never came back. Evictions of 2,000 families in one day were not uncommon. Many starved and froze to death where their homes had once been. The Duchess of Sutherland, on seeing the starving tenants on her husband's estate, remarked in a letter to a friend in England, "Scotch people are of happier constitution and do not fatten like the larger breed of animals." Donald McLeod, a Sutherland crofter, wrote about the events he witnessed: "The consternation and confusion were extreme. Little or no time was given for the removal of persons or property; the people striving to remove the sick and the helpless before the fire should reach them; next, struggling to save the most valuable of their effects. The cries of the women and children, the roaring of the affrighted cattle, hunted at the same time by the yelling dogs of the shepherds amid the smoke and fire, altogether presented a scene that completely baffles description — it required to be seen to be believed. A dense cloud of smoke enveloped the whole country by day, and even extended far out to sea. At night an awfully grand but terrific scene presented itself — all the houses in an extensive district in flames at once. I myself ascended a height about eleven o'clock in the evening, and counted two hundred and fifty blazing houses, many of the owners of which I personally knew, but whose present condition — whether in or out of the flames — I could not tell. The conflagration lasted six days, till the whole of the dwellings were reduced to ashes or smoking ruins. During one of these days a boat actually lost her way in the dense smoke as she approached the shore, but at night was enabled to reach a landing-place by the lurid light of the flames."
Accounts like those of McLeod and General David Stewart of Garth brought widespread condemnation. Two old people evicted at Sellar's orders were too ill to go far. He left them exposed to the chill northern air and they died. He was acquitted on a charge of manslaughter, but the Duchess wrote: "The more I hear and see of Sellar the more I am convinced that he is not to be trusted more than he is at present. He is so exceedingly greedy and harsh with the people, there are very heavy complaints against him from Strathnaver." In due course Sellar was dismissed from his post.
Following the Act of Union in 1707 tariffs with England were now abolished. However, Scotland in 1750 was still a poor rural, agricultural society with a population of 1.3 million, although agriculture slowly improved in the Lowlands. Economic staples were the sales of linen and cattle to England, the cash flows from military service and the international tobacco trade which was dominated by Glasgow from the mid- eighteenth century. 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 Glasgow’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.
Linen was Scotland's premier industry in the 18th century and formed the basis for the later cotton, jute, and woollen industries. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Literature and the Scottish Enlightenment
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. 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. 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. Both the major literary figures of the following century, Robert Burns and 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.
Scotland's transformation into a 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.The economy, long based on agriculture, 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.
From about 1790 textiles became the most important industry in the west of Scotland, especially the spinning and weaving of cotton, which flourished until in 1861 the American Civil War cut off the supplies of raw cotton. The industry never recovered, but by that time Scotland had developed heavy industries based on its coal and iron resources. The invention of the hot blast for smelting iron (1828) revolutionised the Scottish iron industry. As a result Scotland became a centre for engineering, shipbuilding and the production of locomotives. Toward the end of the 19th century, steel production largely replaced iron production. Coal mining continued to grow into the 20th century, producing the fuel to heat homes, factories and drive steam engines locomotives and steamships. By 1914 there were 1,000,000 coal miners in Scotland. The stereotype emerged early on of Scottish colliers as brutish, non-religious and socially isolated serfs; that was an exaggeration, for their life style resembled the miners everywhere, with a strong emphasis on masculinity, equalitarianism, group solidarity, and support for radical labour movements.
Britain was the world leader in the construction of railways, and their use to expand trade and coal supplies. The first successful locomotive-powered line in Scotland, between Monkland and Kirkintilloch, opened in 1831. Not only was good passenger service established by the late 1840s, but an excellent network of freight lines reduce the cost of shipping coal, and made products manufactured in Scotland competitive throughout Britain. For example, railways opened the London market to Scottish beef and milk. They enabled the Aberdeen Angus to become a cattle breed of worldwide reputation. By 1900 Scotland had 3500 miles of railway; their main economic contribution was moving supplies in and product out for heavy industry, especially coal-mining.
Scotland was already one of the most urbanised societies in Europe by 1800. The industrial belt ran across the country from southwest to northeast; by 1900 the four industrialised counties of Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, and Ayrshire contained 44 per cent of the population. Glasgow became one of the largest cities in the world, and known as "the Second City of the Empire" after London. Shipbuilding on Clydeside (the river Clyde through Glasgow and other points) began when the first small yards were opened in 1712 at the Scott family's shipyard at Greenock. After 1860 the Clydeside shipyards specialised in steamships made of iron (after 1870, made of steel), which rapidly replaced the wooden sailing vessels of both the merchant fleets and the battle fleets of the world. It became the world's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. ‘Clydebuilt’ became an industry benchmark of quality, and the river's shipyards were given contracts for warships.
The Scottish Reform Act 1832 increased the number of Scottish MPs and significantly widened the franchise to include more of the middle classes. From this point until the end of the century, the Whigs and (after 1859) their successors the Liberal Party, managed to gain a majority of the Westminster Parliamentary seats for Scotland, although these were often outnumbered by the much larger number of English and Welsh Conservatives. The English-educated Scottish peer Lord Aberdeen (1784–1860) led a coalition government from 1852-5, but in general very few Scots held office in the government. From the mid-century there were increasing calls for Home Rule for Scotland and when the Conservative Lord Salisbury became prime minister in 1885 he responded to pressure by reviving the post of Secretary of State for Scotland, which had been in abeyance since 1746. He appointed the Duke of Richmond, a wealthy landowner who was both Chancellor of Aberdeen University and Lord Lieutenant of Banff. Towards the end of the century Prime Ministers of Scottish descent included William E. Gladstone, who held the office four times between 1868 and 1894.The first Scottish Liberal to become prime minister was the Earl of Rosebery, from 1894–95, like Aberdeen before him a product of the English education system. In the later 19th century the issue of Irish Home Rule led to a split among the Liberals, with a minority breaking away to form the Liberal Unionists in 1886. The growing importance of the working classes was marked by Keir Hardie's success in the Mid Lanarkshire by-election, 1888, leading to the foundation of the Scottish Labour Party, which was absorbed into the Independent Labour Party in 1895, with Hardie as its first leader.
This period saw a process of rehabilitation for highland culture. Tartan had already been adopted for highland regiments in the British army, which poor highlanders joined in large numbers until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, but by the 19th century it had largely been abandoned by the ordinary people. In the 1820s, as part of the Romantic revival, tartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe, prompted by the popularity of Macpherson's Ossian cycle and then Walter Scott's Waverley novels. The world paid attention to their literary redefinition of Scottishness, as they forged an image largely based on characteristics in polar opposition to those associated with England and modernity. This new identity made it possible for Scottish culture to become integrated into a wider European and North American context, not to mention tourist sites, but it also locked in a sense of "otherness" which Scotland began to shed only in the late 20th century. Scott's "staging" of the royal Visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 and the king's wearing of tartan, resulted in a massive upsurge in demand for kilts and tartans that could not be met by the Scottish linen industry. The designation of individual clan tartans was largely defined in this period and became a major symbol of Scottish identity. The fashion for all things Scottish was maintained by Queen Victoria, who helped secure the identity of Scotland as a tourist resort, with Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire becoming a major royal residence from 1852.
Despite these changes the highlands remained very poor and traditional, with few connections to the uplift of the Scottish Enlightenment and little role in the Industrial Revolution. A handful of powerful families, typified by the dukes of Argyll, Atholl, Buccleuch, and Sutherland, owned the best lands and controlled local political, legal and economic affairs. Particularly after the end of the boom created by the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1790–1815), these landlords needed cash to maintain their position in London society, and had less need of soldiers. They turned to money rents, displaced farmers to raise sheep, and downplayed the traditional patriarchal relationship that had historically sustained the clans. This was exacerbated after the repeal of the Corn Laws in mid-century, when Britain adopted a free trade policy, and grain imports from America undermined the profitability of crop production. The Irish potato famine of the 1840s was caused by a plant disease that reached the Highlands in 1846, where 150,000 people faced disaster because their food supply was largely potatoes (with a little herring, oatmeal and milk). They were rescued by an effective emergency relief system that stands in dramatic contrast to the failures of relief in Ireland.