cotland's history is a long one, twisted and twined with that of England. Long had England coveted the rich land that the Scottish people called home. IThe first inhabitants of Scotland were the Picts, a Celtic tribe. Between A.D. 82 and A.D. 208, the Romans invaded Scotland, naming it Caledonia. Roman influence over the land, however, was minimal.
The Scots, a Celtic tribe from Ireland, migrated to the west coast of Scotland in about 500. Kenneth McAlpin, King of the Scots, ascended the throne of the Pictish kingdom in about 843, thereby uniting the various Scots and Pictish tribes under one kingdom called Dal Riada. By the 11th century, the monarchy had extended its borders to include much of what is Scotland today
Several sects of monks preaching their new religion had moved in, in an attempt covert the native peoples over to this new religion.
oving forward, William Wallace was born in around 1270, probably near Ellerslie (now Elderslie), in Ayrshire, Scotland. His father was Sir Malcolm Wallace, Laird of Elderslie and Auchinbothie, a small landowner and little-known Scottish knight. Hi father went to a meeting with Edward Longshanks and came back dead, leaving a young Wallace alone. H e was taken by his Uncle to travel and learn about the world.
When he came back he came seeking a end to the oppression of Scotland, and he fought for that freedom. He died for that freedom. King Edward thought the only way of getting rid of the Scots was to breed them out. This failed badly. But Wallace had an ally in this fight, Robert, 17th Earl of Bruce. He claimed the throne as the great, great grandson of David I, and was crowned in 1306 at Castle Scone.
Wallace fought at Stirling, Falkirk, Falkirk being the only place he won a battle. The battle of Bannockburn was undoubtedly of one of the most spectacular battles of the Scottish Wars of Independence. Although the struggle against the English was to continue for some 13 years more, the Scottish victory was of enormous importance as it secured the future of the throne for Robert Bruce, King of Scots.
||Robert the Bruce
Moving forward, Mary of Lorraine and Guise gave birth to the future Queen of Scotland. She was married to James V of Scotland. In 1542, Mary Queen of Scots was born. Days later her father died from battle wounds and the infant Mary was anointed Queen. The English made an attempt to betrothed her to the young Edward VI. For her safety she was sent to live with her mothers relatives in Catholic France. There she was betrothed and married to the future King of France, then the Dauphin of France. She was a sickly child and upon his death Mary was sent back to Scotland to once more take up her throne.
It was there she married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and later King consort. He coveted the throne as well, and for all his intentions he was murdered in 1567. It wasn't long after this that Mary would give birth to the James VI later James I of England Shortly after her second husbands death she married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.
In 1567 Mary was deposed of and her throne taken away. She went south to England seeking Elizabeth's, her cousin's protection and Elizabeth imprisoned her. Twenty years later Elizabeth having known of the many plots Mary made against her life had her executed in 1587.
It was then that Elizabeth made Mary's son her own heir. James the First of the creator of the King James Version of the bible. For all his mothers Catholicness James was a staunch Protestant. Scotland has always been torn between two religions. Catholicism and Protestantism.
|Mary, Queen of Scots
Once more we jump forward through time, and visit the Stuarts once more. In 1715 James Francis Edward Stuart, the old Pretender made a bid for the throne of Scotland. He gathered the mighty Scottish clans and attempted to take the throne. He failed and was sent to Rome in exile, where later he would have a son who would also make a bid for the throne.
In 1744, Prince Charles Edward Stuart would come from the French court of his cousin Louis XV, and make another attempt for the throne. He succeeded and upon his landing on the Scottish shore he pronounced "I am come home." He gathered his clans, those that supported him, The Jacobites. Fighting down through Scotland, Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender to the Throne made a foolish move and said that after the fight to take Edinburgh they could take the throne of England as well.But the Scottish army was in trouble. They had no money, no food, and the Highlanders were starving. Many now regretting their choice to support the Bonnie Prince defected and went back north to their crofts and field. But some stayed and moved with their Prince to Culloden House. It was there that the Bonnie Prince said they would make their stand. The army of the Prince was only 5,000 strong. They were tired, weak from starvation but the bravery of the Scots had always been notable.
On the eve of April 6th the Highlanders slept on a cold rainy moor, covered in their tartans and waited for the dawn and whatever was to come. What came was just devastating.
At the dawn of April 6th 1745 Culloden Moor become a battlefield running with the blood of both Scots and English.
The battle didn't even last an hour and the Scots were beaten down. Those that were dead were sent to the fires. Those injured were given to the firing squad. Many fled and went back to their homes to hide and pray that troops would not come after them. The Young Pretender himself escaped from the battle of Culloden and spent five months wandering the Highlands while the redcoats searched for him. The astonishing sum of 30,000 pounds was offered for his capture, but no-one betrayed him. Many men paid for their silence with their lives. He was spirited away to the Isle of Skye by Flora Macdonald and she paid for her assistance by imprisonment in an English gaol. Finally, from the same beach where he was landed, he was picked up by a French warship and taken to the safety of France. He died in exile in Rome and by then he was no longer the dashing hero of legend and song but a dissolute drunk.
Those that did not die in the aftermath of Culloden were sent to prison, where they would face starvation, heavy manual labor and later the horrid trip across the ocean to become indentured labor in either Australia, or the New World.
This is why you see so many families in the South lay claim to Clans in Scotland. The Scots had a new chance to start over in this New World.
For those left behind in Scotland the life they fled now was much more different.
The clans of Scotland were the family of many Scots, if you didn't have a clan you had no roots.
Your tartan or plaid told the story of your family and the Scots were very proud of their heritage, they still are.
After Culloden they didn't have much choice or rights. England was now a driving force.
Bagpipes, the native music of Scotland were also outlawed. Everything that symbolized the Scots was outlawed. The carrying of arms was banned by the government and breaking of the ban was punishable by death. Likewise the wearing of the plaid, kilt or any kind of tartan and even the playing of bagpipes were made illegal. The Highlanders threw away their weapons, dyed their plaids and sewed them up into poor renderings of trousers. To be a warrior and wear the cloth of his fathers was now open only to these young men who joined the Highland regiments that were raised for the service of the crown overseas. The Scots had long practiced the religion of the Pope, but after the battle of Culloden they were no longer allowed to practice that. The Church of England was the only allowable religion. Even in the New World, if it was known that you were a "Papist" You were not allowed to own land.
Ever the Scots were a proud people and to this day they long once more for a Stuart to sit on the throne of Scotland.
There is a family in Scotland, a big supporter of the Stuarts and their claim on the throne. In the days after the battle the Bonnie Prince visited this home, Traquair and upon his leaving the fifth Earl closed the gates after him and made him a promise. His wished the Prince a safe journey and told him that these gates would not be opened until the Stuarts were restored to the throne. We are then left with a monument to the end of an era of Scottish history and the final shattered hopes of a lost Stuart dynasty.
The Bonnie Prince had no children and the Stuart line died. There will never be another Stuart to sit on the throne and the Crown Jewels of Scotland sit safely in Edinburgh Castle.
|The Bonnie Prince
Those gates closed and locked so many years ago, sit locked and waiting, I saw them and they remain the same as they did on that early morning in 1745.
|The Bear Gates
||Scottish Crown Jewels
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, Scotland, whose chief product had been textiles, began developing the industries of shipbuilding, coal mining, iron, and steel. In the late 20th century Scotland concentrated on electronics and high-tech industries. The North Sea has also become an important source of oil and gas.
In May 1999, Scotland elected its first separate Parliament in three centuries. Labour won the largest number of seats, defeating the Scottish National Party (SNP), which supports Scotland's independence from Britain.