Scotland’s History in a nut shell

The people who inhabited Scotland in 100 AD, at the time of the Romans, were known as ‘Picti’ (Picts) the painted people. Little is known of the Picts except for the many standing stones they have left behind and can be seen all over Scotland today. On the Black Isle just north of Inverness, there is Groam House Museum which has lots of information on the Picts and their superb elaborate stone work.

In 500AD the Scots arrived from Ireland, establishing their first capital at Dunadd, in the Kilmartin Glen just south of Oban which you can still visit today.

In the 9th century Kenneth Mac Alpine, the King of the Scots at Dunadd also became King of the Picts, ruling over central and northern Scotland.

The origins of present day Scotland date back to 1034 when King Malcolm II was known as “King of Scotia”, ruling over the whole of what we know as Scotland today.

In the 1290’s Edward I of England conquered Scotland which led to the struggle under William Wallace clearly depicted in the film “Brave Heart”. Later Robert the Bruce continued the fight eventually gaining Scotland its freedom. The Stirling area has lots to see on Scotland’s Wars of Independence in the 13th century.

The Declaration of Arbroath in April 1320 stated: “For as long as one hundred of us shall remain alive we shall never in wise consent to submit to the rule of the English, for it is not for glory we fight, for riches, or for honours, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life.” This was the first time in history where freedom is mentioned, not in terms of an individual’s freedom, but that of a nation.

The struggles with England continued until the death of Elizabeth I, July 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, King of two separate nations each with separate parliaments.

Then comes the period about which, much has been written and sung about, with many stories and myths created as a result. The Jacobite Period.

Who were the Jacobites? They were the supporters of the exiled Stuart Kings in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Called Jacobite after ‘Jacobus’ the Latin version of the name James, the name of the first of two ‘Kings over the water.’ The Jacobite period began with the flight of King James II of England and the VII of Scotland in 1688 to France and ends in 1746 with the Battle of Culloden (the last battle fought on British soil) and the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the end of the 45 rebellion.

It was not until 1707 that the two parliaments combined to form the largest free trading block in Europe. There was celebrations in England and rioting in Scotland.

It was not until 1999 that Scotland once again had its own parliament, this time as part of the United Kingdom within the European Economic Community.

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