English and Scottish Parliaments

On the 24th March 1603, Queen Elizabeth I of the House of Tudor died, leaving no heir to the English throne.  King James VI of Scotland, son of Mary, Queen of Scots and great-grandson of Mary Tudor, became King James I of England.

Since 1603, when England and Scotland had been ruled by the same King, many attempts had been undertaken to unite the kingdoms into one voice.

On the 1st May 1707, the “Kingdom of Great Britain,” came into force, with the “Treaty of Union,” binding two ancient kingdoms into one; England and Scotland.  This new kingdom, had a new flag, comprising of the crosses of St.George and St.Andrew.

English and Scottish Parliaments were abolished, only to be replaced by the “Parliament of Great Britain.  The English held 513 seats plus 196 in the Lords, whilst the Scots held 45 seats plus 16 in the Lords.  As the Scots held the smaller number of seats, they only paid a fortieth of the British Tax bill, as they were now part of the British Tax System.

Scottish taxes north of the border had been relatively low, compared with those in the south.  Now they had to pay their share of England’s eighteen million pond debt, which sent uproar across the land.

With the Scots up in arms, and the ink on the agreement; union of the two countries barely dry.  Something had to be done to sweeten the deal.  So it was the English Exchequer granted a tax concession on salt and malt, along with a payment just short of £400,000 pounds.  In August of 1707, the promised payment arrived by wagons, and only one quarter was paid in gold and silver ingots.  The balance was paid in paper money, Scotland was not happy by any means.

Towards the end of 1707, the Scottish Privy Council was abolished, and a new Treason Act for Scotland was introduced in 1709, based on English forms of law.  This was in clear breach of the treaty, and Scottish nobles felt betrayed.

One case in breach of the treaty: In 1711, an Anglican Clergyman was convicted for using the English Prayer Book, and had his sentence overturned by the House of Lords.  By 1715 London’s interference into how Scotland was run, led to conflict among its people.

After Scotland’s union with England in 1707, trade with France went on the decline, but the Scots still had a yearning for the finer things in life; French Brandy and Silks.  Higher customs duties led to a rise in smuggling.

In 1713, a bill was put forward, calling for the abolishment of the Union, by an unhappy Scotland, but was defeated in the House of Lords by only four votes.

Scotland: Act of Union 1707

Key dates in the history of the union between England and Scotland:

Queen Elizabeth I of England dies in 1603 and James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England.  The kingdoms remain separate but are ruled by a single monarch.

The Glorious Revolution of 1688/89 sees the Catholic James II deposed in favour of his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange.

In the year 1700, William the Duke of Gloucester, William and Mary’s nephew and heir presumptive dies, aged eleven.

In the year 1701, James Edward Stuart, son of the James II (known as the Old Pretender in England), recognised as heir to the English and Scottish thrones by Louis XIV of France.  The Act of Settlement in England leaves Scotland to make its own choice of succeeding monarch.

In the March of 1702 William III dies.

In the November of 1702 Queen Anne, William’s sister-in-law opens negotiations with the Scottish Parliament.

Stormy negotiation of 1703-1704, end in deadlock.

The Aliens Act restricts Scottish trade with England in 1705.

First proposal for a United Kingdom of Great Britain is laid on the table in 1706.  In July the sealed Articles of Union are presented to Queen Anne.

In January 1707, articles are ratified by the Scottish Parliament, then in March ratified by the English Parliament.  In the May the Act of Union becomes law in both countries, now united into a single kingdom.

In 1715 the first Jacobite Rebellion is in favour of the Old Pretender.  Then in 1745 a second Jacobite Rebellion sees Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated.  In 1746 the clan system is dismantled by Act of Parliament.

Scotland: The Four Kingdoms

With the departure of the Roman’s from Scotland, four kingdoms emerged.

The Picts covered northern Scotland from the River Forth to the Shetlands, and are also remembered for their carved symbol stones.

The Britons wrote poetry in Old Welsh, and held Dumbarton Rock and the South.

The Gaelic speaking people of Dal Riato famed for their metalwork, like the Hunterston Brooch which dates from around AD 700, showing the Gaels, to be a highly artistic culture.

The Angles, Germanic invaders who held the Kingdom of Bernicia, who brought with them the Anglo-Saxon tongue, which became the Scots language.

In the early years of the 7th century, the Angles captured Edinburgh from the Britons, then pushed west to Galloway.  In AD685, they struck north into Pictland, reaching a climax at Dunnichen.  In the Battle of Dunnichen, King Bridei of the Picts, massacred the King of the Angles.

In AD793 the ferocious raids began on monasteries; Iona and Lindisfarne among others, creating fear and confusion across the kingdoms.  Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles fell to these Norsemen.

In AD839 the Vikings wiped out the Pictish royal family.  Competitors emerged for the kingship, and Kenneth MacAlpine, King of the Gaels of Dal Riata, became the undisputed King of the Picts in AD849.  He brought with him the relics of St.Columba from the island of Iona to Dunkeld – the saint and his preaching’s were a powerful symbol of authority to accompany a Gaelic king to his new kingdom.  Pictland hadn’t been fully conquered, but rather the foundations had been set for a new Gaelic Kingdom which included the Picts.

It wasn’t long before the Vikings were back, this time to conquer Britain.  In AD867 they seized the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria, followed up three years later, by storming Dunbarton Fortress, and went on to conquer much of Britain.  The Picts and Gaels found themselves encircled by Viking forces.

In AD900 Constantine mac Aed became King of the Picts.  In less than four years had defeated the Vikings at Strathcarron, not a battle of the sword but one out of diplomacy.  He married off his daughters to the Vikings, creating an alliance along Gaelic lines and renaming it Alba.  Alba was the creation of the Scottish nation, and the founding father was Constantine II, grandson of Kenneth MacAlpine.

In AD934 Ethelstan, the Anglo-Saxon King of England set about subduing the north of Britain to his will.  He attacked Constantine at Dunnottar, but failed in his quest.  Constantine invaded Britain but was defeated at the Battle of Brunanburh.  Even though Constantine lost the battle he achieved in joining the Picts and Gaels into a single Gaelic speaking nation.


Scotland: The Declaration of Arbroath

The Declaration of Arbroath was signed at Arbroath Abbey in 1320 by Scottish nobles including Sir Henry St.Clair, who urged the Pope to accept Scottish Independence from England.

The stage was set for a bold move toward independence with the Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, in which Henry St.Clair served as one of Robert the Bruce’s commanders. 

The Papacy was one of the most powerful forces in the world during this time and any effort by the Scots to attain independence required the Vatican’s blessing.  The Declaration indicated that should the Pope refuse to accept the Scottish case, the bloody wars of independence would continue with future deaths, being the responsibility of the Pope.  The Pope accepted the Declaration and granted Independence for Scotland.

Declaration of Arbroath:

Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.

The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor would. He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles — by calling, though second or third in rank — the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter’s brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron forever.

The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter’s brother. Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to or laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose vice-gerent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privation brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness’s memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.

But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.

May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.

Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.

Scotland: Dunnottar Castle

To understand the history of Dunnotar Castle, we have to go back in time, well before a castle was even built upon the site.

The “Picts” (Late Latin painted men) lived upon the site, from 5000Bc to 700AD, and were known to worship a religion, similar to that of Druidism, in that they worshipped; masculinity, feminity and spirits of nature.

The site which the castle stands has a strong feminine presence in the spiritual world.  For one known as the “Green Lady” has been observed in the castle looking for her lost children.  As the legend goes, they were Picts who had converted to Christianity around the 5th century.

A Celtic Saint  named Ninian brought Christianity to the Picts, in the 5th century and Dun became the site for one of their churches.  It was a simple structure built out of timber, wattle and daub, a standard style of building for that time.

Brude the Pictish King of Fortriu attacked Dun in 681 to extend his powers over the north-eastern parts of Scotland.  Between 681 and 694 the time of the second siege, the people of Dun more likely turned their former church into a hill fort, to protect themselves from further attacks, by Pictish warriors.  (Dun was the pictish name meaning hill fort, and between 681 and 684, they changed their name).

The 8th – 11th century was a bloody and scary time, for Vikings the scourge of the waters, no more than a race of barbaric savages, raided settlements across Europe.  King Donald II (889-900) was killed during an attack on Dunnottar Castle, from Viking raiders.  They captured the castle, pillaged and finally destroyed it.

The castle was rebuilt out of earth and timber.  It was not until 1276, that a Norman styled stone church was built and consecrated on the site of the former Ninian chapel.

When Edward I (1272-1307) made his claim upon the Scottish throne, Dunnottar got caught up in the battle as English troops occupied the castle.

William Wallace and his army captured the castle in 1297, during the “Wars of Scottish Independence.”  Some 4000 English warriors retreated into the church; seeking refuge.  Wallace proceeded to burn the church to the ground with the English inside, and then destroyed the castle.

Robert I of Scotland died in 1329, and in 1336 Edward I made a bid for the Scottish Throne by dispatching William Sinclair 8th Baron of Roslin with eight ships to Dunnottar Castle ruins, to re-build and fortify the site.  Before the year had ended, Sir Andrew Murray had captured the castle from the English, and burnt it to the ground.

During the 14th century William Keith married Margaret Fraser, the niece of Robert the Bruce, and he became Baron of Dunnottar.

William Keith constructed a tower house, and placed it on the consecrated ground of the parish church, sending them into uproar, and he was excommunicated for his actions.  Pope Benedict XIII issued a Bull notice in 1395, effectively lifting the excommunication order placed upon him.  He went on to enhance the structure of Dunnottar by building stone defences, with a curtain wall around the cliff-top site, and a stone keep.

Dunnottar received royal visits in the shape of King James IV in 1503, Mary Queen of Scots in 1562 after the Battle of Corrichie, and again in 1564.

In 1581 George Keith became 5th Earl Marischal, and so the medieval fortress was turned into a comfortable home, yet still retaining many of its security features.

During a Catholic noble’s rebellion in 1592, Captain Carr captured Dunnottar on behalf of the Earl of Huntly, but it was short lived, for Dunnottar was restored to Lord Marischal, a few weeks later.

For it was, John Crichton was sentenced to death for practising the art of witchcraft in 1595, and burned to death at Dunnottar.

In 1639 William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal supported a Presbyterian movement (Covenanters) who opposed the established Episcopal Church.  With the assistance of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose took up arms against the Catholic Earl of Huntly, thus defeating the Royalists attempt in the seizure of Stonehaven.

James Graham later changed sides, joining the Royalists and marched north, whist William Keith remained at Dunnottar, and James Graham burnt Stonehaven to the ground.

William Keith joined forces with the Engagers who made a deal with the King, and engaged in the Battle of Preston in 1648, supporting the Royalists.

Charles I was executed in 1649 and the Engagers supported their new king: Charles II, as he arrived in Scotland in June 1650, and visited Dunnottar in July 1650.

Oliver Cromwell led a force into Scotland, defeating the Scots at Dunbar in September 1650.

The coronation of Charles II took place at Scone Palace on 1st January 1651, and the Honours of Scotland (Regalia of Crown, Sword and Sceptre) were used in the ceremony.

With Cromwell in Lothian, the Honours of Scotland could not be returned to the safety of Edinburgh Castle, and were duly smuggled into Dunnottar for their safety.  With Sir George Ogilvie as Lieutenant–Governor of the castle, they believed the Honours of Scotland, would be safe in his custody.

What they had not bargained on was the sheer determination of Oliver Cromwell, to destroy what was sacred to the Scots; the Honours of Scotland.  For in September 1651, so started the siege of Dunnottar, against a garrison of sixty-nine men, who held out for eight months, before surrendering a battle scarred castle to Cromwell’s army.

What Cromwell wanted most had been smuggled away for safety, right under the noses of the English army?

So how were the Honours of Scotland smuggled out of the castle?  It is believed that Mrs Grainger, the minister’s wife from Kinneff, slipped them under her skirt, whilst visiting the castle on compassionate grounds.  Or they could have been lowered over the wall to a servant of Mrs Grainger.  It shows to what extent people would go, to save their heritage, from the English army, intent on destruction.

At the news that they could not be found in the castle, Oliver Cromwell was so enraged, that the chapel and castle were torn apart, and ransacked of fixture and fittings.  Cromwell’s government then imposed fines upon Marischal, and he was forced into selling his lands and possessions to pay them.

Charles II was restored to his rightful place in 1660, and the “Honours of Scotland” were removed from their hiding place in Kinneff Church and returned to the King.

Dunnottar Castle; its Keep now in ruins, and the great hall, all but destroyed, yet there was still enough to create a military presence in the area.

The year was 1685 and King James VII was on the Scottish throne, and religious turmoil had broken out, as authorities had stamped out Presbyterianism.  A total of 167 men and women, who would not accept the King’s ruling on spiritual matters, and the use of the new prayer book, were imprisoned in Dunnottar for five weeks, and their dark cellar became known as the “Whigs Vault.”

Some 167 entered the vault, 37 were released upon taking an oath to their King.  Of the remaining, some managed to escape, but most were shipped off to a Penal Colony in the West Indies, and seventy were known to have died on the voyage.

Viscount Dundee’s campaign in support of the now deposed James VII in 1689, saw Dunnottar Castle garrisoned for William and Mary with Lord Marischal appointed captain for the duration.

The 9th Earl Marischal regained Dunnottar in 1695, but years of military occupation had taken its toll on the building.  The 10th Earl Marischal made a mistake that would see the loss of the family home.  He joined up with the Jacobite Rebellion, supporting James VII.  James and the Earl Marischal were forced to flee their homeland, after an unsuccessful uprising, and headed to France for safety.


The northern parts of Scotland are known to suffer from the savage waters of the North Sea.  Some ten miles south of Aberdeen, sits Dunnottar Castle, close to the town of Stonehaven.

Time has not been good to Dunnottar, this fine old castle has stood up well, to what man has thrown at her.  She is located on the shoreline, and nature has been doing its worst, gale force winds beating down upon her, and savage waters lapping at her walls for hundreds of years.  All that remains is a ruinous building, slowly slipping away, taking its memories with her.

A 14th century Tower House (Keep) had a dual use, on one hand it represented a noble mansion, whilst still being a fortified mansion.  It contained a stone-vaulted basement, with three floors above and a garret topping, measuring 39ft x 36ft x 49ft high, which housed a great hall, private chamber, bedrooms and kitchen.  Alongside stood outhouses, containing a storehouse and forge.

Located close by stands the Priests’ House as used by William Keith.  It contained a hall and kitchen on the ground floor, with private chambers above, with a northerly spiral staircase, and it is believed to have been built in the 1570’s.

The palace built in the latter part of the 16th and mid 17th century, are based on three wings within a quadrangle, believed to be the work of 5th Earl Marischal.  It was an unusual design for those times, as most buildings tended to be tall, and this was a long and low design.

It had seven lodgings that opened out onto the quadrangle, above was the gallery, all part of the west range, and at the end of the gallery was the drawing room linked to the north range.  The north range basement housed kitchens and stores, with dining room and great chamber above.  Located between north and west ranges on the ground floor is the Water Gate giving access to the northern cliffs.

The east range has a larder, brewhouse and bakery on the ground floor level with a suite of apartments for the Countess above.  A north-eastern wing would contain the Earl’s apartments, which included the “King’s Bedroom” as used by Charles II, when he stayed at Dunnottar.  An inscribed stone can be found within: 7th Earl and his wife dated 1654.

Below is the famous “Whigs’ Vault” 52ft x 15ft, and a lower vault accessed by a trap-door in the floor.

Artillery defences surrounded the north-west corner of the castle, facing inland, and the south-east corner, facing seaward, and overlooking the coastline.

Scotland: Mary Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots was born at Linlithgow Palace on the 8th December 1542, to parents King James V and Marie de Guise.

James V had been defeated at the “Battle of Solway Moss” by English forces commanded by Oliver Sinclair.  James chose to retire to his hunting lodge at Falkland Palace in Fife out of disgrace, and on the 14th December he died.

Henry VIII, called off the war against Scotland, and sought to negotiate a marriage between Mary and Prince Edward VI heir apparent to the English throne, then aged five.

The Regent of Scotland, The Earl of Arran was in favour of the marriage, and so the Treaty of Greenwich was entered into, thus Mary and Edward were betrothed to each other.  However, opposing factions saw it as a threat to Scottish nationality and their Catholic religion.  Pressure was brought to bear on the Earl of Arran, to withdraw from the treaty, and seek an alliance with France.

On the 9th December 1543, Mary was crowned Mary, Queen of Scots at Stirling castle.

In 1558, Mary married Francis the dauphin of France at Notre Dame in Paris, and on the 10th July 1559, Mary ascends to Queen Consort of France, when her husband becomes King Francis II of France.

Many in England feared this marriage could have long term consequences.  For Mary was now queen Consort of France, Queen of Scotland, and declared herself as the true Queen of England, whilst her husband became King Consort of Scotland and King of France, this royal alliance had united French and Scottish crowns.

On the 5th December 1560, Mary’s husband King Francis II of France died.

In 1560, Mass performed in Latin became illegal, according to the law laid down by the Scottish Parliament, as the Protestant faith, spread across much of Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots found herself a widow at eighteen, and returned to her homeland of Scotland in 1561, to take up her position as Queen of Scotland.  She a Catholic, in a predominately Protestant country, forced into accepting her Scotland was now led by a Protestant Government.

In 1565, Mary marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, her cousin, believing upon the death of Elizabeth I; with him on her side, any claim to the English throne would be increased.  They married at Mary’s private chapel in Holyrood House on the 29th July.  The marriage was a failure, for Darnley wanted to be joint ruler with Mary.

Mary appointed one David Riccio an Italian as her personal secretary, and on the 9th March 1566, Darnley burst into her chambers at Holyrood House with fellow conspirators in a jealous rage, and murdered Riccio.

On the 19th June 1566, Mary gave birth to a son; James at Edinburgh Castle, who would grow up to become King James VI of Scotland, and baptised on the 12th December at Stirling Castle.

Early in 1567, Darnley was known to be plotting against Mary’s life.  Then on the 9th February Stuart Darnley, the King of Scotland was strangled to death in the grounds of Kirk O’Fields, following an explosion.  Then in the May, the Earl of Bothwell believed to be behind the murder marries Mary, Queen of Scots.

On the 15th June 1567, Protestant Lords confronted Mary at Carberry Hill, near Edinburgh, where she surrendered and was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle.  Pressure was brought to bear, forcing her to abdicate in favour of her infant son; James.

Mary escaped in 1568, defeated in the “Battle of Langside” on the 13th May, and fled south, crossing the border into England, expecting Elizabeth to support her … how wrong she was.

Mary found herself a prisoner, first at Carlisle Castle, then Bolton Castle.

In October of 1586, Mary found herself on trial for treason against the life of Elizabeth, through correspondence with Anthony Babington.  On the 25th October she was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to death.

On the 8th February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots, she who sought help from Elizabeth and England, a conspirator against the life of Elizabeth, lost her own life to the executioner… at Fotheringhay Castle, and was buried first at Peterborough Cathedral, then in 1612 moved to Westminster Abbey.

Scotland: Bonnie Prince Charlie

Bonnie Prince Charlie was born on the 31st December 1720 to James III of Scotland, in Rome, amidst great rejoicing, for Jacobites throughout Western Europe who looked to him to win back the throne for the Stuarts.

Europe became increasingly restless when Emperor Charles VI died in 1740. And tension mounted between Protestant England and Catholic Jacobean Scotland and France.  Charles’ ambition and desire for military success led him to plan an invasion of England, in order to capture the throne for his father, from George II.

After a brief period in France following a failed attempt to gain support, Prince Charles landed in Scotland on the 25th July 1745.  He quickly gained support from the Highlands and his army successfully fought General John Cape’s men.  After the victory at the Battle of Prestonpans, Charles and his army attempted to continue to London.  They were forced to retreat back to Scotland, after receiving reports of overwhelming armies prepared to defend the city.

Much against the Prince’s will, his supporters turned back at Derby.  Pursued by government forces, they won a victory at Falkirk but were finally crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Charles was forced to spend the next five months as a hunted man.

Charles escaped from the field and after months of being hunted through the Western Highlands, managed to escape to France, spending the rest of his life in exile, sinking ever deeper into depression and alcoholism.  His late marriage in 1772 to the German Louise of Stalberg was childless, and she eventually left him.

After his father’s death, he styled himself in the image of Charles III, but by then all hope of a Jacobite restoration was lost.  He died on the 31st January 1788.

Scotland: The Jacobite Rebellion

The Jacobites  were supporters of the exiled royal house of the Stuart. The Jacobites took their name from Jacobus.  James II had been deprived of his throne in 1688.

In 1689 supporters of James II led by Viscount Dundee defeated a Protestant Covenanter army at the Battle of Killiekrankie.

In 1690 William of Orange defeats James II and his Jacobite supporters at the Battle of Boyne in Ireland.

In 1691, William of Orange offers a pardon to all Jacobites in the Scottish highlands who swear an allegiance to him by the end of the year.

In the January of 1692, King William II issues an order of displine against the Highland Scots.  In the February, the MacDonald chief was late in taking his oath to King William, and members of the Campbell clan killed 38 MacDonald’s at Glencoe.

In June of 1701, the Act of Settlement was passed by Parliament, which stated if William III and Princess/Queen Anne died without heirs, succession would pass to Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I, and her heirs.  James II dies, succeeded by his son James III (The Old Pretender). 

In 1708 a French naval squadron unsuccessfully attempted to land the Old Pretender on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh.

With the accession of King George I of England, a Jacobite rebellion started in Braemar on the 6th September 1715 in Scotland.  The Scottish Jacobites were defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir on the 13th November.  On the 14th November English and Scottish Jacobites were defeated near Preston.  On the 22nd December the Old Pretender lands at Peterhead, joining up with fellow Jacobites at Perth, before returning to France on the 4th February 1716.

In 1743 war broke out between England and France. France was a Catholic country, and had always supported the Stuarts’ claim to the English throne.

King Louis XV informed the fifty-seven year old James Edward Stuart in 1745 that if he was to invade England he would supply him with arms and ammunition. James was not keen on becoming involved in another military campaign. However, his son Charles Stuart was keen to stand in for his father, and so it was, that on 5 July he left France with 700 men.

Once in Scotland, Charles Stuart; Bonnie Prince Charlie, began building up his army. He was especially successful at persuading Catholics living in the Scottish Highlands to join him. In September, Charles was ready to take action. His first move was to capture Holyrood, the ancient palace of Scottish kings. The English army arrived soon afterwards but Charles’ army had an easy victory at the battle of Prestonpans. Charles’ 5,000 man army now marched into England and by December had reached Derby.

Charles had hoped that English Catholics would join his army. This did not happen. In fact, in many of the towns that he marched through, the crowds showed great hostility to Charles’ army. Louis XV had promised Charles that 12,000 French soldiers would invade England in the autumn of 1745. However, Louis XV did not keep his promise. Although Charles still wanted to march on London, his military advisers argued that without the support of the French they were certain to be beaten. Reluctantly, Charles agreed to return to Scotland.

On the 18th February 1746, Jacobite forces capture Inverness.

A government army, led by the Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland, followed Charles back into Scotland. Completely outnumbered, Charles’s army was chased into the Scottish Highlands.

In April 1746, Charles Stuart; Bonnie Prince Charlie decided to turn and fight the English army, and met at Culloden Moor on 16 April. Cumberland’s army destroyed the Jacobites and Charles was forced to flee from the battlefield.

A reward of £30,000 was offered for his capture, but Charles still had many loyal supporters who were willing to hide him, until he could be smuggled back to France.

George II gave the Duke of Cumberland instructions that the Scots had to be punished for supporting Charles. Many of those who had joined Charles’ army were executed and their land was given to those who had remained loyal to George II. Scotsmen were also banned from wearing kilts and playing bagpipes.

Scotland: Battle of Bannockburn

On the 24th June 1314, the “Battle of Bannockburn” became a decisive victory for the Scots, over the English, led by their leader; Robert the Bruce.

The victory overturned England’s domination of Scotland that which was established by Edward I which brought about an Independent Scottish Kingdom.

Edward II launched a campaign, to capture territory seized by Robert the Bruce, lands which had been taken by Edward I.

In 1314, an English army was sent north to relieve the garrison at Stirling, that which was under attack.

Robert the Bruce met a force of 60,000 infantry, 20,000 archers and 1,400 mixed cavalry, with his smaller army.  As one knows, having the larger force is no guarantee of victory.  The Scots positioned themselves with the forest to the left, marsh lands to the right, and to the front, a stream traversed by only one road.

Edward II sent in a frontal cavalry charge which was pushed back, and Scottish cavalry showed how it was done, as they broke through the line of English archers.

The English army was demoralised by these defeats, and further disintegrated as Robert’s Scottish camp followers charged against the English forces.

Edward II leader of the English forces fled the battlefield, as thousands lost their lives that day.

The “Battle of Bannockburn” was the greatest triumph by Scottish forces over the English.  Edward II was compelled to acknowledge Robert the Bruce, as King of Scotland.

William Wallace and his latter years

William Wallace had become the most wanted man by the English and evaded capture until 5th August 1305.

To many noblemen of Scotland, William Wallace roots show he is nothing more than a commoner with a grudge against the English.  No one can deny, if it hadn’t been for him, Scotland would have become nothing more than a province of England under English rule.

So who betrayed William Wallace to the English?

It is said that Sir John Mentieth a Scottish noble born in 1275, in Ruskie, Stirling, son Walter Bailoch Stewart, the 5th Earl of Menteith, and Mary the 4th Countess of Menteith.  He also replaced the Stewart name to that of Menteith.

In 1296 at the Battle of Dunbar, against the English, he along with his brother Alexander Stewart the 6th Earl of Menteith were captured with many other nobles and imprisoned.

In the June of 1297 King Edward I released Scottish nobles formerly captured at Dunbar, on condition they quell this minor insurrection in the Moray province. 

John Menteith pledged his undying support to King Edward I, and was appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle, this became a secure fortification, becoming a major access route into Scotland from the sea.

On the 5th August, Sir John Menteith being a loyal supporter of King Edward I of England, betrayed William Wallace to English soldiers, and played a part in the capture of this outlaw.

William Wallace was escorted under heavy escort from Robroyston to London on the charge of treason.  He was brought before the authorities charged with treason and atrocities against civilians in war, and crowned with an oak garland, meaning he is the King of the outlaws. 

His response was “I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.”  Wallace implied that John Balliol was his King.

On the 23rd August 1305 he was removed to the Tower of London having been found guilty of all charges against him, and stripped naked and dragged through the city streets.  He was then hanged, drawn and quartered; an English medieval ritual to ensure one could not rise again on Judgement Day.

They first strangled him by hanging, but stopped short of death.  Emasculated him by removal of his testicles.  Eviscerated him by removal of his internal organs, disembowel and burnt before his very eyes.  Then they beheaded him, and cut his body into four parts.

His head was dipped in tar and placed on a pike on London Bridge.  The remaining four parts of his body were displayed separately in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Stirling and Perth.

William Wallace was seen by the Scottish people as a true martyr of Scotland, and as a symbol of the struggle for independence.  What he had started continued on after his death.

Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick was crowned King of Scotland in 1306.

Scotland gained its independence from the English some fifty years after the execution of William Wallace.  He has been remembered as one of Scotland’s greatest heroes.

In 1869 the Wallace Monument was erected on Stirling Bridge.

A plaque is located on the wall of St.Bartholomews Hospital in London, close to the place of William Wallace’s execution at Smithfield.

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