History of Scotland

Wars and Rebellions

Scotland has been a constituent part of Great Britain since the Act of Union was passed by the legislatures of England and Scotland in 1707. However, the union of these two ancient lands has not always been an easy one, and even after 1707 wars and rebellions by Scots determined to maintain their full independence were not uncommon. Many of these conflicts have been celebrated in popular culture and some have even been given the Hollywood treatment. One of the most notable examples was “Braveheart”, a 1995 film produced, directed and starring Australian actor Mel Gibson. While not completely accurate, the film told the story of William Wallace and his struggle to keep Scotland fully independent in the face of attacks and invasions from England’s King Edward I in the early 14th century.

Competing claims for the English throne based on religion in the 17th and early 18th centuries saw several wars and rebellions flare up. In both 1715 and 1745, Scottish pretenders to the English throne mounted full-scale rebellions. The rebellion of 1745 led by Charles Edward Stuart (known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie”) was the last, and was soundly put down by England at the Battle of Culloden.

The reputation of the Scots as fearsome warriors remains to this day. Also continuing is the longstanding practice of bagpipers leading British soldiers into battle (although this is officially discouraged). During the 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe, piper Bill Millen accompanied the 1st Special Service Brigade led by Lord Lovat onto Sword Beach in Normandy, proudly playing the pipes as the British commandos marched triumphantly ashore.

Historical Scottish Facts

The Romans invaded Britain in the 1st century AD, they added southern Britain to their empire as the province Britannia. They were unable though to subdue the fierce tribes in the north. A massive wall was built across the island from sea to sea on demand by the Emperor Hadrian, to keep these tribes from invading Britannia. Parts of this Hadrian's Wall still stands on the Scottish border today.

The Normans conquered England in 1066, and then many Anglo-Saxons from England settled in the Lowlands of Scotland. This is when the Scots gradually adopted the English ways. Feudalism was established, and the chiefs of the clans became nobles. This is when Scottish town began to grow, trades were increased, and Scotland thrived. More...

The story of the Scottish Throne is a long and complex one. From the beginning of the twelfth century a single king started to rule, what we know today as Scotland. The thirteenth century was a time of insecurity for the whole of Scotland, with the fighting and Wars of Independence between Scotland and England. The fourteenth century brought a sense of nationhood and stableness, when the monarchial evolution began to develop.

William Wallace is known as the greatest hero and one of the most important symbols of Scottish independence in Scotland's history, although he lived many centuries ago. Although his exact birthdate and birthplace is unknown, he was born around 1276. William was Sir Malcolm Wallace's second son of three. By the year 1297, Wallace controlled much of Scotland, and his battles were something movies are made of. Although his army was outnumbered, they managed to defeat the English army at Stirling Bridge, using strategy and intimidation - the victory that drove the English out of Scotland. In 1305, Wallace was captured and taken to trial in London, where he was convicted of treachery and was brutally murdered. More...

Scottish clans gives a form of Scottish identity and is known in Scots and by people from all over the world, it has a formal structure of Clan Chiefs officially registered with the court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms whom controls the heraldry and Coat of arms. Each clan has its own tartan patterns, and those identifying with the clan can wear kilts of the appropriate tartan as a badge of membership and as a uniform where appropriate. More...


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