Scotland: The Declaration of Arbroath

Declaration of Arbroath

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.

(Image) Declaration of Arbroath: Scottish.biz

Scotland’s Birth from Palaeolithic Times

Scotlands Pre-Historic Time

10,000 BC: The earliest known occupation of Scotland by man, started in the Palaeolithic era, also known as the Stone Age.  Man lived off the land and waters, hunting for fish and wild animals, gathering fruit, plants, roots, nuts and shells.

Stone Age Man

Stone Age Man

3,000 BC: Early prehistoric tools discovered in Scotland, date back to the Neolithic age, and the nomadic hunter-gatherers.  It was a time when farmers built permanent dwellings.

120 AD: Much of Scotland’s history, started when the Roman’s arrived in Britain.  As hard as they tried, Roman forces could not defeat the Caledonians and Picts.  Fortifications were built by the Romans, to defend themselves against these warriors, in the shape of Hadrian’s and Antonine Wall.

800 AD: Viking accomplished warriors and seamen migrated from Norway and Denmark, settling in Scotland.  The Viking’s settled in the west as the Picts forged a new kingdom; the Kingdom of Alba.

1040 AD: Macbeth ruled Scotland, and a fictious tale by William Shakespeare written in Tudor Times, kept the tale alive for centuries.  Macbeth, the King of Alba ruled from 1040-1057.

1100 AD: In the 12th century, the Kingdom of Alba grew, becoming a feudal society. Peace was achieved through the “Treaty of Falaise,” signed by William I.  During the reigns of Alexander II & III much land was turned over to agriculture, trade on the continent grew, monasteries and abbeys flourished.

1297 AD: Succession crisis brought unrest across Scotland, following the death of Alexander III.  England’s monarch, Edward I believed he should be recognised as overlord of Scotland, as his troops marched north. Edward planned to cross the River forth at Stirling Bridge, but were pushed back by William Wallace.

1306 AD: Robert the Bruce was crowned King, amidst times of unrest.  In 1314, Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II at the “Battle of Bannockburn.”

1320 AD: The “Declaration of Arbroath” proclaimed Scotland’s status as an independent state, which was sent to the Pope John XXII, who gave his seal of approval.

1450 AD: The cultural intellectual and artistic movement took hold across Europe which brought changes to Scotland.  Education, intellectual life, literature, art, music, architecture, and politics advanced in the late 15th century.

1542 AD: In 1542 Mary is crowned Queen of the Scots at the tender age of nine months.  Her reign was marked by civil unrest during the Rough Wooing and conflict between the Catholics and Protestants during the Reformation.  Worried Mary would try to launch a Catholic plot against her, Elizabeth I imprisoned Mary in England until her execution in 1597.

1603 AD: James VI succeeded to the throne at just 13 months after Mary was forced to abdicate.  When Elizabeth I died with no heir, James VI succeeded to the English throne and became King James VI & James I, a historic move that’s now known as the “Union of the Crowns.”

1707 AD: The Act of Union brought Scotland even closer to Britain by creating a single Parliament of the United Kingdom at the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament).

1746AD: The “Battle of Culloden” in 1746 was the final Jacobite rising and the last battle fought on British soil.  The Jacobites were no match for the Hanoverian army – the battle lasted barely an hour and the army had been crushed.

1746 AD: Shortly after the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden, a period known as the Highland Clearances began.  A number of laws were introduced in an attempt to assimilate the Highlanders; speaking Gaelic and wearing traditional attire was banned, and clan chiefs had their rights of jurisdiction removed.

1750 AD: The Age of Enlightment shaped the modern world.  The intellectual movement sought to understand the natural world and the human mind and ranged across philosophy, chemistry, geology, engineering, technology, poetry, medicine, economics and history.

1800 AD: Industrial advances and wealth accumulated from the trade of tobacco, sugar and cotton which brought about the dawn of urban Scotland at the turn of the 19th century.  The country shifted from rural to urban, and huge towns, large factories and heavy industry took hold.  Mining, shipbuilding and textiles became an important part of Scotland’s development.

Wikipedia Images

Scotland: Neolithic – Bronze Age (4000-751BC)

Bronze Age Tools

Bronze Age Tools

The farmers of the early Neolithic age have left little or no evidence of their life.  It appears they lived in small houses, built upon a stone base, with a roof made from timbers and thatch.  Evidence of grinding stones, proves that cereals were cultivated and ground for flour.

Evidence exists of domesticated animals; sheep, cattle and goats, in the form of bones.  Farmers are known to have hunted for wild food, such as deer or fish.  Farming tools used, more than likely consisted of spades and hoes, and possibly a basic plough.

Hand tools such as axes and hammers would have been constructed from wood, flint and stone.  Flint would have been easier to work than stone, producing a razor sharp edge.  On the flip side, stone axes and hammers, would have lasted much longer.  There are suggestions that some axes show no sign of use, and begs the question, whether it had a symbolic use.  Pottery of this period has all the indications of a community.  Clay pots had practical uses, but were heavy to use.

Traces of burials and ceremonial structures have been discovered in Long Barrows.  Excavated tombs contain many bones which have been cleaned.

Across the world, bodies of the dead are often exposed for defleshing before burial takes place.  Some evidence found, suggest this form of burial took place in Scotland.

Wikipedia Image

Scotland: The Jacobite Rebellion

King James II

King James II

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.

King James III

King James III

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.

NPG 5517; Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Louis Gabriel Blanchet

Bonnie Prince Charlie

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.

Wikipedia Images

Mary Queen of Scots

NPG 1766,Mary, Queen of Scots,by Unknown artist

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.

Mary Queen of Scots Execution

Execution of Mary Queen of Scots by Dutch Artist

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.

Images:
Mary Queen of Scots: Wikipedia
Execution of Mary Queen of Scots: National Portrait Gallery

Mary of Guise

Mary of Guise

Mary of Guise ( Queen Regent of Scotland)

Mary of Lorraine, better known as Mary of Guise, Queen to James V, and regent of Scotland was born at Bar on the 22nd November 1515, to parents Claude of Guise and Antoinette of Bourbon.

Mary of Guise married Louis II of Orleans, Duke of Longueville in 1534, and bore him a son Francis in 1535.  In the June of 1537, her husband, the Duke of Longueville died.

Mary was in her early twenties, and sought in marriage by James V, whose wife had died in the July and Henry VIII after the death of his beloved wife; Jane Seymour.

Mary accepted the offer of marriage from James V.  Mary an adopted daughter of France received papal dispensation for her upcoming marriage.  Her marriage to James V was celebrated first by Proxy in the May of 1538 in Paris, then at St.Andrews upon her arrival in Scotland.

She bore James two sons; James in the May of 1540 and Robert in the April of 1541, both sons died in the April of 1541.  In December of 1542; Mary, Queen of Scots was born and within a week James had died.

Cardinal David Breton, head of the French and Catholic party, and friend and ally to Mary, produced a will of the late king, which stated primacy in regency was assigned to Breton, himself.  John Knox made accusations of unfounded intimacy between Mary and Breton.  A similar report was revived in 1543, by Sir Ralph Sadler, English envoy.

Cardinal David Breton was arrested, and the regency fell to heir presumptive James, Earl of Arran, who hoped to secure the hand of the infant princess for his own son.

Mary of Guise was asked by the English commissioner, Sir Ralph Sadler to push her daughter, to further her contract of marriage with Edward VI.

A marriage treaty was signed on the 1st July at Greenwich, and Mary, Queen of Scots was barely a year old, was betrothed to Edward VI.  The terms stated that Mary would be placed in Henry’s custody when she was ten years old.  The Queen dowager and her daughter were under constant scrutiny at Linlithgow, and on the 23rd July 1543, escaped to the safety of Stirling Castle, aided by Cardinal Breton.

Following the Queen’s coronation in the September, Mary of Guise, played a prominent part in the affairs of the kingdom… Queen Regent of Scotland.

Mary of Guise kept in contact with her French kinsmen, for she sought a French alliance for her daughter.  This meant going out on a limb, against her advisers, who opposed such an idea.

The English invasion of 1547 was to enforce the English marriage, which gave Mary the reason for a French alliance.  In the June of 1548 a French fleet and 5,000 soldiers landed at Leith under the command of Andre de Montalembert, seigneur d’Esse, to booster Scottish forces, laying siege to English held Haddington.

NPG 1766,Mary, Queen of Scots,by Unknown artist

Mary Queen of Scots

The Scottish Parliament approved the marriage of Mary, the young Queen of Scotland with the Dauphin of France.  In the August of 1548, she set sail from Dumbarton to complete her education in the French court.

In the September of 1550, Mary of Guise visited France, seeking assurances from Henry II, over the confirmation of the dukedom and revenues of Chatelherault for the Earl of Arran, inducing him to resign the regency.

On route from France to Scotland, landed at Portsmouth due to heavy storms, and she visited Edward VI.  Arran refused to relinquish regency until the April of 1554, with assurances to his right of succession.

The new Regent faced an empty exchequer and opposition to Mary’s marriage to the dauphin.

The granting of high positions of state to Frenchmen caused outcry, fearing foreign domination.

Hostility from Arran and Archbishop Hamilton, forced her to undertake talks with the Lords of the Congregation, who favoured a protestant party.

Miners arrived from Lorraine, to dig for gold at Crawford Moor, to meet the high expenses of her government.

Mary of Guise appointed William Maitland of Lethington in 1554 as Secretary of State, and made a dangerous enemy of John Knox in the process.

On matters of religion, she tried to hold a balance between Catholic and Protestant factions, by allowing Presbyterian preachers to practice their religion, but no preaching in Edinburgh and Leith.

With the marriage of Francis II and her daughter Mary in 1558, she strengthened her position.  In 1559, she submitted to the religious policy of her relatives; the Guises.

She was forced to take up arms against the Protestants of Perth, who had been incited by John Knox to destroy the Charterhouse, the place where Scottish kings were buried.  The reformers were forced into submission on condition no foreign garrison was positioned in Perth.

Mary broke the agreement, by garrisoning Scottish troops, paid for by the French.

On the 21st October 1559, reformers who had been welcomed into Edinburgh, forcing Mary to flee to Dunbar, called for her to be deposed.

Mary, assisted by French forces, fortified Leith.  She had been betrayed, Chatelherault and his son defected, and William Maitland, her secretary of state, betrayed her plans to the Lords of the Congregation.

In October of 1559, Mary’s forces took on Leith, and attempted to seize an English convoy, was a failure leading to increased difficulties.  Mary entered Edinburgh, and conducted a bloody campaign in Fife.

In January of 1560, William Winter commanded an English fleet, which was sent to force Elbeuf’s French fleet, back to France.  Elbeuf had been commissioned by Francis II and Mary to seize Mary’s regency, on account of her failing health.

An English army led by Lord Grey, crossed the border into Scotland on the 29th March 1560, and granted Mary of Guise, the Regent asylum in Edinburgh Castle.

As Mary lay there, she felt her life slowly draining from her, she knew her end was close at hand.  She sent for the Lords of the Congregation, and pleaded they maintain a French Alliance.

On the 11th June 1560 Mary of Guise, also known as Mary of Lorraine, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots died.  She was buried in St.Peter’s Church within the nunnery at Reims, France, where her sister was the Abbess.

Wikipedia Images

Scotland’s Monarchy

Scottish Flag

Scotland’s Kings and Queens, from 1005 to 1603, and the Union of crowns, when James VI became King of England.

1005: Malcolm II (Mael Coluim) acquired the Scottish throne by killing Kenneth III (Cinaed III) of a rival dynasty.  He attempted to expand his kingdom southwards with a notable victory at the Battle of Carham, Northumbria in 1018, but was driven north in 1027 by King Cnut.

1034: Duncan I (DonnchadI), succeeded his grandfather Malcolm II as King of the Scots.  He invaded northern England and besieged Durham in 1039.

1040: Macbeth acquired the throne after defeating Duncan I in battle following years of family feuding.  He was the first Scottish king to make the pilgrimage to Rome.  He was a generous patron of the church, and it is believed he was buried at Iona, the resting place for Scottish kings.

1057: Malcolm III Canmore (Mael Coluim Cenn Mor), took the Scottish throne after killing Macbeth and his stepson Lulach in an English sponsored attack.  William I (William the Conqueror) invaded Scotland in 1072 forcing Malcolm to accept the Peace of Abernethy and become his vassal.

1093: Donald III Ban, the son of Duncan I seized the throne from his brother Malcolm III and made it his business that Anglo-Normans were not welcomed at his court.  He was defeated and dethroned by his nephew Duncan II in May of 1094.

1094: Duncan II, son of Malcolm III.  Duncan was sent in 1072 to the court of William I as hostage.  With the help of an army supplied by William II, he defeated his uncle Donald III Ban, and engineered his murder on the 12th November 1094.

In 1097 Donald was captured and blinded by his nephew; Edgar.  A true Scottish nationalist, he was the last king of the Scots who would be laid to rest by the Gaelic Monks at Iona.

Edgar, eldest son of Malcolm III, took refuge in England upon the death of his parents in 1093.  Following the death of his half-brother Duncan II, he became the Anglo-Norman candidate for the Scottish throne.  He defeated Donald III Ban with the aid of an army supplied by William II.  Unmarried, he was buried at Dunfermline Priory in Fife.  His sister went on to marry Henry I in 1100.

1107: Alexander I, son of Malcolm III and his English wife St.Margaret.  Succeeded Edgar to the throne and continued the policy of reforming the Scottish Church, building a new Priory at Scone near Perth.  He married the illegitimate daughter of Henry I.  He died leaving no heir and was buried in Dunfermline.

1124: David I, the youngest son of Malcolm III and St.Margaret.  He transformed his kingdom largely by continuing the work of Anglicisation started by his mother.  He was the first Scottish king to issue his own coins, promoted development of towns at Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Perth, Stirling, Aberdeen and Inverness.  By the end of his reign his lands extended over Newcastle and Carlisle.  He was a rich and powerful King, attaining a mythical status through Scotland’s revolution.

1153: Malcolm IV (Mael Coluim IV) the son of Henry of Northumbria, whose grandfather David I persuaded the Scottish chiefs to recognise Malcolm as heir to the throne, and aged twelve became king.  Recognising that the King of England had a better argument by reason of his much greater power, Malcolm surrendered Cumbria and Northumbria to Henry II.

1165: William the Lion, the second son of Henry of Northumbria, failed to invade Northumbria, and William was captured by Henry II.  In return for his release, William and other Scottish nobles had to swear allegiance to Henry and hand over their sons as hostages.  English garrisons were installed throughout Scotland.  It was only in 1189 that William was able to recover Scottish Independence in return for a payment of 10,000 marks.  William’s reign witnessed the extension of royal authority northwards across the Moray Firth.

1214: Alexander II, the son of William the Lion.  With an Anglo-Scottish agreement of 1217, he established peace between the two kingdoms that would last for eighty years.  The agreement was cemented by marriage to Henry III’s sister Joan in 1221.  Renouncing his ancestral claim to Northumbria, the Anglo-Scottish border was finally established by the Tweed-Solway line.

1249: Alexander III, son of Alexander II, married Henry III’s daughter Margaret in 1251.  Following the Battle of Largs against King Haakon of Norway in the October.  In 1263, Alexander secured the western Highlands and Islands for the Scottish Crown.  Following the deaths of his sons, Alexander gained acceptance that his granddaughter Margaret should succeed.  He fell and was killed whilst riding along the cliffs of Kinghorn in Fife.

1286-1290: Margaret, the Maid of Norway, the only child of King Eric of Norway became Queen at the age of two, and was betrothed to Edward, son of Edward I.  She saw neither kingdom nor husband as she died aged seven at Kirkwall on Orkney in September 1290.  Her death caused serious crisis in Anglo-Scottish relations.

1292-1296: Following the death of Margaret in 1290 no one person held the undisputed claim to be King of the Scots.  No fewer than thirteen claimants emerged.  They agreed to recognise Edward I as over lordship and abided by his arbitration.  Edward chose John Balliol, who had a strong claim with links going back to William the Lion.  Scottish nobles set up a Council on the 12th July 1295, agreeing to an alliance with France, in response to Edward’s choice of John Balliol as king, who was nothing more than Edward’s puppet king.  Edward invaded and defeated Balliol in the Battle of Dunbar, imprisoning him in the Tower of London.  John Balliol was eventually released from custody into papal custody and lived the remainder of his years in France.

1306: In 1306 Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn the only rival to the Scottish throne at Greyfriars Church, Dumfries.  He was excommunicated for his actions, and a few months later crowned King of Scotland.

Robert was defeated in his first two battles against the mighty English forces, and became a fugitive, hunted by both Comyn’s friends and the English.

1329: David II, surviving legitimate son of Robert the Bruce, succeeded his father aged five.  He was the first Scottish king to be crowned and anointed.  Whether he would be able to keep the crown was another matter, faced with the combined hostilities of John Balliol and the disinherited, those Scottish landowners that Robert the Bruce disinherited following his victory at Bannockburn.  David was for a while sent to France for his safety.  In support of his allegiance with France he invaded England in 1346, whilst Edward III was otherwise occupied with the siege of Calais.  His army was intercepted by forces raised by the Archbishop of York.  David was wounded and captured.  He was later released after agreeing a ransom of 100,000 marks.  David died later, leaving no heir.

1371: Robert II, son of Walter the Steward and Marjory, daughter of Robert the Bruce, was recognised as the heir presumptive in 1318, but the birth of David II meant that he had to wait fifty years before he could become the first Stewart king at the age of fifty-five.  A poor and ineffective ruler with little interest in soldiering, he delegated responsibility for law and order to his sons.

1390: Robert III came to the throne, and all indications are that he was an ineffective king much like his father Robert II.  In 1406 he sent his eldest son to France, but was captured by English forces and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

1406: James I fell into English hands on route to France in 1406, and was held captive until 1424.  He was eventually released after a 50,000 mark ransom was agreed to.  On his return to Scotland, he spent much of his time raising the ransom by imposing taxes, seizing estates from nobles and clan chiefs.  This did not win him any friends, for a group of conspirators broke into his bedchamber and murdered him.

1437: James II aged seven became king following his father’s murder, but upon marriage to Mary of Guelders he assumed control of his kingdom, and turned into a warlike king.  Fascinated by firearms, he was blown up and killed by one of his own siege guns whilst attacking Roxburgh.

1460: At the tender age of eight, James III was proclaimed king following the death of his father James II.  Six years later he was kidnapped, and upon his return stated his abductors were the Boyds.  His attempt to make peace with the English by marrying his sister off to an English noble was somewhat scuppered when it was discovered she was already pregnant.  James III lost his life on the 11th June 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn.

1488: James IV, son of James III and Margaret of Denmark, had grown up in the care of his mother at Stirling Castle.  For his part in  his father’s murder by Scottish nobility at the Battle of Sauchieburn, he wore an iron belt next to his skin as penitence for the duration of his life.  To protect his borders he spent lavish sums on artillery and his navy.  James led expeditions into the Highlands to assert royal authority and developed Edinburgh as his royal capital.  He sought peace with England by marrying Henry VIII’s daughter Mary Tudor in 1503, an act that would ultimately unite the two kingdoms a century later.  James was defeated and killed at the Battle of Flodden along with many leaders of Scottish society.

1513: James V an infant at the time of his father’s death at Flodden, whose early years were dominated by struggles between his English mother, Margaret Tudor and Scottish nobles.  Although king in name, James did not take control and rule is country until 1528.  After that he slowly began rebuilding the crowns shattered finances, at the expense of the church.  Anglo-Scottish relationships once again descended into war when James failed to turn up for a scheduled meeting with Henry VIII at York in 1542.  James died of a nervous breakdown, upon hearing of the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Solway Moss.

1542: Queen Mary of Scots was born just a week before the death of her father King James V.  Mary was sent to France in 1548 to marry the Dauphin, the young French prince in order to secure a Catholic alliance against England. In 1561, following his death Mary returned to a Scotland, in the throes of Reformation and a widening Protestant-Catholic split.  Mary married her cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, but the marriage proved to be a failure, for Darnley became jealous of Mary’s secretary David Riccio.  Henry Stewart along with friends murdered Riccio in front of Mary.

Her son the future King James VI was baptised into the Catholic faith at Stirling Castle.  This caused alarm among Protestants.  Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley died in mysterious circumstances.  Mary sought comfort in James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, and rumours abounded she be pregnant with his child… leading to their marriage.  The Lords of Congregation made it plain they disapproved of the liaison and had her imprisoned in Leven Castle.  Mary managed to Escape and fled across the border into England.  In Protestant England, Catholic Mary’s arrival provoked a political crisis for Queen Elizabeth I.  After spending nineteen years in English castles, she made her claim against Elizabeth’s crown, leading her to be brought to trial, found guilty and beheaded at Fotheringhay.

1567: James VI and I, became king aged just thirteen months following his mother’s abdication.  By his late teens he proved himself an intelligent diplomat capable of controlling his government.  In 1583 he assumed real power, and went on to marry Anne of Denmark in 1589.  As the great-grandson of Mary Tudor he became heir to the English throne, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, thus ending centuries of Anglo-Scots border wars.

1603: Union of the crowns of England and Scotland took place.