Friday, February 15, 2013

Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson


  • "Scotland, it has often been said, was invented by Walter Scott in his portrayal of its history." - xv
  • "There seem to have been three tribes in the Lowlands" during the Roman incursion "the Votadini in the east...the Novantae in the south-west...and in between  them the Selgovae" - 15
  • 122: Hadrian "consolidate[d] the northern frontier with that great barrier, Hadrian's Wall, across the isthmus between the Solway and the Tyne." - 19
  • 139: new Roman Governor Quintus Lollius Urbicus "marches north from the wall in strength to reoccupy the territory Agricola had seized...It was then that he decided to consolidate his gains by building the Antonine Wall." - 19
  • "the great 'Barbarian Conspiracy' which, through accident or design, attacked Roman Britannia simultaneously from all sides in 367; the Angles and Saxons overwhelmed the coastal forts of the south and east, the Gaelic-speaking Scoti from Ireland came sweeping in across the Irish Sea, and the Picti overran Hadrian's Wall from the north." - 21
  • 638: "Din Eidyn was besieged and captured by the avenging Angles [after a Gododdin attack], and the place seems then to have received the anglicised name Edinburgh." - 26
  • 685: "it was the Battle of Dunnichen [with the Picts repelling the Northumbrians] which passed the way for northern Britain eventually to become the independent nation of Scotland and not just a northern extension of England." - 30
  • "The power of Dalriada (Scoti) was now in decline and, despite occasional hostility between Scots and Picts, there was a certain inevitability about the way in which the two kingdoms began to come together against the common viking enemy." - 40
  • 1018: "the Battle of Carham...marked the first firm delineation of a settled frontier between Scots and English along the line of the River Tweed" - 46
  • "in the latter half of the eleventh century, Scotland can be seen to be moving from a Gaelic-speaking realm of semi-autonomous princedoms to a much more centralised monarchy on the English and Continental model. If Macbeth was the last truly Celtic King of Scots, as some claim, it is because during Malcolm [Canmore]'s reign there was a greater intermingling of the Celtic and Anglo-Norman cultures and mores." - 65
  • 1237: Alexander II "signed an amicable agreement...whereby he renounced all claim to territory south of the Tweed and the Solway...The Treaty of York...was of extreme historical importance in that it established the Anglo-Scottish frontier...It was an implicit acceptance by England...of Scotland's right to exist as a free and independent kingdom." - 92
  • 1266: the Treaty of Perth, King Magnus of Norway agrees to cede control of the Hebrides (Western Isles) and Isle of Man to Alexander III of Scotland; Norway retained the northern islands of Orkney and Shetland - 103
  • 1295: the "Treaty of Paris guaranteed that Scotland would maintain hostile pressure on England in return for military aid from France should Scotland be invaded...Effectively, the Treaty of Paris was the start of what have become known as the 'Wars of Independence'" - 119
  • 1308: "Apart from the key fortresses of Dundee, Perth and Stirling he [Robert the Bruce] now controlled the old kingdom of Scotia north of the Forth-Clyde line and could justifiably claim to be King of Scots by right of conquest." - 177
  • April 6, 1320: "Yet if he [Robert the Bruce] should give up what he has begun, and should seek to make us or our kingdom subject to the King in England or to the English, we would strive at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and we would make some other man who was able to defend us our king; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, we shall never on any condition be subjected to English rule." - 188, Declaration of Arbroath
  • February 23, 1371: "everything changed: practically on the eve of his wedding to [Black] Agnes [of Dunbar] the king [David II] suddenly died in Edinburgh Castle. After all his machinations and manoeuvrings, the man whom he had tried so hard to prevent inheriting the throne won -- simply by surviving. At the age of fifty-five David's nephew, Robert Stewart, became King Robert II, the first of the long and tragically unlucky royal Stewart dynasty of Scotland." - 208
  • 1502: "Treaty of Perpetual Peace...This was a fateful moment in Anglo-Scottish relations...it was eventually to lead to the union of the two crowns exactly a century later, when a great-grandson of the marriage [of James IV and Margaret], James VI of Scotland, became James I of England as well in 1603" - 280
  • November 24, 1542: Battle of Solway Moss, "James [V] feinted an assault to the south-east, but at the same time was planning an assault through the Merse in the west...he summoned a muster of his army to meet him at Lauder on 20 November; meanwhile, another force was mustering farther to the west, in Peebles." - 312
  • "the Scots feared that Scotland was becoming a mere satellite province of France, and the Reformers now became associated with patriotism and liberty -- they became the party which opposed foreign domination and occupation." - 335
  • Andrew "Melville led a committee of thirty Kirk [Scot. Church] ministers who produced the Second Book of Discipline" which "rejected the notion of royal supremacy and insisted on the political autonomy of the General Assembly of the Kirk...In effect, the Kirk claimed to be empowered to direct the secular head of the state in accordance with the will of God. King James [VI], however, was determined to be a 'universal king', which meant a monarch subordinate to no one -- especially not to the Kirk." - 388
  • After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, King James VI and I "believed that there would now be an end to conflict between his two countries, and one of his first acts was to stand down the garrisons at Berwick and Carlisle. He wanted the Union of the Crowns to be a full Union of the Kingdom, a single country called Magna Britannia -- Great Britain." - 401
  • January 30, 1649: "With a single strike of his axe the masked executioner severed the neck of the king of both kingdoms [, Scotland and England, Charles I]. A 'terrible groan' came from the crowds who witnessed the dignified death of the first monarch in Christendom to be overthrown, tried and judicially executed by his own subjects." - 449
  • "The Union of the Crowns had been smashed: Scotland and England were two completely separate nations again -- neighbors bound only by mutual animosity, as they had been for centuries." - 455
  • February 1705: Alien Act, "Unless the Scottish parliament appointed commissioners to negotiate...for an Incorporating Union between England and Scotland, severe penalties would be imposed: all non-naturalised Scots living in England would be treated as aliens; all Scottish estates in England would be seized; and all the major Scottish exports to England...would be barred. The Scots were outraged by this economic bludgeon...England had now abandoned its traditional opposition to closer union -- indeed, was insisting upon it." - 543
  • "Jacobite propaganda blamed all Scotland's ills on the 1707 Union; the only possible remedy was a return to the glorious pre-Revolution Stewart years of the the seventeenth century." - 579
  • November 3, 1745: "the army [under Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the 'Young Pretender'], now numbering five thousand men, left Dalkeith. One column under Tullibardine and the Duke of Perth, bringing the main artillery train, left Edinburgh for Carlisle, marching by Peebles, Moffat and Lockerbie." - 600

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