History of Scotland
Union & Jacobitism:
After sharing the same monarch for over a century, the political establishments of both England and Scotland were willing to unite. On 1 May 1707, the Acts of Union took effect, uniting the Scottish and English Parliaments to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in Westminster Palace in London. The Act's twenty-five articles promised Scotland the retention of its most important traditions and provided economic security, including the guarantee that the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland would remain Scotland's established church; that representatives from Scotland's peerage would sit in the House of Lords; and that Scots law, uncodified civil law based on Roman law, would remain in its same capacity. Scotland, for its part, recognized the 1701 Act of Settlement, which barred Catholics from inheriting the throne, passing the crown from the House of Stuarts to the House of Hanover.
In 1689, Scottish and English Parliaments had made identitcal, but separate, settlements of succession with William and Mary, but did not negotiate for future suceccsions at that time. The marriage of William and Mary did not produce any children, and after Mary died in 1694 it seemed unlikely that William would remarry. And although Mary's sister, Princess Anne, had birthed many children, they had all died during childhood. As the Stuart line neared exhaustion, English Parliament feared an attempted restoration of the line of James II, and passed the Act of Settlement in 1701. The Act barred Catholics from the throne and provided that the crown would be inherited by Anne's closest living Protestant relative, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and her Protestant heirs, if both William and Princess Anne died without surviving issue. Scottish Parliament, however, had not been consulted about the succession.
Upon William's death in 1702, Princess Anne, Protestant daughter of James II and VII, became the last Queen of England and Scotland. As Anne inherited the throne at the age of thirty-seven without any living children, it was clear that the House of Stuart would pass away with her. Scottish Parliament, therefore, examined its three possibilities in the event of her death: it could either accept England's decision of a Hanoverian succession; it could choose another monarch for the kingdom of Scotland; or it could unite in a closer union with England to prevent future crises. England and Scotland already shared a common language, a religion, and a monarch; sharing a legislature no longer seemed so radical. Thus, in 1707, Anne became the first sovereign of the Kingdom of Great Britain (while continuing to hold the separate crowns of Ireland and France). When she passed away in 1714, so did the individual crowns of England and Scotland.
As proscribed in the Act of Settlement, the crown of Great Britain passed to Anne's second cousin George, Prince-elector of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire - and maternal grandson of Elizabeth, daughter of James I and VI and sister of Charles I. The Stuart dynasty had ended. However, when William had died in 1702, the Jacobites (supporters of Stuart restoration) proclaimed James Francis Edward Stuart, the only surviving legitimate son of James II and VII, to be the rightful king. Louis XIV of France had thrown his support behind his fellow Catholic monarch and officially recognized the claim. While there had been no attempt to claim the throne during Queen Anne's reign, her death forced James Stuart to either seize the throne or witness the end of his dynasty.
James Stuart, the Old Pretender, had been corresponding with John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar. In the summer of 1715, James called on Mar to raise the clans. Mar rallied the Highland chiefs, and on 6 September 1715 he proclaimed James Francis Edward Stuart the King of Scots. With an army of about twelve thousand men, Mar took Perth without much resistance and commanded much of the northern Highlands. After unsuccessfully engaging in a skirmish against John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, who was fortified in Stirling, Mar was persuaded by English allies to march his full army south. Argyll intercepted Mar at Sheriffmuir on 13 November. Although Mar's army was twice the size of Argyll's, he could not execute a decisive victory, and retreated to Perth to regroup. The Old Pretender arrived in Peterhead from France on 22 December to survey the situation. He was too late: the government had already regained the initiative, and Argyll was advancing with a fresh reinforcement of Dutch soldiers. On 4 February 1716, James boarded a ship at Montrose and departed for France. His message to the Highlanders was clear.
The government used caution in subduing the Highlands. While the Disarming Act restricted weapons ownership in defined areas of Scotland, the government allowed the majority of the defeated rebels to slip back into the Highlands. It also committed the first twenty thousand pounds of revenue from forfeited estates to the establishment of Scots-speaking Presbyterian schools in the Highlands, as part of a campaign to purge Gaelic tradition.
The first half of the eighteenth century was disastrous for Scotland. Backward farming techniques employed by Lowlanders contributed to three famines and widespread poverty. Meanwhile, medical practices remained outdated until the University of Edinburgh opened the country's first medical school in 1726, and did little to combat the deadly plague outbreak. Adding to the calamities, Charles Edward Stuart, son of James Stuart, stirred another Jacobite Rising in 1745, returning from exile as France and England resumed open hostilities with each other in the War of the Austrian Succession.
The Young Pretender arrived on island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides on 2 August 1745 in a French ship. Although he had left Nantes with two ships, the Elisabeth, which was carrying seven hundred volunteers from the Irish Brigade, a French regiment composed of exiled Irishmen, supplies, and munitions, had been lost in a battle with a British naval ship. Although the Highland clans and their chieftains were little enthusiastic about Charles' arrival without troops or weapons, the Young Pretender went to Moidart, Lochaber, to raise the standard at Glenfinnan in his father's name. About 1,200 warriors from the Clan Cameron, the MacDonells of Glengarry, the MacDonalds of Keppoch, and the MacDonalds of Clan Ranald amassed to this call. As the Jacobites marched south, their ranks swelled to almost three thousand men.
Most of the British army was in Flanders and Germany, leaving an inexperienced Hanoverian government army of about four thousand in Scotland. As the government army mobilized in Inverness, a triumphant Jacobite army seized control of Edinburgh. Charles held court at Holyrood palace for five weeks while France sent weapons and money with the promise that it would invade England by the end of the year. After a lengthy wait in Dumfriesshire, Charles finally persuaded his generals that English Jacobites would stage an uprising in support of his cause if they went south. The Jacobites, now five thousand strong, invaded England on 8 November 1745; they advanced through Carlisle and Manchester to Derby, a position from where they appeared to threaten London.
However, English Jacobites had offered very little support, and France was still assembling its invasion fleet. The armies of General George Wade and William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, were approaching and six thousand infantry had assembled to defend London. Lord George Murray, the Jacobite general, and Charles' Council of War insisted on retreating to Scotland to gather more troops.
The Jacobite army reached Glasgow on Christmas Day, where they restocked and gathered three thousand additional men. As Cumberland pressured them northwards, they failed to take Stirling Castle or Fort William. But they did manage to take Fort Augustus and Fort George in Invernesshire in early April, after which Charles insisted on fighting in the defensive orthodox style.
In the early morning of 16 April, the Jacobites, under the direct command of Charles Stuart, engaged Cumberland's government army in battle on Culloden Moor. While Lord Murray had pointed out to Charles that the terrain would make the Highland charge more difficult and leave their ranks open to Cumberland's artillery fire, Charles refused to campaign with the guerilla tactics for which his officers argued. The Jacobites, whose ranks consisted mostly of Highland volunteers, also lacked the professionalism and training of Cumberland's men. At Culloden, they suffered their final defeat, with any hope of a Stuart restoration perishing that day alongside the men lying dead on the moor.
Following the collapse of the Jacobite rebellion, the British government enacted laws to assimilate the Highlands in with the rest of the country and crush the clan system, thereby ending their ability to revolt. The Act of Proscription, a rigorously enforced disarmament act, demilitarized the clans, while the Dress Act prohibited the wearing of traditional Highland garb, the tartan and the kilt. The Abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions Act removed feudal authority from chiefs and chieftains, ending their right to administer justice on their estates through barony courts, transferring all judicial and military powers over tenants to the government alone. Lords who had been loyal to the government during the rebellion were compensated with handsome sums of money, while Jacobite supporters were stripped of their titles and estates. The great Highland saga was over.