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Renaissance Scots Living History Association
A 501(c)3 Federal Tax Exempt Non-Profit Educational Corporation.

Basic Time-line of Scotland

(and Chief Political or Social Issues of the Day)

1642 to 1745 A.D.

1642 Charles I is Stewart King of England and Scotland; English Civil War begins.

1643 "Solemn League and Convenant" signed between the Covenanters of Scotland and English Parliament to ensure the Roman Church would not be re-established.

July 1644 Battle of Marston Moor. Charles Defeated, Cromwell becomes Lord Protector. The Duke of Argyle becomes the head of Scottish government. Charles escapes England, and flees to Scotland. On New Year’s Day, 1651, he is crowned King by Argyle. Later that year, a Scottish army is defeated by Cromwell near Worcester and Cromwell is now ruler of both countries.

1658 Cromwell dies, effectively ending the Protectorate.

1660 General Monk, Commander in Chief for Scotland, invites the royal heir to assume the throne, and Charles II is king of England and Scotland.

Much of the above revolved around the fact that by this time, both England and Scotland were officially Protestant, yet the kings were often Catholic-raised. At the same time, there were disputes between both countries, and IN them, about the structure of the Church--Presbyterian, as established by John Knox, allowed that each church ran itself. Episcopalian, based on the Roman model, saw the Church run by a hierarchy of Bishops and Arch-bishops and so on. To further complicate things, the Highlands remained largely Catholic until after Colloden. Small Covenanter uprisings, until around 1679, after the assassination of Archbishop Sharp by suspected Covenanters. Both sides raised an army, and fought at Drumclog, in May, and the Government force was defeated. Later that year, at Bothworth Bridge, the Covenanters were defeated, and reprisals were severe. James Stewart, the second son of the King, named Commissioner for Scotland. On Charles’ death in 1685, he becomes James VII - a devout Catholic. James is King for only 3 years. He opposes Presbyterianism, and is opposed in his turn by his Daughters, Mary and Anne. Through sheer ineptitude, he bungles any attempt to establish dominance, or offer reconciliation. He eventually flees the county, becoming “the Old Pretender.”

1688 The English Parliament invites James’ Son-in-law, William, Prince of Orange (Holland), to rule and “rescue the liberties of the English”. William sends a proclamation to Scotland, promising to restore Scotland’s religious liberty. A convention of Lords and town leaders invite William to take over the Government, which he does, beginning the reign of William and Mary.

Support for James still exits, and opposition to Presbyterianism. Lord Dundee (the bonnie Dundee) of Claverhouse raises an army, with a large Highland contingent, and at the Battle of Killiecrankie Pass, annihilates the king’s forces, losing his own life in the battle.

February 13, 1692 The Massacre of Glencoe

William reigns from 1688 to 1702, and whatever progress he made in local matters, he lost in a fruitless war with France, the old ally of Scotland. Most disastrous was the loss of trade between the two countries, and Scotland was in the middle of a severe farm depression: for the years 1690-95, only one year escaped total crop failure.

1701 The Act of Settlement--devised by the English to assure no Catholic would ascend the throne--Scotland was not consulted, and the eventual successor was a commoner, Geo. I This move effectively blocked any male Stewart heir from taking the Throne. It didn’t keep them from trying.

1702 William of Orange dies. His Sister-in-Law, Anne (Stewart) ascends the throne.

1707 Act of Union between the two parliaments Ratified by Scottish Parliament--which then dissolved itself.

1713 An act to repeal the Union loses by only 4 votes.

1714 Queen Anne dies; her cousin, George Lewis, elector of Hanover, succeeds, as George I.

1715 First Jacobite rising. Battle of Sherffmuir fought to a draw, but the following day, the Highlander desertions cost the Scots the field. The Stewart king, having spent only three weeks in Scotland flees to France, never to return.

From the time of the Act of Union, the affairs of Scotland had been handled by a special Secretary of State, but as of 1725, the post was dropped, and the job went to the Home Office. Taxes were imposed, far higher than the country could pay. In Edinburgh, in 1736, there was serious rioting when a Captain Porteous was reprieved from a Scottish Court death sentence (having commanded his troops to fire on a protest rally) by the queen of George II, acting as regent while the King was visiting Hanover. This action totally ignored the provisions of the Act of Union, guaranteeing the autonomy of the Scottish justice system. During the rioting, the mob broke into the prison, seized the Captain and hanged him. Needless to say, the government wanted blood. The Duke of Argyle got them to reduce the reprisals to a fine.

1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart, son of the exiled king, lands at Glenfinnan, and raises his father’s standard, starting the last Jacobite rising. The reception that Bonny Prince Charlie gets is mixed, but he manages to raise a considerable army notwithstanding. Less than a year later, having nearly conquered England (King George was packing his bags, that’s how close the Scots were...) he retreats and is later engaged in the final battle at Colloden Moor in 1746. The largely Highlander army is virtually destroyed, the Prince flees, and after many harrowing escapes, returns to France. The English, having been scared half-to-death, meet out Severe reprisals to all of Scotland, and the Highlands in particular. The power of the Clans is broken. Virtually anything “Highland” is outlawed