Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843, which joined with the Kingdom of England to form a unified Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the third of the island of Great Britain. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a war of independence. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, in 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. The Crown was the most important element of government, the Scottish monarchy in the Middle Ages was a largely itinerant institution, before Edinburgh developed as a capital city in the second half of the 15th century. The Scottish Crown adopted the conventional offices of western European courts, Parliament emerged as a major legal institution, gaining an oversight of taxation and policy, but was never as central to the national life as its counterpart in England.
In the 17th century, the creation of Justices of Peace, the continued existence of courts baron and the introduction of kirk sessions helped consolidate the power of local lairds. Scots law developed into a system in the Middle Ages and was reformed and codified in the 16th and 17th centuries. Under James IV the legal functions of the council were rationalised, in 1532, the College of Justice was founded, leading to the training and professionalisation of lawyers. David I is the first Scottish king known to have produced his own coinage, Early Scottish coins were virtually identical in silver content to English ones, but from about 1300 their silver content began to depreciate more rapidly than the English coins. At the union of the Crowns in 1603 the Scottish pound was fixed at only one-twelfth the value of the English pound, the Bank of Scotland issued pound notes from 1704. Scottish currency was abolished by the Act of Union, Scotland is half the size of England and Wales in area, but has roughly the same length of coastline.
Geographically Scotland is divided between the Highlands and Islands and the Lowlands, the Highlands had a relatively short growing season, which was further shortened during the Little Ice Age. From Scotlands foundation to the inception of the Black Death, the population had grown to a million, following the plague and it expanded in the first half of the 16th century, reaching roughly 1.2 million by the 1690s. Significant languages in the kingdom included Gaelic, Old English and French. Christianity was introduced into Scotland from the 6th century, in the Norman period the Scottish church underwent a series of changes that led to new monastic orders and organisation. During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominately Calvinist national kirk, there were a series of religious controversies that resulted in divisions and persecutions. The Scottish Crown developed naval forces at various points in its history, Land forces centred around the large common army, but adopted European innovations from the 16th century, and many Scots took service as mercenaries and as soldiers for the English Crown
Alexander II of Scotland
Alexander II was King of Scots from 1214 until his death in 1249. He was born at Haddington, East Lothian, the son of the Scottish king William the Lion. He spent time in England before succeeding to the kingdom on the death of his father on 4 December 1214, being crowned at Scone on 6 December the same year. In 1215, the year after his accession, the clans Meic Uilleim and MacHeths, inveterate enemies of the Scottish crown, broke into revolt, but loyalist forces speedily quelled the insurrection. In the same year Alexander joined the English barons in their struggle against John of England and this action led to the sacking of Berwick-upon-Tweed as Johns forces ravaged the north. But John having died, the Pope and the English aristocracy changed their allegiance to his son, forcing the French. Peace between Henry III, Louis of France, and Alexander followed on 12 September 1217 with the treaty of Kingston, diplomacy further strengthened the reconciliation by the marriage of Alexander to Henrys sister Joan of England on 18 June or 25 June 1221.
The next year marked the subjection of the hitherto semi-independent district of Argyll, royal forces crushed a revolt in Galloway in 1235 without difficulty, nor did an invasion attempted soon afterwards by its exiled leaders meet with success. Soon afterwards a claim for homage from Henry of England drew forth from Alexander a counter-claim to the northern English counties, the two kingdoms, settled this dispute by a compromise in 1237. This was the Treaty of York which defined the boundary between the two kingdoms as running between the Solway Firth and the mouth of the River Tweed, Joan died in March 1238 in Essex. Alexander married his wife, Marie de Coucy, the following year on 15 May 1239. Together they had one son, the future Alexander III, born in 1241, Alexander now turned his attention to securing the Western Isles, which still owed a nominal allegiance to Norway. He repeatedly attempted negotiations and purchase, but without success, Alexander attempted to persuade Ewen, the son of Duncan, Lord of Argyll, to sever his allegiance to Haakon IV of Norway.
When Ewen rejected these attempts, Alexander sailed forth to compel him and he died there in 1249 and was buried at Melrose Abbey 1. Joan of England, was the eldest legitimate daughter and third child of John of England and she and Alexander II married on 21 June 1221, at York Minster. Joan was Alexanders 3rd cousin, their closest common ancestor being Henry I of England, Joan died in Essex in 1238, and was buried at Tarant Crawford Abbey in Dorset. Marie de Coucy, who became mother of Alexander III of Scotland and she was Alexanders 3rd cousin once removed by their common ancestor Hugh I, Count of Vermandois. Alexander II has been depicted in novels, Sword of State by Nigel Tranter
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law.
Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.
Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
History of Scotland
The History of Scotland is known to have begun by the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago. Prehistoric Scotland entered the Neolithic Era about 4000 BC, the Bronze Age about 2000 BC, and the Iron Age around 700 BC. Scotlands recorded history began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, North of this was Caledonia, whose people were known in Latin as Picti, the painted ones. Constant risings forced Romes legions back, Hadrians Wall attempted to seal off the Roman south, the latter was swiftly abandoned and the former overrun, most spectacularly during the Great Conspiracy of the 360s. As Rome finally withdrew from Britain, Gaelic raiders called the Scoti began colonizing Western Scotland, according to 9th- and 10th-century sources, the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded on the west coast of Scotland in the 6th century. In the following century, the Irish missionary Columba founded a monastery on Iona and introduced the previously pagan Scoti, towards the end of the 8th century, the Viking invasions began.
Successive defeats by the Norse forced the Picts and Gaels to cease their hostility to each other and to unite in the 9th century. The Kingdom of Scotland was united under the descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin and his descendants, known to modern historians as the House of Alpin, fought among each other during frequent disputed successions. England, under Edward I, would take advantage of the succession in Scotland to launch a series of conquests into Scotland. The resulting Wars of Scottish Independence were fought in the late 13th and early 14th centuries as Scotland passed back, Scotlands ultimate victory in the Wars of Independence under David II confirmed Scotland as a fully independent and sovereign kingdom. When David II died without issue, his nephew Robert II established the House of Stewart, ruling until 1714, Queen Anne was the last Stuart monarch. Since 1714, the succession of the British monarchs of the houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has been due to their descent from James VI, during the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial and industrial powerhouses of Europe.
Later, its decline following the Second World War was particularly acute. In recent decades Scotland has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services sector and the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas. Since the 1950s, nationalism has become a political topic, with serious debates on Scottish independence. People lived in Scotland for at least 8,500 years before Britains recorded history, glaciers scoured their way across most of Britain, and only after the ice retreated did Scotland again become habitable, around 9600 BC. Mesolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, and archaeologists have dated an encampment near Biggar to around 8500 BC, numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone and antlers. The oldest house for which there is evidence in Britain is the structure of wooden posts found at South Queensferry near the Firth of Forth, dating from the Mesolithic period