Mary Somerville, was a Scottish science writer and polymath. She studied mathematics and astronomy, was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society at the same time as Caroline Herschel; when John Stuart Mill, the philosopher and economist, organised a massive petition to Parliament to give women the right to vote, he had Somerville put her signature first on the petition. When she died in 1872, The Morning Post declared in her obituary that “Whatever difficulty we might experience in the middle of the nineteenth century in choosing a king of science, there could be no question whatever as to the queen of science.” Somerville was the daughter of Vice-Admiral Sir William George Fairfax, scion of a distinguished family of Fairfaxes, she was related to several prominent Scottish houses through her mother, the admiral's second wife, Margaret Charters, daughter of Samuel Charters, a solicitor. She was born at the manse of Jedburgh, in the Borders, the house of her maternal aunt, wife of Dr Thomas Somerville.
Her childhood home was at Fife. She was the second of four surviving children, she was close to her oldest brother Sam. The family lived in genteel poverty because her father's naval pay remained meagre as he rose through the ranks, her mother supplemented the household's income by growing vegetables, maintaining an orchard and keeping cows for milk. Her mother taught her to read the Bible and Calvinist catechisms, when not occupied with household chores Mary roamed among the birds and flowers in the garden. In her autobiography Somerville recollects that after returning from sea her father said to her mother "This kind of life will never do, Mary must at least know how to write and keep accounts", thus the 10-year-old was sent for a year of tuition at an expensive boarding school. Somerville learned the first principles of rudimentary French and English grammar. Upon returning home, she:...was no longer amused in the gardens, but wandered about the country. When the tide was out I spent hours on the sands, looking at the star-fish and sea-urchins, or watching the children digging for sand-eels and the spouting razor-fish.
I made collections of shells, such as were cast ashore, some so small that they appeared like white specks in patches of black sand. There was a small pier on the sands for shipping limestone brought from the coal mines inland. I was astonished to see the surface of these blocks of stone covered with beautiful impressions of what seemed to be leaves. During bad weather she occupied herself with reading the books in her father's library, including Shakespeare, fulfilling her "domestic duties". In life she recollected "These occupied a great part of my time, her aunt Janet came to live with the family and said to her mother "I wonder you let Mary waste her time in reading, she never shews more than if she were a man". As a consequence Mary was sent to the village school to learn plain needlework; the youngster "was annoyed that my turn for reading was so much disapproved of, thought it unjust that women should have been given a desire for knowledge if it were wrong to acquire it." The village school master came to the house on several evenings in the week to teach Mary.
He taught her. In her Personal Recollections Mary notes that in the village school the boys learned Latin, "but it was thought sufficient for the girls to be able to read the Bible. At the age of 13 her mother sent her to writing school in Edinburgh during the winter months, where she improved her writing skills and studied the common rules of arithmetic. Back in Burntisland she taught herself enough Latin so that she could read the books in the home library. While visiting her aunt in Jedburgh she met her uncle Dr Thomas Somerville and picked up the courage to tell him that she had been trying to learn Latin. Dr Somerville assured her that in ancient times many women had been elegant scholars, proceeded to teach her Latin by reading Virgil with her. While visiting another uncle, William Charters, in Edinburgh, Mary was sent to Strange's dancing school, where she learned how to curtsey and manners, she accompanied her uncle and aunt on their visits to the Lyell family in Kinnordy, Charles Lyell would go on to become a celebrated geologist and a friend of Mary.
With regards to the political upheaval of the time and the French Revolution she wrote that her father was a Tory and that the "unjust and exaggerated abuse of the Liberal party made me a Liberal. From my earliest years my mind revolved against oppression and tyranny, I resented the injustice of the world in denying all those privileges of education to my sex which were so lavishly bestowed on men." Mary and her oldest brother Sam would refuse to take sugar in their tea, in protest against the institution of slavery. Somerville asserted that her liberal religious and political opinions remained unchanged throughout her life, but that she was never a republican. While accompanying her uncle and aunt to Burntisland in the summer she had access to elementary books on algebra and geometry, she spent the summer learning to play the piano and learning Greek so that she could read Xenophon and Herodotus. Back in Edinburgh she was allowed to attend the academy. Nasmyth advised another studen
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat
The red squirrel or Eurasian red squirrel is a species of tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus common throughout Eurasia. The red squirrel is an omnivorous rodent. In Great Britain, in Italy numbers have decreased drastically in recent years; this decline is associated with the introduction by humans of the eastern grey squirrel from North America. However, the population in Scotland is stabilising due to conservation efforts and the increasing population of the pine marten, a European predator that selectively controls grey squirrels; the red squirrel has a typical head-and-body length of 19 to 23 cm, a tail length of 15 to 20 cm, a mass of 250 to 340 g. Males and females are the same size; the red squirrel is somewhat smaller than the eastern grey squirrel which has a head-and-body length of 25 to 30 cm and weighs between 400 and 800 g. The long tail helps the squirrel to balance and steer when jumping from tree to tree and running along branches, may keep the animal warm during sleep; the red squirrel, like most tree squirrels, has sharp, curved claws to enable it to climb and descend broad tree trunks, thin branches and house walls.
Its strong hind legs enable it to leap gaps between trees. The red squirrel has the ability to swim; the coat of the red squirrel varies in colour with time of location. There are several different coat colour morphs ranging from black to red. Red coats are most common in Great Britain; the underside of the squirrel is always white-cream in colour. The red squirrel sheds its coat twice a year, switching from a thinner summer coat to a thicker, darker winter coat with noticeably larger ear-tufts between August and November. A lighter, redder overall coat colour, along with the ear-tufts and smaller size, distinguish the Eurasian red squirrel from the American eastern grey squirrel. Red squirrels occupy boreal, coniferous woods in northern Europe and Siberia, preferring Scots pine, Norway spruce and Siberian pine. In western and southern Europe they are found in broad-leaved woods where the mixture of tree and shrub species provides a better year round source of food. In most of the British Isles and in Italy, broad-leaved woodlands are now less suitable due to the better competitive feeding strategy of introduced grey squirrels.
Mating can occur in late winter in summer between June and July. Up to two litters a year per female are possible; each litter averages three young, called kits. Gestation is about 38 to 39 days; the young are looked after by the mother alone and are born helpless and deaf. They weigh between 10 and 15 g, their body is covered by hair at 21 days, their eyes and ears open after three to four weeks, they develop all their teeth by 42 days. Juvenile red squirrels can eat solids around 40 days following birth and from that point can leave the nest on their own to find food. During mating, males detect females that are in œstrus by an odor that they produce, although there is no courtship, the male will chase the female for up to an hour prior to mating. Multiple males will chase a single female until the dominant male the largest in the group, mates with the female. Males and females will mate multiple times with many partners. Females must reach a minimum body mass before they enter œstrus, heavy females on average produce more young.
If food is scarce breeding may be delayed. A female will produce her first litter in her second year. Red squirrels that survive their first winter have a life expectancy of 3 years. Individuals may reach 7 years of age, 10 in captivity. Survival is positively related to availability of autumn–winter tree seeds; the red squirrel is found in temperate broadleaf woodlands. The squirrel makes a drey out of twigs in a branch-fork, forming a domed structure about 25 to 30 cm in diameter; this is lined with moss, leaves and bark. Tree hollows and woodpecker holes are used; the red squirrel is shy and reluctant to share food with others. However, outside the breeding season and in winter, several red squirrels may share a drey to keep warm. Social organization is based on dominance hierarchies between sexes; the red squirrel eats: the seeds of trees, neatly stripping conifer cones to get at the seeds within. Fungi nuts berries young shootsMore red squirrels may eat bird eggs or nestlings. A Swedish study shows that out of 600 stomach contents of red squirrels examined, only 4 contained remnants of birds or eggs.
Thus, red squirrels may exhibit opportunistic omnivory to other rodents. Excess food is put into caches, either buried or in nooks or holes in trees, eaten when food is scarce. Although the red squirrel remembers where it created caches at a better-than-chance level, its spatial memory is less accurate and durable than that of grey squirrel.
Brig o' Doon
The Brig o' Doon, sometimes called the Auld Brig or Old Bridge of Doon, is a late medieval bridge in Ayrshire, a Category A structure. The name Brig o' Doon is an Ulster Scots phrase, when translated, it reads "Bridge of Doom" The bridge is thought to have been built in the early fifteenth century. According to John R. Hume, the bridge was built by James Kennedy, who died in 1465, but the first recorded mention was in 1512; the bridge was described as "ruinous" in 1593. The bridge features on the 2007 series of £5 notes issued by the Bank of Scotland, alongside the statue to Robert Burns, located in Dumfries; the bridge crosses the River Doon. It is a single Arched Bridge, with a steeply humped span of 72 feet and a rise of 26 ft, it has been repaired many times, most in 1978, many parts of the stonework do not match. The B7024 public road is carried over the River Doon New Bridge of Doon, a single-arch stone bridge built downstream of the old one in 1816 to cope with increasing traffic; the old bridge was sold to the builders of the new bridge as a quarry for material, but money was raised to purchase the old bridge back, the trustees of the new bridge decided to quarry somewhere else.
The line of the cobbles in the roadway is cranked, due to the belief that this pattern would stop witches from crossing. It is used as the setting for the final verse of the Robert Burns's poem Tam o' Shanter. In this scene Tam is being chased by Nannie the witch, he is just able to escape her by crossing the bridge, narrowly avoiding her attack as she is only able to grab the horse's tail which comes away in her hands: "The carlin caught her by the rump and left puir Meg wi' scarce a stump." The Broadway musical Brigadoon takes its name from this site, though the musical's location is fictional. Banknotes of Scotland 55.425882°N 4.636831°W / 55.425882.
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor and innovator, credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885. Bell's father and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work, his research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which culminated in Bell being awarded the first U. S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Bell considered his invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Many other inventions marked Bell's life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications and aeronautics. Although Bell was not one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903. Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847.
The family home was at South Charlotte Street, has a stone inscription marking it as Alexander Graham Bell's birthplace. He had two brothers: Melville James Bell and Edward Charles Bell, both of whom would die of tuberculosis, his father was Professor Alexander Melville Bell, a phonetician, his mother was Eliza Grace. Born as just "Alexander Bell", at age 10, he made a plea to his father to have a middle name like his two brothers. For his 11th birthday, his father acquiesced and allowed him to adopt the name "Graham", chosen out of respect for Alexander Graham, a Canadian being treated by his father who had become a family friend. To close relatives and friends he remained "Aleck"; as a child, young Bell displayed a natural curiosity about his world, resulting in gathering botanical specimens as well as experimenting at an early age. His best friend was Ben Herdman, a neighbour whose family operated a flour mill, the scene of many forays. Young Bell asked, he was told wheat had to be dehusked through a laborious process and at the age of 12, Bell built a homemade device that combined rotating paddles with sets of nail brushes, creating a simple dehusking machine, put into operation and used for a number of years.
In return, Ben's father John Herdman gave both boys the run of a small workshop in which to "invent". From his early years, Bell showed a sensitive nature and a talent for art and music, encouraged by his mother. With no formal training, he became the family's pianist. Despite being quiet and introspective, he revelled in mimicry and "voice tricks" akin to ventriloquism that continually entertained family guests during their occasional visits. Bell was deeply affected by his mother's gradual deafness, learned a manual finger language so he could sit at her side and tap out silently the conversations swirling around the family parlour, he developed a technique of speaking in clear, modulated tones directly into his mother's forehead wherein she would hear him with reasonable clarity. Bell's preoccupation with his mother's deafness led him to study acoustics, his family was long associated with the teaching of elocution: his grandfather, Alexander Bell, in London, his uncle in Dublin, his father, in Edinburgh, were all elocutionists.
His father published a variety of works on the subject, several of which are still well known his The Standard Elocutionist, which appeared in Edinburgh in 1868. The Standard Elocutionist appeared in 168 British editions and sold over a quarter of a million copies in the United States alone. In this treatise, his father explains his methods of how to instruct deaf-mutes to articulate words and read other people's lip movements to decipher meaning. Bell's father taught him and his brothers not only to write Visible Speech but to identify any symbol and its accompanying sound. Bell became so proficient that he became a part of his father's public demonstrations and astounded audiences with his abilities, he could decipher Visible Speech representing every language, including Latin, Scottish Gaelic, Sanskrit reciting written tracts without any prior knowledge of their pronunciation. As a young child, like his brothers, received his early schooling at home from his father. At an early age, he was enrolled at the Royal High School, Scotland, which he left at the age of 15, having completed only the first four forms.
His school record was undistinguished, marked by lacklustre grades. His main interest remained in the sciences biology while he treated other school subjects with indifference, to the dismay of his demanding father. Upon leaving school, Bell travelled to London to live with Alexander Bell. During the year he spent with his grandfather, a love of learning was born, with long hours spent in serious discussion and study; the elder Bell took great efforts to have his young pupil learn to speak and with conviction, the attributes that his pupil would need to become a teacher himself. At the age of 16, Bell secured a position as a "pupil-teacher" of elocution and music, in Weston House Academy at Elgin, Scotland. Although he was enrolled as a student in Latin and Greek, he instructed classes himself in return for board and £10 per session; the following year, he attended the University of Edinburgh. In 1868, not long before he departed for Canada with his f
Catherine Cranston known as Kate Cranston or Miss Cranston, was a leading figure in the development of tea rooms. She is nowadays chiefly remembered as a major patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald, in Glasgow, Scotland; the name of Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms lives on in reminiscences of Glasgow in its heyday. Her father, George Cranston, was a baker and pastry maker and, in 1849, the year of her birth, he became proprietor of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Chop House and Commercial Lodgings at No. 39 George Square in Glasgow city centre. The hotel was renamed the Royal Horse renamed again in May 1852 to become Cranston's Hotel and Dining Rooms, offering: "Convenient Coffee room and detached Smoking Rooms on Ground Floor, commodious Commercial Room and Parlour, comfortable Bed-rooms and Baths, &c. Coffee always ready. Cigars, spirits, Newspapers, Time-Tables, Writing Materials. Superior and varied Bill of Fare at the usual moderate charges, her older brother Stuart became a tea dealer and, according to Glasgow in 1901, was "a pioneer of the business" there of "tea shops pure and simple" who by 1901 had three such tearooms offering nothing more substantial to eat than a sandwich.
Kate went on to create much more of a social facility. Like other cities in the United Kingdom, Glasgow was a centre of the temperance movement which sought an alternative to male-centred pubs. Tea had been a luxury for the rich, but from the 1830s it was promoted as an alternative to alcoholic drinks, many new cafés and coffee houses were opened, catering more for ordinary people; however it was not until the 1880s that tea shops became popular and fashionable. In 1878 Miss Kate Cranston opened her first tearoom, the Crown Luncheon Room, on Argyle Street, Glasgow, she set high standards of service, food quality and cleanliness, her innovation lay in seeing the social need for something more than a restaurant or a simple "tea shop", in putting equal attention into providing amenities designed in the latest style. Her first tearoom was decorated in a contemporary baronial style. On 16 September 1886 she opened her Ingram Street tearoom and in 1888 commissioned George Walton to decorate a new smoking room in the Arts and Crafts style in one of her tea rooms.
In 1892 she became married to John Cochrane, but continued to trade under the name of Miss Cranston's Tearooms. She opened new tearooms in Buchanan Street in 1897, expanded to take over the whole building in Argyle Street by 1898 completed her chain of four establishments with the Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street, opened in 1903. While other cities offered expensive and basic tea rooms by 1901, Kate Cranston set the standard in Glasgow for more welcoming establishments. Rooms were provided for ladies only and for gentlemen only, as well as luncheon rooms where they could dine together and smoking rooms and billiards rooms for the gentlemen. Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms became social centres for all, for business men and apprentices, for ladies and ladies' maids; the Ladies Rooms were a particular success, newly allowing respectable women to get out and meet together without male company. Unlike cafes or tearooms in other cities, there was no intrusive supervision and those having tea had an assortment of Scones and cakes to hand, with a discreet notice reminding newcomers to remember the amount consumed.
At "the accounting", Glasgow in 1901 reported, "One states the amount of ones indebtedness, receives a check therefor from the attendant maiden. This, with the corresponding coin or coins, one hands in at the pay-desk, so home. Nothing could be simpler or less irritating."The city was a centre of artistic innovation at the time, the tearooms served as art galleries for paintings by the "Glasgow Boys". The architect Sir Edwin Lutyens visited the Buchanan Street tearoom in 1898, finding it "just a little outré", wrote from there to his wife that "Miss Cranston is now Mrs. Cochrane, a dark, fat wee body with black sparkling luminous eyes, wears a bonnet garnished with roses, has made a fortune by supplying cheap clean goods in surroundings prompted by the New Art Glasgow School."Tea rooms opened around the city, in the late 1880s fine hotels elsewhere in Britain and in America began to offer tea service in tea rooms and tea courts. Glasgow in 1901 reported that "Glasgow, in truth, is a Tokio for tea-rooms.
Nowhere can one have so much for so little, nowhere are such places more popular and frequented." and that "It is not the accent of the people, nor the painted houses, nor yet the absence of Highland policemen that makes the Glasgow man in London feel that he is in a foreign town and far from home. It is a simpler matter, it is the lack of tea-shops." The original Sauchiehall Street tearoom building is presently being restored and is scheduled for reopening in 2018. It is planned to develop the adjacent building as a Mackintosh visitor centre. The'Willow Tearooms' brand has been separated from the building and is now run at a location within a department store further along the street and at Buchanan Street adjacent to Miss Cranston's original premises. Both locations feature recreated Mackintosh interior features. George Walton set up George Walton & Co, Ecclesiastical and House Decorators on the basis of his 1888 commission from Kate Cranston, in 1896 was commissioned by her to design the interiors of new tearooms and built by George Washington Browne of Edinburgh, at 91–93 Buchanan Street, which opened the following year.
He was assisted in this by Charles Rennie Mackintosh who designed wall murals in the form of stencilled fr
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal Bank o Scotland abbreviated as RBS, is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales. Both the bank and its parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are separate from the fellow Edinburgh-based bank, the Bank of Scotland, which pre-dates The Royal Bank of Scotland by 32 years; the Royal Bank of Scotland was established in 1724 to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties. Following ring-fencing of the Group's core domestic business, the bank is expected to become a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings by 2019. NatWest Markets comprises the Group's investment banking arm. To give it legal form, the former RBS entity was renamed NatWest Markets in 2018. Drummond and Child & Co. businesses in England.
The bank traces its origin to the Society of the Subscribed Equivalent Debt, set up by investors in the failed Company of Scotland to protect the compensation they received as part of the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union. The "Equivalent Society" became the "Equivalent Company" in 1724, the new company wished to move into banking; the British government received the request favourably as the "Old Bank", the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly, the "New Bank" was chartered in 1727 as the Royal Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay, appointed its first governor. On 31 May 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland invented the overdraft, considered an innovation in modern banking, it allowed a merchant in the High Street of Edinburgh, access to £ 1,000 credit. Competition between the Old and New Banks was centred on the issue of banknotes; the policy of the Royal Bank was to either drive the Bank of Scotland out of business, or take it over on favourable terms.
The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotland's notes, which it acquired in exchange for its own notes suddenly presented to the Bank of Scotland for payment. To pay these notes, the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in March 1728, to suspend payments; the suspension relieved the immediate pressure on the Bank of Scotland at the cost of substantial damage to its reputation, gave the Royal Bank a clear space to expand its own business—although the Royal Bank's increased note issue made it more vulnerable to the same tactics. Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start redeeming its notes again, with interest, in March 1729, it resumed lending. To prevent similar attacks in the future, the Bank of Scotland put an "option clause" on its notes, giving it the right to make the notes interest-bearing while delaying payment for six months.
Both banks decided that the policy they had followed was mutually self-destructive and a truce was arranged, but it still took until 1751 before the two banks agreed to accept each other's notes. The bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when it opened one in Glasgow, in part of a draper's shop in the High Street. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Dalkeith, Port Glasgow, Leith in the first part of the nineteenth century. In 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburgh's Old Town to Dundas House, on St. Andrew Square in the New Town; the building as seen along George Street forms the eastern end of the central vista in New Town. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, completed in 1774. An axial banking hall behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was added in 1857; the banking hall continues in use as a branch of the bank, Dundas House remains the registered head office of the bank to this day.
The rest of the nineteenth century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, chiefly as a response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired following its collapse in 1857. By 1910, the Royal Bank of Scotland had around 900 staff. In 1969, the bank merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest clearing bank in Scotland; the expansion of the British Empire in the latter half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of London as the largest financial centre in the world, attracting Scottish banks to expand southward into England. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874. However, English banks moved to prevent further expansion by Scottish banks into England. An agreement was reached, under which English banks would not open branches in Scotland and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside London; this agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross-border acquisitions were permitted.
The Royal Bank's English expansion plans were resurrected after World War I, when it acquired various small English banks, includin