Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; 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, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. 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. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
The Thirty-Nine Steps
The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, it is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations. The novel formed the basis for a number of film adaptations: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novels." John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps while he was ill in bed with a duodenal ulcer, an illness which remained with him all his life. The novel was his first "shocker", as he called it – a story combining personal and political dramas; the novel marked a turning point in Buchan's literary career and introduced his adventuring hero, Richard Hannay. He described a "shocker" as an adventure where the events in the story are unlikely and the reader is only just able to believe that they happened.
Buchan's son, William wrote that the name of the book originated when the author's daughter was counting the stairs at a private nursing home in Broadstairs, where Buchan was convalescing. "There was a wooden staircase leading down to the beach. My sister, about six, who had just learnt to count properly, went down them and gleefully announced: there are 39 steps." Some time the house was demolished and a section of the stairs, complete with a brass plaque, was sent to Buchan. The mysterious phrase Thirty-Nine Steps, first mentioned by the character Franklin Scudder, becomes the title of the novel and the solution to its meaning is a thread that runs through the whole story; the novel is set during May and June 1914. One night he is buttonholed by a stranger, a well-travelled American, who claims to be in fear for his life; the man appears to know of an anarchist plot to destabilise Europe, beginning with a plan to assassinate the Greek Premier, Constantine Karolides, during his forthcoming visit to London.
The man reveals his name to be Franklin P. Scudder, a freelance spy, remarks that he is dead, which holds Hannay's attention. Scudder explains. Scudder claims to be following a ring of German spies called the Black Stone who are trying to steal British plans for the outbreak of war. Hannay lets Scudder hide in his flat, sure enough the next day another man is discovered having committed suicide in the same building. A couple of days Hannay returns home to find Scudder dead with a knife through his heart. Hannay fears that the murderers will come for him next, but cannot ask the police for help because he is the most suspect for the murders as he lived in the same building, he feels a duty to take up Scudder's cause and save Karolides from the assassination. He decides to go into hiding in Scotland and to contact the authorities at the last minute. To escape from his flat unseen, he bribes the milkman into lending him his uniform and exits wearing it, escaping from the German spies watching the house.
Carrying Scudder's pocket-book, he catches an express train leaving from London's St. Pancras Station. Hannay fixes upon Galloway, in south-west Scotland, as a suitably remote place in which to make his escape and remembers somehow the town of Newton-Stewart, which he names as his destination when he buys his ticket from the guard. Arriving at a remote station somewhere in Galloway, Hannay lodges in a shepherd's cottage; the next morning he reads in a newspaper. Reasoning that the police would expect him to head for a port on the West Coast, he boards a local train heading east, but jumps off between stations, he escapes, finding an inn where he stays the night. He tells the innkeeper a modified version of his story, the man is persuaded to shelter him. While staying at the inn, Hannay cracks the substitution cipher used in Scudder's pocket-sized book; the next day two men arrive at the inn looking for Hannay. When they return Hannay steals their car and escapes. On his way, Hannay reflects on, they contradict the story that Scudder first told to him, mention an enemy group called the Black Stone and the mysterious Thirty-nine Steps.
The United Kingdom appears to be in danger of an invasion by its allies. By this time, Hannay is being pursued by an aeroplane, a policeman in a remote village has tried to stop him. Trying to avoid an oncoming car, Hannay crashes his own, but the other driver offers to take him home; the man is Sir Harry, a local landowner and prospective politician, although politically naïve. When he learns of Hannay's experiences in South Africa, he invites him to address an election meeting that afternoon. Hannay's speech impresses Sir Harry, Hannay feels able to trust him with his story. Sir Harry writes an introductory letter about Hannay to a relation in the Foreign Office. Hannay tries to hide in the countryside, but is spotted by the aeroplane. Soon he spots a group of men on the ground searching for him. Miraculously, he meets a road mender out on the moor, swaps places with him, sending the workman home, his disguise fools his pursuers. On the same road he meets, in a passing touring car, a Society sycophant whom he recognises from Lo
Saint Bega was reputedly a saint of the Early Middle Ages. Promised in marriage to a Viking prince who, according to a medieval manuscript The Life of St Bega, was "son of the king of Norway", Bega "fled across the Irish sea to land at St. Bees on the Cumbrian coast. There she settled for a time, leading a life of exemplary piety fearing the raids of pirates which were starting along the coast, she moved over to Northumbria"; the most time for this would have been after AD 850, when the Vikings were settling Ireland. The account of Bega's flight from Ireland is found in the Life of St Bega, part of a collection of various English saints' lives that belonged to Holmcultram Abbey and is dated to the mid-13th century; the Life continues: Bega found the place covered with a thick forest, admirably adapted for a solitary life. Wishing to dedicate her life to God she built for herself a virgin cell in a grove near the seashore, where she remained for many years in strict seclusion. In the course of time the district began to be frequented by pirates.
The good saint however dreaded not death, nor mutilation, nor the loss of temporal goods, of which she was destitute except her bracelet, but she feared the loss of her virginity, the most precious treasure with which heaven can endow her sex. By divine command Bega hastened her departure from the place, but she was induced to leave her bracelet behind her, that miracles in ages to come might be performed in that neighbourhood in testimony of her holy life. So the account has Bega living in seclusion, after a time travelling to Northumbria, where she was admitted to sacred vows, it states that she founded Hartlepool Abbey, a convent at Hartlepool, but modern historians believe the writer of the Life created a composite St Bega, with events from the lives of Heui, who founded that convent, Begu. This confusion put Bega into the 7th century, inconsistent, as the Vikings, whose raids led to her fleeing to St Bees, only appeared in the area and started raiding Ireland from Ca.795 onwards. Bega is associated in legend with a number of miracles, the most famous being the "Snow miracle", described in the Life of St Bega thus: "Ranulf le Meschin had endowed the monastery with its lands, but a lawsuit developed about their extent.
The monks feared a miscarriage of justice. The day appointed for a perambulation of the boundaries arrived – and, lo and behold, there was a thick snowfall on all the surrounding lands but not a flake upon the lands of the priory."This version describes it as happening long after her death and concerns the monks of the Norman Priory. However, a version of the Snow Miracle is found in the Sandford manuscript; this was written in English after the dissolution of the Benedictine Priory, was in the Dean and Chapter archives at Carlisle Cathedral. This garbled account is a less probable version than that in the Life, sets the miracle in the days of St Bega herself; the Life manuscript contains accounts of nine miracles brought about by the influence of St Bega. They are earthy folk tales with miraculous interpretation; the first concerns a raider from Galloway. His mother warned him against theft on the land of St Bega, but her son was scornful and moving his hands to the private parts of his buttocks he tauntingly said, "what can that little old woman do to me?"
As he escaped on the horse, arrows were fired after him as he crouched low, the inevitable happened. The third concerns Godard of Millom, whose men would not remove their horses from the monks' pasture to which they had strayed; when the men came to saddle the horses, they found the hooves severed, in penance Godard gave the field to the Monks. The seventh miracle tells of three men of Workington, who were imprisoned in Egremont Castle for killing a man in a drunken brawl, but having confessed their sins to St Bega, were rescued by her and found sanctuary at St Bees; the ninth miracle tells of two sick brothers who, after seeing a vision at Tynmouth, travelled to St Bees in a cart, were healed. The register of St Bees Priory records several miracles by the power of prayer to St Bega. In 1310 "God worked many miracles by the prayers and merits of St Bega...to the edification of all the people with many eye-witnesses". In 1313 "A certain Irish boy received his sight in the chapel of St Bega through the merits and prayers of the said virgin, all the community seeing it".
The name of the village Kirkeby Becok used in the charters of St Bees Priory from the times of Henry II and Richard I, the phraseology of the early charters indicates a pre-Norman church at St Bees dedicated to St Bega. At the granting of the first charter of the Benedictine priory one of the witnesses was Gillebecoc; the writer of the Life relates that St Bega was given a bracelet in Ireland by a heavenly being, which she left behind in St Bees when she travelled to Northumberland. It was described as having a holy cross upon it, which fits a style of the 10th centuries; the bracelet is mentioned several times in the charters of St Bees Priory. An account roll from as late as 1516/1517 records offerings of 67s. 9d to the bracelet of St Bega. About 1400 it is recorded that St Bega's day was celebrated'in albs' at the mother house of St Mary's Abbey, York. A fifteenth-century Book of Hours
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh and Galloway, East Lothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland; the administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells. The term Scottish Borders is used to designate the areas of southern Scotland and northern England that bound the Anglo-Scottish border; the Scottish Borders are in the eastern part of the Southern Uplands. The region is hilly and rural, with the River Tweed flowing west to east through it. In the east of the region, the area that borders the River Tweed is flat and is known as'The Merse'; the Tweed and its tributaries drain the entire region with the river flowing into the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed, forming the border with England for the last twenty miles or so of its length. The term Central Borders refers to the area in which the majority of the main towns of Galashiels, Hawick, Earlston, Newtown St. Boswells, St Boswells, Peebles and Tweedbank are located.
Two of Scotland's 40 national scenic areas lie within the region: The Eildon and Leaderfoot National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding Eildon Hill, extends to include the town of Melrose and Leaderfoot Viaduct. The Upper Tweeddale National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding the upper part of the River Tweed between Broughton and Peebles. 2011 Galashiels: 14,994 Hawick: 14,294 Peebles: 8,376 Selkirk: 5,784 Kelso: 5,639 Jedburgh: 4,030 Eyemouth: 3,546 Innerleithen: 3,031 Duns: 2,753 Melrose: 2,307 Coldstream: 1,946 Earlston: 1,779 The term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the counties adjoining the English border including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire – as well as Northumberland and Westmorland in England. Roxburghshire and Berwickshire bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles and towns.
The council area was created in 1975, by merging the historic counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire and part of Midlothian, as a two-tier region with the districts of Berwickshire and Lauderdale, Tweeddale within it. In 1996 the region became the districts were wound up; the region was created with the name Borders. Following the election of a shadow area council in 1995 the name was changed to Scottish Borders with effect from 1996. Although there is evidence of some Scottish Gaelic in the origins of place names such as Innerleithen and Longformacus, which contain identifiably Goidelic rather than Brythonic Celtic elements and are an indication of at least a Gaelic-speaking elite in the area, the main languages in the area since the 5th century appear to have been Brythonic and Old English, the latter of which developed into its modern forms of English and Scots. There are two British Parliamentary constituencies in the Borders. Berwickshire and Selkirk covers most of the region and is represented by John Lamont of the Conservatives.
The western Tweeddale area is included in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale constituency and is represented by David Mundell of the Conservatives. At Scottish Parliament level, there are two seats; the eastern constituency is Ettrick and Berwickshire, represented by Conservative Rachael Hamilton. The western constituency is Midlothian South and Lauderdale and is represented by SNP Christine Grahame. Following the 2012 local elections, the council administration was a coalition of Independents, Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats. Prior to the election a coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents ruled; the Conservatives were the biggest party on the council with 10 seats, the Liberal Democrats had six. The SNP had nine seats and the Independents had seven. Two councillors form the Borders Party. Following the 2017 local elections, the council is now a coalition of Independents and Conservatives; the Conservatives became the largest party on the council with 15, an increase of 5.
At the Census held on 27 March 2011, the population of the region was 114,000, an increase of 6.78% from the 106,764 enumerated at the previous Census. The region had until September 2015 no working railway stations. Although the area was well connected to the Victorian railway system, the branch lines that supplied it were closed in the decades following the Second World War. A bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament to extend the Waverley Line, which aimed to re-introduce a commuter service from Edinburgh to Stow and Tweedbank; this section of the route re-opened on 6 September 2015, under the Borders Railway branding. The other railway route running through the region is the East Coast Main Line, with Edinburgh Waverley and Berwick being the nearest stations on that line, all of which are outwith the Borders. Since 2014 there has been discussion of re-opening the station at Reston, within the region and would serve Eyemouth. To the west, Carlisle and Lockerbie are the nearest stations on the West Coast Main Line.
The area is served by buses. Express bus services link the main towns with rail stations at Edinburgh and
Biggar, South Lanarkshire
Biggar is a town and former burgh in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is situated in the Southern Uplands, near the River Clyde, on the A702; the closest towns are Lanark and Peebles, as such Biggar serves a wide rural area. The population of the town at the 2011 census was 2294 although by the mid-2014 estimate it had grown to 2320; the town was once served by the Symington and Broughton Railway, which ran from the Caledonian Railway at Symington to join the Peebles Railway at Peebles. The station and signal box are still standing but housing has been built on the line running west from the station and the railway running east from the station is a public footpath to Broughton, part of the Biggar Country Path network; the new Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum run by the Biggar Museum Trust opened in 2015 and the Biggar Gasworks Museum is the only preserved gas works in Scotland. Additionally, Biggar has Scotland's only permanent puppet theatre, Biggar Puppet Theatre, run by the Purves Puppets family.
Biggar was the birthplace of the grandfather of William Ewart Gladstone. Hugh MacDiarmid spent his years at Brownsbank, near the town. Ian Hamilton Finlay's home and garden at Little Sparta is nearby in the Pentland Hills; the fictional Midculter, which features in Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles novels, is set here. The town hosts the Biggar Little Festival; the town has traditionally held a huge bonfire at Hogmanay. In 2007 local estate agent John Riley, encouraged a group of Biggar residents to launch the Carbon Neutral Biggar project, with the stated aim of becoming the first carbon neutral town in Scotland; the launch of the project, covered in both local and national media, took place at the town's annual eco forum in May 2007. The group has formed links with the town of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, which has a similar group working toward carbon neutral status for the town; this town has two schools, one primary, one secondary. The secondary school, Biggar High School admits pupils from surrounding small towns and villages.
Biggar Primary is a small school, located on South Back Road, with a current roll of 238 pupils. Primary pupils have lunch just offsite in the Biggar Primary Sports Barn; the High School, located on John’s Loan and adjacent to the primary, shares its sports facilities with the primary school when the occasion demands it. The annual primary Sports Day is held on the High School playing field. Biggar occupies a key location close to two of Scotland's great rivers, the Clyde flowing to the west, the Tweed flowing to the east. Stone and Bronze-age artefacts have been found in the area but the strongest evidence of settlement occurs on the hills surrounding the town. One of these is Bizzyberry Hill where Iron Age remains dating back 2000 years have been found; the present day A702 follows the route of a Roman road, which linked the Clyde Valley with Musselburgh. In the 12th century, in return for the promise of support, King David I gave the lands of Biggar to Baldwin, a Fleming leader, he built a bailey castle, which can still be seen north-west of the High Street.
The first permanent crossing of the Biggar Burn was built. It is thought that there has been a church at Biggar since the 6th or 7th century, although the first stone kirk was built in 1164, on the site of the existing kirk. In the 14th century, the Fleming family were given lands in the area by Robert the Bruce, whose cause they had supported; the Flemings built Boghall Castle, visible as a ruin until the early 20th century, but now only represented by a few mounds. The town continued to grow as an important market town, in 1451 the town became a burgh; the market place remains the central focus of the town. The kirk was rebuilt as a Collegiate church in 1546 for Malcolm, 3rd Lord Fleming, the last to be established before the Reformation of 1560; the Flemings found themselves on the wrong side in the 16th century, when they supported Mary, Queen of Scots. Their lands remained in the Fleming family until the 18th century when the male line of succession ended; the lands passed into the Elphinstone family in 1735 on the marriage of the heiress Lady Clementina Fleming to Charles, Lord Elphinstone.
Biggar Gas Works opened in 1836. In 1973, with the introduction of natural gas, the works closed. Biggar had its own railway station on the Symington and Broughton Railway between 1860 and 1953. In early 1900 a farmer located in Biggar founded Albion Motors as a small business which grew into the largest truck company in the British Empire; the company still exists as part of the Leyland DAF group. The archives of Albion motors can still be found in Biggar. In the summer of 1940 several thousands of Polish soldiers were stationed here, having been evacuated after the collapse of France; the singer Richard Tauber, whose wife Diana Napier was working with the Polish Red Cross, put on a special performance of the operetta The Land of Smiles during a two-week run in Glasgow. The Polish soldiers moved to the east coast of Scotland to defend the coast and to train for their deployment as the 1st Polish Armoured Division in Normandy and the Netherlands. John Brown Physician and essayist was born in a house in the South Back Road in 1810, at that time a manse.
He is commemorated with a plaque on the front wall of the municipal hall. John Pairman Artist is buried in the parish churchyard. Prof Thomas Purdie chemist Erich Schaedler Footballer The town of Biggar is 200 metres above sea level. List of places in South Lanarkshire Biggar, South Lanarkshire at Curlie
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish novelist and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation. After a brief legal career, Buchan began his writing career and his political and diplomatic careers, serving as a private secretary to the administrator of various colonies in southern Africa, he wrote propaganda for the British war effort during World War I. He was elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities in 1927, but he spent most of his time on his writing career, notably writing The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction. In 1935, King George V, on the advice of Prime Minister R. B. Bennett, appointed Buchan to replace the Earl of Bessborough as Governor General of Canada, for which purpose Buchan was raised to the peerage, he occupied the post until his death in 1940. Buchan was enthusiastic about literacy and the development of Canadian culture, he received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.
Buchan was born in Perth, the first child of John Buchan—a Free Church of Scotland minister—and Helen Jane Buchan. He was brought up in Kirkcaldy and spent many summer holidays with his maternal grandparents in Broughton in the Scottish Borders. There he developed a love for walking and for the local scenery and wildlife, both of which are featured in his novels; the protagonist in several of his books is Sir Edward Leithen, whose name is borrowed from the Leithen Water, a tributary of the River Tweed. Buchan attended Hutchesons' Grammar School and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Glasgow at age 17, where he studied classics, wrote poetry, became a published author, he moved on to study Literae Humaniores at Brasenose College, Oxford with a junior William Hulme scholarship in 1895, where his friends included Hilaire Belloc, Raymond Asquith, Aubrey Herbert. Buchan won the Newdigate Prize for poetry the following year. Buchan had his first portrait painted in 1900 by a young Sholto Johnstone Douglas at around the time of his graduation from Oxford.
Buchan entered into a career in diplomacy and government after graduating from Oxford, becoming in 1901 the private secretary to Alfred Milner, the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, Governor of Cape Colony, colonial administrator of Transvaal and the Orange Free State, putting Buchan in what came to be known as Milner's Kindergarten. He gained an acquaintance with a country that would feature prominently in his writing, which he resumed upon his return to London, at the same time entering into a partnership in the Thomas Nelson & Son publishing company and becoming editor of The Spectator. Buchan read for and was called to the bar in the same year, though he did not practise as a lawyer, on 15 July 1907 married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor—daughter of Norman Grosvenor and a cousin of the Duke of Westminster. Together and his wife had four children, John and Alastair, two of whom would spend most of their lives in Canada. In 1910, Buchan wrote Prester John, the first of his adventure novels, set in South Africa, the following year he suffered from duodenal ulcers, a condition that afflicted one of his fictional characters.
At the same time, Buchan ventured into the political arena, was adopted as Unionist candidate in March 1911 for the Borders seat of Peebles and Selkirk. With the outbreak of the First World War, Buchan went to write for the British War Propaganda Bureau and worked as a correspondent in France for The Times, he continued to write fiction, in 1915 published his most famous work, The Thirty-Nine Steps, a spy-thriller set just prior to World War I. The novel featured Buchan's oft used hero, Richard Hannay, whose character was based on Edmund Ironside, a friend of Buchan from his days in South Africa. A sequel, came the following year. In June 1916 Buchan was sent out to the Western Front to be attached to the British Army's General Head Quarters Intelligence Section, to assist with drafting official communiques for the press. On arrival he received a field-commission as a second lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps. Recognised for his abilities, Buchan was appointed as the Director of Information in 1917, under Lord Beaverbrook—which Buchan said was "the toughest job I took on"—and assisted Charles Masterman in publishing a monthly magazine detailing the history of the war, the first edition appearing in February 1915.
It was difficult for him, given his close connections to many of Britain's military leaders, to be critical of the British Army's conduct during the conflict. Following the close of the war, Buchan turned his attention to writing on historical subjects, along with his usual thrillers and novels. By the mid-1920s, he was living in Elsfield and had become president of the Scottish Historical Society and a trustee of the National Library of Scotland, he maintained ties with various universities. Robert Graves, who lived in nearby Islip, mentioned his being recommended by Buchan for a lecturing position at the newly founded Cairo University. In a 1927 by-election, Buchan was elected as the Unionist Party Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities. Politically, he was of