Elgin is a town and Royal Burgh in Moray, Scotland. It is the commercial centre for Moray; the town originated to the south of the River Lossie on the higher ground above the floodplain. Elgin is first documented in the Cartulary of Moray in 1190 AD, it was created a royal burgh in the 12th century by King David I of Scotland, by that time had a castle on top of the present day Lady Hill to the west of the town. In August 1040, MacBeth's army killed Duncan I at Bothganowan, near Elgin. Elgin is first recorded in a charter of David I in 1151 in which he granted an annuity to the Priory of Urquhart. David had made Elgin a royal burgh after his defeat of Óengus of Moray. During David's reign the castle was established at the top of; the town received a royal charter from Alexander II in 1224 when he granted the land for a new cathedral to Andrew, Bishop of Moray. This settled the episcopal see, at various times at Kinneddar and Spynie. Elgin was a popular residence for the early Scottish monarchs: David I, William I, Alexander II and Alexander III all held court there and hunted in the royal forests.
Of these kings, Alexander II was Elgin's greatest benefactor and returned many times to his royal castle. He established the two religious houses of the town, the Dominicans or Blackfriars in the west side and the Franciscans or Greyfriars in the east. Further to the east stood the Hospital of Maison Dieu, or House of God founded during the reign of Alexander II for the reception of poor men and women. On 19 July 1224, the foundation stone of the new Elgin Cathedral was ceremoniously laid; the cathedral was completed sometime after 1242 but was destroyed by fire in 1270. The reasons for this are unrecorded; the buildings which now remain as ruins date from the reconstruction following that fire. The Chartulary of Moray described the completed cathedral as "Mirror of the country and the glory of the kingdom". Edward I of England travelled twice to Elgin. During his first visit in 1296 he was impressed by. Preserved in the Cotton library now held in the British Library is the journal of his stay, describing the castle and the town of Elgin as "bon chastell et bonne ville" — good castle and good town.
By his second visit in September 1303, the castle's wooden interior had been burned while held by the English governor, Henry de Rye. As a result, he only stayed in Elgin for two days and camped at Kinloss Abbey from 13 September until 4 October. King Edward was furious when David de Moravia, Bishop of Moray, joined Scotland's cause with Bruce, Edward appealed to the Pope who excommunicated the bishop, thus removing papal protection, causing him to flee to Orkney to Norway, only to return after Robert Bruce's victories against the English. After Edward's death in July 1307, Robert the Bruce retook Scotland in 1308, slighting castles to keep them out of English hands. David de Moravia, the Bishop of Moray at the head of his army, joined with Bruce and they slighted the castles of Inverness and Forres before seizing and slighting Kinneddar Castle, which housed English soldiers, he attacked Elgin castle to be twice repulsed before succeeding. In August 1370 Alexander Bur, Bishop of Moray began payments to Alexander Stewart, Wolf of Badenoch, King Robert III's brother, for the protection of his lands and men.
In February 1390, the bishop turned to Thomas Dunbar, son of the Earl of Moray, to provide the protection. This action infuriated Stewart and in May he descended from his castle on an island in Lochindorb and burned the town of Forres in revenge. In June he burned much of Elgin, including two monasteries, St Giles Church, the Hospital of Maison Dieu and the cathedral. Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland described this action by "wyld, wykked Heland-men"; the rebuilding of the cathedral took many years. In 1506, the great central tower collapsed and although rebuilding work began the next year it was not completed till 1538; the citizens of Elgin and surrounding areas did not seem to object to the new religion following the Reformation. In 1568 the lead was stripped from the roof of the cathedral, by order of the Privy Council of Scotland; the lead was to be sold and the proceeds to go to the maintenance of Regent Moray's soldiers, but the ship taking the lead cargo to Holland sank immediately on leaving Aberdeen harbour.
Without this protection the building began to deteriorate. In 1637, the rafters over the choir were blown down and in 1640 the minister of St Giles along with the Laird of Innes and Alexander Brodie of Brodie, all ardent Covenanters and destroyed the ornately carved screen and woodwork that had remained intact; the tracery of the West window was destroyed sometime between 1660 by Cromwell's soldiers. On Easter Sunday 1711 the central tower collapsed for the second time in its history, but caused much more damage; the rubble was quarried for various projects in the vicinity until 1807 when, through the efforts of Joseph King of Newmill, a wall was built around the cathedral and a keeper's house erected. Mountains of this rubble were cleared by one John Shanks, enabling visitors to view the ornate stonemasonry. John was presented with an ornate snuffbox by the authorities, it is now in Elgin Museum, he is honoured with a large tombstone in the eastern Cathedral precincts; when Daniel Defoe toured Scotland in 1717, he visited Elgin and said:In this rich country is the city, or to
Single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through ranked voting in multi-seat organizations or constituencies. Under STV, an elector has a single vote, allocated to their most preferred candidate. Votes are totalled and a quota derived. If their candidate achieves quota, he/she is elected and in some STV systems any surplus vote is transferred to other candidates in proportion to the voters' stated preferences. If more candidates than seats remain, the bottom candidate is eliminated with his/her votes being transferred to other candidates as determined by the voters' stated preferences; these elections and eliminations, vote transfers if applicable, continue until there are only as many candidates as there are unfilled seats. The specific method of transferring votes varies in different systems; the system provides proportional representation in non-partisan elections, that minority factions have some representation. STV is the system of choice of groups such as the Proportional Representation Society of Australia, the Electoral Reform Society in the United Kingdom and FairVote in the USA.
Its critics contend that some voters find the mechanisms behind STV difficult to understand, but this does not make it more difficult for voters to rank the list of candidates in order of preference on an STV ballot paper. STV has had its widest adoption in the English-speaking world; as of 2018, in government elections, STV is used for: In British Columbia, Canada, a type of STV called BC-STV was recommended for provincial elections by the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform in 2004. In a 2005 provincial referendum, it received 57.69% support and passed in 77 of 79 electoral districts. It was not adopted, because it fell short of the 60% threshold requirement the BC Liberal government had set for the referendum to be binding. In a second referendum, on 12 May 2009, BC-STV was defeated 60.91% to 39.09% STV has been used in several other jurisdictions in provincial elections in the cities of Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta. Less well known is STV use at the municipal level in western Canada – Calgary used STV for more than 50 years before it was changed to first past the post.
For a more complete list, see History and use of the single transferable vote. When STV is used for single-winner elections, it is equivalent to the instant-runoff voting method. STV used for multi-winner elections is sometimes called "proportional representation through the single transferable vote", or PR-STV. "STV" refers to the multi-winner version, as it does in this article. In the United States, it is sometimes called choice voting, preferential voting or preference voting. Hare-Clark is the name given to PR-STV elections in the Australian Capital Territory. In STV, each voter ranks the list of candidates in order of preference, marking a'1' beside their most preferred candidate, a'2' beside their second most preferred, so on as shown in the sample ballot on the right; as noted, this is a simplified example. In practice, the ballot would be organized in columns so that voters are informed of each candidate's party affiliations or whether they are standing as independents; the most straightforward way to count a ranked ballot vote is to sequentially identify the candidate with the least support, eliminate that candidate, transfer those votes to the next-named candidate on each ballot.
This process is repeated. This method was used for a period of time in several local elections in South Australia. In effect, it is identical to instant-runoff voting, used in leadership contests, except that the transfer process is terminated when there are still several candidates remaining, if all the seats have been filled. However, preferences for elected candidates are not transferred at any value penalising those who vote for a popular candidate. In most STV elections, an additional step is taken that ensures that all elected candidates are elected with equal numbers of votes, it can be shown. A number of different quotas can be used. For example, at most 3 people can have 25% + 1 in 3-winner elections, 9 can have 10% + 1 in 9-winner elections, so on. If
The Moray Firth is a triangular inlet of the North Sea and east of Inverness, in the Highland council area of north of Scotland. It is the largest firth in Scotland, stretching from Duncansby Head in the north, in the Highland council area, Fraserburgh in the east, in the Aberdeenshire council area, to Inverness and the Beauly Firth in the west. Therefore, three council areas have Moray Firth coastline: Highland to the west and north of the Moray Firth and Highland and Aberdeenshire to the south; the firth has more than 800 kilometres of coastline, much of, cliff. A number of rivers flow into the Moray Firth, including the River Ness, the River Findhorn and the River Spey. Various smaller firths and bays are inlets of the firth, including the Cromarty Firth and the Dornoch Firth; the Pentland Firth has its eastern mouth at the Moray Firth's northern boundary. The Moray Firth is two firths, the Inner Moray Firth 57°33′N 04°09′W, traditionally known as the Firth of Inverness, the Outer Moray Firth, more open North Sea water.
The name "Firth of Inverness" is found on modern maps, but extended from the Beauly Firth in the west, to Chanonry Point in the east. The Moray Firth is visible for considerable distances, including a long range view from as far to the east as Longman Hill. From Buckie, on a clear day it is possible to see Wick in the far north of Scotland more than 80 km away. From Lossiemouth it is possible to see the hills of Caithness and the hills are identified, one being Morven and the other being Scaraben. From Burghead, the white mass of Dunrobin Castle can just be made out in the distance on a clear day; the Great Channel in the Inner Moray Firth, was dredged by engineers in 1917 for the safe passage of ships that wanted to avoid the long and dangerous passage around the north of Scotland, by transiting the Caledonian Canal. The Channel went from the entrance of Munlochy Bay to the Meikle Mee Starboard Hand Mark, but was not maintained and filled in quickly; the Moray Firth is of tectonic origin, related to the Great Glen Fault.
For some time during the glaciation, the whole of nowaday's Moray firth was a huge glacier. The inner Part and its side-inlets, Cromarty Firth and Dornoch Firth, are true fjords themselves. Though there is a reasonable tide with mean tide ranges of about three metres, only part of the rivers draining into the bay have estuaries. Masses of sediment from the adjacent mountains have formed spits around several mouths; those of River Ness and River Carron have narrowed the fjords they enter. The Moray Firth is one of the most important places on the British coast for observing dolphins and whales; the most common species are the harbour porpoise. With occasional sightings of Common dolphin and Minke Whale; the popular wildlife viewing area located at Chanonry Point host some spectacular displays of dolphins within the inner Moray Firth. There are visitor centres at Spey Bay and North Kessock run by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society where dolphins and other wildlife can be seen; the old jetty at the Fort George Point is the location of the Dolphin Research Centre, with leading marine biologist Prof. Greame Taylor working part-time studying hunting and breeding habits and part-time working with the Community Council giving tours and teaching the ways of the dolphin.
It is an important oil field and fishing grounds. The Beatrice oil field in the Outer Moray Firth is the closest of the North Sea oil fields. Much of the fishing industry focuses on Norway lobsters; the Inner Moray Firth is designated as a Special Protection Area for wildlife conservation purposes. The Moray Firth contains a Special Area of Conservation designated under the EU Habitats Directive, one of the largest Marine Protection Areas in Europe; the SAC protects the inner waters of the Moray Firth, from a line between Lossiemouth and Helmsdale westwards. C. Michael Hogan Longman Hill, Modern Antiquarian WDCS The Moray Firth Wildlife Centre Media related to Moray Firth at Wikimedia Commons UK government website re its status as a protected site Scottish government press release about seal management in the firth The Moray Firth Partnership Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
James Alexander Stewart Stevenson is a Scottish National Party politician, a Member of the Scottish Parliament since 2001. He was the MSP for Banff and Buchan from 2001 to 2011, after boundary changes he has been the MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast since 2011. In the Scottish Government, he was Minister for Transport and Climate Change from May 2007 to December 2010, Minister for Environment and Climate Change from May 2011 to September 2012. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, his father James Stevenson was a doctor and his mother Helen MacGregor was a teacher. He was brought up in Fife, he was educated at Bell Baxter High School studied mathematics at the University of Aberdeen. He worked in information technology with the Bank of Scotland for 30 years, retiring in 1999 as Director of Technology Innovation. Stevenson joined the Scottish National Party in 1961, he stood as an SNP candidate in the Linlithgow constituency in the 1999 Scottish General election but was unsuccessful. In January 2001 Stevenson was adopted as the candidate for Banff and Buchan, ahead of the by-election on 7 June 2001, triggered by Alex Salmond's resignation from the seat to concentrate on Westminster politics.
Stevenson was elected with a majority of 8,500 votes over the Conservative candidate. He made his maiden speech on the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy on 14 June 2001, he was re-elected to the constituency in the 2003 elections. In 2004 he was a member of the Scottish Parliament team in the TV general knowledge programme, University Challenge – The Professionals, he and fellow team members Richard Baker, Robin Harper, Jamie Stone, captain, beat a Welsh Assembly team by 110 points to 75. In opposition he was Deputy Party Spokesperson on Health until September 2004 becoming Deputy Party Spokesperson on Justice with responsibility for Prisons and Drugs policy, he was Convenor of the SNP Group in the Scottish Parliament and Deputy Convenor of the Parliament's Justice 1 Committee. In addition he ended Session 2 as a substitute member of the Parliament's Health Committee and Deputy Convenor of the Parliament's Cross Party Group on Visual Impairment. By the end of Parliament's second session on 2 April 2007 he had made 284 speeches in the Scottish Parliament and was thus the most prolific speaker since the Parliament's being re-convened in 1999.
By the end of Session 3 in March 2011, he had made 406 speeches and retained the position of "most prolific parliamentary speaker". He reached his 500th speech on the Tribunals Bill, on 7 November 2013, he can, hold the record for the longest speech in Parliament. He commenced a speech on International Suicide Prevention Week at 17:21 on Wednesday, 7 September 2004 and completed it at 17:12 on Thursday, 8 September 2004 nearly 24 hours later; however this was due to the failure of the Parliament's sound system. On 12 June 2015, he became the first Member of the Scottish Parliament to have made 600 speeches. In the 2007 Scottish General election on 3 May, he was returned with a majority of 10,530, the largest in Scotland, over the Scottish Conservative Party candidate; the SNP formed a minority government and on 17 May Stevenson was appointed the Minister for Transport and Climate Change. This appointment covered: the land use planning system, climate change, building standards, transport policy and delivery, public transport, rail services, harbours and ferry services, Scottish Water.
As Minister, Stevenson piloted Abolition of Bridge Tolls Bill. Which received royal assent on 24 January 2008, becoming the Abolition of Bridge Tolls Act 2008. At the end of May the Scottish Executive approved The Port of Cairnryan Harbour Empowerment Order 2007 and with this Stevenson became the first SNP Minister to sign a piece of legislation, he brought forward the SNP's first Legislative Consent Motion known as Sewel Motions, on the subject of the UK Climate Change Bill. He was the first SNP Minister to lose a vote in Parliament on the subject of the Edinburgh Trams project; as the Minister for Transport, he was involved with the progressing the legislation for the Forth Replacement Crossing, continuing a family association with Firth of Forth infrastructure projects. His great uncle, Sir Alexander Stevenson, was Chairman of the Forth Road Bridge Campaign Committee in the 1930s. In March 2009 Stevenson apologised for the use of an "intemperate word" in Parliament when he said the word "bollocks" in an off-mic remark in response to sedentary remarks by Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles on the relationship between Scottish ministers and officials at Transport Scotland.
After an unusually heavy snowfall in December 2010 caught authorities by surprise and left thousands of motorists stranded overnight on major highways, Stevenson called the government's response "first class" and refused to apologise. In the 2011 Scottish General Election Under the re-drawn constituency boundaries, Stevenson was elected as the SNP member for the new seat of Banffshire and Buchan Coast. Under the Second Salmond government Stevenson returned to a ministerial position, appointed as Minister for Environment and Climate Change on 20 May 2011, his ministerial role ended with the re-shuffle announced on 5 September 2012, when he was rep
Moray (UK Parliament constituency)
Moray is a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. A rural constituency, Elgin is the main town, with the rest of the population sprinkled across several small fishing and farming communities; the constituency voted against Scottish independence in a referendum held in 2014 on an above-average margin of 57.6% "No" 42.4% "Yes", had the highest percentage for "Leave" of any council area in Scotland at the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum at 50.1% "Remain" 49.9% "Leave". 1983-1997: Moray District. 1997-2005: The Moray District electoral divisions of Buckie, Elgin North East, Elgin South West, Innes-Heldon, Rathford-Lennox, Speyside-Glenlivet. 2005-present: The Moray Council area. The constituency covers the whole of the Moray council area. Between 1997 and 2005, it covered a smaller area. A similar constituency called Moray, is used for elections to the Scottish Parliament.
The seat is bordered by the constituencies of Banff and Buchan, Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey and West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. The constituency was created in 1983 from parts of the former seats of Moray and Nairn, Banff. Moray is an affluent rural constituency in the north-east of Scotland; the constituency follows the southern coastline of the Moray Firth between Cullen to the east and Duke to the west, on the outskirts of Forres, extends up towards the northern fringes of the Cairngorms National Park along the River Spey and its tributaries. The constituency covers the River Lossie and its tributaries, the lower reaches of the River Findhorn. Agriculture, fishing and whisky distilling are important in the local economy. Along the north coast of Moray is a mixture of fishing towns and villages such as Lossiemouth and Portknockie. Lossiemouth houses the RAF Lossiemouth Royal Air Force station, among the busiest and largest fast-jet stations in the Royal Air Force, is an important source of employment for those living in the Laich of Moray between Elgin and Lossiemouth.
On the eastern banks of the River Findhorn, 15 miles south-west of Lossiemouth, is the larger town of Forres, the site of Sueno's Stone, Brodie Castle and the Dallas Dhu Distillery. There is a cluster of whisky distilleries along the River Spey and along the A941 corridor between Craigellachie and Moray's capital of Elgin. Elgin is the site of the Elgin Cathedral, it houses about 25% of Moray's population, is referred to as a city despite lacking official recognition. According to a 2006 survey conducted by HBOS, Elgin has among the highest property prices of any town in Scotland. South and east of Elgin, the River Spey and areas east of the river belonged to the former county of Banffshire, while Moray instead incorporated parts of Nairn, today included in the Highland council area and in the Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey parliamentary constituency; the upper reaches of the River Spey stretch down from mountainous terrain in the south to still thinly populated rolling plains. Rural communities in this region predominantly rely upon tourism, whisky distilling and agriculture for employment.
In the north-east of Moray, Buckie is a prominent fishing port. Oil forms a substantial part of the local economy: over 10% of Moray's population commute to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire working in the oil and gas industry. Moray was predominantly represented by the Conservative Party; the constituency's predecessor seats of Banffshire and Moray and Nairn were represented by the Conservatives continuously from the 1935 general election until both seats were abolished to form Moray in 1983, with the electorate voting SNP at the February and October general elections in 1974. When the Moray constituency was first established in 1983, it elected Alexander Pollock of the Conservatives as MP with a 1,713 majority; the constituency was a Conservative-SNP marginal until Labour's landslide victory in 1997, when Margaret Ewing doubled her majority to 5,566. Labour made a breakthrough in the constituency at the 2001 general election when Margaret Ewing retired to be replaced by Angus Robertson: Labour came ahead of the Conservatives for the first time, but the SNP beat them by 1,744 votes.
Angus Robertson increased his majority at the 2005 general election. At the 2015 general election, the Conservatives had their best result in the constituency since 1997; the equivalent Scottish Parliamentary constituency of Moray was thought of as safe for the SNP since the 2003 Scottish Parliament election, however in 2016 the SNP's majority in the constituency was cut by the Conservatives from 10,944 to 2,875. In the 2017 Moray Council election, the Conservatives were for the first time the largest party by votes cast in Moray; the party were ahead in all wards in the more densely populated north-west of the council area, an area known as the Laich of Moray, covering the towns of Elgin, Lossiemouth, Burghead and Lhanbryde. Douglas Ross gained the seat
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