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
A stack or sea stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, formed by wave erosion. Stacks are formed over time by processes of coastal geomorphology, they are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to collapse, forming free-standing stacks and a small island. Without the constant presence of water, stacks form when a natural arch collapses under gravity, due to sub-aerial processes like wind erosion. Erosion causes the arch to collapse, leaving the pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast—the stack. Erosion will cause the stack to collapse, leaving a stump. Stacks can provide important nesting locations for seabirds, many are popular for rock climbing. Isolated steep-sided, rocky oceanic islets of volcanic origin, are loosely called "stacks" or "volcanic stacks". Stacks form in horizontally-bedded sedimentary or volcanic rocks on limestone cliffs.
The medium hardness of these rocks means medium resistance to abrasive and attritive erosion. A more resistant layer may form a capstone; the formation process begins when the sea attacks small cracks in a headland and opens them. The cracks gradually get larger and turn into a small cave; when the cave wears through the headland, an arch forms. Further erosion causes the arch to collapse, leaving the pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast—the stack. Erosion will cause the stack to collapse, leaving a stump; this stump forms a small rock island, low enough for a high tide to submerge. Ball's Pyramid, the tallest sea stack in the world List of sea stacks Rauk
The island of Vatersay is the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the settlement of Caolas on the north coast of the island is the westernmost permanently inhabited place in Scotland and in Great Britain. The main village called Vatersay, is in the south of the island. Vatersay is in the form of a tombolo, two rocky islands linked by a sandy isthmus; the isthmus on either side are large white-sand beaches. Vatersay is linked to the larger island of Barra to the north by a causeway about 200 metres long, completed in 1991; this is of huge benefit as the shipping of goods and passenger traffic no longer has to rely on a small passenger ferry boat. Access to schools and emergency services is easier. At low tide, the island is linked to the islet of Uineasan to the east. To the south are the uninhabited islands of Pabbay and Sanday. Wildlife on the island includes otters and herons. Bonnie Prince Charlie's flower, reputedly originating from French seeds dropped by Bonnie Prince Charlie is, in Scotland, found only on Vatersay and Eriskay.
The island has remains of an Iron Age broch at Dun a' Chaolais overlooking the Sound of Vatersay, nearby is a passage grave dated to the 3rd millennium BC. There is a Bronze Age cemetery at Trèseabhaig south of the heights of Heiseabhal Mòr and a cairn built around 1000 BC west of the village of Vatersay; the offshore islet of Bioruaslum has a walled fort. One of the saddest events to befall the island was when the Annie Jane, a three-masted migrant ship out of Liverpool bound for Montreal, Canada, struck rocks off West Beach during a storm in September 1853. Within ten minutes the ship began casting 450 people into the raging sea. In spite of the conditions, islanders tried to rescue crew. There were only a few survivors. A small cairn and monument marks. An inscription reads: On 28th September 1853 the ship Annie Jane with emigrants from Liverpool to Quebec was wrecked in this bay and threefourths of the crew and passengers numbering about 350 men women and children were drowned and their bodies interred here.
Two Chinese seamen from the SS Idomeneus, which sank on 28 September 1917, are buried somewhere near the monument. There is a commemorative headstone in Cuier Churchyard; the remains of a Catalina flying boat that crashed on the slopes of Heiseabhal Beag in 1944 lie in a stream bed near the shore. Land raid Branigan, Keith Ancient Barra: exploring the Archaeology of the Outer Hebrides. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Panorama of the West Bay on Vatersay
The Northern Isles are a pair of archipelagos off the north coast of mainland Scotland, comprising Orkney and Shetland. The climate is temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are a total of 26 inhabited islands with landscapes of the fertile agricultural islands of Orkney contrasting with the more rugged Shetland islands to the north, where the economy is more dependent on fishing and the oil wealth of the surrounding seas. Both have a developing renewable energy industry, they share a common Pictish and Norse history. Both island groups were absorbed into the Kingdom of Scotland in the 15th century and remained part of the country following the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, the United Kingdom after 1801; the islands played a significant naval role during the world wars of the 20th century. Tourism is important to both archipelagos, with their distinctive prehistoric ruins playing a key part in their attraction, there are regular ferry and air connections with mainland Scotland.
The Scandinavian influence remains strong in relation to local folklore, both island chains have strong, although distinct, local cultures. The place names of the islands are dominated by their Norse heritage, although some may retain pre-Celtic elements; the phrase "Northern Isles" refers to the main islands of the Orkney and Shetland archipelagos. Stroma, which lies between mainland Scotland and Orkney, is part of Caithness, so falls under Highland council area for local government purposes, not Orkney, it is, however one of the "northern isles" of Scotland. Fair Isle and Foula are outliers of Shetland, but would be considered as part of Shetland and thus the Northern Isles. Sule Skerry and Sule Stack, although distant from the main group, are part of Orkney and technically amongst the Northern Isles. However, the other small islands that lie off the north coast of Scotland are in Highland and thus not considered to be part of the Northern Isles. Orkney is situated 16 kilometres north of the coast of mainland Scotland, from which it is separated by the waters of the Pentland Firth.
The largest island, known as the "Mainland" has an area of 523.25 square kilometres, making it the sixth largest Scottish island. The total population in 2001 was 19,245 and the largest town is Kirkwall. Shetland is around 170 kilometres north of mainland Scotland, covers an area of 1,468 square kilometres and has a coastline 2,702 kilometres long. Lerwick, the capital and largest settlement, has a population of around 7,500 and about half of the archipelago's total population of 22,000 people live within 16 kilometres of the town. Orkney has 20 inhabited islands and Shetland a total of 16; the superficial rock of Orkney is entirely Old Red Sandstone of Middle Devonian age. As in the neighbouring mainland county of Caithness, this sandstone rests upon the metamorphic rocks of the Moine series, as may be seen on the Orkney Mainland, where a narrow strip of the older rock is exposed between Stromness and Inganess, again on the small island of Graemsay. Middle Devonian basaltic volcanic rocks are found on western Hoy, on Deerness in eastern Mainland and on Shapinsay.
Correlation between the Hoy volcanics and the other two exposures has been proposed, but differences in chemistry means this remains uncertain. Lamprophyre dykes of Late Permian age are found throughout Orkney. Glacial striation and the presence of chalk and flint erratics that originated from the bed of the North Sea demonstrate the influence of ice action on the geomorphology of the islands. Boulder clay is abundant and moraines cover substantial areas; the geology of Shetland is quite different. It is complex, with numerous faults and fold axes; these islands are the northern outpost of the Caledonian orogeny and there are outcrops of Lewisian and Moine metamorphic rocks with similar histories to their equivalents on the Scottish mainland. There are small Old Red Sandstone deposits and granite intrusions; the most distinctive feature is the ultrabasic ophiolite and gabbro on Unst and Fetlar, which are remnants of the Iapetus Ocean floor. Much of Shetland's economy depends on the oil-bearing sediments in the surrounding seas.
Geological evidence shows that at around 6100 BC a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slides hit the Northern Isles, may have created a wave of up to 25 metres high in the voes of Shetland where modern populations are highest. The Northern Isles have a cool, temperate climate, remarkably mild and steady for such a northerly latitude, due to the influence of the surrounding seas and the Gulf Stream. In Shetland average peak temperatures are 5 °C in February and 15 °C in August and temperatures over 21 °C are rare; the frost-free period may be as little as 3 months. The average annual rainfall is 1,168 millimetres in Shetland. Winds are a key feature of the climate and in summer there are constant breezes. In winter, there are frequent strong winds, with an average of 52 hours of gales being recorded annually in Orkney. Burradale wind farm on Shetland, which operates with five Vestas V47 660 kW turbines, achieved a world record of 57.9% capacity over the course of 2005 due to the persistent strong winds.
Snowfall is confined to the period November to February and lies on the ground for more than a day. Less rain falls from April to August. Annual bright sunshine averages 1082 hours in
A hermit is a person who lives in seclusion from society for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, the concept is found in other religions as well. In Christianity, the term was applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament. In the Christian tradition the eremitic life is an early form of monastic living that preceded the monastic life in the cenobium; the Rule of St Benedict lists hermits among four kinds of monks. In the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to hermits who are members of religious institutes, the Canon law recognizes diocesan hermits under the direction of their bishop as members of the consecrated life; the same is true in many parts of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the US, although in the canon law of the Episcopal Church they are referred to as "solitaries" rather than "hermits". Both in religious and secular literature, the term "hermit" is used loosely for any Christian living a secluded prayer-focused life, sometimes interchangeably with anchorite/anchoress, recluse and "solitary".
Other religions, for example, Hinduism and Taoism have hermits in the sense of individuals living an ascetic form of life. In modern colloquial usage, "hermit" denotes anyone living apart from the rest of society, or participating in fewer social events, for any reason; the word hermit comes from the Latin ĕrēmīta, the latinisation of the Greek ἐρημίτης, "of the desert", which in turn comes from ἔρημος, signifying "desert", "uninhabited", hence "desert-dweller". In the common Christian tradition the first known Christian hermit in Egypt was Paul of Thebes, hence called "St. Paul the first hermit", his disciple Antony of Egypt referred to as "Antony the Great", is the most renowned of all the early Christian hermits owing to the biography by his friend Athanasius of Alexandria. An antecedent for Egyptian eremiticism may have been the Syrian solitary or "son of the covenant" who undertook special disciplines as a Christian. In the Middle Ages some Carmelite hermits claimed to trace their origin to Jewish hermits organized by Elijah.
Christian hermits in the past have lived in isolated cells or hermitages, whether a natural cave or a constructed dwelling, situated in the desert or the forest. People sometimes sought them out for spiritual counsel; some acquired so many disciples that they no longer had physical solitude. The early Christian Desert Fathers wove baskets to exchange for bread. In medieval times hermits were found within or near cities where they might earn a living as a gate keeper or ferryman. From the Middle Ages and down to modern times eremitical monasticism has been practiced within the context of religious institutes in the Christian West. For example, in the Catholic Church the Carthusians and Camaldolese arrange their monasteries as clusters of hermitages where the monks live most of their day and most of their lives in solitary prayer and work, gathering only briefly for communal prayer and only for community meals and recreation; the Cistercian and Carmelite orders, which are communal in nature, allow members who feel a calling to the eremitic life, after years living in the cenobium or community of the monastery, to move to a cell suitable as a hermitage on monastery grounds.
This applies to both their nuns. There have been many hermits who chose that vocation as an alternative to other forms of monastic life. In the 11th century, the life of the hermit gained recognition as a legitimate independent pathway to salvation. Many hermits in that century and the next came to be regarded as saints; the term "anchorite" is used as a synonym for hermit, not only in the earliest written sources but throughout the centuries. Yet the anchoritic life, while similar to the eremitic life, can be distinct from it. Anchorites lived the religious life in the solitude of an "anchorhold" a small hut or "cell" built against a church; the door of an anchorage tended to be bricked up in a special ceremony conducted by the local bishop after the anchorite had moved in. Medieval churches survive that have a tiny window built into the shared wall near the sanctuary to allow the anchorite to participate in the liturgy by listening to the service and to receive Holy Communion. Another window looked out into the street or cemetery, enabling charitable neighbors to deliver food and other necessities.
Clients seeking the anchorite's advice might use this window to consult them. Catholics who wish to live in eremitic monasticism may live that vocation as a hermit: in an eremitical order, but in both cases under obedience to their religious superior, or as an Oblate affiliated with the Camaldolese or as a diocesan hermit under the canonical direction of their bishop. There are lay people who informally follow an eremitic lifestyle and live as solitaries. In the Catholic Church, the institutes of consecrated life have their own regulations concerning those of their members who feel called by God to move from the life in community to the eremitic life, have the permission of their religious superior to do so; the Code of Canon
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
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