A little Scottish history

I have been working on a piece of historical fiction and doing some research on Scottish history. I’ve learned a great deal and while my fiction is nowhere near ready to be shared, I would like to share with you a bit of what I have learned so far.

1-300 AD The land that would one day become known as the Scottish Highlands is inhabited by Pictish Celts – Roman Emperor Hadrian attempted to invade, but failed so miserably that he built a wall keeping future invaders out

400 AD – Romans leave Britain

400-600 AD – Christianity and Migrations (Picts, Scoti, Alt Clut, Northumbria) – The spread of Christianity is chronicled in the fictional stories of the Avalon books. The fictional events of Tristan & Isolde would have taken place during this period of time as well.

793 AD – Iona Abbey first invaded by Scandinavian Vikings from Norway with several subsequent attacks (The Secret of Kells)

845 AD – Kingdom of Alba is united in the territory north of the Firth of Forth (just try saying it 10x fast)

1040-1057 – MacBeth’s Reign

1100~1300 – Peaceful… or at least as peaceful as it gets in Scotland.

1286King Alexander III of Scotland dies without an heir apparent, so King Edward of England selects puppet king in Scotland out of 13 possible cousins

1296 – King Edward steals the Stone of Destiny

1296-12971 – Willam Wallace leads the Scots to freedom… and dies trying. His remains are posted as a warning around Scotland and an anti-semitic actor portrays him approximately 700 years later in the film Braveheart in 1995. As if the English hadn’t butchered William Wallace enough already, so did the Hollywood film industry do to his legacy.

1305-1328 – War continues after Wallace’s death

1305-1307 – Robert the Bruce becomes the Guardian of Scotland. He murders a rival (John Comyn) in a church and was excommunicated by the pope. Much like the fictional Jamie Lannister, Robert the Bruce has no scruples stabbing a bitch whenever and wherever. Robert the Bruce was defeated by English King Edward in 1306 and went into hiding for a year. He returned to win the Battle of Loudoun Hill. He settled local rivalries (likely with violence and threats of violence) and united the Scots fully against the English. Together, the Scots won the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The treaties were not signed for another 15 years. Scotland now enjoys three centuries of independence. Robert the Bruce died in 1329 having fulfilled his dream of a free and united Scotland. (Outlaw King)

1300s&1400s – Scottish Clans to war with one another over who has the right to rule. The Stewarts retain the crown, but are constantly defending it and unable to properly rule.

1329-1600 – Scottish Clan Wars

1542-1567 – Mary Queen of Scots

1561 – Mary returns to Scotland

1600-1800 – Scottish Agricultural Revolution

1609 – Statutes of Iona require all Highland Scottish clan chiefs to send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. (Captain Jean Luc Picard would not approve this violation of the Prime Directive.) As a result, some clans, such as the MacDonalds of Sleat and the MacLeods of Harris adopted the new religion. Other clans, notably the MacLeans of Morvern & Mull, MacDonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, Glengarry, and Glencoe, remained bloody papists.

1745 – The Jacobite Rebellion rises as the clans stop fighting long enough to realize how much more terrible and unbearable the British interlopers are than any of their clansmen. (Outlander)

1750-1890 – The Highland Clearances – some historians equate this event with genocide and ethnic cleansing.

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