Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, April 7, 1999 Published at 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK

Milestones in Scotland's history

Battle marked a significant part of Scotland's early history

843 AD - Kenneth MacAlpin unites the Scots and Picts as one nation under his rule. This is the first step in creating a united Scotland.

1040 - Macbeth slays Duncan to become King of Scotland after Duncan is heavily defeated by the English in battle. In 1054 Malcolm, son of Duncan, is installed by English soldiers but apparently only in Strathclyde and Lothian. Macbeth reigned for 17 years until he was killed at Lumphanan in 1057.

1107 - On the death of Edgar, Scotland becomes disunited. Alexander I becomes King of Scots, but David I becomes King in Lothian and Strathclyde.

1124 - Unity is restored when, on Alexander's death, David becomes King of Scots. His reign is one of the most important in Scotland's history, extending Scottish borders to the River Tees, including all of Northumberland. David I institutes many administrative changes into Scotland including laws, early schools and gives much Scottish land to his Norman friends.

1296 - Annexation of Scotland by England. Edward I invades Scotland. Scotland's Coronation Stone - the "Stone of Destiny" - is taken by Edward I to Westminster Abbey. Scots are killed in thousands by Edward's 30,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry in Berwick and Dunbar.

1297 - Emergence of William Wallace. He kills Sheriff of Hazelrig, and a revolt under his command begins. In September, Wallace defeats the the English forces at Stirling Bridge and becomes the Guardian of Scotland.

1298 - Battle of Falkirk. Wallace and his army of 12,000 are defeated by Edward I of England and his army of 2,500 heavy horse and about 20,000 foot. Wallace resigns guardianship, but Scotland now has a sense of self-identity apart and distinct from that of England.

1305 - William Wallace, betrayed and captured by the English, is hung, drawn and quartered in a barbarous execution. Wallace's head is mounted on London Bridge.

1314 - Battle of Bannockburn. Scots under Robert the Bruce rout the English led by Edward II, resulting in Scottish independence. The Scots with only 500 mounted men, 2,500 spearmen and 5,000 foot-soldiers defeat the English and their army of 25-30,000.

1320 - The Declaration of Arbroath is drawn up to recognise Scottish independence. The Pope accepts the Declaration.

1326 - First Scottish Parliament meets.

1328 - Treaty of Northampton is signed between Edward III and Robert I officially recognising Scotland's independence and Robert Bruce as its king.

1437 - Assassination of James I at Perth.

1502 - King Henry VII of England gives his daughter in marriage to James IV of Scotland, leading to the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

1638 - The National Covenant. A Protestant (mostly Lowland, later called Presbyterian) movement forms. Charles I regards protests against the prayer book as treason, forcing Scots to choose between their church and the King. The covenant, swearing to resist these changes to the death, is signed in Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh. It is accepted by thousands of Scots.

1642 - English Civil War breaks out. Scottish Army of the Covenant sent in in 1644 transforming course of war in north of England. Huge cost of fighting leads to heavy taxes on ordinary people.

1692 - The Massacre of Glencoe. Clan Campbell, siding with the King (William of Orange), coldly murders members of Clan MacDonald. This act of savagery begins years of feuding in Scotland.

1707 - Treaty of Union of Parliaments is passed. Scotland is formally united with England to form Great Britain. Although claimed to have been a peaceful and desired union, it was met with riots in Edinburgh and the Highlanders never wanted union with England. It was, in effect, "steamrollered" onto the Scots by Queen Anne and England.

1746 - Battle of Culloden. Jacobite Scots are routed by government troops. Bonnie Prince Charlie escapes to France. The wearing of the kilt is banned.

1785 - Official beginning of the Highland Clearances, when clans are forced off their lands to make way for sheep and cattle.

1854 - Official ending of the Highland Clearances.

1918 - Labour fights General Election in Scotland on two planks: "The Self-Determination of the Scottish People" and "The Complete Restoration of the Land of Scotland to the Scottish People".

1919 - Speaker's Conference agrees a Scottish Assembly should have revenue-raising powers.

1932 - Pro-Home Rule Independent Labour Party splits from Labour Party.

1934 - Scottish National Party formed, partly from a breakaway section of the Cathcart Conservative Association.

1945 - SNP wins first seat, Motherwell, and loses it in the same year.

1947 - Scottish Convention formed, with the aim of securing a Parliament for Scotland along non-party lines.

1950 - Scottish nationalists steal the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey. This was Scotland's Coronation stone, taken by the English in 1296. By tradition all British monarchs have to be crowned while sitting on it. It was recovered from Arbroath Abbey, although some claim this was a copy, and the original remains in Scotland..

1967 - SNP's Winnie Ewing wins Hamilton by-election.

1968 - Conservative opposition make Declaration of Perth, favouring a form of devolution.

1974 - SNP wins seven and 11 seats respectively at February and October General Elections.

1979 - Prospect of devolution falls at referendum. Campaign for a Scottish Assembly immediately launched.

1989 - Scottish Constitutional Convention holds inaugural meeting, attended by MPs, MEPs, local authorities, unions and churches.

1992 - Conservatives win General Election and with it comes inevitability of some form of constitutional reform.

1995 - Convention publishes blueprint, Scotland's Parliament, Scotland's Right.

1997 - Labour wins General Election by a landslide, leaving Scotland without any Conservative MPs. Devolution is high on political agenda.

1997 - Referendums Bill for Scotland and Wales published in May.

1998 - Scotland votes "yes, yes", in September on questions of own Parliament and tax-raising powers.

1999 - Election to Scottish Parliament, 6 May.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |