A Scotland Primer
I actually learned some very interesting things from this research; so if inspired please
PART ONE: Scotland Comes Into Being and The Highlanders Are Treated Like Shite.
The Kingdom of Scotland as we know it today emerged around 1200 AD. It’s a big place with only six actual cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling; and 4/5 of Scotland’s population of 5 million live in Edinburgh (the capital city) or Glasgow (the largest city). In addition to this great mainland there are an impressive 790 islands.
Around 1200 Scotland’s Royal Line of Succession was broken, and you know that never goes over well. Everyone began jousting about for the Crown, and nobody wanted to share. King Edward the
Greedy First of England was asked to negotiate a treaty, happily agreed to do so, and then kindly went after the Crown himself. The English were ultimately defeated after twenty years of war.
Scottish independence lasted until 1603, when Scotland’s James VI inherited England’s throne and became James the First of England. England and Scotland were united!!
and they have loved each other ever since. Not everyone was happy, however. In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie launched a rebellion in the Highlands but was defeated at the Battle of Culloden and forced to flee in a fishing boat dressed as somebody’s maid. (Talk about That Awkward Moment When.)
After the dismal rebellion the Highlanders’ cottages were burned and whole towns dispersed to make way for sheep raising. Many Highlanders were ‘relocated’ to the Lowlands (southern part of Scotland), the slums of Glasgow, or colonies in North America; something known historically as The
Story of Abomination Highland Clearance.
Part Two: Sir Walter Scott Bitch Slaps England In An Extremely Polite Manner, and the British Royal Family Crushes on Scotland.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was Edinburgh born but Highlands fascinated. If he’d had a Tumblr it would’ve been called it fuckyeahthehighlands. Since Tumblr was not invented yet, he was left to write best-selling historical novels and poetry about the Highlands and the Highlanders’ way of life, which interested the English during this Romantic Era. In 1822 Sir Scott ‘organized’ a visit to Scotland by King George IV. When Georgie and company arrived, thePalace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh was festooned in Highland grandeur, the walls were draped with banners, bagpipers toodled piping merrily down the corridors; every man, woman, child, and sheep was dressed in tartan; and plaid practically dripped off the walls. AND it worked! The Royal Family’s love affair with Scotland had begun. Victoria and Albert bought Balmoral Castle in the Highlands for their summer home, a spot Victoria called her “dear Paradise”
Part Three: What Else Should I Know About Scotland And Then Please Shut Up.
The Scots (or Scottish natives) invented golf, television, chloroform, cloned sheep, international soccer, the teaching hospital, steam power, the raincoat, decimal points, and the telephone. J.K. Rowling wrote the first chapters of the first Harry Potter book in the Edinburgh coffee shop Elephant House Cafe. Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) was born in Glasgow and David Tennant in West Lothian. The Official Flag is the Cross of St. Andrew (a white X on a blue background). The Official Animal is the Unicorn. And Robert Burns wrote some lovely poetry about romance, life, and those gorgeous lochs.