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Welcome to our Timeline of Scottish History  

80 AD Julius Agricola advances across the River Clyde fighting off bands of warring celts.

84 The Celtic tribes unite under Calgacus, but he is killed (along with 10000 men) when he meets the Roman army at Ardoch.

296 The Pictish people were first mentioned in Roman literature. The name "Pict" is said to have come either from a latin word meaning "painted ones" or another meaning "fighter". Both of these accurately depicted the Pictish people.

360 Roman literature describes the warring tribe based in Ireland as the "Scots".

368 The Pict, Scot and Saxon tribes attack the Romans in London and plunder their treasures.

503 The Scots leave Ireland and build their kingdom of Dalriada in Argyll on the West coast of Scotland.

597 St. Columba died.

843 Kenneth MacAlpin unites the Scots and Picts as one nation. This was the first step in creating a united Scotland, a process not completed until at least 1034 and perhaps much later.

1005 Malcolm II kills Kenneth III and becomes King.

1018 Malcolm II gains Lothian after defeating the Saxons at the Battle of Carham. Death of Owen-the-Bald, King of Strathclyde.

1034 Duncan, already ruler of Strathclyde, kills his grandfather Malcolm II and becomes King of a (largely) united Scotland.

1040 MacBeth kills Duncan and becomes King.

1057 Malcolm III (or Malcolm Canmore) kills MacBeth and becomes King.

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 was 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.

1295 Signing of the "Auld Alliance" between Scotland and France - one of the world's oldest mutual defence treaties.

1296 Annexation of Scotland by England. Scotland's Coronation Stone - the "Stone of Destiny" or "Stone of Scone" - was removed to Westminster Abbey (in London) by the English King Edward I. The stone was temporarily returned to Scotland in 1950 and permanently returned in 1996.

1314 Battle of Bannockburn (Scots under Robert the Bruce routed the English led by Edward II) resulting in Scottish independence.

1320 The Declaration of Arbroath was drawn up to urge the Pope to recognise Scottish independence from England. The Pope accepted the Declaration.

1411 University of St. Andrews founded.

1451 University of Glasgow founded.

1460 King James II was killed by an exploding canon during the siege of Roxburgh.

1488 King James III was murdered after being accused of surrounding himself with evil advisors who encouraged him to bring Englishmen into Scottish affairs.

1494 University of Aberdeen founded.

1502 King Henry VII of England gave his daughter in marriage to James IV of Scotland. This gave rise to the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

1512 Under the terms of a treaty with France (the "Auld Alliance") all Scottish citizens became French and vice versa.

1559 John Knox's sermon at Perth - regarded as the start of the Reformation in Scotland.

1582 University of Edinburgh founded.

1600 Scotland adopts Gregorian Calendar.

1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England bringing about the Union of the Crowns.

1617 James (on his only return to Scotland) tactlessly lectures his countrymen on the "superiority of English civilisation".

1618 James imposes Bishops on the presbyterian Church of Scotland in an attempt to integrate it with the Church of England. This move was deeply unpopular with the Scots.

1625 Charles I becomes King on the death of his father. Although born in Scotland, Charles had no interest in the country and dealt with Scottish affairs with even less tact than his father, causing discontent.

1637 Charles attempted to further anglicise the Church of Scotland by introducing a new prayerbook, which caused riots at St. Giles in Edinburgh. Jenny Geddes throws a stool in St. Giles in protest.

1638 Charles regarded protests against the prayerbook as treason, forcing Scots to choose between their church and the King. A "Covenant", swearing to resist these changes to the death, was signed in Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh. The covenant was accepted by hundreds if thousands of Scots.

1639 Charles calls a General Assembly, effectively abolishing the unpopular Scottish Bishops. Agreement is reached through the "Treaty of Berwick".

1640 Charles peace collapses; the Scots show force by marching on Newcastle.

1641 Having no realistic chance of opposing the Scots, Charles negotiates a truce at Ripon.

1642 Civil war breaks out in England. The Scottish Covenanters side with the English rebels who take power. The Earl of Montrose had sided with King Charles so civil strife also spilled into Scotland.

1682 The National Library of Scotland was founded. Now one of the UK's four copyright deposit libraries.

1692 The massacre of Glencoe. Clan Campbell siding with the King murders members of Clan McDonald.

1695 Bank of Scotland founded (still operating to this day).

1707 Act of Union is passed; Scotland formally united with England to form Great Britain. In so doing, the Scottish Parliament voted itself out of existence.

1715 First Jacobite rebellion; Jacobites defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

1744 The world's first Golf Club (the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers) was founded.

1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) returns to Scotland; Second Jacobite rebellion begins; Scottish victory at the Battle of Prestonpans; Jacobite Scottish army advance as far south as Derby but then retreat.

1746 Battle of Culloden (Jacobite Scots routed by the Government troops); Charles escapes to France; the wearing of the kilt was prohibited.

1768 The first edition of the "Encylopaedia Britannica" was published in Edinburgh by William Smellie

1770 The Clyde Trust was created to convert the River Clyde, which was at that time an insignficant river, into a major thoroughfare for maritime communications. This required a major programme of excavation and dredging.

1826 Scotland's first commercial railway was opened between Edinburgh and Dalkeith.

1843 Disruption of the Church of Scotland. 474 ministers signed the Deed of Demission and formed the Free Church of Scotland (the "Wee Free").

1860 Scotland hosted the first Open Golf Championship.

1870 The first Rugby International was played between Scotland and England.

1872 The Scottish Football Assocation and Rangers Football Club were founded.

1879 Tay Bridge Disaster (bridge collapsed in storm taking train with it - enquiry revealed corners had been cut during construction to reduce costs).

1888 Celtic Football Club was founded.

1890 Forth Rail Bridge opened, it took six years to build.

1896 Opening of the Underground Railway (the "shooglie") in Glasgow. It remains the only underground in Scotland.

1915 Britain's worst train disaster took place near Gretna Green, south of Dumfries, killing 227 people.

1937 The largest ocean liner ever built, the Queen Elisabeth, was launched in Clydebank.

1941 Hitler's Deputy Rudolf Hess parachuted from a plane just south of Glasgow. His purpose remains one of the great enigmas of the war.

1943 More than 1000 people were killed over two days in Clydebank and Southern Glasgow during the only sustained German Luftwaffe attack on Scotland during the Second World War.

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 eventually recovered from Arbroath Abbey, although some claim this was a copy, and the original remains in Scotland.

1959 Scotland's first nuclear power station was opened at Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire.

1964 Forth Road Bridge opened by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II. It was the longest suspension bridge in Europe.

1965 Tay Road Bridge opened - for a short time the longest bridge in the world, at just over one mile.

1967 The Queen Elisabeth II (QE2) was launched in Clydebank. It was the last of the great clyde-built passenger liners.

1971 66 people were killed in Scotland's worst football disaster, when part of the stadium collapsed at Rangers' ground in Glasgow after a match with Celtic.

1975 The first oil was piped ashore from the North Sea at Peterhead.

1988 Scotland's worst terrorist incident occurred when a bomb exploded on board a Boeing 747 air liner on course from Frankfurt to New York. It crashed on the village of Lockerbie in Dumfriesshire, killing a total of 275 people, which represented all on board and a number on the ground.

1990 Scotland defeated England to win the Rugby "Grand Slam".

1996 A gunman kills 16 five-year-old children, their teacher and himself in the Primary School at Dunblane in Perthshire. This is the worst tragedy of its type in the U.K.

The "Stone of Destiny", Scotland's Coronation Stone, is returned from London to Edinburgh Castle, 700 years after being stolen by Edward I.

1999 A Scottish Parliament is re-instated after 292 years, following the devolution of powers from London through the Scotland Act, 1997.


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