Some Dates in Scottish History from 1745 to 1914:
1746 The second Jacobite rebellion failed when the supporters of James III's son Charles Edward--the legendary Bonnie Prince Charlie, helped in his wanderings by Flora Macdonald-- were defeated by the forces of the Duke of Cumberland (son of George II) at the battle of Culloden. Severe reprisals earned Cumberland the sobriquet of "butcher."
1747 Act of Proscription, repealed 1782, banned Highland dress and martial music. English was imposed in the schools.
1740s-1761 Scottish votes were largely controlled by Duke of Argyll, using a system of bribery and influence-peddling. By the 1770's his successor in this role was Henry Dundas.
1750-1780 period of economic growth, with population increase, rising farm prices, and improved agricultural methods and communication, including roads and canals. In early days of banking, several private banks overextended themselves, causing insecurity and high interest rates.
1783-1806 period of greatest influence of Henry Dundas, Lord Advocate of Scotland, who "managed" Scottish votes for the Tory party by doling out patronage to government jobs, including those of the navy and the East India Company.
1752 Scottish Academy of Art founded by Robert Foulis. Important painters of the century included David Allan, Allan Ramsay and Henry Raeburn.
1761 James Macherson's Fingal, claiming to be a translation of Gaelic legends by Ossian, helped inspire a romantic interest in Highland literature.
1774 Death of poet Robert Fergusson in an Edinburh madhouse at the age of 24, one of several Scottish poets to die in obscurity.
1775 Samuel Johnson published A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland.
1780-1860 first stages of the Highland Clearances. As the clan system was broken up, crofters lost their alleged hereditary rights to the land and chiefs demanded cash rent. In addition, as cereals declined in value in international markets and better forms of transportation made it possible to sell meat and wool abroad, many lords dispossessed their tenants in favor of sheep farming. The dispossessed left for industrial centers such as Glasgow, or emigrated to Canada, the U. S., Australia, New Zealand or India. By 1860 the Highlands had been severely depopulated.
1760ff. The Scottish Enlightenment flourished, characterized by high originality and concern for reason, rhetoric and "common sense," applied to an examination of the natural world and society, and displayed in the works of David Hume, Tobias Smollet, Francis Hutcheson, the physicist Joseph Black, the geologist James Hutton, Adam Smith and others. Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations appeared in 1776, David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion in 1779. The values of the Scottish Enlightenment encouraged major scientific advances in the next century. In the 1820's Charles Lyell's geological discoveries provided the basis for Darwin's researches, and Lyell presssed Darwin to publish his Origin of Species in 1859.
1760 foundation of Carron iron works, makers of weaponry and other iron products.
1767 Craig's plan for new Edinburgh published, expanding the town for the growing upper and upper-middle classes.
1769 James Watt's improved steam engine patented and available for industrial use.
1786 Robert Burns published Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect.
1792 Cotton spinning introduced into Glasgow, which became a center for weaving mills. Factory families often lived in one-room dwellings until the twentieth century; the new towns of the region were overhung with smoke and lacked rudimentary sanitation.
1792 Society of the Friends of the People founded to support reform along French and American democratic lines. 1793 Scottish radical Thomas Muir sentenced to transportation to Australia for "sedition."
1800-1850 Glasgow grew rapidly, expanding 25% in population between each decade. The death rate of both major towns rose in the 1820's and 1830s, especially from typhoid fever, so that population growth was sustained by immigration rather than the births of children.
1802 Edinburgh Review founded, representing a Whig-Radical challenge to Tory authority.
1802 the first steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas, built on Clyde.
1803 James Hogg published his first poem, "The Mountain Bard."
1812 Robert Owen, one of the pioneers of modern socialism, established an improved, humane factory system at New Lanark, as described in his New View of Society.
1814 Walter Scott's Waverley published, inspiring a series of kindred novels about Scottish identity.
1815 Corn Laws gave price-supports to grain, thereby aiding large landowners but increasing the cost of food.
1817 The Scotsman founded in Edinburgh as a politically independent daily paper.
1818 Susan Ferrier's Marriage satirized Highland life, as did her Inheritance (1824).
1820 Radical War occurred in the southwest, a set of demonstrations and riots in Clydeside in general desperation at declining wages.
1821 John Galt published Annals of the Parish.
1822 George IV visited Edinburgh, donning the Steward tartan and entering Holyrood castle. After the royal family purchased Balmoral Castle in the 1850s, the Highlands became a fashionable center for aristocratic tourism, creating a demand for deer parks and other "sporting" venues which displaced farming and sheep-raising. Gradually political-nationalist sentiments became muted or were displaced onto a cultural nationalism until the turn-of-the- century, when the success of the Irish Home Rule movement suggested the possible advantages of a negotiated separatism.
1824 James Hogg published The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
1829 James Nielsen's hot blast furnance made the smelting of second-grade iron ore deposits possible, opening up Lothian and Renfrewshire for intensive iron and steel production. The industrial primacy of the Glasgow and Clyde region was made possible by coal and iron deposits, served by canal, sea and rail transportation.
1832 death of Sir Walter Scott
1832 Scottish Reform Bill granted the franchise to males who held a ten pound annual lease, raising the number of voters from 5,000 to 65,000, a higher proportion of increase than in England. Scotland became a traditional Whig (later Liberal) stronghold, producing prime ministers Balfour and Rosebery. 1833 The Burgh Reform Act established guidelines for municipal government, limiting corruption and unrealistic levels of debt. Reform was slowed by the existence of parallel governing structures based on older town councils and new "police act" boards.
1837 accession of Queen Victoria 1838-1842 period of Scottish Chartism, characterized by a "moral force" approach.
1840 was the peak year for the employment of handloom weavers.
1839 launch of first clipper ship in Aberdeen
1840-1841 Opium War in China, precipitated in part by Scottish investments in region. 1841 YMCA founded in Glasgow.
1842 Edwin Chadwick's Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain first publicizes conditions of filth and overcrowding in Scottish cities.
1842 A Royal Commission on mines led to the Coal Mines Act.
1842 Queen Victoria first visited Scotland.
1843 The Scottish national church, controlled by the "moderate" party until 1833, was split by the "Disruption," in which many of its leaders and constituents left to form the "Free Church of Scotland." The major issue was whether the church should continue to abide by the provisions of the Patronage Act of 1712, which gave landowners--as opposed to the presbyters or congregation--a determining say in the selection of church ministers. In general the "Free Church" was more Evangelical and more resistant to the pluralistic adaptations of orthodox doctrine which arose from nineteenth century Biblical criticism and other secular and social challenges to orthodoxy. The existence of a parallel set of competing church institutions created divisiveness, and when the government revoked the provisions of the Patronage Act in 1874, the way was prepared for the reunion of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church in 1900 and of most major Presbyterian bodies in 1929. A separatist, highly Calvinist Evangelical wing of the Free Church, called the "Wee Frees," refused to join the united body and continued to exercise considerable influence in the Highlands.
1844 Robert Chambers published Vestiges of Natural Creation, an early account of evolution.
1845 Poor Law Amendment Act made some effort to increase Scottish poor relief, which was about a fifth of the English rate per capita; the Scottish law provided for relief only in cases of disability. In practice, the Board of Supervision for medical relief urged preventive measures. Wives of the unemployed could obtain no relief unless deserted, a provision which encouraged the breakup of destitute families.
1846 great potato famine intensified pace of Highland emigration. 1830's-1860's major Scottish artists included David Wilkie and William Dyce.
1847 James Nasmyth discovered anaesthetic properties of chloroform; in 1850's-1870's Scotland became a center of medical reform with James Simpson pioneering in the use of anaesthetia and Joseph Lister in the study of infection and use of antisepsis. Conan Doyle studied medicine at Edinburgh Univeristy under Joseph Bell, whose deductive methods may have been a partial model for Sherlock Holmes.
1846 Repeal of Corn Laws forced Scottish grains to be sold on an unprotected market, but lowered the cost of food. The 1840s-70s were a prosperous period for Scottish agriculture.
1850's foundation of Scottish National Museum reflected interest in science and technology.
1853 Scots entrepreneurs established jute mills in Calcutta to obtain cheap labor.
1853-1856 Crimean War
1858 Universities Act began restructing of Scottish universities under independent commissioners; these added new chairs in science and, after a second Act of 1889, in the humanities.
1861 Housing commission reported that a third of Scotland's population of over three million lived in one-room dwellings, of which 8,000 had no window.
1861-1865 American Civil War damaged cotton trade.
1864 Church of Scotland permits formerly forbidden hymn-singing and other forms of music in church services.
1867 Public Health Act for Scotland began to set housing and sanitation standards.
1867 Scottish Women Suffrage Society founded, in support of J. S. Mill's bill to enfranchise women on the same grounds granted to men.
1868 Reform Act widened franchise to include upper members of artisan class; the 1884 Electoral Act gave the vote to most steadily employed male urban workers and farmers.
1830's-1870's Glasgow and Edinburgh were centers for engineering and science, home to the most eminent Victorian scientists William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, one of the authors of the laws of thermodynamics, James Clerk Maxwell, a pioneer in the theory of electromagneticism, and David Brewster, researcher in optics and photography and inventor of the kaleidoscope. By the 1870's the new scientific subjects had been integrated into the universities, a development which was delayed in England until the turn of the century.
1870 Gaelic permitted as language of instruction in schools.
1870s-1880's Edward Caird established an influential philosophical school at Glasgow University, arguing a variant of Hegelian idealism which stressed participation in a community, governmental pursuit of communal objectives, and social welfare. His views helped encourage the formation of a Settlement Movement in Glasgow in the late 1880s.
1870's-1880s agricultural depression lowered land values; Highland depopulation accelerated as former potato and grain farms were first used for sheep, which depleted their soil, then converted to deer forests. Living conditions in the Highlands lagged behind those of the rest of the country.
1871 Northeast "Kailyard" novelist William Alexander published Johnnie Gibb o' Gushetneuk.
1872 Education Act for Scotland established mandatory education for children ages 5-13 under control of a local school board.
1872 Ballot Act ensured secret voting, ending bribery and coercion as a means of manipulating elections.
1873 death of David Livingstone, Scottish African missionary and national popular hero. 1873 Moody and Sankey evangelistic campaign bings a more cheerful tone to Scottish evangelicalism.
1879 first steel ocean liner launched by William Denny of Dunbarton; ship-building a major Scottish industry until WWII.
1880's Dr. Macewen developed antiseptic surgery, as observed in W. H. Henley's "In Hospital."
1881 Householders of Scotland Act gave local franchise to some women; Married Women's Property Act for Scotland enacted.
1883 Crofters' War, uprising by Highland small landowners against loss of pasture rights and eviction. 1884 Reform Act extended franchise and ended Scottish underrepresentation by tying parliamentary seats to population.
1883 establishment of a Chair of Celtic Languages at Edinburgh University gives academic status to Gaelic.
1883 Boys Brigade founded.
1885 an office of Secretary of State for Scotland (re)established, below cabinet status. Many Scots felt laws administered from Westminster failed to take into account conditions specific to Scotland. The Secretary could at least propose legislation.
1885ff. "The Glasgow Boys" brought romantic and exotic themes to Scottish art. Important members of the school included E. A. Hornel, George Henry, William McTaggart and John Lavery. The Glasgow School of Art attracted pioneers such as Francis Newbury, Charles Renniw Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald. It was an early pioneer in the training of women artists.
1886 Edinburgh host to International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art.
1886 R. L. Stevenson published Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His novels with Scottish settings included The Master of Ballantrae (1889) and the posthumous Weir of Hermiston.
1886 Crofters' Holdings Act provided security of tenure and rent control to small land leasers, though too late to stem the tide of emigration. 1886 Scottish Home Rule Association founded.
1888 'Goschen formula' established ratio of grants to Scotland equivalent to its share in taxation (11 to 80).
1890 Universities Act empowered universities to accept women students; St. Andrews had permitted women to take the L. L. A. degree in 1872, and a Glasgow College for women had begun to offer courses in the 1880's, with medical instruction commenced in the 1890's.
1891 Scottish Orchestra founded, with Herschel as its first conductor.
1890 James Frazer published The Golden Bough.
1890's-1920's Patrick Geddes promoted the study of social and urban planning along cultural reformist lines, along with modern environmentalist ideas. 1892 founding of the Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum.
1893 founding of Independent Labour Party by Keir Hardie and others, absorbing much of support for Scottish Land and Labour League (founded 1888).
1894 Home Rule for Scotland bill passed in Commons, but was dropped when the government fell.
1897 Congested Districts Board established to promote better land tenure conditions in Highlands.
1899-1902 Boer War 1900 cost of education at Scottish universities remained about fifteen pounds annually, in contrast to two hundred pounds annually for Cambridge.
1900 Union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church, in an attempt to widen membership.
1901 population of Scotland reached four and a half million. Scotland's proportion of the population of the U. K. declined from one in six to one in eight during the nineteenth century as a result of emigration, despite a stream of Irish immigrants, mainly Catholics who settled in the lowlands. Emigration continued to exceed immigration through the 1960's. Scottish twentieth-century mortality rates were higher than those for England; in 1936 the infant mortality rate for Glasgow was 180 per cent that of Chicago and 290 per cent that for Stockholm. Child death correlated directly with cramped housing, as the one-roomed dwelling had double the infant mortality rate of that of four rooms. Nearly half the population still lived in one or two rooms during the First World War.
1901 death of Queen Victoria and accession of Edward VII, who reigned until 1910.
1901 George Douglas Brown's The House with the Green Shutters provides a corrective to "Kailyard" sentimentalism about rural life.
1904 James Barrie published Peter Pan. 1906 modern Labour Party formed and organized working-class politics for most of the century.
1908 Scottish headquarters of Women's Social and Political Union opened in Glasgow. The "general" for WSPU London parades, Flora Drummond, was Scottish. An alternative, less autocratically-run suffrage society, The Women's Freedom League, set up Glasgow and Edinburgh premises by 1909.
1908 Old Age Pensions established.
1909 report on Poor Law included data that 65 per cent of those living in the Highlands died without a doctor to sign their death certificates; the report lled to establishment of Highlands and Islands medical services to bring medical care to the Highlands, a forerunner of the National Health Service.
1910 accession of George V, monarch of U. K. 1910-1936.
1911 salaries granted to members of parliament.
1914 outbreak of the First World War with declaration of war on Germany August 4th.
1915 labour-management unrest during war; Rent Restriction legislation controlled prices.
1918 end of war; vote granted to women over 30.
1922 Ten I. L. P. M. P.'s elected from "Red Clyde."
1924 Housing Act of 1924 helped add to available housing, though on a more limited scale than in England; Glasgow slum clearance rebuilt area where people lived 1,116 per acre.
1928 founding of Scottish National Party.
1929 Union of the United Church of Scotland and the Free Church, uniting all branches of Scottish Presbyterianism except the "Wee Frees," the United Free Church, a branch of the Free Church which maintained an undiluted Calvinist orthodoxy and whose members centered in the Highlands.
1930's world-wide depression had especially severe and lingering effects in Scotland, which failed to benefit from a housing and consumer goods boom occuring in England. Although the Second World War brought economic recovery, this generally failed to aid domestic conditions.
1961 proportion of Scots living in one or two-roomed houses continued higher than in rest of U. K.
1966 government investment grants offered to Scotland as a "development area," which after 1968 began to reduce the gap between English and Scottis unemployment figures.
1970s discoveries of North Sea oil brings a new source of prosperity, portions of which were claimed by U. K., Scotland and Shetlanders alike.
1979 devolution referendum