Union Timeline Part 1, 1707

The Act of Union didn’t just simply appear in 1707 as a means of bailing out Scotland from the results of the disastrous Darien adventure, much as the British Historians would like us to believe.
Unfortunately that story has been spun so much over the years that even a lot of Scots believe it. As I clearly pointed out in a previous article that story is disingenuous to say the least.
No wonder we were never taught Scottish History in school, but rather English History or the Vikings. The truth of the matter from a Scots perspective is entirely different, but that truth is a dangerous instrument to the British State.

Nor did the act of Union come about because of the simple assertion made by Rabbie Burns about a parcel of rogues in a Nation, although that is true, it doesn’t go far enough in the telling.

It is true to say that the majority of Scottish Lords voted for it because they were bribed, and many thought to make good the losses they had made in the Darien venture.
Scotland was to be paid a sum of money called ‘the equivalent’, this was to make up for Scotland bailing England out for the massive debts England had built up through their many wars. England was Bankrupt, not Scotland.
But these idiot Lords never even got that right, because while they pocketed the money due to Scotland for themselves, they only ever received half of it. They were well and truly conned.
The Duke of Queensberry was due to pocket half the amount for himself because he was the one who made it all come to pass.

It didn’t all begin with these rogues though…Our Stewart Monarchs were at the root of it.
On his accession to the English throne in 1603 King James announced his intention to unite his two realms. James used his Royal prerogative powers to take the style of ‘King of Great Britain’ and to give an explicitly British character to his court and person. Whilst James assumed the creation of a full union was a foregone conclusion, In the meantime, James declared that Great Britain be viewed ‘as presently united, and as one realm and kingdom, and the subjects of both realms as one people’
He was forced to drop that idea, but it didn’t go away.

In the early 1700s, with Queen Anne on the throne, she tried on three occasions to get the Scots to agree, and every time the Scottish Parliament said No.
But this Stewart Monarch was determined to get her way, and with her court in England being ruled by her English Lords, they pushed for it too. Not just because of England’s economic state, but because Anne was childless and they wanted a protestant Hanoverian Monarch when she popped her clogs,and Scotland said no, we will choose our own Monarch.

With the Darien Misadventure which was as much down to the English reneging on a deal with Scotland, and encouraging the Spaniards to clear the Scots out, and denying the Scots any assistance, not even water, they had their instrument to bribe those Scots who had lost money in it.
At this point in time,they sent Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe to Scotland to Spy on the Scots and create disruption, which he did very well with his pamphlets.
Consider pamphlets to be an early form of Facebook and Twitter Spin, and Defoe to be a latter day Tony Blair.

In these days we only had two parties, One was the Court party which represented Queen Anne and had most of those who had got themselves caught up in Darien, and were thus pro Union.
The other party was the Country party and was anti Union.
Ordinary folks had no say, and no vote or representation with either.
They could petition to be heard,and they rioted! They rioted so badly that when the Union was agreed, Martial Law had to be enforced to stop them.
However, prior to that the Country party had tried greatly to delay the considerations in order to allow time for ALL the people to discuss the treaty fully. On the same day a Hot Debate erupted about whether or not the Parliament without particular instructions from their constituents could alter the nations constitution. Anti Union speakers argued that ‘In a matter of such weight…it will be fruitless of parliament to institute debate without first consulting the people’

79 petitions carrying 20,000 signatures were made against the Union from Burghs and Merchants and representing the middle classes were made to the parliament between 1706 and 1707, with no petitions for the Union.

Unfortunately despite the overwhelming opposition to the Union from the populace, the Court Party had its way by means of majority in the parliament and Scotland was sold out.
But that was not the worst of it…The Duke of Hamilton who had staunchly fought against it, and was popular with the people is thought to have secretly caused the most damage, a bribe has been suggested though never proven.
When it came time to choose who would negotiate for Scotland, he moved a motion in a near empty parliament when most had gone home that the Court party should provide the Commissioners to negotiate.
Given that they were all in the English pockets, the 31 commissioners on the Scots side were all bar one in favour of the Union.
Scotland had nobody negotiating the terms so the English could choose all the terms. Thus Scotland ended up with only 45mps against more than 500 English Mps in the UK parliament, one more than Cornwall. They also had less Lords in the House of Lords than the Church of England had Bishops.

A year or so later in Westmister one of the Scottish Lords tried to get a bill through annulling the Union but it easily got talked out of time with the weight of English numbers.

A number of years later
The Scottish example of preserving constitutional integrity was not unique in the eighteenth century, when debates over the “conditions of union” took place in many forums across Europe,71 but the Scottish experience had special resonance among British North Americans. Benjamin Franklin, who had visited Scotland in 1759 at the height of the militia dispute, raised the problem of unequal constitutional status in 1776, when he discussed plans for union that gave more power to larger states: “I hear many ingenious arguments to persuade us that an unequal representation is a good thing. If we were born and bred under an unequal representation, we might bear it; but to set out with an unequal representation is unreasonable. It is said that the great Colonies will swallow up the less. Scot-land said the same thing at the union.”

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About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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10 Responses to Union Timeline Part 1, 1707

  1. David Robertson says:

    Good article on Better Nation regarding Darien adventure

    http://www.betternation.org/2012/03/the-challenge-of-historical-preconceptions/

    • I read the article, its not bad but rather light on the facts.
      I wrote a very detailed article a while ago about the Darien Adventure using documentation from the past which proved how the spin was utter garbage.

  2. MajorBloodnok says:

    …”truth is a dangerous instrument to the British State.”

    Things don’t change do they?! Very interesting article and thanks for that.

  3. Very good Article….I also followed David Robertson’s link and found both that article and the debate quite informative.
    You named this ” Union Timeline Part 1″ .i assume this will be a continued topic/blog….however I would like a prelude to the Union as I still feel that the events from 1603 forward enhanced the Union as inevitable, it is what we didn’t get out of it that has made it a failure…..and that is why we are looking to for Independence again.

  4. Roddy MacLeod says:

    : Scotland was bankrupt in 1707.

    Well , no, it was not.

    The burghs were cash rich. In the decade prior to 1707 the Scottish economy was growing at 2.5% per annum, according to research by the historian Michael Lynch. So who was bankrupt? Well that was the Scottish land owners who had mortgaged their lands to fund the Darien Scheme. If they had not been bailed out by Westminster, the burgh middle classes would have taken control of Scotland, something the English Government could not allow. The Whig English Government had also been buying off the Jacobite lords in Scotland at the cost of £1 million a year (£1 billion into today’s money) to ensure the Hanoverian succession. The Jacobite lords were playing the ‘we could ask the French for help’ card which meant Horse Guards, the headquarters of the English armed forces, had to keep English regiments on the Scottish border. These regiments were needed in continental Europe by the Duke of Marlborough in order to prop up England’s war against France.

    What actually happened was that the incoming Tory Government of the day decided they were not gaining anything. Daniel Defoe quickly reported that most of the Jacobite lords were unlikely to support James VIIth’s claim on the thrones of Scotland and England, so shifted the bribes from the Jacobite lords to the Tory inclined Scottish Lowland lords who were in trouble with their Darien mortgage repayments coming due and were in danger of defaulting – the ‘parcel o rogues’ of Burns poem. The English Parliament needed the Union to secure their northern border once and for all and created pressure to persuade the Scots that Union was a good idea. The pressure included siding with the Spanish to ensure Darien failed and passing laws to exclude Scottish traders from all England’s colonies by imposing excessive duties

  5. allymax says:

    Auld Acquaintance, I thought you’d like to know about the book, ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’, (9780440054764): by Antonia Fraser. Antonia says when Elizabeth 1 was on her death-bed, and her courtiers asked who her successor was to be, she could not speak. So they called out names, and she would either shake her head no, or make a sign; upon the name James VI of Scotland, Elizabeth 1 put both her hands up to either side of her head, with both her index fingers sticking up. Her courtiers said it made the sign of a crown; but others say maybe that was the sign of something else?

    • Ha ..very good Ally 🙂

      • allymax says:

        Hey, Auld Acquaintance; it’s me, allymax. I’ve recently moved from Georgia USA, to Toronto, Canada; so whit’s gaen on wi’ this site? A’ cannae get in tae comment. I recently had my allymaxbruce@yahoo.com email address hacked, but if I remember correctly, I’m at gmail with this site registration. Send me an email link tae get back in. Or dinnae; suit yersel ! allymax.

      • Hi Ally…You seem to have been able to make a comment allright…So I am not sure what difficulty you are having?

  6. STEVE says:

    .Have any of you been wondering about the rabid, threatening, nonsensical, erratic and bullying behaviour of our elected representatives in Westminster of all main parties with regards to Scottish independence? There is a very real reason for it.

    When you see ‘Crown’ used officially do you think this is the Monarchy – or agents acting on behalf of the Queen? If you are you will be in for a shock. Since the Treaty of Union in 1707 with Scotland the ‘Crown’ in law has been The Bank of England. Prior to the Union the Scots were bankrupted by the English Parliament – the English made it unlawful to trade with anyone who was connected to the Darien Colony. This was a Scottish Colony in what is now Panama. This bullying effectively forced the Scots into Union. The deal was that England would pay off Scotland’s debts and make its establishment rich in return for one Parliament and one nation. The Bank of England paid for this by creating a national debt that was designed never to be paid back. And in return it demanded conditions. The new Parliament would issue statute separately from the common law codes using trade law – the law of the sea (maritime code). The debt would be underwritten with the population as collateral – it wasn’t just the Scots that were ‘bought and sold for English gold’. At this point the Crown in law became the Bank of England and it resurrected an abolished post – the Rememberancer, to sit in the House of Commons at the right hand of the speaker – the only unelected office in the House. The purpose of this was to vet and press legislation in the interests of the country’s creditor. The first two items of statute under maritime code being the Act(s) of Union.

    If the Treaty of Union is reversed – then the Bank of England is no longer the Crown in Law. The crown in law will revert to the Queen. All products of the Treaty will no longer stand and the national debt, as a product of this instrument cannot exist. EVERY ACT OF PARLIAMENT, STATUTORY INSTRUMENT AND BYE LAW CREATED UNDER STATUTE SINCE 1707 IS A PRODUCT OF THIS TREATY and as such will be null an void – Think about this – maritime code is by consent (although most people don’t know how not to consent to it) – and it is about control and punishment rather than holding society together – as in common law. The Crown as the Bank of England makes interest out of its collateral through the courts – which are built as a vessel (you sit in the dock) the judge sits at the bridge (bench) and a court case is ‘abandoned’ if it cannot continue – just like a ship. When you see the word crown – because of the Acts of Union – this means the Bank of England, as in Crown Estates, Crown Colonies, Crown Courts – the crown v… All of the is overturned if Scotland goes independent. When the Prime Minister, who works on behalf of the Bank of England – his real title is First Lord of the Treasury – talks about the ‘interests of the City of London’ – he is not talking about the benefit of the UK, he is acknowledging that he is not carrying out his job for the benefit of the electorate but for his creditors – the whole thing is double talk. The best deception is the one that is right in front of your eyes.

    Parliament is sovereign in statute. But our statute is a product of a Treaty that will no longer exist. Statute is a legal instrument and there is a world of difference between legal and lawful. So Parliament will have no power or authority and our law will revert to the Common law. The establishment that has used statute for 300 years to shore up its wealth and power base will no longer have this. And they cannot rewrite and reintroduce these statutes because maritime code is by consent and given a choice who would consent to this shit? Because our law has its routes in the common law it would take years to reinstate and an English Parliament would have no authority to carry out this lawmaking function, because its authority also derives from a product of a Treaty that will no longer exist.

    Scotland of course has a cannon of Roman Law that goes back much further that 1707 and as such can whether this constitutional crisis far better than its southern neighbour. We are in uncharted territory here and heading for interesting times. Expect it to get far more messy as we get closer to September.

    This is the real reason that the establishment is shitting itself over Scottish independence.

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