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The Acts of Union ( gd, Achd an Aonaidh) were two
Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislat ...
: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who u ...
, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereig ...
. They put into effect the terms of the
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

Treaty of Union
that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

Kingdom of England
and the
Kingdom of Scotland The Kingdom of Scotland ( gd, Rìoghachd na h-Alba; sco, Kinrick o Scotland) was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern thi ...
which at the time were separate
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
with separate legislatures, but
with the same monarch
with the same monarch
were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
". The two countries had shared a monarch since the
Union of the Crowns The Union of the Crowns ( gd, Aonadh nan Crùintean; sco, Union o the Crouns) was the accession Accession refers to the general idea of joining or adding to. It may also refer to: *Accession (property law) * Accession, the act of joining a t ...
in 1603, when
King James VI of Scotland James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...
inherited the English throne from his
double first cousin Commonly, "cousin" refers to a "first cousin", a relative Relative may refer to: General use *Kinship and family, the principle binding the most basic social units society. If two people are connected by circumstances of birth, they are sa ...
twice removed,
Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...
. Although described as a Union of Crowns, and King James' acknowledgement of his accession to a single Crown, England and Scotland were officially separate Kingdoms until 1707 (as opposed to the implied creation of a single unified Kingdom, exemplified by the later
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
). Prior to the Acts of Union there had been three previous attempts (in 1606, 1667, and 1689) to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea, albeit for different reasons. The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the
Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to m ...
, based in the
Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Palace of Westminster
in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian
Simon Schama Sir Simon Michael Schama (; born 13 February 1945) is an English historian specialising in art history, Dutch history The History of the Netherlands is a history of seafaring people thriving on a lowland river delta on the North Sea in nor ...
said "What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world ... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history."


Political background prior to 1707


1603–1660

Prior to 1603, England and Scotland were separate kingdoms; as
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
never married, after 1567, her heir became the Stuart king of Scotland,
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name) James is an English language given name of Hebrew origin, most common ...

James VI
, who was brought up as a Protestant. After her death, the two Crowns were held in personal union by James, as James I of England, and James VI of Scotland. He announced his intention to unite the two, using the
royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions wr ...
to take the title "King of Great Britain", and give a British character to his court and person. The 1603 Union of England and Scotland Act established a joint Commission to agree terms, but the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of b ...
was concerned this would lead to the imposition of an absolutist structure similar to that of Scotland. James was forced to withdraw his proposals, and attempts to revive it in 1610 were met with hostility. Instead, he set about creating a unified Church of Scotland and England, as the first step towards a centralised, Unionist state. However, despite both being nominally
Episcopalian Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
in structure, the two were very different in doctrine; the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
, or kirk, was
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the a ...
in doctrine, and viewed many
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
practices as little better than Catholicism. As a result, attempts to impose religious policy by James and his son
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
ultimately led to the 1639–1651
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, sometimes known as the British Civil Wars, were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country tha ...
. The 1639–1640
Bishops' Wars The 1639 and 1640 Bishops' Wars were the first of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which took place in Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland, Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland. ...
confirmed the primacy of the kirk, and established a
Covenanter Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious af ...
government in Scotland. The Scots remained neutral when the
First English Civil War The First English Civil War was fought in and , from August 1642 to June 1646. It forms one of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 , which also took place in and . These include the 1638 to 1640 , the , the , the , and th ...
began in 1642, before becoming concerned at the impact on Scotland of a Royalist victory. Presbyterian leaders like
Argyll Argyll (; archaically In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed ...

Argyll
viewed union as a way to ensure free trade between England and Scotland, and preserve a Presbyterian kirk. Under the 1643
Solemn League and Covenant The Solemn League and Covenant was an agreement between the Scottish Covenanters Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian Presbyterianism is ...

Solemn League and Covenant
, the Covenanters agreed to provide military support for the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of b ...
, in return for religious union. Although the treaty referred repeatedly to 'union' between England, Scotland, and Ireland, political union had little support outside the Kirk Party. Even religious union was opposed by the Episcopalian majority in the Church of England, and Independents like
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
, who dominated the
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Roundhead, Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1638 to 1651 Wars ...
. The Scots and English Presbyterians were political conservatives, who increasingly viewed the Independents, and associated radical groups like the
Levellers The Levellers were a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are ...
, as a bigger threat than the Royalists. Both Royalists and Presbyterians agreed monarchy was divinely ordered, but disagreed on the nature and extent of Royal authority over the church. When Charles I surrendered in 1646, they allied with their former enemies to restore him to the English throne. After defeat in the 1647–1648
Second English Civil War The 1648 Second English Civil War is one in a series of connected conflicts in the kingdoms of Kingdom_of_England, England, incorporating Wales, Kingdom_of_Scotland, Scotland, and Kingdom_of_Ireland, Ireland. Known collectively as the 1638 to ...
, Scotland was occupied by English troops which were withdrawn once the so-called
Engagers The Engagers were a faction of the Scotland, Scottish Covenanters, who made "The Engagement" with King Charles I of England, Charles I in December 1647 while he was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle by the English Parliamentarians after his defeat ...
whom Cromwell held responsible for the war had been replaced by the Kirk Party. In December 1648,
Pride's Purge Pride's Purge is the name commonly given to an event that took place on 6 December 1648, when soldiers prevented members of Parliament considered hostile to the New Model Army from entering the House of Commons of England. Despite defeat in the ...
confirmed Cromwell's political control in England by removing Presbyterian MPs from Parliament, and executing Charles in January 1649. Seeing this as sacrilege, the Kirk Party proclaimed
Charles II
Charles II
King of Scotland and Great Britain, and agreed to restore him to the English throne. Defeat in the 1649–1651 Third English Civil War or Anglo-Scottish War resulted in Scotland's incorporation into the
Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
, largely driven by Cromwell's determination to break the power of the kirk, which he held responsible for the Anglo-Scottish War. The 1652
Tender of Union The Tender of Union was a declaration of the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of socie ...
was followed on 12 April 1654 by ''An Ordinance by the Protector for the Union of England and Scotland,'' creating the
Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
. It was ratified by the
Second Protectorate Parliament The Second Protectorate Parliament in England sat for two sessions from 17 September 1656 until 4 February 1658, with Thomas Widdrington as the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker of the House of Commons. In its first sessio ...
on 26 June 1657, creating a single Parliament in Westminster, with 30 representatives each from Scotland and Ireland added to the existing English members.


1660–1707

While integration into the Commonwealth established free trade between Scotland and England, the economic benefits were diminished by the costs of military occupation.Parliament.uk
Both Scotland and England associated union with heavy taxes and military rule; it had little popular support in either country, and was dissolved after the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * The Restoration (1909 film), ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a ...
of Charles II in 1660. The Scottish economy was badly damaged by the English
Navigation Acts The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The l ...
of 1660 and 1663 and wars with the Dutch Republic, its major export market. An Anglo-Scots Trade Commission was set up in January 1668 but the English had no interest in making concessions, as the Scots had little to offer in return. In 1669, Charles II revived talks on political union; his motives were to weaken Scotland's commercial and political links with the Dutch, still seen as an enemy and complete the work of his grandfather James I. Continued opposition meant these negotiations were abandoned by the end of 1669. Following the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
of 1688, a Scottish Convention met in Edinburgh in April 1689 to agree a new constitutional settlement; during which the Scottish Bishops backed a proposed union in an attempt to preserve Episcopalian control of the kirk.
William William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...

William
and
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name) Mary is a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constru ...

Mary
were supportive of the idea but it was opposed both by the Presbyterian majority in Scotland and the English Parliament. Episcopacy in Scotland was abolished in 1690, alienating a significant part of the political class; it was this element that later formed the bedrock of opposition to Union. The 1690s were a time of economic hardship in Europe as a whole and Scotland in particular, a period now known as the
Seven ill years The Seven Ill Years, also known as the Seven Lean Years, is the term used for a period of widespread and prolonged famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an orga ...
which led to strained relations with England. In 1698, the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies received a charter to raise capital through public subscription. The Company invested in the Darién scheme, an ambitious plan funded almost entirely by Scottish investors to build a colony on the
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Ka ...
for trade with East Asia. The scheme was a disaster; the losses of over £150,000 severely impacted the Scottish commercial system.


Political motivations

The Acts of Union should be seen within a wider European context of increasing state centralisation during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, including the monarchies of France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain. While there were exceptions, such as the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
or the
Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( ...
, the trend was clear. The dangers of the monarch using one Parliament against the other first became apparent in 1647 and 1651. It resurfaced during the 1679 to 1681
Exclusion Crisis The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1679 until 1681 in the reign of King Charles II of England, Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. Three Exclusion bills sought to exclude the King's brother and heir presumptive, James II of England, James, Du ...
, caused by English resistance to the Catholic
James James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...

James
II (of England, VII of Scotland) succeeding his brother Charles. James was sent to Edinburgh in 1681 as Lord High Commissioner; in August, the Scottish Parliament passed the Succession Act, confirming the divine right of kings, the rights of the natural heir 'regardless of religion', the duty of all to swear allegiance to that king and the independence of the Scottish Crown. It then went beyond ensuring James's succession to the Scottish throne by explicitly stating the aim was to make his exclusion from the English throne impossible without '...the fatall and dreadfull consequences of a civil war.' The issue reappeared during the 1688
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
. The English Parliament generally supported replacing James with his Protestant daughter
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a G ...
, but resisted making her Dutch husband
William III & II William III (William Henry; nl, Willem Hendrik; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Principality of Orange, Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland ...
joint ruler. They gave way only when he threatened to return to the Netherlands, and Mary refused to rule without him. In Scotland, conflict over control of the kirk between
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form ...
and
Episcopalians Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
and William's position as a fellow Calvinist put him in a much stronger position. He originally insisted on retaining Episcopacy, and the Committee of the Articles, an unelected body that controlled what legislation Parliament could debate. Both would have given the Crown far greater control than in England but he withdrew his demands due to the 1689–1692 Jacobite Rising.


English perspective

The English succession was provided for by the English
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Acts of the Parliament of England, Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish cr ...
, which ensured that the monarch of England would be a Protestant member of the
House of Hanover The House of Hanover (german: Haus von Hannover), whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ...
. Until the Union of Parliaments, the Scottish throne might be inherited by a different successor after
Queen Anne Queen Anne often refers to: * Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1665–1714), queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1702–1707) and of Great Britain (1707–1714) **Queen Anne style architecture, an architectural style from her reign, and its revival ...

Queen Anne
, who had said in her first speech to the English parliament that a Union was 'very necessary'. The Scottish
Act of Security 1704 The Act of Security 1704 (also referred to as the Act for the Security of the Kingdom) was a response by the Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A ...
however was passed after the English parliament without consultation with Scotland, had designated Electoress (granddaughter of James I and VI), as Anne's successor, if she died childless. The Act of Security however granted the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereig ...
, the
three Estates 250px, A 13th-century French representation of the tripartite social order of the Middle Ages – ''Oratores'' ("those who pray"), ''Bellatores'' ("those who fight"), and ''Laboratores'' ("those who work"). The estates of the realm, or three est ...
, the right to choose a successor and explicitly required a choice different from the English monarch unless the English were to grant free trade and navigation. Next the
Alien Act 1705 The Alien Act was a law passed by the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly ...
was passed in the English parliament making Scots in England designated as 'foreign nationals' - and blocking about half of all Scottish trade by boycotting exports to England or its colonies, unless Scotland came back to negotiate a Union. To encourage a Union, 'honours, appointments, pensions and even arrears of pay and other expenses were distributed to clinch support from Scottish peers and MPs.'


Scottish perspective

The Scottish economy was severely impacted by
privateer A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or deleg ...
s during the 1688 to 1697
Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
, and the 1701
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was an early-18th-century European war, triggered by the death in November 1700 of the childless Charles II of Spain. It established the principle that dynastic rights were secondary to maintaini ...
, with the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
focusing on protecting English ships. This compounded the economic pressure caused by the
Darien scheme The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt, backed largely by investors of the Kingdom of Scotland Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, duri ...
, and the
Seven ill years The Seven Ill Years, also known as the Seven Lean Years, is the term used for a period of widespread and prolonged famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an orga ...
of the 1690s, when between 5–15% of the population died of starvation. The Scottish Parliament was promised financial assistance, protection for its maritime trade, and an end of economic restrictions on trade with England. The votes of the Court party, influenced by Queen Anne's favourite, the Duke of Queensberry, combined with the majority of the
Squadrone Volante The Squadrone Volante (''"Flying Squad"'') was a 17th-century group of independent and liberalism, liberal Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals within the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. It attempted to influence the outcome of a num ...
, were sufficient to ensure passage of the treaty. Article 15 granted £398,085 and ten shillings sterling to Scotland, a sum known as
The Equivalent The Equivalent was a sum negotiated at £398,085 10s. 0d. paid to Scotland by the English Government under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707. Proposals for it first emerged in the course of abortive Union negotiations in 1702 to 1703. The Equival ...
, to offset future liability towards the English national debt, which at the time was £18 million, but as Scotland had no national debt, most of the sum was used to compensate the investors in the Darien scheme, with 58.6% of the fund allocated to its shareholders and creditors. The role played by bribery has long been debated; £20,000 was distributed by the
Earl of Glasgow Earl of Glasgow is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1703 for David Boyle, 1st Earl of Glasgow, David Boyle, Lord Boyle. The first earl was subsequently one of the commissioners who negotiated the Act of Union 1707, Treaty of U ...
, of which 60% went to
James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry and 1st Duke of Dover (18 December 16626 July 1711) was a Scottish nobleman. Life He was the eldest son of William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry and his wife Isabel Douglas, daughter of William Douglas ...
, the Queen's Commissioner in Parliament. Another negotiator, Argyll was given an English peerage.
Robert Burns Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire, the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phr ...

Robert Burns
is commonly quoted in support of the argument of corruption; "We're bought and sold for English Gold, Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation." As historian Christopher Whatley points out, this was actually a 17th-century Scots folk song; but he agrees money was paid, though suggests the economic benefits were supported by most Scots MPs, with the promises made for benefits to peers and MPs, even if it was reluctantly. Professor Sir
Tom Devine Sir Thomas Martin Devine (born 30 July 1945) is a historian and author. The ''Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic Current ...
, agreed that promises of 'favours, sinecures, pensions, offices and straightforward cash bribes became indispensable to secure government majorities'. As for representation going forwards, Scotland was, in the new united parliament only to get 45 MPs, one more than Cornwall, and only 16 (unelected) peers places in the House of Lords. Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath, the only Scottish negotiator to oppose Union, noted "the whole nation appears against (it)". Another negotiator, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, who was an ardent Unionist, observed it was "contrary to the inclinations of at least three-fourths of the Kingdom". As the seat of the Scottish Parliament, demonstrators in Edinburgh feared the impact of its loss on the local economy. Elsewhere, there was widespread concern about the independence of the kirk, and possible tax rises. As the Treaty passed through the Scottish Parliament, opposition was voiced by petitions from shires, burghs, presbyteries and parishes. The
Convention of Royal Burghs The Convention of Royal Burghs, more fully termed the Convention of the Royal Burghs of Scotland, was a representative assembly which protected the privileges and pursued the interests of Scotland’s principal trading towns, the royal burghs A ...
claimed 'we are not against an honourable and safe union with England', but 'the condition of the people of Scotland, (cannot be) improved without a Scots Parliament'. Not one petition in favour of Union was received by Parliament. On the day the treaty was signed, the
carillon A carillon ( or ; ) is a Pitched percussion instrument, pitched percussion idiophone that is played with a keyboard instrument, keyboard and consists of at least 23 bellfounding, cast bell metal, bronze bells in fixed suspension and tuned ...

carillon
er in
St Giles Cathedral St Giles' Cathedral ( gd, Cathair-eaglais Naomh Giles), or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is a parish church in North Devon, England Image:St Lawrence's Church nave and chancel, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.jpg, Inside the parish church o ...

St Giles Cathedral
, Edinburgh, rang the bells in the tune ''Why should I be so sad on my wedding day?'' Threats of widespread civil unrest resulted in Parliament imposing
martial law Martial law is the temporary imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions or suspension of civil law by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed, or in an occupied te ...
.


Treaty and passage of the 1707 Acts

Deeper political integration had been a key policy of
Queen Anne Queen Anne often refers to: * Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1665–1714), queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1702–1707) and of Great Britain (1707–1714) **Queen Anne style architecture, an architectural style from her reign, and its revival ...

Queen Anne
from the time she acceded to the throne in 1702. Under the aegis of the Queen and her ministers in both kingdoms, the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed to participate in fresh negotiations for a union treaty in 1705. Both countries appointed 31 commissioners to conduct the negotiations. Most of the Scottish commissioners favoured union, and about half were government ministers and other officials. At the head of the list was Queensberry, and the
Lord Chancellor of Scotland The Lord Chancellor of Scotland was a Great Officer of State In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegr ...
, the
Earl of Seafield Earl of Seafield is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1701 for James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater, James Ogilvy, who in 1711 succeeded his father as 4th Earl of Findlater. The earldoms of Findlater and Seafield continued to be ...
. The English commissioners included the
Lord High Treasurer The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a British government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_siz ...
, the
Earl of Godolphin Earl of Godolphin was a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage of ...
, the
Lord Keeper The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly an officer of the English Crown charged with Keeper of the Seals, physical custody of the Great Seal of England. This position evolved into that of one of the ...
, Baron Cowper, and a large number of Whigs who supported union. Tories were not in favour of union and only one was represented among the commissioners. Negotiations between the English and Scottish commissioners took place between 16 April and 22 July 1706 at the
Cockpit A cockpit or flight deck is the area, usually near the front of an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belo ...
in London. Each side had its own particular concerns. Within a few days, and with only one face to face meeting of all 62 commissioners, England had gained a guarantee that the Hanoverian dynasty would succeed Queen Anne to the Scottish crown, and Scotland received a guarantee of access to colonial markets, in the hope that they would be placed on an equal footing in terms of trade. After negotiations ended in July 1706, the acts had to be ratified by both Parliaments. In Scotland, about 100 of the 227 members of the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereig ...
were supportive of the Court Party. For extra votes the pro-court side could rely on about 25 members of the
Squadrone Volante The Squadrone Volante (''"Flying Squad"'') was a 17th-century group of independent and liberalism, liberal Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals within the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. It attempted to influence the outcome of a num ...
, led by the
Marquess of Montrose A marquess (; french: marquis ), es, marqués, pt, marquês. is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The German language equivalent is Markgraf (Margrave). A woman wi ...
and the
Duke of Roxburghe The Duke of Roxburghe () is a title in the peerage of Scotland The Peerage of Scotland ( gd, Moraireachd na h-Alba, sco, Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots ...
. Opponents of the court were generally known as the Country party, and included various factions and individuals such as the
Duke of Hamilton Duke of Hamilton is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, created in April 1643. It is the senior dukedom in that Peerage (except for the Duke of Rothesay, Dukedom of Rothesay held by the Sovereign's eldest son), and as such its holder is the Pr ...
, Lord Belhaven and
Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun :''For other persons named Andrew Fletcher, see Andrew Fletcher (disambiguation).'' Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1655 – September 1716) was a Scotland, Scottish writer and politician, remembered as an advocate for the non-incorporation of Sco ...
, who spoke forcefully and passionately against the union, when the Scottish Parliament began its debate on the act in on 3 October 1706, but the deal had already been done. The Court party enjoyed significant funding from England and the Treasury and included many who had accumulated debts following the Darien Disaster. In Scotland, the
Duke of Queensberry The title Duke of Queensberry was created in the Peerage of Scotland The Peerage of Scotland ( gd, Moraireachd na h-Alba, sco, Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of ...
was largely responsible for the successful passage of the Union act by the Parliament of Scotland. In Scotland, he also received much criticism from local residents, but in England he was cheered for his action. He had personally received around half of the funding awarded by the Westminster Treasury for himself. In April 1707, he travelled to London to attend celebrations at the royal court, and was greeted by groups of noblemen and gentry lined along the road. From
Barnet Barnet may refer to: People *Barnet (surname) *Barnet (given name) Places United Kingdom *Chipping Barnet or High Barnet, commonly known as Barnet, one of three focal towns of the borough below. *East Barnet, a district of the borough below; anci ...
, the route was lined with crowds of cheering people, and once he reached London a huge crowd had formed. On 17 April, the Duke was gratefully received by the Queen at
Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens Image:Kensington Palace from across Long Water.JPG, up250px, View across The Long Water to Kensington Palace Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace ...

Kensington Palace
.


Provisions

The
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

Treaty of Union
, agreed between representatives of the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who u ...
and the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereig ...
in 1706, consisted of 25 articles, 15 of which were economic in nature. In Scotland, each article was voted on separately and several clauses in articles were delegated to specialised subcommittees. Article 1 of the treaty was based on the political principle of an incorporating union and this was secured by a majority of 116 votes to 83 on 4 November 1706. To minimise the opposition of the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
, an Act was also passed to secure the
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
establishment of the Church, after which the Church stopped its open opposition, although hostility remained at lower levels of the clergy. The treaty as a whole was finally ratified on 16 January 1707 by a majority of 110 votes to 69. The two Acts incorporated provisions for Scotland to send
representative peers In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pref ...
from the
Peerage of Scotland The Peerage of Scotland ( gd, Moraireachd na h-Alba, sco, Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union 1707, Treaty of ...
to sit in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
. It guaranteed that the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
would remain the
established church A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whethe ...
in Scotland, that the
Court of Session The Court of Session is the supreme civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil (journalism), a platform for indepen ...
would "remain in all time coming within Scotland", and that
Scots law Scots law () is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified ...
would "remain in the same force as before". Other provisions included the restatement of the
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Acts of the Parliament of England, Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish cr ...
and the ban on
Roman Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ri ...
from taking the throne. It also created a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

customs union
and
monetary union A currency union (also known as monetary union) is an intergovernmental agreement that involves two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Depa ...
. The Act provided that any "laws and statutes" that were "contrary to or inconsistent with the terms" of the Act would "cease and become void".


Related Acts

The Scottish Parliament also passed the
Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707 The Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707 (c.6) is an Act of the pre-Union Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland ...
guaranteeing the status of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The English Parliament passed a similar Act, 6 Anne c.8. Soon after the Union, the Act 6 Anne c.40later named the Union with Scotland (Amendment) Act 1707united the English and Scottish
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's per ...
s and decentralised Scottish administration by appointing justices of the peace in each shire to carry out administration. In effect it took the day-to-day government of Scotland out of the hands of politicians and into those of the
College of Justice The College of Justice includes the Supreme Courts of Scotland, and its associated bodies. The constituent bodies of the national supreme court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a gover ...
. On 18 December 1707 the
Act for better Securing the Duties of East India Goods The Act for better Securing the Duties of East India Goods was (6 Ann c.3) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parli ...
was passed which extended the monopoly of the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
to Scotland. In the year following the Union, the
Treason Act 1708 The Treason Act 1708 (7 Ann c 21) is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which harmonised the law of high treason between the former kingdoms of England and Scotland following their Acts of Union 1707, union as Great Britain in 1707. Thi ...
abolished the Scottish law of
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
and extended the corresponding English law across Great Britain.


Evaluations

Scotland benefited, says historian G.N. Clark, gaining "freedom of trade with England and the colonies" as well as "a great expansion of markets". The agreement guaranteed the permanent status of the Presbyterian church in Scotland, and the separate system of laws and courts in Scotland. Clark argued that in exchange for the financial benefits and bribes that England bestowed, what it gained was
of inestimable value. Scotland accepted the Hanoverian succession and gave up her power of threatening England's military security and complicating her commercial relations ... The sweeping successes of the eighteenth-century wars owed much to the new unity of the two nations.
By the time
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asse ...
and
James Boswell James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (; 29 October 1740 ( N.S.) – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-Eur ...

James Boswell
made their tour in 1773, recorded in ''
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland ''A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland'' (1775) is a travel literature, travel narrative by Samuel Johnson about an eighty-three-day journey through Scotland, in particular the islands of the Hebrides, in the late summer and autumn of 1773 ...
'', Johnson noted that Scotland was "a nation of which the commerce is hourly extending, and the wealth increasing" and in particular that
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...

Glasgow
had become one of the greatest cities of Britain.


300th anniversary

A commemorative two-pound coin was issued to mark the tercentennial—300th anniversary—of the Union, which occurred two days before the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, Scottish Parliament general election on 3 May 2007. The Scottish Government held a number of commemorative events through the year including an education project led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, an exhibition of Union-related objects and documents at the National Museums of Scotland and an exhibition of portraits of people associated with the Union at the National Galleries of Scotland.Announced by the Scottish Culture Minister, Patricia Ferguson, 9 November 2006


Scottish voting records


See also

* Acts of Union 1800 * English independence * History of democracy * List of treaties * ''MacCormick v Lord Advocate'' * Parliament of the United Kingdom * Political union * Real union * Scottish independence * Unionism in Scotland * Welsh independence


Notes


References


Sources and further reading

* * Campbell, R. H. “The Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. II. The Economic Consequences.” ''Economic History Review'' vol. 16, no. 3, 1964, pp. 468–47
online
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Smout, T. C. “The Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. I. The Economic Background.” ''Economic History Review'' vol. 16, no. 3, 1964, pp. 455–467
online
* * * * *


Other books

* Defoe, Daniel. ''A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain, 1724–27'' * Defoe, Daniel. ''The Letters of Daniel Defoe'', GH Healey editor. Oxford: 1955. * Fletcher, Andrew (Saltoun). ''An Account of a Conversation'' * Lockhart, George, "The Lockhart Papers", 1702–1728


External links

*
Union with England Act and Union with Scotland Act – Full original text

Treaty of Union and the Darien Experiment
University of Guelph, McLaughlin Library, Library and Archives Canada * *
Union with England Act 1707, from Records of the Parliaments of ScotlandImage of original act from the Parliamentary Archives website
{{DEFAULTSORT:Acts Of Union 1707 1706 in England 1706 in law 1707 in law 1707 in Great Britain 1707 in Scotland Acts of the Parliament of England Acts of the Parliament of England still in force Acts of the Parliament of Scotland Unionism in the United Kingdom Constitutional laws of the United Kingdom England–Scotland relations Political history of Great Britain National unifications Political charters Unionism in Scotland Treaties of England Treaties of Scotland 1707 in British law 1706 in politics