Popular resistance and the ratification of the Anglo-Scottish treaty of union

Bowie, K. (2008) Popular resistance and the ratification of the Anglo-Scottish treaty of union. Scottish Archives, 14, pp. 10-26.

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Historians of the union disagree over the significance of attempts made in 1706-7 to disrupt the Union parliament with popular resistance. Discussion has centred on George Lockhart of Carnwath’s memoir of an abortive rising of Jacobites and Cameronian Presbyterians, with most accounts seeing this as an impossible scheme, though for varying reasons. Less attention has been paid to other, potentially more feasible, plans for armed or mass protest that together created distinct fears of disorder in Edinburgh. This article assesses these plans in a wider context of rebellion in seventeenth century Scotland, offering an analysis of the potential viability and impact of popular resistance in 1706-7. Hindsight reveals that though many ordinary Scots were ready to take action to stop the union, problems of leadership and ideological dissonance limited the potential for a large-scale revolt against the parliament. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the possibility seemed very real at the time, requiring the government to take unusual steps to minimise the risk of a popular strike against parliament.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bowie, Professor Karin
Authors: Bowie, K.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Scottish Archives

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