Guide to Scotland
   Gateway to the British Isles since 1996
Scots Who Made A Difference

by Peter N. Williams, Ph.D.
© 2007

Though he died almost 30 years before Culloden, that battle would have been one in which Lochiel (as he is known to history) would have surely fallen fighting bravely while leading his Cameron Highlanders against the English massed ranks. Known for his feats of strength and ferocity in combat, Lochiel became Chief of the Camerons in 1647. Two years later, when Charles I was executed, Lochiel gave his support to the Stuarts, fighting along with the Earl of Glencairn on behalf of the future Charles II, and continuing the fight against General Monk.

When the last Stuart monarch, James II, was overthrown by forces supporting William and Mary, Lochiel joined the Jacobite resistance that culminated at Killecrankie in July 1689. He was then 60 years old and contributed a great deal to the Scottish victory. Though the outcome of that battle gave false hopes to the Stuart cause, all being undone at Culloden in 1746, the memories of the great victory join that of Bruce's victory at Stirling Bridge as part of Scotland's heritage as a nation determined to assert its independence.

Robert Campbell was yet another Scot who made a profound difference in the development of Canada. As an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, Robert explored much of the Yukon, reaching the headwaters of and mapping many of its rivers and establishing the first of many of the company's fur-trading posts in the region. One of Campbell's remarkable feats of endurance was his return from the Yukon to Montreal on snowshoes, a distance of 3,000 miles.

CAMPBELL, THOMAS (1777-1844)
Though students of British literature may come across the name of Glasgow-born Thomas Campbell as one who authored a body of sentimental and martial lyrics (he witnessed the Battle of Hohenlinden in 1800), Campbell's claim to fame must rest on his founding of a movement to establish the University of London for those who could not attend Oxford or Cambridge for lack of funds or diverse religions. When London opened its doors to all whom could qualify academically, the stranglehold of the established Church in deciding who should attend an English University was broken.

Henry Campbell was born in Glasgow. He was Prime Minister of Britain from December 5, 1905 to April 5, 1908. During this time his administration granted self-government to the Transvaal and to the Orange River Colony, both part of South Africa. The measures helped ensure that the Boers (who comprised the largest number of European settlements in these areas, but who had been defeated by superior British forces) would support the British Empire in its later dealings with the armies of the Kaiser.

Another way in which Campbell's influence was lasting was his inducement to the muddle-headed Duke of Cambridge to retire as commander in chief of the armed forces. This stubborn cousin of the Queen had blocked attempts to introduce sorely needed reforms that would transform Her Majesty's Forces from what was essentially still an 18th century organization.

During the so-called Boer War in South Africa, as leader of the Liberal Party, Campbell tried to get his party to pursue a middle course between the rabid imperialists and the anti-war faction. He later condemned the British governments "methods of barbarism" against the Boer settlers and farmers. One of the pro-Boer Liberals who served with Campbell when he succeeded the Conservative leader Arthur Balfour in 1905 was future Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

Campbell's cabinet also included the first to achieve that rank from the British working class, the Labour Party's John Elliot Burns. Many of reformer Campbell's legislation was blocked by the insufferable ultra-Conservative House of Lords, though he did get their assent to his Trades Disputes Act in 2906, giving labour union officials considerable freedom to strike. Perhaps it is in this last noble gesture that the name of Campbell-Bannerman should be best remembered and honored.

The Rev. Norman MacLeod, of Morvern, wrote under the sobriquet Caraid nan Gaidheal (friend of the Gael). Through his contributions to various periodicals, he began the tradition of creative prose writing in Scottish Gaelic. MacLeod took advantage of the new Gaelic reading public created by the advent of the Gaelic Schools Societies and the General Assembly's schools in the early part of the 18th century. He was of enormous influence upon the writing of the short story in Gaelic, being followed by a host of writers during the 19th century and thus helping to keep the old tongue very much alive.

CARLYLE, THOMAS (1795-1881)
Though his essays and histories do not command the attention today that they did in the Victorian era, the world of literature owes an enormous debt to Thomas Carlyle, from Ecclefechan in the Scottish Lowlands. In 1837, Carlyle gave us the great masterpiece of historical writing, The French Revolution. Early in his career as a teacher, Carlyle read extensively in English, German and French literature, becoming heavily influenced by Gibbon, Hume, Voltaire and Mme de Stael. His biography of Schiller appeared in The London Magazine (1823-4) and he also translated part of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister to satisfy a growing demand for works on German culture.

Many of Carlyle's articles were published in The Edinburgh Review (late 1820's), some of them dealing with contemporary social problems. During this time, he wrote essays on Goethe, published his revolutionary Sartor Resartus, followed by Voltaire, Diderot and The Diamond Necklace. It was only after he moved to London in 1834 and he published his history of the French Revolution, that Carlyle achieved worldwide fame.

As historian, social reformer and prophet, Carlyle has few equals. His whole philosophy was influenced by his idea of the Divine Will, proof of which is the duty of the poet and historian to express. His writings try to explain what has motivated human behaviour through the ages. One of Carlyle's most remembered lines: "No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men."

CARNEGIE, ANDREW (1835-1919)
Who has not heard of Andrew Carnegie, with his avuncular smile and white beard, his amassing of great wealth and his philanthropic largesse? In his essay "The Gospel of Wealth," at 54 years old Andrew Carnegie wrote that rich men should distribute their surplus wealth for the general welfare. "The man who dies rich," he wrote," dies disgraced." He certainly followed his own advice, distributing millions to the cause of education, world peace and the general betterment of the standard of living for the working man.

Carnegie worked in a cotton mill when he first arrived in the United States from his native Dunfermline in 1848, he was 13 years old. Later jobs included working as a telegraph operator and messenger and an engine tender for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company where he stayed for 12 years, introducing the sleeping car. His future lay elsewhere, however, and in 1864 he bought the Storey Farm on Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. It was the start of a meteoric rise in fortune.

The money from oil gave Carnegie the chance to invest in the burgeoning iron and steel industries. He founded the Keystone Bridge Company and by 1888 his extensive steel plant included coalfields, iron fields, railroads and steamships. By 1901 his companies had merged into the United States Steel Corporation, providing the transplanted Scotsman with the countless millions that he now devoted himself to donating to various causes.

In exchange for sites, and on condition that they would maintain them, Carnegie provided for a great number of public libraries not only in the United States and Britain, but in many other English-speaking countries. His generous donations to education in his native Scotland brought him the lord rectorship of St. Andrew's University. A benefactor of Tuskegee Institute, he also provided funding for pension funds for U.S. College professors, homestead workers and for the proper recognition of heroic deeds. He financed a temple of Peace at The Hague, Netherlands in 1903; a Pan-American Palace in Washington, DC and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Perhaps Carnegie is best remembered for his founding of the Carnegie Institute of Technology of Carnegie- Mellon, University in Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC. His Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which he began in 1905, published the famous Flexner Report of 1910, Medical Education in the United States and Canada. It produced a revolution in medical education for which most of the world is eternally grateful.

One of the chief instigators in the Rye House Plot of 1683-84 to overthrow Charles II in favor of Prince William of Orange was Glaswegian William Carstares, a leading light in the Scottish Presbyterian movement that was later to put such a stranglehold on religious affairs in the country. When the Plot failed, Carstares fled to France to become chaplain to the later King William l whom he accompanied in his successful invasion of England.

In the Settlement of 1688, Carstares became head of the Church of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. Although King William was inclined to maintain episcopal government in the Scottish Church, Carstares persuaded him to establish the Presbyterian system in 1690. Perhaps his most lasting influence came when he advised Queen Anne on the treaty that united Scotland and England in 1707. Carstares was also mainly responsible for maintaining the independent Presbyterian nature of the Church of Scotland.

CARVER, ROBERT (1484-1567)
One of Scotland's greatest early composers, Carver was a canon of the Abbey of Scone. A single manuscript contains his surviving works, including a 10-part mass, Dum Sacram Mysterium; a 19-part O Bone Jesu, considered a supreme masterpiece of the Renaissance; a piece depicting the seven joys of the Virgin, Gaude Glore Virginali; The L'Homme Armee mass; and Fere Pessima and Pater Creator Omnium masses.

CHALMERS, JAMES (1814-1901)
Though not as well known as his fellow Scots explorer, David Livingstone, Chalmers' expeditions to the pacific southwest earned him the title of "the Livingstone of New Guinea." A Scottish Congregationalist who worked as a missionary, Chalmers also got involved in politics, for his work in New Guinea facilitated British rule in the hitherto unknown land. Many geographical details of the area were published in 1887 in his Pioneering in New Guinea. It is a source of great irony that Chalmers was killed in Papua by native tribesmen during his work trying to establish an indigenous church free of Western culture.

CHALMERS, THOMAS (1780-1847)
From Anstruther, Fife, Thomas Chalmers is remembered as a theologian, social reformer, Presbyterian minister and first moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. Though ordained as a parish minister, he switched to evangelism and pulpit oratory, achieving great fame throughout Scotland. For many years, as minister of St. John's, the largest parish in Glasgow and also the poorest, his work at trying to alleviate some of the dreadful living conditions of his parishioners brought him fame and respect throughout Britain.

Chalmers sermons drew vast crowds and many of his lectures, published in 1817 as Astronomical Discourses, quickly sold over 20,000 copies. In 1843 there was a great disruption at the Church of Scotland 's General Assembly when 203 commissioners, led by Chalmers, walked out in protest at the government's refusal to grant spiritual independence to the church. In the great schism that resulted, Chalmers was appointed moderator of the new Free Church of Scotland. According to historian J. K. Cameron (in Daiches), it was Chalmers, more than any other single individual who altered the course of Scotland's ecclesiastical history.

CHAMBERS, WILLIAM (1800-83) & ROBERT (1802-71)
William and Robert Chambers have had an enormous influence on book publishing in Scotland. Their enterprising spirit, in printing so many journals, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, lives of literary figures, Scottish songs and histories can be said to have not only been a response to the popular educational movement of the 1820's, but in many ways, responsible for it. The dictionaries of the Chambers Publishing Company, begun around 1821 in Edinburgh are well known to today's students.

The Peebles-born brothers had moved from book selling to printing and producing Kaleidoscope or Edinburgh Literary Amusement in 1821, their first periodical. In mid-century, Robert caused something of a sensation when he published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, by an anonymous author who predated Darwin in his cogent arguments for the evolutionary development of mankind.

From Pitsligo Bay, Aberdeenshire, seaman and explorer Richard Chancellor laid the foundations for English trade with Russia following his visit to Moscow in 1553-4. Warmly greeted by Tsar Ivan IV, Chancellor brought back letters to English Queen Mary l that granted favorable conditions for trade between the two nations. Chancellor had been appointed as Pilot General of Sir Hugh Willoughby's expedition to try to find a Northeast Passage to China; the failure of the three-ship expedition had taken him by land to Moscow. Due mainly to Chancellor's negotiating skills, the Moscovy Company, given a monopoly of Russian trade, was formed in 1555. The seaman-diplomat was drowned in a shipwreck off the Scottish coast while returning from a trading mission to Moscow.

CHARLES I (1600-49)
It is not generally recognized that unfortunate Charles I was a Scot. Executed on 30 January 1649 after being convicted of treason by Parliament, the proud king was born in Dunfermline Palace in Fifeshire. He became King of Scotland and England after the death of his father James VI. It is ironic that most of Charles's troubles began when he was forced to summon a parliament in 1640 to pay for his war against the Scots, in a sense, his own people.

Charles further antagonized his Scottish subjects by his veneration of episcopal government. He tried to turn back the clock by his unwavering support of the Bishops, advancing many of them to high positions in government. Charles's father had made the same mistake. He had not bothered to win the hearts and minds of his Scottish subjects, being perfectly happy in the seat of power in London. When he increased the powers and numbers of the Scottish bishops in 1617, however, he had to journey north to implement his religious policy.

This was a grievous error. James should have known better. The Scots had been in no mood for episcopacy, which they regarded as little better than papacy. His attempt to impose the Five Articles, dealing with matters of worship and religious observances had met with strong opposition. He went ahead anyway and pushed through his reforms at a General Assembly at Perth in 1618. Typically, they were systematically ignored throughout Scotland.

James died in 1625 and the throne passed to Charles I, who had only himself to blame for the troubles that would later befall him. He had very little understanding of Scottish affairs and even less of prevailing Scottish opinion. Of the Highlands, he knew nothing at all: of the Lowlands, not enough. A devout Episcopalian, he distrusted the Kirk and Presbyterians and greatly mistrusted democratic assemblies, religious or not. He failed to try to understand his Scottish subjects; nor did his wish to. As a ruler by Divine right, he felt he had the sacred duty to bring the Scottish Kirk in line with the Church of England. It was an obligation that eventually was to cost him dearly.

The Act of Revocation, decreed by Charles in 1625, restored the lands and tithes to the Church, which had been distributed among the Scottish nobles during the upheavals of the Reformation. It caused great fear north of the borders for the security of property, for the well-intended Act disregarded the interests of the Scottish nobility. The king had aimed to set up machinery to provide adequate stipends for the clergy by annulling all gifts made since 1540 of properties, which the crown could claim. These, of course, included vast ecclesiastical revenues that had been acquired by many of the lay nobility after the Reformation. They were not about to surrender what they considered their rightful property. The Act did nothing to endure the king to those who could have given him aid in Scotland.

Charles never seemed to learn his lesson; he received absolutely no support at all for his outright demand of 1629 that religious practice in Scotland conform to the English model. It was as if the king were deliberately setting out to antagonize everyone north of the border. His elaborate coronation as King of Scotland in St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh in 1633 was sufficiently "high church" to smack of popery to the assembled congregation. In July 1637, the first reading of the Revised Prayer Book for Scotland was met with nothing more than a riot. Even the Privy Council had to seek refuge from the angry mob in Holyroodhouse.

In the chaos that followed, the Bishop of Brechin was able to conduct his religious services only with the aid of a pair of loaded pistols aimed at the congregation. Charles' answer was simply to demand punishment for those who refused to obey his orders concerning the use of the new Prayer Book. All petitioners against the Book were to be dispersed and all the nobles who had resisted its use were to submit to the King's Will. The unwise and ill-advised King of England and Scotland had not reckoned with the strength of his opposition.

In Edinburgh, the National Covenant was written by a committee drawn from representatives from the clergy, the nobles, the gentry and the Scottish burghs. It was known as the Tables. Briefly, the document, signed on what was called "The great marriage Day of this Nation with God," pledged to maintain the True religion." Copies of the Covenant were carried throughout the country; its theological implications often lost. Though it had been signed "with His Majesty's "Authority," it served almost as a declaration of independence from English rule, and let it be known that it was not Charles' representative in Scotland who made decisions, but the Lords of the Tables.

In November 1638, Charles met with the General Assembly in Glasgow. He didn't know what he was in for. The Assembly deposed or excommunicated all bishops and abolished the Prayer Book as "heathenish, Popish, Jewish and Armenian." Completely unwilling to compromise his position on the Church, Charles once again showed his naiveté by brusquely informing the Assembly that all their decisions were invalid. To enforce his commands, he decided on war. By this further example of rashness, he sealed his fate.

When King Charles I was executed, despite the antagonism he had cause north of the border, the Scottish people were not too happy: after all, despite his faults, he had been King of Scotland as well as King of England. Taking immediate action, Lord Argyll continued his strange alliance of King and Covenanter by having the 18 year-old Prince Charles proclaimed king at Edinburgh. Montrose, who had been in exile, returned to raise another army in support of the new king. He should have left alone, for with his band of local recruits and Irish mercenaries he was betrayed by "ane of his auld acqeuntance" and easily defeated. Such was the complicated state of affairs in the mish-mash of divided loyalties in Scotland. Montrose was hanged and quartered as a traitor to the King he had served so loyally.

In 1650, Charles II duly arrived in Scotland to claim his Kingdom. He must have known that this was totally unacceptable to Oliver Cromwell, who had assumed the title of Lord Protector. Cromwell invaded Scotland, defeated the Scots under General Leslie and marched on Edinburgh. The Covenanters, no doubt trusting that God would preserve their cause, would not admit defeat and on New Year's Day, 1651 they crowned Charles II at Scone and raised a sizeable army to defend him.

It was the Highlanders once again who composed the bulk of the army and it was the Highlanders who once again were slaughtered. At Inverkeithing, after the Lowland cavalry had fled, the MacLeans stood and fought the English army to the last man. They lost 760 clansmen out of 800 in another lost cause. Cromwell now occupied all of Scotland south of the Firth of Forth. He then departed to deal with the Scottish army that been looking for support in England, leaving General Monk in charge. Cromwell caught up with the Scottish army at Worcester on September 3, 1651. He destroyed it. A few days earlier, Monk had captured the Committee of the Estates, the remnant of the Scottish Parliament and had occupied Dundee. The continent now became a refuge for yet another Scottish monarch, as Charles II fled to France. He was to return nine years later.

While the king in exile "went on his travels," as he put it, Cromwell was setting up an efficient system of government in both kingdoms. A Treaty of Union in 1652 united Scotland with England and made it part of the Commonwealth. It had also abolished the monarchy. Though he established an efficient and orderly regime, the unpopular, Puritanical Cromwell was a harsh and ruthless ruler. When he died in 1658, the country was ready for a return to good old-fashioned monarchy.

At the request of General Monk, Charles II came back to claim his throne. Alas, like his father before him, he had little interest in Scotland, preferring to govern it through a Privy Council situated in Edinburgh and a Secretary at London. He also considered Presbytery as "not a religion for gentlemen." It is a constant source of astonishment to the modern reader how little Charles knew about the deep roots of Presbyterianism that had been planted in Scotland and how strongly the Covenanters would fight all attempts to return Scotland to episcopacy. His years in exile had taught him very little.

As King of Scotland, Charles signed two Covenants in 1649 merely to secure his own coronation. When he restored James VI's method of himself choosing the Committee of Articles, he not only tried to strengthen his position in relation to Parliament, but also to bring back the bishops and restore the system of patronage that chose ministers. All ministers chosen since 1649 were required to resign and to reapply for their posts from the bishops and lairds. One third of all Scottish ministers refused and held services in defiance of the law. Troops were sent to enforce the regulations but their presence only made the Calvinist Covenanters more eager to serve their God in their own way. In 1679, claiming to be obeying a command from on high, they murdered Archbishop Sharp.

The government decided to intervene to bring the rebels to heel. An army was sent to deal with them under the command of James, Duke of Monmouth (an illegitimate son of the King). He defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Brig and the survivors were dealt with severely. The reaction and counter-reactions that followed gave the period of the 1680's the title of "The Killing Time." Charles died in 1685 to be succeeded by his brother James VII (James II of England).

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