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Scots Who Made A Difference

I & J
INNES, MICHAEL (1906-94)
Michael Innes is the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh Stewart. Born in Edinburgh, novelist and literary critic Michael is best known for his detective and mystery stories, including Hamlet, Revenge! (1937). Innes spent ten years in Australia as Jury professor of English at the University of Adelaide. His career as University lecturer took him to Belfast, Washington and Oxford. Prolific author of short satires, novels and radio scripts, Innes' most important works of literary criticism include: Character and Motive in Shakespeare (1949), Eight Modern Writers (1963), Rudyard Kipling (1966), Joseph Conrad (1968) and Thomas Hardy (1971).

IRELAND, JOHN (1435-1500)
The earliest example of original Scots prose came from the pen of John Ireland, theologian, writer and diplomat, known as Johannes de Irlandia, though he was first educated at St. Andrew's. He earned his Doctor of Theology degree at Paris and was used by Louis XI for several diplomatic missions. Upon his return to Scotland, Johannes became private chaplain to first James III and later to James IV. He also took his seat at Parliament. His most famous work came from tutoring his royal charges; it is his treatise on the value of wisdom to temporal rulers, The Meroure of Wyssdome (1490).

JAMES I, KING OF SCOTS (1394-1437)
James, King of Scots from 1406 to 1437, was the son of the poor disabled cripple Robert III, who had left the governing of his country to his brother, the Duke of Albany. Robert had sent his son to France for safety during the regency, but after his ship had been seized by pirates, the youngster was taken to London and held hostage for 18 years, despite being proclaimed James I at his father's death in 1406. When Albany died in 1420, it was time for James to return to Scotland.

The years in exile had taught the new Scottish king many lessons; one of them was to be ruthless in matters of government. During the regency, the Scottish nobility had built up their estates into semi-independent, powerful minor kingdoms. James attempted to redress the balance. He forcibly seized property from the Albany family, ordered the Highland chiefs to a parliament where he had some of them arrested and some executed. He then took over control of the crown's forces in curbing the powers of such as Lord Douglas and the Earl of March.

Building on his successes, James made his principal residence at Linlithgow, making it into a magnificent royal palace. In 1428, he cemented the "Auld Alliance" with France, sending huge numbers of Scots to fight for Charles VII and Joan of Arc against the English. His legislative reforms at home earned him the title of Rex Legifer, the Law Giver. All his zeal, however, in reforming the legal system, regulating finances, raising new taxes and giving his country some semblance of law and order were undone in 1437. The unfortunate king was stabbed to death in a plot involving his uncle, the Earl of Atholl (who was executed for his part in the murder).

The death of James I presents us with yet another "what if?" in Scottish history, for he established the first really strong monarch in his country in nearly a century. An educated ruler, he is accepted as the author of the long poem The Kingis Quair, The King's Book.

James II acceded to the throne at the age of six, and it seemed as if most of his father's restoration of a strong, central authority was lost during the struggles of various Scottish nobles to assert their own authority over the new king.

When James reached the age of 19, it was time for him to take command and try to restore royal authority. Part of his troubles with the Scottish nobles was erased when young Douglas (who had formed alliances with other Scottish lords) was killed by a dagger-wielding friend of the king himself (some sources give the king as the assassin). James then routed all those in Scotland in opposition to his reign. South of the border, the English nation was having its own troubles in the Wars of the Roses. Scotland enjoyed a period of peace, but the foolhardy decision of James to intervene in the English civil wars shattered everything.

When a canon prematurely exploded at the siege of Roxburgh Castle, James lost his life and Scotland lost another chance to settle down and mature politically and economically (it had already begun its intellectual transformation with the founding of its three great universities). Intrigue and counter intrigue then became the order of the day.

James became king in 1460, but was unable to assert any royal authority for nine years. Intelligent, but certainly not suited to govern, his attempts to restore strong central government were strongly resisted by the leading Scottish nobles, who also resented his intellectual tastes and choice of favorites. James lacked strength and confidence. When he foolishly had Albany and Mar arrested on suspicion of treason, English troops came north to restore Albany to his Dukedom. James was captured and many of his supporters put to death.

When Albany fled to France at the departure of the English army, a new group of conspirators arrived on the scene led by Archibald Doublas, Lord Home and the chief of the Clan Campbell. At the battle of Souchieburn, James fell from his horse and was killed by a passer-by. Once again, the nation-state of Scotland was nothing more than a collection of quarreling families, a regency, beset by cronyism and the ever-present intrigue.

The misfortune that brought James IV to the throne caused him to wear an iron chain around his body as a penance. Any doubts about his immaturity and fitness to govern soon disappeared, however, and he proved himself a strong leader, defeating those who opposed him. No doubt because of James's personality and interest in the arts, the great European scholar Erasmus (for a time tutor to one of the king's illegitimate sons) praised the king's intellect and knowledge. An Act of Parliament made it compulsory for men of substance to have their sons educated in arts and law and in 1508 the printing press was introduced into Scotland.

Though much of the Scottish nobility, especially in the Lowlands was switching to English, James learned to speak Gaelic, the language of the Highlands and Western Isles. His country enjoyed enormous prestige, holding the balance of power between ever-warring England and France. He believed that Scotland could lead the way in the glorious cause of freeing Constantinople from Turkish rule. Accordingly, he had the mighty warship the Michael constructed, thus setting in motion the beginnings of a Scottish shipbuilding industry that in later times would become the envy of the world.

In 1501, James chose Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, as his bride following an agreement between the two kings that promised a treaty of perpetual peace and was blessed by the Pope. His continued efforts as peacemaker gave him the title Rex Pacificator. All seemed well in Scotland. Then the dam burst.

England was ruled by the ambitious and ruthless Henry VIII (James's father-in-law), who had entered into an alliance against France with the Pope, the King of Spain and the Doge of Venice. Convinced that the survival of France was essential to the stability of the whole continent, James did not join this alliance. Instead, he renewed the "Auld Alliance" with France that had begun in 1422 under the regency of Albany. When France appealed to its new Scottish partner for help, James foolishly sent an ultimatum to the English king.

Henry's response was typical. He declared himself "the verie owner of Scotland" a land he considered to be held by the Scottish king in homage. James marched south at the head of a large army to teach him a lesson. The result was Flodden, one of the most disastrous battles in Scottish history. James was killed, along with his natural son Alexander, thousands of the best and brightest of Scotland's young men, many of its bravest Highland chiefs, great church leaders and much of its nobility, not to mention the countless dead among the poor peasant ranks (that made up most of the armies of the period) whose losses were felt throughout the land on farm and croft. The outcome of the battle was felt for many years to come and resentments (and the desire for revenge) lasted for centuries.

The sad story of James IV's attempted invasion of his powerful southern neighbor was repeated by his son James V. His small army was routed at Solway Moss in 1542. Things had not been helped by the disaffection of the Protestant nobility, for James had been insistent on upholding Roman Catholicism in a country being swept along by the Reformation that had already conquered most of England. James continued the alliance with France, but most of his reign saw nothing but turmoil as the power struggle between the pro-French party and the pro-English faction continued to divide the country. James died soon after Solway Moss, one week after the birth of his daughter, his only surviving legitimate child -- Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots).

In 1603 James VI of Scotland became the first Stuart king to rule England and the first king to rule both countries. He had become king as the infant son of Mary, Queen of Scots upon her forced abdication in 1567, with the Earl of Moray acting as Regent. Moray was removed by a cousin of the young king, the Duke of Lennox, who tried to make a Catholic of the young king despite the overwhelming conversion of much of the people of Scotland to Protestantism. The idea also upset the rest of the nobility who wished to indoctrinate the young man with contempt for his Catholic mother and a belief in the rights of subjects against their sovereigns. The unrealistic Lennox dreamed of heading a Catholic rising in Britain, aided by France and Spain, but his plans were thwarted when a group of Scottish nobles kidnapped James at Ruthven and forced Lennox to flee the country.

James escaped from Ruthven and had himself proclaimed king in fact, as well as name at Edinburgh. His strength of character enabled him to survive the warring factions of Protestants and Catholics that threatened to destroy his kingdom. In England, he had received a sound education that was effectively utilized by his shrewdness and skill as "universal king" of Scotland. Not only that, when the Ruthven faction returned to Scotland, they managed to inaugurate a coup and set up a kind of coalition government under Chancellor John Maitland, who it was said "kept the king on two grounds sure: never to cast out with the Kirk or with England."

This was sound advice. Above all James wished to see reconciliation among all parties. He emerged as one of the most effective monarchs in the history of his poor country; winning the loyalty of the old nobility (mainly through cajolery and skillful handling of patronage and its many attractive benefits) and by raising a new class of middle men to office. He not only brought the Church under control through the revival of an episcopate appointed by and responsible to the Crown, but took law and order into parts of Scotland where it had hardly ever been effective.

When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, James became King of England as well as Scotland. The kingdom of Great Britain came into existence marking the union of three nations, England, Wales and Scotland. It was a Welshman, William Morris, MP for Caernarfonshire, who was the most vocal advocate that James adopt the title of king or emperor of Great Britain. The new national flag bore the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George (Wales was as usual, ignored), but though the Estates passed an Act of Union in 1607, it was a hundred years before a treaty was signed.

James returned to his native country only once after 1603, on a visit of 1607 in which he made it clear that the Scottish Church must come into line with the Church of England in worship as well as government. In the reign of his son Charles, Scots looked back with fondness and regret to "the wisdom of blessed King James."

No mean scholar himself, James authorized the translation of the scriptures in the stupendous work of scholarship known throughout the English-speaking world as The King James Bible (also called the Authorized Version). The work of a team of 47 distinguished scholars, the book has a profound influence on the development of the English language, setting a standard that has lasted for centuries. Because of its dignified, stately language, entirely fitted to its sacred contents, millions of Christians will accept no other version of the Holy Bible.

The troubles that had been fostering under the reign of Charles II only continued when that king died in 1685 to be succeeded by his brother James VII (James II of England) an openly avowed Catholic. He was welcomed in the Highlands, ever true to the legitimate monarch. And thus the seeds were sown for the Jacobite opposition that blossomed under the next king, the Dutchman William of Orange.

Showing all the signs that he was infected with "the Scottish curse," James VII showed that he had learned nothing from the unfortunate experiences of his predecessors in trying to turn back the clock in matters of religion. His attempts at using the royal prerogative to accord complete toleration to all his subjects, Catholics, Covenanters and Quakers alike may sound like enlightened policy to us, but at the time, in an age of intolerance, it only deepened suspicion of his motives. Opposition to his rule grew rapidly; it was aided by Protestant forces in Holland, where his son-in-law William of Orange had his eye on the thrones of England and Scotland.

The inevitable invasion against the rule of James took place, led by Charles's illegitimate (and Protestant) son, James, Duke of Monmouth. The duke proclaimed himself King at Taunton, but was defeated in the crucial battle of Sedgemoor. His chief Scottish supporter, Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll was executed for his part in the rebellion. However, King James flushed with the success against his chief rival, continued to make himself unpopular. In particular, his support for Catholic initiatives was a challenge to existing privileges and property rights; it was an especially severe test of the strong coalition that had built up between the Crown and the Anglican establishment. Charles II had done his best to keep this alliance alive; it had ensured that his last years were peaceful ones.

James, on the other hand, was too anxious to foment change; he did not take into account the anti-Catholic sentiments of much of the British nation; constant wars with continental powers (Catholic) had built a strong, nationalistic British (and Protestant) state. James' plans for equal civil and religious rights for Catholics were out of the question; his efforts to win widespread support for his policies were totally unsuccessful. William made his decision to intervene in England in early 1688, hoping to be seen as a liberator, not a conqueror. However, his first invasion attempt in mid-October was easily defeated, mainly by the English weather, which destroyed most of his supplies.

Yet it was precisely this weather and the strong northeasterly wind that prevented the British fleet from intercepting the Dutch armies of William landing at Brixham on 5 November. King James, despite having numerical strength in soldiers was forced on the defensive. His weak resolve, poor judgment and ill health caused him to retreat to London, instead of attacking William's vulnerable army.

In the meantime, a series of provincial uprisings did nothing to bolster the morale of James' forces; Derby, Nottingham, York, Hull and Durham declared for William; whose army marched toward London. Showing a complete failure of nerve, James fled to France in mid-December; his forces, twice the size of those of William, rapidly disintegrated. William and Mary, in a joint monarchy, became rulers of Britain. James II and his baby son were debarred from the succession, as were all Catholics.

It was all-too-soon apparent that Williams' success in England did nothing to ensure the compliance of Ireland and Scotland. The cause of the exiled Stuarts became known as Jacobitism, from the Latin for James, Jacobus. During the years 1689-91 James and his supporters controlled part of Britain including most of Ireland. In a series of strategically sound campaigns, William succeeded in having the Jacobites driven from Ireland and Scotland, thus forcing them to become reliant on foreign support. The campaigns against his rule in Ireland began the period of close cooperation with France, both military and politically that continued right up to the '45 rebellion.

The first battle against the new King William was fought in Scotland. In July 1689, at Killiecrankie, a pass that controlled a vital route through the Highlands, the forces of the most active of James's supporters, Viscount Dundee, defeated a much larger royal army led by General MacKay. Sadly, "Bonnie Dundee" was killed in the battle, but the Highlanders' success led the hitherto hesitant clans to flock to James's standard. It was a success that gave them false hopes; without Dundee in command, they failed to exploit the victory at Killiecrankie.

A consequent series of losing skirmishes with British troops, including a defeat at Dunkeld, in a process facilitated by offers of indemnity and greased by healthy bribes, resulted in most of the Highland chiefs swearing allegiance to William in late 1691. Those who did not submit included the MacDonalds, whose fate at the hands of the dastardly Campbells at Glencoe led to a deep and abiding resentment of the Sassennach, the Saxon and his treacherous Lowland companions.

In Ireland, James fared no better. It was there that the decisive battles involving his cause were fought and lost. In a battle that is so well-remembered, the people of Derry resisted the armies of James and allowed William's army, mostly Danish and Dutch mercenaries to control much of the country. Then came the Battle of the Boyne, gleefully celebrated by Ulster's Protestant majority even today in their marches through Catholic neighborhoods. Once more, James had to flee the country, this time for good. The hopes of the Jacobites lived on even after the union of Scotland and England in 1707.

As the son of the deposed monarch, James Francis Edward Stuart claimed the thrones of England and Scotland. His supporters called him James VIII of Scotland and James III of England though he never succeeded in wearing the crown of either country, and his efforts in that direction were only desultory.

James got off to a bad start in life. It was widely believed at his birth that he was an impostor who had been slipped into the Queen's bed in a warming pan in order to provide a Catholic heir to the throne. In 1688, the young prince was taken to France, where his father had set up a court in exile and where Louis XIV proclaimed his guest as King of England in 1701 upon the death of his father.

In 1708, James decided to invade Scotland to claim his kingship, but his ships were driven away by a British fleet. In 1715, his supporters, led by the Earl of Mar, raised a rebellion in support of their "king in exile" and James landed at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire in December. After the uprising had collapsed, however, James went back to the continent, never to return. The Jacobite dream lived on in his son, Charles Edward, the Young Pretender.

Edinburgh-born Francis Jeffrey is best known for his editorship of The Edinburgh Review, the pre-eminent organ of English literary criticism in the early part of the 19th century. Jeffrey had started the influential periodical with Sydney Smith and others in 1802. The success of the paper (despite its savage attacks on the writers of the NW Romanticism, including Byron and Wordsworth) enabled him to enter politics as a Member of the House of Commons where he introduced the Scottish Reform Bill in 1831 that raised the number of Scottish representation from 45 to 53, and greatly extended the franchise from 5,000 to 60,000. Three years later Jeffrey became a judge, assuming the title Lord Jeffrey.

JONES, JOHN PAUL (1747-92)
During the American Revolution, many Scots were loyal to the Crown. John Paul Younger was not one of them. His skills as a fighting sailor are legendary. Born in Galloway, the naval hero began his seafaring career as a cabin boy on a ship to Virginia before becoming chief mate of a slave ship. On a return voyage home after he had quit the slave trade, his successful handling of his ship after the captain and chief mate had died of fever earned him his own master's certificate. Sailing in the Caribbean, after killing the ringleader of a mutinous crew in 1772 upon a vessel he had purchased, John fled the islands and changed his name from John Younger to John Jones. Upon the outbreak of the War of Independence, he was commissioned in Philadelphia as senior lieutenant in the Continental Navy.

Jones' military career was one of distinction; he was allowed to raise the Grand union flag on the Alfred, flagship of the new American fleet. Against the British fleet, he was an unstoppable force, capturing many prizes of war and sinking many others. In 1777 he was given command of the newly built Ranger and sailed for Europe. He continued his string of victories off the British and French coasts, managing to avoid capture and being hailed as a hero in France and the United States.

With a small fleet under his command, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, Jones managed to defeat the British Serapis, though incurring heavy loss of life. This was a stunning victory for the infant republic and a major defeat for the previously invincible ships of His Majesty's Navy. Honors quickly followed both in Europe, where he was made chevalier of France and in America where he was feted in Congress and given a new ship. He also accepted an appointment as rear admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy. Though he died complaining of his lack of recognition and buried in an unmarked grave in Paris, his remains were later escorted back to the US and buried with full honors in Annapolis, Maryland.

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