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1000 years of history.

Scotland is a little country - but we have packed a lot into our land over the last 1000 years.

A lot of our early past was bloody, thanks to an eagerness to pick a fight with a handy enemy - the Norsemen, the English, the Irish, the English, ourselves and, of course, the English.

Most of the last millennium, we can be proud of - the great institutions of Scots law, religion and education, the achievements of our thinkers, writers and inventors.

Which is why, from this week, The Record will be highlighting events in Scottish history which have shaped our lives.

Every Saturday we will take a fresh look at a dramatic moment in our history - at the battles, the kings and queens, the ground-breaking inventions which make Scotland the country it has become.

And we start today with a look behind Macbeth the myth at the real king who ruled Scotland at the beginning of the first millennium.

There has been a lot to be ashamed of - the blood-letting among brother Scots, the bigotry, the brutality of the Clearances and blighted poverty of the underclasses who are still with us.

Any history of Scotland begins by being written in blood. The Millennium started with Malcolm II King of Picts and Scots defeating the Danes at Mortlach in Banffshire.

Nearly 300 years later, we were still at it. William Wallace and his men bared their bums to the English at Stirling (or maybe they didn't) and Braveheart was born.

And the last battle fought on British soil was in Scotland - the Battle of the Braes in 1882 when the crofters of Skye took on the imported Glasgow police over the eviction of people for sheep.

In modern times we gave that Westminster Parliament leaders from far left to the Old Right - Keir Hardie of the ILP, Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister.

But it is in the worlds of the arts and sciences that Scotland has bequeathed its real genius.

You want writers? Aapart from Burns, Scott, Byron and Stevenson, no library should be without Scott's Waverley novels, Stevenson's tales of adventure and terror Grassick Gibbons' A Scots Quair, and Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and (why not?) Neil Munro's Para Handy tales.

Theatre? The playlist runs from the 15th century Sir David Lindsay's The Thrie Estates through Barrie's Peter Pan down to John Byrne's The Slab Boys and Tony Roper's The Steamie.

The first medical chair in Britain was established at Aberdeen University in the 15th century. Since then we have had many Scots medics to thank, not least James Simpson for the blessing of anaesthesia, Joseph Simpson for sterilisation and Alexander Fleming for penicillin.

We practically invented modern engineering and technology. James Watt's steam engine, Graham Bell's telephone and Logie Baird's television are all well enough known.

But what about the bicycle, the steam hammer, radar, the adhesive postage stamp, the waterproof Mac, the speedometer, the ice-making machine which made may for the modern fridge, the lawnmower and marmalade?

All invented by Scots.

We can even take credit for the first automobile accident - a 19th century roadhog John Scott Russell caused it.

This is just to skim the last 1000 years of Scottish history. It would take nearly a year to do us justice.

Luckily, that is just what we have ground-breaking inventions which make Scotland the country it has become.

And we start today with a look behind Macbeth the myth at the real king who ruled Scotland at the beginning of the first millennium.

Any history of Scotland begins by being written in blood. The millennium started with Malcolm II, King of Picts and the Scots defeating the Danes at Mortlach in Banffshire.

Nearly 300 years later, we were still at it. William Wallace and his men bared their bums to the English at Stirling (or maybe they didn't) and Braveheart was born.

The last battle fought on British soil was in Scotland - the Battle of the Braes in 1882 when the crofters of Skye took on the imported Glasgow police over the eviction of people for sheep.

In modern times, we gave that Westminster Parliament leaders from far left to the Old Right - Keir Hardie of the ILP, Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister.

But it is in the worlds of the arts and sciences that Scotland has bequeathed its real genius.

You want writers? Apart from Burns, Scott, Byron and Stevenson, no library should be without Scott's Waverley novels, Stevenson's tales of adventure and terror Grassick Gibbons' A Scots Quair and (why not?) Neil Munro's Para Handy tales.

Theatre? The playlist runs from the 15th-century Sir David Lindsay's The Thrie Estates through Barrie's Peter Pan down to John Byrne's The Slab Boys.

Medicine has many Scots to thank, not least James Simpson for the blessing of anaesthesia, Joseph Simpson for sterilisation and Alexander Fleming for penicillin.

We practically invented modern engineering. James Watt's steam engine, Graham Bell's telephone and Logie Baird's television are all well enough known.

But what about the bicycle, the steam hammer, radar, the adhesive postage stamp, the waterproof Mac, the speedometer, the ice-making machine, the lawnmower and marmalade?

All invented by Scots.

We can even take credit for the first automobile accident - a 19th century roadhog John Scott Russell caused it.

This is just to skim the last 1000 years of Scottish history. It would take nearly a year to do us justice.

Luckily, that is just how long we have ...
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Brown, Tom
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 16, 1999
Words:911
Previous Article:Macbeth: Man behind the myth.
Next Article:Slick Cagney at his best; FILM CHOICE.


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