Personalities and the passing of the Treaty

MPs and political considerations

Scottish MPs often acted out of self-interest when discussing the Treaty.

Scottish nobles learned that even if they did not get a seat in the House of Lords, they would keep their peers’ privileges, such as pensions and immunity from arrest for debt.

Other Scottish MPs received a share of a £20,000 payment from the English Government during the debate process.

Scottish party divisions

James Douglas, 4th Duke of Hamilton
James Douglas, 4th Duke of Hamilton

The strength of the Court Party was important. There were divisions amongst the opponents of Union - the Country Party, led by the Duke of Hamilton, would not work with the Jacobite Party.

The power of the Squadrone Volante meant that every vote on the Treaty was passed. Members of the Squadrone believed they would get a share in the Equivalent(compensation to help towards the increased taxes which Scotland would have to pay) but also were persuaded by the arguments in favour of union during the debates.

Political management

The Duke of Queensberry spied for the English which allowed them to make last minute agreements.

Scottish MPs were aware of the English Army’s movements northwards. This was a reminder that if Union was not accepted then it would be forced on Scotland.