Relationship between Scotland and England

Jacobite MPs

Scottish Jacobite MPs supported James VII and II until his death in 1701. They continually voiced their opposition to the new monarchy - William and Mary and then Anne.

After 1701, some supported further military action to restore the Stuarts to the monarchy:

  • They wanted James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender), son of James VII and II, to become King.
  • He would have become James the VIII and III (but never did).

A set of laws passed one after the other by the Scottish and English Parliaments made relations between the two countries worse.

Law passedCountryDetails
Act of Settlement 1701EnglandDeclared that if Anne, who was heir to the throne, died with no surviving children, the throne would pass into the Hanoverian royal family, rather than pass back to the Stuarts.
Act of Security 1703ScotlandAnne became Queen on William’s death in 1702. The Scots passed this law, that said Scotland would make its own decision about who would be its next monarch.
Act anent Peace and War 1703ScotlandScottish MPs always resented becoming involved in wars that England was fighting. They passed this law which gave the Scottish Parliament, not the monarch, power to declare war or make peace with other countries.
Wool Act 1703 and Wine Act 1703ScotlandThese laws allowed Scotland to continue to trade with European nations, even when England was at war with these countries.
Alien Act 1705EnglandThis law threatened the Scottish Parliament - it demanded that the Scottish Parliament accept the Hanoverian succession and begin negotiations for full Union by Christmas 1705. If this did not happen, Scots who owned land in England or who were regular traders, would lose their right to do so. Scots would therefore be treated as foreigners in England.

MPs and religion

In the Scottish Parliament, MPs expressed fears for the Presbyterian Church.

They were fearful that some English MPs might impose a structure similar to the Church of England on the Scottish Kirk. This could have meant the introduction of archbishops and bishops and a position of power for the monarch within the Church.

This was something which had existed in England since the reforms of King Henry VIII, but had never existed in Scotland.

The appointment of Commissioners

In 1706 a number of Scottish and English politicians called Commissioners were appointed to discuss proposals for a possible Union of Scotland and England.

They drew up a draft Treaty of Union. The draft Treaty had 25 articles or parts.

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