Statutes of Iona
The Statutes of Iona, passed in Scotland in 1609, required that Highland Scottish clan chiefs send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. As a result, some clans, such as the MacDonalds of Sleat and the MacLeods of Harris, adopted the new religion. Other Clans notably the MacLeans of Morvern & Mull, MacDonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, Glengarry, and Glencoe, remained resolutely Roman Catholic.
Amongst the provisions of the statutes were:
- The provision and support of Protestant ministers to Highland Parishes;
- The establishment of hostelries;
- The outlawing of beggars;
- The prohibition of traditional hospitality and strong drink;
- The education of chiefs’ heirs in Lowland schools where they “may be found able sufficiently to speik, reid and wryte Englische"
- Limitations on the bearing and use of arms,
- The outlawing of bards and other bearers of the traditional culture
- The prohibition on the protection of fugitives
In the view of some writers, this enaction was "the first of a succession of measures taken by the Scottish government specifically aimed at the extirpation of the Gaelic language, the destruction of its traditional culture and the suppression of its bearers"
- Cathcart, Alison. "The Statutes of Iona: The Archipelagic Context," Journal of British Studies Jan. 2010, Vol. 49, No. 1: 4–27.
- Gaelic – A past and Future Prospect. MacKinnon, Kenneth. The Saltire Society 1991, Edinburgh. P 46