Talk:Scotland/Archive 5

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dubious statements about act of union

  • "Scotland's legal and educational systems remained separate" (or words to that effect): true, certainly, with regard to the legal system. But was there an educational system in 1707?
  • "England assembled a huge army at the border in case the Scottish voted against it" — firstly, England (in the abstract) couldn't. Quen Anne could, I suppose — but was she proposing to invade herself? This sounds suspiciously like tonypandy. Doops | talk 00:16, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I went ahead and removed this statement (until someone provides a source).--JW1805 00:57, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Good. It is almost certain that there were more troops at the garrison at Berwick-upon-Tweed than usual owing to the tense political situation at the time but styling them "a huge army" is probably over the top. In light of the political situation after the unjustifiable hanging of the captain of the MS Worcester and two of his crew in Leith in 1705, the only alternatives for the English Government were union with Scotland or war with her. Since the English were already fighting the War of the Spanish Succession with the French, they definitely did not want to start a second one with Scotland. Hence the move to political union rather than military conquest. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:37, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Scotland did have an education system in 1707 (she certainly had a number of universities). However, most education was in the hands of the established Church of Scotland, so, as far as I recall (??) no special provision was made for education in the Act of Union - it remained and developed separately, because the Church did. It would thus be more accurate to say 'Scotland's legal system remained separate, and her separate Church ensured that her education system would develop along different lines'. As to your second point – I don’t know (but it does look questionable). --Doc (?) 00:36, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, let me clarify. Of course there were schools and universities before 1707; but they didn't really have anything to do with the government. That's what I meant by "education system": the relatively modern notion that education is a public function. Doops | talk 02:34, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

You seem to be under the illusion that only a government can set up public functions such as an education system. This is not invariably the case. In Scotland the implementation of primary public education was undertaken by the Church during the 17th century. By the time of the Union a complete system was in place. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:26, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Oh, there was universal education in Scotland by 1707? I didn't know that. OK, yeah, that does qualify as a "system," whether set up by the state or the (established) church. Doops | talk 00:37, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
There was universal provision ("a school in every parish"). That's one of the reasons that Scots were so successful internationally during the 18th and 19th centuries. Nobody else had a proper education system until the Prussians set one up in the 1870s. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:43, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Quick question

Is there any artcle on a scottish science centre called Our Dynamic Earth[[1]]? It's in Edinburgh and it contained several interactive sections that relate to different terrains/time periods of earth(i.e. A dinosaur section and a rainforest section). It also contained a kid's play area. I've been there once or twice, and it's pretty good.

There's no mention of it in the Edinburgh article. You might want to ask on that article's talk page. Doops | talk 23:42, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

It's one of the displays at the Royal Museum of Scotland, isn't it ? Oh well, maybe not. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:14, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

No, if memory serves me correct, I believe it to be near the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the new Scottish Parliament, along the road that extends from Cowgate in the direction opposite from the Grassmarket --Grcampbell 16:30, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

edit summaries

Just for the record, Mais oui! — nobody was saying anything about Bell's nationality. The previous wording of that sentence wasn't about the people doing the inventing it was about the place where the inventing was taking place. Doops | talk 04:54, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The point of the above comment was not to criticize the edit but the edit summary, which mischaracterized the previous edit. And once again, I have to put on the record my disapprobation of Mais oui!'s latest edit summary. Again, I make no comment about the content of the edit; but he's called a legitimate attepmpt to edit the article a "test"; which it clearly isn't. Doops | talk 18:52, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Telephone, I

The complaint about telephones is that some people do not consider Bell to be the true inventor and many other people from other countries apparently got there first but didn't patent or commercialise the invention. But whither Bell really invented the telephone is for the telephone page and Bells own biographers to discuss.
There will often be disputes over the nationality of inventors. I had a history teacher who claimed that all "Scottish inventions" were not Scottish because almost all the ones you can name where invented after the inventor had emigrated to or from Scotland. So either they were not from Scotland originally, or else they were from Scotland but then living elsewhere.
To take an example - the Mine detector was invented in Fife in Scotland (Source BBC Program "Coast") by a Polish officer who was stationed there during WWII.

Ultimately, such inventions could be legitimately claimed by both countries. A link to the relevant pages e.g. telephone or Alexander Graham Bell provides the additional information to make the complication clear.
It may be better to reword the paragraph to talk about "inventors form Scotland" rather than the actual inventions. The full list of Scottish inventions is very long and many inventors had more than just the one invention (e.g. reading Bell's biography he invented more than just the telephone).Rincewind42 | talk 21:03, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The reason why the telephone invention can not be on here :

  • The Telephone page here on wikipedia page DOES NOT recognise Bell as the inventor. So how in Gods name can the Scotland page on the same site say that he did? That is totally wrong and very unencyclopedic [2] [3]

I say remove all the inventions in the first paragraph and make a new one with Scottish Inventors or something likewise at the bottom of the article.


Telephone, II

To say that Bell invented the telephone is inconsistant, because the page about the telephone itself does not recognise him as the sole inventor: It is important to note that there is probably no one "inventor of the telephone." The modern telephone is the result of work done by many hands, all worthy of recognition of their addition to the field.

sigh.. I'm going to remove the telephone entry again.......

But this page Alexander Graham Bell does clame Bell as the inventor. Before editing the Scotland page to remove the telephone - edit the Alexander Graham Bell page and see what responce you get!

Several of the links showed no Scottish connection, so I've read between the lines and found the relevant Scots. Would this be better as a subsection rather than part of the intro?..dave souza 00:30, 24 September 2005 (UTC)


The wikilink Aberdeenshire directs to a disambiguation page. On the disambiguation page there are two options:

About 130 pages link to Aberdeenshire when they should go directly to one of the options above. Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links would appreciate your help in fixing up this problem, and some Scottish expertise would be useful. --Commander Keane 10:27, 25 September 2005 (UTC)


Just a question - do we have a source to support the claim that Killie are the world's oldest football club? This seems to be claimed by Sheffield FC, formed in 1857. [4], [5]. Can anyone clarify, or is Killie just the oldest in Scotland? --OorWullie 18:12, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Woops - cancel that - RTFM. Just re-read the article, and it says 'professional' football club. --OorWullie 18:18, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Shinty and Ice Hockey

The following has been removed from the article...

Ice Hockey is a direct descendant of shinty, having been invented by shinty playing Scottish Gaels on the frozen lakes of Canada.

...but there may well be something in it. Certainly an ice hockey stick looks nothing like a field hockey stick or a hurling stick (the other two oft-quoted possible ancestors of ice hockey) but it does look identical to a shinty stick. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:21, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

...and the game is known as "shinny" among the older generation. -- Derek Ross | Talk 22:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


sad that people think scotland is in any way independent. it is ENGLISH and forever will be. scotland is to england what palestine is to israel.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:48, 10 October 2005

With people dying in the violence in Palestine every day, I think it is sad that anyone can make such an inept comparison. Scotland is doing well. If it stays in the Union it will continue to do well. If it becomes independent it will also continue to do well. There are serious questions about what is best for Scotland, but don't let's cheapen the debate by pretending to be some kind of persecuted minority. --Doric Loon 21:43, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Scotland Portal

The Scotland Portal is now up and running. It is a project in the early stages of development, but I think it could be a very useful resource indeed, perhaps more for general readers (the vast majority I presume), rather than committed editors, who may be more attracted by the great possibilities of the notice board format: Wikipedia:Scottish Wikipedians' notice board.

Give it a Watch, and lend a hand if you can. It is (hopefully) fairly low-maintenance, but if we run with the "News" section, that will take dedication: time which I cannot commit to presently myself. Most other boxes need replacment/update only weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, plus the occasional refreshment of the Scotland-related categories. Anyway, I assume this is how the other Portals are run, so we can follow their lead.

Please add the following code - {{portal|Scotland}} - to your own User page, and you will have the link to the portal right there for easy access. I will investigate how other portals use shortcuts too.

Assistance from Wikipedians in the rest of the UK, and indeed everywhere, would be greatly appreciated!--Mais oui! 08:53, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

The Clearances

Why are 18th-19th century Clearances of the Highlands of Scotland not mentioned in this article? Thanks, Ginger Helgeson 06:08, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

The Highland Clearances are referenced in the History of Scotland, Scottish Highlands and Scottish Gaelic language articles (among many others). wangi 11:41, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article Candidate?

I think that we should really try to get this article up to Featured standard. It is after all the 37th most linked-to article in the English-language edition of Wikipedia. The criteria are here: What is a featured article, but I think that the sooner we apply the better - even if we fail first-time we should still get a lot of (hopefully) constructive input from experienced Wikipedians.

One big gap is the very first section: History. It is a crucial section, being the first, and yet it has absolutely no introduction or background to the topic: it just leaps straight in at the 14th century (why the 14th?), as though already halfway through a sentence. Why? It is a bit bizarre, and very un-FAC.

What do others think? I think that of the other "gateway" articles Glasgow is more advanced than Edinburgh, and it may actually be a better bet than the Scotland article itself. Should we actually be aiming to bring Glasgow up to FAC status first?--Mais oui! 18:39, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

The history section is a bit below-par, you're right. History of Scotland is pretty good, though - it's a FA, and a reasonably stable one - perhaps we could try pinching their introduction for everything up to 1600/1700, and then adding on what we already have? Shimgray | talk | 19:00, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
History section redrafted, based on what we had plus the intro at History of Scotland. Major current omissions: no mention of the Jacobite Risings or the Scottish Civil War. Could do with losing some wikilinks (it's very heavily linked), plus mentioning the Reformation might be nice. I cut out the list of families and clans; the clans are commented out at the bottom, and could probably be put somewhere. Prune away mercilessly! Shimgray | talk | 22:56, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Some other thoughts -
  • the Miscellaneous section, and probably See Also & ext.links, could do with a major paring down, too; as it is, the bottom third is kind of contentless.
  • Having an actual Economy of Scotland article to break out to rather than a section redlink would be nice. Maybe we could move Banks down here from Culture? It seems surprising we have a section on the economy that doesn't mention Scotland contains one of the world's largest banking groups, which makes enough money to fund the government out of profits...
  • Australia, Belgium, and South Africa may be good articles to look at as examples of mid-sized countries with featured articles
  • Culture seems a bit overwhelming, but I'm not sure what to do about it.
  • A lot of stuff could probably do with citation... hmm, might be worth going through the article noting any not-blatantly-obvious claims made and finding a source.
Generally speaking, though, we seem to have content enough available to us to make a FA out of the page. Worth throwing it at peer review after a bit of quick patching?
For images: Image:Crownparliament.jpg and Image:BankScotland50.jpg are fair-use, Image:Royal Arms of Scotland.png is "we have no idea", everything else looks good. I don't know about the crown, but removing the £50 is probably advisable. Shimgray | talk | 19:41, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Image:Royal Arms of Scotland.png was nabbed from the Balliol college in Oxford website. --Bob 22:12, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. It would actually be really good to have breakout articles for every section: they have been listed at Requested articles at Scottish Wikipedians' notice board for 3 weeks now, but so far only Geography of Scotland has been initiated (it is very good). Economy of Scotland is an absolutely fundamental topic, and we really need someone to make a good start at that article. I will look at WikiProjects and other "Economy of " articles and see if we can find a template.

Peer review in the next few days, after some of the work you have outlined, seems a very good 2nd step along the road to FAC.--Mais oui! 20:57, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

All those links at the bottom of the article ought to be shunted off to a new article: List of Scotland-related topics.--Mais oui! 21:03, 15 November 2005 (UTC)


User Brian0918 added the following template at the top of the article today, with the Edit summary "This often-viewed article has no References section. Its content should be thoroughly sourced. See WP:CITE for methods of citation":


Much as I dislike the ugly great sign that it produces (I support User:Wangi who then moved it to near the bottom), I must admit that the man does have a good point. As a "Top 40" article, the Scotland article should really be exemplary. I personally have written almost none of the article, just contributing minor edits. Could the principal writers please stick their hands up and tell us where you got most of your material from. What are the very best, authoritative sources out there, both online and old-fashioned paper?

As a framework, here are the main sections. Could the relevant writers of those sections please provide the relevant sources for each section. Also add any other excellent sources you are aware of. Please remember to sign.

Thanks.--Mais oui! 17:01, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

References Used




Wormald, J., The New History of Scotland, London 1981
Smout, T.C., A History of the Scottish People, Fontana 1969
Scottish Population History from the 17th Century to the 1930s, CUP 1977



Government and politics




Burleigh, J., A Church History of Scotland
Spottiswood, J., The history of the Church of Scotland


National symbols


Could some of you Scots please go over to Talk:Turnip and just clarify Scottish usage there? (No need to discuss it here, though!) --Doric Loon 15:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


A recent edit has placed the inventions section in the introductory section. User (talk) did this, explaining that Especially for non-scots, Scotland's contribution to the world is very important, and considering that most readers will not go past the intro, the 'inventions' section should go here. In my view, and I do not care that much, this isn't a good reason, and looks like a nationalistic boast. I do not see the same phenomenon in other country articles. Should this be in the Scotland one? And why then confine it to inventions? - Calgacus 17:57, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

It used to be in the lead section, but was moved to a separate "Scottish Inventions" section fairly recently. I think it is much better placed in a separate section rather than the lead. It should be retained though, because we have a long and proud history of major contributions to modern society through the inventions of Scots. 18:09, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm fine with that; my only real objection was its presence in the lead section. Calgacus 18:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Boxing Day additions

Two users have added a very large quantity of additional text today, taking an article that was already far too long, to a highly counterproductive 59 Kilobytes. I note that most of it was added to the History subsection, which had been copied largely from the excellent History of Scotland article, which is a Featured article. These subsections at the main Scotland article are meant to be a very brief and concise introduction to each topic (ideally only 2 or 3 paragraphs), not an article in their own right. I would like to request that the two users concerned (one of whom is new to Wikipedia) remove the new material to the relevant main articles, which are highlighted at the top of each section. If no suitable article exists, create one as a sub-article of the sub-articles and categorise, link and stub-mark them, so that others can easily find them..

This article is moving further and further away from featured article status with every addition. We really need to be cutting large quantities of text from this artcle, not adding to it.

(Just a minor point, but please avoid Americanised spellings in articles covering European topics.)--Mais oui! 09:46, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

My edits were almost totally a response to the edits of others. I added little text. I agree it should be trimmed somewhat, although the history section still needs something for the period preceeding the 12th century, as the land existed 400-1100 just as much as it did afterwards. Roughly half the history section now deals with the 17th century. In fairness to Benarty, he was responding to a request in the text. Perhaps we ought to discuss here somekind of outline of Scottish history. - Calgacus 09:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I hope it isn't seriously being suggested that there can be an article on Scotland without reference to event of the magnitude of the 1745 Jacobite Rising? :) That is the level of glaring omission that I addressed (as noted above by Calgacus) in response to a request for someone to do exactly that within the text. I'll trim back some of what I added but it seems to me that there are several sections like Etymology, Geology, Banking and Currency that are prime candidates to either be jettisoned completely or trimmed back substantially if article length has become a major issue. Benarty 11:04, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Benarty, do you reckon we can cut some of the later parts of the history section? A section needs to be added on pre-Norman Scotland, and the post-17th century part is far too bulky. - Calgacus 11:20, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Please don't just "cut" excess copy. That is not what I was meaning. Please cut from this main article and paste it into the relevant sub-article(s). or make new ones--Mais oui! 11:24, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I didn't think you were meaning that. I don't care what happens to it, I'm just trying to achieve more balance in this article's historical section without increasing the size of it. I thought you of all people would be for that, no? - Calgacus 11:28, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I am very much in favour of drastic reductions in the quantity of copy, especially in the History section, which is way, way too long. Cut away! (but if it is decent info, just don't bin it.)
This is the instruction for History sections at Wikipedia:Wikiproject Countries:
  • History - A brief outline of the major events in the country's history (about 4 to 6 paragraphs should do), including at least a paragraph on the current events going on there. Link to "History of X".
(bolding is my emphasis)--Mais oui! 11:36, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I shortened the later sections. I will rework the medieval sections too, as the French period is now perhaps too long. Then a section about Scotland between the Romans and Normans can be added - Calgacus 11:45, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Maybe worth bearing in mind that we are dealing with almost 2000 years worth of events in the history section. I don't see much that doesn't belong. There are other sections that appear to me to be way too long right now. Etymology after the first reference to the Anglo-Saxon chronicle is overkill. Is the fact that a school in Glasgow has the largest school roll in Europe or that Kilmarnock is Scotland oldest professional football club really significant enough to merit inclusion here? Are Tizer and Limeade etc really Scottish icons? Benarty 11:47, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Tizer is as uniquely Scots as Irn Bru. Limeade you'll find lots of places.
I removed or changed the bits of history that I didn't like and tweaked a couple of other bits. Calgacus can always change them back. The bit that claimed that primogeniture was some sort of Anglo-Norman trojan horse seemed odd. I removed the ref to the Maid of Norway being Queen Regnant as Archie Duncan says she was not (Kingship of the Scots, p307 "But the pretence that she [Margaret] had been queen was not revived.").
I'm not sure that the paragraph on the cultural split needs to be there. The cultural split is probably rather old between the the land east of the mountains and those on the west side if you accept that the Scots Dalriadans were local Gaels and not Irish ones. Angus McLellan 17:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries

If we are to aspire to get this article to Featured standard, then it may be wise for us to consider the guidelines provided at Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries.

In particular, to the Article structure and the Article template sections at that Wikiproject.

For example, here are some relevant passages:

  • Lead section

The article should start with a good introduction, giving name of the country, location in the world, bordering countries, seas and the like. Also give other names by which the country may still be known (for example Holland, Persia). Also, add a few facts about the country, the things that it is known for (for example the mentioning of windmills in the Netherlands article). If the etymology of a country's name is too long to explain in the lead section, split it out into a separate section (titled "Name" or similar). Naming disputes can also be handled in separate sections.

  • Sections

The rest of the article should consist of a few short paragraphs. These paragraphs should give an outline of the history/politics/etc. of the country and link to a full article on them.

  • The sections are:
    • History
    • Politics
    • Subdivisions
    • Geography
    • Economy
    • Demographics
    • Culture
    • Miscellaneous topics
    • External links

I note that we are missing demographics and subdivisions. --Mais oui! 11:55, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

As of [this edit] , text is down to 41 kilobytes, is much reorderded, and the history section is moreover of proper size and balance. I will leave the two missing sections to others. - Calgacus 15:26, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
40 kilobytes now with brief Subdivisions and Demographics sections added. Benarty 16:31, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Proof read urgently required: 130 edits in less than 24 hours

Over 130 edits have been made on one single day (today, 27 dec 2005, and it is still only 8pm), in addition to a very large number of edits yesterday. I would like to request that all editors of this article give the entire article a very thorough proof-read.--Mais oui! 20:10, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. There needs to be some mechanism for keeping the text down at or below 39 kilobytes. Unless it is monitered, the text will eventually spiral back to the 50s region, through people adding clarifications, promotions of their own interests and nationalistic boasts. - Calgacus 00:08, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Will do on the proof read. I've added a map of the pre-Norman kingdoms to replace the harp. See what you think. I think it makes the text easier to follow for people who are not 100% clear on where these early kingdoms were. Benarty 06:26, 28 December 2005 (UTC)