Feb 4 Scotland will vote on breaking away from
the rest of the United Kingdom in a referendum set for Sept. 18.
In the biggest test of national unity since most of Ireland
broke away from the U.K. nearly a century ago, Scottish
residents over the age of 16 will be asked: "Should Scotland be
an independent country? Yes or No?".
The British government in London is opposed to independence,
saying Scotland is better off staying within the union with
England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Following is a timeline of milestones in relations between
the Scots and the rest of Britain.
1st Century AD - First written records of Scottish history
when Romans invade and seize much of the island of Britain, with
Emperor Hadrian building Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast.
North of the wall is Caledonia and partly occupied by the Picti.
3rd Century - After many battles, the Romans all but depart
the land that came to be known later as Scotland.
5th Century - Gaels or Scoti originating from Northern
Ireland raid and settle north of the River Clyde.
8th Century - All Scotland's kingdoms overthrown to some
extent by Vikings, forcing the Picti, Scoti and other tribes to
unite in the 9th Century to form the Kingdom of Scotland.
12th Century - Anglo-Norman barons including the Bruce
family lay claim to much of mainland Scotland.
1296-1328 - First War of Independence. Scots led by William
Wallace try to throw off English influence after King Edward I
of England invades Scotland in 1296. The next year Robert the
Bruce leads a revolt and after years of war Scotland defeats the
English at Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
1328 - Scotland's independence is recognised.
1332-1357 - Second War of Independence.
1603 - Union of the Crowns. Accession of James VI, King of
Scots, to the thrones of England and Ireland and unification for
some purposes of the three realms under a single monarch.
1695 - Bank of Scotland is founded a year after Bank of
1707 - The Treaty of the Union creates the United Kingdom of
Great Britain, the parliamentary union of England - which for
administrative purposes also encompasses the Principality of
Wales - with Scotland. It takes effect on May 1 but Scotland
retains its own legal and educational systems.
1715 - The first Jacobite uprising. British forces crush an
attempt by Scottish supporters of the exiled House of Stuart to
regain the throne.
1745-46 - The second Jacobite uprising aimed at putting
"Bonnie Prince Charlie" Stuart on the British throne ends in
defeat at the battle of Culloden.
1916 - The "Provisional Government of the Irish Republic"
proclaims Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom.
1922 - Anglo-Irish Treaty establishes Irish Free State and
Northern Ireland. The latter remains in the United Kingdom.
1934 - Scottish National Party (SNP) is founded.
1945 - SNP gains first seat in parliament at Westminster.
1950 - Stone of Destiny, traditionally used during the
coronation of British monarchs, taken from Westminster Abbey by
four Scots students and taken back to Scotland for the first
time since being looted by Edward I's army in 1296. Amid public
outcry, the Stone is found and returned to London.
1952 - Elizabeth II becomes queen of the United Kingdom.
1973 - United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community
which is later renamed the European Union.
1973 - Kilbrandon Commission recommends devolved assemblies
for Scotland and Wales after four-year inquiry.
1975 - First North Sea oil is produced.
1979 - A referendum on Scottish devolution is held but does
not achieve the necessary 40 percent of the electorate. The SNP
experiences an electoral decline during the 1980s.
1989 - Introduction of the Poll Tax by Margaret Thatcher's
Conservative government helps revive the independence movement.
1996 - Stone of Destiny formally returned to Scotland by the
British Government and put on display at Edinburgh Castle.
1997 - Referendum shows overwhelming support for a separate
Scottish Parliament with tax-raising powers.
1998 - Scottish Act assigns devolved powers to a Scottish
1999 - Elections for first 129-member Scottish Parliament
with Labour winning 56 seats and the SNP 35 seats.
2004 - Royal opening of new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.
2007 - Launch of National Conversation on Scotland's
Constitutional Future by Scottish Government.
2007 - SNP overturns Labour majority in election, forming a
minority government with 47 seats to Labour's 46 with support
from the Greens on some issues.
2011 - SNP led by First Minister Alex Salmond wins a
majority in the 129-member parliament with 69 seats to Labour's
37, leading to Scotland's first majority government.
Oct 2012 - Edinburgh Agreement is signed by Salmond and
British Prime Minister David Cameron paving the way for a
referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.
Nov 2013 - Scottish government publishes "Scotland's
Future", making the case for independence.
Sept 18, 2014 - Referendum for independence.
(Compiled by London bureau; Editing by Gareth Jones)