The Scotti: the Latin name for the gaelic language (Q-celt) from Ireland (Hibernia) 5th Century
The Scotti (from whom the name Scotland gets its name) arrived in the late 5th century from the north of Ireland and expanded the kingdom of Dial-riata into the Clyde Estuary and Argyllshire with Dunnad Hill Fort as a stronghold. From here the Gaelic(q-celt) language spread throughout Scotland. Little is known about the coming together of the Picts and the Scots and references to Picts as a separate entity had died out by the 11th century. The name Scotland appears early in the middle ages.
St Columba, an Irish monk, brought Christianity to Scotland in 563. The island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland became the centre of his evangelising mission to the Picts and became the burial place of the early kings of Scotland.
The Angles 6th Century - Language
We will never know to what extent the Germanic tribes from Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein settled in Northumberland (originally the east coast of England north of the river Humber and extending into the east coast of Scotland as far as the River Forth, covering the Scottish Borders and the Lothians (inc. Edinburgh), The northern part of Northumberland (north of the River Tweed was gifted to Scotland circa1018. This boundary would be disputed between Scotland and England frequently, with Berwick upon Tweed changing hands twelves times until finally taken by Henry VIII of England in 1482. The present boundary is 2.5 miles north of the town.
As Scotland and England became more distinct, this Northumbrian Germanic language evolved into Scots in parallel with English., With its own set of dialects and distinctive grammar it reached its height in the early 17th century before converging into English following the Union of the crowns when the Scottish court moved south to London. There are still debates on whether Scots is a language or dialect of English. Most Scots speak Standard Scottish English and it is now recognised as a minor European language. And after years of being told to speak properly, Scots is now being taught in Schools.
The Vikings 8th -15th Century
The influence of the Norse invasions can be seen in the Islands off the north and west of Scotland. Scotland ruled the mainland, Norway controlled the islands ceding Orkney in 975 from the Picts and capturing the islands of Dal-riata. From 11th century onwards the Norse jarls (Earls) vowed allegiance both to Norway for Orkney and to the Scottish crown for their holdings as Earls of Caithness in Sutherland and Caithness.
From the beginning of the 12th century the western island region had lain within the Norwegian realm, ruled by magnates who recognised the overlordship of the Kings of Norway. Scotland had been trying to purchase the the Hebrides since 1240. The Islands formed an important supply chain all the way down into the Irish sea to Viking colonies in Dublin and the Isle of Man. With talks getting nowhere, the Scots threatened to take the islands by force. As a result Norway sent a fleet to invade.
On the 2 October 1263, 'Battle of Largs' between kingdoms of Norway and Scotland near Largs, Ayrshire. Although indecisive, three years after the battle, with the conclusion of the Treaty of Perth, Magnus Hakonarson, King of Norway ceded Scotland's western seaboard to Alexander III, and thus the centuries-old territorial dispute between the consolidating kingdoms was at last settled.
In 1468 Margaret, daughter of Christian I of Denmark, in his capacity as king of Norway, was betrothed to James III of Scotland. Orkney and Shetland, both territories, were pledged as collateral for Margaret's dowry. The dowry was never paid, and the islands became Scottish territory.
What about the Normans?
One of the inconvenient truths about history is that there is no black and white and so it is with even seasoned Historians trying to explain English history and then pinning on the Scottish and Welsh bits that run contrary to the idea of British history as if it were one history; so, can we leave 1066 and all that to the English. Yes, it did have serious consequencies on Scotland. Many English nobles fled to Scotland. The king of Scots, Malcolm III, married the exiled Margaret of Wessex (later St Margaret, sister of the uncrowned deposed king of England.). Their daughter, Matilda of Scotland, married Henry I of England (son of William the Conquer). David I of Scotland (1124–1153), youngest son of Malcom and Margaret, married Matilda (great-niece of William the Conqueror) and was given land and titles in England. He saw the benefit of inviting Norman families to settle in Scotland and bring new farming techniques, law, government structures and architecture. As a result, unlike England, the Scottish Royal dynasty remained intact.
Meanwhile, the Highlands, a law unto themselves, remained exactly as they were, isolated, and the division between Highland and Lowland culture grew...
DID YOU KNOW?
The Gaelic term for Scotland is Alba (pronounced Alpa) meaning "white" referred to Pictland then Scotland as a whole. Originally, it referred to the whole of Britain (also Albion from the white cliffs of Dover which can be seen from France) but as the Romans gained ground, it came to mean that part of Britain not yet incorporated into the Roman Empire.