Cycnos | Volume 25 n°2 - 2008 Britishness - Whence and Whither? 

Steve Murdoch  : 

Anglo-Scottish Culture Clash? Scottish Identities and Britishness, c.1520-1750


When discussing identity, particularly perceptions of identity, one immediately enters into something of an academic minefield.  This article sets out to challenge many of the prevailing assumptions pertaining to Scottish, British and, to a lesser extent, English identity in the early modern period. Taking as a starting point the infamous Jacobite Rising of 1745, it reviews particular episodes which reveal the Highlanders concerned as loyal Hanoverian Britons and with Lowlanders as the main Jacobite insurgents at given times. Having thus exposed alternative possibilities pertaining to Scottish and British identity in the mid-eighteenth century, the article returns to the roots of Britishness and the role of Scots in formulating it. Fresh research is injected into the ongoing and often heated debate surrounding British identity resulting in some alternative and refreshing insights into Anglo-Scottish relations. Perhaps surprisingly these were not as hostile as often portrayed, even during time when the populations of Scotland and England found themselves at war.


keywords : Anglo-Scottish relations , Britishness, Jacobites, Scotland


Texte intégral

1When discussing identity, particularly perceptions of identity, one immediately enters into something of an academic minefield. Nonetheless there are good reasons to review the issues of identity in a British context, not least as a result of the ongoing debates which have been raging about the subject since the opening of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999. One thing that seems clear from this scholarly (and often less than scholarly) renewed interest is that there is an underlying assumption that a concept of Britishness emerged, developed and is now suffering from some sort of irreconcilable clash of cultures which pits the Irish, Welsh and Scot against the larger and more powerful neighbour of England. Yet throughout the early modern period we also witness an undeniable movement towards bringing Scotland and England closer together into what would eventually become Great Britain in 1707. That process took the better part of two centuries to come to fruition and only after numerous contesting claims and projections of British identities at local, national and supra-national level had been addressed.

2There is no doubt that whether culturally transferred, informed by education or prejudicially acquired, most people have developed notions of identity attached to particular places. So it can often be with modern authors be they sociologists, historians, political commentators, actors and newsreaders all keen to let us know ‘this is how it is (or was)’ with regard to aspects of Scottish, English and British identity. For example, the actor Sir Sean Connery, a long term supporter of Scottish Independence, released his co-authored book Being a Scot in 2008 to mixed reviews which nonetheless describe the work as “a detailed, fascinating and beautifully designed study of Scottish culture and identity”.1 In a similar vein, the television presenter Jeremy Paxman has given us a volume on The English, undoubtedly a reaction to the rise (as Paxman sees it) of Scottish and Welsh nationalism which has left the English with something of a collective crisis of national identity.2 The London-based Scot and political commentator Andrew Marr decided to give us his History of Modern Britain.3 More of a political history than the title indicates, it is so firmly ‘British’ in its language that one wonders if it could only have been written by an Anglo-Scot with children born and brought up in England – a point Marr himself has suggested several times on television interviews. Perhaps what all these authors have omitted is the rather large caveat in bold letters at the top of each page which reminds us that their views on British cultural and political identity are just that – their own idiosyncratic perspectives. In all probability there are likely to be as many Scots and English (or self-declared Britons) who reject the views of Connery, Paxman and Marr as embrace them. Despite this these three have chosen to exploit their public personas to sometimes sermonise their views to us. And in this they are no different to historians. We cannot help but let ourselves be influenced in our thinking on identity by numerous factors including our own upbringing, education and cultural assumptions. These factors become more acute when we reduce ourselves to thinking in generalities which often serve to distort the realities of our past and thus influence present day thinking. Thus in history books (both popular and academic) highly nuanced events which require detailed analysis are simplified down to such a point that they can often distort the actual events under discussion. That said, there is a growing understanding by historians that pluralistic arenas in which individuals could express concentric loyalties on a variety of levels have been the norm for both the indigenous and the migrant Scottish communities throughout the early modern period.4 It has been argued that lordship, lineage and locality often competed with the greater sense of patria while those at the political ‘centre’ of the country perhaps felt less need to express any regional identity.5 More problematic in terms of identity is how one can add in the confessional dimension. The period from the Scottish reformation of 1560 until the Claim of Right of 1689 (and subsequent Presbyterian settlement in the Union of 1707) witnessed radical shifts in Scottish church government that saw the Roman Catholic Church being variously replaced by a series of successive forms of Protestantism, often Episcopal and sometimes Presbyterian in nature (and intermittently a compromise of both).6 Nonetheless there is a lingering belief that Scotland has implicitly remained a Calvinist country since 1560; “Scotland: Kirk and People” united as one.7 This somehow denudes Catholics and Episcopalians of their rights to Scottish identity. A question we must therefore pursue is how these historical assumptions of confessional loyalty and regional affiliation translated to the historical realities of the various peoples of the regions under discussion.

3In a Scottish context one need only think of the role of the Gaelic-speaking Highlander in Scottish (and British) history to find an interesting case study where cultural assumptions often lead to erroneous conclusions. Commonly the Gaels (Highlanders) are perceived as a peripheral cultural group and, historically, one in perpetual rebellion against the Scottish (later British) governments. Some academics go as far as to say they were somehow not really Scottish until the crushing of the last Jacobite uprising in April 1746.8 Conversely, other authorities on the subject argue that most Highlanders were not even supporters of the Jacobites by the 1740s anyway.9 Apart from those who were non-participant or simply ambivalent to the rising, there were many active pro-Hanoverian Gaels in the Duke of Cumberland’s forces fighting for ‘their’ protestant Britain. Nonetheless, many writers in both Scotland and England seem happy to conflate Scots with Jacobites and then Jacobites with Highlanders and Highlanders with Catholics (or Episcopalians) without really discussing the fact that most Scots were anti-Jacobite while Jacobitism had many supporters in England and Ireland.10 Nor are the complexities of confessionalism properly addressedin many studies.

4By way of two examples which should help identify the complexity, one might consider the Battle of Inverurie on 23 September 1745 where the British Government forces were composed of 500 clansmen led by Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan and a handful of Aberdeenshire volunteers.11 They were confronted by the Jacobites led by Lord Lewis Gordon, comprising a force of Lowland (largely Episcopalian) militia with a sprinkling of Highland volunteers and two companies of French (Catholic) regulars.12 The Jacobites won this battle, yet this was clearly a Scottish Lowland victory over Gaels fighting for the Hanoverian (Presbyterian) government in Scotland. Similarly, at Culloden itself, the most effective military action of 16 April 1746 was undoubtedly the manoeuvre by the Argyll Militia down the wall to the east of the battlefield. This move allowed these Presbyterian Highlanders to pour murderous flanking fire into the regiment of Cameron of Lochiel “and so the last battle of the ‘Forty-Five ended with a clan fight, Cameron against Campbell”.13 Importantly however, we should not forget that Lochiel’s regiment was composed of Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and Episcopalians which suggests that other factors of loyalty came into play.14 At Culloden the Campbells fought for Protestant Britain against fellow Gaels as they had done the century before. This has earned them a bad press among Gaelic partisans of which one Irish scholar wrote they were “Gaeil ag troid ar son na Galltachta in aghaidh Gaeltachta” – Gaels fighting for the Lowlands against the Highlands.15 Yet in the corpus of Gaelic literature it has been argued that the one thing we can deduce “from the evidence of Gaelic tradition is that the integrity of Alba, Scotland, is never in question”.16 One might therefore conclude that the position of the Campbells of Argyll was that of loyal Scottish subjects seeking to defend Scotland against any insurgency that might threaten the nation – surely challenging notions of the rebellious Gael image regardless of prevailing stereotypes.

5The loyalty of many Scottish Highlanders to the Scottish and later British governments goes some way to understanding the complexities of identity in Scotland. When a similar review of Scottish identity is taken once the British dimension is added, we are again confronted by a wealth of sources telling us of the exclusivity of Scottish and English identities and a British landscape marked by bigotry and loathing. As one English scholar charmingly put it, “the flourishing hatred between the English and the Scots … had by no means faded up to the beginning of the nineteenth century”.17 If that was the case, and considering those Scots and English who actually got along, engaged with, traded with and intermarried each other,18 where does that leave our understanding of Scottish and British identity in the early modern period?

British Identities 1521-1750

6The pages of British history books are replete with attachment to the concept of ‘Scotland’ or ‘England’ by various patriots.19 While often revealing itself in times of crisis and through pressures exerted by social hierarchy, attachment to Scotland could also disclose itself spontaneously. For example one group of Scots serving abroad – mixed Highlanders and Lowlanders – demonstrated their patriotic attachment to Scotland by refusing to fight under the Danish flag in 1627 while in the King of Denmark’s service. They feared that carrying foreign colours would lead them to be considered as mercenaries and disloyal to their own nation. Colonel Robert Monro, a Gael, recorded in his diary that:

His Majesty [of Denmark] would have the officers to carry the Dane’s crosse, which the officers refusing […] Captain Robert Ennis was sent into England to know his Majestie of Great Britaine’s will, whether or no they might carrie without reproach the Dane’s Crosse in Scottish colours.20

7Charles I reluctantly conceded and asked his Danish uncle to permit the soldiers to fight under the Saltire (the Scottish flag), which was granted.21 Yet while we are able to discuss strong attachments to regional, linguistic and national identities among Scots, Monro here hints that there was another looming identity taking shape among intellectuals in both Scotland and England – and that was Britishness. Ennis was sent into England to know “his Majesty of Great Britain’s will” and the Highlander Monro was quick to define himself as both Scot and Briton throughout his memoirs, though interestingly not as a Highlander.22

8In England there had long been a mythological history which advocated British unionism and identity, largely based on mythical pasts which variously gave claims of superiority of one part of the island [England] over the other [Scotland].23 Nonetheless, by the sixteenth century, elements within the Scottish literati also began to advocate political and peaceful union between Scotland and England which paid attention to those myths but brought a new dimension to them. John Mair pondered the condition of the island of Britain, the place of an over-mighty aristocracy within it and the possible solutions that might be employed to extricate Scotland and England from their centuries of warfare. The solution, according to Mair, was to encourage intermarriage between the royal houses of Scotland and England, thus creating a truly British monarchy capable of governing the north and south of the island in harmony. He vocalised for the first time (from a Scottish perspective) the dissolution of the two kingdoms ruled by a “king of Britain”.24 Mair was followed very soon by the Gael, John Elder, who recommended to Henry VIII that “bothe the realms of England and Scotlande may be joined as one; and so your noble Maiestie for to be superioure and kynge”.25 The proposals suggested by Elder placed the English king at the head of Britain, not the Scottish monarch. This reflected his desire for a Protestant rather than a Catholic monarch.26 Problematically, Scotland had not yet had its Reformation and so was still firmly in the Franco-Catholic camp. Nonetheless in 1547 Elder was followed by yet another Scotsman, James Henrysoun, who published his Exhortacion which sought Godly union between England and Scotland.27 Henrysoun was another supporter of religious Reformation and placed the Godly (meaning Protestant) British union above simple national sentiment. British unionism had moved from Mair’s plain proposition of a political merging into a specifically Protestant agenda, and like Mair, Henrysoun also believed that “those hateful termes of Scottes and Englishemen” should be abolished and blotted out forever. The inhabitants of Britain were to rejoice in the name of Britons to which Englishmen such as William Patten and John Mardeley agreed in print, albeit with reservations.28

9Many Scots too had their doubts about Anglo-Scottish union and the prospect of a Godly Britain. Indeed, Roger Mason has observed that “fear and hatred of the English certainly ran deep in Scottish contemporary society” in the 1540s.29 It is true that the English ambassador in Edinburgh, Robert Sadler, was shot at in his garden and his servant assaulted as an “English dog” in 1543.30 Further, the English invaded Scotland in 1547 and decisively crushed the Scottish host at the battle of Pinkie. Yet can these wars and specific incidents really tell us the mindset of a people still tied into a system of social hierarchy that bound them to fight for their overlords on demand? The question remains as to who represented Scottish opinions on their identity and attitudes to their neighbours – those Scots who articulated friendship and union with England, those who preferred warfare or indeed neither of these groups at all? We simply do not have enough evidence of what the majority of Scots thought at that time, so we do not know who was more representative: the polemical pamphleteer or the pistol-wielding assassin.

10Following the Scottish Reformation it might have seemed that the potential for union between the two countries should have been more likely than previously. In truth the idea was temporarily shelved with the childless Elizabeth, in particular, finding herself in an increasingly uncomfortable position after 1566. The birth of James VI of Scotland gave the Stuart dynasty a male heir also descended from the House of Tudor and his strengths upon reaching his majority were apparent. King James took his Danish wife Anna in 1589 and within four years she had borne him a male heir. In 1594 Andrew Melville penned a poem to celebrate the birth of Prince Henry Stuart. Central to the title were the words Scoti-Britannorvm.31 Written some nine years before the Union of Crowns, this was a bold statement of Scottish claims to Britain and Britishness and penned while Elizabeth Tudor was very much alive. Melville projected his hopes for the future of Britain onto the young Stuart prince. Although it had become clear by the 1590s that King James would probably be the first monarch of the Anglo-Scottish realms he would still be a Scottish king, while Melville’s hope was that Henry might actually embody Britishness itself. When James VI did ascend the English throne in 1603, he pressed his notion of Great Britain by seeking full and “Perfect” union, meaning the unification of parliaments, church and councils.32 James changed his royal style to James King of Great Britain, France and Ireland and insisted throughout his reign that all his subjects and foreign potentates should use that title. He thus did his part to dispose of both the Scottish and English monarchical designations as pleaded for by the previous generation of British advocates. He also established a new British diplomatic corps, encouraged joint British military expeditions and introduced symbols such as the Union Flag to be flown by all British warships.33

11Though James ultimately lost the British debate at both parliamentary and church level, the concept of Great Britain appealed to many individuals on the island which manifested itself in a variety of ways. It is perhaps unsurprising that Scots were among the first to publicly declare their support for this Stuart-British project in print by adding Scoto-Briton after their names in published works.34 Men like Alexander Craige and David Hume published while the various political debates and pamphlet campaigns discussing full political union between Scotland and England (1604-1607) were ongoing. Thus the appearance of the Scottish-British appellation is understandable as it seemed plausible that the ‘perfect union’ might actually occur. However, even once the union debates were over, many Scots continued to identify with the concept of Scoto-Britannus. John Gordon published with this epithet in 1612 thus making something of a public statement, but he also used it when he matriculated at Leiden that year suggesting a genuine belief in Britishness as a concept through this private act.35

12There has been an assumption that ‘British’ in the post-1603 period was something pushed on the English, who rejected it as a Scottish innovation and historically “have steadfastly refused to be anything other than English”.36 Michael Lynch has further stated that the 1640s represented a time “when Scots (but not the English) could talk of themselves as British subjects”.37 Indeed, during those union debates mentioned above, there had been numerous Scotophobic outbursts in the English parliament.38 This belief in total English rejection of Britishness in the post-1603 period has been taken to mean that no Englishmen would ever have dreamt of self-identifying as Anglo-British in the way that certain Scots chose to be considered as Scoto-Britannus. Yet a perusal of seventeenth-century published sources reveals that a number of Englishmen did style themselves Anglo-Britannus in this period such as the Catholic John Price. He penned poetry for Anna of Denmark and, in seeking royal patronage, may have simply adopted the style to please King James.39 In 1616, the Earl of Nottingham wrote to Christian IV in his capacity of English High Admiral, signing his letter as Anglo-Britannus.40 As a royal servant Nottingham perhaps had no choice, but just like Scoto-Britons there were Englishmen who made their declaration of Britishness in private. On 8 May 1619, Josephus Mikkelthwait registered at the University of Leiden and matriculated as Anglo-Brittanus. Several other Englishmen, at least a dozen between the dates 1619 and 1624, also adopted the style of Anglo-British while matriculating at Leiden.41 These individuals help to dismiss the notion that ‘being British’ was something only aspired to by Scots and challenge a number of historical theories pertaining to Britishness. For example it has been argued that the term Anglo-British represents a historical perspective that supports the notion that British history equates to English history, with some going further and suggesting that Scots who self-defined as Britons are confirming that “they are in fact (and first and foremost) Anglo-British”.42 Such ideas were put forward when it was thought that no Englishmen used the terms British or Anglo-British to describe themselves. Having now identified this assumption as quite erroneous, the scholars who proposed that historical concept may have to reconsider the theory.

13A possible motive for the sudden cluster of Anglo-Britons may lie in their desire to express support for the Stuart royal house after the daughter of James VI became embroiled in the Bohemian revolt of 1618 and the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). There was something of a rush among Britons to rally to the cause of Elizabeth of Bohemia.43 Often portrayed as a Protestant v Catholic conflict it is interesting that the Scottish Catholic, Sir Andrew Gray, returned from Bohemia to recruit soldiers for Frederick V’s Protestant army.44 His orders were to raise a regiment composed equally of Scots and English. When his volunteers set sail for Hamburg in May 1620, the force comprised of 1,500 Scots and 1,000 Englishmen.45 However, it is the language used to describe Gray’s forces that is the most interesting with respect to the British identity being espoused by some English observers. The English traveller John Taylor made reference in his publication Taylor his Trauels to “the Brittane regiment vnder their Colonel Sir Andrew Gray Knight”.46 After listing several officers from Scotland and England serving with Gray, Taylor continued that he did “hope every Brittaine soldier doth retaine more good spirit, then 3 enemies of what nation soever”.47 Taylor was not the only author to pick up on the peculiarly British identity of Gray’s troops. An anonymous German author noted that “Colonel Gray is (God be blessed) safely arrived in Lusatia with his Brittans”.48 Not only was Gray’s regiment perceived as British by both Scots and Englishmen, but that is clearly how they were describing themselves to foreign observers. Obviously Gray could put his dynastic loyalty to the House of Stuart above his own confessional concerns. More importantly, from the perspective of identity, it is in the years that this British military force was operating and broadsheets were raising awareness of ‘British’ activity on the continent that Mikkelthwait and other English students matriculating in Dutch universities chose to call themselves English-Britons. Such support for being British represented a small but viable section of the Anglo and Scottish populations. It found most favour among those serving abroad as diplomats or as soldiers in the British-flagged regiments and armies variously formed in the Dutch Republic, Bohemia and Sweden throughout the Jacobean period. James had convinced many Britons of the virtue of his new identity, and it is clear that many were prepared to fight for it. Nevertheless Britishness as a concept barely survived the death of the first British monarch.

Times of Troubles: Charles I and Royalist Britons

14On the very day of King James’s death in 1625, certain Englishmen saw a chance to reinstate the name of England at the expense of that of Great Britain. Thomas, Earl of Kellie, noted that within half an hour of the king’s death the letter proclaiming Charles I as king was to give him the title as king of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. He continued:

I remembered them our leat Master had done sume thing upone that subject for the Unione in calling it Great Britain, whitche all the consell and nobillmen yieldet too freelye, nather was I earnest in desyring it, but tould them that if theye did soe we would do the lyke in Scotland; whereupon it was resolved it shuld be Great Brytane.49

15Despite this attempt by Kellie to save the idea of Great Britain at the start of the reign of Charles I, the notion of a single British polity largely lost favour in Scotland soon after. Some members of the Scottish elite and government actually felt that Charles’ version of Britishness simply favoured England over Scotland leading to quite an extraordinary declaration by Charles’ own Scottish Privy Council. Thus in 1630 they commanded that the usage of Great Britain in treaties be avoided. John Scott believed the term ‘Great Britain’ misrepresented Scotland and England which he argued were “twa free and distinct estates and kingdomes and sould be differenced by thair particular names and not confoundit under the name of Great Britane”.50 The Council therefore asked that:

his Majestie [is] to give warrand to his Majesteis Counsell that all infeftments, patents, letters and writts passing herafter under his Majesteis name be conceaved under the name and style of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, and that the style of Great Britane be forborne.51

16This instruction is symptomatic of a general distancing by Scottish institutions from Stuart politics which would eventually lead to the British Civil Wars and a re-casting of Stuart-Britishness by supporters of the monarchy over the rebellious Scottish and English parliaments. But again, that Anglo-Scottish clash of cultures is not as clear-cut as is often presented.

17During the First Bishops’ War (1639), the Army of the Covenant (composed mostly of Scottish Presbyterians) headed towards the English border to confront an approaching (and largely English and Anglican) Royalist army. Once more the assumptions of universal hostility between the indigenous populations of Britain bellow from the pages of history books. This view is informed by the writings of a few contemporaneous xenophobes on both sides of the border, and were repeated throughout the British Civil Wars (1639-1660); views which are subsequently taken as representative of British society as a whole. For example in 1643, the Royalist John Cleveland penned his classic poem The Rebel Scot in which he attacked the actions of the Scottish Covenanters but effectively tarred all Scots with the same disloyal brush.52 Such polemic has been taken to represent English attitudes to the Scots, particularly antipathy to Scottish-Covenanting military intervention in England.53 However, a more thorough and dispassionate reading of personal testimony such as diaries, journals and letters can leave us with an altogether different understanding, and a more positive view, of the attitude of some English people towards their neighbours. By way of example we might consider the diary entry of the English Royalist officer, John Aston, upon entering the English town of Berwick-upon-Tweed en route to confront the Army of the Covenant:

[My Landlord] and his wife were very pure, and in their discourse would ever justifie the Scotts. I believe hee was of their covenant and soe were most of the towne. … They have two preachers in their towne, Mr Dury, a Scottishman, and Mr Jemmet, an Englishman. Mr Dury, by preaching obedience to the higher powers since the beginning of the troubles, had soe irritated his friends and countreymen, that he durst not goe amongst them; and he was generally hated in the towne, and rebuked as one that sought after a bishoprick.54

18At a stroke Aston demolishes the orthodoxy relating to collective English fears of a Scottish invasion. Mr Durie was evidently a pro-Canterburian Anglican whilst the English preacher Jemmet was clearly sympathetic to Scottish Presbyterianism and the National Covenant. Further, Berwick-upon-Tweed manifestly supported a significant Scottish community and the citizenry of the town were apparently kindly disposed to them despite the prospect of an invading army of Scots. This suggests that the traditional received view of universal English loathing towards their northern neighbours requires further scholarly attention, if only to discover how far south such pro-Scottish (or at least pro-Calvinist) sympathies had spread. This is particularly pertinent in light of recent research detailing the positive reception to Scottish intervention by several sections of English society, at least in the opening years of the English Civil War.55

19Among the Royalist forces in the British Civil Wars there were numerous Scots, many of whom were Anglicans and Episcopalians and who were quick to use Britishness as a way of affirming their anti-Covenanting position. In a letter to Axel Oxenstierna in support of a new British-Swedish alliance, General James King informed the Swedish chancellor that he should be allowed to negotiate with Sir Thomas Roe, being well suited for the job having served Sweden most of his life. However, despite his life abroad he importantly added that he wished the project to be a success because “Briteannia ist mein patria, darin ich geborn sey” – ‘Britain is my country, that is where I was born’.56 Other Royalists also described themselves as Anglo-British such as the Welshman James Howell in 1646, or Samuel Brown who published the journal Mercurious Anglo-Britannus in 1648.57 Howell also muddied the waters slightly through his use of Cambro-Britannus to proclaim support for Charles I, shifting happily between both English and Welsh incarnations of Britishness.58 In one way or another, the public declaration of Britishness can be associated with a desire to support a concept at a particular time. In the case of those in the 1640s and 1650s, this was usually their support for the Stuart-Royalist cause.59 As the wars in the three Stuart kingdoms drew to a close, the forces of the English parliament gained the upper hand. Briefly the wars took on a ‘national’ dimension as the Scottish ‘Army of the Patriotic Accommodation’ sought to overpower the might of the English New Model Army. For sure these two armies fought hard against each other on 3 September 1651, but does that mean that their very existence meant that the Scots or the English universally hated each other? To answer that question we must look again to civilian responses in the aftermath of battle.

20Throughout the 1650s, and remembering that the Cromwellian occupation of Scotland is frequently presented as an anti-Scottish event, we find commentators discussing London-based Scots with no hint of malice or surprise at their presence in the English capital.60 Samuel Hartlib recorded the merits of Scottish brewer women in London, going about their business at a time when the Cromwell’s New Model Army was moving north to fight Charles II’s largely Scottish Royalist army.61 Even after Worcester there is ample evidence of empathy by English citizens and soldiery for members of the Scottish nation. A perfect illustration is recorded in the memoirs of Andrew Melvill. Wounded after the battle of Worcester in 1651, the Scot Melvill was discovered naked and left for dead in a ditch by an English lady from Worcester. With the aid of her two daughters she carried him home and took great personal risk to nurse him back to health for a period of over three months.62 These may have been Royalist sympathizers or simply good Christians, but their actions once more challenge those assumptions of universal hatred of the Scots by the English. Melvill was discovered at the house by a Cromwellian soldier sent into the town with the explicit brief of searching for Royalist refugees. On being discovered, his would-be captor felt pity for Melvill’s circumstance, drank a toast of beer with him, gave him money and left promising not to give away his location; a promise which he apparently kept.63 Indeed from this moment onwards, Melvill relates numerous other cases where Englishmen gave him money, kept his identity secret and generally took great risks to help him leave the country and escape to the continent.

21Other Scots in England were also treated well by individuals and English institutions. George Forbes of Aberdeen was the last surviving witness to the infamous Ambon Massacre of eighteen English and Japanese by the Dutch in 1623.64 Despite having been a Dutch employee during the episode, Forbes was granted five shillings plus two rooms in the East India Company almshouse in London which was double the amount granted to other Company almsmen.65 Thus the English EIC demonstrated that they certainly held no animosity to individual Scots. More significantly, perhaps, Scottish merchants traded from the city throughout the Cromwellian era. William Barton sent goods to Aberdeen in 1653.66 Scottish merchants in London such as Robert Inglis (1656), or even grocers like John Lyone (1658), continued in the city after the simple application for a licence to do so.67 At the same time Cromwellian officers paid money into the Universities of Scotland to ensure the continued development of Scottish education, men such as Colonel Ralph Cobbett, Colonel Thomas Fitch, Captain Richard Lowrie, Lieutenant Richard Clerk or Rev Stephen Jay.68Further, Cromwell himself counted Scots amongst his friends, and some served as Cromwellian diplomats: John Durie worked in both Sweden and Switzerland while William Lockhart represented the regime as ambassador and military commander in France.69 Other Scots sat in the Commonwealth and Protectorate parliaments of 1656 and 1659, albeit not all Scottish places available were taken up in either diet.70 There were also large numbers who engaged as auxiliaries in the Cromwellian military and navy; the soldiers quite voluntarily even if the sailors had been put under the cosh.71 Obviously an important factor in Anglo-Scottish relations here was religious toleration, an aspect which John Durie in particular had a lot to do with in a British context.72

22We must not forget however, that the Cromwellian England was far from a united country. At this very same time as some Scots joined the Republican army, navy and political apparatus, many active anti-Cromwellian Englishmen sought to undermine the English dictator. Major-General Thomas Rokeby appealed to a regiment of Scottish soldiers in Poland to re-join the Royalist cause adding:

I am hartilly glade off this occasion to let you know the great service you may rendre to your owne native king and contrey in dillivering your selfe with all your men into the king off Polles service […] nothing can soe much contribute to our kinges restablishment therfore doe the part off a fathfull royallist & of one who is noe Cromwellist.73

23While Rokeby did not mention Britishness, he was clearly not anti-Scottish and kept company with many Scots while in Poland. Nevertheless ‘Britishness’ was used by other anti-Cromwellian Englishmen to re-affirm their loyalty to the House of Stuart – Sir Richard Fanshaw publishing his famous La Fida Pastoria with that now customary epithet of Anglo-Britannus. The 1650s certainly witnessed two major battles between armies largely composed of Scots on the one hand and Englishmen on the other. In addition to these demonstrably anti-Cromwellian Englishmen and pro-Cromwellian Scots there were numerous numbers of politically ambivalent or inactive citizens in both countries. These simply went about their business, engaged in trade and even inter-married with those of the other nation.

24Too often the wars can be portrayed in national terms without consideration for the fact that in Scotland, England and Ireland there were civil wars being played out, and each army in each kingdom had both allies as well as enemies from the ‘other’ powers involved. Among the combatants and non-combatants alike, many continued to call themselves Scots or English. Nonetheless it is clear that Britishness was appropriated by the Royalists as a sort of badge of loyalty to the House of Stuart. Bearing this in mind we must be very careful when discussing who was fighting whom during the British Civil Wars.

Restoration Brits

25With the collapse of Richard Cromwell’s Protectorate, Britishness received a new lease of life in the post-1660 Restoration period. After 1660, former Cromwellians fell over themselves in a bid to try to demonstrate their loyalty to Charles II. An explicit example of this is seen in the work of the English poet Andrew Marvell, a one time Cromwellian and critic of all things Scottish. In 1669 he penned his poem The Loyal Scot – symbolically cancelling out the work of Cleveland 25 years previously.

And Secret Joy, in his calm soul does rise,
That Monk looks on to see how Douglas Dies,

When Octa and Alcides are forgot,
Our English youth shall sing the valiant Scot.74

26This poem was ostensibly written in reaction to Captain Archibald Douglas’s noble deed at the battle of the Medway in 1667 where he and his regiment of Scots fought tenaciously to the death while their English comrades fled in the face of the Dutch onslaught.75 But it also proved a suitable moment to plea “no more discourse of Scotch or English race” allowing Marvell to plead for a single British ethnicity to replace both. His words echoed the words of John Mair from 150 years previously which sought to rid the island of the poisoned terms of ‘English’ and ‘Scot’. What had also happened in the meantime was that the two nations grew closer through a shared vision of a Protestant island as argued for by supporters on both sides of the border, but also a readjustment of concepts of Britishness which accepted English hegemony over Scotland.76 Yet this period also saw a distancing between the Stuart Court on the one hand, and much of the nobility and large swathes of the gentry on the other in a contest over the degree of monarchical power the king should exercise. Such constitutional issues coupled with discontent at a debauched Anglican Court which both flirted with Catholicism and aggressively pursued both Puritans and Presbyterians across the British Isles. Though Charles II saw out his reign, the Stuart dynasty was actually in serious difficulty.

27Having failed to produce a legitimate male heir, it became apparent to all that the successor to Charles II was to be his brother, the Catholic James Duke of York. After several aborted attempts, the protestant factions across Britain re-asserted their authority and drove the main-line of the Stuart dynasty out of three kingdoms in a series of military actions and political declarations. Naturally this had several (well rehearsed) repercussions on different parts of the British Isles. Importantly for both Scotland and England, Protestantism was enshrined in both countries. The church in England became institutionally Anglican after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, while in Scotland the following year the Kirk became Presbyterian once more after the issuing of the Claim of Right.77 Both nations having finally accepted this difference in confession, the way was paved for a full political union under the supervision of Queen Anne.

28That said, we are still left with conflicting information on how the Scots and English populations viewed each other in this period as we usually rely on polemical tracts to enlighten us. Even when discussing the 1702 preliminary debates which ultimately led to full union in 1707 there are problems. For example, which of these two Scots most accurately reflected or epitomised Scottish attitudes towards England at this time – Sir David Dalrymple who left the Anglo-Scottish Union debates in 1702 due to “dissatisfaction with English attitudes towards Scotland”78 or Admiral Sir David Mitchell who served in the English parliament as Black Rod (appointed 1698) both before and after the 1707 union?79 Clearly for Mitchell to have been both an Admiral in the Royal Navy and to hold his position as Black Rod, his Scottishness had not caused too many problems for most of his English associates. Yet at the same time there were others in the House of Commons who complained of there being “too many Scotch officers among us” in regard to the navy.80 Back in Scotland, some burghs (but not most) witnessed anti-English riots in 1700 and 1702 with crowds whipped into a frenzy over the collapse of the failedDarien project and the Worcester affair in particular.81 In England too there was dissatisfaction at the idea of Union with Scotland, particularly at the subsuming of the name England by that of Great Britain.82 But the long-awaited political marriage went ahead nonetheless.

29One might think that the full political union and the creation of the British state in 1707 would have resolved all issues of identity and that Britishness would have dominated thereafter. Once again we are left puzzling over a wide variety of reactions to this particular event. While there were more riots against the Union in some burghs of Scotland, other Scots were quite happy to support it and even fight for it, as evidenced by the reaction of anti-Jacobite Scots in the uprisings of 1715, 1719 and 1745.83 So where does that leave interpretations of Scottishness and Britishness in the eighteenth century? We know for sure that some Scots were happy to adopt the epithet ‘North Britain’ after 1707. In this they simply carried on a seventeenth century tradition as evidenced by Alexander Lumisden in 1614 and Peter Hay of Naughton in 1627 who both adopted that name for Scotland.84 It must be added that there were numerous occasions where the term South Britain is also used in historical documents instead of England, albeit it tends to be omitted from our history books.85 However it also has to be emphasised that just because some Scots and English called themselves North or South British, it does not mean that others, even most, did not also continue to call themselves by their pre-union nationality. As Christopher Smout observed:

There was hardly a single articulate figure in eighteenth century Scotland who did not at one time or another firmly, and generally approvingly, describe himself as a Scot.86

30They did so in a time where some Englishmen still wished to universally portray Scots as backward and barbarian by producing images such as Sawney in the Boghouse – a 1745 lampoon of a Highlander so stupid he did not even know how to use a toilet.87 What we do not know, and cannot know, is how far that image of the Scot was accepted in England, or by those English who lived in Scotland. For sure the broadsheets made much of such sentiment, particularly when trying to galvanise the South British to resist the (largely Scottish) Jacobite army. Nevertheless, as stated above, Hanoverian Britain itself was being fought for at home and on the continent by Gaels and Lowland Scots alike; the Macleods of Dunvegan and the Argyll Militia at home and the Black Watch, Cameronians and other Scottish regiments abroad.

31Thus the scholar of identity should neither forget nor be guided by the phobia of the broadsheet artist or polemical pamphleteer from either side of the border at any given period. One only has to think again of the mutual hostility sources lead us to in the 1540s, the 1640s and 1740s. In each period we can find Scots who are both pro-British and pro-English or English people who are demonstrably not anti-Scottish, proudly British and English. Further, we see complexities in the identities debate within the peripheral regions of Scotland and Ireland which cast considerable doubt on the usual received wisdom pertaining to them.88 In the same period we find partisans expressing the contrary positions to those just mentioned. Reading modern British newspapers is instructive in this regard. Should anyone try to establish what Scottish identity is today they could, depending on their line of argument or chosen perspective, still find rampant and mutual phobia, hatred, loathing among the English and Scottish populations.89 Alternatively one might focus on the articles which suggest more positive and harmonious relations.90 And what of those who write nothing down; those who interact, trade, socialise and intermarry, but do not have an axe to grind and never commit their views on identity to paper? Therein lies the academic minefield mentioned in relation to identity at the start of this essay. One can find supporting evidence for almost any position one chooses to adopt, but what we will never know is what the majority of the population, or even a statistically significant proportion of it, actually believed their identity to have been. Identity is a highly complex, multi-faceted issue, but one which was and remains highly personal, totally subjective and almost impossible to pin down.

Notes de bas de page numériques

1  S. Connery and M. Grigor, Being a Scot (London, 2008); ‘Being a Scot’, review by Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times (24 August 2008).

2  J. Paxman, The English: A Portrait of a People (London, 1999).

3  A. Marr, A History of Modern Britain (Basingstoke, 2007).

4  C. Kidd, Subverting Scotland’s Past: Scottish Whig historians and the creation of an Anglo-British identity, 1689-c.1830 (Cambridge, 1993); K.M. Brown, ‘Seducing the Scottish Clio: Has Scottish History anything to fear from the New British History’, in G. Burgess (ed.), The New British History: Founding a Modern State, 1500-1707 (London, 1998), p. 250; R.J. Finlay ‘Keeping the Covenant: Scottish National Identity’, in T.M. Devine and J.R. Young (eds.), Eighteenth Century Scotland New Perspectives (East Linton, 1999), p. 122; S. Murdoch and A. Mackillop (eds.), Fighting for Identity: Scottish Military Experiences c.1580-1900 (Leiden, 2002), intro, pp. xxiii-xxix. See also in the same volume D. Horsbroch, ‘Tae See Oursels As Ithers See Us: Scottish Military Identity from the Covenant to Victoria, 1637-1837’, pp. 105-129.

5  M. Lynch, ‘A Nation Born Again? Scottish Identity in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’, in D. Broun, R.J. Finlay and M. Lynch (eds.), Image and Identity: The making and Re-making of Scotland Through the Ages (Edinburgh, 1998), p. 95; Murdoch and Mackillop, Fighting for Identity, p. xxxiii.

6  J. Spottiswoode, The History of the Church of Scotland, Beginning the Year of our Lord 203, and continued to the end of the Reign of King James the VI of ever blessed Memory (London, 1655; 1972 reprint), pp. 149-175; A. Cunningham, Some questions resolved concerning Episcopal and Presbyterian government in Scotland (London, 1690). The vacillations are repeated in all standard texts on the subject, for example G.D. Henderson, The Claims of the Church of Scotland (Warwick, 1951), pp. 83-93, 148-153; P.F. Anson, Underground Catholicism in Scotland, 1622-1878 (Montrose, 1970), pp. 1-4; W.R. Foster, The Church before the Covenants: The Church of Scotland, 1596-1638 (Edinburgh, 1975), p. 1; J. Wormald, ‘Princes of the regions in the Scottish Reformation’, in N. MacDougall (ed.), Church, Politics and Society: Scotland, 1408-1929 (Edinburgh, 1983), pp. 65-79; and in the same volume M. Lynch, ‘From privy kirk to burgh church: an alternative view of the process of Protestantisation’, pp. 85-94, and J. Kirk, ‘Royal and lay patronage in the Jacobean kirk, 1572-1600’, pp. 127-146, and W. Makey, ‘Presbyterian and Canterburian in the Scottish Revolution’, pp. 151-182.

7  See I. Henderson, Scotland: Kirk and People (London, 1969), p.113. Henderson stated that “Those who thought that the Church would survive the extinction of the nation did not realize that the consequence would be that in a very real sense the Church would become the nation”; see also J.M. Reid, Kirk and Nation (London, 1960), p. 173.

8  N. Davidson, The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (Stirling, 2000), pp. 119, 123.

9  A.I. Macinnes, Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603-1788 (East Linton, 1996), pp. 163, 190; B. Lenman, Britain’s Colonial Wars, 1688-1783 (Edinburgh, 2001), pp. 73-74.

10  For example one might consider the ‘Culloden Memorial Service’ talk by Professor William Gillies that appears to portray all Highlanders as Gaels, and all Gaels as Jacobites urging his readership to understand “some part of what the Gaels fought for at Culloden”. There is no mention of the pro-Jacobite Englishmen and Lowlanders, nor the pro-Hanoverian Gaels who also fought that day and throughout the ‘Forty-Five – nor indeed the many Scots of Lowland and non-Gaelic heritage who lived throughout the Highlands. See W. Gillies, ‘Culloden Memorial Service’, in Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, LXII, 2000-2002 (2004), p. xxiv. See also E. Lord, The Stuart’s Secret Army: English Jacobites, 1689-1752 (Harlow, 2004).

11 Oxford DNB.

12 Oxford DNB.

13  J.S. Gibson, Lochiel of the ’45: The Jacobite Chief and the Prince (Edinburgh, 1994),  pp. 107-108.

14  For more on this see S. Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Leiden, 2006), pp. 313-348.

15  C. Ó Baoill, ‘Gaeilge nah Alban – Gaeilge gan ghluaiseacht’, in Meascra Uladh (Ireland, 1974), p. 90.

16  J. MacInnes, ‘The Gaelic perception of the Lowlands’, in W. Gilles (ed.), Gaelic and Scotland: Alba agus A’Ghàidhlig (Edinburgh, 1991), p. 93. This can be supported by such poems as An Cobhernandori (The Engagers, c.1648)and Oran Cumhaidh air Corn a Rìoghachd (A Lament for the state of the Kingdom, c.1652) which both take a national rather than regional approach to the affairs of the country. Both are reproduced in C.         Ó Baoill (ed.), Gàir nan Clàrsach: The Harps’ Cry: An Anthology of 17th Century Gaelic Poetry, translated by Meg Bateman (Edinburgh, 1994), pp. 118-121 and 131-135.

17  E. Berckman, Victims of Piracy: The Admiralty Court, 1575-1678 (London, 1979), p. 95. For Scotophobia see also L. Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (London, 1992), p. 117.

18  Intermarriage, even in the often contested Anglo-Scottish Border regions, was so widely practiced it was actually made illegal in the 1590s by the English authorities. See Calendar of letters and papers relating to the affairs of the Borders of England and Scotland (2 vols.,London, 1894-1896), II, 1595-1603, p. 392. August 1597.

19  For Englishness see J. Lucas,England and Englishness (London, 1990); on Scottishness see Broun, Finlay and Lynch, Image and Identity; see also the various contributors in B. Bradshaw and J. Morrill (eds.), The British Problem, c.1534-1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago (Basingstoke, 1996).

20  R. Monro, Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots regiment called Mac-Keyes regiment (2 vols., London, 1637), I, p. 2.

21  For Charles I’s designs for military flags incorporating the Saltire with a Danish cross in the corner see T[he] N[ational] A[rchives], SP75/8 f.61. ‘The state of the king of Denmarke’s army’ 1626.

22  Monro, His Expedition, passim.

23  Most recently A.I. Macinnes, The British Revolution, 1629-1660 (Basingstoke, 2005),  pp. 8-39.

24  John Mair, Historia Majoris Britanniae tam Angliae quam Scotiae (Paris, 1521); R. Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal: Political Thought in Renaissance and Reformation Scotland (East Linton, 1998), p. 51; Macinnes, British Revolution, pp. 14-15.

25  John Elder, ‘A Proposal for Uniting Scotland with England, addressed to King Henry VIII by John Elder, Clerke, a Redsdshanke’ reprinted in Bannatyne Miscellany, vol. I (Edinburgh, 1827), p. 8; Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal, p. 252.

26  M. Merriman, ‘James Henrisoun and “Great Britain”: British Union and the Scottish Commonweal’, in R. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England, 1286-1815 (Edinburgh, 1987), p. 89.

27  Henrysoun is discussed at length in Merriman, ‘James Henrisoun and “Great Britain”’,    pp. 85-112; Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal, p. 253.

28  Merriman, ‘James Henrisoun and “Great Britain”’, pp. 91-94.

29  Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal, pp. 102-103.

30  Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal, p. 101.

31  A. Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorvm Natalia (Edinburgh, 1594).

32  For contemporary sources on the Union debates of 1604-1607 see B.R. Galloway and B.P. Levack (eds.), The Jacobean Union: Six tracts of 1604 (Edinburgh, 1985); J.P. Sommerville (ed.), King James VI and I: Political Writings (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 132-178.

33  For the military see S. Murdoch, ‘James VI and the Formation of a Scottish-British Military Identity’, in S. Murdoch and A. Mackillop (eds.), Fighting for Identity, Scottish Military Experience c.1550-1900 (Leiden, 2002), pp. 3-31. For the diplomatic changes see S. Murdoch, ‘Diplomacy in Transition: Stuart-British Diplomacy in Northern Europe, 1603-1618’, in A.I. Macinnes, T. Riis and F.G. Pedersen (eds.), Ships, Guns and Bibles in the North Sea and the Baltic States, c.1350-c.1700 (East Linton: 2000). For the issue of the Union flag and some English opposition to it see Sir William Monson, Naval Tracts reprinted in A Collection of Voyages and Travels, some now first printed from Original Manuscripts, others now first published in English (6 vols., 3rd Edition, London, 1744), III, p. 335. For commentary on the confusion surrounding the same see J. Wormald, ‘James VI, James I and the Identity of Britain’, in Bradshaw and Morrill, The British Problem, pp. 154-155.

34  A. Craig, The Poetical Essayes of Alexander Craige Scotobritane, Seen and Allowed (London, 1604); P.G. McGinnis and A.H. Williamson (eds.), The British Union: A critical edition and translation of David Hume of Godscroft’s De Unione Insulae Britannicae (Aldershot, 2002), p. 155.

35  John Gordon, Anti-bellarmino-torto fine Tortus Retortus … per Ioannen Gordonivm Scotobritannem (London, 1612); For his matriculation in Leiden see Album studiosorum academiae Lugduno Batavae (The Hague, 1875), 19 October 1612. For a general discussion on his work and the implications for ‘Great Britain’ see A.H. Williamson, ‘Scotland, Antichrist and the invention of Great Britain’, in J. Dwyer, R. Mason and A. Murdoch (eds.), New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1982), p. 44.

36  Dwyer, Mason and Murdoch (eds.), New Perspectives, p. 1; J.R. Young, ‘The Scottish Parliament and National Identity from the Union of Crowns to the Union of Parliaments, 1603-1707’, in Broun, Finlay and Lynch, Image and Identity, pp. 106-107.

37  M. Lynch, Scotland: A New History (London, 1991), p. 317.

38   R. Lockyer, James VI & I (London, 1998), pp. 4, 59-60, 82, 87, 165-166.

39  Oxford DNB.

40  D[anish] R[igs] A[rchive], TKUA, England AII/12. Brev fra Nottingham til Christian IV, 5 October 1616.

41 These were Johannes Stephanus Cantio-Britannus (1622); Robertus Davenaut Anglobri-tanus (1623); Eduardus Estcourt Anglo-Britannus, Petrus Mool Anglo-Britannus, Johannes Bastwyck Anglo-Britannus, Antonius Gibon Anglo-Britannus, Joannes Harfleck Anglo-Britannus, Tobias Withakerus Anglo-Britannus, Eduardus Champernonne Anglo-Britannus and Amias Champernonne Anglo-Britannus (all 1624). See the appropriate years in Album studiosorum academiae Lugduno Batavae.

42  Dwyer, Mason and Murdoch (eds.), New Perspectives, intro, p. 2; Kidd, Subverting Scotland’s Past, pp. 1 and 205.

43  For a full discussion see S. Murdoch (ed.), Scotland and the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648 (Leiden, 2001).

44  C[alendar] S[tate] P[apers] D[omestic], 1619-23, p. 125. 26 February 1620; SRA, Anglica, V. James Spens to Axel Oxenstierna, 20 April 1620; ibid., Spens to Gustav II Adolf.

45  R[egister] P[rivy] C[ouncil] S[cotland], XII, 1619-1622, p. lxxviii.

46  John Taylor, Taylor his Trauels: From the Citty of London in England, to the Citty of Prague in Bohemia (London, 1620), B4. The italics are Taylor’s.

47   Taylor, Taylor his Trauels, D1.

48  Anon., A Most True Relation of the late Proceedings in Bohemia, Germany and Hungaria, Dated the 1 and 10 and 13 of July this present yeere 1620. As also of the happie Arrivall of Sir Andrew Gray into LusatiaFaithfully translated out of the High Dutch (Dort, 1620), p. 10.

49  H. Patton (ed.), HMC Supplementary Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Mar and Kellie (London, 1930), p. 226.

50  RPCS, second series, IV, pp. 56-57.

51  RPCS, second series, IV, pp. 56-57.

52  J. Cleveland, The works of Mr. John Cleveland containing his poems, orations, epistles, collected into one volume, with the life of the author (London, 1687), pp. 37-45.

53  D. Scott, Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms, 1637-49 (Basingstoke, 2004), pp. 71, 84-86, 102.

54  J. Aston, The Journal of John Aston, 1639, edited by J.C. Hodgson (Alnwick, 1910),      p. 21. According to the editor, Gilbert Durie served as the vicar of Berwick from 1613 until his death in 1662, and thus he saw the reign of three kings and a dictator in England.

55  Macinnes, The British Revolution, pp. 153-154 & passim.

56  Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas Skrifter och Brefvexling (15 vols., Stockholm, 1888-1977), IX, p. 959. James King to Axel Oxenstierna, Hamburg, July 1641.

57  James Howell, Angliae SuspiriaAut. Ia. Howell, Brit.Anglo (London, 1646); S. Brown Mercurious Anglo-Britannus (‘s Gravenhage, 1648).

58  Howell’s status as Welsh is recorded as ‘Jacobus Howell Cambro-Britannus, Regis Historiographus, in Anglia primus’, in G. Langbaine, An account of the English dramatick poets (London,1691), p. 279. For an example of proclaimed Welsh-British Royalism see Mercurious Cambro-Britannus, The British Mercury or the Welch Diurnall (London, 1643). The use of Cambro-Britannus is unlikely to refer back to the strong claims of the Welsh to be the first true Britons. If it was, why not just say either Cambro or Britons? To use both together is to use the terminology showing they were Welsh and Britons (and supporters of the British royal house).

59  Caution must be exercised as some Covenanters also used the word British in a geo-political sense, though examples are rare. The Covenanter Robert Baillie, subsequently Principal of Glasgow University, when talking about the restoration of the Palatinate in the 1640s, noted “that if the Swedds and confederats can keep the fields till the nixt Spring, it is lyke the British Army may appear in Germany for some better purpose than hitherto”. Whether he meant the Covenanting army or the Royalist army is not clear. See D. Lang (ed.), The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, Principle of the University of Glasgow MDCXXXVII-MDCLXII (2 vols, Edinburgh, 1841), I, p. 357. 15 July 1641.

60  This view of the occupation is highlighted in books such as J.D. Grainger, Cromwell Against the Scots: The last Anglo-Scottish War, 1650-1652 (East Linton, 1997).

61 Samuel Hartlib Papers CD Rom. HP 22/1/79B. Ephemerides, 1650, Part 4. “Fish and Wild-foule there is abundance in Scotland. As likewise the best French-wine and Ale. The manner of the Brewing of it Mr Blackbourne is to write downe. It is twice boyled, made sharp to quench the thirst, cleere and lasting. In a word the true auncient English-Ale of which Mr Howle writes so much of commendation in his Letters in print. There are Scotch - Women in London, that have the Art of brewing of it. It will keepe a year. They in Scotland brew but twice in March and September”.

62   T. Ameer-Ali (ed.), Memoirs of Sir Andrew Melvill (London, 1918), pp. 127-8.

63  T. Ameer-Ali, Memoirs of Sir Andrew Melvill, pp. 129-30.

64  C[alendar of] S[tate] P[apers] Colonial, IV, 1625-1629, pp. 686-91. ‘A true relation of The Netherland’s Honourable East India Company’s agents’ proceedings against the English at Amboyna’ by George Forbes, servant within the castle, 13 November 1629. Another Briton employed by the Dutch at the castle was the ‘Welsh-Englishman’, Roland Solours. For more on Forbes’s testimony see also the same volume, at pp. 411-12, 428, 449 and 528-29; see also P. J. Marshall, ‘The English in Asia to 1700’, in N. Canny (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol.1, The Origins of Empire (Oxford, 1998),  p. 271; A. Calder, Revolutionary Empire: The Rise of the English Speaking Empires from the Fifteenth century to the 1780s (New York, 1981), p. 161.

65  CMEIC, 1650-1654, p. 113. Court Minute, 16 July 1651. It was also noted that Forbes was to read prayers morning and evening to the other almsmen and ensure that good order was kept in the house.

66  L. Taylor (ed.), Aberdeen Shore Work Accounts, 1596-1670 (Aberdeen, 1972), p. 355. 26 April 1653. The Shore Work Accounts simply record: ‘Importit be Wm Barton from London 10 thowsand geirds quharof I resavit 5 scoirs, payis 33s. 4d. This source contains more information on Aberdeen’s trade to and from England at this time.

67  N[ational] A[rchives] S[cotland], Edinburgh Commissary Court. Robert Inglis, ‘merchant of London’, wills dated 15 March 1656 and 26 January 1657; John Lyone, ‘grocer of London’, will dated 20 August 1658. For more on the licences, see J. Taylor, A Cup of Kindness: The History of the Royal Scottish Corporation, A London Charity, 1603-2003 (East Linton, 2003), pp. 18-20

68  Fasti Aberdonenses: Selections from the Records of the University and King's College of Aberdeen, 1494-1854 (Aberdeen, 1854), pp. 541 and 544.

69  For recent work on Durie see Murdoch, Network North, pp. 280-312; for Lockhart see Oxford DNB.

70  For a Scot called Melvill who was a friend of Cromwell see Ameer-Ali, Memoirs of Sir Andrew Melvill, pp. 134-136. For Scots in the Cromwellian Parliaments see P. J. Pinckney, ‘The Scottish representation in the Cromwellian Parliament of 1656’, in The Scottish Historical Review, vol. xlvi, 2, no. 142 (October 1967); J.A. Casada, ‘The Scottish representatives in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament’, in The Scottish Historical Review, vol. li, 2, no. 152 (October 1972).

71  For a Cromwellian military levy of Scots see A. Grosjean, ‘Royalist Soldiers and Cromwellian Allies; The Cranstoun Regiment in Sweden, 1656-1658’, in Murdoch and Mackillop, Fighting for Identity, pp. 61-82. For the involuntary service of Scots in the Cromwellian navy see A. Little, ‘A Comparative Survey of Scottish Service in the English and Dutch Maritime Communities c.1650-1707’, in A. Grosjean and S. Murdoch (eds.), Scottish Communities Abroad in the Early Modern Period (Leiden, 2005),          pp. 332-362.

72  Murdoch, Network North, pp. 280-312.

73  Swedish Riksarkivet, Extranea Polen 135:IX, 4. Interciperade brev 1600-talet, II, Brev till Skotska officerare i Thorn.Major General Thomas Rokeby to Captain Erskine, Posen, 28 November 1657. See also Grosjean ‘Royalist Soldiers and Cromwellian Allies’, pp. 61-81.

74  A. Marvell, Andrew Marvell: The Complete English Poems, edited by E.S. Dunno (London, 1974), pp. 184-185.

75  Little, ‘A Comparative Survey’, pp. 345-347.

76  A.I. Macinnes, ‘The Multiple Kingdoms of Britain and Ireland: The ‘British Problem’’, in B. Coward (ed.), Seventeenth Century Companion to British History (London, 2002),     p. 17.

77  K.M. Brown et al (eds.), The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (St Andrews, 2007), 1689/3/108. ‘The declaration of the estates of this kingdom, containing the Claim of Right and the offer of the crown to their majesties William and Mary king and queen of England’ 14 March 1689.

78  E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley and D.W. Hayton, The House of Commons, 1690-1715 (Cambridge, 2002), p. 825.

79  Little, ‘A Comparative Survey’, p. 363; Oxford DNB.

80  R.D. Merriman (ed.), Queen Anne’s Navy: Documents concerning the Administration of the Navy of Queen Anne, 1702-1714 (London, 1961), p. 187 quoted in Little, ‘A Comparative Survey’, p. 362.

81  Details can be found in numerous works of which the most recent include: K. Bowie, Scottish Public Opinion and the Anglo-Scottish Union, 1699-1707 (London, 2007); A.I. Macinnes, Union and Empire: The Making of the United Kingdom in 1707 (Cambridge, 2007).

82  Colley, Britons, p. 13.

83  Colley, Britons, pp. 83, 85, 309;Murdoch, Network North, pp. 325-328.

84  Alexander Lumisden, A Heavenly Portion, Set down in Sermon, Preached at the Funerall of Mistress Frances Sentleger, at Smeeth: in the Countie of Kent […] By Alexander Lumisden, North-Britane, Preacher of the word of God, at Postling in Kent (London, 1614); Peter Hay, An Advertisment to the Subjects of Scotland, Of the fearful dangers threatned to Christian States, And namely to Great Britane, by the Ambition of Spayne […] Also Diverse other Treatises, touching the present estate of the Kingdom of Scotland […] Written by Peter Hay, of Naughton, in North Britane (Aberdeen, 1627).

85  See for example Robert Hall, Eroologia Anglorum. Or, An help to English history Containing a succession of all the kings of England, and the English-Saxons, the kings and princes of Wales, the kings and lords of Man, and the Isle of Wight. As also of all the arch-bishops, bishops, dukes, marquesses, and earles, within the said dominions (London, 1641), pp. 17-18; Thomas Gipps, Tentamen novum continuatum. Or, An answer to Mr Owen's Plea and defense. Wherein Bishop Pearson's chronology about the time of St. Paul's constituting Timothy Bishop of Ephesus, and Titus of Crete, is confirm'd […] (Manchester, 1699), p. 40; Anon., The case of the people called Quakers, with respect to many of their friends in South-Britain, and their friends in general in North-Britain, who conscienciously scruple the taking of the present affirmation (London, 1715). There are also numerous references to South Britain and South British penned by Scottish authors.

86  T.C. Smout, ‘Problems of Nationalism, Identity and Improvement in later Eighteenth-century Scotland’, in T M Devine (ed.), Improvement and Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1989), p. 5.

87  The image was widely reproduced during the 1740s as a put down to the Scots. See M. Pittock, Celtic Identity and the British Image (Manchester, 1999), p. 31.

88  For examples of the debates regarding Gaelic culture in Scotland and Ireland see S.G. Ellis, ‘The Collapse of the Gaelic World, 1450-1650’, in Irish Historical Studies, XXXI, no. 124 (November 1999), pp. 449-469; C. Kidd, ‘Gaelic Antiquity and National Identity in Enlightenment Ireland and Scotland’, in The English Historical Review, CIX (1994), pp. 1197-1214.

89  See for example Ian Martin, ‘The Olympics have shown that Great Britain is far from Finished’, in The Telegraph, 21 August 2008, particularly the online comments which follow the article.

90  See for example Lesley Riddoch, ‘Should Auld Foes be Forgot: Scottish attitudes to the English have changed. The World Cup will reveal just how much’, in The Guardian, 18 March 2006.

Pour citer cet article

Steve Murdoch, « Anglo-Scottish Culture Clash? Scottish Identities and Britishness, c.1520-1750 », paru dans Cycnos, Volume 25 n°2 - 2008, mis en ligne le 11 mars 2010, URL :


Steve Murdoch

Steve Murdoch (MA, PhD, FRHistS, FSA Scot) is Reader in the School of History of the University of St Andrews, and Director of the Scotland and the Wider World Project part of the Institute of Scottish Historical Research. He has written extensively on the history of Scotland in the early modern period. His most recent publications include: S. Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006 – Northern World Series);S. Murdoch and A. Grosjean (eds.), Scottish Communities Abroad in the Early Modern Period(Brill, Leiden, 2005 – Studies in Medieval and Reformation Tradition Series);S. Murdoch and J.R. Young, ‘Union and Identity: Scotland in a Social and Institutional Context’ in Angles of the English Speaking World (Copenhagen, 2007); S. Murdoch, ‘Scotland, Europe and the English Missing Link’ in History Compass, 5/3 (2007). He is currently working on a new book, Privateers: Scottish Maritime Warfare and Coastal Defence, 1513-1713 (Brill, Leiden, forthcoming 2010).
School of History of the University of St Andrews.