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  • 6000 B.C. The earliest known residents of Scotland establish settlements on the Argyll Peninsula.

  • 3000 B.C. Celtic tribes invade, making the use of Gaelic widespread.

  • A.D. 82 Roman armies directed by Agricola push into southern Scotland; the Roman victories, however, are short-lived.

  • A.D. 90 Romans abandon the hope of conquering Scotland, retreating to England and the relative safety of Hadrian's Wall.

  • 500 Newcomers from Ireland, identified as Scots, invade from the west, mingling their bloodlines with Norse, Pictish, Celtic, and Teutonic tribes.

  • 563 St. Columba establishes a mission on Iona, accelerating the movement established by earlier ecclesiastics to Christianize Scotland.

  • 843 Kenneth MacAlpin unifies the Picts and the Scots.

  • 1005-34 Malcolm II unites the four major tribes of Scotland into one roughly cohesive unit.

  • 1124-53 David I builds monasteries, consolidates royal power and prestige, and imports clearly defined Norman values.

  • 1266 The Hebrides and the coast of western Scotland are released from Norse control; the Donald clan consolidates power here into a semi-autonomous state within Scotland.

  • 1272 Edward I of England embarks on an aggressive campaign to conquer both Wales and Scotland but is deflected by Robert the Bruce, among others.

  • 1314 The victory of the Scots over the English armies at Bannockburn leads to the Treaty of Northampton (1328), formally recognizing Scotland's independence from England.

  • 1468 The Orkney and the Shetland Islands are given to Scotland as part of the marriage dowry of a Norse princess to a Scottish king.

  • Late 1400s The Auld Alliance with France, a cynical arrangement based mostly on mutual distrust of England, is born.

  • 1535 At the urging of Henry VIII of England, Parliament officially severs all ties with the Catholic Church, legally sanctioning the Reformation.

  • 1559-64 John Knox lays out the rough outline of the Scottish Presbyterian Church.

  • 1561 Queen Mary returns to Scotland from France.

  • 1568 Mary is defeated and flees to England.

  • 1572 John Knox dies; his work is continued by Andrew Melville.

  • 1587 Mary Queen of Scots is executed.

  • 1603 Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, accedes to the throne of England as James I and unifies the two countries.

  • 1689 Parliament strips the uncompromising Catholic James II of his crown and imports the Protestant William and Mary from Holland to replace him.

  • 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie's attempt to reclaim his grandfather's throne ends in defeat at the Battle of Culloden, destroying any hope of a Stuart revival.

  • 1750-1850 England and Scotland experience rapid industrialization; the Clearances strip many crofters of their farms, creating epic bitterness and forcing new patterns of Scottish migrations.

  • 1789 The French Revolution begins; British monarchists tighten their grip on civil unrest in Scotland.

  • Late 19th century An astonishing success in the sciences propels Scotland into the role of arbiter of industrial know-how around the globe.

  • Mid-20th century The decline of traditional industries, especially shipbuilding, painfully redefines the nature of Scottish industry.

  • 1970 The discovery of North Sea oil deposits brings new vitality to Scotland.

  • 1973 Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, becomes a member of the Common Market.

  • 1974 The old counties or shires are reorganized; many regions are renamed.

  • 1979 Scots vote on devolution (separation from England): 33% vote yes, 31% vote no, and 36% don't vote at all.

  • 1981 The largest oil terminal in Europe is launched at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands.

  • 1988 Scottish nationalism revives under the marching cry of "Scotland in Europe"; Pan Am Flight 103 from London crashes at Lockerbie, killing all passengers, including some locals.

  • 1992 The Scots continue to express dissatisfaction with English rule: Polls show one out of two favor independence.

  • 1996 A psychopath guns down 16 schoolchildren and a teacher in one of Britain's greatest mass-murder sprees.

  • 1997 A sheep is cloned for the first time; Scotland votes to establish a legislature of its own for the first time since 1707.

  • 1999 British Prime Minister Tony Blair holds off threats from the Nationalist Party as his own Labour Party triumphs in national elections; on July 1, Queen Elizabeth opens a new Scottish Parliament for the first time in 300 years.

  • 2001 Scottish Parliament opens to bad press -- it's called the "silly season" and "the totally absurd."

  • 2003 Scotland joins England in sending troops to Iraq.

  • 2004-05 Scotland grapples with long-overdue land reform.

  • 2007 Scotland marks 300 years with England.

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.