Enlightenment

African Forum Scotland proudly present extracts from

THE SCOTTISH ENLIGHTENMENT
A brief history reflecting the Scots love of learning which has delivered global achievement and historic innovation across the entire spectrum of entrepreneurship and knowledge management

In the year

1295 The ‘Auld Alliance’ recording mutual interests and mutual security between the Kingdoms of Scotland and France was signed. Joint citizenship was still recognised by France until 1903.
1496 Scottish Education Act made schooling compulsory for boys aged 8-9 upwards to enable justice to be administered and properly understood by all freeholders. Competence in reading, writing, Latin and Greek was then followed by 3 years of Art and the Law
1509 Scots traders sailed regularly to Norway in 4 days. Travel to London took 7-10 days
1540 Scotland traded regularly with Norway, Poland, Holland, Germany and especially France
1616 School Establishment Act mandated and established publically funded, Church supervised schools for all Scots children. Knowledge and Learning was taught alongside civility, and godliness.
1691 The Scot William Paterson founded the Bank of England
1695 Scottish Parliament founded the Bank of Scotland
1696 Bank of Scotland issued the world’s first paper currency
1711 The world renowned philosopher David Hume epitomised the Scots Enlightenment which let able and original men develop themselves in a freethinking and stateless society. Born in Scotland at the age of 26 he wrote his world famous ‘Treatise of Human Nature’ – a masterpiece. His radical thinking helped changed the history of philosophy.
1716 The Scot George Cleghorn who discovered quinine to combat Malaria was born

The Scot surgeon James Lind who discovered the cure for ‘scurvy’ was born

1723 The Scot Adam Ferguson the Father of Sociology was born
1726 James Hutton of Edinburgh who was the ‘Father of Modern Geology’ was born

James Black who discovered carbon dioxide and was the ‘Father of Chemistry’ was born

1727 Royal Bank of Scotland incorporated
1754 The Scot William Murdoch who invented gas lighting was born
1757 The Scot Thomas Telford bridge-builder, road and Caledonian Canal builder was born
1759 Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet born. – author of Tam O’Shanter & Auld Lang Syne
1760 Scottish School of Design incorporated
1766 Charles McIntosh invented waterproof fabrics
1768 Encyclopaedia Britannica published in Edinburgh by William Smellie
1769 James Watt invented the Steam Engine
1770 Haggis served on board HMS Endeavour by Captain Cook just off New Zealand

The Scots scientific explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile in Africa

1771 The industrialist and social reformer Robert Owen was born in New Lanark, Scotland

Novelist Sir Walter Scott who wrote Ivanhoe, The Waverley Novels and of course Marmion in which he penned the proverbial words ‘Oh! What a tangle web we weave, when first we practice to deceive’ was born

Birth of the Explorer and Doctor Mungo Park who charted the course of the River Niger

1772 Robert Stevenson who built 18 Scots Lighthouses was born. He was the grandfather of Scots author Robert Louis Stevenson of Kidnapped and Treasure Island fame.
1773 Persecuted Scots during the Clearances landed in Canada
1774 Reverend Henry Duncan who founded the world’s very first savings bank was born
1776 Adam Smith published a ‘Wealth of Nations’

Scots Economist and Philosopher David Hume died

1780 James Watt and Co manufactured the world’s first duplication machines
1780 African Explorer Alexander Laing was born
1782 James Chalmers of Arbroath devised the first adhesive postage stamp
1783 Royal Society of Edinburgh incorporated by Royal Charter
1786 The Kilmarnock Edition of Robert Burns poetry in the Scots dialect published in Edinburgh
1788 World’s first Steamboat tested in Scotland by Patrick Miller & William Symington
1789 World first ‘whisky’ produced from maize produced by Scots Clergyman Elijah Craig
1790 Adam Smith the Scots born economist and advocate of ‘free trade (laissez-faire)’ and liberalism, died. His book The Wealth of Nations remains popular and relevant and is published and read to this day.
1791 Robert Napier the father of ‘Clyde Shipbuilding’ was born
1792 Robert Burns published ‘The Rights of Women’
1793 Robert Burns published ‘Scots Wha Hae’
1794 The Scot John Witherspoon who signed the America Declaration of Independence, died

Robert Liston carried out the first ever operation using anaesthetic

1795 Robert Burns wrote ‘A mans a Man for a That’ and ‘The Tree of Liberty’
1796 Robert Burns died in Dumfries – Mungo Park reached the source of the Nile
1819 The Scots evangelical missionary David Livingston was born
1848 The Scots evangelist and African missionary Mary Slessor was born