Parliament To Host Lecture On Queen Anne And The Act Of Union

04/09/2007

A re-interpretation of the reasons for the 1707 Act of Union will be the focus of a public lecture at Holyrood by University of Strathclyde’s Professor Allan Macinnes.

From 1.00pm-2.00pm on Friday 7 September in the Scottish Parliament Chamber, Professor Macinnes will deliver a lecture entitled Queen Anne, the Scottish Parliament and the Union of 1707. The lecture will be webcast live on the Scottish Parliament’s website and members of the public are welcome to attend in the Parliament’s public gallery.

The session is part of a wider three-day conference on Parliaments and Political Unions from the Middle Ages to Present Day. The conference has been organised on behalf of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI), and will take place at St Andrews University.

This event comes just weeks before a unique exhibition gets underway at the Parliament, which will see the Scottish and English documents that sealed the treaty coming together for the first time in Scotland.

Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said:

“This is the first time that Scotland has hosted the Annual Conference of this leading international forum, and it is fitting that the Scottish Parliament be a venue for today’s programme. We are pleased to host this event as part of our activities to mark the 300 th Anniversary of the Act of the Union.“

Media are welcome to attend the event and photographs will be available from the Parliament’s Media Relations office on request.

Background on events marking 1707 at the Scottish Parliament

A unique opportunity to view the two historical documents that officially joined Scotland and England together will form part of the Scottish Parliament’s commemoration of the 1707 Act of Union.

It will be the first time that the Scottish and English copies of the treaty have been displayed side by side in Scotland since they were signed 300 years ago. The treaties will be displayed as part of a free public exhibition, entitled ‘Making the Act of Union 1707’, and will run in Holyrood’s main hall from Friday 21 September to Sunday 18 November.

The exhibition, which is a joint initiative between the Scottish Parliament, National Archives of Scotland, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, will explore the events that led to the union of Scotland and England and alongside the two treaties, will also feature an illuminated copy of the Act of Union gifted by Queen Anne in 1707. The exhibition will include an interactive element that will give visitors the opportunity to look closely at the documents and learn more about their history and key features.

As part of the 300 th Anniversary activities, the Scottish Parliament is also working with the Scottish Government and others on a joint educational project, “A Union for a’ That”. This project helps schools across Scotland gain a better understanding of not just their history and the present situation.

Background on International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI) 58 th Conference, 4th – 7th September 2007

The 2006 conference was held in the French National Assembly in Paris and other recent conferences have been held in the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona and the Czech Parliament in Prague.

The aim of the Commission is to promote research into the origin, growth and development of representative and parliamentary institutions throughout the world in all periods.

The 2007 conference is being organised by Dr John Young of the Department of History at the University of Strathclyde. He is the Convener of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland section of ICHRPI.

Over seventy papers will be presented at the conference and there will be two plenary lectures from leading Scottish experts. The conference locations are the National Museum of Scotland (4th September), the National Library of Scotland (4th and 5th September), the Old College, University of Edinburgh (5th September), the University of St Andrews (6th September) and The Scottish Parliament (7th September). Most of the Scottish papers are being given in the National Library of Scotland and these are open to members of the public.

Background on Professor Allan Macinnes

Professor Allan Macinnes is a specialist in the history of the Highlands and in early modern Scottish History in a wider international context. A graduate of the universities of St Andrews and Glasgow, he has held academic positions at the universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen, the latter position as Burnett-Fletcher Chair of History. He has recently been appointed as Professor of Early Modern History at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

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