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The Statutes of Iona
, passed in Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...
in 1609, required that Highland
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...
Scottish clans , give a sense of identity and shared descent to people in Scotland and to their relations throughout the world, with a formal structure of Clan Chiefs recognised by the court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms which acts as an authority concerning matters of heraldry and Coat of Arms...
The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the Scottish clan. From its perceived founder a clan takes its name. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and...
send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. As a result some clans, such as the MacDonalds of Sleat and the MacLeods of Harris, adopted the new religion. Other Clans, including the MacDonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch
Clan MacDonald of Keppoch, also known as Clan Ranald of Lochaber, is a Scottish clan and a branch of Clan Donald.-History:The MacDonalds of Keppoch are descended from Alistair Carrach Macdonald who was a younger son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald and his second...
, Glengarry, and Glencoe
The MacDonalds of Glencoe also known as Clann Iain Abrach are a branch of Clan Donald.-History:The founder of the MacDonalds of Glencoe was Iain Fraoch MacDonald The MacDonalds of Glencoe also known as Clann Iain Abrach are a branch of Clan Donald.-History:The founder of the MacDonalds of Glencoe...
, remained resolutely Roman Catholic.
Amongst the provisions of the statutes were:
- The provision and support of Protestant ministers to Highland Parishes;
- The establishment of hostelries;
- The outlawing of beggars;
- The prohibition of traditional hospitality and strong drink;
- The education of chiefs’ heirs in Lowland schools where they “may be found able sufficiently to speik, reid and wryte Englische"
- Limitations on the bearing and use of arms,
- The outlawing of bards and other bearers of the traditional culture
- The prohibition on the protection of fugitives
In the view of some writers, this enaction was "the first of a succession of measures taken by the Scottish government specifically aimed at the extirpation of the Gaelic language, the destruction of its traditional culture and the suppression of its bearers"
- Cathcart, Alison. "The Statutes of Iona: The Archipelagic Context," Journal of British Studies Jan. 2010, Vol. 49, No. 1: 4-27.