A bit of history; Not many of you will have heard the term SPCK?
Following the eventual acceptance of the Estates of Scotland of the Dutch William and his Queen, Mary as monarchs. The Glencoe massacre of which we will speak later was just one of his better known provocations on the people of the Western Highlands and Islands. In 1696 the Education Act of 1646 was re-enacted. This imposed fixed english schools on the Highlands in an attack through education on the Highland language and Highland traditions to be financed out of Highland rents.
Opposition in the region was large no matter the religion. In 1709 a number of wealthy subscribers in Edinburgh and Southern Scotland were incorporated under the title of "The Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge" SPCK..... its aims to remedy any deficiencies of the 1696 Education Act in the Highlands and Islands and supported by private subscriptions. The schools set up were to be manned by schoolmasters of proven loyalty, to teach the english language, the Presbyterian Calvinist religion, church music and religion. It’s worth quoting here the policy of SPCK in its memorial.....
"Nothing can be more effectual for reducing these countries (i.e. the Highlands and Islands) to order and making them useful to the Commonwealth than teaching them their duty to God, their King and Countrey, and rooting out their Irish language, and this has been the care of the Society so far as they could, for all the scholars are taught in english, and none are allowed to be masters of the Societies Charitie Schools, but such as produce sufficient certificates of their piety, knowledge and loyalty"
If reading the minutes of the Committee and of the General Meetings of the SPCK the religious, political and social content provides a great history of The Highlands and Islands from the un-equal and incorporating Act of Union in 1707 to the crowing of George the 3rd in 1760. It’s little wonder that many from this region were to take up arms for the Jacobite cause. SPCK was a calculated, well financed attempt backed by constant political pressure to destroy a culture and language. The minutes of the SPCK were only placed in the National Register House in Edinburgh in 1933!!. Since then no Scottish historical society has had the courage to publish them........Oppression is a word most common in Scottish History and it continues.