Basics of Scottish History Quiz: Rogues and Villains

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Scotland is a country that likes to celebrate its heroes. Our public spaces are awash with statues of William Wallace, Robert Bruce, Flora MacDonald, Robert Burns, and many other 'great' people from History. But this is only one side of the nation's story: for all its illustrious heroes, Scotland has also produced a plethora of villains. Plumbing the depths of human depravity, these men and women have ensured that, whatever its self-image, Scotland's story has been one of violence and wickedness at least as much as heroism and nobility.

But how much do you know about the darker side of Scotland's past? From bandits and witches to rebels and murderers, our quiz will test you on the dastardly doings of some of Scottish History's most notorious rogues from the Middle Ages to 1900. So dive in...if you dare.

Created by: Dr Allan Kennedy of Centre for Scottish Culture, Dundee
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Are you ready for...
Our "When Will I Die" Quiz?

  1. In which town was the last heir of the Meic Uilleim dynasty, which had mounted repeated challenges to the Canmore kings throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, executed in c.1230?
  2. In which year was the de Soules conspiracy against Robert I uncovered?
  3. According to folklore, which erstwhile butcher led a cannibal gang that preyed on unwary travellers in the Grampians during the mid-14th century?
  4. Which nobleman was the chief conspirator in the assassination of James I (1437)?
  5. Which earl was stabbed to death by King James II in 1452, after being accused by the king of treason?
  6. In which year was Domhnall Dubh's rising, the final armed attempt to restore the Lordship of the Isles (abolished 1493)?
  7. Which Border reiver, later immortalised in ballads, was summarily hanged by James V in 1530?
  8. Which peer was killed in 1600 during an alleged plot to kidnap or kill James VI?
  9. What was the nickname of the bandit Patrick MacGregor, who was executed in 1636 and later became the subject of a popular ballad?
  10. Which Edinburgh resident was, alongside his sister, sensationally executed in 1670 for a range of crimes including incest, bestiality, and witchcraft?
  11. Which politician is generally regarded as the chief architect of the Glencoe massacre (1692)?
  12. Which Dundee-born sailor was hanged for piracy in London in 1701?
  13. Indebtedness to which aristocrat was the immediate cause of Rob Roy MacGregor becoming an outlaw in the 1710s?
  14. Described by Jonathan Swift as one of the greatest rogues of the age, which notorious soldier and gambler was convicted in 1730 of raping his maidservant, Anne Bond?
  15. Which nobleman, executed as a Jacobite in 1747, had previously been imprisoned as a spy by Louis XIV of France?
  16. Which landowner and sugar-trader was the master of Joseph Knight, the enslaved African who won his freedom in a Court of Session judgement of 1778?
  17. In which year was William Brodie (better known as 'Deacon Brodie') executed for a litany of thefts and robberies committed in Edinburgh?
  18. Who, having served as factor to the Countess of Sutherland, was tried for culpable homicide in 1816 for his role in the Clearances?
  19. To whom in 1828 did William Burke and William Hare sell the bodies of their murder victims for use in anatomy classes?
  20. Which murderer and suspected baby-farmer became in 1889 the last women to be executed in Edinburgh?

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