Basics of Scottish History Quiz: The Highlands

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The Highlands have been an integral part of Scotland for centuries, but have always been seen - by themselves and others - are somehow slightly apart. As a result, the region's History has its own distinctive feel: closely intertwined with what was going on in the Lowlands, of course, but also shaped by rhythms entirely its own.

This quiz will test how much you know about the History of the Scottish Highlands. Concentrating on some of the better-known developments, it ranges from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, and covers topics political, social, economic, and cultural. Are you an expert on Highland History? Or are you completely clueless? There's only one way to find out...

Created by: Dr Allan Kennedy of Centre for Scottish Culture, Dundee
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  1. What was the name of the Gaelic warlord, styled 'King of the Isles', who secured control over most of the Hebrides prior to his death in 1164?
  2. Which family, retaining a power-base in the areas of Moray and Ross, repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the Kings of Scots in the 12th and 13th centuries?
  3. Which Gaelic noblewoman is traditionally credited with sheltering and assisting King Robert I during his time as a fugitive in 1306-7?
  4. Where was the principal seat of the Lords of the Isles?
  5. Alexander Stewart (d.1405), third surviving son of King Robert II and infamous for burning Elgin Cathedral in 1390, is generally known as the Wolf of ______?
  6. Which battle, fought in 1411 between Alexander, Earl of Mar and Donald, Lord of the Isles, is generally regarded as a key moment in the Stewart dynasty's efforts to secure control over the Highlands?
  7. In which year was the Lordship of the Isles forfeited to the Scottish crown?
  8. On which island did King James VI attempt to settle a community of 'Fife Adventurers' between 1599 and 1609?
  9. After which Earl is the Royalist revolt of 1653-4, which largely took place in the Highlands, usually named?
  10. Taking place in 1688, which armed confrontation is popularly described as the last 'clan battle'?
  11. Which female Gaelic poet is known for her political songs about the 1715 rising, as well as for her lament on the death of Alasdair Dubh of Glengarry (d.1721)?
  12. In which year did James Macpherson publish his 'Fragments of Ancient Poetry', the first collection of texts purportedly written by an ancient Gaelic poet called 'Ossian'?
  13. Which fortification, built as a security measure after the 1745-6 Jacobite Rising, was completed in 1769?
  14. Tried for manslaughter in 1816, who infamously served as a factor on the Sutherland estates during the height of the Sutherland Clearances?
  15. In which year did the potato famine first hit much of the western Highlands?
  16. On which island in 1882 did the 'Battle of the Braes', an episode of armed resistance against land clearance, take place?
  17. What was the name of the ship that sank off the coast of Stornoway in 1919, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 men, mainly Lewis-men returning from war service?
  18. Which organisation, existing between 1965 and 1991, was charged with sponsoring economic development in the Highlands?
  19. In which year did the Skye Bridge open?
  20. Inverness, the self-styled 'capital of the Highlands', was granted city status to mark which of these occasions?

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