Point of Divergence

In the so-called “Glorious Revolution of 1688”, King James II of England and VII of Scotland (a Catholic) is disposed by the English and replaced by his daughter, Mary II and her husband, William III (both Protestants).

The Catholic Scots were already uneasy with their Protestant English neighbors to the south, and this forced abdication made things worse. Matters came to a head, however, when the Parliament of England in London passed the “Act of Settlement” in 1701 which, among other things, excluded Catholics from the throne.

Seeing this as a belligerent “last straw”, the Estates of Parliament of Scotland in Edinburgh quickly passed their own “Act of Succession” in 1702 which stated that only a Catholic could ascend to the throne.

This pitted the two sovereignties, which had been in personal union for the century since 1603, against one another.

The teenaged heir of the disposed King James VII landed in Glasgow and with the support of native Scots and Irish, as well as with the overt backing of France and Navarre, Spain, the Papacy, and Modena, he was crowned as King James VIII of Scotland within a few months of only nominal opposition. It is said that King William III of England, near the end of his life and still in deep-morning over the loss of his beloved wife, Queen Mary II, did not have the heart for a full-blown war. Thus dreams that had been of a united Great Brittan were ended.

The crown of England soon passed to Anne, William III’s cousin and Mary II’s sister, and then according to the English Act of Settlement to her Hanoverian cousin, King George I. Today, Elizabeth II is Queen of England.

The crown of Scotland was inherited by James VIII’s son, Charles III. When Charles died without heir, it passed to his brother, Henry I, who was a respected Cardinal in the Catholic Church. Knowing that he would not leave a legitimate male heir, Henry used his time on the throne to revive the Gaelic practice of tanistry – whereby the clan system would be used to name the King. Today, Andrew II is King of Scotland and is Chief of Clan Bruce.

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