Leah Gunn Barrett is a member of the Steering Group tasked with setting up the Scottish National Congress and lives in Edinburgh.

As Scotland remains tethered to a shrinking UK economy, which the IMF forecasts will be at the bottom of the G7 economies, below Russia[1], a friend made me aware of a little-known Edinburgh site. 

It is Summer House at Moray House, on the north side of Holyrood Road, where the 1707 Treaty of Union was signed.[2] It was signed here and not at the Parliament because those who signed away Scotland’s statehood were terrified of a crowd of Scots who were enraged that their nation was being “bought and sold for English gold – such a parcel of rogues in a nation.”[3]

So, for their own safety, they retreated to this summer house in a private garden to sign away Scotland’s sovereignty in peace.  

Another little-known fact is that the Treaty’s Article 13 imposed a malt tax on Scotland, that existed in England to pay for its war with France. However, the Scottish parliamentarians balked at this tax, so Scotland was exempted. The exemption didn’t last long because the ‘Union’ imposed it on Scotland anyway in 1725, sparking riots in Edinburgh and Glasgow where nine people were killed.[4]

Suppressing a nation’s history, constitution, and language is what colonisers do, because if the colonised people had this knowledge, it would be much harder for the coloniser to exercise control. 

It’s time the Scottish people became reacquainted with their suppressed history and constitution, a constitution that guarantees their sovereignty over any government.  Because when armed with that knowledge, they can finally break free.

Yours sincerely,

Leah Gunn Barrett


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  1. Something rings a bell about some of the signatures being added at Loudoun Castle, where the Earl gathered a few other nobles. Need to dig out John McGill’s book and have a refresh.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The 9th Earl, and the 1867 Derby – ten false starts in the snow. Just another interesting chapter in a never dull family tale. Lady Flora Hastings, and Queen Victoria, not there’s another one…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had friends in the USA who were Hastings and showed them the links when talking about roots. A lot of folk from the USA are searching theirs given they got uprooted and a lot not by choice. As it happens one of the ladies has twin Native American grandsons too.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yeah Michael who was in Australia. I saw that. Not sure if they were of the same branch or not one of their family members had a lot of information. I think that we have to bare in mind when we think of a lot of folk in the USA how they were uprooted. I mean we already saw one Tory and her colleagues laugh and brag about it.


  2. I knew the story about the ‘summer house’ and was shown it a while ago by a friend as we passed along the Holrood Road side of the Moray House campus. As it looked little more than a shack then, I do not know if it still survives!
    A useful reminder from Leah!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. More snippets, bit between the teeth an’ a’ that. Sir Hugh was one of the drafters of the Union Articles. He did not subscribe to abolishing the Scots Parliament, the door being left ajar. He goes on to tell us that on 1 May 1707 as the new Union was being celebrated in St Paul’s, the last signatories were hounded out of Edinburgh to take refuge on the Loudoun estates where, it is said, the final signatures were added under the Auld Yew tree.

    There is picture of the quill pen used, though it was later sold at auction by the family.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Would you post the title of John McGill’s book Keith. I’d like to have a look at that.


      1. The book I have is A History of the House of Loudoun and Associated Families. The Nom de Plume is Craufuird C Loudoun, but I suspect John McGill may have been closely involved. I’ve checked the usual online book resources (except Abebooks, which is an amazon company, so off my list) but can’t see any available. It was published around 30 years ago – there’s no date on it – by Alloway Publishing Ltd, Darvel. If I were to go looking I’d maybe try Walker & Connell in Darvel, who were the original printers and cover a lot of local interest stuff.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Here’s is a piccy of the Summer House, though I and others are under the impression that the ToU was signed in the cellar of a corner shop in Edinburgh whilst Scots above rioted.


    A total of 96 petitions were presented against the union, most in November and December 1706.

    The Duke of Argyll, one of the leaders of the Scottish Court party, said that petitions were little more than “paper kites”. The accepting of the Equivalent, saw Scotland take on England’s £14 to £18 million pounds debt.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thansk for posting the picture but it looks anothing like the shack i remember seeing from the gate on Holyrood Road, though no sign of a cellar there either.


  5. Replacing the cultural hegemony of the coloniser at this late stage of our colonisation, will only be achieved when the colonised take control of the cultural levers-of-power and have acquired the cultural-consciousness to use them. It has always been the job of the BBC to make sure that that never happened. The party of liberation will needfully know this to be the case, and act accordingly.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. A good letter indeed Iain, there is a wheen of work to be done on the historical and cultural front to counter the colonial power’s narrative broadcast by the BBC .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know that a lot of us are genuinely friendly folk that try getting along with most people and the thing is if we had our own TV this would come through because some things just can’t be faked. I was in a place in Turkiye years ago and they had a wee night for all in the wee apartments and I had to sit at the table as my partner of the time was busy but I met folk fae Aberdeen, England, New Zealand and other places and I didn’t go back and the owner contacted me saying that there was people asking where I was and had I been back. It was nice and am just one of many of us who are being ourselves even when we are not here.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This is a terrific letter from Leah. It makes me want to study the Act of Union to clarify what breaches the English have perpetrated. Am I e suchwrong in thinking this latest interference in Scots Law is one such? If so it begs the Question What are the Devolved government doing about it?
    Are we going to go back to the English Supreme Court (of Tony Blairs invention) to beg permission to create our own Laws?
    It should matter not the views of the people on the Gender Recognition Act!! What by matters is this other countries trying to block our Law making process.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. We need our own TV and film industry and then there’s a fair few remakes that need done and new ones still to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean by that using the host country then they will get online and kiss ass of the country that they made the films in, have their presence in the minds of the people of the country. Sadly fir us we have bare minimum in this department because we don’t have control over our own country.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. “A whole succession of events soon brought home to the Scots of all parties that, in the words of ‘United or Separate Parliaments’, they were now in a trap of their own making in which they could dance around to all eternity. For example by December 1707, the Scottish Privy Council was abolished. [Lord] Grange wrote to [his brother, John Erskine, Earl of] Mar about the ‘consternation and surprize’ which this caused in Scotland. ‘All sorts of people, Unioners and Anti-Unioners, Episcopal and Presbyterian are thunder struck’. [Andrew] Fletcher [of Saltoun] and others were pointing to it [ironically] as an effect of the ‘happy union’. Scottish prisoners were transferred to London. The English treason law was applied to Scotland. English excise officers flooded into Scotland. The historian, Hume Brown, though a Unionist, says of the period: ‘Throughout these years every interest of Scotland was regarded and treated purely and simply with reference to the exigencies of political parties in England. There was not a class in Scotland which had not reason to complain of a breach of the Articles of Union, and to regret that it had ever been accomplished.’ On 14 June 1708, Mar wrote to the Queen: ‘I think myself obleidged in duety to lett your Majestie know that so farr as I understand the inclinations and temper of the generallity of this country is still as dissatisfied with the Union as ever, and seem mightily sowr’d.’ Within a few months of the completion of the Union, Mar was as opposed to it as Fletcher himself. By 1713 Scots of all parties had reached the same conclusions. A motion for dissolution of the Union was moved in the House of Lords by one of those most responsible for its acceptance in Scotland, Seafield, by then the Earl of Findlater. It failed by only four votes.”

    (ANDREW FLETCHER AND THE TREATY OF UNION, by Paul Henderson Scott, Published by The Saltire Society, 1994, pp 212,213)

    Liked by 4 people

  10. The Vigil for a Scottish Parliament sat outside St. Andrew’s House for nearly five and half years between 1992 and 1997. As Vigil Day 1707 loomed a few folk thought this date had a ring to it. Was it historical? Mmm, what could it possibly be ? Something to do with a parcel and rogues. High jinks anyone ?

    Access to the summer house was kindly agreed well in advance. When the day came it was freezing, note Hamish Henderson’s smokey breath. Regardless of any discomfort, he stayed to the end in support of our Treaty of Union signing spoof. In so doing he earned us a large photo story next day in the front page of the Scotsman.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Pre 1707 Scotland had no debt and its banking system was the envy of the world. Since 1707 Scotlands resources have been plundered and Scots, under the new regime now heavily taxed, have had to work longer and harder to pay for their neighbours debt. Probably the longest rape in human history ratified by the 110 house jocks who would (see their coffers refilled for their Darien Scheme losses) benefit. Did the threat of war influence their decision? undoubtedly yes! But every man jack of them knew that the fruits of the treaty of union would not be shared by the people of Scotland. They knew as a whole that the nation would not benefit. However, they and their descendants continue to benefit! Nothing has changed. We continue to work hard, pay our taxes to a foreign country and die (sooner) to maintain the system that keeps us in bondage, in economic and cultural poverty. A colony abused from 1707 to the present day…now thats embarrassing!!! This embarrassment is not just Scotlands, it is the UK’s, the UN’s and the wider worlds for that matter. Our jailer will not give us the keys to freedom so we must take them with the help of the UN and the wider world. A treaty is not forever. You can leave them as easily as you entered them! (see Brexit).

    Liked by 5 people

  12. What a sad day for common Scots this must have been.

    “On the day the new Great Britain came into effect, the church bells of St Giles in Edinburgh tolled out the tune How Can I Be Sad On My Wedding Day? The Chancellor of Scotland, the Earl of Seafield, made an equally poignant statement, bitterly describing the union as “An end of an auld sang”.”

    The then Duke of Hamilton played a big part (by his treachery) in the forcing of the union.

    “The treachery of one of the country’s leading nobles, the Duke of Hamilton, was instrumental in what happened next. Hamilton, who had been a virulent anti-unionist, suddenly switched sides after secretly being bribed by the English. His fellow anti-unionists walked out in protest, and a decision was voted through to allow the Queen to appoint the Scottish commissioners who were to meet with the English and discuss union.

    Hamilton’s move had a major impact – it effectively meant there would not be hard bargaining on Scotland’s behalf, but that Anne was guaranteed the deal she wanted, with the interests of Scots well down the list of priorities.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well all we need to do is look around and see how badly things have been allowed to slide. The ruins can be seen in Hamilton itself. I think they kept the Fire place and other things fae the Rothschild collections in museums. But as weans we went exploring and there’s old statues and stuff overgrown and broken. The burns are strewn with rubbish and well places are like ghost towns.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All council books and salaries should be looked at in my opinion and see exactly what has been going on and questions asked about all these empty rotten spaces. Allowing things to get into disrepair and filthy under a banner of excuses, or looking for ways to fix it when if managed properly in the first place they would have kept on top of things. Can’t blame the SNP for that, it’s been over a period of time.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Great comments with plenty history that we need to keep remembering. We must not give up though it will not be easy to regain our status as an independent Country.


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