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Parliament of Scotland

Legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland (1235–1707) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Parliament of Scotland (Scots: Pairlament o Scotland; Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council of bishops and earls, with the first identifiable parliament being held in 1235 during the reign of Alexander II, when it already possessed a political and judicial role.

Quick facts: Parliament of Scotland Pàrlamaid na h-Alba P...
Parliament of Scotland

Pàrlamaid na h-Alba
Pairlament o Scotland
Coat of arms or logo
Disbanded1 May 1707
Preceded byCuria regis
Succeeded byParliament of Great Britain
ennoblement by the monarch,
inheritance of a peerage,
appointment as an officer of state, or
election with limited suffrage1
Meeting place
Parliament House, Edinburgh
1Reflecting Parliament as it stood on
25 March 1707;
75 nobles
2 officers of state
83 commissioners for shires
67 commissioners for burghs

A unicameral institution, for most of its existence the Parliament consisted of the three estates of clergy, nobility, and the burghs. By the 1690s it comprised the nobility, the shires, the burghs, and various officers of state. Parliament gave consent for the raising of taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war, and the passing of a broad range of legislation. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, such as General Councils or Conventions of Estates, which could both carry out much business dealt with by parliament, but lacked the powers and ultimate authority of a full parliament.[1]

The Parliament of Scotland was adjourned and dissolved in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England. With the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain on 1 May 1707, the parliaments of Scotland and England were succeeded by the new Parliament of Great Britain. Under the Acts of Union 1800, the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland merged to become the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[2]

Long portrayed as a constitutionally defective body that acted merely as a rubber stamp for royal decisions, modern research has found that the Parliament of Scotland played an active role in Scottish affairs. In the 15th and early 16th centuries Parliament was a powerful counter-weight to the power of the Stewart kings.[1] Parliament provided counsel and aid to successive monarchs, while also successfully opposing unpopular royal policies.[1]