Feb 4 (Reuters) - Scotland will vote on breaking away from the
rest of the United Kingdom in a referendum set for Sept. 18.
In the biggest test of national unity since most of Ireland broke away from the
U.K. nearly a century ago, Scottish residents over the age of 16 will be asked:
"Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes or No?".
The British government in London is opposed to independence, saying Scotland is
better off staying within the union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Following is a timeline of milestones in relations between the Scots and the
rest of Britain.
1st Century AD - First written records of Scottish history when Romans invade
and seize much of the island of Britain, with Emperor Hadrian building Hadrian's
Wall from coast to coast. North of the wall is Caledonia and partly occupied by
3rd Century - After many battles, the Romans all but depart the land that came
to be known later as Scotland.
5th Century - Gaels or Scoti originating from Northern Ireland raid and settle
north of the River Clyde.
8th Century - All Scotland's kingdoms overthrown to some extent by Vikings,
forcing the Picti, Scoti and other tribes to unite in the 9th Century to form
the Kingdom of Scotland.
12th Century - Anglo-Norman barons including the Bruce family lay claim to much
of mainland Scotland.
1296-1328 - First War of Independence. Scots led by William Wallace try to throw
off English influence after King Edward I of England invades Scotland in 1296.
The next year Robert the Bruce leads a revolt and after years of war Scotland
defeats the English at Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
1328 - Scotland's independence is recognised.
1332-1357 - Second War of Independence.
1603 - Union of the Crowns. Accession of James VI, King of Scots, to the thrones
of England and Ireland and unification for some purposes of the three realms
under a single monarch.
1695 - Bank of Scotland is founded a year after Bank of England.
1707 - The Treaty of the Union creates the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the
parliamentary union of England - which for administrative purposes also
encompasses the Principality of Wales - with Scotland. It takes effect on May 1
but Scotland retains its own legal and educational systems.
1715 - The first Jacobite uprising. British forces crush an attempt by Scottish
supporters of the exiled House of Stuart to regain the throne.
1745-46 - The second Jacobite uprising aimed at putting "Bonnie Prince Charlie"
Stuart on the British throne ends in defeat at the battle of Culloden.
1916 - The "Provisional Government of the Irish Republic" proclaims Ireland's
independence from the United Kingdom.
1922 - Anglo-Irish Treaty establishes Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The
latter remains in the United Kingdom.
1934 - Scottish National Party (SNP) is founded.
1945 - SNP gains first seat in parliament at Westminster.
1950 - Stone of Destiny, traditionally used during the coronation of British
monarchs, taken from Westminster Abbey by four Scots students and taken back to
Scotland for the first time since being looted by Edward I's army in 1296. Amid
public outcry, the Stone is found and returned to London.
1952 - Elizabeth II becomes queen of the United Kingdom.
1973 - United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community which is later
renamed the European Union.
1973 - Kilbrandon Commission recommends devolved assemblies for Scotland and
Wales after four-year inquiry.
1975 - First North Sea oil is produced.
1979 - A referendum on Scottish devolution is held but does not achieve the
necessary 40 percent of the electorate. The SNP experiences an electoral decline
during the 1980s.
1989 - Introduction of the Poll Tax by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative
government helps revive the independence movement.
1996 - Stone of Destiny formally returned to Scotland by the British Government
and put on display at Edinburgh Castle.
1997 - Referendum shows overwhelming support for a separate Scottish Parliament
with tax-raising powers.0
1998 - Scottish Act assigns devolved powers to a Scottish Parliament.
1999 - Elections for first 129-member Scottish Parliament with Labour winning 56
seats and the SNP 35 seats.
2004 - Royal opening of new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.
2007 - Launch of National Conversation on Scotland's
Constitutional Future by Scottish Government.
2007 - SNP overturns Labour majority in election, forming a minority government
with 47 seats to Labour's 46 with support from the Greens on some issues.
2011 - SNP led by First Minister Alex Salmond wins a majority in the 129-member
parliament with 69 seats to Labour's 37, leading to Scotland's first majority
Oct 2012 - Edinburgh Agreement is signed by Salmond and British Prime Minister
David Cameron paving the way for a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.
Nov 2013 - Scottish government publishes "Scotland's Future", making the case
Sept 18, 2014 - Referendum for independence.
(Compiled by London bureau; Editing by Gareth Jones).