Key Events from Stirling’s History

15 Key Events from Stirling’s History

While Stirling is rightly famous for being the scene of Scotland’s most important battle: Bannockburn, 1314, the 700th anniversary of which was 2014, every corner of Scotland’s best preserved Medieval city is linked to other key events from the past, many of which took place in buildings that survive to this day and are associated with objects and documents in the archives in museums.

Stirling Council’s Archaeologist and Archive Service in collaboration with the Smith Museum and Art Gallery have selected 15 overlooked anniversaries from our past and invite you to explore them with us!

From William Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie to Coronations and witch trials and a shoot out at Holy Rude, on each anniversary we’ll show you documents, objects and places to visit,

Key Events:

  1.  1746 Jacobites in Stirling.
  2.  1746 Explosion at St Ninians Church
  3.  1637 Cowane's Hospital founded
  4.  1659 trial of 12 women for witchcraft in the Tolbooth!
  5.  1820 the Radical Uprising [Baird and Hardie executed 8 September 1820]
  6.  1425 Trial and execution of Murdoch Duke of Albany at Stirling Castle
  7.  1945 D-Day Second World War
  8.  1488 Battle of Sauchieburn and Death of James III 
  9.  1914 Declaration of War - First World War
  10.  1567 James IVth Crowned
  11.  1651 Civil War - Siege of Stirling by General Monck
  12.  1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge and the inauguration of the Wallace Monument 1869
  13.  1513 Death of James IVth at Flodden Field; coronation of James IVth
  14.  1715 Battle of Sheriffmuir
  15.  1314 1st post Bannockburn parliament  

See Also Stirling's History Timeline.

Here you can read about some of the social history in Stirling from The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland from broadsides "The Word on the Street"

In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.

The National Library of Scotland's on line collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humor, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.

Each broadside comes with a detailed commentary and most also have a full transcription of the text, plus a downloadable PDF facsimile. You can search by keyword, ie Stirling, browse by title or browse by subject.

Take a look, and discover what fascinated our ancestors!

Acknowledgment to: The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland