Statutes of Iona


The Statutes of Iona represented an attempt by King James VI to force an end to the separatism of the Highlands and bring together Gaelic and English-speaking cultures. They were seen as the first attempt by government to suppress Gaelic culture. In 1609, nine Highland chiefs were called to Iona and forced to agree to a range of measures including their eldest sons being educated in English-speaking Protestant schools the Lowlands. Protestant ministers were sent to churches across the Highlands, where Roman Catholicism was still practiced, and Gaelic bards were outlawed in an attempt to prevent the traditions of the Gaelic community being passed on.

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