The Scottish Parliament & The Act Of Union

The Act of Union sent shockwaves through the Wizarding community

Scotland merged with England causing the Wizard's council to dissolve

Old parliament House hall with stained glass windows
Old parliament hall, off the Royal Mile

This is the old Scottish parliament hall. It was completed in 1639, making it the oldest parliament building in Britain. It was a multi-use building, like Churches today. Court cases were tried with judges sitting in the alcoves to the left. When ‘Lord Protector’ Oliver Cromwell beheaded King Charles the 1st in 1649, he came up to fight the defiant Scots and used our parliament as a stables.

In 1707 Scotland officially merged with England and JK Rowling’s secretive wizard’s council was dissolved.

Blockbuster author Sir Walter Scott summed up the attitude of the Muggle on the street with an elderly woman complaining:
“I ken when we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament – men our ain. You could peeble them with stones when they were nae guid Bairns [kids]. But nobodies Hails can reach to Lunnon”.

The wizards’ council saw that the Muggle world was growing more sophisticated and connected up. Grappling to maintain the 1692 International Statute of secrecy, the council realised they needed a more highly structured, complex and organised government, to support and regulate a community in hiding. So the council was broken and the Ministry of Magic formed.

Ulick Gamp the first minister of magic

The first minister of magic was Ulick Gamp. His frog-like portrait hangs in number 10 Downing street and, in emergencies, announces the visit of the presiding minister of magic of the day. Much to the Prime Muggles eternal fright.

When Cornelius Fudge visits Prime Minister John Major, during the Half Blood Prince, he tells him “You are much better than the last one. She tried to throw me out the window.” Margaret Thatcher wasn’t called the Iron Lady for nothing. (She thought it was an opposition plot to sabotage her career).

Following a referendum in 1997 the Scottish parliament was reconvened in 1998.

The Scot's new Parliament with trees in the foreground
The new Scottish Parliament sits on the edge of Holyrood Park

However no Prime minister nor Scottish First Minister has ever visited the Ministry of magic. This was explained in 1858 by the Minister of Magic, (a Scot called) Dugald McPhail,

"Their puir wee braines could-nae cope we it."

Old Parliament Hall has now been incorporated into the Courts
HP Lexicon's Ulick Gamp Portrait  JK Rowling's essay on Ministers of magic