The Act of Union in 1707 gave Scottish merchants access to the slave trade. Scots travelled out to the colonies and generated great wealth for Scotland based on slave labour. In 1807 Scots owned almost a third of all the slaves in Jamaica. The 'Tobacco Lords' made their fortunes in the colonies before returning to Scotland, many building large mansions.
Scotland also played a leading role in abolishing the slave trade. On 25 March 1807 the UK Parliament passed the Bill that abolished the trading of slaves in the British Empire. The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act meant that it became illegal to trade in slaves throughout the British Empire and that British ships were banned from being involved in the trade.
Major events in 1807.
June — Thomas Telford's stone bridge at Wick is completed.
13 July — With the death at Frascati of Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, the last Stuart claimant to the British throne, the movement of Jacobitism comes to an effective end.
17 August — Robert Stevenson and his workmen set out to begin construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse from Arbroath in the Smeaton.
Autumn — The "Old Academy" building for Perth Academy, designed by Robert Reid, is completed.
21 October — Foundation stone of the Nelson Monument, Edinburgh, on Calton Hill, is laid.
Highland Clearances — Clearance of crofting tenants from the Highland estates of the Marchioness and her husband the Marquess of Stafford to make way for sheep and other farming begins at Farr and Lairg.
The planned village of Evanton is established in Easter Ross by Alexander Fraser of Inchcoulter/Balconie.
The Hunterian Museum is opened to the public in Glasgow.
The post of Regius Professor of Zoology in the University of Glasgow is established as the Regius Chair of Natural History by King George III, Lockhart Muirhead being the first holder.
John Smith is appointed official city architect of Aberdeen.
The publisher A & C Black is founded by Adam and Charles Black in Edinburgh.
The religious publisher Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier is established as booksellers Oliphant and Brown by William Oliphant in Edinburgh.
Millburn distillery is established as the Inverness Distillery by a Mr. Welsh.
The use of fulminate in firearms is patented by the Rev. Alexander John Forsyth.