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After the Romans withdrew from Scotland

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Even so, it was not really until the 18th Century that the remoter parts came under central control. By this time the great oaks and, pines of Fife had been used up in the building of ships.

After the Romans withdrew from Scotland, a series of visitors came into the Forth, most notably the Vikings and the Norsemen. but although battles were fought they did not manage to colonise as they did in Eastern England, Western Scotland and Ireland. Perhaps the natives were too fierce whatever the reason., there is little evidence of settlement.

The strategic importance of Burntisland and the Forth was illustrated during the wars of the Reformation in 1559 when Mary the Queen Regent sent over 2,000 French troops to capture the town without which it would have been impossible to move against the Protestant Lords’ in Fife.

A century later in 1651, Cromwell’s army under General Monck was unable to move North until, after several failed attacks, and the slaughter of 5200 Scots troops at Pitreavie, the town was able to negotiate an honourable surrender.

In 1633, when King Charles crossed the Forth, the ports were busy and prosperous. There was ferry traffic, and the newly developing coal industry as well as the traditional trade links with Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the Low Countries.

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