John MacDonald MacCormick
Founder of the Scottish Nationalist Party in 1932 although never an MP. He helped redefine the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
- Name : MacCormick
- Born : 1904
- Died : 1961
- Category : Political Figures
- Finest Moment : Foundation of the SNP in 1932
'A patriot who helped foster the Scottish National Party'
A lawyer from Glasgow, of Highland parents whose ancestral home was in the Ross of Mull, MacCormick took a leading role in the foundation and subsequent history of the Scottish National Party. In 1932 he merged the National Party of Scotland, which he had help to found, with the Scottish Party, thereby founding the SNP. He remained National Secretary of the SNP until 1942, when he resigned over policy regarding the war. In 1945, Dr Robert McIntyre won the first SNP seat in Parliament, with a victory against Labour at the Motherwell by-election. He was later chairman.
Staying active in politics, with other colleagues MacCormick formed the Scottish Convention, an all-party pressure group which after the war convened a series of Scottish National Assemblies. They launched for signature the Scottish Covenant, calling for a Scottish Parliament, and though unsuccessful, its collection of upwards of two million signatures raised the temperature of Scottish political consciousness, leading ultimately to successes by the SNP.
MacCormick served as Rector of Glasgow University from 1950-3, and had a role in the 'kidnapping' of the Scone Stone of Destiny on Christmas Day, 1950. This is the stone on which Scottish Kings had sat to be crowned for centuries. It was stolen by the English in 1295, by the wretched Edward I, and had sat in Westminster Abbey since then. It was over 800 years before it was restored to its rightful place, but in 1950, Scottish pride was smarting at being ignored by Westminster. Four months after its recovery, it was returned to the English, who finally relinquished their hold on it some 50 years later, when Scotland took up their Parliament again.
MacCormick is also remembered for his unsuccessful court case against the Lord Advocate (1953 SC), when he challenged the right of the Queen to use the 'II' after her name in Scotland. Although unsuccessful, the case redefined attitudes towards to the 1707 Treaty of Union in constitutional law. MacCormick died in 1961, aged 57.