The leader of the anti-Union 'Country Party' was James, 4th Duke of Hamilton. In late September 1705, he waited until most of the Scottish members of parliament had gone home for the day, before he made a startling proposal.
Hamilton opined that there were too many feuds and wrangling amongst the Scottish peers. They should allow their queen to decide who would negotiate the terms of union with England.
Queen Anne - who had only briefly been to Scotland once as a child, spoke just about England at her coronation and referred to Scotland during her reign only in terms of safeguarding the security of England - was thoroughly delighted to be asked to nominate the Scottish committee. She filled it with pro-union peers.
Hamilton had utterly misjudged his monarch's 'neutrality' in Scottish affairs.
With the Union debate thus so heavily loaded to favor English interests, it's hardly surprising that the will of the Scottish people barely penetrated parliament. Yet ensuring that the votes came in with the right answer was an enterprise run like a Mafia operation.
Large sums of money passed hands. A decade before, the disastrous Darien Scheme had left many wealthy Scottish families substantially poorer. Suddenly the Bank of England began paying out 'compensation', but with a blatant political bias. An avowed 'yes' vote made a member of parliament eligible to claim.
John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll was given £20,000 from the English treasury, to pass out as 'payments for arrears of salary' to those peers willing to vote for the union. He kept most of it himself, while also accepting many other 'lavish (material) rewards'. In addition, Argyll managed to wrangle two English peerages (Baron Chatham and Earl of Greenwich) for himself, and a Scottish peerage (Lord of Islay) for his younger brother.
Other members of the Scottish Parliament were also able to trade their acquiescence for personal gain and promotions at the court of their queen.
Right up until the eve of the vote, the Duke of Hamilton remained outspoken in his opposition to the union. But on the day, he didn't turn up, citing toothache.
In the aftermath, his cripplingly high debts mysteriously disappeared into the ether. He was also suddenly awarded two English peerages - Duke of Brandon (with estates in Suffolk) and Baron Dutton of Cheshire. Queen Anne knighted him in the Order of the Garter, and the new British Parliament made him ambassador to Paris.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Queensberry - who was credited by the monarch as orchestrating the whole union, with his ability to find the pressure points of peers, and press - was made Duke of Dover. He was awarded £3,000 a year, for the rest of his life, paid for by the English Post Office.
It wasn't all bribery and corruption of the monetary sense though. Some inducements played for hearts and minds.
Presbyterian Kirks fell silent in their opposition after the Act of the Security of the Church in Scotland was placed before the house. Safe-guarded from post-union religious interference, the clergy stopped issuing sermons against it.
On January 16th 1707, the Scottish Parliament ratified the Union with England Act by a majority of just forty-three. It was formally dissolved on April 28th, ahead of the signing of the Act of Union on May 1st 1707.