The Franco-Scottish Society within its mission - to promote French Language and Culture –is keen to “increase and disseminate in Scotland knowledge of France and the French way of life, with particular reference to its economic, social, political, historical and cultural institutions and developments…”. It also strives to “foster interest in the shared cultural heritage of the French and the Scots “as well as to “facilitate and encourage Franco-Scottish research projects”.
The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland Lecture
Every two years an eminent speaker is invited to talk on a theme of Franco-Scottish interest before an audience made up of members, guests and the general public. The event is held in turn in Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow. This biennial lecture was for many years funded from a generous gift from the 8th Marquis of Lansdowne (1912-99), former President and Honorary President of the Franco-Scottish Society and was known as “The Lansdowne Lecture”. The fund is now exhausted and since November 2018 is sponsorship- funded and has been renamed “The FSSS Lecture”.
Nationally Funded Projects
Mary Queen of Scots Statue at Linlithgow Palace
This first public statue to be erected in Scotland commemorating the life of Mary Stuart Queen of Scots was commissioned in 2007 to promote further study into this fascinating Franco-Scottish figure.
The sculpture is the result of several years of fundraising, by the Marie Stuart Society. In February 2015 the Society's President Margaret Lumsdaine, formally unveiled the statue before gifting it to Historic Scotland.
The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland donated generously to the project as did its sister branch in France the Association franco-écossaise and individual members of the society. They are listed alongside other major donors who helped realise the dream.
Marie de Guise at the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland
The Franco-Scottish Society has decided to participate in the NGS project of “adopting” figures on the frieze in the Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery. It has given a donation to preserve the figure of Marie de Guise, emblematic of the shared history of France and Scotland. Public recognition for the donation received from the FSSS and its sister branch in France the Association Franco-écossaise appear on the board of donors.
The National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh is also home to a painting of Marie de Guise by the Dutch artist Corneille de Lyon. Marie was born in 1515, the daughter of a French aristocrat she later became the wife of James V of Scotland and subsequently mother to Mary Queen of Scots.
On the death of her infant sons and husband she remained in Scotland as Regent to her daughter. Her attempts to reverse the advance of Protestantism failed, as they did for her more famous daughter who catastrophically ended up losing the Scottish Throne and her life.