During the reign of Scottish King James IV, Inchkeith, an island in the Firth of Forth midway between Edinburgh and the Kingdom of Fife, was the site of an extraordinary experiment. According to the historian Robert Lyndsay of Pitscottie, James IV directed in 1493 that a dumb Woman and two infants be transported to the island, in order to ascertain which language the infants would grow up to speak isolated from the rest of the world. It was hoped that the experiment would show what the ‘original’ language, or language of God would be.
He caused tak ane dumb woman, and pat hir in Inchkeith and gave hir two bairnes with hir, and gart furnish hir with all necessares thingis perteaning to theiar nourischment, desiring heirby to know what language they had when they cam to the aige of perfyte speach. Some say they spak guid Hebrew; but I know not by authoris rehearse.
— Robert Lyndsay of Pitscottie, James Grant’s Edinburgh, Old and New
(He caused take one dumb woman and put her in(on) Inchkeith and gave her two children with her, and had furnished her with all the necessary things pertaining to their nourishment, desiring thereby to know what language they had when they came to the age of perfect speech. Some say they spoke good Hebrew: but I know not by author’s own witness)
The island has been inhabited for 1,800 years according to remains found there but these days is abandoned to the birdlife who abound there in huge numbers.