The Scots, The Declaration of Arbroath & The Tribes Of Israel

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Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320

“As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”.

This is a translation of part of the Declaration of Arbroath, foremost among Scotland’s state papers and perhaps the most famous historical record held by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). The Declaration is a letter from the barons and whole community of the kingdom of Scotland to the pope in 1320, asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.

The Declaration was in Latin and was sealed by eight earls and about forty barons. Over the centuries various copies and translations have been made, including a recent microscopic edition.

The Declaration of Arbroath and Scottish independence

The Declaration was written during the long war of independence with England which started with Edward l’s attempt to conquer Scotland in 1296. When the deaths of Alexander III and his granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, left Scotland without a monarch, Edward used the invitation to help choose a successor as an excuse to revive English claims of overlordship. When the Scots resisted, he invaded.

Edward refused to allow William Wallace’s victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297 to derail his campaign. In 1306 Robert the Bruce seized the throne and began a long struggle to secure his position against internal and external threat. His success at Bannockburn in 1314, when he defeated an English army under Edward II, was a major achievement but the English still did not recognise Scotland’s independence or Bruce’s position as king.

On the European front, by 1320 Scottish relations with the papacy were in crisis after they defied papal efforts to establish a truce with England. When the pope excommunicated the king and three of his bishops, the Scots sent the Declaration of Arbroath as part of a diplomatic counter-offensive. The original letter, delivered to the pope in Avignon, is lost, but we know it reached him. He wrote to Edward II urging him to make peace, but it was not until 1328 that Scotland’s independence was acknowledged.

The Declaration was probably drawn up by Bernard, Abbot of Arbroath. It was authenticated by seals, as documents at that time were not signed. Only 19 seals now remain of what might have been 50 originally, and many are in poor condition.  We have created separate images of each of the seals, with some biographical notes about the seal owners.

Versions, copies and facsimiles of the Declaration of Arbroath

The document in the National Records of Scotland is the only surviving copy of the Declaration. It was kept with the rest of the national records in Edinburgh Castle until the early seventeenth century. When work was being done on the castle, the Declaration was taken for safekeeping to Tyninghame, the home of the official in charge of the records. While there it suffered damage through damp and it returned to the custody of the Deputy Clerk Register (the predecessor of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland) in 1829. Conservation staff at the NRS monitor the Declaration to ensure it survives for many centuries to come.

Although the Declaration was damaged during its absence from Edinburgh Castle, the full text was known from an engraving made around 1815, produced by the engraver William Home Lizars (1788-1859).

Translation

National Archives of Scotland Declaration of Arbroath

Translation of the Declaration of Arbroath – revised version (2005), based on Sir James Fergusson, The Declaration of Arbroath 1320 (1970) pp. 5-11, with reference to A A M Duncan, The Nation of Scots and the Declaration of Arbroath (Historical Association pamphlet, 1970), pp. 34- 37 and D E R Watt (ed.) Scotichronicon Vol. 7 (1996), pp. 4-9. Translation compiled by Alan Borthwick June 2005

To the most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Steward of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lord of Douglas, Roger Mowbray, David, Lord of Brechin, David Graham, Ingram Umfraville, John Menteith, guardian of the earldom of Menteith, Alexander Fraser, Gilbert Hay, Constable of Scotland, Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland, Henry Sinclair, John Graham, David Lindsay, William Oliphant, Patrick Graham, John Fenton, William Abernethy, David Wemyss, William Mushet, Fergus of Ardrossan, Eustace Maxwell, William Ramsay, William Mowat, Alan Murray, Donald Campbell, John Cameron, Reginald Cheyne, Alexander Seton, Andrew Leslie and Alexander Straiton, and the other barons and freeholders and the whole community of the realm of Scotland send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.

Most Holy Father, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. It journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage peoples, but nowhere could it be subdued by any people, however barbarous. Thence it came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to its home in the west where it still lives today. The Britons it first drove out, the Picts it utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, it took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the histories of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all servitude ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken by a single foreigner.

The high qualities and merits of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, shine forth clearly enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor did He wish them to be confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles – by calling, though second or third in rank – the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter’s brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron for ever.

The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and strengthened this same kingdom and people with many favours and numerous privileges, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter’s brother. Thus our people under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in a guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no-one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless prince, King and lord, the lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, bore cheerfully toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Maccabaeus or Joshua. Him, too, divine providence, the succession to his right according to our laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our prince and king. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by his right and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be subjected to the lordship of the English. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose vice-gerent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privations brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness’s memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to the help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find a readier advantage and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.

But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our undoing, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar, and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nothing.

May the Most High preserve you to His Holy Church in holiness and health for many days to come.

Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid

I have just stumbled across this blog…

January 3, 2016, News Special on the reality of Ireland, Part One, Veronica Keen

It is a MUST READ


Listen to the audience sing…. some o the REAL Jacobites

Flower of Scotland     6 Nations at Murrayfield 06/02/16   Scot v Eng

{& yes I was there!! Right hand side, top corner, front row seats!}

I love hearing the great unwashed singin!

Scotland’s unoffical national anthem ~ Written by The Corries Flower of Scotland (original version)  We are not “allowed” to pick our own national anthem, so officially we are stuck wi Scotland the Brave But if you listen to that, you then have to counteract it by listening to the Corries pisstake version below!!

lyrics

Land o’ the purple heather.
Land o’ the dirty weather.
Land where the midges gaither, Scotland the Brave.
Land o’ the Pakistanis,
Andy Capp and Saturday sannies.
Land where they sell their grannies, Scotland the Brave.

Used to say in faither’s day,
You could hear the bagpipes play,
But now you hear the regal tones o’ Elton John and The Rolling Stones.
Land that is full o’ stinkers,
Wee fat Jews and VP drinkers.
Whisky put a lot o’ stinkers, into Scottish graves.

Land that is full o’ skivers,
Comic singers, deep sea divers,
Turbans on our bus condrivers, Scotland the Brave.
Land o’ the brutal Bobbies,
Councillers wi’ part-time jobbies,
Architects wi’ paying hobbies, Scotland the Brave.

The tourists come here every year
To see all our historic gear,
But all they see is loads o’ navvies, high rise flats wi’ concrete lavvies.
Land o’ the artic’ lorries,
Andy Stewart and ra Corries,
Land where everybody borries, Scotland the Brave.

Land o’ the Kilt and Sporran –
Underneath, there’s nothin’ worn!
How I wish the wind was warm! Scotland the Brave.
I must admit it’s pretty gruesome,
Walking about wi’ your frozen twosome!
It’s all we’ve got – we musn’t lose ’em – Scotland the Brave.

Conservatives try to assure us,
Labour’s hard-put to endure us,
The Kirk puts curbs on our enjoyment, Government makes unemployment.
Never mind – the day is near,
When independence will be here!
We’ll drink a toast in Younger’s beer to Scotland the Brave

 

W i l d C a t

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