Scotland's Declaration of Arbroath to become a Unesco ‘memory of the world’


Well-known member
Jan 20, 2016
One of the oldest declarations of independence in the world, via 'Scotland the Brave', is receiving the attention it deserves (somewhat fitting, what with all the talk of a possible Referendum Mark II):

Declaration of Arbroath to become a Unesco ‘memory of the world’
One of the most famous documents in Scotland's history has been recognised by the United Nations for its international importance.


It is a letter written to the Pope in 1320, voicing support for King Robert Bruce and an independent Scotland.

The declaration, which was written in Latin, is still regarded as a statement of a nation's claim to freedom. It was signed by the Scottish barons and pledged their resistance to English rule.

It had as much to do with internal Scottish politics - which, like many medieval societies, had a distinctly violent edge - as anything...

The declaration was written by Bernard of Kilwinning, then Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, and was part of a broader diplomatic campaign to assert Scotland's position as an independent kingdom.

Scottish Barons also wanted Pope John XXII to lift the excommunication of Robert the Bruce, which was carried out after Bruce murdered his rival, John Comyn, in a church in Dumfries.

And people say modern politics is tough (Boris Johnson and Michael Gove ought to consider themselves lucky).

Still some stirring sentiments there:

‘Yet if he (Bruce) should give up what he has begun, and agree 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 rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, 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.’

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