CLAN-LEASK-L ArchivesArchiver > CLAN-LEASK > 2002-04 > 1018761459
From: "John A Hansen" <>
Subject: [Clan LEASK] Declaration of Arbroath
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 22:17:39 -0700
A snippet from Scottie:
Declaration of Arbroath
The National Archives of Scotland holds a copy of the Declaration of
Arbroath which was made in 1320 (the original was sent to the Pope in Rome,
asking him, in rousing terms, to acknowledge Scotland as an independent
nation and to reject the claims of the English king). The National Archives
have produced a limited edition print of the document, showing it as it was
before parts of the text were damaged in the 1800s. One of the prints is
being presented to the Scottish Parliament and another was presented to
Arbroath Abbey this week - on 6 April. It is thought that the Declaration
was drafted by Bernard, the Abbot of Arbroath and the Chancellor of
Rampant Scotland - the largest directory of Scottish links!
Comments by JAH
The Declaration was drafted and signed in 1320. The battle of
Bannockburn was 1314. King Robert the Bruce was still under
attack by the English over the following years. The Pope was still
in agreement with the English Royalty about the ownership of
Scotland and had refused to acknowledge the rights of
King Robert the Bruce to be the King of Scotland.
The Declaration of Arbroath was considered a significant event due
to the Clans Chiefs stating the King Robert the Bruce was King only
because he agreed with the people and was not ruler by a divine heritage.
The major precedence was thence that a leader of any people had
to lead by following the choice of the people and that freedom was
the more valuable than life itself. It thus served as a model for our
both the Declaration of Independence and the following constitution
of the new United States of America.
See the background at :
Here is the most famous clause that has carried through these
many years: The "He" below is referring to King Robert the Bruce.
His right to rule is based entirely on his being willing to
maintain the freedom of Scotland.
"Yet if he 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
The Magna Carta in 1215 had stated certain rights that people had BUT
that these rights were granted by the King himself. The Declaration of
Arbroath stated that these rights and the leadership of their country
belonged to the people and not the King. However, the Magna Carta then
served as the foundation of the Bill of Rights.
It's been interesting to me to follow and assemble the impact of the
Scottish and English Ancestors on the formation of our own
framework of the ideals that evolved in our culture.
John A Hansen
|[Clan LEASK] Declaration of Arbroath by "John A Hansen" <>|