On April 6th this year, as we celebrate National Tartan Day in the US, Scots the world over will be celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. The Declaration is a letter written in 1320 by the barons and whole community of the kingdom of Scotland to the pope, asking him to recognize Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.
Certain words from the Declaration have resonated down the years in Scotland and beyond:
“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 honors, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”.
These are the best known words in the Declaration of Arbroath, foremost among Scotland’s state papers and the most famous historical record held by National Records of Scotland.