When travelling in Scotland it’s almost impossible not to be touched by our rich history. Those with some historical knowledge may have heard of the Declaration of Arbroath*, which is one of Scotland’s most important historical documents, capturing a powerful call for the recognition of the Kingdom of Scotland’s sovereign independence.
The Declaration is a letter dated 6 April 1320, written by the barons and and freeholders of Scotland, on behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland, to Pope John XXII asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.
The letter also asks the Pontiff to persuade King Edward II of England to end hostilities against the Scots, so that their energy may be better used to secure other frontiers.
The Declaration was probably drawn up at Arbroath Abbey. Written in Latin, it was sealed by eight earls and about forty barons. It was authenticated by seals, as documents at that time were not signed. Only 19 seals now remain.
We like to link up our creative experiences with local, real life things happening around us. Our Hidden Treasures Art Retreat with Arbroath-based Scottish painter Kate Cunningham and guest tutors will take place in Arbroath 3-10 April 2020 – not quite at Arbroath Abbey but nearby at the charming Rosely Country House. So, we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the Declaration’s 700th anniversary in its place of origin during our retreat – how cool is that! The anniversary will be marked with the Arbroath 2020 programme of events and activities to engage and inspire through the story of the Declaration. I’m curious to see how the festivities inspire the artistic interpretation of this historic location on the Scottish east coast.
Also, the declaration document will be displayed within the Scotland galleries of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 27 March to 26 April 2020. Why not add a day in Edinburgh before or after the retreat to see the real thing? 🙂
* Image of declaration document copyright National Records Scotland