The independence issue of Scotland is an emotive subject,
as Mel Gibson found out when making his Holywood
blockbuster “Braveheart”! Those who have seen the film will
know that William Wallace (Scotland’s greatest patriot)
was betrayed by a fellow Scottish noble during the Wars
of Independence and brutally executed at London in
To Edward I (known as the “Hammer of the Scots”),
Wallace was no ordinary enemy, and he personally saw to
it that his arch-enemy's execution was particularly barbaric
even by the standards of the time!
Facsimile of the
Arbroath dated 1320
So when the patriots returned the Stone of Destiny,
which they had removed from Westminster Abbey on Christmas
Day 1950, and deposited it some four months later at the
high altar of Arbroath Abbey; they did so because Arbroath
may well be considered the home of Scottish independence!
By 1320, Edward II, in spite of the English defeat at the
Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, was still not prepared
to recognise Scotland’s independence and their king, Robert
the Bruce. Ultimately the nobility of Scotland petitioned
Pope Paul XXII in what must be one of the greatest
affirmations of freedom known to the civilised world.
It is also said that the Constitution of the United States
of America was modelled on the Declaration of Arbroath.
Certainly, many parallels have been drawn between the
An early engraving depicting the the
Abbey of Aberbrothock as it may have looked at the
signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1320
“ . . . for, as long as a hundred of us remain alive,
we will never on any conditions be subjected to the lordship
of the English. For we fight not for glory, nor riches,
nor honours, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives
up except with his life.”
. . . 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.