Declaration of Arbroath Day!
(Also known as
By a letter to the Pope, dated April 6, 1320, probably drafted by the Abbott of Arbroath and sealed by a group of Scottish nobles, Scotland affirmed its independence from England.
…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.
The Declaration made a number of rhetorical points: that Scotland had always been independent, indeed for longer than England; that Edward I of England had unjustly attacked Scotland and perpetrated atrocities; that Robert the Bruce had delivered the Scottish nation from this peril; and, most controversially, that the independence of Scotland was the prerogative of the Scottish people, rather than the King of Scots. In fact it stated that the nobility would choose someone else to be king if Bruce proved to be unfit in maintaining Scotland’s independence. Some have interpreted this last point as an early expression of ‘popular sovereignty’ – that government is contractual and that kings can be chosen by the community rather than by God alone.
Now go celebrate with a good dram of Scotch! And listen to some pipes:
Scots Wha Hae
Flower of Scotland
Scotland the Brave