Arbroath, declaration of

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Arbroath, declaration of. The name usually given to the letter of the Scottish barons to Pope John XXII, dated at Arbroath on 6 April 1320, which proclaimed the ancient independence of Scotland and denounced English efforts at conquest. It was part of Robert I of Scotland's response to his threatened excommunication for failing to observe papal demands for a truce. On receipt of the letter, the pope suspended the proceedings which he had taken against the Scots, and called on Edward II to make peace. The letter attracted little attention till the late 17th cent. when it was published during efforts to maintain the integrity of Scotland; since then it has often been described as a Scottish ‘Declaration of Independence’.

Bruce Webster