Declaration of Arbroath: Historic document to be displayed after 15 years

Image caption The Declaration of Arbroath will not have been seen for 15 years when it goes on display next year

One of the most famous documents in Scotland's history is to go on public display in Edinburgh for the first time in 15 years.

The Declaration of Arbroath is to go on display next year, offering the public a rare chance to view the historic document 700 years after its creation.

It will go on show at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 27 March 27 to 26 April 2020.

Written in Latin, it is thought to have been drawn up at Arbroath Abbey.

The Declaration, dated April 6 1320, was written by the barons 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.


Extract from the Declaration of Arbroath

"Yet if he (Bruce) should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; 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.


Alice Blackwell, curator of medieval archaeology and history at National Museums Scotland, said: "It is a hugely significant document and a vital piece of Scotland's history.

"We look forward to welcoming many visitors next year to enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing this iconic document close up."

Paul Lowe, chief executive of National Records of Scotland, said: "The Declaration of Arbroath is a key treasure in our extensive collections and we're very proud of the role we play in conserving this hugely significant historical artefact for future generations.

"National Records of Scotland is delighted to help display this famous and fragile document for Scots and for visitors from further afield."