National Records of Scotland

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Rare chance to see Declaration of Arbroath

Rare chance to see Declaration of Arbroath

Friday, 23 Jun 2023
Photo showing Declaration of Arbroath Seals

There are only 10 days left to see the historic Declaration of Arbroath on display at the National Museum of Scotland, in a rare opportunity for members of the public to see this famous document for themselves.

National Records of Scotland (NRS), which preserves the 703-year-old letter as part of the national archives, says its age means it can only be displayed for short periods of time. The current display is the first in 18 years.

The Declaration is a letter to the Pope sent in 1320 from the barons of the Kingdom of Scotland seeking his recognition of Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.

NRS Head of Medieval & Early Modern Records Dr Alan Borthwick said:

“The Declaration of Arbroath is a remarkable relic of medieval Scotland, preserved in National Records of Scotland collections.

“We are very fortunate that it has survived for over seven centuries while so many records of its era have been lost or destroyed.

“The Declaration is written on sheepskin, which becomes fragile over time. Chances to display it are limited and this is a wonderful opportunity for people to see this fascinating document before it’s brought back to the NRS archives for safekeeping.”

The Declaration of Arbroath is on display and free to view at the National Museum of Scotland until 2 July.