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02dyhe Hot News Lord Lyon Message
Message from the Lord Lyon –
The Celebration of the 700th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.

Greetings from Edinburgh on this spring day albeit that we are affected by the pandemic which is playing such a critical role in all our lives worldwide. On 6 April 2020 we are celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. This document was signed at Arbroath Abbey which is just a few miles from my home and the ruins of which I have walked round on many occasions.

The Declaration is one of the most significant documents that emerged from Mediaeval Europe. It is a document that is marked by learning and scholarship and for the 14th century provides an argument for the self determination of the Scottish people. It changed constitutional thinking – such that our King was required to rule in the best interests of his people who, through the Declaration, kept a right to Depose the king.
This fundamental principle in constitutional law of the power of the people remains even to today and applies in all democratic states to Monarch and State Leader alike.

Throughout the centuries this principle was drawn on by many including the Committee who drafted the American Declaration of Independence. Today we all celebrate the living Scotland whether here at home or abroad acknowledge the influence this Declaration has had and further celebrate our Scottish heritage. One simple fact that highlights the influence of the living Scotland is shown in the fact that at the 1776 Convention of Philadelphia 10 of the 13 emerging States of America were represented by those who claimed Scottish birth. All of this led to the establishment by the United States Senate of the celebration of Tartan Day each year on 6 April.

Happy 700th Anniversary celebrations of the Declaration of Arbroath and Happy Tartan Day.


Dr Joseph J Morrow,
Right Honourable Lord Lyon, King of Arms

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