Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Declaration of Arbroath (morphed)

Similar to our own Declaration of Independence, but written thousands of miles away and hundreds of years before. You can read the conviction in their letter. Posted under first comment.

EDIT: morphed into a Scottish heritage post.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

The Declaration of Arbroath

To the most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Steward of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lord of Douglas, Roger Mowbray, David, Lord of Brechin, David Graham, Ingram Umfraville, John Menteith, guardian of the earldom of Menteith, Alexander Fraser, Gilbert Hay, Constable of Scotland, Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland, Henry St Clair, John Graham, David Lindsay, William Oliphant, Patrick Graham, John Fenton, William Abernethy, David Wemyss, William Mushet, Fergus of Ardrossan, Eustace Maxwell, William Ramsay, William Mowat, Alan Murray, Donald Campbell, John Cameron, Reginald Cheyne, Alexander Seton, Andrew Leslie, and Alexander Straiton, and the other barons and freeholders and the whole community of the realm of Scotland send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.

Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.
The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor would He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles -- by calling, though second or third in rank -- the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter's brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron forever.

The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter's brother. Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to or laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

Yet if he 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.

Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose Vice-Regent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privation brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness's memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.
But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, csating our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.

May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.
Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.

Endorsed: Letter directed to our Lord the Supreme Pontiff by the community of Scotland.
Additional names written on some of the seal tags: Alexander Lamberton, Edward Keith, John Inchmartin, Thomas Menzies, John Durrant, Thomas Morham (and one illegible).

Can you see the power in the words.......
"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."

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Kender said...

I know well this document, being an avid seeker of the history of my blood. Try reading this while listening to Sons of Somerled by Steve McDonald. Thanks for the reminder of the noble blood that flows in me. No wonder I am so hard to kill. Being literally dead three times, I have a keen love of life and perhaps it is this attitude that has made me so stubbornly cling to life. Great post.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

Kender, you amaze me. I really did not think anyone would respond to this, as it is not a well known document. I have part of it on a T-shirt. I was born in Scotland, have visited there several times, and even own a kilt (Clan Sutherland). My mother left for Scotland today as a matter of fact.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Kender said...

I have an amalgam of blood in me, english, tracing back to the royal grooms for QE1...some cherokee, as the cherokees I believe were the sluts of the time, as everybody I meet seems to claim a bit of it, A dab of french, which I amm very ashamed of BTW, and a big chunk of Welsh and Scot. Clann MacGowan. "Touch not the glove, but a cat"

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Kender said...

BTW, being a lifestyle re-enactor at renaissance faires I have quite a few kilts. None match, as at the time clan tartans were not standardized. I believe they were sometime in the 18th century. And we wear them the old straps...we pleat them up and roll into them. It's alot of fun. You should try it sometime. Nine yards of wool, 60 inches wide....of course we use a wool blend, as it's cooler.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Kender said...

I keep buggin ya I know....but...what part o' Scotland were ye' birthed in lad? Sorry...typing in brogue.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

I was born in the town of Thurso in county Caithness within eye sight of the Orkney isles on a cold November day in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixty 8am. My grand father was a lighthouse keeper so I got to live in Holburn head lighthouse in Scrabster, a suburb if you will, of Thurso. I love the lonely wind swept hills of Caithness, sometimes called the lower highlands. My grandfathers people hail from the Shetland isles for as far back as I can trace them, and the Shetlands were owned by Norway (thanks to the Vikings) until the mid 1400's, so that is where I get my obsession with Vikings, hence the web link. I am sorry to hear about the french blood, you know if you never brought it up or admitted it no one would ever know. By the way, I think I am older than you so you should not call me lad, I should call you lad.

At 3:05 AM, Blogger Kender said...

born in ' have very little time on me...and I have SMART french blood in me......freedom loving french blood....the first of the french blooded of my ancestors to step foot here came over with the french admiral Count De Grasse...after the war that sailor stayed in the states, slightly changing his last name and settled in IL. A great-great grandfather was in the civil war in an illinois artillery regiment, and great grand dad missed WW1 but grandad was sailor in WW2 rebuilding and repairing planes. That was moms side...dads side has great grandad in WW1, and dad in 'nam...with three brothers currently in 3 branches of military, (a brother just left the navy so I have lost my "four brothers four branches" standing), but I have a bro-in-law in man. Sorry to ramble on but I am very proud, and if health permitted I would have gone in and stayed there.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Comrade_Smirnoff said...

I've been to Arbroath a few times following my local team against the 'red lichties' at gayfield (arbroaths football ground). It's a total dump, but theres a decent arcade. I've never heard of the Declaration of Arbroath.

You're from Thurso eh? I used to live in Wick. I don't share your passion for the 'lonely wind swept hills'.

Chairman Mao

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Comrade_Smirnoff said...

You wouldn't happen to be related to David 'bulldozer' Sutherland would you?

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

The wind swept hills aren't bad when you just visit.
Now at leat I know you are anarchist and not one of the others (unless you are all 3).
I am not related to bulldozer. I have spent alot of time in Wick, they make Ole'Pultney scotch up there, the northern most distillary. I have several bottles.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

Too bad your politics are diametrically opposed to mine, I think I could have probably liked you.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Comrade_Smirnoff said...

Actually the whole world-socialism site is supposed to be a spoof, but don't tell anyone. It's great fun winding people up :-)

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Richard Nixon said...

I really would have believed that if it were not for your posts over at Right Wing News. I farse would not be taken to the extremes you have gone, nice try though. So where are you from? How is it you lived in Wick? What do you do know (I saw student on your bio....define student).


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