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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

THE SCOTTISH DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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THERE is a document of immense  age, of supreme interest to British Israelites, but which is seen by few, owing to their ignorance of its existence,  lying in the Register House at Edinburgh.

This document is a parchment, to which are attached some twenty red and green seals (being the seals of the subscribing Scottish Nobles).It was drawn up by Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Aberbrothock  and  Chancellor  of Scotland, in the year1320; and was sent to Pope John XX11 “By the Scottish  Estates in Parliament assembled  in the Abbey of Aberbrothock  under  the Presidency  of King Robert the Bruce”, and is dated the 6th April, A.D. 1320.

Officials of the Register House have described  it as “probably our most precious possession”, and it may be seen, in a shallow glass case  in the Register House at Edinburgh.

King Edward II of England had failed in his attempt to subjugate Scotland,  having met crushing defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1317.

He enlisted  the support of the Pope (John XXII), to whom he sent lavish gifts of jewels, as a result of which the Pope refused  to acknowledge the  Bruce  as  King of Scotland, and, indeed, sent emissaries to, him with a view to securing his submission to the English King. These Papal messengers-Cardinal Gaucelin and Cardinal Luke-were not received by the Scottish King, who would not even read their letters. Instead, he summoned the Scottish Parliament, and   the   document  proclaiming the independence of the Scottish people was drawn up and despatched.

The point of particular interest to us is the remarkable testimony which this document contains concerning the origin and previous migrations of the Scottish people-a declaration which, it must be remembered, is attested by the seals of not only King Robert the Bruce, but of all the Scottish Nobles of the day.It is not, therefore, a statement by a single (possibly fallible) historian but the official declaration of a  King and  his Estates  in Parliament assembled ; consequently  being  of overwhelming authority.

Space forbids quoting the whole document, or even the full list of the names of the signatories, and I must refer readers to the “Scot’s  Magazine”, issued April 1934, in which  an  article   by Mr. R. L.  Mackie  provides full information, including a facsimile reproduction  of the parchment itself, together with a translation.

I will  only quote one passage here, as being the part most interesting to British Israelites; it is written in medieval Latin in which “j” and “i” are frequently interchangeable, as are also “u” and “n”. The text of this passage follows:

“Scimus Sanctissime Pater et Domine et ex antiquorum gestis et libris Colligimus, quod  inter Ceteras egregias, nostra Scilicet Scottorum  Nacio multis preconijs fuerit insignita que  Maiori Schithia per Mare tirenum et Columpnas Herculis transiens, et in Hispania inter ferocissimos, per multa temporum curricula Residens: a nullis  quantumcumque  barbaricis poterat allicub subiugari, lndeque veniens post mille et duccentos annos a transitu populi israelitici, sibi sedes in Occident quas nunc optinet. … In quorum Regno Centum et Tresdecim Reges de ipsorum Regali prosapia nullo alienigena interueniente, Regnauerunt.”

TRANSLATION

Drawn up by Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Aberbrothock and Chancellor of Scotland, and sent to Pope John XXII by the Scottish Estates in Parliament assembled in the Abbey of Aberbrothock, under the presidency of King Robert the Bruce, on April 6th, A.D. 1320.

Drawn up by Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Aberbrothock and Chancellor of Scotland, and sent to Pope John XXII by the Scottish Estates in Parliament assembled in the Abbey of Aberbrothock, under the presidency of King Robert the Bruce, on April 6th, A.D. 1320.

“We know, Most Holy Father and  Lord, and  from the chronicles and  books  of the ancients gather, that among other illustrious nations, ours, to wit the nation of the Scots, has been distinguished by many honours which passing from  the greater Scythia through the Mediterranean Sea  and Pillars of  Hercules, and sojourning in Spain  among the  most  savage  tribes through a long  course of time,  could nowhere be subjugated by any people however barbarous; and coming thence one thousand two hundred years after the outgoing of the  people of Israel,  they, by many victories and infinite toil, acquired for themselves the possessions in the West which they now hold…. In their kingdom one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, no stranger intervening, have reigned.”

It is surely deeply interesting to have this statement, so unimpeachably attested, that the ancestors of the Scottish people came from Greater Scythia, sojourned a while in Spain, and settled in Scotland 1,200 years after the going out of the people of Israel.

Further information concerning it can be obtained from Volume 1 of the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, or Part II of the National Manuscripts of Scotland, or from the “Scot’s Magazine”, issue April 1934, from which the above illustration is reproduced.                                                  (Reprinted from The National Message)

 

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