The Declaration of Arbroath in print, 1680-1705

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This article examines the circumstances in which the Declaration of Arbroath was first printed in 1680 by Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh and the original manuscript on which Mackenzie’s text was based (NRS SP13/7). It then traces its subsequent print history between the Revolution of 1689–90 and the Union of Parliaments in 1707 both in Latin and in an English translation that first appeared in 1689. It locates the Declaration within the broader context of whig propaganda that encompassed a defence not just of the Revolution Settlement but of Scottish sovereignty at the time of the Union, culminating in James Anderson’s new edition and translation of the text of 1705. An appendix further examines the earliest reference to the Declaration in print – in Archbishop John Spottiswoode’s History of the Church in Scotland (1655) – and Spottiswoode’s use of a manuscript copy of Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-176
Number of pages22
JournalThe Innes Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Walter Bower
  • Scotichronicon
  • Declaration of Arbroath
  • George Mackenzie
  • James Anderson
  • Revolution Settlement
  • Union of Parliaments
  • John Spottiswoode


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