The Declaration of Arbroath

For Freedom Alone'

Edward J. Cowan

Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Illustration :
8pp b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781780276458
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 7.7 X 5.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April, 1320, is one of the most remarkable documents to have been produced anywhere in medieval Europe. Signed by 51 Scottish nobles, it confirms Scotland’s status as an independent sovereign state with the right to use military action if unjustly attacked.

Quoted by many, understood by few, its historical significance has now almost been overtaken by its mythic status. Since 1998, the US Senate has claimed that the American Declaration of Independence is modelled upon ‘the inspirational document’ of Arbroath. This is the first book-length study to examine the origins of the Declaration and the ideas upon which it drew, while tracing the rise of its mythic status in Scotland and exploring its impact upon revolutionary America.

About The Author

Edward J. Cowan is Professor of Scottish History at Glasgow University and Director of Glasgow University's Crichton Campus in Dumfries. Is has also worked at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Guelph, Ontario, where he was Professor of History and Chair of Scottish Studies. His books include For Freedom Alone: The Declaration of Arborath 1320 (Tuckwell, 2003), and Scottish Fairy Belief: A History (Tuckwell, 2001).


Cowan’s bold chronological sweep is to be admired'

- Times Literary Supplement

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