For Freedom: The Declaration of Arbroath and Scotland In 2014

Mar 2, 2014 by

“…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.”

The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

Should Scotland be an independent country?  On September 18, 2014, the Scottish people will have an opportunity to answer that seemingly simple, but actually profound, question.  Scotland will hold a major referendum that day to decide whether it should leave the United Kingdom and go it alone as sovereign nation.  Whether or not the Yes campaign succeeds–and I admit I’m strongly pro-independence— it won’t be the first time that Scotland has formally declared its desire to exist as a free, self-governing country.

The  Declaration of Arbroath is a declaration of Scottish independence in the form of a letter that was submitted to Pope John XXII, dated 6 April 1320, intended to confirm Scotland’s status as an independent, sovereign state and defending Scotland’s right to use military action when unjustly attacked.  Thought to have been written in the Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning, then Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, with the help of King Robert, the letter was one of three written at the same time (one written by Robert the Bruce, seeking to have his excommunication by the Pope for murdering John Comyn lifted), and is the only one known to still exist.

The Declaration was taken to the papal court at Avignon, where it was looked upon favorably by the Pope; the Bruce’s excommunication, however, was not officially lifted until 1328.
The original letter was lost, and the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh has the only surviving copy.





To read the English translation of the Declaration of Arbroath, click HERE.

To read more about the Yes Campaign and the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, click HERE ; for the latest comments from Sean Connery, a strong supporter of the Yes campaign, click HERE.


Sources and more info:


National Archives of Scotland

The Scottish History Society

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Sassenach!

Feb 13, 2014 by

I’m sure Sam Heughan is too busy filming the last episodes of Outlander, Season One, to send his legions of fans a Valentine card, so I thought I’d help out.

You are really getting TWO Valentine’s Day gifts with this meme:  a sweet card and yummy Scottish eye candy!



~Want to hear Sam say Sassenach ? Of course you do!



~How does Sam say mo nighean donn (Scots Gaelic for “my brown haired lass”)?




~Ye need not be scairt of me,” he said softly. “Nor of anyone here, so long as I’m with ye.” – chapter 4, Outlander :




Still not sure why so many people are in love with a fictional guy named Jamie?   Read this informative and FUNNY blog post from the ladies at That’s Normal:

The Best of Jamie Fraser: the ultimate book boyfriend


AND see some of my previous posts on Outlander  HERE and  HERE and  HERE.

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Here’s Looking At You, Sam

Jan 28, 2014 by

 For many Outlander fans, scanning social media for news and photos from the Scottish production set has become a daily event.    After all, it’s winter here in the western hemisphere, cold weather and snow are keeping many of us housebound, and the debut of Jamie and Clare’s onscreen love affair seems too far away to even contemplate.  At the risk of being labeled a “middle-age housewife” breathily caught up in Outlander’s Harlequin Romance-esque plotby Variety (read the reporter’s snarky review HERE), I must say I look forward to these goodies from Starz.  


Of all the fictional fantasies, in all the books, in all the world...

Of all the fictional fantasies, in all the books, in all the world…

Starz must have heard my middle-aged cries in the wilderness because they just released a new version of the Outlander trailer, with the audio equivalent of a fun-size candy bar at the end.   Even better, there’s a new Scots Gaelic Outlander lesson in pronouncing mo nighean donn , a term of endearment used by Jamie for Claire, meaning “my brown-haired lass.”  Now, THIS is something I can sink my teeth into, like a bar of rich, dark chocolate, the kind that has those little bits of orange zest inside.

Sam Heughan,  this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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