King Robert the Bruce was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, and eventually led Scotland during the first War of Scottish Independence against England. He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent nation and is today remembered as one of Scotland’s greatest ever national heroes. I cannot look at the statue at Bannockburn without feeling an immense sense of pride, for him, for the men who fought under him and for Scotland. Still here, after all this time.
During his reign, the Declaration of Arbroath was written. Dated 6th April 1320, it is a declaration of Scottish independence in the form of a letter written in Latin and submitted to Pope John XXII. It was intended to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state and defended Scotland's right to use military action when unjustly attacked. It contains the oft quoted phrase.. "...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."
Generally believed to have been written in the Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning and sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles, the letter is said to have become the model for the latter American Declaration of Independence.