A new book telling the little-known but fascinating stories of the Scots behind the Declaration of Arbroath is being produced to mark the 700th anniversary of the document’s creation.
A team of more than 50 writers are all collaborating to bring to life what has been called a “people’s history” of the various barons and nobles who sealed the 1320 letter intended to confirm Scotland’s status as an independent sovereign state.
Edited and coordinated by Neil McLennan from Aberdeen University, Conquered by No One will include chapters on each of the 39 names in the Declaration, and others associated with it.
Some of the chapters will even be written by their direct descendants.
Mr McLennan said: “On this day 700 years ago, the document was drawn up so it is a fitting date by which to have drafts for each of our chapters.
“In late April or May, the Declaration of Arbroath was sent to the Pope and he responded on August 28, so we are following this historic timeline for publication.
“The project was audacious at best when we first started with 50 people from across the country – ranging from historians and writers to teachers and civic figures – contributing to a single text.
“The current restrictions on freedom of movement have caused some difficulties but today we have chapters and biographers for each noble and baron whose name appears in the historic Declaration of Arbroath.
“It has been a truly cooperative effort and we thank each of them for bringing history alive”.
Contributors to the ambitious book include Lord Charles Bruce, one of the most prominent living descendants of Robert the Bruce, who has penned one of the chapters on his forefather.
All manner of writers from different backgrounds have been brought in to share their knowledge and Mr McLennan said that is fitting.
He added: “Just as the 1320 document brought together noblemen with differing views, from very different parts of Scotland, we wanted Conquered by No One to represent a broad range of voices across Scottish life.”
The book will be published by Hammer and Mirror Books. To be notified of when it is available to order, visit www.hammerandmirror.com.