The Declaration

The Declaration of Arbroath, sent by the Scottish Council to Pope John XXII in 1320, and ratified by him, can never be dismissed, but nevertheless this seems to have been the case throughout the centuries since it was first drawn up. And the majority of treacherous acts, crimes, intrigues, and massacres, such as that of Glencoe in 1692, (murder under trust, signed by the king) have never been satisfactorily settled.
There was an inquiry regarding the Glencoe massacre. The results were reviewed by the Scottish Parliament. The slaughtering of the MacDonalds was judged to be heinous murder, and recommendations that those responsible be punished, and that compensation be paid to the survivors of the Macdonald clan were sent to King William.

There's no record that the recommendations were ever even considered. The only recorded result was that John Cambell, Earl of Breadalbane, was imprisoned for a few days in Edinburgh Castle.
Consequently the Glencoe Massacre, amongst other shameful episodes of Anglo-Scottish history, can never be, and will never be forgotten. Thus this page, with many other pages of such history, has never really been turned.

Here is an excerpt from a translation of the famous Declaration of Arbroath (translated from the Latin by Douglas A. Kidd).

So under the protection of these (your predecessors) our nation lived in freedom and peace until the Mighty Prince Edward, King of England, the father of the present king, aggressively attacked our kingdom, while it was without a head, and our people, who were both guiltless of any wrong doing or perfidy and at the time unaccustomed to wars or invasions. No one who did not know them from experience could describe or fully appreciate all his outrages, massacres, violence, plunder and burning, the imprisoning of prelates, the firing of monasteries, the robbing and murdering of religious persons, and other atrocities as well which he perpetrated against the said people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor order.

But with the help of Him who after injuries gives healing and health we have been liberated from these countless evils by our valiant Prince and Sovereign Lord, Robert, who, like a second Maccabæus or Joshua, has cheerfully endured exertion and fatigue, hunger and danger, in order to deliver his people and his inheritance out of the hands of their enemies. Now the will of God, and the right of succession in accordance with our laws and traditions, which we mean to uphold to the death, and the due agreement and consent of all of us have appointed him our Prince and King. To him, as the author of our people's deliverance, we are bound both by law and by his own gallantry for the defence of our freedom, and we are determined to be loyal to him in everything. But if he were to abandon the cause by being ready to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or to the English, we should at once do our utmost to expel him as our enemy and the betrayer of his own rights and ours, and should choose some other man to be our king, who would be ready to defend us. 

For so long as a hundred of us remain alive, we are resolved never to submit to the domination of the English. It is not for glory, wealth or honour that we are fighting, but for freedom, and freedom only, which no man ever surrenders except with his life….'

By this we are also reminded of present day struggles for freedom, and can only trust that those who fight for this basic human right, will eventually gain it, and in doing so, fully respect it, which naturally must include the respect of the freedom of others. Hopefully they will also obtain it with the support of nations who claim to defend the principle of democracy.
Text © Mirino. Glencoe memorial photographs by Kim Traynor, Wikipedia Commons.
With thanks. August, 2012

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