Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 3 June 2023

Conserving and exhibiting the Declaration of Arbroath

The BBC News website has a report about the process of conserving the Declaration of Arbroath for display for this coming month at the National Museum of Scotland. The 1320 letter from the leading Scottish nobility and landholders to Pope John XXII survives in one unique copy, and although, as a linked article on the website shows, its significance has changed over the centuries it remains both a fascinating insight into the political thought and culture of early fourteenth century Scotland and as a symbolic statement of national identity.

I posted about the Declaration three years ago on its seven hundredth anniversary and included in the post the translated text of the open letter. That post can be seen at The Declaration of Arbroath 1320

I followed it up with another post which illustrates the political volatility of Scotland at that time and it can be read at After Arbroath - the Soules conspiracy

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