Letters: by the magnates of Scotland to Philip IV, king of France

To the most Christian and triumphant prince and reverend lord the lord Philip [IV] by the grace of God illustrious king of the French, William, earl of Ross, Malcolm, earl of Lennox, William, [earl of Suther]land, and the communities of the earldoms of Fife, Menteith, Mar, Buchan and Caithness, the heirs of which are in ward, likewise the communities of all the other earldoms of the kingdom of Scotland [except] [D]unbar; Edward de Bruce, lord of Galloway, James the steward of Scotland, Alexander de Argyll, Donald de Islay, John de Menteith, Hugh, the son and heir of the earl [of Ross], Gilbert de Hay, constable of Scotland, Robert de Keith, marischal of Scotland, Thomas Randolph, lord of Nithsdale, James, lord of Douglas, Alexander de Lindsay, Alexander de [Fraser], [William] Wiseman, David de Barclay, Robert Boyd, barons; and also all of Argyll and the Hebrides and the inhabitants of all the kingdom of Scotland recognising the fealty of the lord Robert by the grace of God king of Scotland, all [... ... ....] Your credence having been revealed to us in writing, and having been fully understood [by us], in the full parliament of our lord the king solemnly held not long ago at the city of St Andrews, impressed upon our minds the joyfulness of [your] devot[ion] [... ... ....] For we conclude that your majesty’s mind is devoutly disposed to take on the business of the Holy Land, to prosecute which all followers of the Christian faith justly ought to strive and with humble devotion incline their hearts [... ... ...,] we saw that it was contained [in your letter] that your royal grace considers and calls to mind the treaties between the kingdoms of France and Scotland, made long ago and confirmed; also the losses, harms and injuries which the inhabitants of the kingdom [... ... ...] have suffered in many ways hitherto. The particular and special affection which, in that credence, you say you have towards the person of our lord Robert by the grace of God king [of Scots ... ...] [whom] justice and truth and the grace of the King of Kings has raised up as our prince and leader, cheers our hearts above all else. We therefore noting, with heartfelt feelings, the aforesaid, as we are bound in duty to do [... ... ...] [?commend] your right royal devotion towards the business of the Holy Land, and for the affection which you have towards our lord the king, and we return thanks as best we can to your majesty for restoring the liberties and rights of the kingdom of Scotland, praying to God that ‘by the bowels of mercy of Jesus Christ’ that you may bring to fulfilment the devout purpose which you have conceived in your mind, trough our Lord’s inspiration in relation to the aforesaid, with holy desire, and efficacious eagerness and a safe outcome. May your royal majesty deign to take note, with pious mind, that in the exaltation of Christian princes the name of Christ is extolled and the Catholic faith strengthened. If, therefore, the standing of our lord [the king whom] we say unanimously is [... ... ...], is exalted and the kingdom of Scotland returns to its former free condition, the tempests of war having been quelled and secure peace having been granted, then your royal highness will be able to have as supporters to achieve the end of your desire, the service of God, and to come to your help, not only our lord the king aforesaid, but also the inhabitants of his kingdom as best they are able. And as [evidence of] the aforesaid things [... ...] clearly these letters sealed by our seals were commanded to be sent patent to your highness. Written and given at the city of St Andrews in Scotland 16 March 1308 [1309] and in the third year of our lord King Robert’s [reign].

  1. APS, i, 289, claims that two other copies of this MS survived, as seventeenth century transcripts. This is in error, arising from confusion with the Declaration of the Clergy (see 1309/2). The original is badly damaged. It appears in facsimile facing APS, i, 459. The translation provided here is by Dr. A. B. Scott. The editors would like to thank him for providing this text. Back
  2. See Barrow, Robert Bruce, 185. The earl of Dunbar was at the peace of Edward II until 1314. Back
  3. Hugh earl of Ross succeeded in 1324 (HBC, 518). Back
  4. See Latin text for precise details of sealing. Back