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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Declaration of Arbroath: Georgian editions, libraries and readers, and Scotland’s ‘Radical War’ of 1820
Author(s): Penman, Michael
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Keywords: Scotland, Medieval, Declaration of Arbroath
Issue Date: 2022
Date Deposited: 25-Oct-2022
Citation: Penman M (2022) The Declaration of Arbroath: Georgian editions, libraries and readers, and Scotland’s ‘Radical War’ of 1820. The Declaration of Arbroath 700th Anniversary, Newbattle College (online May 2021) <i>Scottish Historical Review</i>, 101 (3), pp. 491-511.;
Abstract: This paper will explore an aspect of the legacy of the Declaration of Arbroath and expand upon earlier research into tensions surrounding the 1814 commemorations of the battle of Bannockburn. It considers the evidence for connections between those radical artisans and their leaders who attempted to rouse popular insurrection in 1820, Scotland’s so-called ‘Radical War’, and Bruce’s now-celebrated missive to the Papacy of 6 April 1320 five centuries before. Did the armed workers moving on Carron Shore Iron Foundry on 5 April 1820, routed by troops at Bonnymuir, seek to coincide with the Declaration’s anniversary? To what extent was the radicals’ own declaration, the Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland, influenced by the 1320 text? If so, did this represent a continuation, a renewal or a debut for the Declaration as an inspiration for popular political participation in modern times? A survey of the holdings of early working-class subscription, circulation and public libraries in central Scotland c.1790-c.1830 can be made to identify both known and previously unnoticed published works which reproduced, translated and/or discussed the Declaration, as well as any radicalised readers. This reveals public awareness of Arbroath in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to have been potentially far more widespread than hitherto recognised by historians, if still marginal as a catalyst to political agitation.
DOI Link: 10.3366/shr.2022.0580
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Scottish Historical Review. The Version of Record will be available online at:
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