William Wallace letter exhibited in Scotland

William Wallace letter, 1300 (catalogue reference SC 1/30/81r)

William Wallace letter, 1300 (catalogue reference SC 1/30/81r)

A unique 14th century letter concerning Sir William Wallace is to remain in Scotland for a further two years. Wallace was one of the main leaders of the fight against Edward I during the Scottish Wars of Independence and he is regarded by many as Scotland’s greatest national hero.

The letter is normally held in The National Archives in Kew but the document is currently on loan to National Records of Scotland, and the two organisations have reached agreement that the loan will be extended until 2017. Although its age and fragility mean that it can only be put on display for limited periods of time, it has been displayed in Scotland twice in recent years – in the Scottish Parliament in 2012, and again in 2014 at Stirling Castle.

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National  Archives said: ‘We hold a range of records that are part of our shared history across the whole of the British Isles, including Scotland. Making our collection accessible to everyone is a priority and we are delighted to work in partnership with National Records of Scotland. The loan is a great opportunity to widen access to this important document.’

The letter, from King Philip IV of France to his agents in Rome, commands them to assist Wallace in his business before the Pope and is dated 7 November 1300.

Tim Ellis, Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland and Keeper of the Records of Scotland said: ‘I’m really pleased that we have been able to retain this iconic document in Scotland for a further two years.  It comes from a fascinating and tumultuous period of Scotland’s history and we now have the opportunity to start planning for a further opportunity to display this rare document, in Scotland, in the coming years.’

Tags: exhibition, loan, news, william wallace