The Lion in the North
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The Lion Rampant
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Our Lion Rampant kit measures 7 x 5 inches
180 x 127mm) and is supplied with 14-count Aida material and Anchor stranded cottons (floss).
Price: 9.95 UK pounds

Lion Rampant Cross-Stitch Kit

Scotland manages to have two flags. The national flag - sometimes considered to be the oldest in the world, although the Danes would dispute that - is the St Andrews flag, a blue banner with a white saltire cross. You'll find the St Andrews flag in our Arbroath Declaration kits below and on our Scotland Sampler.

However, there is also the red-and-yellow Lion Rampant flag. Strictly speaking, this is a royal flag and should only be used by Her Majesty the Queen in her capacity as Queen of Scots. In actuality, it tends to be used as a second national flag and is particularly favoured by Scottish football supporters ("the Tartan Army"). It seems that it was introduced by King William the Lion in the late 12th century, initially as flag of identification in battle, but it then became the royal coat of arms and was also incorporated into the Great Seal of Scotland.

 

The Arbroath Declaration
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Arbroath Declaration (Aida)

Our newest kit of the Declaration, pictured above, has been designed to cater for all our customers who wanted a Declaration kit specifically for Aida material. The kit, which measures 8 x 12 inches, comes with 14-count Aida and and incorporates a 4-colour Celtic knotwork border, a verse from the Declaration, a Lion Rampant, Scottish flags and either a thistle as illustrated or a picture of the ruined Arbroath Abbey - charts for both are included.

(To see detail from the Abbey version, click here).
Price:  12.95 UK pounds

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Arbroath Declaration (Evenweave)
Our original kit of The Arbroath Declaration is on 27-count white Linda evenweave and includes the most famous and stirring phrase from the Declaration.  Measuring 6 x 8 inches (150 x 210 mm), the kit includes a Celtic knotwork border in four colours together with illustrations of Arbroath Abbey, the Lion Rampant,  and Scottish Saltires.
Price:  10.95 UK pounds

In June 1314 King Robert the Bruce secured Scotland's independence with his devastating defeat of Edward II's English army at the Battle of Bannockburn. Nevertheless, Edward persisted in his claim to sovereignty over Scotland and was supported in this by Pope John XXII who, when writing to Bruce, addressed his letters to "our beloved son Robert who says he is King of Scotland". Bruce refused to recognise or respond to such letters and matters came to a head when Bruce disregarded a summons to attend the Pope at Avignon "under pain of excommunication".

An impasse having been reached between King and Pope, the Scottish nobles decided to intervene and the Declaration of Arbroath was the result. Drafted in Latin by Bernard of Linton, Abbot of Arbroath and Chancellor of Scotland, it was sealed at Arbroath Abbey in April 1320 by eight earls and 31 barons and despatched to the Pope.  Signatories included Sir John Menteith, the man who had betrayed William Wallace to the English but who later saw the error of his ways. The document recorded that the Scots had come originally from Scythia, settling in Scotland after a lengthy sojourn in Spain, and pointed out that though often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes, and the English they had secured their homeland over which had reigned an unbroken line of 113 kings. Reminding the Pope of Scotland's connection with St Andrew, the signatories went on to explain that they had been subjected to untold miseries by Edward and, more particularly, his father Edward I, but had been rescued from these by Robert Bruce who by due consent and assent had been made their Prince and King. The most famous passage from the Declaration reads: "For so long as a hundred of us remain alive, we will yield in no least way to English dominion. For we fight, not for glory nor for riches nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life".

The Pope was to some extent swayed by the Declaration as, following its receipt he wrote to Edward and some of his closest advisers, recommending that they make an enduring peace with the Scots. However, it was not until 1328 that the Treaty of Edinburgh, concluded between Robert Bruce and Edward III and sealed by the marriage of Robert's son David with Edward's daughter Joanna, formally recognised Scotland's independence. The treaty only lasted four years; in 1332 it was breached by Edward Balliol who invaded with an English army and had himself crowned at Scone. His "kingship" lasted only months; defeated by Sir Archibald Douglas at the Battle of Annan, Balliol fled across the border to Carlisle "one leg booted and the other bare".

Even today, the Declaration is of enormous constitutional importance as it sets out the Scots relationship with their monarch. Scots are not subjects; in Scotland, the monarch is merely "first among equals", only ruling the people with their consent and assent. Our present queen, therefore, is Queen of Scots, not Queen of Scotland. This differs radically from the constitutional position in England and Wales, where the people are subjects of the monarch who rules them whether they like it or not.

As Scots, we at Mearnscraft are very proud of the Declaration, an historical affirmation of Freedom of which any nation should be proud. We're particularly proud because Arbroath is in Angus, our home county. We have therefore produced two kits relating to the Declaration, one for Aida, one for evenweave. Both are pictured on the left.

If you like these kits, you'll almost certainly like our
Scotland Sampler

a celebration in counted threadwork of the last thousand years of Scottish history.

Mearnscraft
87 Charleston Village, Forfar, Angus
Tel. (+44) (0)1307 840451

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