Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Goodbye to Scots Legend Rab Noakes

Rab Noakes Oran Mor

A Present with no Past has No Idea, Quote Rab Noakes Branch song. Good Roots

So sad to hear the news of our loss of singer songwriter Rab Noakes - what a true gent and legend of Scottish music. Rest in peace. I've had the privilege of taking Rab's photos at several concerts over many years since 2010. 

I’ve had several chats with him over the past decade, both in person and online. I have such fond memories in my twenties we used to sing his early songs. More recently my son played an excellent version of his classic Gently Does It and Moonlight and Gold.

Rab was always a smartly dressed folk singer songwriter, and one of the top guitarist. He drew influences from the 60s radio growing up in Fife, much as his musical hero Bob Dylan did too. While he drew on many influences. The story of the song mattered to Rab, so his chat between songs laid the musical scene and atmosphere.

In the 60s and 70s, Rab played with greats such as Gerry Rafferty and Lindisfarne. When I hung out in the folk scene then, i remember well the harmony singing of Noakes songs, such as Branch, Clear Day, Together Forever. Back in 2007 I saw Noakes still going strong at an Oran Mor gig. He often includes a fifties classic, this time a song my husband remembered his mother singing. He is also a dedicated Dylan follower – check out his excellent version of Dylan’s Mississippi. 


Martha Rafferty & Rab Noakes

Noakes says music is all about the dialogue and more about performing than simply the song. Those residency night gigs were artists can learn their craft in front of the live audience and the live performance when 'flying' in the heart of the music toughens you up and you have to learn loads of songs. He played in Denmark six nights a week.
 Noakes ran his own production company Neon. 

Rab led several tribute concerts at Glasgow’s major music festival. Celtic Connections, for Gerry Rafferty and Michael Marra. I expect we will have a concert for Rab – it’s the passing of a whole generation of the folk scene – and we look forward to the passing of the baton to the younger generations. 

He will be sadly missed, his music lives on and in my memories of my son playing his classic "Gently Does it" and Rafferty's "Moonlight and Gold".


Rab at Milngavie folk club

He has been at the forefront of Scottish folk music for over 50 years, and has recorded over 19 studio albums. He often performed at the Glasgow music festival Celtic Connections. In 1970 Noakes released his first solo recording Do You See The Lights, a blend of easy going country rock, with a line-up that included Robin McKidd, electric guitar and jazz bassist Ronnie Rae, and included songs Too Old To Die, Together Forever and Somebody Counts On Me. In 1971 Noakes was a founding member of the folk rock band Stealers Wheel, along with Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, He played on the first album by Gerry Rafferty’s Can I Have My Money Back, notably Mary SkeffingtonHe also played with the band Stealers Wheel. 

Noakes songs have been covered by Lindisfarne (Together Forever) and Barbara Dickson.

I will post some extracts on his songwriting from my nine RAB NOAKES reviews. 

Rab at a house party

**RAB gig reviews on my blog

2010 -  Oran Mor

2012 -  Concert for Gerry Rafferty

2012 – Milngavie folk club

2013 -  Concert for Michael Marra

2014 -  tour Barbara Dickson

2016 - MFC

2017 – Celtic, Old Fruitmarket

2022 - MFC

Rab with Alice Marra Celtic Connections

Eddi Reader, Rab Noakes, Dougie MacLean

Rab & Kathleen McInnes

Rab & Barbara Dickson
Rab & Jill Jackson

CHATS with RAB 

A gentle, questioning soul – with a generosity of spirit. 

I sat beside him at a couple of times at Celtic press release mornings. I told him of my sons guitar playing but that he lacked confidence, Rab said in his young days, performers laid the ground work playing the folk clubs for years – but today people seem to often expect quick, instant results. I told him my son enjoyed playing some of the folk tunes, particularly Gently Does It – I had taken my son to our local folk club to see Gaughan, Noakes, Dylan at Braehead Arena. My son also enjoyed rock and pop and learned electric guitar and bass from the rock band the Red Hot Chillis!

 CHATS with Rab at Celtic

I sat beside Rab at the Celtic Press launch on Tuesday. He seemed to know me - maybe from his Oran Mor gig, my review and photos for him and his chatting to me on FB. Cool and what an interesting guy. 

He’s a massive Dylan fan too!  I asked him if he mentored younger artists – he said no he wasn’t going to simply give his secrets away! He said that too many young people expected things on a plate, and that they were spoon-fed everything. He had to put in years of graft to learn his craft and he thought that was the way things should be done.  He mentioned all these music schools now where they are simply ‘given’ everything rather than finding out for themselves. 

 

I agree. I worry so many young artists in the folk scene for instance have less depth of character in their voice. He said he enjoyed the thread on FB chat with me - interesting thread he said! I told him how interesting the book festival is, and that many authors are also painters and musicians too. I spoke of the Dylan ‘Forever Young’ photos, probably my favourite of an artist.  He remarked that Dylan had so much character he must be good for photos. And I told him of the Chinese writer who when he paints only listens to music for weeks and tries not to think in words at all.   

 

*On Facebook I posted – “The best music is timeless’

Rab replied, ‘No, the best music is very much of its time, and that a present with no past has no future.’ 





Noakes was born in St Andrews Fife in 1947 and grew up in CuparHe drew influences from the 60s Radio growing up in Fife, much as his musical hero Bob Dylan did too. While he drew on many musical influences. In 1963 Noakes moved to London and worked for the Civil Service, and he played folk clubs at night. He returned to Scotland in 1967 and began a duo with Robin McKidd and they played their first gig at the Glasgow Folk centre. In 1769 he played a months residency in Denmark. Noakes was a founding member of the folk rock band Stealers Wheel, along with Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan. 

In 1970 Noakes released his first solo recording Do You See The Lights, a blend of easy going country rock, with a line-up that included Robin McKidd, electric guitar and jazz bassist Ronnie Rae, and included songs Too Old To Die, Together Forever and Somebody Counts On Me.

He played on the first album by Gerry Rafferty’s Can I Have My Money Back in 1971, notably Mary SkeffingtonHe also played with the band Stealers Wheel. He performed with Lindisfarne in 1972, on songs Turn a Deaf Ear, Nicely out of Tune, Together Forever, and Fog on the Tyne. He recorded with Lindisfarne for a John Peel concert and in 1995 produced a Radio 2 programme The Story of Lindisfarne. 

One of Noakes's best-known recordings, "Branch", from the Red Pump Special album, was released as a single in 1974 (recorded in Nashville Tennessee and produced by Elliot Mazer) and received Radio One airplay.  He played on a Woody Guthrie tribute album 1987, and toured with the Veraflames – along with Pick Withers, Rod Clements and Fraser Speirs.


Rab & Gerry Rafferty

Rab & Stealers Wheel



 

Worlds Oldest Parliaments for democracy

1. Iceland - 930

2.  Spain – 1188

3.  Netherlands & Belgium – 1581

4.  England – 1688

 

**A democracy is a political system or a system of decision-making within an institution or organization or a country, in which all members have an equal share of power.

This ridiculous slogan of  “Mother of Parliaments” – 301 years old from 1721, Is simply a made up slogan. Because Westminster is not the oldest parliament.

The oldest national parliament of Iceland. It is one of the oldest surviving parliaments in the world.

"The mother of parliaments" is a phrase coined by the British politician and reformer John Bright in a speech at Birmingham on 18 January 1865. It was a reference to England. His actual words were: "England is the mother of parliaments".

 

1834 act which created our democracy.

I don’t see how #Torychaos can improve! Its this UKs failed pre-democracy of a First Past the Post electoral system that causes this 2 party confrontational system. On party with a huge majority, leads to shallow, rushed, ill-informed and reckless decision making -  which compares badly to more consensual and collaborative government which results form a PR voting system. 


Iceland. The first Parliaments date back to the Middle Ages. In 930, the first assembly of the Alþingi was convened at Þingvellir in Iceland, becoming the earliest version of a formalised parliamentary system. It was a combination of national assembly, court of justice and yearly cerebration, where the most powerful leaders, called goðar, met to decide on legislation and dispense justice, with the whole community in attendance. 

Spain. In 1188 Alfonso IX, King of Leon (in current day Spain) convened the three states in the Cortes of Leon and according to UNESCO it was the first sample of modern parliament in the history of Europe, with the presence of the common people through elected representatives. 

Netherlands. An early example of parliamentary government developed in today's Netherlands and Belgium. during the Dutch revolt (1581), when the sovereign, legislative and executive powers were taken over by the States General of the Netherlands from the then-monarch, king Philip II of Spain. 

The modern concept of parliamentary government was further developed in the Kingdom of England (1688) and the Parliament of Scotland – which had sat 500 years from 1200s to 1707.   

The Parliament of Scotland was the legislature. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved Middle Ages from the king's council of Bishops and earls. Begun in 1235, during Alexander II with a political and judicial role. By 14th century, the attendance of knights and freeholders and in 1326 commissioners from the burghs. Consisting of the "three estates" of clergynobility and the burghs sitting in a single chamber, the parliament gave consent for taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war and other legislation. 

The Parliament of Scotland met for more than four centuries, until it was prorogued sine die by Acts of Union in 1707. Thereafter the Parliament of Great Britain operated for both England and Scotland after the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain 1707. The union articles guaranteed the independence of the Scottish church, Scots law and education. 

 

A democracy is a political system or a system of decision-making within an institution or organization or a country, in which all members have an equal share of power.

Modern democracies are characterized by two capabilities that differentiate them fundamentally from earlier forms of government: the capacity to intervene in their own societies and the recognition of their sovereignty by an international legalistic framework of similarly sovereign states. Democratic government is commonly juxtaposed with oligarchic and monarchic systems, which are ruled by a minority and a sole monarch respectively. Democracy is generally associated[ with the efforts of the ancient Greeks, whom 18th-century intellectuals considered the founders of Western civilization. 

This ridiculous slogan of  “Mother of Parliaments” – 301 years old from 1721, 

Is simply a made up slogan. Because Westminster is not the oldest parliament.

Scotland’s Ties to Europe


One of the main reasons for Scotland’s enlightened thought  - reformation 1560 to the 1700s – was our close collaboration  , integration and trade with Europe. Our scholars studied in Paris and beyond, and also taught there.

 

When the UKs Brexit happened it was such a profound and distressing wrench for Scotland it was extreme hard to write about. Many of us thought the EU project had brought us peace, stability, security, and prosperity. Most Scots feel European of heart and mind and culturally. 

 

We didn’t understand what Brexit was for – was it a global Britain, to stop immigration, to be Singapore on Thames, with de-regulation and lower pay – or high paid jobs? Who knew? Those of us who lived through the 60s and 70s remember a UK in turmoil, a rollercoaster of financial crashes –  IMF, pound devalues, blackouts and strikes. 

 

Most Scots prefer the stabile European economy, to the insecurity of a Brexited Britain. We only have to look over the sea to Ireland. We have a major constitutional divide now in Scotland that will not be easily healed. How do we move forward? Half of Scotland has a vision of a new, greener and more successful Scotland.

 

The other half wants what they already know and prefer – to share resources with the rest of UK. The main drawback to the UK ‘centralising dependency’(not a union) is its extreme centralisation of power in London, which sucks and draws from the rest of the country.



Bob Dylan on Good Voice Ovo Armadillo Glasgow



Dylan held us inspired with his voice, the master of his song craft, and the unforgettable storyteller. Our iconic bard held sway with his top-rated band – Bob Britt’s flying-V guitar solos, multi instrumentalist Donnie Herron on lapsteel, mandolin and fiddle, the dynamic, unconventional drummer Charlie Drayton, Tony Garnier on upright bass. 


Dylan was centre stage and he stood at times behind his wooden piano: he’s worked to get the sound just right and though he’s mostly in shadow, he appeared upbeat. Dylan digs deep into the American and the more distant European songbooks –and he states both the Scots and Irish folk ballads as influences, along with the classics. He mixes up with Chicago blues, blistering rock n roll, new Orleans flavoured knockabouts and stately melodic reflections.


*Tonight Dylan sang his new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, 

Bob is proud of his new album which has had top reviews, his first of new songs since Tempest in 2012. Dressed all in black, the band are silhouettes and as the songs begin they are illuminated by the brightly lit squares beneath them, backdropped by deep red velvet – as if floating to that promised land Dylan’s’ words and songs offer us. He’s the true prophet of our times, even though he asks not to be! 

We’ve entered slower paced past times before mobile phones, before flashing lights, to inhabit the moment and be free of burdens. The band are strung as one, emphasising the rush and flow – asking, questioning, apologising, and quiet searching of our souls. Dylan’s been through many doorways, seen many distant shorelines. At 80 he’s given us another classic album.

 

Now at 80 he continues as the journeyman going strong – His band are on top form with surging guitars, to subtle, gentle, backing rhythms surrounding the deep power of Dylan’s words. He savours the live experience, that exchange of song and audience, sharing his voice with his long standing and admiring fans. He seems more at ease with himself, and certainly the new album is slower tempo, chilled and intimate: while still offering the questioning and grit we expect. His songs don’t come easy and they get under your skin. 


**SONGS

**Dylan sang 17 songs tonight – 9 from his 2022 album Rough and Rowdy Ways

He began his show with Watching the River Flow (written 1971) about those creative urges so crucial to his life. And followed by the complex opening track from R & R, I Contain Multitudes.

The memorable and often quoted lyrics of False Prophet and When I Make my Masterpiece. The intimate stillness of a lovely love song I’ve made up my Mind to give Myself to You. He sang an impressive Black Rider, with unexpected key changes, ‘The road that you’re on, same road that you knew, just not the same as it was a minute ago.” My mind is at war, Hnag off your arm. 

Followed by My Own Version of YouMother of Muses.The haunting slow drumbeat of Crossing the Rubicon, a metaphor to take a leap into the unknown and commit to certain journeys - Take the big road, whatever road you can. Bob sang the chilled relaxed happy rituals of favourite track Key West. We were left in harmonyAfter which he said, “Hello everyone”. Dylan was centre stage and he stood at times behind his wooden piano: he’s worked to get the sound just right and though he’s mostly in shadow, he appeared upbeat

 

**Other than the album, Dylan performed Most Likely You’ll go your Way and I’ll go Mine from Blonde on Blonde album. Followed by one of his ultimate classics with surging guitars Gotta Serve Someone, from Slow Train Coming album – backed by Bob Britt’s surging guitar, Donnie Herron’s dynamic pedal steel guitar and the thundering drummer Charlie Drayton. And a very slow version of I’ll be Your Baby Tonight; a cheerful and an cheerful upbeat Be Alone with You, from 1969 album Nashville Skyline - Under the starlight sky; and a swinging cover version of That Old Black Magic


Dylan performed a rousing rock blues Goodbye Jimmy Reid on which he plays harmonica – an upbeat tribute to the blues giant. To those having a free voice. When Dylan said, ”Thank you everybody, Hope you are all well.” For their final song the band performed Every Grain of Sand – and with band introductions. 


After which the band and Dylan lined up centre stage, then exited and came back for a final bow, when there was a rush of applause when I thought how much Dylan’s songs and music have meant to so many, and especially for those musicians in his footsteps (and for me). Like the Scots bard Robert Burns, Dylan looks back to the great writers before him and also to what lies ahead.

I might have hoped, as in 2011, Dylan had encored two of his classics (Rolling stone, All Along the Watchtower), but this show was about new material mostly and we left grateful, satisfied and thankful.  He sits at the turbulent crossroads. He continues being the journeyman bringing his messages of a better way. Hope of those journeys, Fear of time taking us all. 

 

In my life by far, his long life of music and poet of our times. I’ll cross that Rubicon to the Promised land. Take me to the river – free me from sin. Will he still be touring at 80, still the journeyman, journey home. The Never ending Tour runs through 2024.



This is Bob at his classic and contemporary best! This is my third Dylan concert. First was with my son at the SECC Glasgow, when Dylan was hunched over his keyboards. The second gig, 2011, was a much livelier Dylan performance at the Braehead arena, where Dylan even danced! And we stood alongside his long-standing disciples at the front. The fan beside me was my age and also with his son and he had been to every Dylan concert here since his first one in Scotland – at the age of 18. It was a humbling experience and Dylan performed several of his classic songs (set lists are online)

Dylan clearly much prefers the smaller venues and this concert in 2022 at the Armadillo was more intimate and old worldly, took us back in time, before mobile phones, before internet and before flashing lights, glitz and glamour- when we could simply be in the moment to listen clearly to the quality, aged instruments, to the changes in tempo, clarity, depth, resonance and range of voice. We’ve forgotten today how to be in the moment, how to look or listen, as we disappear into our virtual realities.

I hope Dylan continues on his ever ending world tour and continues to write and perform such memorable and hard hitting words and music. And that I get to hear him some more live – it’s a surreal and uplifting experience.


**SET LIST

*Watching the River Flow

*Most Likely You’ll go your way and I’ll go Mine

I Contain multitudes

False Prophet

When I make my Masterpiece

Black Rider

My Own Version of you

*I’ll be our Baby Tonight

Crossing the Rubicon

*Be Alone with you

Key West

*Gotta Serve Someone

I’ve made up my mind to give myself to You

*That Old Black Magic

Mother of Muses


**REVIEWS

Neil McCormick on the Telegraph, as “one long magnificent ride for his most loyal fans and “The wise old poet has stirred up a cryptic cauldron of truths and clues, philosophy, myths and magic.”

 

“Breath of its cultural references and the depth of Dylan’s lyrics ‘ Mikal Wood Los Angeles Times.

“old blues songs, Shakespeare, classical mythology, the bible and pop culture” Kenny Doole Exclaim

 “why are intellectual references so rare in contemporary music.”

 

Rolling Stone ranked Key West as second best songs of 2020 and 7th in a list of 25 best Bob Dylan songs 20th century. 

“ a poetic balm for a world in profound turmoil.” 

Bob Dylan, All the Songs, Philippe Margolin and Jean Michel Guesdon, claim R & R is placed between Highway 61 Revisited, Blond on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks, and in other words on the same level as his master works. Several stand out tracks are singled out for mention – Key West, I Contain Multitudes, Black Rider. 

Rough and Rowdy Ways album -  is the 39th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan released on June 2020, through Columbia Records.It is Dylan's first album of original songs since his 2012 album Tempest following three releases, one a triple album a triple album that covered traditional pop standards. The album was recorded at Sound City Studios in January and February 2020. The session musicians included all of the then-current members of Dylan's Never Ending tour band alongside other musicians, such as Blake Mills and Fiona Apple. The album's sound was described by critics as Americana, folk, blues and R & B. 

 

Rough and Rowdy Ways was preceded by the singles "Murder Most Foul", "I Contain Multitudes" and "False Prophet", "Murder Most Foul" became Dylan's first song to top any US Billboard chart. The album was universally praised by critics, described as being one of Dylan's best works and placing highly in many year-end album lists, including the top spot on four lists. It peaked at No. 1 in more than ten countries and No. 2 in the United States and Australia.

Surrounding Dylan, leaning in like heliotropes, are three guitarists playing electric, acoustic, lap steel, mandolin and fiddle (the latter three are by Donnie Herron, and not all at the same time). Longtime electric upright bassist Tony Garnier plucks away next to newbie Charley Drayton, a loose and bouncy drummer who seems to make contact with his kit via anything but wooden sticks. The transitions between the songs are jazzy and fantasia-like, as though each cut played is conjured afresh out of a shimmering ether.

Crucially, there’s an air of playfulness here – testament to Dylan actually being in a very good mood


Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Celtic Connections 30th Anniversary Festival 2023!

Phil Cunningham, Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas

 The festival will run from Thursday 19 January to Sunday 5 February 2023.   @ccfest

Celtic Connections is one of the world’s largest winter festival that celebrates roots, folk and world music. Celtic Connections began in 1994, when it offered 66 events at one venue. Since then it’s grown in adventurousness, experimenting and diversity each year and now offers thousands of events in locations across Glasgow.



Opening Concert will celebrate the festival with artists who’ve featured over the years, along with new folk talent - reflecting Celtic Connections' multi-generational breadth, its Internationalism and collaborative, cross-genre spirit. And includes Karine PolwartSierra HullBascoPeat & DieselTRIPFergus McCreadie & Matt CarmichaelMaeve GilchristRachel Sermanni and more.


With the Big Band, originally conceived 2021 digital festival’s Opening Night - Patsy ReidGraham MackenzieLaura WilkieMichael McGoldrickHannah FisherRoss AinslieAnna Massie, Alyn CoskerJames MackintoshDuncan Lyall and Sorren Maclean, along with guests.

Dance. World premiere of Moving Cloud – a collaboration of contemporary dance and traditional music with a new score by Celtic Connections and Scottish Dance Theatre led by Artistic Director Joan Clevillé  with TRIP, SianGreg Lawson and Alice Allen




**PLUS festival FAVOURITES - Irish-American Cherish the Ladies, Scots strings Blazin’ Fiddles, trad fusion powerhouse Treacherous Orchestra, Colin Hay, of Australia’s Grammy-winning Men at Work.. 

The Irish Chamber OrchestraRóisín ReImagined , with award-winning singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh’s renditions of classic sean nós songs, of richly ornamented songs. The (SCO) Scottish Chamber Orchestra returns with Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (Clarsach) (SCO) Scottish Chamber Orchestra returns with Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (Clarsach).African and Gaelic music with Malian’s Trio Da Kali with Gaelic singers Jenna Cummings and Kim Carnie. 


Collaborations. Piper Ross Ainslie, and American Old-Time and roots musician Dirk PowellOrchestral Qawwali will showcase a unique collaboration. The Song Circle show with vocals of Mary Chapin CarpenterKarine Polwart, Julie Fowlis and Robert Vincent at The Theatre Royal.


Festival highlight Transatlantic Sessions celebrate 20th Anniversary with all-star line-up - Martha Wainwright, Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlai, Capercaillie’s Karen Matheson and Amethyst Kiah. House band of top Celtic and Americana roots talent – Phil Cunningham, John Dole, Michael McGodlrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and Daniel Kimbro and masters of ceremonies Sherland fiddler Aly Bain and dubro master Jerry Douglas.



Braebach



Gaelic. Scottish folk band Breabach album Fàs–meaning ‘growth’, inspired by the natural environment of ScotlandGaelic singer of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Award the haunting vocals of Kim Carnie –new album And So We Gather,


Plus live mic at the Danny Kyle stage the Late Sessions and Folk club and much more. 

Showcase Scotland 2023 will see Brittany showcased, to advance opportunities, along with Wales, to celebrates the folk traditions of two of Scotland’s closest Celtic cousins. 

**Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 will be available from 10am on Wednesday 12th October at www.celticconnections.com.


Rachel Sermanni

Sarah Jarosz

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “Our 30th anniversary is a hugely important moment for the festival, especially considering the last couple of years. We will, of course, be paying homage to the musicians, bands and artists who have contributed, supported and inspired the festival over the last three decades, but importantly this is also a moment to look to the future. The last two years have been incredibly tough for so many musicians and the live entertainment industry in general, so Celtic Connections 2023 is an opportunity to commemorate how far the festival and the Scottish music scene has come, and to also celebrate the fact that we are still here. 

“Celtic Connections is still showcasing some of the best music Scotland and the world has to offer, established and emerging musicians are still here creating and performing, audiences are still here enjoying the cultural exponents of our country and other nations  from across the world. Sharing our music and our arts is a vital part of our human existence, connecting us and enriching lives, and we have missed that. I can’t wait to revel in a live festival once again and celebrate the resilience and the longevity of our sector.”



Scots hero Ian Hamilton

So sorry to hear of the death of Scots hero Ian Hamilton – who was an early fighter for Scotland’s freedom. On Christmas Eve he and other students took the Stone of Destiny from Westminster abbey, that was used for centuries for Scots kings, and was stolen by Edward I in 1296.  It’s an incredible story of bravery and fighting for our freedoms. 

 

He’s an inspiration. Worth watching the film “Stone of Destiny” and visiting Arbroath abbey, where Hamilton recites the Declaration of Arbroath, 

"  for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

 

Submitted in Latin, the Declaration was little known until the late 17th century, and is unmentioned by any of Scotland's major 16th-century historians. In the 1680s, the Latin text was printed for the first time and translated into English in the wake of the Glorious Revolution, after which time it was sometimes described as a declaration of independence

 



The Declaration of Arbroath 

is the name usually given to a letter, dated 6 April 1320 at Arbroath, written by Scottish barons and addressed to Pope John XXII

. It constituted King Robert I response to his excommunication for disobeying the pope's demand in 1317 for a truce in the First War of Scottish Independence. The letter asserted the antiquity of the independence of the Kingdom of Scotland. denouncing English attempts to subjugate it. 

Generally believed to have been written in Arbroath abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning (or of Linton), then chancellor of Scotland and Abbot and sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles, the letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I and a letter from four Scottish bishops which all made similar points. The Declaration was intended to assert Scotland's status as an Independent, sovereign state and defend Scotland’s right to use military action when unjustly attacked.

Submitted in Latin, the Declaration was little known until the late 17th century, and is unmentioned by any of Scotland's major 16th-century historians. In the 1680s, the Latin text was printed for the first time and translated into English in the wake of the Glorious Revolution after which time it was sometimes described as a declaration of independence, the Declaration was little known until the late 17th century, and is unmentioned by any of Scotland's major 16th-century historians. In the 1680s, the Latin text was printed for the first time and translated into English in the wake of the Glorious Revolution, after which time it was sometimes described as a Declaration of Independence. 

 

 

**Ian Hamilton KC  (1925 – 2022) was a Scottish lawyer and nationalist, best known for his part in the  return of the Stone fo Destiny from Westminster Abbey to Arbroath Abbey in 1950. Hamilton was born in Paisley Scotland, on 13 September 1925, the son of a tailor. He attended the John Neilson Institution in Paisley before going on to the University of Glasgow to study law, after having served in the British army. National activism It was at University where Hamilton became politically active. A participant in debates at the Glasgow university, he was a member of the Glasgow University Nationalist Association and Scottish Covenant Association. He was also the campaign manager for the successful bid to have John MacCormick elected rector fo the university. 

 

 

***Stone of Destiny[

On Christmas Eve 1950, Hamilton, along with three other student Scottish nationalists including Kay Matheson removed the Stone of Destiny from its place under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey. London. Originally used for the coronation of Scottish monarchs, the Stone had been removed to England by Edward I in 1296 to bolster his claim to the throne of Scotland. After the Acts of Union 1707 between Scotland and England, it was used for the coronation of British monarchs. 

As such, Hamilton's action in returning the Stone to Scotland was applauded as a symbolic triumph for Scottish nationalism. The Stone was turned over to the Church of Scotland, which passed it to the authorities in April 1951. Hamilton and his accomplices were charged, but never prosecuted. The Stone was eventually returned