A 700-year-old document linked to Scottish independence and signed by Robert the Bruce is going up for auction.

The document, which is expected to fetch a sum of up to £30,000, is a letter granting land to an independance supporter and it dates back to March 20, 1326. 

Its patent is in the name of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland and it grants land at ‘Uthirtyre’ – now known as Auchertyre in Angus – to independence supporter Sir William Oliphant in exchange for the feudal service of three archers in the king’s army.

Auctioneers have expressed how exclusive the opportunity to bid on the historic item is and the chance to grab it could be anyone’s. Managing director of Bonhams Scotland, Charles Graham Campbell said the document has never been on display and is in ‘remarkably good condition’.

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He said: “It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t usually come up that often for sale. It’s something that you or I or anyone could bid on and have a chance of acquiring.

“I suspect with what’s going on in Scotland at the moment this will be seen as an amazing document to have.

“People here or in the Scottish diaspora spread around the world might well think this a is a lovely piece of Scottish history to have.”

The document which bears an indistinct fragment of the ‘Great Seal’ was well-known to scholars but its whereabouts was unknown for nearly a century.

It will go under the hammer in the Scottish Sale at Bonhams auction house in Edinburgh on October 15.


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The original recipient of the letter, Sir William Oliphant was also a significant name in the Scottish wars of independence fighting in the battle of Dunbar in 1296.

He was one of 51 Scottish barons and earls who put their seals on the declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which asked the pop to recognise Scotland’s independence with Robert the Bruce as its lawful King.

Mr Campbell added: “This is something that really does have a lot of resonance just because it links so many people at that time who were supporting Robert the Bruce in his quest to win Scotland back from Edward III and get it back as a sovereign nation again.

“So much of Scottish history of that time is part of this document.”