Arbroath Historical Pageant, 1947

Pageant type

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Place: Arbroath Abbey (Arbroath) (Arbroath, Angus, Scotland)

Year: 1947

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 3


The pageant was a joint initiative of the Town Council and the YMCA.The pageant took place within the ruins of the medieval Arbroath Abbey, which has long been roofless and open to the elements.

Thursday 21 August 1947, 6.30pm
Friday 22 August 1947, 6.30 pm
Saturday 23 August 1947, 2.00pm1

There is no record of the length of the pageant, but, including its introductory elements, this cannot have been much more than 90 minutes.

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Director of the performance [Pageant Master]: Thornton, F.W.A.
  • Director of the performance [Pageant Master]: Shepherd, George S.
  • General Director: Mr David Band (YMCA organiser)
  • Costumes & Props: H. Witherspoon


Directors of the performance: Councillor F.W.A. Thornton and Mr George Shepherd

Names of executive committee or equivalent

  • Chairman: Mr George Law.
  • Members of the Town Council: D.A. Gardener, Mr J. Keir and Mr J.K. Moir
  • Arbroath Dramatic Club: Mr F.W.A. Thornton and George Shepherd
  • Arbroath Merchants' Association: Miss Brodie, Messrs J Fyfe, W.B. Macdonald, D.Y. Walker, A. Bowman, D.L. Gardiner and D. Byars
  • Arbroath Fishermen's Association: Mr A. Cargill
  • Churches' Council: Rev. James M. Ewing
  • Arbroath YMCA: Messrs John Fraser, H. Witherspoon and E.B. Mackintosh


As would become a pattern in the Arbroath pageants, there were few women on the executive committee; in the case of 1947 there was only one woman representing the various local organisations on the executive. However, other associated activities that were part of the pageant week were organised by women. Those organised by the fishing community, for example, had six women members on a committee made up of fourteen members; and the displays that took place in the Abbey after each performance were the work of the WRI.3

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Thornton, F.W.A.


F.W.A. Thornton (script of the main scene)4

Names of composers

  • Irvine, Jessie Seymour

Numbers of performers


More than 25 horses.There were only four women in the pageant performance; these took the roles of Pages (although mounted on horseback) within the King's entourage. The Arbroath Male Voice Choir, who played the parts of monks of the Abbey, swelled the number of performers. It is possible, however, that the number who took part in the pageant included those who were involved with ancillary events. The total number of (human) performers was between 130 and 150.

Financial information

The pageant itself lost between £55 and £60.

The pageant week overall made a profit of £400.8

Object of any funds raised

YMCA Overseas Fund.


The activities of the whole pageant week made a profit of £400; this money was given to the YMCA as a donation towards their overseas fund.9 A pageant to raise funds for this organisation was also held in Perth in 1949. The YMCA assisted service personnel and others posted overseas in the immediate post-war period.

Initially Arbroath Town Council offered to give £150 towards the cost of staging the pageant in recognition of the high cost of publicising the event. This was later debated by the Council and overturned. The Council instead made 'a grant' of £150 to the YMCA, as it did not want to set a precedent of underwriting such events from council income to assist with costs.10

Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: Not Known
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: 10000


'Almost 10000' over the three days of the pageant.11 This large figure, however, may have included spectators at the pageant procession. There was a seated area but it is assumed that most of the tickets were for a standing area only.

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

2s. 6d.–1s.

Admission on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 August: 1s. and 2s. for seats.
Admission on Saturday 23 August: 1s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. for seats.12
The cheaper tickets were standing only.

Associated events

There were displays of traditional and Highland dancing in the cloisters of the Abbey after each performance; and on Saturday, the Pipe Band of the Local branch of the British Legion accompanied the dancing. The Local Women’s Rural Institute (WRI) also arranged a 'clachan scene' which had exhibitions of weaving and spinning, and was sited near to the Abbot's house in the Abbey grounds. The WRI members were dressed in tartan shawls and undertook demonstrations of crafts which, as well as textile work, included butter making. These attractions were open to ticket holders only.
A procession containing 'about 40 decorated vehicles, with tableaux by manufacturers, traders and local organisations' as well as the entire cast of the pageant took place on Saturday 23 August; this left the bathing pool in Arbroath at 6.30pm and processed to the harbour. Performances of the day culminated with a torchlight procession and a costumed presentation of 'an old-time fisher wedding' starting at 8.15pm in Victoria Park in the town. And at approximately 10.00pm, a firework display was also held in the park. There were collectors for donations of money at all these events. There were estimated to be 20000 spectators at the harbour and Victoria Park.
A further event that was planned, and which was intended to meet the parade when it arrived at the harbour, was for a flotilla of decorated and illuminated boats of the fishing fleet to be in harbour. These were then to put out to sea in formation and then return to the harbour, after which the crews (in pirate costume) would make 'an attack on the harbour—with collection boxes.' Unfortunately, this had to be postponed because of dense fog and took place instead on Sunday 24 August. The boats also carried passengers, and the display was described as picturesque in the 'sunset glow'.

Pageant outline

Opening Ceremony

The pageant was formally introduced and chaired by a different dignitary at each performance. This was followed by an opening speech, again given by a different invited speaker. A third person then gave a vote of thanks to the speaker as follows.

Thursday 21 August 1947
Pageant chaired by: Baillie R. McGlashan
Opening speech by: Lord Kinnaird, Lord-Lieutenant of Perthshire
Vote of Thanks: Mr John Fraser, Chairman of the 'local YMCA.'.

Friday 22 August 1947
Pageant chaired by: A McCrae Wilson, Dean of Guild, Arbroath
Opening speech by: The Hon. Mrs Lindsay Carnegie, Kinblethmont
Vote of Thanks: Honourable Treasurer, Eric B. Mackintosh

Saturday 23 August 1947
Pageant chaired by: The Hon. John S. McLay MP for Montrose
Opening speech by: Dr J.B. Salmond
Vote of Thanks: Mr K. Dickson, General Secretary of the Scottish National Council of the YMCA.18

Religious service

This was conducted by local Ministers as follows.

Thursday 21 August 1947: Rev. Alex W. Abel, Hopemount Church; Rev. J.T. Hornsby, Congregational Church; and Rev. Peter Innes, Inverbrothnock Church.

Friday 22 August 1947: Rev. W.E. Gladstone-Millar, St Margaret's Church; Rev. A. Russell, Abbey Church; and Rev. C.E. Duff, St Vigeans.20

Saturday 23 August 1947: Rev. James M. Ewing, Princes Street Church; Rev C.A. Gibson, Knox's Church; Rev. Harry L. Bruce, Baptist Church.21

Main Scene: The Signing of the Declaration of Independence, 1320

The Scotsman newspaper described the drama of this scene as follows:

The main scene... depicts the arrival of King Robert the Bruce, accompanied by a cavalcade of barons and pages, with an escort of archers and other foot-soldiers, dressed in costumes of the period. This is followed by the ceremonial welcome of the King by the Abbot of Aberbothock, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, Church dignitaries in appropriate garb, and a chanting choir of cowled monks. In the presence of the enthroned King the Declaration is signed with due ceremonial. The enactment of the scene is accompanied by a commentary, and the phrases of the memorable Declaration are declaimed.22

The Commentary was given by its author, F.W.A. Thornton. Other characters and players were:

Bernard de Linton (played by George Shepherd)
Robert the Bruce (Mr A. Linton Robertson)
The Bishop of St Andrews (Mr T. Matheson)
The Bishop of Dunkeld (Mr D. Littlejohn)
The Bishop of Brechin (Mr A. Cargill)
Lord James Douglas (Mr S.E.S. Burnett)
Lord Randolph (Mr W.D.S. Burnett)

The members of the Arbroath Male Voice Choir played monks of the Abbey.23 There were round 25 horsemen and 50 foot soldiers in Bruce's entourage.24

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Robert I [Robert Bruce] (1274–1329) king of Scots
  • Bernard (d. 1330/31) administrator and bishop of Sodor
  • Douglas, Sir James [called the Black Douglas] (d. 1330) soldier
  • Randolph, Thomas, first earl of Moray (d. 1332), soldier and guardian of Scotland

Musical production

The music that accompanied the action of the pageant was by the Arbroath Male Voice Choir which provided 'appropriate chants' and was dressed as 'dark-gowned' monks. There were also trumpet fanfares but it is not known whether these were played live and by who, or, if this was recorded music.

The music was choral and religious (psalms and hymns). ‘Ave Verum’ (specific musical arrangement unknown) was sung at the start of the Declaration scene, when the Abbot and Bishops are proceeding to the altar for worship. This ceremony was interrupted by the arrival of the Bruce and his entourage. The King's arrival was heralded with a trumpet fanfare. It is presumed that the fanfare was recorded music as there is no mention of musicians in any of the press coverage. The 23rd psalm (‘The Lord is My Shepherd’) was later sung to the tune 'Crimond' as the Abbot and King kneel at the altar before the signing of the Declaration. The tune 'Crimond' is reputed to be the work of Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836–87). Composed in 1872, this is commonly used for singing Psalm 23, 'The Lord Is My Shepherd', in Scotland and elsewhere.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Arbroath Herald
Arbroath Guide
Dundee Courier
Dundee Evening Telegraph
The Scotsman

Book of words


A book of words was not produced.

Other primary published materials


The Arbroath Herald stated that a commemorative booklet was to be produced at the behest of a local woman, Miss Louisa Macdonald. In it, she intended to record the story of Arbroath. Her stipulation was that the proceeds of sale of the booklet would be used 'as the nucleus of a special fund to be used towards perpetuating a ceremonial calculated to enhance the historical importance and the honour of this old town as the cradle of Scottish independence.'28 The NLS holds a copy.29

References in secondary literature

  • Ritchie, N. Graham. 'Images of the Declaration: The Arbroath Pageant.' In The Declaration of Arbroath: History, Significance, Setting, edited by Geoffrey Barrow. Edinburgh, 2003. At 86–107.

Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • The pageant was widely reported in the press, but very little in the way of documents of ephemera related to the event has survived. One exception is a commemorative, bound copy of articles taken from the Arbroath Herald’s Annuals held in Arbroath Public Library. The extracts are on the subject of the pageants held in 1947 and 1948. This volume also includes a reproduction of the script of the Laurel Crown. 394.5.

Sources used in preparation of pageant


A translation of the Declaration of Scottish Independence must have been used for this first performance, but which version is unknown and several were in existence. It is possible that this was a new version that was prepared by Agnes Mure Mackenzie for the pageant (this was reproduced in programmes from 1949 onwards) but no confirmation of this has been identified. Mackenzie's version was certainly used from 1948 onwards.30


In 1947, when the Arbroath Abbey Pageant was held, the after-effects of World War II and the austerity that affected the British population were an everyday reality—a fact pointed out by one correspondent to the Scotsman newspaper when he alerted readers that in the recent pageant the monks of Arbroath Abbey had been far from authentically garbed. This, he said, must be due to a 'lack of clothing coupons'.31 Nonetheless, war and its effects appear to have been instrumental in bringing this pageant into being. Indeed, the whole idea of a pageant was aimed at raising money for YMCA initiatives to provide services for troops still stationed abroad. Yet despite the hangover of the war, there was a good deal of optimism in this staging of the first in a series of pageants at Arbroath—pageants which celebrated the historic signing by King Robert and the Barons of Scotland of the Declaration of Scotland's Independence. This act, alleged to have taken place at Arbroath Abbey in April 1320, was a singular event in another lengthy conflict, the War of Independence, but it was one which had come to inspire a great deal of pride among Scots generally, and among residents of Arbroath particularly. For alongside the famous smoked fish delicacy, 'Arbroath Smokies,' produced in the town, the Declaration was the town's main claim to fame.

In the mid-twentieth century, the economies of most towns in Scotland were in some difficulties. Arbroath had a number of traditional industries; notably, it was a fishing port and fish-curing centre, there were textile factories, and it was home to a military base (of the Royal Marines) —all of which had helped keep the town busy during the war. However, a highly significant part of the local pre-war economy had been tourism. As the Scottish economy re-settled to post-war conditions, the town council was keen to inject some vigour into this area of commerce. Therefore, the pageant effectively killed two birds with one stone: by raising money for a good cause related to post-war peacekeeping and as a fillip to the economic vigour of Arbroath. The 1947 pageant was to be the first in a long line of annual Arbroath Abbey Pageants that would attract national and international attention. Could the original organisers have anticipated this? Perhaps surprisingly, it does seem likely that from very early on, many involved with the pageant did see it as uniquely placed to become an annual event. That the pageants did put Arbroath on the tourist map is indisputable; they may even have contributed to promoting the more modern name for the Declaration of Scottish Independence - it is now much more commonly referred to as the' Declaration of Arbroath'. Following the success of the first pageant, Arbroath Town Council certainly took a far less generous approach to sharing its achievements with any charitable bodies beyond those which could benefit the town itself

At the start, however, the original idea for a pageant was said to be that of Mr George Law, manager of the town's Palace Theatre. Together with other local devotees of the town's history and an organiser for the local branch of the YMCA, David Band, they proposed holding a fundraising pageant that re-enacted the history of the signing of the Declaration. Initially, this group of enthusiasts found a ready audience among the town's civic leaders.32 A businessman and town councillor, F.W.A. [Frank] Thornton, soon became heavily involved and agreed to write a scenario and script. Thornton was an indefatigable type; as well as owning an established drapery shop in the town and being a civic official, he was a leading light in local amateur theatre.33 He would go on to play a principal role as a co-director for the pageant in 1947, and went on to perform this role for many years to come. A further task he took on was as the commentator for the pageant; again, this became an established part of his place in many of the pageants. His partner in directing the pageant, George Shepherd, was also a multi-tasker; he too was involved with amateur dramatics and, as well as directing, took the lead role of Abbot Bernard de Linton.34 Shepherd too continued to perform these roles in the pageant over successive years. However, these two pageant stalwarts were not alone in their enthusiasm. From the beginnings of the Arbroath pageant in 1947 through to the mid-1950s, the same local men played most of the lead parts in the pageant.

In terms of the pageant narrative and its dramatic treatment, the approach taken by Thornton was for quite a straightforward re-creation of the kind of medieval ceremony that might have accompanied a meeting of the Scottish parliament and the subsequent signing of this document. As was usual in pageantry, the story focused on both local heritage and national historical significance, both of which are easily seen in connection with this moment of history. The performance was staged within the ruins of Arbroath Abbey, which was then, and remains, a local landmark. This medieval structure founded in 1178 by King William the Lion of Scotland was dedicated to the memory of his friend, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. It housed Tironesian monks until the Reformation, after which, and in common with most medieval religious houses in Scotland, it fell into rapid ruin. That these ruins survived at all is in all likelihood a consequence of the building's rich history. Part of that history is its association with the coming into being of the Declaration - for it was from here that it was dated and sent to the Pope in Avignon. The document, the national historical importance of which increased from the later seventeenth century onwards, was never signed or sealed as part of any ceremony, but it has undoubtedly long served as a foundation upon which the identity of the Scottish nation is based. Often described as Scotland's own Magna Carta, the Declaration's message about liberty is most famously recalled in this extract from its text:

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.

The language of the Declaration in itself is dramatic and has been alleged to have influenced many other freedom fighters, most famously those who wrote the American Declaration of Independence.35 The Abbey also provided an impressive and evocative stage for the pageant, for even in a ruined state it is still a beautiful structure. For these reasons, Thornton, as author of the script, probably did not feel he had to do much to augment the storyline beyond imagining a scenario to account for the King and the Barons of Scotland gathering together and appending their seals. As it was presented in 1947, this was a pageant which had only a single episode. In voiceover commentary, the pageant provided a basic summary of the Declaration's genesis and a rendition of the text itself. This 'word picture' was said also to build an impression of the 'majesty and magnificence of the monastery church of those days'.36

The drama was otherwise carried by a theatrical interpretation of the medieval pomp that might be imagined to surround a meeting between the King, his Chancellor and the leaders of church and state within a religious setting. Processions and plainsong chanting, as well as royal fanfares, all created an atmosphere easily associated with popular images of this period. The figure of the King also helped augment the spectacle; this role was played in 1947 and for many years after by a local vet by the name of Archie Robertson. Physically he was said to have perfectly suited the role, being tall and powerfully built.37 The Abbot and monks were seen first at worship; this was interrupted by the stately arrival of the King and his entourage, and then followed the solemn ceremony of the signing of the document. The pageant ends with the departure of the King and the Barons, and the return of the Abbot and monks to their religious devotions. All of this action was, of course, fictional; there is no evidence that any such gathering took place at Arbroath.38

The lead roles that appeared in the pageant were Robert the Bruce and two of his Barons, Lord Randolph and Lord Douglas; in addition, there were three named Bishops, all with local connections, as well as the Abbot of the monastery and popularly believed author of the Declaration - Bernard de Linton.39 Thus, the cast was relatively small. There were perhaps two reasons for this. Firstly, it may have reflected a desire to underplay any overly elaborate recreation of Roman Catholic ritual, which would not have played well to local Presbyterians. For although most of the ceremony enacted was wholly invented and not based on any surviving record of the proceedings, the fact that the Declaration was essentially a petitioning letter to a Roman Catholic pontiff was much more well known. The second reason, almost certainly, was that there was a shortage of available players willing to take on the commitment of a named character and a shortage of funds available for more lavish costumes even if willing participants could have been found. Apart from four women dressed as Pages that were part of the King's entourage, the entire cast was made up of adult men.40

Overall, in comparison with most pageants in Scotland, even small events, the Arbroath pageant of 1947 took a modest approach to re-enacting history. And the pageant would have been a relatively short performance had it not been for a lengthy preliminary element. The presentation of a single episode with only four scenes was supplemented by a lengthy introduction. This consisted of a welcome by a local notable, a speech by a well-known public figure, then both of these were then accorded a vote of thanks by a third dignitary. These figures changed at each performance. Then in likely deference to the religious setting of the pageant and the Christian orientation of the institution which was set to gain funds from the event, the introduction was rounded off with a short religious service given by a variety of local religious ministers.

However inspiring the speeches, this was hardly heart-stopping drama. What helped make this pageant into more of a festival were the 'parades and revelries' that were added to the pageant week.41 For example, many spectators were able to see the King and his entourage without the benefit of a ticket, as they rode through the town on their way to the abbey.42 And there was widespread interest in the town. In a relatively short amount of time, following the announcement of the pageant, many Arbroath organisations, including the town council, decided to stage further colourful attractions. These included a re-enactment of a traditional fisher wedding, organised by members of the fishing community in Arbroath, a recreation of an old-style village by the local branch of the Women's Rural Institute (WRI), a mile-long pageant procession held after the final Saturday afternoon performance, and a grand fireworks display put on by the Council in order to close the entire celebration. All of these saved the day financially, for the pageant itself lost money, but collections taken at the additional events raised an overall profit to the benefit of the YMCA.

Clearly, the idea of the pageant exploited local civic pride and love of the town's heritage; at a more prosaic level, it was helpful in attracting visitors. However, there was also a wider context to this pageant zeal. The war was not the only major event still on the minds of Scots. The economic depression of the pre-war years and the crisis in Scottish manufacturing was also still in recent memory. A common response to this by some of the interested from across the political spectrum was a call for greater local control over Scotland's economic fortunes. Perhaps only a minority of Scots supported the notion of 'home-rule', and even fewer called for outright independence, but it is fair to say that this desire had the potential to grow. Some of the more romantic readings of the significance of the Declaration, albeit largely divorced from the document's historical context, played into nationalist sentiments. Certainly, the accusation that the pageant had nationalist underpinnings would dog this event for years to come, though its organisers always hotly denied such charges. Somehow, though, such rumours did not prevent the success of Arbroath's event and a pageant celebrating national autonomy, and defiance of tyranny, seemed to fit well within the zeitgeist. From its beginnings as a modest fundraiser, pageantry made progress in Arbroath, even in this initial year, and certainly in years to come.

Indeed, success was such that the YMCA quickly applied to hold the event again in 1948. The town council discussed their letter intimating this plan less than three weeks after the pageant in 1947. It was at this point that misgivings were expressed, not about holding another pageant, but about who should benefit from it. The YMCA had stated that the pageant had

received acclaim from all parts of Scotland, and the YMCA Council were very proud that they could be regarded as pioneers of a pageant which had such a moral and educational value... Apart from any financial profit we feel that the service rendered to Arbroath and to Scotland and the prestige we have gained by being associated with this most successful presentation, make our efforts worthwhile.43

Some embarrassment ensued when it was revealed that the Council's treasurer was also the treasurer of the local branch of the YMCA. But conflicting interests aside, Arbroath Council rapidly decided that the prestige of the pageant should really belong to the town alone. In future years, the pageant, although run ostensibly without any ambition to make a profit, withdrew from being a fundraising endeavour. This was achieved by the setting up of a pageant society with its own committee, but which had a statutory number of representatives from the town council sitting on it in addition to other elected members who came from a wide array of backgrounds and had local interests.44 This organisation was named the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, although one of the titles suggested for it early on was the Arbroath Independence Pageant Society.45 As a concession to the YMCA, it was agreed at a further council meeting on 13 September 1947 that the YMCA would be represented on the Pageant Committee. And for the years 1948 and 1949, any profit made from all of the pageant events would be divided fifty-fifty between the Pageant Society and the YMCA; or borne in the same proportion if a loss was made. After 1949, this association would cease and the pageants would become the sole responsibility of the Society.46

Despite this rapid resolution, it took several more months to convene a pageant committee. This was largely due to the town council's general reluctance to cede total control over the pageant to an external organisation.47 Nevertheless, it was one of their own number who pushed ahead with getting the Pageant Society up and running. Councillor Thornton, the pageant's author, director and commentator in 1947, was determined to ensure that for the future the pageant came under the aegis of Arbroath the town, rather than exclusively being the work of Arbroath Burgh Council. He wanted representation from across all interested parties to be responsible for the future of this event.48 Thornton won the day and he ensured the Arbroath pageant would go on to become an annual event that was free from being solely a charitable fundraiser or a council-led economic initiative, although a compromise made was that a set number of members on its executive would be sitting councillors. The 1947 pageant started a process that would see this northerly town become the pageant capital of the UK. What motivated Thornton was possibly a mix of factors. Over time, the content of the pageant altered slightly, but at the heart of it remained the signing of the Declaration scene, and the drama was, of course, all Thornton's own handiwork. If this suggests any self-interest, such a supposition would have to be balanced against his undoubted commitment to promoting his hometown's unique heritage.


  1. ^ 'Pageant at Arbroath Abbey', Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6.
  2. ^ 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant: Spectacular Three-Day Commemoration', Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  3. ^ 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant: Spectacular Three-Day Commemoration', Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  4. ^ 'Pageant at Arbroath Abbey', Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6.
  5. ^ 'Arbroath Pageant', The Scotsman, 14 August 1947, 3. The Scotsman states the higher figure, while in articles in the local press the number of performers is regularly stated as being around 130.
  6. ^ 'Historical Pageant', Arbroath Guide, 2 August 1947, 4.
  7. ^ 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant: Spectacular Three-Day Commemoration', Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  8. ^ 'Future of Arbroath's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1947, 7.
  9. ^ 'Future of Arbroath's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1947, 7.
  10. ^ 'Pageant at Arbroath Abbey', Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6.
  11. ^ Arbroath Guide, 30 August 1947, 6.
  12. ^ Advertisement, Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 1.
  13. ^ 'Pageant at Arbroath Abbey', Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6; 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant: Spectacular Three-day Commemoration', Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  14. ^ 'Pageant at Arbroath Abbey', Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6; see 'Arbroath Historical Pageant', The Scotsman, 25 August 1947, 5.
  15. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 1.
  16. ^ Arbroath Guide, 30 August 1947, 6.
  17. ^ Arbroath Guide, 30 August 1947, 6.
  18. ^ Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6.
  19. ^ Since a programme for this event has not been recovered, there is some dubiety about the running order of the opening service. However, in subsequent pageants the religious service came after the opening speech and it is likely that this was also the format at the first pageant in 1947.
  20. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  21. ^ The Arbroath Abbey Pageant: Extracts from the Arbroath Herald Annuals 1947 and 1948 (Arbroath, 1948), np.
  22. ^ 'Arbroath Pageant', The Scotsman, 22 August 1947, 6.
  23. ^ Arbroath Guide, 16 August 1947, 6.
  24. ^ Arbroath Guide, 2 August 1947, 4.
  25. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  26. ^ 'Three Days' Pageant at Arbroath', Arbroath Herald, 22 August 1947, 7.
  27. ^ See entry by Richard Watson in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 180.
  28. ^ 'Arbroath Historical Pageant: Interesting Features', Arbroath Herald, 13 June 1947, 7.
  29. ^ Louisa Macdonald, Arbroath (Arbroath, 1947). NLS. Doig.97.
  30. ^ For further information on Mackenzie, see entry by Joan Morrison Noble in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 229; and William Donaldson, October 2006, ‘Mackenzie, Agnes Mure (1891–1955)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004), online edn.
  31. ^ Letter from Peter F. Anson, The Scotsman, 27 August 1947, 4.
  32. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6; the first mention that a pageant was planned came in March 1947 and was recorded in 'Historical Pageant for Arbroath', Dundee Courier, 11 March 1947, 2.
  33. ^ 'The Bruce at Aberbrothock', Dundee Evening Telegraph, 16 August 1847, 2.
  34. ^ 'The Bruce at Aberbrothock', Dundee Evening Telegraph, 16 August 1847, 2.
  35. ^ For discussion of the significance of the Declaration see Edward J. Cowan, For Freedom Alone: The Declaration of Arbroath (Edinburgh, 2008).
  36. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  37. ^ Dundee Evening Telegraph, 16 August 1847, 2.
  38. ^ Cowan, For Freedom Alone, 1–12.
  39. ^ Cowan describes the difficulties of ascribing authorship to this document and also states that the Abbot at Arbroath in 1320 was not de Linton, but another clergyman called Abbot Bernard of Arbroath. This figure was also Chancellor of Scotland during Bruce's reign. See Cowan, For Freedom Alone, 54–55.
  40. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  41. ^ Arbroath Guide, 23 August 1947, 6.
  42. ^ 'Arbroath Pageant', The Scotsman, 22 August 1947, 6.
  43. ^ 'Future of Arbroath's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1947, 7.
  44. ^ 'Historical Pageant: Formation of Representative Organisation Proposed', Arbroath Guide, 13 December 1947, 3; see also short notice, Dundee Courier, 9 December 1947, 2.
  45. ^ Reported as a suggestion made at the Council meeting in the Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1947, 7.
  46. ^ 'Future of Arbroath Historical Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 14 September 1947, 7. This position was finally ratified some months later; see 'Arbroath Pageant Profits', Dundee Courier, 17 February 1948, 3.
  47. ^ 'Pageant Society: Interim Scheme Approved', Arbroath Guide, 27 December 1947, 6.
  48. ^ Arbroath Guide, 27 December 1947, 6.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Arbroath Historical Pageant, 1947’, The Redress of the Past,