Arbroath Abbey Pageant, 1955

Other names

  • Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant
  • Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence
  • Ninth Annual Arbroath Abbey Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence

Pageant type


The organisation formally in charge of the pageant was the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society; however, the burgh council also took a keen interest in the pageant even if they were not its official organisers and many members of the Society's committee were also elected councillors.

Jump to Summary


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

Year: 1955

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 7


16–20 July 1955

Floodlight Performances:

  • Saturday 16 July 1955, 11.00pm
  • Sunday 17 July 1955, 11.00pm.

Gala Opening Performance:

  • Saturday 16 July 1955, 2.45pm

Daylight performances:

  • Monday 18 July 1955, 7.00pm.
  • Tuesday 19 July 1955, 7.00pm.
  • Wednesday 20 July 1955, 7.00pm1

In this year, the dates of the pageant were moved from the regular time at the end of August to mid-July. Contrary to previous years, the Saturday afternoon gala afternoon performance opened the pageant instead of taking place towards the end of the series of performances.

Six performances were originally planned as outlined. But later reporting indicates that an extra floodlit performance was held at night on Wednesday 20 July.2 In addition, and unlike previous years, the full dress rehearsal took place at night (on Friday 15 July, at 11pm) and the restriction of showing only to schoolchildren was lifted in favour of a wider audience. The reason given for the change was to allow holidaymakers who were leaving before the official commencement of the pageant on Saturday 16 July to see the pageant.3 Ticket prices for the rehearsal were discounted at a flat rate of 2s. 6d.4

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Producer [Pageant Master]: Thornton, F.W.A.
  • Art Director: William Reid
  • Electrician and Lighting Engineer: Fred Leslie
  • Sound Engineers: Reekie Engineering Co.
  • Costumes: Miss C.J. Hendry
  • Choirmaster (Arbroath Male Voice Choir): Andrew Morrison5
  • Additional named persons:
  • Stage Manager: Mr J. Doyle
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Mr A. Kerr
  • Assistant with Costumes and Make-up: Messrs D.Y. Cargill and J. Moffat
  • Convener of Stewards: Mr Frank Conacher 6
  • Convener of Procession: Mr Alex Sandison
  • Marshal of Procession: Mr J.G. Tollerton7


In previous years, the pageant producer Frank Thornton had worked with George Shepherd as his co-producer. However in 1954, Thornton had been ill and Shepherd had to take sole charge. In 1955, Thornton returned to the role of producer and it appears that Shepherd bowed out, although he continued to perform as Abbot Bernard in the Declaration scene.

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society:

  • Honorary Presidents: The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO; The Provost of Arbroath
  • Honorary Vice-Presidents: The Hon. Mrs Lindsay Carnegie; Dr. J.B. Salmond; Hon. John S. McLay, CMG, MP; Mr. E.J. Joss; Mr. A. Linton Robertson, MRCVS
  • Vice-Chairman: Mr Alex Sandison
  • Hon. Secretary: Mr Eric B. Mackintosh, CA
  • Hon. Treasurer: Mr A. Aitken
  • Hon. Auditor: Mr A.M. Eason

Executive Committee

  • The Chairman (Convener): Mr F.W.A. Thornton
  • Vice-Convener: Provost J.K. Moir
  • Other members:
  • Miss M. Brodie
  • Miss C.J. Hendry
  • Mrs W.D Webster;
  • Messrs A. Aitken, J.G.H. Clyde, D.L. Gardiner, A.B. Mitchell, A.R. Ramsay, A. Linton Robertson, A. Sandison, G.S. Shepherd, W. Stark, J.G. Tollerton;
  • Bailies D.A. Gardner and D.A.S. Smith;
  • Councillors H. A. Farmer, D. Goodwillie, A.M. Keith and D. D. Wilson


Many committee members were long serving but there were a few additions; the executive committee continued to be mainly made up of serving and former town councillors, and of regular pageant performers.

There were 11 individuals in charge of spotlights for illuminated performances, including one woman, 'Mrs Mitchell'.10

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

  • Thornton, F.W.A.
  • Mackenzie, Agnes Mure
  • Milne, J. Crawford
  • Thornton, Donald


F. W. A. Thornton's usual script for the commentary in the Declaration scene was again used, as was the translation of the Declaration from the original Latin done by the historian Agnes Mure Mackenzie that was recited during this scene. 11 After a lapse of a few years (it had last been performed in 1951), a verse written by the local poet, J. Crawford Milne formed the prologue to the pageant. The epilogue was written by Donald Thornton.

Names of composers

  • Irvine, Jessie Seymour

There was no opening religious service in 1955; however there was a short benediction given at the close of the pageant after which Psalm 23 was sung and the audience invited to join with this. The tune used was 'Crimond', the composition of which is generally attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine.

Numbers of performers

Financial information

Income and expenditure to/from the Society
Income from street procession: £82. 8s. 1d.
Donations: £8. 15s.
Transferred to the production account: £83. 3s. 1d.

Production account income and expenditure
Donations to the production account: £65.
Sale of tickets: £701. 12s.
Broken down as:
£90. 17s. (Friday floodlit performance)
£93. 6s. 6d. (Saturday afternoon gala performance)
£155. 4s. (Saturday floodlit performance)
£102. 5s. (Sunday floodlit performance)
£53. 6s. 3d. (Monday evening performance)
£84. 15s. (Tuesday evening performance)
£56. 2s. (Wednesday evening performance)
£65. 17s. (Wednesday floodlit performance).

Printing and advertising: £123. 5s. 7d.
Hire of horses: £84. 10s.
Hire of grandstand: £233. 6s. 8d.
Hire of costumes: £103. 11s. 7d.
Floodlighting and sound equipment: £255. 14s. 11d.
Total expenditure: £827. 2s.

Credit balance in production account: £35. 9s. 2d.
Overall deficit for 1955 production: £125.
Bank overdraft: £125.13

Object of any funds raised

Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society.


The Town Council later covered the loss made with a donation of £126.14

Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: Approx. 1200
  • Total audience: 4000


4000 in total (for all 7 performances and including dress rehearsal).15

There was a poor level of attendance at this year's pageant and one committee member described audience numbers as 'an absolute flop'.16

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Reserved: 5s.; 3s. 6d.; 2s. 6d.

Standing area: 1s.17

Associated events

A pageant procession, 5.30pm following the afternoon performance (Saturday 16 July), participants as follows:
  • The Aberbrothock Pipe Band
  • Robert the Bruce, King of Scots
  • The King's Herald
  • Barons of the Realm of Scotland
  • Footsoldiers [sic]
  • Bernard de Linton, Lord Abbot of Aberbrothock 
  • Acolytes
  • The Bishops of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Aberdeen followed by the bearers of their Standards
  • Canons
  • Bearer of the Sacred Banner of St Columba
  • Monks
  • Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, and the English Court
  • Sir William Wallace in Captivity
  • Arbroath Instrumental Band
  • Tableaux:
  • Aberbrothock Coat of Arms by Arbroath Town Council
  • The Stone of Destiny by Arbroath Covenant Association
  • Arbroath for Gracious Holiday Living by Arbroath Publicity Council
  • Arbroath Boy Scouts
  • Youth Keeps the Lamps Alight by Arbroath Branch British Red Cross (Junior Section)
  • Rob Roy by Arbroath Merchants' Association
  • 'Britannia' by Arbroath Branch British Legion (Women's Section)
  • Arbroath Majorettes
  • 'Fairyland' by Pupils of Miss Annie Reid's Dancing Class
  • Noah's Ark by Messrs Francis Webster & Sons Ltd.
  • Fisherwomen at Work by Messrs Swankie & Smith
  • Shipbuilding by Messrs Gerrard Brothers.
  • Angus Accordion Band
A pageant Thanksgiving Service (Sunday 17 July in the afternoon) within the Abbey. Worship conducted by the Rev. Edward T. Hewitt, Newmilns, Ayrshire.

Pageant outline

The National Anthem

Introduction (Saturday afternoon performance only)

For the Gala performance on Saturday 16 July, James K. Moir, the Provost of Arbroath, chaired the pageant. He was scheduled to introduce Sir Compton Mackenzie, OBE, LLD, FRSL as speaker.20 In the event, Mackenzie was prevented from attending by illness. Wilfred Taylor, a well-known columnist for the Scotsman newspaper deputised for him and read a written letter of goodwill from Mackenzie as well as adding some commentary of his own on the pageant.21


The Prologue

There was a return to the Prologue written by the local poet, J. Crawford Milne. This was a verse extolling the beauty of Scotland and praising the Scots of long ago and their fortitude. The poem then moves on to describe the start of the Wars of Independence and the emergence of Wallace as a heroic figure. Frank Thornton narrated the prologue by Milne, as he had done in previous pageants, but in this year, he changed his costume, having dressed as a monk for previous pageants. In 1955, he was described as wearing 'martial garb' and speaking from an elevated position on the Abbey walls. He was further described as being 'a dominating figure throughout the performance'.22

Pageant-play: The Laurel Crown

Written by a local town councillor and pageant organiser, F.W.A. Thornton, this play was first staged at the 1948 Arbroath Pageant and reprised in 1950, 1951 and 1955 as a prelude to the main Declaration episode. The play was concerned with the trial of Sir William Wallace. Thornton described it as 'a reasonably convincing impression of what led up to the noble declaration'.23 Some of the cast members had played the same roles in the play for successive pageants, most notably Ian Spalding in the part of William Wallace. The cast in 1955 were as follows:

Edward I (George Greig)
The Earl of Pembroke (John Eddie)
The Earl of Sussex (Douglas B. Lowe)
Sir William Wallace (Ian Spalding)
The Lord Chief Justice (William Robertson)
Constable of the Tower (William Shaw)
Lord Mayor of London (Arthur McConnell)
And soldiers (played by Robert Cargill, Kenneth Macdonald, David Dear and Randolph Nicol).24


The Signing of the Declaration of Scottish Independence

This performance continued largely unchanged from previous years (there may have been small adjustments not detailed in news reports). It was designed to have a cast of around 80 players, but in most years there was a shortfall and it was played with around 50 performers; this was the case in 1955. In addition, the Arbroath Male Voice Choir, who played the parts of a choir of monks (usually around 18 choir members), supported this cast. The voiceover commentary was by Frank Thornton and a recording of this was relayed during the episode. Briefly, the action was as follows:

1. Entrance of the Lord High Abbot, Bernard de Linton, in Ceremonial Procession with Bishops, Canons and Monks.

2. Arrival of King Robert the Bruce, accompanied by Cavalcade of Barons and Squires, with retinue of Foot Soldiers.

3. The Signing of the Declaration.

4. Departure of King and retinue.

5. The Lord High Abbot, Bishops and Monks seen in Ceremonial Procession.

Some of the players who took part in the Laurel Crown also appeared in the Declaration scene in order to fill vacancies. The cast of main characters was as follows:

Cross bearer (played by Ian Spalding)
Acolytes (William Shaw and Norman Caird)
Abbot Bernard De Linton (George S. Shepherd)
Robert the Bruce (A. Linton Robertson)
Lord Douglas (S.E. Burnett)
Lord Randolph (Walter S. Burnett)
The King's Herald (F. Bogulak and G. Denzil Duffett)
Bishop of Aberdeen (D.L. Gardiner)
Bishop of St Andrews (Tom Matheson)
Bishop of Dunkeld (David Goodwillie)
Bearers of Bishops' Banners (A.B. Mitchell and Michael Walker)
Canons (Robert Meekison, Kenneth Meekison, Alasdair Ogg and Joe Johnston)
Bearer of the Banner of St Columba (Donald Clerk)
Plus 12 barons and 20 foot soldiers.25

The Epilogue

The Epilogue is a short piece of prose; this reprised the role of the soldier who appeared in the prologue and was again performed by the pageant producer Frank Thornton from a high point on the Abbey's walls. It is a short monologue extolling the gift of freedom. In 1952, 1953 and 1954, the epilogue had been a complementary piece to the prologue and Donald Thornton (brother of the producer, writer and performer, Frank Thornton) wrote both. In 1955, a different prologue was used (written by the poet J. Crawford Milne and used in the pageant prior to 1952), however Donald Thornton's epilogue remained. The piece included a quotation from John of Fordoun's Chronica Gentis Scotorum, translated from the original Latin. It is as follows:

This Freedom that our ancestors have left us, that is more to be sought than gold or the topaz stone, far beyond jewels, nay for us, far beyond the value of all the world. This that our high-hearted ancestors have left us, and even to their death served loyally, we too, shall keep inviolate for our sons, and pass it on to them in our own time, unstained by one single jot of slavery.26


There is no note of what form this took or who led the prayer. However, it was concluded with the singing of Psalm 23. The singing of this psalm had traditionally been part of a religious service which was delivered at the opening of most performances of the pageant in every year since its inception in 1947. However, the opening service was controversially dropped altogether in 1955. The addition of the benediction at the close of the performance may have been a concession made in view of the loss of a more fulsome religious aspect to the pageant.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Wallace, Sir William (d. 1305) patriot and guardian of Scotland
  • 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
  • Edward I (1239–1307) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Valence, Aymer de, eleventh earl of Pembroke (d. 1324) magnate
  • Warenne, John de, seventh earl of Surrey [earl of Surrey and Sussex, Earl Warenne] (1286–1347) magnate

Musical production

The Arbroath Male Voice Choir took part in the Declaration scene and supplied chanting. There were 17 singers and their conductor, the choirmaster Andrew Morrison. The choir performed singing of the Ave Verum (specific arrangement unknown) during the Declaration scene. An electric organ was installed and supplied incidental music during the pageant. The organist was Mr Cecil Sharman (Inverbrothock Church).

The tune 'Crimond' is usually attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836-1887). Composed in 1872, this is commonly used for singing Psalm 23, 'The Lord Is My Shepherd', in Scotland and elsewhere. It was sung at the close of the pageant.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Arbroath Herald
Arbroath Guide
The Scotsman
The Times

Book of words


No book of words produced.

Other primary published materials

  • Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling. Arbroath, 1955.

References in secondary literature

  • There is a brief mention in The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, see Gladstone-Millar, Rev. W.E. 'The Abbey Pageant'. In The County of Angus, edited by William Allen Illsley. Arbroath, 1977. At 525.
  • Ritchie, J. 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

  • Angus Archives near Forfar holds a large number of undated photographs of the pageant, which probably include some taken in 1955. See, for example, shelfmark: MS781.
  • Arbroath Public Library holds three copies of the souvenir programme. Shelfmark: 18.94.5.
  • The National Library of Scotland holds one copy of the souvenir programme. Shelfmark: HP3.81.1622.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. Translation of the Declaration.
  • John of Fordun [or Fordoun]. Chronicle of the Scottish Nation.

The Translation of the Declaration by Agnes Mure Mackenzie was first published in the 1949 souvenir pamphlet and was read in full during the performance of the signing of the declaration. This was reproduced in the 1955 souvenir programme and in many previous and subsequent programmes.

The epilogue quotes or paraphrases a well-known passage from John of Fordun's Chronica Gentis Scotorum [Chronicle of the Scottish Nation]. The passage extols the virtues of freedom and states that it is to be cherished 'above gold and topaze'.30


The single biggest change made within the Arbroath Pageant in 1955 was that the religious service, which every year had introduced all performances given during daylight hours, was abandoned. In almost every other way, the pageant simply reprised familiar elements that had been performed in previous years. Although the opening religious service had been successively diluted over the years, having been progressively shortened and then dropped altogether from late night performances, the final disposal of this from all showings of the pageant was a very considerable alteration to the format of the annual event. There can be no doubt that it represented a shift in attitudes by the pageant organisers regarding what was sacrosanct within the Arbroath pageant tradition.

The reasons for such change are not hard to diagnose. Successive years of disappointing ticket sales had led the Pageant Society to elect to move the timing of the pageant forward in 1955, from August to July. The thinking behind this was that in Scotland, July was the height of the holiday season with many industries, particularly in the areas of densest population like the west central belt, closing down trade for a full fortnight. The Glasgow Fair, which traditionally covered the last two weeks of July, brought many visitors to Arbroath, and, indeed, in July 1955 there was said to be 'something like 15000 holidaymakers in the town during the pageant'.31 Sadly, the pageant, over a total of eight performances, only managed to attract 4000 buyers of tickets.32 This was a crushing disappointment for all involved.

The further concession made on the back of this timetable shift was to drop the opening religious service; it may be conjectured that it was thought that the type of visitor in the town during July would have little time for prayers and would be even less likely to part with hard cash for the benefit of them. This caused great dismay to the Rev. Gladstone-Millar, a local Church of Scotland Minister and long-time religious advisor to the pageant, who latterly had conducted all the pageant services himself, as well as organising invitations to visiting Ministers and sermonisers. On receipt of the news, his response was a letter to the local press:

The majority view was undoubtedly that visitors coming on holiday would not appreciate or for that matter understand the reasons for any opening devotions. It seems to be felt that the visitors would be there to view a spectacle and that opening devotions might affect attendances… [I]n latter years the Act of Worship, as you know, lasted three minutes. To me the Abbey is a shrine and not a stadium; the Pageant is a commemoration and not a spectacle. To me the Declaration of Independence is a religious document—drawn up by a son of the Church, signed in a Church, and addressed, in the name of Christ, to the head of the Church... on behalf of all those who, during the years, rejoiced in the Act of Worship, my thanks for the privilege that was ours. The memory is good.33

There can be no doubt that the pageant committee had been forced to face hard facts when they made this decision, having many times themselves echoed the Reverend's views that the pageant was not a mere entertainment. But following the disappointments of previous years the pageant was on its knees financially. For 1955, the organisers tried very hard to rectify this situation.

Efforts made included cutting back on expenditure for advertising since it was thought that the move to July dates would mean that sufficient numbers of visitors would be in situ anyway. It was also announced that 'members of the cast would ride through Dundee' in order to publicise the pageant and be met by Dundee's Lord Provost at City Square; and that the newly formed and highly popular Arbroath Majorettes would take part in the pageant procession.34 More effort was made in a fairly economical way to publicise the pageant throughout Angus and 'leaflets about the Pageant had been sent out to between 10 and 50 W.R.I.s and hotels in the county and Dundee.'35 On 8 July, the bid to woo Dundee took place outside the city's Caird Hall. The cast members involved included Linton Robertson on horseback as Robert the Bruce and Frank Thornton playing the part of the King's Herald – Thornton’s job being to read a proclamation from the steps of the Hall as a means of advertising the coming event.36 Illuminated performances held late at night were reduced to two shows as the costs for lighting put pressure on the budget, and there was a return to more evening performances. However, the dress rehearsal was also opened up to a wider audience, and for the first time held at 11pm at night by illumination. The reduced ticket price for this did make it popular.

In the event, however, the curtailment of illumination was almost certainly a false economy: by the end of the pageant week there was a desperate last effort to make sales, and as part of this an extra and final late night performance seems to have been put on.37 Evidently, the organisers were able to persuade the cast members to take part in this, which makes their commitment commendable. The gala performance on Saturday afternoon, which had also been losing allure, was boosted by having a big name on the programme. Instead of inviting a local aristocrat or military figure, the author Sir Compton Mackenzie agreed to open the pageant, but, somewhat in line with the ebbing of the pageant's fortunes generally, he was unable to attend on the day because of illness. His last minute replacement, the Scotsman newspaper columnist, Wilfred Taylor, admitted that he was hardly equal to the task, although he did his best to promote Arbroath as a fitting place for a pageant with more than a touch of hyperbole:

here we are, on a golden afternoon in this lovely seaside town, in the beautiful romantic county of Angus with, on the one side the blue waters of the North Sea, and on the other the rolling mountains which will soon be carpeted in purple heather, looking back over the centuries to that thrilling Declaration which so long ago was signed within these hallowed precincts. This is an occasion for passionate oratory, and a time to replenish and restore one's faith in one's country. But I cannot bring you these words; I do not have that eloquence...38

Yet all of this effort and even the boon of good weather could not prevent failure; visitors did not queue for tickets as they had in earlier years. Meanwhile the apathy among Arbroathians simply grew, with Linton Robertson (who played Robert the Bruce) concluding that it was dispiriting to play to such 'poor crowds' and that 'the people of Arbroath have lost all interest'.39

These diagnoses of the pageant's problems were not quite the whole story, however. The difficulties of running a pageant year-on-year finally hit home in 1955. Chief among these was the lack of innovation to the script and a lack of funds to make the event into something sufficiently spectacular that visitors would be prepared to make the trip to the north east of Scotland. Thornton claimed that although lack of local support was a problem, for those who came to the pageant from afar and without preconceptions, the pageant was still an entrancing experience. He related that:

[I]n the main [the pageant] held the attention and interest of that audience. Some of them undoubtedly came to scoff at the pageant. There was a crowd of Teddy Boys one night whose first reaction to the pageant was a burst of laughter. But throughout the remainder of the performance there was silence—they sat enthralled. I believe that in the pageant we have started something in Arbroath that is unique. We who have seen it year after year may think it is common-place, but it is not so to the new viewer.40

Attracting the new viewer was the issue and to do this it seemed the pageant had to be made more accessible and be transformed into a bigger event. To do this, the efforts of local people were also needed.

In successive years, the auxiliary elements that had made pageant week into a festival had also decreased. Even if the pageant itself was not meant to be a mere amusement, at least as far as its organisers were concerned, these extra festivities had created a climate more in line with the desirable holiday attractions of the 1950s. Yet, the dances and concerts, and the heritage performances put on by the local fishing community had by now all dwindled away to nothing. Even the pageant procession, which had always been extremely popular, was now said to be a let-down, with ever-fewer tableaux and a shorter route. Clearly, because the pageant was not bringing in the crowds, other parties in Arbroath were unwilling to make financial investments themselves when it appeared that visitors were looking for newer types of entertainments. The local newspapers in Arbroath reported on some of these, which were then taking place in the town; they included bathing beauty contests, displays by the local majorettes, and other similar events more in keeping with the type of holiday-camp pastimes that were becoming more popular and accessible in post-war Britain.

Although the religious service had gone from the pageant, there was, as usual, a thanksgiving service on Sunday afternoon. No figures for attendance at this have been recorded, but the visiting minister who conducted gave his sermon based on a passage from the Book of Job. Unfortunately, many of the pageant organisers were running out of the patience that Job exhibited! Following the 1955 pageant, it was announced that the event had a bank overdraft of £125.41 This prompted many of the most loyal of supporters, including the pageant producer Frank Thornton, to suggest that the pageant should not be held in 1956. The meeting of the Pageant Society at which he announced this was said to have been heated and to have displayed 'extraordinary scenes'.42 Thornton's thinking was that the pageant needed to be bigger and have a new script. Given that he was the author of much of the scripts over the years, and almost all of that performed in 1955, this was a generous point of view, and indeed Thornton also made clear that he wanted time to open up the script to new writers before proceeding. There was no consensus, however, among society members, with many thinking that a break of longer than a year would spell the end for the Arbroath pageant. Amazingly, this opinion won out, and it was decided that the show must go on: the pageant was to be held for a tenth time again in 1956.


  1. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  2. ^ 'Does Arbroath Want its Pageant?' Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  3. ^ 'Public Can See Floodlit Pageant Tonight', Arbroath Herald, 15 July 1955, 7.
  4. ^ Advertisement, Arbroath Herald, 15 July 1955, 1.
  5. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  6. ^ 'Huge Crowds Watch Procession', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 13.
  7. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling, np.
  8. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  9. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  10. ^ 'Huge Crowds Watch Procession', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 13.
  11. ^ A copy of her translation is included in Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  12. ^ See, for example, Arbroath Herald, 10 June 1955, 1.
  13. ^ 'Does Arbroath Want its Pageant?' Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  14. ^ 'Far-sighted Plans for Pageant's Progress', Arbroath Herald, 26 October 1956, 9.
  15. ^ 'Does Arbroath Want its Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  16. ^ Committee Member Mr Tollerton, quoted in 'Does Arbroath Want its Pageant?' Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  17. ^ Advertisement, Arbroath Herald, 3 June 1955, 1
  18. ^ These were the participants listed in advance of the pageant, see Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np. However, it was later recorded that some did not take part on the day, although which of these listed is not stated; see 'Does Arbroath Want Its Pageant?', Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7
  19. ^ 'Pageant Service', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 13.
  20. ^ Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np.
  21. ^ 'Brilliant Weather Favours Ninth Annual Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 8–9.
  22. ^ Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 9.
  23. ^ 'Programme for 1951 Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  24. ^ 'The Full Cast', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 9; for information about Taylor, see his obituary in Glasgow Herald, 3 January 1987, 7.
  25. ^ Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 9 and 13.
  26. ^ Extract from the Epilogue reproduced in Arbroath Abbey Illuminated Pageant of the Declaration of Scottish Independence, Souvenir Programme—One Shilling (Arbroath, 1955), np. Fordoun is generally acknowledged as the author of the fourteenth-century chronicle of Scotland Chronica Gentis Scotorum; others, most notably Walter Bower in his Scotichronicon, later incorporated this history into their writings. The historian, Agnes Mure Mackenzie was also fond of using this passage and indeed, had paraphrased it in an address she gave at the 1949 pageant.
  27. ^ Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 9.
  28. ^ 'Official Opening Tomorrow', Arbroath Herald, 15 July 1955, 7.
  29. ^ See entry by Richard Watson in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Elizabeth Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 180.
  30. ^ This famous text has been translated from the original Latin and reproduced several times; see, for example, 'John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation’, trans. Felix J.H. Skene, in The Historians of Scotland, Vol. IV, ed. William F. Skene (Edinburgh, 1872), 45.
  31. ^ Attributed to the pageant producer Frank Thornton who stated this at a meeting of the Society; see Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  32. ^ Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  33. ^ Letter, Arbroath Herald, 6 May 1955, 7.
  34. ^ 'Publicising the Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 24 June 1955, 7.
  35. ^ 'Publicising the Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 24 June 1955, 7.
  36. ^ 'Pageant Proclaimed in Dundee', Arbroath Herald, 15 July 1955, 7.
  37. ^ 'Does Arbroath Want its Pageant?' Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  38. ^ 'Brilliant Weather Favours Ninth Annual Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 22 July 1955, 8.
  39. ^ Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  40. ^ Thornton quoted in Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  41. ^ Arbroath Herald, 23 September 1955, 7.
  42. ^ 'Abbey Pageant: A Night of Decisions', Arbroath Herald, 11 November 1955, 7.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Arbroath Abbey Pageant, 1955’, The Redress of the Past,