London and Carlisle received the papal mandate to publish the sentence of excommunication without further delay, coupled with the injunction that Bruce was on no account to be released from it, until he should be at the point of death. A few months later, on July 20, 1320, the Bishops of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, Aberdeen, and Moray were also excommunicated for contumacy, forasmuch as they, too, had neglected the Pope's summons to Avignon. But in the meantime the Pope had received his answer from the Scottish nation. The laymen in Parliament at Arbroath had drawn up and forwarded their celebrated letter to John XXII.
The preamble of this document recites the mythical origin of the Scots from Scythia and Spain, and claims for Scotland the special favour of the See of Rome, as being under the patronage of St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter. Then the practical case for Scotland is set forth in clear and eloquent terms.
- Papal Letters, ad annum.