A younger cleric and mere Parson of Mordington in Berwickshire when they first met, Bruce recognised the capabilities of de Linton, using him as his chaplain during long and grim campaigning. Bruce eventually appointed him Chancellor of the Realm and William Lamberton made him Abbot of Arbroath.
From that modest beginning, De Linton went on to compile the wording of the famous Declaration of Arbroath proclaiming Scottish Independence, and on which the American Declaration of Independence is partly based.
On 6 April 1320, a letter was sent to the Pope requesting a withdrawal of Robert the Bruce’s excommunication and the placing of Scotland under an interdict, both had been applied because Robert had refused to sign a truce with England back in 1317. The contents of the letter also boldly stated that Scotland was a free and independent kingdom and the English Crown had no rights whatsoever there. To give it the weight and gravitas it has carried ever since, the document was festooned with the seals of eight earls and 38 barons. Such was considered to be the importance of this singular document that it was used as the base for the American Declaration of Independence.