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Detail from the letter concerning William Wallace (catalogue reference SC-1/30 no. 81)

12 January 2012

The National Archives has agreed to loan a 700 year old letter concerning William Wallace to the National Records of Scotland. It will go on display at a free exhibition in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament from 10 to 31 August.

The letter, dated 7 November 1300, is from King Philip IV of France to his agents in Rome, commanding them to ask Pope Boniface VIII to support Wallace. Last year, a panel of experts concluded that it was likely to have been in Wallace's possession, although it was not clear how it ended up in the Tower of London where it was discovered in the 1830s.

The Wallace letter was previously loaned to The National Museum of Scotland in February 1999 for an exhibition entitled 'William Wallace'.

This summer, it will go on display alongside the Lübeck letter. The letter, on loan for the exhibition from the City of Lübeck, was sent in the name of William Wallace and Andrew De Moray to the German port shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

Oliver Morley, Keeper and Chief Executive of The National Archives, said: 'We are extremely pleased to have worked so closely with National Records of Scotland to enable another loan of this intriguing document to Scotland. In tandem with the Lübeck letter it gives the public a further opportunity to view both of these important documents relating to William Wallace together'.

The National Archives has agreed a long-term loan of the document to the National Records of Scotland until December 2014.

A digital copy of the letter is available to download from DocumentsOnline.