The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France was signed - On this day in Scottish history


23 October 2020
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Seal of John Balliol
The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France was signed on 23 October 1295. ...

The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France was signed on 23 October 1295 by John Balliol (whose seal is pictured here) and Philip IV of France. The Alliance, which was described in 1942 by Charles de Gaulle as 'the oldest alliance in the world' promised mutual help against the English, asserting that should either Scotland or France be invaded by England, the other country would invade English territory.

The Alliance was renewed by every Scottish and French monarch up to the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh, with the exception of Louis XI of France. As well as providing military aid, the Alliance also strengthened trading links between the two countries.

There are many examples of Scottish and French forces acting together during the years of the Alliance, including at the Battle of Bauge in 1421, when the combined forces defeated the English. Scottish soldiers also strengthened ties between the two countries by serving in the Garde Ecossaise - a bodyguard of the French monarch.

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The treaty formally ended with the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh.