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Research team to study William Wallace document

15th June 2010

A letter thought to have once been in the possession of Scottish hero Sir William Wallace will be examined by a panel of respected historians and archivists.

George MacKenzie, the Keeper of the National Archives of Scotland, was asked by Scottish culture minister Fiona Hyslop to assemble a group of experts to analyse the document to find out where and why the letter was written.

Currently held in the National Archives in London, the letter is dated 1300 and consists of just three lines written in Latin. It appears to have been issued by French king Philip IV to ask his agents at the papal court to assist Wallace in any business with the pope.

A team of history experts from Scotland, England and France will now study the text and reveal their findings at a seminar in Edinburgh in the spring of 2011. Their findings will also be used to help determine where the letter should be held in the future.

Mr MacKenzie commented: 'It is remarkable how a 700-year-old document still stirs such emotion today.'

He added that 'this letter is still a mystery' but said the 'distinguished' research team may be able to shed light on its history.

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