Question 2: DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE What is the Ross connection with the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath and the US Declaration of Independence?

William (third of the O'Beolan Chiefs of Ross), fourth Earl of Ross, after a few understandable flip-flops of loyalty between the English and Scottish kings, sat in the first parliament of Robert the Bruce at St. Andrew's in 1309. He had the honour to lead the men of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where his younger son Sir Walter of Ross was killed. He was also one who signed the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, addressing that famous letter to the Pope.


One cadet branch of Rosses, the Rosses of Balblair, is descended from Hugh, the fourth Chief of Clan Ross and the fifth Earl of Ross. There were famous descendants both in Scotland and the USA from this cadet branch.

The Reverend George Ross, fifth of Balblair, was born in 1679 in the Balblair home in the County of Ross. He took his M.A. in Edinburgh and graduated from Divinity School, but he broke with his Scottish tradition and entered the Church of England. In 1705, he was sent as a missionary to Pennsylvania, where he eventually became one of the fathers of the Anglican Church in the USA. He had 6 children by his first wife and five by his second wife.

Rev. Aneas Ross, fourth of the eleven children had a son John, who married a Quakeress named Elizabeth Griscom. John died in defence of Philadelphia and his widow, Betsy Ross made the first Stars and Stripes flag for the Congress of the USA in 1776. [Mary Young Pickersgill made the flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes in 1813 for Fort McHenry in Maryland, which inspired The Star Spangled Banner, composed by Francis Scott Key in 1814.]

Colonel George Ross, the seventh child of the Reverend George Ross, studied law under his half brother John (3rd child) in Philadelphia and became a Crown Prosecutor, a Judge and a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly. He was elected to the first Continental Congress in 1774 and was one of the fifty-six persons who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their honour in the historic document, the Declaration of Independence.

You may read the Declaration of Arbroath and the Declaration of Independence for a comparison.

You may read about the following Canadian documents: the Constitution Act, 1982 in relation to the Constitution Act of 1867 (formerly known as the British North America Act). The Canadian constitutional package includes a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, affirmation of the existing Rights of the First Nation native peoples, the Principle of Equalization between the Provinces, and provisions that confirm and strengthen Provincial powers over resources. The official reference at the Government of Canada contains an updated overview of the Acts and provisions.

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