On this day: October 23

Free French House plaque, Regent Terrace, Edinburgh Picture: Kim Traynor
Free French House plaque, Regent Terrace, Edinburgh Picture: Kim Traynor
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Today in 1295 saw the signing of the Auld Alliance treaty.

This was an ancient agreement between Scotland and France, agreeing to mutual military help against the English, in an “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” type agreement.

The treaty was signed by John Balliol, King of Scots and Philippe IV of France. The Alliance was renewed by every Scottish and French monarch - including Robert the Bruce, for almost 300 years, with the exception of Louis XI of France.

As well as providing military aid, the treaty strengthened the trade links between the two countries.

This treaty was formally ended in 1560 with the Treaty of Edinburgh, however in 1942 called it “the oldest Alliance in history”, as even during the 18th century, after the Act of Union was signed, France and Scotland continued to have an active and close relationship.