Auld Alliance

Alliance between France and Scotland

The Auld Alliance (Scots) (French: Vieille Alliance) is[1][2] an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a major role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that period except for Louis XI.[3] By the late 14th century, the treaty was renewed even when France or Scotland was not at war with England.[4]

The alliance dates from the treaty signed by John Balliol and Philip IV of France in 1295 against Edward I of England. The treaty said that if either country was attacked by England, the other country would invade England. That happened at the Battle of Flodden Field, 1513. The alliance played an important role in conflicts between both countries and England, such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Hundred Years' War, the War of the League of Cambrai and the Rough Wooing.


"La plus vieille alliance du monde"

In a speech which he delivered in Edinburgh in June 1942, Charles de Gaulle described the alliance between Scotland and France as "the oldest alliance in the world":[5]

In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people have ever been more generous than yours with its friendship.

In 1995, celebrations were held in both countries for the 700th anniversary of the beginning of the alliance.[4]


  1. "In a paper to be published next year, Dr Siobhan Talbott argues the Franco-Scottish Auld Alliance of 1295 survived centuries of enmity and war between Britain and France – even after the Act of Union was signed in 1707". Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  2. "Beyond "The Antiseptic Realm of Theoretical Economic Models": New Perspectives on Franco-Scottish Commerce and the Auld Alliance in the Long Seventeenth Century". Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  3. Bonner, Elizabeth (December 1997). "Cjo - Abstract - French Naturalization Of The Scots In The Fifteenth And Sixteenth Centuries". The Historical Journal. 40 (4). 1085–1115. doi:10.1017/S0018246X96007066. S2CID 159885209. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bonner, Elizabeth (2002). "Scotland's 'Auld Alliance' with France, 1295-1560". History. 84 (273): 5–30. doi:10.1111/1468-229X.00097.[permanent dead link]
  5. de Gaulle, Charles (1960). Mémoires de guerre: L'appel, 1940-1942. Université de l'État de Pennsylvanie: Plon.