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Literary Flowering

Extensive written Scots survives from the late 14th century onwards.

One of the earliest literary works was Barbour's Brus, a narrative poem on King Robert the Bruce and his exploits in the Wars of Independence against the English.

By the early 16th century, Scots was well on the way to becoming an all-purpose national language, just as modern English was developing south of the border. Gaelic was by this stage confined to western and northern areas and to the Western Isles.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Scots enjoyed a fine literary flowering in the poetry of Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas and David Lyndsay, among many others, whose works were well-known in England and Europe.