A Short History

  • Born 1276, a Norman descended noble who had paid homage to Edward I.
  • Began to grow restive and together with Red John Comyn and others began to plot resistance to the English.
  • Plotters met at a church in 1306, the Greyfriars Kirk at Dumfries. A quarrel ensued and Bruce stabbed Comyn to death.
  • Murder in a church amounted to sacrilege and he was excommunicated. Also the murder triggered a blood feud with the Comyns and their allies. Bruce’s position was precarious.
  • However, on 27/3/1306 Bruce went to Scone (near Perth) and had himself crowned King. Visit historic Scone with catswhiskerstours
  • Edward sent an army to Scotland which defeated Bruce at Methven on June 20th. Bruce’s troops were scattered and he became an outlaw. Bruce’s allies were hung drawn and quartered.
  • Bruce went into hiding on Arran and Rathlin Island and the Hebrides.
  • Bruce returned in Spring 1307. A successful guerrilla campaign and battle victories followed.
  • In June 1307, Edward I (now sick) sets off for Scotland as head of a great army. However, he dies on 7/7/1307 at Burgh-on-Sands.
  • Edward II was weak and left the English garrisons in Scotland to fend for themselves.
  • During 1309 Bruce controlled most of Scotland north of the Forth and Clyde.
  • Was secretly recognised as King by the king of France.
  • In 1310 the Church in Scotland endorsed him.
  • In 1311 he invaded and devastated northern England.
  • Edward II marched against Bruce and on June 24th 1314 met Bruce at Bannockburn where Bruce was outnumbered three to one. However, Bruce had chosen the better ground and won the day.
  • Henceforth, the English made little attempt to keep a hold on Scotland.
  • English try to have new Pope confirm excommunication but this provokes strong reaction from the Scottish establishment. They meet in Arbroath in April 1320 and comprised the famous declaration to Bruce and to liberty.
  • The Pope agrees to annul the excommunication.
  • In 1327 Edward III becomes King of England.
  • A Treaty of Peace between England and Scotland was signed in May 1328 recognising Scotland as an independent country and Robert the Bruce as King. Bruce’s baby son David was married to Edward III’s little sister, Joan.
  • Bruce dies 1329 at age 53 at Cardross, some say of leprosy.

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