James Douglas throwing the heart of Bruce among the Saracens.
31458674. ROBERT THE BRUCE was born on 11 July 1274 in Turnberry Castle. Very little is known of his youth. He was probably brought up in a mixture of the Anglo-Norman culture of northern England and south-eastern Scotland, and the Gaelic culture of south-west Scotland and most of Scotland north of the River Forth. Annandale was thoroughly feudalised and the form of Northern Middle English that would later develop into the Scots language was spoken throughout the region. Carrick was historically an integral part of Galloway, and though the earls of Carrick had achieved some feudalisation, the society of Carrick at the end of the thirteenth century remained emphatically Celtic and Gaelic speaking.
Robert the Bruce would most probably have become trilingual at an early age. He would have been schooled to speak, read and possibly write in the Anglo-Norman language of his Scots-Norman peers and his father's family. He would also have spoken both the Gaelic language of his Carrick birthplace and his mother's family, and the early Scots language. As the heir to a considerable estate and a pious layman, Robert would also have been given working knowledge of Latin, the language of charter lordship, liturgy and prayer. This would have afforded Robert and his brothers access to basic education in the law, politics, scripture, saints' Lives (vitae), philosophy, history and chivalric instruction and romance.That Robert took personal pleasure in such learning and leisure is suggested in a number of ways. Barbour reported that Robert read aloud to his band of supporters in 1306, reciting from memory tales from a twelfth-century romance of Charlemagne, Fierabras, as well as relating examples from history such as Hannibal's defiance of Rome.
As king, Robert certainly commissioned verse to commemorate Bannockburn and his subjects' military deeds. Contemporary chroniclers Jean Le Bel and Thomas Grey would both assert that they had read a history of his reign 'commissioned by King Robert himself.' In his last years, Robert would pay for Dominican friars to tutor his son, David, for whom he would also purchase books. A parliamentary briefing document of c.1364 would also assert that Robert 'used continually to read, or have read in his presence, the histories of ancient kings and princes, and how they conducted themselves in their times, both in wartime and in peacetime; from these he derived information about aspects of his own rule.
Tutors for the young Robert and his brothers were most likely drawn from unbeneficed clergy or mendicant friars associated with the churches patronised by their family. However, as growing noble youths, outdoor pursuits and great events would also have held a strong fascination for Robert and his brothers. They would have had masters drawn from their parents' household to school them in the arts of horsemanship, swordsmanship, the joust, hunting and perhaps aspects of courtly behaviour, including dress, protocol, speech, table etiquette, music and dance, some of which may have been learned before the age of ten while serving as pages in their father's or grandfather's household. As many of these personal and leadership skills were bound up within a code of chivalry, Robert's chief tutor was surely a reputable, experienced knight, drawn from his grandfather's crusade retinue. This grandfather, known to contemporaries as Robert the Noble, and to history as "Bruce the Competitor", seems to have been an immense influence on the future king. Robert's later performance in war certainly underlines his skills in tactics and single combat.
The family would have moved between the castles of their lordships—Lochmaben Castle, the main castle of the lordship of Annandale, and Turnberry and Loch Doon Castle, the castles of the earldom of Carrick. A significant and profound part of the childhood experience of Robert, Edward and possibly the other Bruce brothers (Neil, Thomas and Alexander), was also gained through the Gaelic tradition of being fostered to allied Gaelic kindreds—a traditional practice in Carrick, south-west and western Scotland, the Hebrides and Ireland. There were a number of Carrick, Ayrshire, Hebridean and Irish families and kindreds affiliated with the Bruces who might have performed such a service (Robert's foster-brother is referred to by Barbour as sharing Robert's precarious existence as an outlaw in Carrick in 1307–08). This Gaelic influence has been cited as a possible explanation for Robert the Bruce's apparent affinity for 'hobelar' warfare, using smaller sturdy ponies in mounted raids, as well as for sea-power, ranging from oared war-galleys ('birlinns') to boats.
According to historians such as Barrow and Penman, it is also likely that when Robert and Edward Bruce reached the male age of consent of twelve and began training for full knighthood, they were sent to reside for a period with one or more allied English noble families, such as the de Clares of Gloucester, or perhaps even in the English royal household. Sir Thomas Grey asserted in his Scalacronica that in about 1292, Robert the Bruce, then aged eighteen, was a 'young bachelor of King Edward's Chamber'. While there remains little firm evidence of Robert's presence at Edward's court, on 8 April 1296 both Robert and his father were pursued through the English Chancery for their private household debts of £60 by several merchants of Winchester. This raises the possibility that young Robert the Bruce was on occasion resident in a royal centre which Edward I himself would visit frequently during his reign.
Robert's first appearance in history is on a witness list of a charter issued by Alexander Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay. His name appears in the company of the Bishop of Argyll, the vicar of Arran, a Kintyre clerk, his father, and a host of Gaelic notaries from Carrick. Robert Bruce, the king to be, was sixteen years of age when Margaret, Maid of Norway died in 1290. It is also around this time that Robert would have been knighted, and he began to appear on the political stage in the Bruce dynastic interest.
The "Great Cause"
Robert's mother died early in 1292. In November of the same year Edward I of England, on behalf of the Guardians of Scotland and following the "Great Cause", awarded the vacant Crown of Scotland to his grandfather's first cousin once removed, John Balliol. Almost immediately, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, resigned his lordship of Annandale and transferred his claim to the Scottish throne to his son, antedating this statement to 7 November. In turn, that son, Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, resigned his earldom of Carrick to his eldest son, Robert, the future king, so as to protect the Bruce's kingship claim while their middle lord (Robert the Bruce's father) now held only English lands. While the Bruces' bid for the throne had ended in failure, the Balliols' triumph propelled the eighteen-year-old Robert the Bruce onto the political stage in his own right.
Earl of Carrick (1292–1306)
The Bruces' regroup
Even after John's accession, Edward still continued to assert his authority over Scotland and relations between the two kings soon began to deteriorate. The Bruces sided with King Edward against King John and his Comyn allies. Robert the Bruce and his father both considered John a usurper. Against the objections of the Scots, Edward I agreed to hear appeals on cases ruled on by the court of the Guardians that had governed Scotland during the interregnum. A further provocation came in a case brought by Macduff, son of Malcolm, Earl of Fife, in which Edward demanded that John appear in person before the English Parliament to answer the charges. This the Scottish king did, but the final straw was Edward's demand that the Scottish magnates provide military service in England's war against France. This was unacceptable; the Scots instead formed an alliance with France. The Comyn-dominated council acting in the name of King John summoned the Scottish host to meet at Caddonlee on 11 March. The Bruces and the earls of Angus and March refused, and the Bruce family withdrew temporarily from Scotland, while the Comyns seized their estates in Annandale and Carrick, granting them to John Comyn, Earl of Buchan. Edward I thereupon provided a safe refuge for the Bruces, having appointed the Lord of Annandale to the command of Carlisle Castle in October 1295.
At some point in early 1296, Robert married his first wife, Isabella of Mar, the daughter of Domhnall I, Earl of Mar and his wife Helen. Their daughter 15729337. Marjorie Bruce was born the same year.
Beginning of the Wars of Independence
Almost the first blow in the war between Scotland and England was a direct attack on the Bruces. On 26 March 1296, Easter Monday, seven Scottish earls made a surprise attack on the walled city of Carlisle, which was not so much an attack against England as the Comyn Earl of Buchan and their faction attacking their Bruce enemies. Both his father and grandfather were at one time Governors of the Castle, and following the loss of Annandale to Comyn in 1295, it was their principal residence. Robert Bruce would have gained first-hand knowledge of the city's defences. The next time Carlisle was besieged, in 1315, Robert the Bruce would be leading the attack.
Edward I responded to King John's alliance with France and the attack on Carlisle by invading Scotland at the end of March 1296 and taking the town of Berwick in a particularly bloody attack upon the flimsy palisades. At the Battle of Dunbar, Scottish resistance was effectively crushed. Edward deposed King John, placed him in the Tower of London, and installed Englishmen to govern the country. The campaign had been very successful, but the English triumph would only be temporary.
Although the Bruces were by now back in possession of Annandale and Carrick, in August 1296 Robert Bruce, Lord of Annandale, and his son, Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick and future king, were among the more than 1,500 Scots at Berwick who swore an oath of fealty to King Edward I of England. When the Scottish revolt against Edward I broke out in July 1297, James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland, led into rebellion a group of disaffected Scots, including Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, MacDuff, the son of the earl of Fife, and the young Robert Bruce. The future king was now twenty-two, and in joining the rebels he seems to have been acting independently of his father, who took no part in the rebellion and appears to have abandoned Annandale once more for the safety of Carlisle. It appears that Robert Bruce had fallen under the influence of his grandfather's friends, Wishart and Stewart, who had inspired him to resistance. With the outbreak of the revolt, Robert left Carlisle and made his way to Annandale, where he called together the knights of his ancestral lands and, according to the English chronicler Walter of Guisborough, addressed them thus:
No man holds his own flesh and blood in hatred and I am no exception. I must join my own people and the nation in which I was born. I ask that you please come with me and you will be my councillors and close comrades"
Urgent letters were sent ordering Bruce to support Edward's commander, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey (to whom Bruce was related), in the summer of 1297; but instead of complying, Bruce continued to support the revolt against Edward I. That Bruce was in the forefront of fomenting rebellion is shown in a letter written to Edward by Hugh Cressingham on 23 July 1292, which reports the opinion that "if you had the earl of Carrick, the Steward of Scotland and his brother...you would think your business done". On 7 July, Bruce and his friends made terms with Edward by a treaty called the Capitulation of Irvine. The Scottish lords were not to serve beyond the sea against their will and were pardoned for their recent violence in return for swearing allegiance to King Edward. The Bishop of Glasgow, James the Steward, and Sir Alexander Lindsay became sureties for Bruce until he delivered his infant daughter Marjorie as a hostage, which he never did.
When King Edward returned to England after his victory at the Battle of Falkirk, the Bruce's possessions were excepted from the Lordships and lands that Edward assigned to his followers. The reason for this is uncertain, though Fordun records Robert fighting for Edward, at Falkirk, under the command of Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham, Annandale and Carrick. This participation is contested as no Bruce appears on the Falkirk roll of nobles present in the English army, and two 19th Century antiquarians: Alexander Murison and George Chalmers have stated Bruce did not participate and in the following month decided to lay waste Annandale and burn Ayr Castle, to prevent it being garrisoned by the English.
William Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland after his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk. He was succeeded by Robert Bruce and John Comyn as joint Guardians, but they could not see past their personal differences. As a nephew and supporter of King John, and as someone with a serious claim to the Scottish throne, Comyn was Bruce's enemy. In 1299, William Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews, was appointed as a third, neutral Guardian to try to maintain order between Bruce and Comyn. The following year, Bruce finally resigned as joint Guardian and was replaced by Sir Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus. In May 1301, Umfraville, Comyn, and Lamberton also resigned as joint Guardians and were replaced by Sir John de Soules as sole Guardian. Soules was appointed largely because he was part of neither the Bruce nor the Comyn camps and was a patriot. He was an active Guardian and made renewed efforts to have King John returned to the Scottish throne.
In July 1301 King Edward I launched his sixth campaign into Scotland. Though he captured the castles of Bothwell and Turnberry, he did little to damage the Scots' fighting ability, and in January 1302 he agreed to a nine-month truce. It was around this time that Robert the Bruce submitted to Edward, along with other nobles, even though he had been on the side of the Scots until then. There were rumours that John Balliol would return to regain the Scottish throne. Soules, who had probably been appointed by John, supported his return, as did most other nobles. But it was no more than a rumour and nothing came of it.
In March 1302 Bruce sent a letter to the monks at Melrose Abbey apologising for having called tenants of the monks to service in his army when there had been no national call-up. Bruce pledged that, henceforth, he would "never again" require the monks to serve unless it was to "the common army of the whole realm", for national defence. Bruce also married his second wife that year, Elizabeth de Burgh, the daughter of Richard de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. By Elizabeth he had four children: David II, John (died in childhood), Matilda (who married Thomas Isaac and died at Aberdeen 20 July 1353), and Margaret (who married William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland in 1345).
In 1303, Edward invaded again, reaching Edinburgh before marching to Perth. Edward stayed in Perth until July, then proceeded via Dundee, Brechin, and Montrose to Aberdeen, where he arrived in August. From there he marched through Moray to Badenoch before re-tracing his path back south to Dunfermline. With the country now under submission, all the leading Scots, except for William Wallace, surrendered to Edward in February 1304. John Comyn, who was by now Guardian, submitted to Edward. The laws and liberties of Scotland were to be as they had been in the days of Alexander III, and any that needed alteration would be with the assent of King Edward and the advice of the Scots nobles.
On 11 June 1304, Bruce and William Lamberton made a pact that bound them, each to the other, in "friendship and alliance against all men." If one should break the secret pact, he would forfeit to the other the sum of ten thousand pounds. The pact is often interpreted as a sign of their patriotism despite both having already surrendered to the English. Homage was again obtained from the nobles and the burghs, and a parliament was held to elect those who would meet later in the year with the English parliament to establish rules for the governance of Scotland. The Earl of Richmond, Edward's nephew, was to head up the subordinate government of Scotland. While all this took place, William Wallace was finally captured near Glasgow, and he was hanged, drawn, and quartered in London on 23 August 1305.
In September 1305, Edward ordered Robert Bruce to put his castle at Kildrummy, "in the keeping of such a man as he himself will be willing to answer for," suggesting that King Edward suspected Robert was not entirely trustworthy and may have been plotting behind his back. However, an identical phrase appears in an agreement between Edward and his lieutenant and lifelong friend, Aymer de Valence. A further sign of Edward's distrust occurred on 10 October 1305, when Edward revoked his gift of Sir Gilbert de Umfraville's lands to Bruce that he had made only six months before.
Robert Bruce as Earl of Carrick, and now 7th Lord of Annandale, held huge estates and property in Scotland and a barony and some minor properties in England, and a strong claim to the Scottish throne.
Murder of John Comyn
Bruce, like all his family, had a complete belief in his right to the throne. However, his actions of supporting alternately the English and Scottish armies had led to a great deal of distrust towards Bruce among the "Community of the Realm of Scotland". His ambition was further thwarted by John Comyn, who had been much more resolute in his opposition to the English. Comyn was the most powerful noble in Scotland and was related to many more powerful nobles both within Scotland and England, including relatives that held the earldoms of Buchan, Mar, Ross, Fife, Angus, Dunbar, and Strathearn; the Lordships of Kilbride, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Bedrule, and Scraesburgh; and sheriffdoms in Banff, Dingwall, Wigtown, and Aberdeen. He also had a powerful claim to the Scottish throne through his descent from Donald III on his father's side and David I on his mother's side. Comyn was the nephew of John Balliol.
According to Barbour and Fordoun, in the late summer of 1305, in a secret agreement sworn, signed, and sealed, John Comyn agreed to forfeit his claim to the Scottish throne in favour of Robert Bruce upon receipt of the Bruce lands in Scotland should an uprising occur led by Bruce. Whether the details of the agreement with Comyn are correct or not, King Edward moved to arrest Bruce while Bruce was still at the English court. Fortunately for Bruce, his friend, and Edward's son-in-law, Ralph de Monthermer learnt of Edward's intention and warned Bruce by sending him twelve pence and a pair of spurs. Bruce took the hint, and he and a squire fled the English court during the night. They made their way quickly for Scotland.
According to Barbour, Comyn betrayed his agreement with Bruce to King Edward I, and when Bruce arranged a meeting for 10 February 1306 with Comyn in the Chapel of Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries and accused him of treachery, they came to blows. Bruce stabbed Comyn before the high altar. The Scotichronicon says that on being told that Comyn had survived the attack and was being treated, two of Bruce's supporters, Roger de Kirkpatrick (uttering the words "I mak siccar" ("I make sure")) and John Lindsay, went back into the church and finished Bruce's work. Barbour, however, tells no such story. Bruce asserted his claim to the Scottish crown and began his campaign by force for the independence of Scotland.
Bruce and his party then attacked Dumfries Castle where the English garrison surrendered. Bruce hurried from Dumfries to Glasgow, where his friend and supporter Bishop Robert Wishart granted him absolution and subsequently adjured the clergy throughout the land to rally to Bruce. Nonetheless, Bruce was excommunicated for this crime.
English records still in existence today tell a completely different story. They state that the Comyn murder was planned in an attempt to gain the throne of Scotland. For this reason King Edward of England wrote to the Pope and asked for his excommunication of Robert Bruce. No records have ever been found in England stating that King Edward had any knowledge of treachery by Robert Bruce before his acts against Comyn. They state that King Edward did not hear of the murder of John Comyn until several days after his death.
Early reign (1306–1314)
Six weeks after Comyn was killed in Dumfries, Bruce was crowned King of Scots by Bishop William de Lamberton at Scone, near Perth, on 25 March 1306 with all formality and solemnity. The royal robes and vestments that Robert Wishart had hidden from the English were brought out by the Bishop and set upon King Robert. The bishops of Moray and Glasgow were in attendance as well as the earls of Atholl, Menteith, Lennox, and Mar. The great banner of the kings of Scotland was planted behind his throne
Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan and wife of John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan (a cousin of the murdered John Comyn) arrived the next day, too late for the coronation. She claimed the right of her family, the MacDuff Earl of Fife, to crown the Scottish king for her brother, Donnchadh IV, Earl of Fife, who was not yet of age, and in English hands. So a second coronation was held and once more the crown was placed on the brow of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, Lord of Annandale, King of the Scots.
In June 1306 Bruce was defeated at the Battle of Methven. His wife and daughters and other women of the party were sent to Kildrummy in August 1306 under the protection of Bruce's brother Neil Bruce and the Earl of Atholl and most of his remaining men Bruce fled with a small following of his most faithful men, including Sir James Douglas and Gilbert Hay, Bruce's brothers Thomas, Alexander, and Edward, as well as Sir Neil Campbell and the Earl of Lennox.
Edward I marched north again in the spring. On his way, he granted the Scottish estates of Bruce and his adherents to his own followers and had published a bill excommunicating Bruce. Bruce's queen, Elizabeth, his daughter Marjorie, his sisters Christina and Mary, and Isabella MacDuff were captured in a sanctuary at Tain and sent to harsh imprisonment, which included Mary and Isabella being hung in cages at Roxburgh and Berwick castles respectively for about four years, while Bruce's brother Neil was executed by being hanged, drawn, and quartered.
On 7 July, King Edward I died, leaving Bruce opposed by the king's son, Edward II.
It is still uncertain where Bruce spent the winter of 1306–07. Most likely he spent it in the Hebrides, possibly sheltered by Christina of Garmoran, who was married to Bruce's brother-in-law, Duncan, the brother of Bruce's first wife, Isabella of Mar. Ireland is also a serious possibility, and Orkney (under Norwegian rule at the time) or Norway proper (where his sister Isabel Bruce was queen dowager) although unlikely are not impossible. Bruce and his followers returned to the Scottish mainland in February in two groups. One, led by Bruce and his brother Edward landed at Turnberry Castle and began a guerrilla war in south-west Scotland. The other, led by his brothers Thomas and Alexander, landed slightly further south in Loch Ryan, but they were soon captured and executed. In April, Bruce won a small victory over the English at the Battle of Glen Trool, before defeating Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, at the Battle of Loudoun Hill. At the same time, James Douglas made his first foray for Bruce into south-western Scotland, attacking and burning his own castle in Douglasdale. Leaving his brother Edward in command in Galloway, Bruce travelled north, capturing Inverlochy and Urquhart Castles, burning Inverness Castle and Nairn to the ground, then unsuccessfully threatening Elgin.
Transferring operations to Aberdeenshire in late 1307, he threatened Banff before falling seriously ill, probably owing to the hardships of the lengthy campaign. Recovering, leaving John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan unsubdued at his rear, Bruce returned west to take Balvenie and Duffus Castles, then Tarradale Castle on the Black Isle. Looping back via the hinterlands of Inverness and a second failed attempt to take Elgin, Bruce finally achieved his landmark defeat of Comyn at the Battle of Inverurie in May 1308; he then overran Buchan and defeated the English garrison at Aberdeen. The Harrying of Buchan in 1308 was ordered by Bruce to make sure all Comyn family support was extinguished. Buchan had a very large population because it was the agricultural capital of northern Scotland, and much of its population was loyal to the Comyn family even after the defeat of the Earl of Buchan. Most of the Comyn castles in Moray, Aberdeen, and Buchan were destroyed and their inhabitants killed. Bruce ordered similar harryings in Argyle and Kintyre, in the territories of Clan MacDougall. With these acts, Bruce had successfully destroyed the power of the Comyns, which had controlled much of northern and southwestern Scotland for over a hundred and fifty years. He then crossed to Argyll and defeated the MacDougalls (allies of the Comyns) at the Battle of Pass of Brander and took Dunstaffnage Castle, the last major stronghold of the Comyns.
In March 1309, Bruce held his first Parliament at St. Andrews, and by August he controlled all of Scotland north of the River Tay. The following year, the clergy of Scotland recognised Bruce as king at a general council. The support given to him by the church in spite of his excommunication was of great political importance. On the 1 October 1310 Bruce wrote to Edward II of England from Kildrum in Cumbernauld Parish trying, unsuccessfully, to establish peace between Scotland and England. Over the next three years, one English-held castle or outpost after another was captured and reduced: Linlithgow in 1310, Dumbarton in 1311, and Perth, by Bruce himself, in January 1312. Bruce also made raids into northern England and, landing at Ramsey in the Isle of Man, then laid siege to Castle Rushen in Castletown, capturing it on 21 June 1313 and denying the island's strategic importance to the English.
The eight years of exhausting but deliberate refusal to meet the English on even ground have caused many to consider Bruce as one of the great guerrilla leaders of any age. This represented a transformation for one raised as a feudal knight.
By 1314, Robert I had recaptured most of the castles in Scotland once held by the English, and was sending raiding parties into northern England as far as Carlisle. In response, Edward II planned a major military campaign with the support of Lancaster and the barons, mustering a large army between 15,000 and 20,000 strong. In the spring of 1314, Edward Bruce laid siege to Stirling Castle, a key fortification in Scotland whose governor, Philip de Mowbray, agreed to capitulate if not relieved before 24 June 1314. In March, James Douglas captured Roxburgh, and Randolph captured Edinburgh Castle, while in May, Bruce again raided England and subdued the Isle of Man. News of the agreement regarding Stirling Castle reached the English king in late May, and he decided to speed up his march north from Berwick to relieve the castle. Robert, with between 5,500 and 6,500 troops, predominantly spearmen, prepared to prevent Edward's forces from reaching Stirling.
The battle began on 23 June as the English army attempted to force its way across the high ground of the Bannock Burn, which was surrounded by marshland. Skirmishing between the two sides broke out, resulting in the death of Sir Henry de Bohun, whom Robert killed in personal combat. Edward continued his advance the following day, and encountered the bulk of the Scottish army as they emerged from the woods of New Park. The English appear not to have expected the Scots to give battle here, and as a result had kept their forces in marching, rather than battle, order, with the archers − who would usually have been used to break up enemy spear formations − at the back of the army, rather than the front. The English cavalry found it hard to operate in the cramped terrain and were crushed by Robert's spearmen. The English army was overwhelmed and its leaders were unable to regain control.
Edward II was dragged away from the battlefield, hotly pursued by the Scottish forces, and only just escaped the heavy fighting. The historian Roy Haines describes the defeat as a "calamity of stunning proportions" for the English, whose losses in the battle were huge. In the aftermath of the defeat, Edward retreated to Dunbar, then travelled by ship to Berwick, and then back to York; in his absence, Stirling Castle quickly fell.
Freed from English threats, Scotland's armies could now invade northern England. Bruce also drove back a subsequent English expedition north of the border and launched raids into Yorkshire and Lancashire. Buoyed by his military successes, Bruce's forces also invaded Ireland in 1315, purportedly to free the country from English rule (having received a reply to offers of assistance from Donal O'Neil, king of Tyrone), and to open a second front in the continuing wars with England. The Irish even crowned Edward Bruce as High King of Ireland in 1316. Robert later went there with another army to assist his brother.
In conjunction with the invasion, Bruce popularised an ideological vision of a "Pan-Gaelic Greater Scotia" with his lineage ruling over both Ireland and Scotland. This propaganda campaign was aided by two factors. The first was his marriage alliance from 1302 with the de Burgh family of the Earldom of Ulster in Ireland; second, Bruce himself, on his mother's side of Carrick, was descended from Gaelic royalty in Scotland as well as Ireland. Bruce's Irish ancestors included Eva of Leinster (d.1188), whose ancestors included Brian Boru of Munster and the kings of Leinster. Thus, lineally and geopolitically, Bruce attempted to support his anticipated notion of a pan-Gaelic alliance between Scottish-Irish Gaelic populations, under his kingship. This is revealed by a letter he sent to the Irish chiefs, where he calls the Scots and Irish collectively nostra nacio (our nation), stressing the common language, customs and heritage of the two peoples:
Whereas we and you and our people and your people, free since ancient times, share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and by common custom, we have sent you our beloved kinsman, the bearers of this letter, to negotiate with you in our name about permanently strengthening and maintaining inviolate the special friendship between us and you, so that with God's will our nation (nostra nacio) may be able to recover her ancient liberty.
The diplomacy worked to a certain extent, at least in Ulster, where the Scots had some support. The Irish chief, Donal O'Neil, for instance, later justified his support for the Scots to Pope John XXII by saying "the Kings of Lesser Scotia all trace their blood to our Greater Scotia and retain to some degree our language and customs."
The Bruce campaign in Ireland was characterised by some initial military success. However, the Scots failed to win over the non-Ulster chiefs or to make any other significant gains in the south of the island, where people couldn't see the difference between English and Scottish occupation. Eventually it was defeated when Edward Bruce was killed at the Battle of Faughart. The Irish Annals of the period described the defeat of the Bruces by the English as one of the greatest things ever done for the Irish nation due to the fact it brought an end to the famine and pillaging wrought upon the Irish by both the Scots and the English.
Later reign (1320–1329)
The reign of Robert Bruce also included some significant diplomatic achievements. The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 strengthened his position, particularly vis-à-vis the Papacy, and Pope John XXII eventually lifted Bruce's excommunication. In May 1328 King Edward III of England signed the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, which recognised Scotland as an independent kingdom, and Bruce as its king.
In 1325 Robert I exchanged lands at Cardross for those of Old Montrose in Angus with Sir David Graham. It was to be here that Robert would build the manor house that would serve as his favoured residence during the final years of his reign. The extant chamberlain's accounts for 1328 detail a manor house at Cardross with king's and queen's chambers and glazed windows, a chapel, kitchens, bake- and brew-houses, falcon aviary, medicinal garden, gatehouse, protective moat and a hunting park. There was also a jetty and beaching area for the 'king's coble' (for fishing) alongside the 'king's great ship'.
As most of mainland Scotland's major royal castles had remained in their razed state since around 1313–14, Cardross manor was perhaps built as a modest residence sympathetic to Robert's subjects' privations through a long war, repeated famines and livestock pandemics. Before Cardross became habitable in 1327, Robert I's main residence had been Scone Abbey.
Robert I had been suffering from a serious illness from at least 1327. The Lanercost Chronicle and Scalacronica state that the king was said to have contracted and died of leprosy. Jean Le Bel also stated that in 1327 the king was a victim of 'la grosse maladie', which is usually taken to mean leprosy. However, the ignorant use of the term 'leprosy' by fourteenth-century writers meant that almost any major skin disease might be called leprosy. The earliest mention of this illness is to be found in an original letter written by an eye-witness in Ulster at the time the king made a truce with Sir Henry Mandeville on 12 July 1327. The writer of this letter reported that Robert I was so feeble and struck down by illness that he would not live, 'for he can scarcely move anything but his tongue'. Barbour writes of the king's illness that 'it began through a benumbing brought on by his cold lying', during the months of wandering from 1306 to 1309. It has been proposed that, alternatively, he may have suffered from eczema, tuberculosis, syphilis, motor neurone disease, cancer or a series of strokes. There does not seem to be any evidence as to what the king himself or his physicians believed his illness to be. Nor is there any evidence of an attempt in his last years to segregate the king in any way from the company of friends, family, courtiers, or foreign diplomats.
In October 1328 the Pope finally lifted the interdict from Scotland and the excommunication of Robert I. The king's last journey appears to have been a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Ninian at Whithorn; this was possibly in search of a miraculous cure, or to make his peace with God. With Moray by his side, Robert set off from his manor at Cardross for Tarbert on his 'great ship', thence to the Isle of Arran, where he celebrated Christmas of 1328 at the hall of Glenkill near Lamlash. Thence he sailed to the mainland to visit his son and his bride, both mere children, now installed at Turnberry Castle, the head of the earldom of Carrick and once his own main residence. He journeyed overland, being carried on a litter, to Inch in Wigtownshire: houses were built there and supplies brought to that place, as though the king's condition had deteriorated. At the end of March 1329 he was staying at Glenluce Abbey and at Monreith, from where St Ninian's cave was visited. Early in April he arrived at the shrine of St Ninian at Whithorn. He fasted four or five days and prayed to the saint, before returning by sea to Cardross.
Barbour and other sources relate that Robert summoned his prelates and barons to his bedside for a final council at which he made copious gifts to religious houses, dispensed silver to religious foundations of various orders, so that they might pray for his soul, and repented of his failure to fulfil a vow to undertake a crusade to fight the 'Saracens' in the Holy Land. Robert's final wish reflected conventional piety, and was perhaps intended to perpetuate his memory. After his death his heart was to be removed from his body and, accompanied by a company of knights led by Sir James Douglas, taken on pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, before being interred in Melrose Abbey upon its return from the Holy Land:
"I will that as soone as I am trespassed out of this worlde that ye take my harte owte of my body, and embawme it, and take of my treasoure as ye shall thynke sufficient for that enterprise, both for your selfe and suche company as ye wyll take with you, and present my hart to the holy Sepulchre where as our Lorde laye, seyng my body can nat come there"
Robert also arranged for perpetual soul masses to be funded at the chapel of Saint Serf, at Ayr and at the Dominican friary in Berwick, as well as at Dunfermline Abbey.
King Robert I is buried in Dunfermline Abbey
Robert died on 7 June 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton. Apart from failing to fulfill a vow to undertake a crusade he died utterly fulfilled, in that the goal of his lifetime's struggle—untrammelled recognition of the Bruce right to the crown—had been realised, and confident that he was leaving the kingdom of Scotland safely in the hands of his most trusted lieutenant, Moray, until his infant son reached adulthood. Six days after his death, to complete his triumph still further, papal bulls were issued granting the privilege of unction at the coronation of future Kings of Scots.
It remains unclear just what caused the death of Robert I, a month before his fifty-fifth birthday. Contemporary accusations that Robert suffered from leprosy, the "unclean sickness"—the present-day, treatable Hansen's disease—derived from English and Hainault chroniclers. None of the Scottish accounts of his death hint at leprosy. Penman states that it is very difficult to accept the notion of Robert as a functioning king serving in war, performing face-to-face acts of lordship, holding parliament and court, travelling widely and fathering several children, all while displaying the infectious symptoms of a leper. Along with suggestions of eczema, tuberculosis, syphilis, motor neurone disease, cancer or stroke, a diet of rich court food has also been suggested as a possible contributory factor in Robert's death. His Milanese physician, Maino De Maineri, did criticise the king's eating of eels as dangerous to his health in advancing years.
A team of researchers, headed by Professor Andrew Nelson from University of Western Ontario have determined that Robert the Bruce did not have leprosy during his lifetime. They examined the original casting of the skull belonging to Robert the Bruce's descendant Lord Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, and a foot bone that had not been re-interred. They determined that skull and foot bone showed no signs of leprosy, such as an eroded nasal spine and a pencilling of the foot bone.
The king's body was embalmed at Cardross, and his sternum was sawn open to allow extraction of the heart, which Sir James Douglas placed in a silver casket to be worn on a chain around his neck, with Sir Simon Locard holding the key. Robert's viscera were interred in the chapel of Saint Serf near Cardross (the ruins of which are located in the present-day Levengrove Park in Dumbarton). The king's body was carried east from Cardross by a carriage decked in black lawn cloth, with stops recorded at Dunipace and Cambuskenneth Abbey. The funeral was a grand affair, with 478 stone (3,040 kg) of wax having been purchased for the making of funerary candles. A file of mourners on foot, including Robert Stewart and a number of knights dressed in black gowns, accompanied the funeral party into Dunfermline Abbey. A canopy chapel or 'hearse' of imported Baltic wood was erected over the grave. Robert I's body, in a wooden coffin, was then interred within a stone vault beneath the floor, underneath a box tomb of white Italian marble purchased in Paris by Thomas of Chartres after June 1328. A plinth of black fossiliferous limestone from Frosterley topped this structure, and atop this plinth was a white alabaster effigy of Robert I, painted and gilded. The following Latin epitaph was inscribed around the top of the tomb: Hic jacet invictus Robertus Rex benedictus qui sua gesta legit repetit quot bella peregit ad libertatem perduxit per probitatem regnum scottorum: nunc vivat in arce polorum ("Here lies the invincible blessed King Robert / Whoever reads about his feats will repeat the many battles he fought / By his integrity he guided to liberty the Kingdom of the Scots: May he now live in Heaven"). Ten alabaster fragments from the tomb are on display in the National Museum of Scotland and traces of gilding still remain on some of them. Robert had bequeathed sufficient funds to pay for thousands of obituary masses in Dunfermline Abbey and elsewhere, and his tomb would thus be the site of daily votive prayers.
When a projected international crusade failed to materialise, Sir James Douglas and his company, escorting the casket containing Bruce's heart, sailed to Spain where Alfonso XI of Castile was mounting a campaign against the Moorish kingdom of Granada. According to John Barbour, Douglas and his companions, including Sir William de Keith, Sir Simon Locard, Sir William de St. Clair of Rosslyn and the brothers Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig and Sir Walter Logan, were welcomed cordially by King Alfonso. In August 1330 the Scots contingent formed part of the Castilian army besieging the frontier castle of Teba. Under circumstances which are still disputed, Sir James and most of his companions were killed. The sources all agree that, outnumbered and separated from the main Christian army, a group of Scots knights led by Douglas was overwhelmed and wiped out. The surviving members including Sir Simon Locard of the company recovered Douglas' body together with the casket containing Bruce's heart. The heart, together with Douglas' bones were brought back to Scotland.
In accordance with Bruce's written request, the heart was buried at Melrose Abbey in Roxburghshire. In 1920, the heart was discovered by archaeologists and was reburied, but the location was not marked. In 1996, a casket was unearthed during construction work. Scientific study by AOC archaeologists in Edinburgh, demonstrated that it did indeed contain human tissue and it was of appropriate age. It was reburied in Melrose Abbey in 1998, pursuant to the dying wishes of the King.
Discovery of the Bruce's tomb
On 17 February 1818, workmen breaking ground on the new parish church to be built on the site of the eastern choir of Dunfermline Abbey uncovered a vault before the site of the former abbey high altar. The vault was covered by two large, flat stones—one forming a headstone, and a larger stone six feet (182 cm) in length, with six iron rings or handles set in it. When these stones were removed, the vault was found to be seven feet (214 cm) in length, 56 cm wide and 45 cm deep. Within the vault, inside the remnants of a decayed oak coffin, there was a body entirely enclosed in lead, with a decayed shroud of cloth of gold over it. Over the head of the body the lead was formed into the shape of a crown. Fragments of marble and alabaster had been found in the debris around the site of the vault several years earlier, which were linked to Robert the Bruce's recorded purchase of a marble and alabaster tomb made in Paris. The Barons of Exchequer ordered that the vault was to be secured from all further inspection with new stones and iron bars and guarded by the town constables, and that once the walls of the new church were built up around the site, an investigation of the vault and the remains could take place. Accordingly, on 5 November 1819, the investigation took place. The cloth of gold shroud and the lead covering were found to be in a rapid state of decay since the vault had first been opened 21 months earlier. The body was raised up and placed on a wooden coffin board on the edge of the vault. It was found to be covered in two thin layers of lead, each around 5 mm thick. The lead was removed and the skeleton was inspected by James Gregory and Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh. The sternum was found to have been sawn open from top to bottom, permitting removal of the king's heart after death. A plaster cast was taken of the detached skull by artist William Scoular. The bones were measured and drawn, and the king's skeleton was measured to be 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm). It has been estimated that Bruce may have stood at around 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm) tall as a young man, which by medieval standards was impressive. At this height he would have stood almost as tall as Edward I (6 feet 2 inches; 188 cm).
The skeleton, lying on the wooden coffin board, was then placed upon the top of a lead coffin and the large crowd of curious people who had assembled outside the church were allowed to file past the vault to view the king's remains. It was at this point in the proceedings that some small relics—teeth and finger bones—were allegedly removed from the skeleton. The published accounts of eyewitnesses such as Henry Jardine and James Gregory confirm the removal of small objects at this time. Robert the Bruce's remains were ceremonially re-interred in the vault in Dunfermline Abbey on 5 November 1819. They were placed in a new lead coffin, into which was poured 1,500 lbs of molten pitch to preserve the remains, before the coffin was sealed.
A number of reconstructions of the face of Robert the Bruce have been produced, including those by Richard Neave from the University of Manchester, Peter Vanezis from the University of Glasgow and Dr Martin McGregor (University of Glasgow)and Prof Caroline Wilkinson (Face Lab at Liverpool John Moores University).
31458675. ISABELLA OF MAR, first wife of Robert the Bruce, was born circa 1277, at Kildrummy Castle, Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, she was the daughter of Donald, or Domhnall, Earl of MarDonald, Earl of Mar and Ellen or Helen ferch Llywelyn (1246-1295), who was the illegitimate daughter of Prince Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd and the widow of Mormaer Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife.
After the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway in 1290, Domhnall, 6th Earl of Mar became one of the first Scottish nobles who supported the claim of Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick to the throne of Scotland. Domhnall saw a great advantage to his family if one of his daughters married Robert. In 1295, Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick and Isabella of Mar married. Shortly after the wedding, Isabella became pregnant. Nineteen-year-old Isabella had a healthy pregnancy, but died soon after giving birth to a daughter named 15729337. Marjorie Bruce on December 12, 1296 at the Manor of Cardross in Dunbartonshire, Scotland. She was buried at Paisley Abbey in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, but her tomb has not survived.
Isabella of Marr
The reconstruction of his face.
The tomb of Robert the Bruce in Dunfermline Abbey
James Douglas throwing the heart of Bruce among the Saracens.
Statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn
Dunfermline Abbey with the words King Robert the Bruce on the top of the tower walls.
Reconstruction of Scone Abbey
Stone of Destiny
Bruce at Bannockburn
Heavy fighting at Bannockburn
Bruce kills Sir Henry de Bohun.
His sister Mary Bruce was imprisoned in a cage at Roxburgh Castle for about four years
The colours of King Robert the Bruce
Bruce kills John Comyn in the Chapel of Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries
King Robert the Bruce
King Malcolm Canmores Tower Dunfermline. was in use during Robert Bruces reign.
King Robert the Bruce
Robert the Bruce and
Isabella of Mar,
Robert the Bruce and
Isabella of Mar,
Bruce's family including brother Nail captured by the Earl of Ross while they took sanctuary at the chapel of St. Duthac's at Tain in Ross-shire,
King Robert the Bruce
The ruins of Turnberry Castle
62917348. SIR ROBERT DE BRUS, Earl Carrick, 6th Lord Annandale, Sheriff of Cumberland, Governor of Carlisle Castle may have been born on one of the family's many estates across England and Scotland, likely to have been Writtle in Essex, on July 1243 . At the age of 20 the young Robert fought alongside his father and Henry III of England in the Battle of Lewes, part of the Second Barons' War. In the aftermath Robert had to pay a ransom for the release of his father by Simon de Montfort.
By 1270 Robert Bruce was taking part in the Eighth Crusade. When a companion, Adam de Kilconquhar, was killed, Robert took it upon himself to bring the news to Adam's widow, Marjorie, Countess of Carrick at Turnberry Castle. The story goes that Marjorie immediately fell for the handsome young Robert, and held him prisoner at Turnberry Castle until he agreed to marry her. The wedding duly took place in 1271, and Robert de Brus became Earl of Carrick de jure uxoris (in right of his wife).
In 1282 Robert served under Edward I of England during the latter's conquest of Wales. In 1292 Robert supported his father's candidacy to become King of Scotland during the adjudication which ended with Edward I appointing John Balliol as King. In 1295 Bruce was appointed by Edward I to become Constable of Carlisle Castle and the following year he fought for Edward I against the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar. He made his own claim to become King of Scotland in the same year, but his claim was rejected by Edward I.
He married, first, Margaret or Marjorie of Carrick, daughter of Neil, 2nd Earl of Carrick and Isabel, circa 1273 at Turnberry Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland;
He married, second, Maud FitzAlan by license dated 19 September 1295. They had no issue. He and Maud FitzAlan were divorced between 6 May 1299 and 1 June 1299.
He married, third, Alianora (or Eleanor) after 1 June 1299. They had no issue. He was summoned to the English Parliament on June 24, 1295, whereupon he became deemed Lord Bruce. He died in England on his way to Annandale on 13 January 1304 age 60 and was buried at Holm Cultram Abbey, Cumberland.
Robert Bruce lived in an age when nobles in Dumfries and Galloway still tended to play off the Scots against the English, though any pretence of real independence had evaporated with the death of Alan of Galloway in 1234. This tended, however, to place Bruce in a very ambivalent position during any conflict between the Scots and the English: a situation made worse because his annual income from his English estates was worth much more to him than his income from his Scottish estates (£340 as opposed to £150). Add in a degree of personal and family loyalty to Henry III of England and his successor Edward I of England and Bruce's apparent lack of support for the cause of Scottish independence becomes easier to understand. The final complicating factor was the dislike between the Bruces and the Balliols which followed the appointment of John Balliol to the vacant post of King of Scotland in 1292.
31458674. Sir Robert, King of Scotland;
Sir Edward, Lord of Galloway, Earl of Carrick, King of Ireland;
Alexander, Dean of Glasgow;
and 5 daughters
Isabel, wife of Eric II Magnusson, King of Norway;
Mary, wife of Sir Neil Campbell, & of Sir Alexander Fraser, Chamberlain of Scotland;
Christian, wife of Sir Christopher de Seton, & of Sir Andrew de Moray;
Maud, wife of Hugh, 4th Earl of Ross;
Margaret, wife of Sir William de Carlyle).
62917349. MARJORIE, COUNTESS OF CARRICK, lived from about 1245 to 1292. She was a noblewoman and the mother of Robert the Bruce.
Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, was the daughter and heiress of Niall, Earl of Carrick and Margaret Stewart. She was, by all accounts, a formidable woman. Her first husband was Adam de Kilconquhar, who died during the Eighth Crusade in 1270. Marjorie learned of her husband's death when one of his companions-in-arms, the handsome young Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale arrived at her home at Turnberry Castle to tell her of her loss. Marjorie immediately fell for Robert and, according to the traditional story, held him prisoner at Turnberry Castle until he agreed to marry her. The wedding duly took place in 1271, and Robert became Earl of Carrick de jure uxoris (in right of his wife).
They went on to have twelve children together, of whom 10 survived childhood. The oldest son, Robert, was born in 1274 and went on to become King Robert the Bruce. One of his older sisters, Lady Christian Bruce, also played an active role in the wars of independence against England. Another, Isabel, married King Eric II and became Queen of Norway. One of the younger sons, Edward Bruce, was crowned High King of Ireland in 1316, and killed in battle in 1318. Three other sons were captured and executed by the English during the wars of independence.
Marjorie herself died in 1292. It has sometimes been suggested that in addition to the many children from her second marriage, she also had a son by her first husband, who became Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray. It is unclear whether or not this is true.
Carlisle Castle reconstruction
Battle of Lewes
Artists impression of Turnberry Castle
125834696. Robert le Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, was the eldest son of Robert de Brus, 4th Lord of Annandale and Isobel of Huntingdon, the daughter David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon and Matilda de Kevilloc of Chester.Robert lived from about 1220 to 31 March 1295. His lineage was important as Isobel of Huntingdon was the second daughter of David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon. He in turn was the son of Prince Henry of Scotland, Earl of Northumbria, who was the son of King David I of Scotland. Robert Bruce was therefore the great-great-grandson of King David I.
In 1233 Robert inherited his father's Scottish estates in Annandale. He was also Lord of Hartlepool (otherwise known as Hartness) in county Durham and Writtle and Hatfield Broadoak in Essex, England. His first wife brought to him the village of Ripe, in Sussex, and his second wife the Lordship of Ireby in Cumberland. He married twice, a process which led to his acquisition of further estates in Cumbria and Sussex. Robert played a central role in the vicious politics of both Scotland and England during the middle 1200s. He fought for Henry III on the losing side at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, and the following year supported Prince Edward during the final defeat of Simon de Montford at the Battle of Evesham. Robert acted as Regent of Scotland during part of the minority of his second cousin, Alexander III of Scotland, and for a period was himself seen as heir apparent to the Scottish throne.
The death of the seven year old Queen of Scotland, Margaret, Maid of Norway, on 26 September 1290, threw Scotland into a state of near civil war as rival candidates sought to gain control of the Scottish crown. Robert was a leading contender and was busily raising an army to support his claim when Edward I of England stepped in with an "offer" to help resolve the succession crisis. The competition which followed involved no fewer than 13 candidates with claims on the Scottish crown. It quickly became clear that the only realistic candidates were Robert Bruce and John Balliol, who could also trace succession back to King David I by his mother, Devorgilla, Lady of Galloway.
On 6 November 1292 the arbiters recommended in favour of John Balliol. Edward announced his acceptance of their recommendation in the Great Hall of Berwick Castle on 17 November 1292 and Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone, on 30 November 1292 or St Andrew's Day. Edward wasted no time in proving that Balliol was his man, humiliating him and forcing him to do as he was told in governing what was now treated as little more than a province of England.
Robert Bruce withdrew from public life, resigning his titles and his claim on the Scottish throne in favour of his son Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale. Robert Bruce died at Lochmaben Castle in 1295, and was buried at Guisborough Priory in North Yorkshire. His son was never able to advance his own claims to the Crown of Scotland, but one of his grandsons became King Robert the Bruce while another, Edward Bruce, became High King of Ireland.
Robert married twice, his first wife who he married on 12 May 1240 was Lady Isabella de Clare their children were:-
Isabel de Brus (1249 - c. 1284), married Sir John FitzMarmaduke. Isabel was buried at Easington, County Durham.
62917348. Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, Earl of Carrick (1253-1304) married Marjorie of Carrick and became the father of King Robert I.
William de Brus, married Elizabeth de Sully.
Sir Bernard de Bruce, of Connington, married firstly Alicia de Clare and married secondly Constance de Morleyn, and had issue.
Richard de Brus (died ca. 26 January 1287).
Constance de Brus (born 1251), married Sir William Scot de Calverley.
125834697. LADY ISABELLA DE CLARE was born 2 November 1226 and died after 10 July 1264, the daughter of Gilbert de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford and 5th Earl of Gloucester and Lady Isabel Marshal,
251669392. Robert de Brus, 4th Lord of Annandale Robert IV de Brus, the Noble ca. 1195–1226
Robert IV married ca. 1219 Isabella, the second daughter of David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, by which marriage he acquired the manors of Writtle and Hatfield Broadoak, Essex in England. They had his heir and successor, and a daughter:
He died sometime between 1226 and 1233, and was buried in Gisborough Priory or in Sawtry Abbey.
Battle of Lewes
Slaughter at the Battle of Evesham during the second Barrons war.
The de Brus Cenotaph located
in Guisborough Parish Church
503338784. William de Brus, 3rd Lord of Annandale (died 16 July 1212), was the second but eldest surviving son of Robert de Brus, 2nd Lord of Annandale.
His elder brother, Robert III de Brus, predeceased their father, never holding the lordship of Annandale. William de Brus thus succeeded his father when the latter died in 1194.
William de Brus possessed large estates in the north of England. He obtained from King John, the grant of a weekly market at Hartlepool, and granted lands to the canons of Gisburn. Very little else is known about William's activities. He makes a few appearances in the English government records and witnessed a charter of King William of Scotland.
He married a woman called Christina, or Beatrice de Teyden and had by her at least two sons and one daughter:
251669392. Robert de Brus 4rd Lord of Annandale
Agatha married Ralph Tailboys
The lands of Annandale. The Devil's Beef Tub in the Centre.
1006677568. Robert II de Brus, le Meschin (the Cadet) (fl. 1138, died c. 1189 or 1194), was a 12th-century Norman noble and 2nd Lord of Annandale. He was the son, perhaps the second son, of Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale.
The elder de Brus' allegiances were compromised when David I invaded England in the later 1130s, and he had renounced his fealty to David before the Battle of the Standard in 1138. The younger Robert however remained loyal and took over his father's land in Scotland, whilst the English territories remained with the elder Robert and passed to the latter's elder son Adam. Bruce family tradition has it that Robert II was captured by his father at the battle and given over to King Stephen of England.
A legend tells that in the 1140s, Robert II was visited at Annan by St Malachy. St Malachy asked Robert to pardon a thief, but Robert hanged him anyway, and for this the River Annan destroyed part of his castle and the de Brus line received a curse from the holy man. Robert made Lochmaben the centre of his lordship and constructed a new caput there.
He married Euphemia de Crosebi or Crosbj of Aumale, daughter of Sir Adam de Crosebi or Crosbj. They had five known children:
Robert (d. 1191), eldest son.
503338784. William de Brus, 3rd Lord of Annandale (d. 1212).
Robert was buried at Gisborough Priory in the North Riding, Yorkshire, England, a monastery founded by his father Robert I de Brus. As his eldest son, Robert, predeceased him, he was succeeded by his second son William.
Lochmaben Castle ruins in Dumfries.
2013355136. Robert de Brus,1st Lord of Annandale. is given by some Victorian historians as a son of Adam de Brus, by his spouse Emma de Ramsay.
Cokayne states that the family name is derived from Bruis, now Brix, in the arrondissement of Valognes. Some modern historians contend that the name may have come from Brix, Manche, near Cherbourg in the Cotentin Peninsula, and that they came to England after King Henry I of England's conquest of Normandy (i.e.: at the same time as Alan fitz Flaad, the FitzAlan ancestor of the Stuart Royal Family, notwithstanding that they were Bretons).
What is known clearly is that this Robert de Brus is first mentioned during the period 1094 and 1100, as a witness to a charter of Hugh, Earl of Chester, granting the church of Flamborough, Yorkshire, to Whitby Abbey. Possibly the Earl of Chester about 1100–1104 enfeoffed Robert of certain portions of his Cleveland fee in Lofthouse, Upleatham, Barwick, Ingleby, and other places. Between 1103–1106 Robert de Brus attested with Ralph de Paynel and 16 others a charter of William, Count of Mortain, to the abbey of Marmoutier. In 1109 at a Council of all England held at Nottingham, he attested the charter of King Henry I confirming to the church of Durham certain possessions which the men of Northumberland had claimed. During the period 1109–1114 he appears in early charters in possession of numerous other manors and lands in Yorkshire, and in the same period he attested a charter of Henry I issued at Woodstock, Oxfordshire. He appears in the Lindsey Survey made 1115–1118 in possession of even further lands. There is a strong presumption that the King had given Robert his Yorkshire fee soon after the battle of Tinchebrai (28 September 1106). Robert was present at the great gathering of northern magnates at Durham in 1121, and sometime during the period 1124–1130 he was with the King at Brampton. About 1131 he was in the retinue of Henry I at Lions, in Eure. At about the same time he attested with three of his personal knights a confirmation with Alan de Percy to the monks of Whitby. It is said that Robert had been given some 80 manors in Yorkshire by King Henry. It is evident that Robert kept up his connexions with other Normans too. A member of the Feugeres family, of Feugeres, Calvados, arr.Bayeux, canton of Isigny, witnessed charters of this Robert de Brus circa 1135 in Yorkshire.
The friendship between Robert de Brus and David FitzMalcolm (after 1124 King David I of Scotland), who was present in France with King Henry and was granted much of the Cotentin Peninsula, may have commenced at least as early as 1120, at Henry's Court. When David became king, he settled upon his military companion and friend the Lordship of Annandale, in 1124. There is, however, scant evidence that this Robert ever took up residence on his Scottish estates.
After the death of King Henry, David refused to recognise Henry's successor, King Stephen. Instead, David supported the claim of his niece and Stephen's cousin, Empress Matilda, to the English throne and taking advantage of the chaos in England due to the disputed succession there, he took the chance to realise his son's claim to Northumberland. These actions Robert de Brus of Annandale could not countenance and as a result he and King David parted company, with Robert bitterly renouncing his homage to David before taking the English side at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. Before the battle, Robert had made an impassioned plea to David, calling to his remembrance how he and other Normans had by their influence in Scotland, as far back as 1107, obliged King Alexander to give a part of the Scottish Kingdom to his brother David. The appeal was in vain. Robert, and his eldest son Adam, joined the English army, while his younger son, Robert, with an eye on his Scottish inheritance, fought for David.
He was a monastic patron and is remembered as the founder of Gisborough Priory in Yorkshire, in present-day Redcar and Cleveland, in 1119.
Robert is said to have married twice:
(1) Agnes, daughter of Geoffrey Bainard, Sheriff of York and
(2) Agnes, daughter and heiress of Fulk de Paynel of Carleton, North Yorkshire. Farrer mentions both marriages and in particular points out that the superior of Carleton Manor was de Brus, and that Paynel held it of him.
It is unclear by which spouse his sons were but authorities usually give her as Agnes de Paynel.
Adam de Brus I, eldest son and heir upon whom devolved, under feudal law, all the English estates.he only survived his father by 12 months, his wife's name not known in the records.
1006677568. Robert de Brus 2nd Lord of Annandale, the younger son, upon whom his father had settled the Scottish Lordship of Annandale, plus several wheat-producing ploughates at Skelton, Yorkshire, in his lifetime.
The Battle of Tinchebray Normandy, (alternate spellings Tinchebrai or Tenchebrai) (today in Orne département of France), was fought between an invading force led by King Henry I of England, and his older brother Robert Curthose, the Duke of Normandy. Henry's knights won a decisive victory, capturing Robert and imprisoning him in Devizes Castle England and then in Cardiff Castle Wales until Robert's death
The original Skelton Castle castle was built of stone by Robert in 1140. It had two look-out towers, dungeons and a moat with a drawbridge and portcullis.