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Robert I of Scotland

Robert I of Scotland

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Robert I popularly known as Robert the Bruce (Medieval Gaelic
Middle Irish language
Middle Irish is the name given by historical philologists to the Goidelic language spoken in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man from the 10th to 12th centuries; it is therefore a contemporary of late Old English and early Middle English...

: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Bruis; Norman French
Anglo-Norman language
Anglo-Norman is the name traditionally given to the kind of Old Norman used in England and to some extent elsewhere in the British Isles during the Anglo-Norman period....

: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys), was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.

His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman
Scoto-Norman
The term Scoto-Norman is used to described people, families, institutions and archaeological artifacts that are partly Scottish and partly Norman...

 heritage (originating in Brix, Manche
Brix, Manche
Brix is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.-History:Brix is known primarily as being the assumed origin of the Bruce family, who emigrated to Britain in the Middle Ages, settling in northern England and then southern Scotland...

, Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

), and his maternal of Franco-Gaelic. He became one of Scotland's greatest kings, as well as one of the most famous warrior
Warrior
A warrior is a person skilled in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class.-Warrior classes in tribal culture:...

s of his generation
Generation
Generation , also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring....

, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence
Wars of Scottish Independence
The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries....

 against the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

. He claimed the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I of Scotland
David I of Scotland
David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots...

, and fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

's place as an independent nation. Today in Scotland, Bruce is remembered as a national hero.

His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey is as a Church of Scotland Parish Church located in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. In 2002 the congregation had 806 members. The minister is the Reverend Alastair Jessamine...

, while it is believed his heart was interred in Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey is a Gothic-style abbey in Melrose, Scotland. It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, on the request of King David I of Scotland. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland...

. Bruce's lieutenant and friend Sir James Douglas
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas , , was a Scottish soldier and knight who fought in the Scottish Wars of Independence.-Early life:...

 agreed to take the late King's embalmed heart on crusade to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

, but he only reached Moorish Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

. According to tradition, Douglas was carrying the heart in a silver casket when he died at the head of the Scottish contingent at the Battle of Teba
Battle of Teba
The Battle of Teba took place in August 1330, in the valley below the fortress of Teba, now a town in the province of Málaga in Andalusia, southern Spain...

.

Background and early life


Robert was the first son of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick
Marjorie, Countess of Carrick
Marjorie of Carrick was countess of Carrick, Scotland, from 1256 to 1292, and is notable as the mother of Robert the Bruce.-Marriages:...

. His mother was by all accounts a formidable woman who, legend would have it, kept Robert Bruce's father captive until he agreed to marry her. From his mother, he inherited the Gaelic Earldom of Carrick, and through his father a Royal lineage that would give him a claim to the Scottish throne. Although his date of birth is known, his place of birth is less certain, but it was probably Turnberry Castle
Turnberry Castle
Turnberry Castle is a fragmentary ruin on the coast of Kirkoswald parish, north of Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is situated on a rock at the extremity of the lower peninsula within the parish.-History:...

 in Ayrshire
Ayrshire
Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

.

Very little is known of his youth. He was probably brought up in a mixture of the Anglo-French culture of northern England and south-eastern Scotland, and the Gaelic culture of Carrick and the Irish Sea, French being his father-tongue and Gaelic his mother-tongue. He may have been fostered with a local family, as was the custom (Barbour mentions his foster-brother); it is suspected that his brother Edward was fostered with his second-cousin Domhnall O'Neill. Robert's first appearance in history is on a witness list of a charter issued by Alasdair MacDomhnaill, Lord of Islay
Islay
-Prehistory:The earliest settlers on Islay were nomadic hunter-gatherers who arrived during the Mesolithic period after the retreat of the Pleistocene ice caps. In 1993 a flint arrowhead was found in a field near Bridgend dating from 10,800 BC, the earliest evidence of a human presence found so far...

. His name appears in the company of the Bishop of Argyll, the vicar of Arran
Isle of Arran
Arran or the Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, and with an area of is the seventh largest Scottish island. It is in the unitary council area of North Ayrshire and the 2001 census had a resident population of 5,058...

, a Kintyre
Kintyre
Kintyre is a peninsula in western Scotland, in the southwest of Argyll and Bute. The region stretches approximately 30 miles , from the Mull of Kintyre in the south, to East Loch Tarbert in the north...

 clerk, his father and a host of Gaelic notaries from Carrick.

In 1292 his mother died, elevating the 18-year-old Robert to the Earldom of Carrick; this had the side effect of stripping his father of his jure uxoris
Jure uxoris
Jure uxoris is a Latin term that means "by right of his wife" or "in right of a wife". It is commonly used to refer to a title held by a man whose wife holds it in her own right. In other words, he acquired the title simply by being her husband....

 claim to the title and lands. In November of the same year he saw Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, on behalf of the Guardians of Scotland, award the vacant Crown of Scotland to his grandfather's first cousin once removed, John Balliol
John of Scotland
John Balliol , known to the Scots as Toom Tabard , was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296.-Early life:Little of John's early life is known. He was born between 1248 and 1250 at an unknown location, possibilities include Galloway, Picardy and Barnard Castle, County Durham...

, after a lobbying campaign known as the 'Great Cause'. Almost immediately his grandfather, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, resigned his Lordship of Annandale to Robert's father, possibly to avoid having to swear fealty to John as a vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 lord.

Later both father and son sided with Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 against John, whom they considered a usurper and to whom Robert had not sworn fealty.

In April 1294, the younger Bruce had permission to visit Ireland for a year and a half, and, as a further mark of King Edward's favour, he received a respite for all the debts owed by him to the English Exchequer.

In 1295, Robert married his first wife, Isabella of Mar
Isabella of Mar
Isabella of Mar was the first wife of Robert the Bruce and the grandmother of Robert II of Scotland, founder of the royal House of Stuart...

 the daughter of Domhnall I, Earl of Mar
Domhnall I, Earl of Mar
Domhnall I Earl of Mar - Domhnall mac Uilleim - was the seventh known Mormaer of Mar, ruling from 1276 until his death somewhere between 1297 and 1302....

 and his wife Helen.

Beginning of the Wars of Independence



In August 1296, Bruce and his father swore fealty
Fealty
An oath of fealty, from the Latin fidelitas , is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another. Typically the oath is made upon a religious object such as a Bible or saint's relic, often contained within an altar, thus binding the oath-taker before God.In medieval Europe, fealty was sworn between...

 to Edward I of England
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 at Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

, but in breach of this oath, which had been renewed at Carlisle, the younger Robert supported the Scottish revolt against King Edward in the following year. 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. On 7 July, Bruce and his friends made terms with Edward by a treaty called the Capitulation of Irvine
Capitulation of Irvine
The Capitulation of Irvine was the first military stand-off of the Wars of Scottish Independence.-Event:In 1297, the nobles of Scotland gathered on the banks of a loch between Irvine and Bourtreehill House. They were prepared to go into battle against the approaching English forces and had made...

. 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
Marjorie Bruce
Marjorie Bruce or Marjorie de Brus was the eldest daughter of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots by his first wife, Isabella of Mar, and the founder of the Stewart dynasty. Her marriage to Walter, High Steward of Scotland gave rise to the House of Stewart...

 as a hostage which he never did, and he was soon actively fighting for the Scots again.

Shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth.-The main...

, Bruce again defected to the Scots; he laid waste to Annandale and burned the English-held castle of Ayr
Ayr
Ayr is a town and port situated on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. With a population of around 46,000, Ayr is the largest settlement in Ayrshire, of which it is the county town, and has held royal burgh status since 1205...

. Yet, when King Edward returned to England after his victory at the Battle of Falkirk
Battle of Falkirk
The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on 22 July 1298, was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence...

, Annandale
Annandale, Dumfries and Galloway
Annandale is a strath in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, named after the River Annan. It runs north-south through the Southern Uplands from Annanhead to Annan on the Solway Firth and in its higher reaches it separates the Moffat hills on the east from the Lowther hills to the west...

 and Carrick
Carrick, Scotland
Carrick is a former comital district of Scotland which today forms part of South Ayrshire.-History:The word Carrick comes from the Gaelic word Carraig, meaning rock or rocky place. Maybole was the historic capital of Carrick. The county was eventually combined into Ayrshire which was divided...

 were excepted from the Lordships and lands which he assigned to his followers.

William Wallace
William Wallace
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

 resigned as Guardian of Scotland
Guardian of Scotland
The Guardians of Scotland were the de facto heads of state of Scotland during the First Interregnum of 1290–1292, and the Second Interregnum of 1296–1306...

 after the Battle of Falkirk
Battle of Falkirk
The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on 22 July 1298, was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence...

. He was succeeded by Robert Bruce and John Comyn
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Lord of Lochaber or John "the Red", also known simply as the Red Comyn was a Scottish nobleman who was an important figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and was Guardian of Scotland during the Second Interregnum 1296-1306...

 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
John de Soules
Sir John de Soules was Guardian of Scotland from 1301 to 1304, at a crucial period in the Wars of Scottish Independence.-Life:...

 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, King Edward I launched his sixth campaign into Scotland. Though he captured the castles of Bothwell
Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle sited on a high, steep bank, above a bend in the River Clyde, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is located between Uddingston and Bothwell, about south-east of Glasgow. Construction of the castle was begun in the 13th century by the ancestors of Clan...

 and Turnberry
Turnberry Castle
Turnberry Castle is a fragmentary ruin on the coast of Kirkoswald parish, north of Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is situated on a rock at the extremity of the lower peninsula within the parish.-History:...

, he did little to damage the Scots' fighting ability and, in January 1302, 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 patriots until then.

There were rumours that John Balliol would return as 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 rumor and nothing came of it.

However, though recently pledged to support King Edward, it is interesting to note that Robert the Bruce sent a letter to the monks at Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey is a Gothic-style abbey in Melrose, Scotland. It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, on the request of King David I of Scotland. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland...

 in March 1302 which effectively weakened his usefulness to the English king. Apologising for having called the monks' tenants 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
Elizabeth de Burgh
Elizabeth de Burgh was the second wife and the only queen consort of King Robert I of Scotland.-Life:She was born in Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland, the daughter of the powerful Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his wife Margarite de Burgh...

, the daughter of Richard de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. By Elizabeth he had four children: David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

, 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
William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland
William de Moravia was the 5th Earl of Sutherland.He married Margaret 1345, a daughter of King Robert I of Scotland and his second wife Elizabeth de Burgh.Signed the Declaration of Arbroath....

 in 1345).

In 1303, Edward invaded again, reaching Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, before marching to Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

. Edward stayed in Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

 until July, then proceeded via Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, Brechin
Brechin
Brechin is a former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. Traditionally Brechin is often described as a city because of its cathedral and its status as the seat of a pre-Reformation Roman Catholic diocese , but that status has not been officially recognised in the modern era...

 and Montrose
Montrose, Angus
Montrose is a coastal resort town and former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. It is situated 38 miles north of Dundee between the mouths of the North and South Esk rivers...

, to Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, where he arrived in August. From there, he marched through Moray
Moray
Moray is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. It lies in the north-east of the country, with coastline on the Moray Firth, and borders the council areas of Aberdeenshire and Highland.- History :...

 to Badenoch
Badenoch
Badenoch is a traditional district which today forms part of Badenoch and Strathspey, an area of Highland Council, in Scotland, bounded on the north by the Monadhliath Mountains, on the east by the Cairngorms and Braemar, on the south by Atholl and the Grampians, and on the west by Lochaber...

, before re-tracing his path back south to Dunfermline
Dunfermline
Dunfermline is a town and former Royal Burgh in Fife, Scotland, on high ground from the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. According to a 2008 estimate, Dunfermline has a population of 46,430, making it the second-biggest settlement in Fife. Part of the town's name comes from the Gaelic word...

. With the country now under submission, all the leading Scots, except for William Wallace
William Wallace
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

, 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
Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 to his death.-Life:...

, and any that needed alteration would be with the assent of King Edward and the advice of the Scots nobles.

On 11 June 1304, with both of them having witnessed the heroic efforts of their countrymen during King Edward's siege of Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep...

, 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 deep patriotism despite both having already surrendered to the English.

With Scotland defenceless, Edward set about destroying her as a realm. Homage was again obtained under force 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. For all the apparent participation by Scots in the government, however, the English held the real power. The Earl of Richmond
Earl of Richmond
The now-extinct title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. The earldom of Richmond was held by various Bretons, Normans, the royal families of Plantagenet, Capet, Savoy, Tudor and Stuart.-History:...

, Edward's nephew, was to head up the subordinate government of Scotland.

While all this took place, William Wallace was finally captured near Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and was hanged, drawn and quartered in London on 23 August 1305.

In September 1305, Edward ordered Robert Bruce to put his castle at Kildrummy
Kildrummy Castle
Kildrummy Castle is a ruined castle near Kildrummy, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. Though ruined, it is one of the most extensive castles of 13th century date to survive in eastern Scotland, and was the seat of the Earls of Mar....

, "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 life-long friend, Aymer de Valence
Aymer de Valence
Aymer de Valence, also known as Aymer de Lusignan or Thelmar de Valence, was a Bishop of Winchester around 1250.-Life:...

. Even more sign of Edward's distrust occurred when on October 10, 1305, Edward revoked his gift of Gilbert de Umfraville's lands to Bruce that he had made only six months before.

Robert Bruce as Earl of Carrick
Earl of Carrick
The Earl of Carrick was the head of a comital lordship of Carrick in southwestern Scotland. The title emerged in 1186, when Donnchad, son of Gille Brigte, Lord of Galloway, became Mormaer or Earl of Carrick in compensation for exclusion from the whole Lordship of Galloway...

 and now 7th Lord of Annandale
Lord of Annandale
The Lord of Annandale was a sub-comital lordship in southern Scotland established by David I of Scotland by 1124 for his follower Robert de Brus...

, held huge estates and property in Scotland and a barony and some minor properties in England and had a strong claim to the Scottish throne. He also had a large family to protect. If he claimed the throne, he would throw the country into yet another series of wars, and if he failed, he would be sacrificing everyone and everything he knew.

The killing of Comyn in Dumfries


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 the person of John Comyn
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Lord of Lochaber or John "the Red", also known simply as the Red Comyn was a Scottish nobleman who was an important figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and was Guardian of Scotland during the Second Interregnum 1296-1306...

. Comyn had been much more resolute in his opposition to the English; he 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 Strathrean. Lordships of Kilbride, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Bedrule, 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
Donald III of Scotland
Domnall mac Donnchada , anglicised as Donald III, and nicknamed Domnall Bán, "Donald the Fair" , was King of Scots from 1093–1094 and 1094–1097...

 on his father's side and David I
David I of Scotland
David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots...

 on his mother's side. Comyn was the nephew of Balliol
Balliol
Balliol may refer to:* The Balliol family, Lords of Baliol, and their fief* their ancestral seat in Northern France, known usually as Bailleul* Balliol College, Oxford* King John of Scotland , often known as 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
Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer
Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer, Earl of Hertford, Earl of Gloucester, Earl of Atholl -Biography:Ralph was a knight in the household of Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I of England. After the death of Joan's husband Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford in 1295, Ralph and Joan...

 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 and the fateful meeting with Comyn at Dumfries.

According to Barbour, Comyn betrayed his agreement with Bruce to King Edward I, and when Bruce arranged a meeting for February 10, 1306 with Comyn in the Church of Greyfriars
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 in Dumfries
Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...

 and accused him of treachery, they came to blows. Bruce killed Comyn in Dumfries before the high altar of the church of the monastery. The Scotichronicon
Scotichronicon
The Scotichronicon is a 15th-century chronicle or legendary account, by the Scottish historian Walter Bower. It is a continuation of historian-priest John of Fordun's earlier work Chronica Gentis Scotorum beginning with the founding of Scotland of mediaeval legend, by Scota with Goídel...

 says that on being told that Comyn had survived the attack and was being treated, two of Bruce's supporters, Roger de Kirkpatrick
Roger de Kirkpatrick
Sir Roger de Kirkpatrick of Closeburn was a Scottish gentleman, a 3rd cousin and associate of Robert the Bruce, and a 1st cousin of Sir William Wallace...

 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 was subsequently excommunicated as a result, less for the murder than for its location. Regardless, for Bruce the die was cast at the moment in Greyfriars and so began his campaign by force for the independence of Scotland. Swords were drawn by supporters of both sides, the burial ground of the Monastery becoming the battlefield. Bruce and his party then attacked Dumfries Castle. The English garrison surrendered and for the third time in the day Bruce and his supporters were victorious.

Bruce hurried from Dumfries to Glasgow, where, kneeling before Bishop Robert Wishart
Robert Wishart
Robert Wishart was Bishop of Glasgow during the Wars of Scottish Independence and a leading supporter of Robert Bruce. For Wishart and many of his fellow churchmen the freedom of Scotland and the freedom of the Scottish church were one and the same thing...

 he made confession of his violence and sacrilege and was granted absolution by the Bishop. The clergy throughout the land was adjured to rally to Bruce by Wishart. In spite of this, Bruce was excommunicated
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 for this crime. Realising that the 'die had been cast' and he had no alternative except to become king or a fugitive, Bruce asserted his claim to the Scottish crown.

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 past his death.

Coronation at Scone – King Robert I



Barely seven weeks after Comyn was killed in Dumfries, Bruce was crowned King of Scots by Bishop William de Lamberton at Scone, near Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

 on 25 March with all formality and solemnity. The royal robes and vestments which Robert Wishart
Robert Wishart
Robert Wishart was Bishop of Glasgow during the Wars of Scottish Independence and a leading supporter of Robert Bruce. For Wishart and many of his fellow churchmen the freedom of Scotland and the freedom of the Scottish church were one and the same thing...

 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, Earl of Buchan
John Comyn, Earl of Buchan
John Comyn was Earl of Buchan and an important member of Clan Comyn during the early 14th century. He was a chief opponent of Robert the Bruce in the civil war that paralleled the War of Scottish Independence. He should not be confused with the better known John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, who...

 (a cousin of the murdered John Comyn), who claimed the right of her family, the MacDuff Earl of Fife
Earl of Fife
The Earl of Fife or Mormaer of Fife referred to the Gaelic comital lordship of Fife which existed in Scotland until the early 15th century....

, to crown the Scottish king for her brother, Duncan (or Donnchadh)
Donnchadh IV, Earl of Fife
Donnchadh IV, Earl of Fife [Duncan IV] was sometime Guardian of Scotland, and ruled Fife until his death. He was the last of the native Scottish rulers of that province....

 – who was not yet of age, and in English hands – arrived the next day, too late for the coronation, 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
Lord of Annandale
The Lord of Annandale was a sub-comital lordship in southern Scotland established by David I of Scotland by 1124 for his follower Robert de Brus...

, King of the Scots.

From Scone to Bannockburn



In June 1306, he was defeated at the Battle of Methven
Battle of Methven
The Battle of Methven took place at Methven in Scotland in 1306, during the Wars of Scottish Independence.-Comyn's Death:In February 1306, Robert Bruce and a small party of his followers killed John Comyn, also known as the Red Comyn, before the high altar of the Greyfriars Church in Dumfries...

 and in August, he was surprised in Strathfillan
Strathfillan
Strath Fillan is a strath in west Perthshire named after an 8th C Irish hermit monk later canonised Saint Fillan. It stretches from Bridge of Orchy to Crianlarich and has long been a major route through the highlands; the A82 road, the West Highland Line, and the West Highland Way long-distance...

, where he had taken refuge. 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
Earl of Atholl
The Mormaer of Earl of Atholl refers to a medieval comital lordship straddling the highland province of Atholl , now in northern Perthshire. Atholl is a special Mormaerdom, because a King of Atholl is reported from the Pictish period. The only other two Pictish kingdoms to be known from...

 and most of his remaining men. Bruce, with a small following of his most faithful men, including Sir James Douglas
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas , , was a Scottish soldier and knight who fought in the Scottish Wars of Independence.-Early life:...

 and Gilbert Hay, Bruce's brothers Thomas
Thomas de Brus
Sir Thomas de Brus was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland. He was captured by forces at Loch Ryan, Galloway, Scotland and later executed as a traitor....

, Alexander
Alexander de Brus
Alexander de Brus was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland. He was captured by forces at Loch Ryan, Galloway, Scotland and later executed as a traitor....

 and Edward
Edward Bruce
Edward the Bruce , sometimes modernised Edward of Bruce, was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland, then pursued his own claim in Ireland. He was proclaimed High King of Ireland, but was eventually defeated and killed in...

, as well as Sir Neil Campbell
Niall mac Cailein
Niall mac Cailein , also known as Sir Neil Campbell, was a nobleman and warrior who spent his life in the service of King Robert I of Scotland, His Gaelic name means "Niall, Colin's son" since he was the son of Cailean Mór...

 and the Earl of Lennox
Earl of Lennox
The Mormaer of Lennox or Earl of Lennox was the ruler of the long-lasting provincial Mormaerdom/Earldom of Lennox in the Medieval Kingdom of the Scots. The first Mormaer is usually regarded as Ailin I , but the genealogy of the Mormaers gives earlier names...

 fled.

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
Marjorie Bruce
Marjorie Bruce or Marjorie de Brus was the eldest daughter of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots by his first wife, Isabella of Mar, and the founder of the Stewart dynasty. Her marriage to Walter, High Steward of Scotland gave rise to the House of Stewart...

, his sisters Christina
Christina Bruce
Christina Bruce the second daughter of Robert de Brus, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick and Marjorie of Carrick, and an older sister of King Robert the Bruce....

 and Mary
Mary Bruce
Mary Bruce was the younger sister of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. During the First War of Scottish Independence, she was captured by the English and imprisoned in a cage at Roxburgh Castle for about four years...

, and Isabella MacDuff were captured in a sanctuary at Tain
Tain
Tain is a royal burgh and post town in the committee area of Ross and Cromarty, in the Highland area of Scotland.-Etymology:...

, and sent to harsh imprisonment, which included Mary and Isabella being hung in a cage at Roxburgh
Roxburgh Castle
Roxburgh Castle was a castle sited near Kelso, in the Borders region of Scotland, in the former Roxburghshire.-History:The castle was founded by King David I. In 1174 it was surrendered to England after the capture of William I at Alnwick, and was often in English hands thereafter. The Scots made...

 and Berwick
Berwick Castle
Berwick Castle is a ruined castle in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England.The castle was founded in the 12th century by the Scottish King David I. In 1296-8, the English King Edward I had the castle rebuilt and the town fortified, before it was returned to Scotland...

 castles respectively for about four years, and Bruce's brother Neil
Nigel de Brus
Nigel de Brus was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland. He was captured by English forces at Kildrummy Castle and later executed for high treason....

 was executed. But, on 7 July, King Edward I died, leaving Bruce opposed by his son, Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

.

It is still uncertain where Bruce spent the winter of 1306-07, most likely he spent it in the Hebrides
Hebrides
The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive...

 (possibly sheltered by Christina of Garmoran
Christina of Garmoran
Christina of Garmoran also known as Christina MacRuari, Christina of Mar and Christiana of the Isles was a 14th century Scottish noblewoman who was the legitimate child of Ailin mac Ruaidhri, Lord of Garmoran and chief of Clan Macruari...

) although Ireland is a serious possibility, and Orkney (under Norwegian rule at the time) or Norway proper 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
Edward Bruce
Edward the Bruce , sometimes modernised Edward of Bruce, was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland, then pursued his own claim in Ireland. He was proclaimed High King of Ireland, but was eventually defeated and killed in...

 landed at Turnberry Castle
Turnberry Castle
Turnberry Castle is a fragmentary ruin on the coast of Kirkoswald parish, north of Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is situated on a rock at the extremity of the lower peninsula within the parish.-History:...

 and began a guerrilla war
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 in south-west Scotland. The other, led by his brothers Thomas and Alexander, landed slightly further south in Loch Ryan
Loch Ryan
Loch Ryan is a Scottish sea loch that acts as an important natural harbour for shipping, providing calm waters for ferries operating between Scotland and Northern Ireland...

; but they were soon captured and were executed.

In April, Bruce won a small victory over the English at the Battle of Glen Trool
Battle of Glen Trool
The Battle of Glen Trool was a minor engagement in the Scottish Wars of Independence, fought in April 1307. Glen Trool is a narrow glen in the Southern Uplands of Galloway, Scotland...

, before defeating Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke was a Franco-English nobleman. Though primarily active in England, he also had strong connections with the French royal house. One of the wealthiest and most powerful men of his age, he was a central player in the conflicts between Edward II of England and...

 at the Battle of Loudoun Hill
Battle of Loudoun Hill
The Battle of Loudoun Hill was fought in May 1307 between a Scots force led by Robert Bruce and the English commanded by Aymer de Valence. It took place beneath Loudoun Hill, in Ayrshire, and ended in a victory for Bruce...

. 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
Galloway
Galloway is an area in southwestern Scotland. It usually refers to the former counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire...

, Bruce travelled north, capturing Inverlochy
Inverlochy Castle
Inverlochy Castle is a ruined, 13th-century castle near Fort William, Scotland. The site of two battles, the castle remains largely unchanged since its construction. It is now in the care of Historic Scotland.-History:...

 and Urquhart
Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness in Scotland along the A82 road, between Fort William and Inverness. It is close to the village of Drumnadrochit. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly...

 Castles, burning Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness, in Inverness, Scotland. The red sand stone structure evident today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. It is built on the site of an 11th century defensive structure. Today, it houses Inverness Sheriff Court. There has been a...

 and Nairn
Nairn
Nairn is a town and former burgh in the Highland council area of Scotland. It is an ancient fishing port and market town around east of Inverness...

 to the ground, then unsuccessfully threatening Elgin
Elgin, Moray
Elgin is a former cathedral city and Royal Burgh in Moray, Scotland. It is the administrative and commercial centre for Moray. The town originated to the south of the River Lossie on the higher ground above the flood plain. Elgin is first documented in the Cartulary of Moray in 1190...

.

Transferring operations to Aberdeenshire in late 1307, he threatened Banff
Banff, Aberdeenshire
Banff is a town in the Banff and Buchan area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Banff is situated on Banff Bay and faces the town of Macduff across the estuary of the River Deveron...

 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
Balvenie Castle
Balvenie Castle is a ruined castle near Dufftown in the Moray region of Scotland.Originally known as Mortlach, it was built in the 12th century by a branch of the powerful Comyn family and extended and altered in the 15th and 16th centuries.The castle fell out of use in the early 14th century when...

 and Duffus
Duffus Castle
Duffus Castle, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, was a motte-and-bailey castle and was in use from c.1140 to 1705. During its occupation it underwent many alterations. The most fundamental was the destruction of the original wooden structure and its replacement with one of stone. At the time of its...

 Castles, then Tarradale Castle on the Black Isle
Black Isle
The Black Isle is an eastern area of the Highland local government council area of Scotland, within the county of Ross and Cromarty. The name nearly always includes the article "the"....

. 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, then overran Buchan
Harrying of Buchan
The Harrying of Buchan, also known as the Herschip or Rape of Buchan, took place in 1308 during the Wars of Scottish Independence...

 and defeated the English garrison at Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

. The Harrying of Buchan in 1308 was ordered by Bruce to make sure all Clan Comyn 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 Clan Comyn 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 Dougall
Clan MacDougall
Clan MacDougall is a Highland Scottish clan consisting of the descendants of Dubgall mac Somairle, son of Somerled, who ruled Lorne and the Isle of Mull in Argyll in the 13th century...

. With these acts, Bruce had successfully destroyed the power of Clan Comyn, which had controlled much of northern and southwestern Scotland for over a hundred and fifty years.

He then crossed to Argyll
Argyll
Argyll , archaically Argyle , is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath...

 and defeated the MacDougal Clan (relatives of the Comyns) at the Battle of Pass of Brander
Battle of Pass of Brander
The Battle of the Pass of Brander in Scotland forms a small part of the wider struggle known as the Wars of Scottish Independence, and a large part of the civil war between the Bruce and Balliol factions, a parallel and overlapping conflict...

 and took Dunstaffnage Castle
Dunstaffnage Castle
Dunstaffnage Castle is a partially ruined castle in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It lies N.N.E. of Oban, situated on a platform of conglomerate rock on a promontory at the south-west of the entrance to Loch Etive, and is surrounded on three sides by the sea.The castle dates back to the 13th...

, the last major stronghold of the Comyns.

In March 1309, he held his first Parliament at St. Andrews, and by August, he controlled all of Scotland north of the River Tay
River Tay
The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland and the seventh-longest in the United Kingdom. The Tay originates in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui , then flows easterly across the Highlands, through Loch Dochhart, Loch Lubhair and Loch Tay, then continues east through Strathtay , in...

. 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.

The next three years saw the capture and reduction of one English-held castle or outpost after another: Linlithgow
Linlithgow
Linlithgow is a Royal Burgh in West Lothian, Scotland. An ancient town, it lies south of its two most prominent landmarks: Linlithgow Palace and Linlithgow Loch, and north of the Union Canal....

 in 1310, Dumbarton in 1311, and Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

, by Bruce himself, in January 1312. Bruce also made raids into northern England and, landing at Ramsey in the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, then laid siege to Castle Rushen
Castle Rushen
Castle Rushen is a medieval castle located in the Isle of Man's historic capital, Castletown in the south of the island. It towers over the Market Square to the south-east and the harbour to the north-east...

 in Castletown capturing it on 21 June 1313 to deny the island's strategic importance to the English. In the spring of 1314, Edward Bruce
Edward Bruce
Edward the Bruce , sometimes modernised Edward of Bruce, was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland, then pursued his own claim in Ireland. He was proclaimed High King of Ireland, but was eventually defeated and killed in...

 laid siege to Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep...

, whose governor, Philip de Mowbray, agreed to capitulate if not relieved before 24 June 1314. In March 1314, James Douglas
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas , , was a Scottish soldier and knight who fought in the Scottish Wars of Independence.-Early life:...

 captured Roxburgh
Roxburgh
Roxburgh , also known as Rosbroch, is a village, civil parish and now-destroyed royal burgh. It was an important trading burgh in High Medieval to early modern Scotland...

, and Randolph captured Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear...

. In May, Bruce again raided England and subdued the Isle of Man.

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
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

.

The Battle of Bannockburn - 1314


Bruce secured Scottish independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

 from England militarily — if not diplomatically — at the Battle of Bannockburn
Battle of Bannockburn
The Battle of Bannockburn was a significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence...

 in 1314.

After Bannockburn - further confrontation with England then the Irish conflict


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
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 and Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

.
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
Tyrone
The name Tyrone can refer to:*County Tyrone, a county in Northern Ireland, roughly corresponding to the ancient kingdom of Tír Eogain*An Earl of Tyrone*A small steam train which runs between Bushmills and the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland-Places:...

), and to open a second front in the continuing wars with England. The Irish even crowned Edward Bruce as High King of Ireland
High King of Ireland
The High Kings of Ireland were sometimes historical and sometimes legendary figures who had, or who are claimed to have had, lordship over the whole of Ireland. Medieval and early modern Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of High Kings, ruling from Tara over a hierarchy of...

 in 1316. Robert later went there with another army to assist his brother.

To go 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
Brian Boru
Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, , , was an Irish king who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and especially his elder brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated...

 of Munster
Munster
Munster is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes...

 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:
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
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

 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 to 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
Battle of Faughart
The Battle of Faughart was fought on 14 October 1318 between a Hiberno-Norman force led by John de Bermingham and Edmund Butler, and a Scots-Irish army commanded by Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scotland. It was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence and more precisely...

. 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 brought on the Irish by both the Scots and the English.

Diplomacy


Robert Bruce's reign also witnessed some diplomatic achievements. The Declaration of Arbroath
Declaration of Arbroath
The Declaration of Arbroath is a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320. It is in the form of a letter submitted to Pope John XXII, dated 6 April 1320, intended to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state and defending Scotland's right to use military action when...

 of 1320 strengthened his position, particularly vis-à-vis the Papacy. Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

 eventually lifted Bruce's excommunication. In May 1328 King Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 signed the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296...

, which recognised Scotland as an independent kingdom, and Bruce as its king.

Death



Robert died on 7 June 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton He had suffered for some years from what some contemporary accounts describe as an "unclean ailment". The traditional view is that this was leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

, but this was not mentioned in contemporary accounts, and is now disputed with syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, psoriasis
Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakes the skin cells as a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. However, psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of...

, motor neurone disease
Motor neurone disease
The motor neurone diseases are a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect motor neurones, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body. They are generally progressive in nature, and can cause...

 and a series of stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

s all proposed as possible alternatives.

His body lies buried in Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey is as a Church of Scotland Parish Church located in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. In 2002 the congregation had 806 members. The minister is the Reverend Alastair Jessamine...

 but before he died Robert requested that his heart should be removed and then carried in battle 'Against God's foes.' This was to make up for his failure to go on crusade during his life and atone for his sins, not least the murder of John Comyn in the Greyfriars church, Dumfries. Sir James Douglas
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas , , was a Scottish soldier and knight who fought in the Scottish Wars of Independence.-Early life:...

 was allotted the task. Bruce's preserved heart was placed in a silver casket, which Douglas then carried on a chain around his neck. When a projected international crusade failed to materialise, Douglas and company sailed to Spain where Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...

 was mounting a campaign against the Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 kingdom of Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

. Douglas was killed in battle during the siege of Teba
Teba
Teba is a town in Spain.Located on an outlying spur of the sierras north east of Ronda, some 15 kilometres north of Ardales, and with a population of some 4,300 people, it is part of the comarca of Guadalteba and provincia of Málaga in Andalusia.Below the town is the site of the Battle of Teba...

 in August 1330 while fulfilling his promise. It is said his body and the casket containing the embalmed heart were found together upon the field. They were both conveyed back to Scotland by Sir William Keith of Galston. In accordance with Bruce's written request, the heart was buried at Melrose
Melrose, Scotland
Melrose is a small town and civil parish in the Scottish Borders, historically in Roxburghshire. It is in the Eildon committee area.-Etymology:...

 Abbey, in Roxburghshire
Roxburghshire
Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Dumfries to the west, Selkirk to the north-west, and Berwick to the north. To the south-east it borders Cumbria and Northumberland in England.It was named after the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh...

. In 1920, it is claimed 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.

Physical Appearance



In 1818, almost 500 years after the death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

 of Robert Bruce, workmen uncovered a tomb
Tomb
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes...

 in Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey is as a Church of Scotland Parish Church located in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. In 2002 the congregation had 806 members. The minister is the Reverend Alastair Jessamine...

. Here, within an oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 and lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

, they found a skeleton
Skeleton
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...

 wrapped in gold cloth. Some 5 feet 11 inches tall (Scientist
Scientist
A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

s think Bruce would have been around 6 feet 1 inch (186 cm) tall as a young man
Man
The term man is used for an adult human male . However, man is sometimes used to refer to humanity as a whole...

 which by medieval standards was Impressive.) At this length, he would tower almost as high as Edward I "Longshanks"( 6 feet 2 inches 188 cm)
Interestingly there are no contemporary sources highlighting Bruce's height.
The skeleton
Human skeleton
The human skeleton consists of both fused and individual bones supported and supplemented by ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage. It serves as a scaffold which supports organs, anchors muscles, and protects organs such as the brain, lungs and heart....

 clearly showed that the chest
Chest
The chest is a part of the anatomy of humans and various other animals. It is sometimes referred to as the thorax or the bosom.-Chest anatomy - Humans and other hominids:...

 had been cut open to remove the contents. There is no doubt that this was indeed Robert Bruce King of Scots. Before he was reburied, a plaster
Plaster
Plaster is a building material used for coating walls and ceilings. Plaster starts as a dry powder similar to mortar or cement and like those materials it is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting,...

 cast
Cast
Cast may refer to:*Casting, a process by which a material is introduced into a mould while liquid, and allowed to solidify into a specific shape*Casting, moulting or shedding of hair in most breeds of dog and other mammals...

 was made of his skull
Human skull
The human skull is a bony structure, skeleton, that is in the human head and which supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain.In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones...

.

Family and descendants


Bruce's legitimate children were, with his first wife Isabella of Mar
Isabella of Mar
Isabella of Mar was the first wife of Robert the Bruce and the grandmother of Robert II of Scotland, founder of the royal House of Stuart...

:
  • Marjorie
    Marjorie Bruce
    Marjorie Bruce or Marjorie de Brus was the eldest daughter of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots by his first wife, Isabella of Mar, and the founder of the Stewart dynasty. Her marriage to Walter, High Steward of Scotland gave rise to the House of Stewart...

    , married Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland
    Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland
    Walter Stewart was the 6th hereditary High Steward of Scotland. He was also the father of King Robert II of Scotland.-Biography:...

    , their son became King Robert II
    Robert II of Scotland
    Robert II became King of Scots in 1371 as the first monarch of the House of Stewart. He was the son of Walter Stewart, hereditary High Steward of Scotland and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I and of his first wife Isabella of Mar...

    .


With his second wife Elizabeth de Burgh
Elizabeth de Burgh
Elizabeth de Burgh was the second wife and the only queen consort of King Robert I of Scotland.-Life:She was born in Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland, the daughter of the powerful Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his wife Margarite de Burgh...

:
  • Margaret, married William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland
    William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland
    William de Moravia was the 5th Earl of Sutherland.He married Margaret 1345, a daughter of King Robert I of Scotland and his second wife Elizabeth de Burgh.Signed the Declaration of Arbroath....

     between 2 August and 28 September 1345. Had son, John (1346–1361).
  • Matilda (Maud), married first to Thomas Isaac, secondly to Richard de Kelso, fifth feudal lord of the Free Barony of Kelsoland.
  • David II
    David II of Scotland
    David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

    , who as a child succeeded his father to the throne.
  • John, born October 1327 and died young. Buried in Restenneth Priory
    Restenneth Priory
    Restenneth Priory was a monastic house of Augustinian canons founded by Jedburgh Abbey, with the patronage of King Malcolm IV of Scotland, in 1153. Although there is little literary evidence, archaeological evidence strongly indicates that there was a monastery at Restenneth from very early times...

    .


Bruce also had six acknowledged illegitimate children:
  • Sir Robert
    Robert Bruce (bastard)
    Lord Robert Bruce was an illegitimate son of King Robert I of Scotland and an unknown mother. His father made him Lord of Liddesdale...

    , died 1332 at the Battle of Dupplin Moor
    Battle of Dupplin Moor
    The Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of the infant David II, the son of Robert the Bruce, and rebels supporting the Balliol claim in 1332. It was a significant battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence.-Background:...

    ;
  • Walter, of Odistoun on the Clyde, who predeceased his father;
  • Margaret, married Robert Glen, alive in 1364
  • Elizabeth, married Sir Walter Oliphant
    Clan Oliphant
    -Origins of the clan:The earliest record of the name was Osbernus Olifardus circa 1046 in Normandy.The first known Oliphant landholding was in England at Lilleford in Northampton by the family of David Olifard, who is commonly held to be the progenitor of the clan...

     of Aberdalgie
    Aberdalgie
    Aberdalgie is a village in the Scottish council area of Perth and Kinross. It is located southwest of Perth, to the south of the B9112 road in Strathearn....

  • Christina of Carrick, alive in 1329
  • Nigel of Carrick, died 1346 at the Battle of Neville's Cross
    Battle of Neville's Cross
    The Battle of Neville's Cross took place to the west of Durham, England on 17 October 1346.-Background:In 1346, England was embroiled in the Hundred Years' War with France. In order to divert his enemy Philip VI of France appealed to David II of Scotland to attack the English from the north in...

    .


Their mothers are unknown, although there is the slight possibility that a Christian of Carrick, mentioned by Barbour as assisting Bruce's campaign, was the mother of the last two.

Bruce's family also included his brothers, Edward
Edward Bruce
Edward the Bruce , sometimes modernised Edward of Bruce, was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland, then pursued his own claim in Ireland. He was proclaimed High King of Ireland, but was eventually defeated and killed in...

, Alexander, Thomas, and Neil, his sisters Christina
Christina Bruce
Christina Bruce the second daughter of Robert de Brus, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick and Marjorie of Carrick, and an older sister of King Robert the Bruce....

, Isabel
Isabel Bruce
Isabel Bruce was a Queen consort of Norway, married to King Eric II.-Biography:...

 (Queen of Norway), Margaret, Matilda, and Mary
Mary Bruce
Mary Bruce was the younger sister of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. During the First War of Scottish Independence, she was captured by the English and imprisoned in a cage at Roxburgh Castle for about four years...

, and his nephews Donald II, Earl of Mar and Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray.

Bruce's descendants include all later Scottish monarchs (except Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol was a claimant to the Scottish throne . With English help, he briefly ruled the country from 1332 to 1336.-Life:...

 whom Bruce loyalists would regard as a usurper) and all British monarchs since the Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns
The Union of the Crowns was the accession of James VI, King of Scots, to the throne of England, and the consequential unification of Scotland and England under one monarch. The Union of Crowns followed the death of James' unmarried and childless first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I of...

 in 1603. A large number of families definitely are descended from him but there is controversy about some claims.

Ancestry





Depictions in Art


Robert I was originally buried in Dunfermline Abbey, traditional resting-place of Scottish monarchs since the reign of Malcolm III. His tomb, imported from Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, was extremely elaborate, carved from gilded alabaster
Alabaster
Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum and calcite . The former is the alabaster of the present day; generally, the latter is the alabaster of the ancients...

. It was destroyed at the Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

, but some fragments were discovered in the 19th century (now in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

).

The site of the tomb in Dunfermline Abbey was marked by large carved stone letters spelling out "King Robert the Bruce" around the top of the bell tower
Bell tower
A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...

, when the eastern half of the abbey church was rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century. In 1974 the Bruce Memorial Window was installed in the north transept
Transept
For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the year of his birth. It depicts stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

 images of the Bruce flanked by his chief men, Christ, and saints associated with Scotland.

A 1929 statue of Robert the Bruce is set in the wall of Edinburgh Castle at the entrance, along with one of William Wallace. In Edinburgh also, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery on Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. It holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not necessarily by, Scots. In addition it also holds the Scottish National Photography Collection...

 has statues of Bruce and Wallace in niches flanking the main entrance. The building also contains several frescos depicting scenes from Scots history by William Brassey Hole in the entrance foyer, including a large example of Bruce marshalling his men at Bannockburn.

Statues of the Bruce also stand on the battleground at Bannockburn, outside Stirling Castle and Marischal College
Marischal College
Marischal College is a building and former university in the centre of the city of Aberdeen in north-east Scotland. The building is owned by the University of Aberdeen and used for ceremonial events...

 in Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

.

Banknotes


From 1981 to 1989, Robert the Bruce was portrayed on £1 notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank
Clydesdale Bank
Clydesdale Bank is a commercial bank in Scotland, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group. In Scotland, Clydesdale Bank is the third largest clearing bank, although it also retains a branch network in London and the north of England...

, one of the three Scottish banks with right to issue banknotes. He was shown on the obverse crowned in battle dress, surrounded by thistle
Thistle
Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. Prickles often occur all over the plant – on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. These are an adaptation that protects the...

s, and on the reverse in full battle armour in a scene from the Battle of Bannockburn. When the Clydesdale Bank discontinued £1 banknotes, Robert The Bruce's portrait was moved onto the bank's £20 banknote in 1990 and it has remained there to date.

Aircraft


The airline British Caledonian
British Caledonian
British Caledonian was a private, British independentindependent from government-owned corporations airline, operating out of Gatwick Airport in the 1970s and 1980s...

, named a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (G-BHDI) after Robert the Bruce.

Legends


According to a legend, at some point while he was on the run during the winter of 1306–07, Bruce hid in a cave on Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island is an island off the coast of County Antrim, and is the northernmost point of Northern Ireland. Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, with a rising population of now just over 100 people, and is the most northerly inhabited island off the Irish coast...

 off the north coast of Ireland, where he observed a spider spinning a web, trying to make a connection from one area of the cave's roof to another. Each time the spider failed, it began again until it succeeded. Inspired by this, Bruce returned to inflict a series of defeats on the English, thus winning him more supporters and eventual victory. The story serves to illustrate the maxim: "if at first you don't succeed, try try again." Other versions have Bruce in a small house watching the spider try to make its connection between two roof beams; or, defeated for the seventh time by the English, watching the spider make its attempt seven times, succeeding on the eighth try.

But this legend appears for the first time in only a much later account, "Tales of a Grandfather" by Sir Walter Scott, and may have originally been told about his companion-in-arms Sir James Douglas
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas , , was a Scottish soldier and knight who fought in the Scottish Wars of Independence.-Early life:...

 (the "Black Douglas"), who had spent time hiding out in caves within his manor of Lintalee, which was then occupied by the English. The entire account may in fact be a version of a literary trope
Trope (literature)
A literary trope is the usage of figurative language in literature, or a figure of speech in which words are used in a sense different from their literal meaning...

 used in royal biographical writing. A similar story is told, for example, in Jewish sources about King David, and in Persian folklore about the Mongolian warlord Tamerlane and an ant.

The Bruce in fiction

  • 1865: In George MacDonald
    George MacDonald
    George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

    's novel Alec Forbes of Howglen
    Alec Forbes of Howglen
    Alec Forbes of Howglen is a novel by George MacDonald, first published in 1865 and is primarily concerned with Scottish country life.-Synopsis:...

    , the character Annie Anderson is raised by her stingy relative Robert Bruce. Though he is no relation to this great figure of Scottish history, MacDonald's Robert Bruce constantly refers to the story of "his ancestor and the spider," even when it is totally irrelevant to the conversation at the moment.
  • 1887: In Nellie Bly's Ten Days in a Mad-House
    Ten Days in a Mad-House
    Ten Days in a Mad-House is a book written by newspaper reporter Nellie Bly and published by Ian L. Munro in New York City in 1887. The book comprised Bly's reportage for the New York World while on an undercover assignment in which she feigned insanity to investigate reports of brutality and...

     she references the Bruce's night of watching the spider and her own attempts in staying awake.
  • 1906: The book In Freedom's Cause was written by G. A. Henty
    G. A. Henty
    George Alfred Henty , was a prolific English novelist and a special correspondent. He is best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century. His works include Out on the Pampas , The Young Buglers , With Clive in India and Wulf the Saxon .-Biography:G.A...

    . Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king. It is a good Scottish fiction book, also telling about William Wallace and other Scottish heroes.
  • 1939: The names "Robert the Bruce" and "Mad Anthony Wayne" are the inspiration for "Bruce Wayne", the name for the civilian identity of DC Comics
    DC Comics
    DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

     superhero
    Superhero
    A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

     Batman
    Batman
    Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

    .
  • 1948: In the live-action Disney movie "So Dear to My Heart
    So Dear to My Heart
    So Dear to My Heart is a 1948 feature film produced by Walt Disney, released in Chicago on November 29, 1948 and nationwide on January 19, 1949 by RKO Radio Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. Like 1946's Song of the South, the film combines animation and live action...

    ", a cartoon sequence portrays Robert the Bruce's legendary encounter with the determined spider, as well as his subsequent victory. The sequence animates part of a song called 'stick-to-it-ivity' which is sung to teach the main character about the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.
  • 1969 - 1971: Scottish author Nigel Tranter
    Nigel Tranter
    Nigel Tranter OBE was a Scottish historian and author.-Early life:Nigel Tranter was born in Glasgow and educated at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. He trained as an accountant and worked in Scottish National Insurance Company, founded by his uncle. In 1933 he married May Jean Campbell Grieve...

     wrote a trilogy, considered largely accurate, based on the life of King Robert: The Steps to the Empty Throne, The Path of the Hero King and The Price of the King's Peace. This has been published in one volume as The Bruce Trilogy.
  • 1995: In the movie Braveheart
    Braveheart
    Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical drama war film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. The film was written for the screen and then novelized by Randall Wallace...

    , Robert the Bruce is portrayed by Scottish actor Angus Macfadyen
    Angus Macfadyen
    Angus Macfadyen is a Scottish actor.Angus Macfadyen was born in Glasgow and was brought up partly in Africa, France, the Philippines and Singapore. His father was a doctor in the World Health Organisation. He was once engaged to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.Angus attended the University of...

    . The film incorrectly showed him taking the field at Falkirk
    Battle of Falkirk (1298)
    The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on 22 July 1298, was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence...

     as part of the English army; he never betrayed William Wallace
    William Wallace
    Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

     (despite having changed sides). Wallace is also alleged to have been a complete supporter of Robert the Bruce, but Wallace was a supporter of the Balliol claim to the throne which Bruce consistently opposed.
  • 1996: The German power metal
    Power metal
    Power metal is a style of heavy metal combining characteristics of traditional metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. The term refers to two different but related styles: the first pioneered and largely practiced in North America with a harder sound similar to speed metal, and a...

     band Grave Digger
    Grave Digger (band)
    Grave Digger are a German heavy metal/power metal band formed in 1980. They were part of the German heavy/speed/power metal scene to emerge in the early to mid 1980s.-Band history:...

     included a song called "The Bruce" on their album Tunes of War
    Tunes of War
    Tunes of War is the seventh studio album by German metal band Grave Digger about the Scottish struggles for independence from England, from the medieval conflicts between its clans in the 11th century through to the Jacobite rebellion of the 18th....

    , a concept album
    Concept album
    In music, a concept album is an album that is "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical." Commonly, concept albums tend to incorporate preconceived musical or lyrical ideas rather than being improvised or composed in the studio, with all songs contributing...

     about the Scottish struggles for independence from England.
  • 1996: In the film The Bruce
    The Bruce (film)
    The Bruce is a 1996 film set in Scotland and England in the early 14th century. The film focuses primarily on the rise to power of Robert I of Scotland, culminating in the Battle of Bannockburn in AD 1314....

    , Robert the Bruce was portrayed by Sandy Welch
    Sandy Welch
    Sandy Welch is a British television writer and screenwriter.Sandy Welch's works for the BBC have included The Magnificent 7, adaptations of Charles Dickens' novel Our Mutual Friend and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, and most recently the BBC's well-received 2006 interpretation of Charlotte...

    .
  • 1998: The revolt of Robert the Bruce is the topic of Mollie Hunter
    Mollie Hunter
    Maureen Mollie Hunter McIlwraith, more commonly known as Mollie Hunter , is a Scottish writer. Born and bred near Edinburgh in the small village of Longniddry. She currently resides in Inverness. Her debut was The Smartest Man in Ireland in 1963. She writes fantasy for children, historical stories...

    's book The King's Swift Rider, written from the point of view of a bold young Scot and future monk who joins the rebellion as a noncombatant.
  • 1998 - 2001: Katherine Kurtz
    Katherine Kurtz
    Katherine Kurtz is the author of numerous fantasy novels, most notably the Deryni novels. Although born in America, for the past several years, up until just recently, she has lived in a castle in Ireland...

     and Deborah Turner Harris
    Deborah Turner Harris
    Deborah Turner Harris , is an American fantasy author, best known for her collaborations with Katherine Kurtz. She lives in Scotland and is married to Scottish author Robert J...

     wrote a fantasy fiction series(The Temple and the Stone and The Temple and the Crown) linking Robert the Bruce with the Knights Templar
    Knights Templar
    The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

    .
  • 2002 - 2006: Chronicles of the reign of Robert the Bruce (or Robert de Brus) are published in a series titled Rebel King, Hammer of the Scots (2002); Rebel King, The Har'ships (2004); and Rebel King, Bannok Burn (2006). Two more volumes are planned.
  • 2009: The third volume of Jack Whyte
    Jack Whyte
    Jack Whyte is a Scottish-Canadian novelist of historical fiction. Born and raised in Scotland, Whyte has been living in Canada since 1967. He resides in Kelowna, British Columbia....

    's Templar Trilogy, "Order in Chaos", is largely set in Scotland during the rise of The Bruce. It winds up its story just after the battle at Bannockburn. It covers a lot of the challenges and politics of that era.
  • 2010: Robert the Burce is the main protagonist in English novelist Robyn Young
    Robyn Young
    Robyn Young is an English author of historical fiction. She is most widely known for her Brethren trilogy, set in the Middle Ages...

    's Insurrection trilogy, starting the novel Insurrection
    Insurrection (Young novel)
    Insurrection is the first novel in Robyn Young's Insurrection trilogy, her fourth book overall, published on 14th October 2010 through Hodder and Stoughton...

    .
  • 2010 - 2012: Romance writer Monica McCarty wrote a series of books (the Highland Guard Novels) about Robert the Bruce's legendary secret Islemen guard and Bruce's guerilla warfare tactics. Though Bruce is a minor character, his battles and the events surrounding his war against England are catalogued.

External links



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