m. EMMA, daughter of Alain, Count of Brittany

Robert built the castle of La Brusee now called Brix in the diocese of Coutanse near Volagnes.


I. Alain- Lord of Brusee Castle, m. Agnes, daughter of Simon Montfort, Earl of Evreux

2II. ROBERT- m. AGNES, daughter of Waldonius, Count of St. Clair


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880- Vol. I, p. 401


m. AGNES, daughter of Waldonius, Count of St. Clair (Sinclair)

Robert accompanied William the Conqueror to England, but he died soon after.


I. William- Had large possessions in Sussex, Surrey and Dorset.

3II. ADAM- m. EMMA RAMSAY, d. 1098


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880- Vol. I, p. 401


m. EMMA, daughter of Sir William Ramsay
d. 1098

Adam owned the barony of Shelton in Cleveland and at his death he left his son Robert 43 Lordships in East and West Ridings and 51 in North Riding including Guisburn in Cleveland.


4I. ROBERT- m.1. Agnes Paynell, 2. Countess of ANNANDALE, d. 11 May 1141

II. William- Prior of Guisburn

III. Duncan-


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880- Vol. I, p. 401
Dugdale's Baronage- Vol.I, p.447


m.1. Agnes, daughter of Fulk Paynell
2. Countess of ANNANDALE
d. 11 May 1141

Sir Robert was a companion of Prince David, afterwards David I, during the conquest. Robert founded the monastery of Guisburn or Guisborough in Yorkshire in 1119. By his first wife Agnes he received the manor of Carleton in Yorkshire and by his second wife he was given the Lordship of Annandale.

Guisborough Monastery

In 1138 during the war between King Stephen and Matilda the rightful heiress, neice of the King of Scots, Robert was sent by the barons of northern England to negociate with David who entered the war on behalf of his neice. At the beginning of the war Robert renounced his allegiance to David and gave his lands in Annandale to his son Robert. He stated that the English had repeatedly restored the Scottish kings to power when they had outrages done by the native Scots and said that the Yorkshire barons would continue to resist. Robert said: "It wrings my heart to see my dearest master, my patron, my benefactor, my friend, my companion in arms, in whose service I am grown old, thus exposed to the danger of battle or to the dishonour of flight". David, however, maintained his position to protect his neice's right to the throne. At the battle of the Standard 11 Aug. 1138 King David was defeated and Robert took his own son Robert de Brus as a prisoner.

Issue- first child by Agnes

I. Adam- inherited his father's English estates.



"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880- Vol. I, p. 401


m. EUPHEMIA ______

Sir Robert inherited Annandale from his mother and was given the Lordship of Hert and the territory of Hertness in the Bishopric of Durham from his father. After the battle of the Standard Robert was sent as a prisoner to King Stephen who ordered him released. Robert returned to Scotland and gave Guisburn monastery, which his father had founded, the churches of Annand, Lochmaben, Kirkpatrick, Cummertrees, Rampatrick and Gretenhou (Gretna). Upon becoming a Scot, Robert abandonned his father's coat of arms and assumed the coat of Annandale. King William the Lion conferred on him the grant of Annandale made to his father by David I.


I. Robert- m. 1183 Isabella, daughter of William the Lion (m.2. Robert de Ros), d.s.p. before 1191

6II. WILLIAM- m. BEATRICE de TEYDEN, d. between 1203 & 1213


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. BEATRICE de TEYDEN, d. of Paul de Teyden and Beatrice de Evermure (d. of Walter de Evermure)
d. between 1203 & 1213

William de Brus was Lord of Annandale.


7I. ROBERT- m. ISOBEL, daughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon, d. 1245


The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed- G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors- Vol. IX, p. 483
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. ISOBEL, daughter of DAVID, Earl of Huntingdon & Chester
d. 1245
bur. Guisburn Abbey, Cleveland

By his marriage to Isobel he obtained the manors of Writtle and Hatfield in Essex and half of the hundred of Hatfield as well as Kildrummie castle, the Lordship of Garioch, Aberdeenshire and the manors of Connington, Huntingdonshire and Exton, Rutlandshire.

Kildrummy Castle

In 1215-16 he obtained from King John a confirmation of a grant of a market and fair at Hartlepool. He was a witness at York in 1221 of Alexander II's charter of jointure to his wife Joanna, sister of Henry III. During this reign his own great estate and royal connection by marriage made the lord of Annandale one of the chief barons of southern Scotland. Like his ancestors he was liberal to the church, confirming and increasing their grants.


I. Bernard- m. Constantia de Morteyn, IPM 5 Aug. 1266

II. m. Aug. 1254 Hugh de Neville, d. before July 1273

8I. ROBERT- b.c.1210, m. ISABEL CLARE, d. 31 Mar. 1295


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed- G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors- Vol. IX, p. 483
Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy- Alison Weir, The Bodley Head, London, 1999, p. 193
Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen, ed., Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1908, Vol. III, pp.115


m.1. 12 May 1240 ISABEL (b. 2 Nov. 1226, d. after 1264), daughter of GILBERT De CLARE, Earl of Gloucester
2. 3 May 1273 Hoddam, Glasgow, Christina de Ireby d. 31 Mar. 1295 Lochmaben castle
bur. 17 Apr. 1295 Guisborough Priory, Yorkshire

Bruce "the Competitor" in 1238 when Alexander II was going on an expedition against the Western Isles was acknowledged as being heir to the throne by the King and his barons, but upon the birth of a son in 1241 Robert's hopes of succession disappeared.

In 1252 upon the death of his mother Princess Isobel he paid homage to Henry III as heir to her lands in England. In 1255 he was made sheriff of Cumberland, constable of the castle of Carlisle and one of the 15 Regents of the Kingdom. In 1264 during the struggle of King Henry III with Simon de Montfort, John Comyn and John de Baliol, Robert led the Scottish army to the assistance of the English but was defeated at the battle of Lewes 14 May 1264 and Robert, Henry and his son Prince Edward were taken prisoner. After winning the battle of Evesham 5 Aug. 1265 Robert was set free and reinstated as Governor of Carlisle castle.

In 1268 Robert was appointed Capitalis Justiciarius, being the first Chief Justice of England with a salary of 100 marks. Upon the accession of Edward I he was not reappointed to the bench and appears to have returned to Scotland.

Upon the death of Alexander III in 1286 the Parliament at Scone 11 Apr. appointed six Regents and the contest for the sucession to the crown between Brus and Baliol began. A powerful party of nobles met at Turnberry Castle, belonging to his son Robert, earl of Carrick, in right of his wife, and pledged themselves to support each other and vindicate the claims of whoever should gain the kingdom by right of blood, according to the ancient customs of Scotland. They assumed as allies Richard de Burgh, earl of Ulster, and Thomas de Clare, to whom authority was given to proceed with arms against any one who broke the conditions of the bond, 20 Sept. 1286. The nobles who joined in this league were Patrick, earl of Dunbar, his three sons, and his son-in-law James the Steward of Scotland, and his brother John, Walter Stewart earl of Menteith, Angus, son of Donald lord of the Isles, his son Alexander, and the two Bruces, the lord of Annandale, and his son, the Earl of Carrick. They united the chief influence of the south and west of Scotland against the party of John de Baliol, lord of Galloway, and the Comyns. A period of civil war ensued, during which Robert de Bruce, lord of Annandale, asserted his title to the crown. For two years after the King's death the two parties fought and ravaged the countryside. Brus was allied with England and Baliol's party were supporters of Scottish independent interests. Unable to secure his aim, Bruce took part in the negotiations at Salisbury, which resulted in the treaty of Brigham in 1290, with the view of uniting Scotland to England, subject to guarantees for its independence by the marriage of Margaret to Prince Edward. To settle the question King Edward summoned the nobility and clergy of Scotland to a meeting at Norham 10 May 1291, but he required the competitors to acknowledge him as Lord Paramount of the Kingdom and granted them three weeks for deliberation. On 2 June they met again at Upsettlington and eight claimants to the crown were present, Robert De Brus, Lord of Annandale; Florence, Count of Holland; John de Hastings; Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March; William de Ros; William de Vesey; Robert de Pinckeny and Nicholas de Soulis. John de Baliol, Lord of Galloway came the following day. After all taking allegience to the King, Edward investigated all the claims and on 17 Nov. 1292 he ruled in favor of Baliol. The Lordship of Annandale was held by tenure of military service so to avoid paying homage to his rival Robert gave it to his son Robert and retained the English estates for himself: "I am Baliol's sovereign, not Baliol mine and rather than consent to such a homage, I resign my lands in Annandale to my son, the Earl of Carrick." He lived in retirement until he died at Lochmaben castle on Good Friday, 1295 age 85.

His character is well drawn in Walter of Hemingburgh: Toto tempore vit su gloriosus extitit; facetus, dives, et largus, et habundavit in omnibus in vita et in morte.


9I. ROBERT- m. 1271 MARTHA, daughter of Nigel, Earl of CARRICK, d. 1304

II. Barnard

III. John-



"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
"Documents Illustrative of Scottish History"- Sir Francis Palgrave, 1837, pp.21,23-9,80-1,92-3
"History of Scotland"- Tytler, Vol.1, p.56
The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed- G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors- Vol. II, p. 358-9
Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy- Alison Weir, The Bodley Head, London, 1999, p. 68
Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen, ed., Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1908, Vol. III, pp.115-6


b. July 1243
m.1. 1271 MARTHA/MARGARET, daughter of NIGEL, Earl of CARRICK, (m.1. Adam de Kilconath, d. before 27 Oct. 1292)
2. after 1292 Alianore
d. 4 Apr. 1304
bur. Abbey of Holm Cultram

Sir Robert accompanied King Edward I on the Crusade to Palestine in 1269. By his marriage to Martha he became the Earl of Carrick. Robert evidently knew Martha's first husband while in the holy land where he was killed and decided to marry his widow as she was young, beautiful, had a title and extensive estates. The story goes that in 1271 the widowed Countess of Carrick happened to meet Robert who was hunting in her domains and she became enamoured with his personal charms and with some violence led him to her castle of Turnberry where they were married in a few days without the knowledge of their relatives or the consent of the King. Alexander III instantly seized her castle and estates, but she afterwards atoned for her delinquency by a fine. This story was probably an invention to excuse his marriage with a Royal ward without the king's consent.

A Reconstruction of Turnberry Castle

Turnberry Lighthouse- on the site of the old castle

Robert, shortly after Martha's death, gave his son Robert the Earldom of Carrick and retired to England leaving the administration of the family estates in young Robert's hands.

In 1278 he did homage to Edward on behalf of Alexander III for his English fiefs. In 1281 he borrowed 40l. from his old comrade Edward I, a debt which played a part in the fortunes of his son. He was present at Scone in 1284, when the right of succession of the Maid of Norway was recognised, but took part with his father and the other nobles in the league of Turnberry, on 20 Sept. 1286, intended to defeat it. Like his father, however, he joined in the treaty of Brigham (14 March 1290), rendered abortive by Margaret's death. The agreement between Florence, count of Holland, and his father on 14 June 1292, to which the earl was a party, shows that Bruce anticipated an adverse decision. About this time he went to Norway with his eldest daughter Isabel, possibly on account of her marriage to King Eirik, the widower of Margaret, the daughter of Alexander III, which took place on 15 Nov. 1293, but also perhaps to avoid attendance at Baliol's parliament, to which he was summoned.

On the death of his father he did homage to Edward for his English fiefs on 4 June 1295. On 6 Oct. following he was given the custody of the castle of Carlisle during the king's pleasure, and three days after he took before the bishop of Durham and barons of the exchequer an oath to hold it faithfully and render it to no one but the king. In 1296 Baliol revolted against the English yoke assisted by the Comyns. Robert as the next heir to the throne hoped for the overthrow of Baliol and so supported Edward on his expedition into Scotland. Baliol therefore seized the Lordship of Annandale and gave it to John Comyn, Earl of Buchan who took possesion of Lochmaben castle. After the battle of Dunbar 28 Apr. 1296 when the Scots were defeated Baliol surrendered, but Robert was not made King. The answer, in Norman-French, of Edward, as given by Wyntoun and Fordun, though it has been doubted, suits his character:Ne avons ren autres chos a fereQue a vous reamgs (ie. reaulines) ganere. Hawe I nought ellys to do noweBut wyn a kynryk to gyve yhowe?

After the refusal of Edward to place the crown in Robert's hands the elder Bruce retired to his English estates.


10I. ROBERT- b. 11 July 1274, Lochmaben castle, m.1. ISABELLA, daughter of Donald, Earl of Mar, 2. 1302 Elizabeth, daughter of Aymer de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, (d. 26 Oct. 1327), d. 7 June 1329

II. Edward- King of Ireland, m.1. after 1 June 1317 Eleanor de Ross, 2. Isabella de Strathbogie, d. 14 Oct. 1318 Battle of Dundalk

III. Thomas- m. Helen Erskine, executed by Edward I 9 Feb. 1307 Carlisle

IV. Alexander- executed by Edward I 9 Feb. 1307 Carlisle

V. Niel- beheaded Sept. 1306 Berwick

11VI. ISABEL- b.c.1275, m.1. Sir THOMAS RANDOLPH of Strathdon, 2. Earl of Athol, 3. Alexander Bruce

12VII. MARY- m.1. c. 1312, Sir Niel Campbell of Lochaw, 2. c.1316 Sir ALEXANDER FRASER, d. before 22 Sept. 1323

13VIII. CHRISTIAN- m.1. c.1292, Gratney/Gartnait, Earl of Marr, 2. c.1305, Sir CHRISTOPHER SETON of Seton (executed 1306), 3. after 12 Oct. 1325 Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, d.c.1356

IX. Matilda- m.c.1308, Hugh, Earl of Ross, d.c.1325, bur. Fearn

X. Margaret- m. Sir William Carlyle

XI.? Elizabeth- m. Sir William Dishington

XII.? ______- m. Sir David De Brechin


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
Lowe's Edinburgh Magazine- March 1848, p.345
The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed- G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors- Vol. II, p. 358-9
Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy- Alison Weir, The Bodley Head, London, 1999, p. 68
Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen, ed., Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1908, Vol. III, pp.115-6


b. 11 July 1274 Lochmaben castle or perhaps Writtle, Essex
m.1. ISABELLA, daughter of DONALD, Earl of MAR
2. 1302 Elizabeth, daughter of Aymer de Burgh, Earl of Ulster (d. 26 Oct. 1327)
d. 7 June 1329 Cardoss Castle, Argyllshire
bur. Dunfermline Abbey

Loch Maben Castle- traditional birthplace of Robert the Bruce

Sir Robert was educated at the household of King Edward of England. In 1293 he was made Earl of Carrick and received his mother's land and he paid homage to Baliol at Parliament at Stirling in Aug. and Sept. 1293 and was given the administration of his lands in Annandale.

In 1294 at the outbreak of war Robert was summoned to serve in person by King Edward. During the invasion of Scotland in 1296 he took Edward's side and also during the revolt of Baliol when Robert's castle of Lochmaben in Annandale was temporarily seized by Comyn, Earl of Buchan Robert aided the English King. After the battle of Dunbar 28 Apr. 1296 he received the oaths of allegience to Edward from his men of Carrick. Robert took his oath of allegience at Parliament Aug. 1296 in Berwick. In 1297 Wallace attacked the English and Robert who had taken another oath of allegience at Carlisle upon the sword of Thomas a Becket assisted Edward against the Scots attacking William, Lord Douglas and carrying off his children to his castle at Turnberry.

No sooner was the danger over then Robert, realizing that Edward was not about to make him King of Scotland and that the revolt against English rule had become so widespread and that his own safety would be threatened and his claim to the throne ignored, he claimed himself King of Scotland. England was more concerned at the time with Wallace as a follower of Baliol since he had control of the army. When Edward marched into Scotland in 1298 Robert stayed in his castle of Ayr and maintained a doubtful neutrality. After Wallace was defeated at Falkirk Edward turned to Ayr, but Robert, dreading the consequences, razed it to the ground and went into the recesses of Carrick.

In 1298 when Wallace resigned, John Comyn and Sir John Soulis were chosen Regents with Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews and Robert joining their ranks the next year. Comyn was looking forward to possessing the throne of Scotland also. At a conference at Stirling Robert made this proposal to Comyn: "Support my title to the throne and I will give you all my lands or bestow on me your lands and I shall support your claim." Comyn waived his own claims, an agreement was drawn up and signed and Robert returned to London. At this point Comyn, who was anxious to regain the favor of Edward, betrayed Robert and sent the King the signed agreement. Edward would have seized Robert had he not told his nobles the plan and that night the Earl of Gloucester sent Robert a purse of money and a pair of gilded spurs, a hint for Robert to leave the country. Robert then escaped to Scotland and intercepted Comyn's messenger and found further proof of Comyn's treachery accompanied by a recommendation to Edward to execute him. Robert requested a private interview with Comyn on 4 Feb. 1305 in the church of the Minorite Friars in Dumfries. At first the meeting was friendly, but Robert accused him of betrayal to which Comyn replied: "It is a falsehood you utter". Robert then drew his dagger, stabbed him in the heart and ran out of the church where he told his followers: "I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn". "You doubt!" said Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, "Is that a matter to be left to doubt? I'se mak siccar (I will make sure)". He rushed into the church with Sir James Lindsay and Sir Christopher Seton and killed the wounded man and his uncle Robert Comyn. This account of Comyn's murder although interesting is probably not true as shortly thereafter Edward said that he had complete confidence in Robert. It was probably the result of a hasty quarrel and the zeal of Robert's followers aggravated the affair and gave the whole situation the appearance of a premeditated assassination.

King Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth de Burgh

On 27 March 1305 Robert was crowned King at Scone by the Bishop of St. Andrews. Upon hearing of Comyn's murder Edward vowed not ot rest until his death was avenged. Robert with his followers challelnged the Earl of Pembroke at Perth to come out and fight, but he would not until the next day. While Robert and his men were camped at Methven they were attacked by Pembroke's army and forced to retreat to Athol where he and his followers led the lives of outlaws. Robert's youngest brother Nigel arrived with the Queen at Aberdeen and Robert proceeded there and escorted them to safety in the Breadalbane mountains. The Lord of Lorn, Alexander, Chief of the MacDougalls attacked King Robert at Dalry near the head of Loch Tay and the Bruce was forced to retreat. At Craigrostan on the western side of Ben Lomond is a cave in which tradition says Robert and his men found shelter after their defeat by MacDougall.

With his cause becoming more desperate he sent the Queen to Kildrummie castle with his brother Nigel and the Earl of Athol while he and his remaining 200 followers went to Kintyre and then to Ireland. After crossing Loch Lomond they met Malcolm, Earl of Lennox who was hiding there from the English and who gave them provisions enough to reach Dunaverty castle in Kintyre where they were received by Angus of Isla, Lord of Kintyre. The King then sailed in a storm to the island of Rachrine off the north coast of Ireland where they spent the winter.

Meanwhile King Edward raged through Scotland and captured Kildrummie castle carrying Nigel Bruce and others in chains to Berwick where they were hanged. The Queen and her daughter Marjory took sanctuary at St. Duthac in Ross and were seized by the Earl of Ross and put into prison as were two of Robert's sisters. The Countess of Buchan was suspended in an iron and wood cage from one of the turrets of Berwick castle for four years. Robert's estates were confiscated and he and his followers were excommunicated by the Pope's legate at Carlisle.

Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth de Burgh from the Seton Armorial in the National Library of Scotland

In the spring of 1307 King Robert set sail for the island of Arran with 33 galleys and 300 men and then attacked his castle of Turnberry which was occupied by Lord Henry Percy. He then ravaged through the countryside, but an army from England arrived in Ayrshire and Robert retreated to the mountains in Carrick. His brothers Alexander and Thomas with 700 men were attacked by Duncan MacDowall and almost all killed. Thomas and Alexander were taken prisoner to Carlisle and executed. English reinforcements poured into Scotland and Robert was left with only 60 men, the others having deserted him thinking his cause hopeless. He however did have a victory against the men from Galloway. After joining forces with Sir James Douglas he was attacked by the Earl of Pembroke, John of Lorn, the English army and the savage Highlanders. Robert's party fled in all directions, but regathered at a predetermined rendezvous point and that night they surprized the English and forced the Earl of Pembroke back to Carlisle. King Robert then attacked Kyle, Carrick and Cunningham districts. Pembroke with 3,000 English reinforcements advanced to Ayrshire and met Robert and his 600 men at Loudon Hill 10 May 1307 and the English were totally defeated. Three days later Robert defeated Ralph Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester. These victories caused the Scots to rally to the King's standard from all parts of the country.

Statue of King Robert at Stirling Castle

King Edward gathered all of his forces together and advanced only six miles before he died at Burgh-upon-Sands on the border 7 July 1307. The new King Edward II marched to Cummock, Ayrshire and appointed Pembroke guardian of the Kingdom and hurried back to London. King Robert conquered Argyle and took Inverness, Forfar and Brechin and then wasted Buchan, the land of the Comyns before he stormed and deomolished Aberdeen castle and its English garrison. Sir James Douglas recaptured his castle of Douglas and took Selkirk, Douglasdale and Jedburgh. King Robert then defeated the Lord of Lorn at Brandir and took refuge in Dunstaffnage castle which was besieged and then surrendered.

In Feb. 1309 the clergy met at Dundee and declared Robert the Bruce king. Edward II found it necessary to agree to a truce which although short lived enabled Robert to consolidate his power. Upon expiration of the truce Robert advanced on Durham and destroyed everything. The same year Edward invaded Scotland and proceeded to Edinburgh but was forced to retreat to Berwick because of the approaching winter. After this the Scots regularly raided England. Edward sent the Earl of Cornwall with an army into Scotland, but he was defeated. The English garrison at Perth was soon afterwards stormed, the King himself being the first person who scaled the walls. Robert invaded England again in 1312 and burned the towns of Hexham and Corbrigg. He consented to a truce only on the payment of a huge sum by the people of Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland and Werstmorland. The castles of Linlithgow, Roxburgh, Edinburgh and nearly all other fortresses held by the English were recaptured by the Scots. Robert led an expedition against the Isle of Man and expelled the MacDowalls.

On his return in 1313 he learned that his brother Edward Bruce had laid seige to Stirling castle and agreed to a treaty with its occupant Sir Philip Mowbray who would surrender if he was not relieved by 24 June 1314. Although Robert was displeased by it he resolved to abide by the agreement. King Edward summoned all his forces to gather at Berwick 11 June 1314. King Robert chose his field at Bannockburn, four miles from Stirling where he dug trenches one foot wide and three feet deep with sharp stakes in them and covered with sod as traps for the 100,000 English troops. On 24 June 1314 Robert, his brother Edward, his nephew Randolf, Walter Stewart and James Douglas led their force of 60,000 into battle. The English were thrown into confusion (and into the pits) and when Robert's camp-followers appeared in formation upon Gilleshill with their sheets and blankets fastened to poles like military banners the English were so intimidated by this "new army" that they fled in all directions. Thirty thousand English were killed and so great was the psychological effect of the battle that according to the contemporary English historian Walsingham a hundred Englishmen would have fled before the face of two or three Scotsmen. The next day Stirling castle surrendered.

Depiction of the Battle of Bannockburn from the Holkham Bible- 1327-1335

Map of the Battle of Bannockburn- Day 1

Map of the Battle of Bannockburn- Day 2

Monument at Bannockburn

During the year the Scots raided England three times and then Robert and his brother Edward went over to Ireland and defeated the Anglo-Irish under the Baron of Clare. Robert returned home and Edward remained and was killed in the battle of Dundalk in 1318.

Edward II foiled in all his attempts against the Scots procured from Pope John XXII a bull commanding a truce for two years. The two cardinals sent on the mission had authority to excommunicate Robert if necessary. The cardinals once in England sent a messenger to Robert with letters addressed to "Robert Bruce, Governor of Scotland" to which Robert replied: "These epistles I may not open or read. Among my barons there are many of the name of Robert Bruce and some of them may have a share in the government of Scotland. These letters may possibly be intended for one of them, they cannot be for me, for I am King of Scotland!" The messenger replied that: "the Holy Church was not wont, during the dependence of a controversy, to say or do aught which might prejudice the claims of either contending party." The king replied: "Since then my spiritual father and my holy mother would not prejudice the cause of my adversary by bestowing on me the title of King during the dependence of the controversy, they ought not to have prejudiced my cause by withdrawing that tile from me. It seems that my parents are partial to their English son! Had you presumed to present letters with such an address to any other sovereign prince, you might perhaps have been answered more harshly, but I reverence you as the messenger of the Holy See." The messengers returned to England and the cardinals then sent a priest, Adam Newton to deliver the notice to Robert. Newton found the King camped with his army near Old Cambus preparing for the attack on Berwick which remained in English hands. On demanding to see the king he was oredered to give the letters to his steward, but the king seeing that the letters were addressed as before were returned and Robert said that "he would listen to no bulls until he was treated as king of Scotland and had made himself master of Berwick." The monk was refused a safe conduct home and was attacked by four outlaws who took all his belongings and left him to find his way as best he could.

Berwick was conquered by King Robert and in 1318 he invaded Northumberland and took several castles. Edward was determined to recover Berwick, but was unsuccessful in his attack of 24 July 1319. On 20 Sept. 1319 Douglas created a diversion by attacking the Archbishop of York and his army of monks at Mitton on the Swale. Because of this Edward was obliged to stop the seige of Berwick and tried to intercept the Scottish army on its way home but failed.

Robert was excommunicated by the Pope and the Estates 6 Apr. 1320 sent a manifesto to his Holiness which led the Pope to recommend to Edward peaceful measures but he would not listen and he invaded Scotland, but as Robert had laid waste the country to the Firth of Forth Edward's soldiers were in danger of starving so Edward had to retreat and in revenge his half starved soldiers burned the monasteries of Dryburgh and Melrose and killed the monks. Robert then invaded England and after beseiging Norham castle he defeated Edward at Biland Abbey, Yorkshire. A truce was then signed at Berwick 7 June 1323.

In 1327 on the accession of Edward III hostilities broke out again and again the English lost and again a treaty was signed 4 March 1328 at Northampton. In this treaty Scotland's independence, Robert's right to the throne and the marriage of Edward's sister Joanna to Robert's son David were acknowledged. Robert then retired to Cardross castle where he devoted his time to building ships, fishing, and hawking. It is also known that he kept a pet lion.

Before his death he was still troubled by the fact that he was still under the excommunication of the church and he commissioned Sir James Douglas to carry his heart to Palestine and bury it in the holy city. He died 7 June 1329 and his heart was embalmed and given to Douglas who was killed fighting against the Moors in Spain and the relic of Bruce and Douglas' body were returned home and buried in the Melrose monastery. The body of King Robert the Bruce was buried in the Abbey church of Dunfermline where in 1818 while rebuilding, his bones were discovered.

Dunfermline Abbey

The Medieval Nave- built in c.1150

Robert the Bruce's Grave at Dunfermline Abbey

Issue-first child by Isabella, next four by Elizabeth

14I. MARJORY- m. 1315 WALTER STEWART (b.1292, d.1326), d. 21 Mar. 1315/6 Paisley, Renfrewshire, bur. Paisley Abbey

II. David- b. 5 Mar. 1323/4 Dunfermline, m.1. 17 July 1328 Joanna, d. of Edward II (d. 14 Aug. 1362), 2. c.20 Feb. 1363/4 Margaret, d. of Sir Malcolm Drummond (m.1. Sir John Logie, d. after Jan. 1374/5), King of Scots, d.s.p. 22 Feb. 1370/1, bur. Holyrood.

III. Margaret- m. 1343 William de Moravia, Earl of Sutherland, d. 1358

IV. Matilda- m. Thomas Issac, d. 20 July 1353 Aberdeen, bur. Dunfermline Abbey

V. John- b. Oct. 1327, d.s.p., bur. Restennet Priory, Angus

VI. Elizabeth- m. before 1365 Sir Walter Oliphant of Aberdalgy

VII. Robert- d. 12 Aug. 1332 Battle of Dupplin. Robert was the Baron of Liddesdale

VIII. Nigel- killed at the battle of Durham 17 Oct. 1346

IX. Christian- of Carrick

X. Margaret- m. Robert Glenn, alive 29 Feb. 1363/4

XI. Walter- of Odistoun


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
Palgrave Documents
Foedera- Vol.II, p.938
The Scots Peerage- Vol.I, pp7-8
The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed- G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors- Vol. II, p. 360
Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy- Alison Weir, The Bodley Head, London, 1999, p. 209-10
Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen, ed., Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1908, Vol. II, pp.117-28