Biography of Robert Bruce (1210-1295)

Scottish nobleman of Norman origin, pretender to the throne of Scotland after the death (1285) of Alejandro III. He/She was born in 1210 and died in 1295. The Bruce, from its Norman origins, had related to Scottish royalty after the marriage of Robert Bruce the elder, Lord of Annadale, with one of the daughters of Guillermo I the lion, Scottish King between 1165 and 1214. Your ascendant in the positions of power of the Court had been increasing to the point that, upon the death of Alejandro in 1285, based on existing kinship, Robert Bruce, nicknamed the nobleman, Lord of Annandale in Scotland and Earl of Cleveland in England, presented his candidacy to the throne as a grandson of Guillermo lion time this when a major crisis shook the Scottish Kingdom.

See family Bruce.

"Lady of Norway" and the Scottish crisis (1286-1289)

Little news of the childhood and youth of Robert Bruce Noble, is known but he/she is assumed, as a member of the noble estate, dedicated to the knightly education. Its role in the history of Scotland ensues from the succession crisis after the death of Alejandro III, March 18, 1285. The sole direct heir of the deceased monarch was the fruit of the marriage between his daughter, Margaret, and Erik, King of Norway. The girl, also called Margaret, was known in his time as "the Lady of Norway", to which a Council of Scottish notables gathered at Scone at the end of April 1286, heir to the throne said. In the Council, wore the singer voice baron John Comyn, decisive character at the time, which was also which decided that the Council conform as the Regency body.

Robert Bruce, in anticipation of possible riots, began to form alliances with various clans of the Highlands, especially the MacGregor, with whom it was related, and gather an important army concentrated at the castle of Turnberry, head of its domains. In principle, the tutoring of a Council on the "Lady of Norway" was implicit a confrontation between two totally different lifestyles: the secular Scottish, defended by Robert Bruce, and the new organization of Norman Court, defended by the other pretender to the throne, John Balleuil (or Balliol,), with the surname britanizado Earl of Galloway and that, despite also descend from Guillermo lion, based its ascendancy in the Affairs of the power being brother-in-law of the strong man of the time, the baron John Comyn. Between 1286 and 1289 the Bruce and the Balleuil clashed in various skirmishes, with the result that two of the members of the Council were killed. Before the turn of the events, was the own Robert Bruce who requested the intervention of the English monarch, Eduardo I, as an arbitrator in the dispute.

The Brigham (1290) Treaty and the brief Scottish civil war (1291-1295)

Eduardo I, one of the most astute medieval monarchs of his time, saw a unique opportunity to concretise the secular English yearning for union of both Crowns in the crisis of their neighbors to the North. Therefore, and after winning the approval of the Holy see by papal Apostolic Decree, got that Regency of Scotland Council approve, through the signing of the Treaty of Brigham (March 1290), marriage by proxy between Margaret, the "Lady of Norway", and his namesake son. But, after the death of the princesa-nina in the Orkney Islands, Robert Bruce returned to take up arms against Norman rule, even to present a strong contingent of troops in Norham, apart from the River Tweed, as an argument so that Eduardo I recognize their rights to the throne. But the reaction of the Council of Regency, still the law following the death of Margaret, forced Robert Bruce to go back and accept that it was Eduardo I who decided on the keeper of the Crown. Supposedly, again the influence of baron John Comyn was decisive for Eduardo I, by means of an Arbitral Award, declares, in November 1492, to John Balleuil as new Scottish monarch. As you want to, immediately, Balleuil vowed to vasallatica allegiance to the English King, this recognition of the English superiority over Scottish Affairs lit a new fuse for the civil war.

From their domains of Turnberry, Robert Bruce addressed a singular harassment to the Balleuil and, especially, to the British troops who, under the direction of John Comyn, on their way to destinations in Scotland. However, in 1294, the refusal of Balleuil to meet the auxilium et consilium which obliged him his oath of feudal, refusing to send England Scottish troops who socorriesen in their conflict with France, reopened the possibility of Robert Bruce an understanding with Eduardo I, since Balleuil, defeated Dumbar and Berwick, fled from Scotland. In fact, after this flight, Robert Bruce was configured as the new strong man of the Kingdom, although it did not have too much time to enjoy such status, since the following year, in 1295, he/she died for still unknown reasons, as some years earlier had also occurred with his son, also named Robert Bruce. The ruminations speculate from death on the battlefield against some task forces still loyal to Balleuil, but, especially, to some insidious action of John Comyn, his most bitter enemy. Robert Bruce Noble would not see how his grandson, Robert I Bruce, son of his namesake son, managed to achieve what he/she had longed in vain during his life: crowned King of Scotland.


MITCHINSON, r.: A History of Scotland. (London-New York: Methuen, 1980).

MORGAN, K. O.: The Oxford History of England. (Oxford: University Press: 1988).

Links on the Internet; Official website of the Government of Scotland about various subjects in the history of the country.