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Alan Findlater

Fishcross, Alloa, Scotland, United Kingdom

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In August 1296 Bruce and his father swore fealty to Edward I of England at Berwick-upon-Tweed, but in breach of this oath, which had been renewed at Carlisle, the younger Robert joined in the Scottish revolt against King Edward in the following year. Urgent letters were sent ordering Bruce to support Edward’s commander, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, (to whom Bruce was related), in the summer of 1297; but instead of complying, Bruce laid waste the lands of those who adhered to Edward. On 7 July, Bruce and his friends were forced to make terms by a treaty called the Capitulation of Irvine. The Scottish Lords were not to serve beyond the sea against their will, and were pardoned for their recent violence, in return for swearing allegiance to King Edward. The Bishop of Glasgow, James the Steward, and Sir Alexander Lindsay became sureties for Bruce until he delivered his infant daughter Marjorie as a hostage.

Shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Bruce defected to the Scots; Annandale was wasted and he burned the English-held castle of Ayr. Yet, when King Edward returned to England after his victory at the Battle of Falkirk, Annandale and Carrick were excepted from the Lordships and lands which he assigned to his followers; Bruce was being treated as a waverer whose allegiance might still be retained.

Robert The Bruce at the entrance to Edinburgh CastleAfter William Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland after the Battle of Falkirk, he was succeeded by Robert Bruce and John Comyn as joint Guardians, but they could not see past their personal differences. As a nephew and supporter of John Balliol, and as someone with his own 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 and maintain order between Bruce and Comyn. The following year Bruce finally resigned as joint Guardian and was replaced by Sir Gilbert, 1st Lord de Umfraville (d. before 13 October 1307), Earl of Angus (in right of his mother, Maud, Countess of Angus).

In May 1301, de Umfraville, Comyn and Lamberton also resigned as joint Guardians and were replaced by Sir John de Soules as sole Guardian. Soules was appointed largely because he was part of neither the Bruce nor the Comyn camps and was a patriot. He was an active Guardian, and made renewed efforts to have King John returned to the Scottish throne.

In July, King Edward I launched his sixth campaign into Scotland. Though King Edward captured Bothwell and Turnberry Castle, 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 King Edward, along with other nobles, even though he had been on the side of the patriots until now.

There were rumours that Balliol would return to regain the Scottish throne. Soules, who had probably been appointed by King John, supported his return, as did most other nobles, but the return of John as King would lead to the Bruces losing any chance of ever gaining the throne themselves.

Artwork Comments

  • Carrie Jackson
  • Alan Findlater
  • Jennifer  Tate
  • Alan Findlater
  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
  • Alan Findlater
  • tjmimagery
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  • Sean Farragher
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  • Gilberte
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  • LeviMoore
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  • thomas smith
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  • Andrew S
  • Alan Findlater
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