Allegiance and Identity

Michael Brown

in The Wars of Scotland 1214–1371

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780748612376
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672301 | DOI:
Allegiance and Identity

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The status of Scotland and the identity and rights of its rulers were at the centre of the military and political struggles in the northern British Isles between the 1280s and 1350s. The end of the old royal dynasty led to rival claims to the kingship of the Scots, while successive kings of England sought to establish sovereign lordship. The — ultimately successful — opposition of Scottish kings and guardians to this external pressure resulted in a series of wars from 1296 to 1357. However, the struggle was never simply one of conquest and coup by these leaders. Through the various phases of the wars, any who sought to establish their title to Scotland needed to obtain the acceptance of their authority from the commune of Scotland, the political class of the kingdom. Though this group was dominated by fifty or so great magnates and prelates, it included a much wider body of men and women, laity and clergy, whose places and attitudes formed a network of relationships inside and outside the realm. Both practical power and legitimate authority rested in the recognition of the people of Scotland.

Keywords: Scotland; identity; Scottish history; Scottish kings; wars; commune; political class

Chapter.  11538 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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