Robert Bruce

G W S Barrow

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780748620227
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672189 | DOI:
Robert Bruce

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The death of the Scottish king Alexander III on 18 March 1286 plunged his kingdom into uncertainty, as the Scots faced first the prospect of a small child as queen and then, on her death, competing claims to the throne by distant heirs, descendants of the twelfth-century king David I. Faced with these difficulties, the earls, barons and ecclesiastical leaders of Scotland chose a group of representatives, the ‘Guardians’, to govern the country and act on behalf of the community of the realm. The succession dispute was exploited by Edward I of England, keen to exercise overlordship over the Scots. Resistance by the community of the realm and the Guardians led to war, in which William Wallace played a notable role 1297-1305. This book, which is based on a critical re-evaluation of the surviving evidence, tells the story of how the Scots responded to Edward's attempts at conquest and how, beginning with his daring coronation in 1306, Robert Bruce claimed the throne, fended off attempts by Edward I to capture him, defeated his enemies in Scotland, won over supporters and established his position, defeating Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314. The political role of the Scottish aristocracy in Scotland's wars of independence, relations between ‘Celtic’ and ‘Anglo-Norman’, highland and lowland Scotland are key themes in this book; so too is the significant part played by Scottish church leaders in government and also in drafting the documents setting out Scotland's case to an international audience.

Keywords: Robert Bruce; Community of the realm of Scotland; Guardians; William Wallace; Edward I; War; Independence

Book.  560 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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