Good King Robert

G.W.S. Barrow

in Robert Bruce

Published by Edinburgh University Press

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

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter measures Bruce's success as a ruler by examining his relations with the clergy, nobility and the community of the realm of Scotland. In 1306-7 Bruce had the support of only a minority of the episcopate, though this included the bishops of the two biggest sees, Glasgow and St Andrews; however, he won over his opponents and ensured that all new appointments went to his supporters. With the nobility, too, Bruce won support gradually, apart from John Comyn of Buchan and the Macdougalls of Lorn. Bruce held at least ten parliaments in his reign and involved the community of the realm in his attempts to persuade the papacy of the justice of Scotland's case for independence, getting sections of Scottish society to issue letters to the papacy. Most famous of these is the Declaration of Arbroath, issued in the names of about fifty landholders and drafted by a learned cleric, perhaps Master Alexander Kinninmonth, who drew on Sallust for his statement that the Scots were fighting not for glory but for freedom.

Keywords: Robert Bruce; bishops; nobility; parliaments; community of the realm; Declaration of Arbroath; Master Alexander Kinninmonth; freedom

Chapter.  25459 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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