Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce was born in 1274 and was one of if not the most famous Scotsmen who ever lived. He was around at the same time as William Wallace but unlike Wallace Bruce had far more patience and cunning. He was one of the favoured choices for the vacant Scottish crown and he owned many lands and estates in England. His main rival was John Comyn and they arranged a meeting at a Greyfrairs Kirk in Dumfries. Although the exact events of what happened are not known the outcome was that Bruce murdered Comyn in the church. 

Although Bruce was defeated early after he became king in Battle of Methven he learned from his mistakes and used this knowledge to improve as a leader. With the death of William Wallace in 1298 the English had hoped that the patriotic spirit and indeed resistance within Scotland would end. It was Robert the Bruce who continued the fight against the English.

After a year of being in hiding Robert the Bruce won his first battle as a leader in 1307 on palm Sunday. It was not long before the whole of Scotland had rallied behind Robert the Bruce and the English were driven back. 

The Armies of Robert the Bruce and King Edward II met on 1314 at Bannockburn which lies just outside of Stirling. The Scottish army was heavily outnumbered by the English but Robert the Bruce’s tactics and the position of the Scottish army managed to give the Scottish army the advantage and subsequently the English army was defeated.

A second army was sent by Edward II but it too was defeated and the English were forced to give up on Scotland. Robert the Bruce’s success was so great that he was able to invade Ireland too and install his brother as king there.

In May 1328 a peace treaty was signed which recognised Scotland as an independent nation, this was signed between Scotland and England. With all his aims achieved Robert the Bruce died one year later, but he left Scotland a free and independent nation.

By 1311 Robert the Bruce had almost complete control of Scotland, the only place were an English garrison remained was in Stirling. He even invaded parts of northern England. Thus this lead to a major response from Edward II, he brought a large army north to attempt to put an end to the Scottish resistance.