Wars of Scottish Independence
Overview
 
The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 and the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

The First War
First War of Scottish Independence
The First War of Scottish Independence lasted from the invasion by England in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328...

 (1296–1328) began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296...

 in 1328. The Second War
Second War of Scottish Independence
The Second War of Scottish Independence was the second cluster of a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries....

 (1332–1357) began with the English-supported invasion of Edward Baliol and the "Disinherited" in 1332, and ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick
Treaty of Berwick (1357)
The Treaty of Berwick, signed at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Scotland, in 1357, officially ended the Second War of Scottish Independence. In this second phase of the Wars of Scottish Independence, which began in 1333, King Edward III of England attempted to install Edward Balliol on the Scottish throne, in...

.
Encyclopedia
The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 and the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

The First War
First War of Scottish Independence
The First War of Scottish Independence lasted from the invasion by England in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328...

 (1296–1328) began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296...

 in 1328. The Second War
Second War of Scottish Independence
The Second War of Scottish Independence was the second cluster of a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries....

 (1332–1357) began with the English-supported invasion of Edward Baliol and the "Disinherited" in 1332, and ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick
Treaty of Berwick (1357)
The Treaty of Berwick, signed at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Scotland, in 1357, officially ended the Second War of Scottish Independence. In this second phase of the Wars of Scottish Independence, which began in 1333, King Edward III of England attempted to install Edward Balliol on the Scottish throne, in...

. The wars were part of a great national crisis for Scotland and the period became one of the most defining moments in the nation's history. At the end of both wars, Scotland retained its status as an independent nation. The wars were important for other reasons, such as the emergence of the longbow
Longbow
A longbow is a type of bow that is tall ; this will allow its user a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw....

 as a key weapon in medieval warfare
Medieval warfare
Medieval warfare is the warfare of the Middle Ages. In Europe, technological, cultural, and social developments had forced a dramatic transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery...

.

Background

King Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 to his death.-Life:...

 died in 1286, leaving his 4-year-old granddaughter Margaret
Margaret, Maid of Norway
Margaret , usually known as the Maid of Norway , sometimes known as Margaret of Scotland , was a Norwegian princess who was Queen of Scots from 1286 until her death...

 (called "the Maid of Norway") as his heir. In 1290, the Guardians of Scotland signed the Treaty of Birgham
Treaty of Birgham
The Treaty of Birgham, also referred to as the Treaty of Salisbury, comprised two treaties intended to secure the independence of Scotland after Alexander III died without issue in 1286....

 agreeing to the marriage of the Maid of Norway and Edward of Caernarvon
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, the son of Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, who was Margaret's great-uncle. This marriage would not create a union between Scotland and England because the Scots insisted that the Treaty declare that Scotland was separate and divided from England and that its rights, laws, liberties and customs were wholly and inviolably preserved for all time.

However, Margaret, travelling to her new kingdom, died shortly after landing on the Orkney Islands
Orkney Islands
Orkney also known as the Orkney Islands , is an archipelago in northern Scotland, situated north of the coast of Caithness...

 around 26 September 1290. With her death, there were 13 rivals for succession. The two leading competitors for the Scottish crown were Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale
Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale
Robert V de Brus , 5th Lord of Annandale , was a feudal lord, Justice and Constable of Scotland and England, a Regent of Scotland, and a leading competitor for the Scottish throne in 1290/92 in the Great Cause...

 (grandfather of the future King Robert the Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

) and John Balliol, Lord of Galloway. Fearing civil war between the Bruce and Balliol families and supporters, the Guardians of Scotland wrote to Edward I of England, asking him to come north and arbitrate between the claimants in order to avoid civil war.

Edward agreed to meet the guardians at Norham
Norham
Norham is a village in Northumberland, England, just south of the River Tweed and the border with Scotland.It is the site of the 12th century Norham Castle, and was for many years the centre for the Norhamshire exclave of County Durham...

 in 1291. Before the process got underway Edward insisted that he be recognised as Lord Paramount of Scotland. During the meeting, Edward had his army standing by, thus forcing the Scots to accept his terms. He gave the claimants three weeks to agree to his terms. With no King, with no army ready, and King Edward's army at hand, the Scots had no choice. The claimants to the crown acknowledged Edward as their Lord Paramount and accepted his arbitration. Their decision was influenced in part by the fact that most of the claimants had large estates in England and, therefore, would have lost them if they had defied the English king. However, many involved were churchmen such as Bishop Wishart for whom such mitigation cannot be claimed.

On 11 June, acting as the Lord Paramount of Scotland, Edward I ordered that every Royal Scottish Castle be placed temporarily under his control and every Scottish official resign his office and be re-appointed by him. Two days later, in Upsettlington, the Guardians of the Realm and the leading Scottish nobles gathered to swear allegiance to King Edward I as Lord Paramount. All Scots were also required to pay homage to Edward I, either in person or at one of the designated centres by 27 July 1291.

There were thirteen meetings from May to August 1291 at Berwick
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

, where the claimants to the crown pleaded their cases before Edward, in what came to be known as the 'Great Cause.' The claims of most of the competitors were rejected, leaving Balliol, Bruce, Floris V, Count of Holland
Floris V, Count of Holland
Count Floris V of Holland and Zeeland , "der Keerlen God" , is one of the most important figures of the first, native dynasty of Holland . His life was documented in detail in the Rijmkroniek by Melis Stoke, his chronicler...

 and John de Hastings of Abergavenny, 2nd Baron Hastings, as the only men who could prove direct descent from David I
David I of Scotland
David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots...

.

On 3 August, Edward asked Balliol and Bruce to choose 40 arbiters each, while he chose 24, to decide the case. On 12 August, he signed a writ that required the collection of all documents that might concern the competitors' rights or his own title to the superiority of Scotland, which was accordingly executed. Balliol was named king by a majority on 17 November 1292 and on 30 November. He was crowned King of Scots at Scone Abbey
Scone Abbey
Scone Abbey was a house of Augustinian canons based at Scone, Perthshire , Scotland. Varying dates for the foundation have been given, but it was certainly founded between 1114 and 1122....

. On 26 December, at Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

, King John swore homage to Edward I for the Kingdom of Scotland. Edward soon made it clear that he regarded the country as a vassal state. Balliol, undermined by members of the Bruce faction, struggled to resist, and the Scots resented Edward's demands. In 1294, Edward summoned John Balliol to appear before him, and then ordered that he had until 1 September 1294 to provide Scottish troops and funds for his invasion of France.

On his return to Scotland, John held a meeting with his council and after a few days of heated debate, plans were made to defy the orders of Edward I. A few weeks later a Scottish parliament was hastily convened and 12 members of a war council (four Earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

s, Baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

s, and Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s, respectively) were selected to advise King John.

Emissaries were immediately dispatched to inform King Philip IV of France
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 of the intentions of the English. They also negotiated a treaty by which the Scots would invade England if the English invaded France, and in return the French would support the Scots. The treaty would be sealed by the arranged marriage of Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol was a claimant to the Scottish throne . With English help, he briefly ruled the country from 1332 to 1336.-Life:...

 (John's son) and Jeanne de Valois (Philip's niece). Another treaty with King Eric II of Norway was hammered out, in which for the sum of 50,000 groats he would supply 100 ships for four months of the year, so long as hostilities between France and England continued. Although Norway never acted, the Franco-Scottish alliance, later known as the Auld Alliance
Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance was an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that...

, was renewed frequently until 1560.

It was not until 1295 that Edward I became aware of the secret Franco-Scottish negotiations. In early October, he began to strengthen his northern defences against a possible invasion. It was at this point that Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale (father of the future King Robert the Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

) was appointed by Edward as the governor of Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle is situated in Carlisle, in the English county of Cumbria, near the ruins of Hadrian's Wall. The castle is over 900 years old and has been the scene of many historical episodes in British history. Given the proximity of Carlisle to the border between England and Scotland, it...

. Edward also ordered John Balliol to relinquish control of the castles and burghs of Berwick
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

, Jedburgh
Jedburgh
Jedburgh is a town and former royal burgh in the Scottish Borders and historically in Roxburghshire.-Location:Jedburgh lies on the Jed Water, a tributary of the River Teviot, it is only ten miles from the border with England and is dominated by the substantial ruins of Jedburgh Abbey...

 and Roxburgh
Roxburgh
Roxburgh , also known as Rosbroch, is a village, civil parish and now-destroyed royal burgh. It was an important trading burgh in High Medieval to early modern Scotland...

. In December, more than 200 of Edward's tenants in Newcastle were summoned to form a militia by March 1296 and in February, a fleet sailed north to meet with his land forces in Newcastle.

The movement of English forces along the Anglo-Scottish border did not go unnoticed. In response, King John Balliol summoned all able-bodied Scotsmen to bear arms and gather at Caddonlee
Caddonlee
Caddonlee is a farm in the village of Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, by the Caddon Water, near Caddonfoot where Caddon Water meets the Tweed . The nearest town is Galashiels. On the farm are traces of an Iron Age hill fort....

 by 11 March. Several Scottish nobles chose to ignore the summons, including Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

, whose Carrick estates had been seized by John Balliol and reassigned to John 'The Red' Comyn. Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

 had become Earl of Carrick at the resignation of his father earlier that year.

Beginning of the war: 1296–1306

The First War of Scottish Independence can be loosely divided into four phases: the initial English invasion and success in 1296; the campaigns led by William Wallace
William Wallace
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

, Andrew de Moray and various Scottish Guardians from 1297 until John Comyn
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Lord of Lochaber or John "the Red", also known simply as the Red Comyn was a Scottish nobleman who was an important figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and was Guardian of Scotland during the Second Interregnum 1296-1306...

 negotiated for the general Scottish submission in February 1304; the renewed campaigns led by Robert the Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

 following his killing of The Red Comyn in Dumfries
Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...

 in 1306 to his and the Scottish victory at Bannockburn
Battle of Bannockburn
The Battle of Bannockburn was a significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence...

 in 1314; and a final phase of Scottish diplomatic initiatives and military campaigns in Scotland, Ireland and Northern England from 1314 until the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296...

 in 1328.

The war began in earnest with Edward I's sack of Berwick in March 1296, followed by the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Dunbar
Battle of Dunbar (1296)
The Battle of Dunbar was the only significant field action in the campaign of 1296. King Edward I of England had invaded Scotland in 1296 to punish King John Balliol for his refusal to support English military action in France.-Background:...

 and the abdication of John Balliol in July. The English invasion campaign had subdued most of the country by August and, after removing the Stone of Destiny
Stone of Scone
The Stone of Scone , also known as the Stone of Destiny and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone, is an oblong block of red sandstone, used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland and later the monarchs of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom...

 from Scone Abbey and transporting it to Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, Edward convened a parliament at Berwick, where the Scottish nobles paid homage to him as King of England. Scotland had been all but conquered.

The revolts which broke out in early 1297, led by William Wallace
William Wallace
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

, Andrew de Moray and other Scottish nobles, forced Edward to send more forces to deal with the Scots, and although they managed to force the nobles to capitulate at Irvine
Irvine, North Ayrshire
Irvine is a new town on the coast of the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire, Scotland. According to 2007 population estimates, the town is home to 39,527 inhabitants, making it the biggest settlement in North Ayrshire....

, Wallace and de Moray's continuing campaigns eventually led to the first key Scottish victory, at Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth.-The main...

. Moray was fatally wounded in the fighting at Stirling, and died soon after the battle. This was followed by Scottish raids into northern England and the appointment of Wallace as Guardian of Scotland
Guardian of Scotland
The Guardians of Scotland were the de facto heads of state of Scotland during the First Interregnum of 1290–1292, and the Second Interregnum of 1296–1306...

 in March 1298. But in July, Edward invaded again, intending to crush Wallace and his followers, and defeated the Scots at Falkirk
Battle of Falkirk (1298)
The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on 22 July 1298, was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence...

. Edward failed to subdue Scotland completely before returning to England.

There have been, however, several stories regarding Wallace and what he did after the Battle of Falkirk. It is said by some sources that Wallace travelled to France and fought for the French King against the English during their own ongoing war while Bishop Lamberton of St Andrews, who gave much support to the Scottish cause, went and spoke to the pope.

Wallace was succeeded by Robert Bruce and John Comyn as joint guardians, with William de Lamberton
William de Lamberton
William de Lamberton, sometimes modernized as William Lamberton, was Bishop of St Andrews from 1297 until his death. Lamberton is renowned for his influential role during the Scottish Wars of Independence. He campaigned for the national cause under William Wallace and later Robert the Bruce...

, Bishop of St Andrews being appointed in 1299 as a third, neutral Guardian to try and maintain order between them. During that year, diplomatic pressure from France and Rome persuaded Edward to release the imprisoned King John into the custody of the pope, and Wallace was sent to France to seek the aid of Philip IV; he possibly also travelled to Rome.

Further campaigns by Edward in 1300 and 1301 led to a truce between the Scots and the English in 1302. After another campaign in 1303/1304, Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep...

, the last major Scottish held stronghold, fell to the English, and in February 1304, negotiations led to most of the remaining nobles paying homage to Edward and to the Scots all but surrendering. At this point, Robert Bruce and William Lamberton may have made a secret bond of alliance, aiming to place Bruce on the Scottish throne and continue the struggle. However, Lamberton came from a family associated with the Balliol-Comyn faction and his ultimate allegiances are unknown.

After the capture and execution of Wallace in 1305, Scotland seemed to have been finally conquered and the revolt calmed for a period.

King Robert the Bruce: 1306–1328

On 10 February 1306, during a meeting between Bruce and Comyn, the two surviving claimants for the Scottish throne, Bruce quarrelled with and killed John Comyn at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries
Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...

. At this moment the rebellion was sparked again.

Comyn, it seems, had broken an agreement between the two, and informed King Edward of Bruce's plans to be king. The agreement was that one of the two claimants would renounce his claim on the throne of Scotland, but receive lands from the other and support his claim. Comyn appears to have thought to get both the lands and the throne by betraying Bruce to the English. A messenger carrying documents from Comyn to Edward was captured by Bruce and his party, plainly implicating Comyn. Bruce then rallied the Scottish prelate
Prelate
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.-Related...

s and nobles behind him and had himself crowned King of Scots at Scone
Scone, Scotland
Scone is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The medieval village of Scone, which grew up around the monastery and royal residence, was abandoned in the early 19th century when the residents were removed and a new palace was built on the site by the Earl of Mansfield...

 less than seven weeks after the killing in Dumfries. He then began a new campaign to free his kingdom. After being defeated in battle he was driven from the Scottish mainland as an outlaw. Bruce later came out of hiding in 1307. The Scots thronged to him, and he defeated the English in a number of battles. His forces continued to grow in strength, encouraged in part by the death of Edward I in July 1307. The Battle of Bannockburn
Battle of Bannockburn
The Battle of Bannockburn was a significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence...

 in 1314 was an especially important Scottish victory.

In 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath
Declaration of Arbroath
The Declaration of Arbroath is a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320. It is in the form of a letter submitted to Pope John XXII, dated 6 April 1320, intended to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state and defending Scotland's right to use military action when...

 was sent by a group of Scottish nobles to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 affirming Scottish independence from England. Two similar declarations were also sent by the clergy and Robert I. In 1327, Edward II of England
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

 was deposed and killed. The invasion of the North of England by Robert the Bruce forced Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 to sign the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296...

 on 1 May 1328, which recognised the independence of Scotland with Bruce as King. To further seal the peace, Robert's son and heir David
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 married the sister of Edward III.

The Second War of Independence: 1332–1357

After Robert the Bruce's death, King David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 was too young to rule, so the guardianship was assumed by Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray. But Edward III, despite having given his name to the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, was determined to avenge the humiliation by the Scots and he could count on the assistance of Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol was a claimant to the Scottish throne . With English help, he briefly ruled the country from 1332 to 1336.-Life:...

, the son of John Balliol and a claimant to the Scottish throne.

Edward III also had the support of a group of Scottish nobles, led by Balliol and Henry Beaumont, known as the 'Disinherited.' This group of nobles had supported the English in the First War and, after Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce had given them a year to return to his peace. When they refused he deprived them of their titles and lands, granting them to his allies. When peace was concluded, they received no war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

. These 'Disinherited' were hungry for their old lands and would prove to be the undoing of the peace.

The Earl of Moray died on 20 July 1332. The Scots nobility gathered at Perth where they elected Domhnall II, Earl of Mar
Domhnall II, Earl of Mar
Domhnall II of Mar was Regent of Scotland for just over a week during the minority of David II....

 as the new Guardian. Meanwhile a small band led by Balliol had set sail from the Humber
Humber
The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

. Consisting of the disinherited noblemen and mercenaries, they were probably no more than a few hundred men strong.

Edward III was still formally at peace with David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 and his dealings with Balliol were therefore deliberately obscured. He of course knew what was happening and Balliol probably did homage in secret before leaving, but Balliol's desperate scheme must have seemed doomed to failure. Edward therefore refused to allow Balliol to invade Scotland from across the River Tweed
River Tweed
The River Tweed, or Tweed Water, is long and flows primarily through the Borders region of Great Britain. It rises on Tweedsmuir at Tweed's Well near where the Clyde, draining northwest, and the Annan draining south also rise. "Annan, Tweed and Clyde rise oot the ae hillside" as the Border saying...

. This would have been too open a breach of the treaty. He agreed to turn a blind eye
Turn a blind eye
The idiom turning a blind eye is used to describe the process of ignoring unpopular orders or inconvenient facts or activities.The phrase to turn a blind eye is attributed to an incident in the life of Admiral Horatio Nelson....

 to an invasion by sea, but made it clear that he would disavow them and confiscate all their English lands should Balliol and his friends fail.

The 'Disinherited' landed at Kinghorn
Kinghorn
Kinghorn is a town in Fife, Scotland. A seaside resort with two beaches, Kinghorn Beach and Pettycur Bay, plus a fishing port, it stands on the north shore of the Firth of Forth opposite Edinburgh...

 in Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

 on 6 August. The news of their advance had preceded them, and, as they marched towards Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

, they found their route barred by a large Scottish army, mostly of infantry, under the new Guardian.

At the Battle of Dupplin Moor
Battle of Dupplin Moor
The Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of the infant David II, the son of Robert the Bruce, and rebels supporting the Balliol claim in 1332. It was a significant battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence.-Background:...

, Balliol's army, commanded by Henry Beaumont, defeated the larger Scottish force. Beaumont made use of the same tactics that the English would make famous during the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

, with dismounted knights in the centre and archers on the flanks. Caught in the murderous rain of arrows, most of the Scots didn't reach the enemy's line. When the slaughter was finally over, the Earl of Mar, Sir Robert Bruce (an illegitimate son of Robert the Bruce), many nobles and around 2,000 Scots had been slain. Edward Balliol then had himself crowned King of Scots, first at Perth, and then again in September at Scone Abbey. Balliol's success surprised Edward III, and fearing that Balliol's invasion would eventually fail leading to a Scots invasion of England, he moved north with his army.

In October, Sir Archibald Douglas, now Guardian of Scotland, made a truce with Balliol, supposedly to let the Scottish Parliament
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 assemble and decide who their true king was. Emboldened by the truce, Balliol dismissed most of his English troops and moved to Annan
Annan, Dumfries and Galloway
The royal burgh of Annan is a well-built town, red sandstone being the material mainly used. Each year in July, Annan celebrates the Royal Charter and the boundaries of the Royal Burgh are confirmed when a mounted cavalcade undertakes the Riding of the Marches. Entertainment includes a...

, on the north shore of the Solway Firth
Solway Firth
The Solway Firth is a firth that forms part of the border between England and Scotland, between Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway. It stretches from St Bees Head, just south of Whitehaven in Cumbria, to the Mull of Galloway, on the western end of Dumfries and Galloway. The Isle of Man is also very...

. He issued two public letters, saying that with the help of England he had reclaimed his kingdom, and acknowledged that Scotland had always been a fief
Fiefdom
A fee was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable lands granted under one of several varieties of feudal tenure by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the...

 of England. He also promised land for Edward III on the border, including Berwick-on-Tweed, and that he would serve Edward for the rest of his life. But in December, Douglas attacked Balliol at Annan in the early hours of the morning. Most of Balliol's men were killed, though he himself managed to escape through a hole in the wall, and fled, naked and on horse, to Carlisle.

In April 1333, Edward III and Balliol, with a large English army, laid siege to Berwick. Archibald Douglas attempted to relieve the town in July, but was defeated and killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill
Battle of Halidon Hill
The Battle of Halidon Hill was fought during the Second War of Scottish Independence. Scottish forces under Sir Archibald Douglas were heavily defeated on unfavourable terrain while trying to relieve Berwick-upon-Tweed.-The Disinherited:...

. David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 and his Queen were moved to the safety of Dumbarton Castle
Dumbarton Castle
Dumbarton Castle has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Great Britain. It overlooks the Scottish town of Dumbarton, and sits on a plug of volcanic basalt known as Dumbarton Rock which is high.-Iron Age:...

, while Berwick surrendered and was annexed by Edward. By now, much of Scotland was under English occupation, with eight of the Scottish lowland
Scottish Lowlands
The Scottish Lowlands is a name given to the Southern half of Scotland.The area is called a' Ghalldachd in Scottish Gaelic, and the Lawlands ....

 counties being ceded to England by Edward Balliol.

At the beginning of 1334, Philip VI of France
Philip VI of France
Philip VI , known as the Fortunate and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328...

 offered to bring David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 and his court to France for asylum, and in May they arrived in France, setting up a court-in-exile at Château Gaillard in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. Philip also decided to derail the Anglo-French peace negotiations then taking place (at the time England and France were engaged in disputes that would lead to the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

), declaring to Edward III that any treaty between France and England must include the exiled King of Scots.

In David's absence, a series of Guardians kept up the struggle. In November, Edward III invaded again, but he accomplished little and retreated in February 1335 due primarily to his failure to bring the Scots to battle. He and Edward Balliol returned again in July with an army of 13,000, and advanced through Scotland, first to Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and then to Perth, where Edward III installed himself while his army looted and destroyed the surrounding countryside. At this time, the Scots followed a plan of avoiding pitched battles, depending instead on minor actions of heavy cavalry – the normal practice of the day. Some Scottish leaders, including the Earl of Atholl, who had returned to Scotland with Edward Balliol in 1332 and 1333, defected to the Bruce party.

Following Edward's return to England, the remaining leaders of the Scots resistance chose Sir Andrew Murray as Guardian. He soon negotiated a truce with Edward until April 1336, during which, various French and Papal emissaries attempted to negotiate a peace between the two countries. In January, the Scots drew up a draft treaty agreeing to recognise the elderly and childless Edward Balliol as King, so long as David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 would be his heir and David would leave France to live in England. However, David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 rejected the peace proposal and any further truces. In May, an English army under Henry of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, KG , also Earl of Derby, was a member of the English nobility in the 14th century, and a prominent English diplomat, politician, and soldier...

 invaded, followed in July by another army under King Edward. Together, they ravaged much of the north-east and sacked Elgin
Elgin, Moray
Elgin is a former cathedral city and Royal Burgh in Moray, Scotland. It is the administrative and commercial centre for Moray. The town originated to the south of the River Lossie on the higher ground above the flood plain. Elgin is first documented in the Cartulary of Moray in 1190...

 and Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, while a third army ravaged the south-west and the Clyde
River Clyde
The River Clyde is a major river in Scotland. It is the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland. Flowing through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire....

 valley. Prompted by this invasion, Philip VI of France
Philip VI of France
Philip VI , known as the Fortunate and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328...

 announced that he intended to aid the Scots by every means in his power, and that he had a large fleet and army preparing to invade both England and Scotland. Edward soon returned to England, while the Scots, under Murray, captured and destroyed English strongholds and ravaged the countryside, making it uninhabitable for the English.

Although Edward III invaded again, he was becoming more anxious over the possible French invasion, and by late 1336, the Scots had regained control over virtually all of Scotland and by 1338 the tide had turned. While "Black Agnes," Countess-consort Dunbar and March
Agnes Dunbar
Agnes Randolph, Countess of Dunbar and March , known as Black Agnes for her dark hair and eyes, and sallow complexion, was the wife of Patrick, 9th Earl of Dunbar and March...

, continued to resist the English laying siege to Dunbar Castle, hurling defiance and abuse from the walls, Scotland received some breathing space when Edward III claimed the French throne and took his army to Flanders, beginning the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

 with France.

In the late autumn of 1335, Strathbogie, dispossessed Earl of Atholl, and Edward III set out to destroy Scottish resistance by dispossessing and killing the Scottish freeholders. Following this, Strathbogie moved to lay siege to Kildrummy Castle, held by Lady Christian Bruce, sister of the late King Robert and wife of the Guardian, Andrew de Moray. Her husband moved his small army quickly to her relief although outnumbered by some five to one. However, many of Strathbogie's men had been impressed and had no loyalty to the English or the usurper, Balliol. Pinned by a flank attack while making a downhill charge, Strathbogie's army broke and Strathbogie refused to surrender and was killed. The Battle of Culblean was the effective end of Balliol's attempt to overthrow the King of Scots.

So, in just nine years, the kingdom so hard won by Robert the Bruce had been shattered and had recovered. Many of her experienced nobles were dead and the economy which had barely begun to recover from the earlier wars was once again in tatters. It was to an impoverished country in need of peace and good government that David II
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 was finally able to return in June 1341.

When David returned, he was determined to live up to the memory of his illustrious father. He ignored truces with England and was determined to stand by his ally Philip VI
Philip VI of France
Philip VI , known as the Fortunate and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328...

 during the early years of the Hundred Years' War. In 1341 he led a raid into England, forcing Edward III to lead an army north to reinforce the border. In 1346, after more Scottish raids, Philip VI
Philip VI of France
Philip VI , known as the Fortunate and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328...

 appealed for a counter invasion of England in order to relieve the English stranglehold on Calais. David gladly accepted and personally led a Scots army southwards with intention of capturing Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. In reply, an English army moved northwards from Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 to confront the Scots. On 14 October, at the Battle of Neville's Cross
Battle of Neville's Cross
The Battle of Neville's Cross took place to the west of Durham, England on 17 October 1346.-Background:In 1346, England was embroiled in the Hundred Years' War with France. In order to divert his enemy Philip VI of France appealed to David II of Scotland to attack the English from the north in...

, the Scots were defeated. They suffered heavy casualties and David was wounded in the face by two arrows before being captured. He was sufficiently strong however to knock out two teeth from the mouth of his captor. After a period of convalescence, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, where he was held prisoner for eleven years, during which time Scotland was ruled by his nephew, Robert Stewart, 7th High Steward
Robert II of Scotland
Robert II became King of Scots in 1371 as the first monarch of the House of Stewart. He was the son of Walter Stewart, hereditary High Steward of Scotland and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I and of his first wife Isabella of Mar...

. Edward Balliol returned to Scotland soon afterwards with a small force, in a final attempt to recover Scotland. He only succeeded in gaining control of some of Galloway
Galloway
Galloway is an area in southwestern Scotland. It usually refers to the former counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire...

, with his power diminishing there until 1355. He finally resigned his claim to the Scottish throne in January 1356 and died childless in 1364.

Finally, on 3 October 1357, David
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 was released under the Treaty of Berwick, under which the Scots agreed to pay an enormous ransom of 100,000 merk
Merk
A merk was a Scottish silver coin. Originally the same word as a mark of silver, the merk was in circulation at the end of the 16th century and in the 17th century. It was originally valued at 13s 4d , later raised to 14s Scots...

s for him (1 merk was ⅔ of an English pound) payable in 10 years. Heavy taxation was needed to provide funds for the ransom, which was to be paid in instalments, and David alienated his subjects by using the money for his own purposes. The country was in a sorry state then; she had been ravaged by war and also the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

. The first instalment of the ransom was paid punctually. The second was late and after that no more could be paid for.

In 1363, David
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 went to London and agreed that should he die childless, the crown would pass to Edward (his brother-in-law) or one of his sons, with the Stone of Destiny being returned for their coronation as King of Scots, however this seems to have been no more than a rather dishonest attempt to re-negotiate the ransom since David knew perfectly well that Parliament would reject such an arrangement out of hand. The Scots did reject this arrangement, offered to continue paying the ransom (now increased to 100,000 pounds). A 25-year truce was agreed and in 1369, the treaty of 1365 was cancelled and a new one set up to the Scots benefit, due to the influence of the war with France. The new terms saw the 44,000 merks already paid deducted from the original 100,000 with the balance due in instalments of 4,000 for the next 14 years.

When Edward died in 1377, there were still 24,000 merks owed which were never paid. David
David II of Scotland
David II was King of Scots from 7 June 1329 until his death.-Early life:...

 himself had lost his popularity and the respect of his nobles when he married the widow of a minor laird
Laird
A Laird is a member of the gentry and is a heritable title in Scotland. In the non-peerage table of precedence, a Laird ranks below a Baron and above an Esquire.-Etymology:...

 after the death of his English wife. He himself died in February 1371.

By the end of the campaign, Scotland was independent and remained thus, until the unification of the English and Scottish crowns in 1603, when the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, already in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 since 1542, was inherited by James VI
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, King of Scots. The formal unification of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 to create the single Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 was completed in the Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the united kingdom of Great Britain, the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which took effect on 1 May 1707...

 of 1707.

See also

  • First War of Scottish Independence
    First War of Scottish Independence
    The First War of Scottish Independence lasted from the invasion by England in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328...

  • Second War of Scottish Independence
    Second War of Scottish Independence
    The Second War of Scottish Independence was the second cluster of a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries....

  • Anglo-Scottish Wars
    Anglo-Scottish Wars
    The Anglo-Scottish Wars were a series of wars fought between England and Scotland during the sixteenth century.After the Wars of Scottish Independence, England and Scotland had fought several times during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In most cases, one country had attempted to...


External links

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