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Uniting the Kingdoms? 1066-1603

 
   

England

Scotland Regained, 1297-1328

Edward I's conquest of Scotland quickly met with opposition. In 1297 William Wallace led a campaign that culminated in victory at Stirling Bridge on 11 September. Wallace then became Guardian of Scotland, viewing himself as Balliol's deputy, but was defeated by Edward I at Falkirk the following year.

 

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Profile portrait of Edward I

 

The Legend of William Wallace

Wallace was replaced as Guardian by Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, and John Comyn of Badenoch. He then appealed to the Pope and the King of France for support. Bruce joined the English in 1302, perhaps prompted by Wallace's (and Balliol's) increasing success; the Scottish Parliament submitted to Edward I in March 1304. Wallace was captured and executed by the English in August 1305.

By this date Edward I was describing Scotland as a landGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window rather than a realmGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window, suggesting his intention of placing it under direct English rule. Edward was also reluctant to grant English-held land to his Scottish supporters, which may have encouraged Bruce once more to change sides and claim the throne for himself. Bruce was crowned at Scone on 25 March, 1306, but military defeats quickly forced the collapse of his rule.

 

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Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce) and his wife Isobel

 

The Myth of Robert Bruce and the Spider

 

The Declaration of Arbroath

By 1308 Bruce had regained the initiative, however, and began to expel the English from southern Scotland. His position as king was strengthened by his brilliant victory at Bannockburn on 24 June 1314. His armies captured Berwick in April 1318 and a truce with England was made in December 1319.

Bruce's kingship and Scottish independence were finally recognized by the English in 1328. After his death his son David became king, with the Earls of Moray and Mar as regent. Conflict with England was renewed as Edward III promoted a rival claimant to the throne, Edward Balliol.

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Detail from Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce) and his wife Isobel, daughter of John, Earl of Mar. By kind permission of Sir Francis Ogilvy.
 
Detail from Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce) and his wife Isobel, daughter of John, Earl of Mar. By kind permission of Sir Francis Ogilvy.