Between the late 13th century and the early 14th century, was a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England , that was known as Wars of Scottish Independence .
The First War began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328.
The Second War began with the English-supported invasion by Edward Balliol and the "Disinherited" in 1332, and ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick
At the end of both wars, Scotland retained its status as an independent state
In the year 1286, king Alexander III of Scotland died , leaving his three year old granddaughter, Margaret as his heir, under what was known as a the Guardians of Scotland .The Guardians of Scotland were the heads of state of Scotland, during the First Interregnum of 1290–1292, and the Second Interregnum of 1296–1306 In 1290 the treaty of Birgam was signed. This treaty for Margaret was for betrothed to Edward of Caernarvon, son of Edward I of England, whom 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, when Margaret was travelling to her new kingdom,she died shortly after landing on the Orkney Islands . When this happened it left a situation where there were13 rivals for succession. The two leading competitors for the Scottish crown were Robert the Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale who was grandfather of the future King Robert the Bruce) and John Balliol, Lord of Galloway.
The guardians of Scotland , fearing that civil war would break out, wrote to king Edward 1st of England asking him to come north and arbitrate between the claimants in order to avoid such conflicts, which Edward agreed. Before the process got underway ,Edward insisted that he be recognised as Lord Paramount of Scotland. When they refused, he gave the claimants three weeks to agree to his terms, knowing that by then his armies would have arrived and the Scots would have no choice. Edward's ploy worked, and the claimants to the crown were forced to acknowledge Edward as their Lord Paramount and accept for the that present moment in time his arbitration
On the 11th June 1291, King Edward as the Lord Paramount of Scotland , ordered that every royal castle be placed 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. On the 7th July 1291 all Scots were also required to pay homage to Edward I, either in person or at one of the designated centres .
In Berwick, between May and August 1291,there were thirteen meetings where the claimants to the Scottish 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 John Balliol, Robert Bruce, Floris V, Count of Holland and John de Hastings of Abergavenny, 2nd Baron Hastings,.These were the only men who could prove direct descent from King David I.King Edward asked Balliol and Bruce to choose 40 arbiters each, while Edward chose 24, to decide the case.
John Balliol was named king by a majority on the 17th November 1292 and on 30 November he was crowned King of Scots at Scone Abbey. On the 26th December, at Newcastle upon 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, King Edward of England summoned John Balliol to appear before him, and then ordered that he had until the 1st September 1294 to provide Scottish troops and funds for his invasion of France.
On John' Balliol return to Scotland, there was a meeting held with his council which consisted of much heated discussions. Then plans were made to defy the orders of King Edward I . Emissaries were immediately dispatched to inform King Philip IV of France 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
In 1295 King Edward 1st, became aware of the secret Franco-Scottish negotiations. It was at this point that Robert the Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale (father of the future King Robert the Bruce) was appointed by king Edward as the governor of Carlisle Castle. Edward also ordered John Balliol to relinquish control of the castles and burghs of Berwick, Jedburgh and Roxburgh. King Edward began to preparehe began to strengthen his northern defences against a possible invasion. In response, King John Balliol summoned all able-bodied Scotsmen to bear arms and gather at Caddonlee. Several Scottish nobles chose to ignore the summons, including Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick,(Future king Robert King 1 Scotland) whose Carrick estates had been seized by John Balliol
The First War of Scottish Independence can be loosely divided into four phases
  • The English invasion and success in 1296
  • The campaigns led by William Wallace, Andrew de Moray and various Scottish Guardians from 1297 until John Comyn negotiated for the general Scottish submission in February 1304
  • The renewed campaigns led by Robert the Bruce following his killing of The Red Comyn in Dumfries in 1306 to his and the Scottish victory at Bannockburn in 1314;
  • The Scottish diplomatic initiatives and military campaigns in Scotland, Ireland and Northern England from 1314 until the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328.
King Edward 1st of England would always be remembered as the most ruthless foe of Scotland for his actions during the the First War of Scottish Independence. The Scots were defeated at Dunbar and the English took Dunbar Castle on 27 April 1296. John Baliol abdicated the Scottish Throne at Stracathro near Montrose . John was then imprisoned in the Tower of London until allowed to go to France in July 1299.
After the Battle of Stirling Bridge, in 1297, Andrew Moray and William Wallace assumed the title of Guardians of the Kingdom of Scotland on behalf of King John Balliol. However Moray later would die from Battle field wounds. By September 1298, William Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland in favour of Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick and future king, and John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, King John Balliol's nephew. In 1305 , William Wallace was captured and executed, leaving Scotland vulnerable again.
On the 10th February 1306, the two surviving claimants to the Scottish Throne, John Comyn and Robert the Bruce Quarrelled at a meeting , which resulted in Robert the Bruce killing John Comyn. This sparked another rebellion in Scotland. Comyn, it seems, had broken an agreement between the two men and informed King Edward of Robert the 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 Robert the Bruce to the English. Robert the Bruce then rallied the Scottish prelates and nobles behind him and had himself crowned King of Scots at SconeAbbet, less than five 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. Robert the Bruce later came out of hiding in 1307. The Scots thronged to him, and he defeated the English in a number of battles. . Edward 1st England died in 1307 and his son Edward of Caernarvon became King Edward II  . The English King's death contributed to Robert the Brucesuccess .Robert's forces were growing from strength to strength, In 1314 The Battle of Bannockburn was an especially important Scottish victory.The song, "Flower of Scotland which was written by Roy Murdoch Buchanan Williamson , is used frequently at special occasions and sporting events .The lyrics refer to the victory of the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce, over England's King Edward II  of England at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
After Robert the Bruce's victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert decided to expand his war against the English by sending an army under his younger brother Edward Bruce to invade Ireland in May 1315. Another reason for the expedition was that supporters of the exiled House of Balliol had fled to Ireland after fighting at Bannockburn and remained a dangerous threat. This military campaign lasted three years, however this campaign to revive the High Kingship effectively ended with Edward' Bruce's defeat and death in the Battle of Faughart in 1318.
In 1320, The Declaration of Arbroath which was a declaration of Scottish independence, was made. Two similar declarations were also sent by the clergy and Robert I. In 1327, King Edward II of England was deposed and then killed. The invasion of the North of England by Robert the Bruce, forced King Edward III of England to sign the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, on the 1st May 1328, which recognised the independence of Scotland with Robert the Bruce as King. To further seal the peace, Robert's son and heir David married the sister of Edward III.




For God And St. Andrew Robert The Bruce King Of Scots Planted His Standard Near This Spot When The Scottish Patriots Under His Command Vanquished The Army Of Edward II Of England At The Battle Of Bannockburn 24th June – 1314




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