Who was Robert the Bruce? Who did he murder?

A statue of Robert the Bruce outside Bannockburn Heritage Centre in Stirling, Scotland
A statue of Robert the Bruce outside Bannockburn Heritage Centre in Stirling, Scotland credit: Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo

Robert I of Scotland murdered his rival, attacked English occupiers and eventually negotiated peace talks. He ruled from 1306 to 1329

Born in Ayr in 1274, Robert the Bruce was on the side of King Edward I when the English attempted to undermine John Balliol, the King of Scotland, in the mid-1290s. 

The balance of power shifted in 1298 when William Wallace gave up the guardianship of Scotland and Robert shared the role with John Comyn. They battled together during the early years of the First War of Scottish Independence, yet, in 1306, Robert murdered his rival and laid claim to the throne alone. 

Robert, a fearsome warrior, attacked English occupiers under the weaker rule of King Edward II. The Battle of Bannockburn near Stirling in 1314 proved decisive and, a decade later, the Pope recognised his claim to the monarchy of an independent Scotland. 

When King Edward III took the English throne in 1327, peace talks between the two nations culminated in the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton just two years prior to Robert’s death. 

Key dates

  • 1311 – Additions to Lincoln Cathedral’s central tower made it the world’s tallest building for the next 238 years
  • 1327 – The King of England, Edward II, is murdered following an invasion led his own exiled wife, Isabella 

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Robert the Bruce’s throne arrives at Scone Palace

 

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