Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce

Birth
Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland
Death 7 Jun 1329 (aged 54)
Cardross, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Burial Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Memorial ID 115637300 · View Source
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Scottish Monarch. Robert was the first son of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick. When the Scottish revolt against Edward I broke out in July 1297, James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland lead a group of Scots, including young Robert into patriotic resistance. Commands were sent ordering Bruce to support Edward I, yet Robert resisted, continuing to support the revolt. On July 7, Bruce agreed to terms with Edward by a treaty called the Capitulation of Irvine and was pardoned for his recent violence in return for swearing allegiance to King Edward. Shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Bruce again defected to the Scots. He attacked Annandale and the English-held castle of Ayr. When William Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland after his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk he was succeeded by Robert Bruce and John Comyn as joint Guardians. The two men could not work beyond their personal differences and Robert finally resigned as joint Guardian. In July, 1301 King Edward I launched his sixth campaign into Scotland. It was around this time that Robert the Bruce submitted to Edward. However his wavering support of both the English and Scottish armies had led to a great deal of distrust towards Bruce among the community. John Comyn, a much stauncher opponent of the English, had become the most powerful noble in Scotland. In the summer of 1305 John Comyn swore in a secret agreement to forfeit his claim to the Scottish throne in favor of Robert Bruce upon receipt of the Bruce lands in Scotland. Comyn betrayed his agreement with Bruce to King Edward I, and was accused of treachery by Robert. Comyn and Robert met in the Chapel of Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries on February 10, 1306, where Robert killed Comyn before the high altar. Bruce asserted his claim to the Scottish crown and began his campaign by force for the independence of Scotland. Six weeks after Comyn was killed in Dumfries, Bruce was crowned King of Scots by Bishop William de Lamberton at Scone, near Perth on March 25, 1306. On July 7, King Edward I died, leaving his heir, Edward II, to rule. In April, 1307 Bruce won a small victory over the English at the Battle of Glen Trool, before defeating Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke at the Battle of Loudoun Hill. In March 1309, he held his first Parliament at St. Andrews, and by August, he controlled all of Scotland north of the River Tay. The next three years saw a host of battles: Linlithgow in 1310, Dumbarton in 1311, Perth in 1312, Castle Rushen in Castletown in 1313, Stirling Castle in 1314 and the Battle of Bannockburn, in which Robert secured Scottish independence from England. Robert had been suffering from a serious illness first documented in 1327. It is thought that he mat have suffered from one of many diseases, including leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis or even a neurologic deficit. His last journey was a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Ninian at Whithorn. Robert died June 7, 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton. The king's body was embalmed and his sternum was sawn to allow extraction of the heart, which Sir James Douglas placed in a silver casket to be worn on a chain around his neck, then to be taken on a crusade against the Saracens and carried to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, before being brought back to Scotland. The body was taken to Dunfermline Abbey, and Robert I was interred beneath the high altar. On February 17, 1818, workmen breaking ground for the new parish church to be built on the site of the ancient Dunfermline Abbey uncovered a vault before the location of the former abbey high altar. On November 5, 1819 the remains of a wood coffin, containing a skeleton shrouded in gold cloth were exhumed. The sternum was found to have been sawn open from top to bottom. Robert the Bruce's remains were ceremonially re-interred in the vault in Dunfermline Abbey on November 5, 1819. They were placed in a new lead coffin, into which was poured 1,500 pounds of molten pitch to preserve the remains, before the coffin was sealed.

Bio by: Sean McKim



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Sean McKim
  • Added: 17 Aug 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 115637300
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert the Bruce (11 Jul 1274–7 Jun 1329), Find a Grave Memorial no. 115637300, citing Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .