Robert De Brus Biography
Robert de Brus, descended indirectly from King William The Lion of Scotland. Through Brus came the Royal House of Steward who produced the current British royal family.
Robert de Brus, better known as Robert-The-Bruce, was born July 11, 1274, at Turnberry Castle on the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Born into a noble family, his father was Anglo-Norman and his mother was the Celtic Countess of Carrick.
In the 13th century before Edward I invaded, England and Scotland were on good terms. Soon, all that changed and the Scots held a strong displeasure toward the English for taking control of thier lands.
In 1306 Robert Bruce killed his enemy, John Comyn (The Red Comyn), during a quarrel inside the church in Dumfries. This was considered a sacrilege and enraged Edward I, King of England.
Later, with a small crowd gathered, Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone. The Countess of Buchan crowned young Bruce with a golden coronella. Edward I had stolen the original crown.
Bruce went on to capture the hearts of the Scottish people and caused hope to rise once again in their troubled hearts. Soon, fighting began and Edward I and his huge army crushed the Scots. The Bruce along with Sir James Douglas of the Douglas Clan took refuge in the Highlands. Douglas, better known as "The Black Douglas," was a guerilla fighter and a member of the most powerful clan in Scotland at that time.
The English searched high and low for The Bruce and Douglas. Unable to find them Edward I seized Bruce's lands and enslaved his wife and young daughter. He also captured the Countess of Buchan, who had crowned Bruce and had her imprisoned in an open wickerwork cage and hung from the castle walls in Berwick.
The wicked King Edward executed three of Bruce's brothers as well as other followers of The Bruce and William Wallace. Never the less, Scots swore fealty to The Bruce as their king, infuriating King Edward even more.
Edward I died without ever being able to annex Scotland under English rule. Edward II took the throne and charged with his huge army to Scotland to defeat his father's enemies only to be defeated in Ayrshire.
Eventually, the church gave its support to The Bruce. Castles once taken by King Edward I was now returned to their rightful owners, including Edinburgh Castle. Then, trouble stirred up again. Edward II, like his father would never accept the Scots. The final battle - The Battle of Bannockburn.
The night before the bloody battle, the English were merrymaking for they were sure of a great victory. The Scots spent the night in stillness and much prayer. Bruce prepared his battleground at Bannockburn. He divided his army into four units under the leaderships of Edward Bruce, his brother, who for a time was King of Ireland, Sir Thomas Randolph (Bruce's nephew), Sir James Douglas and Walter The Steward.
The next morning, the English attack started out with a sky full of arrows sailing toward the Scots. Soon, hand to hand combat broke out and men and their horses plunged into the pits and bogs of the crimson battleground. The English knights dressed in heavy armor were unable to quickly rise up and fight.
Their ranks were in total disorder when a group of onlookers charged from a hill toward the English, shouting their king's battle cry. Edward II fled in fear of the Scot's additional troops, leaving some of his men still fighting.
With this triumph, the Scots gained their independence. Parliament organized a succession to the throne and stated that if Bruce had no male heir then his brother Edward and his male heirs were to succeed.
At that time, Bruce only had one child, Princess Marjorie who married Walter The Steward. She died in childbirth and her surviving infant later became Robert II.
The Pope and Edward II still refused to recognize Bruce as the king but the Scots sent word to the Pope that their fight for freedom would continue for they would not give up their king.
With the birth of Bruce's son he now became recognized as king. After the death of Edward II, Edward III finally agreed to negotiate for peace and Scotland was recognized as an independent kingdom.
Robert-The-Bruce accomplished much in his time and lived out his life at Cardoss. His dying request was that his heart be cut out and placed in a small leaden casket. This way it could be taken on the crusades against the infidel. His remains rest at Dunfermline Abbey.
Sir James Douglas carried out The Bruce's last wish, throwing it out in front of him before each battle, still loyal to his king. Later the heart was returned to Scotland and now is interred in Melrose Abbey.
Robert-The-Bruce had lived to confront three English kings and over the next 500 years both nations would fight one another, but Scotland would not have to worry. For her existence would never again be denied.
The Bruce's true legacy was the freedom of all Scotland's people. Robert-The-Bruce is known, not only as Scotland's greatest warrior king but the best loved monarch in Scottish history.
Long live the King.