See also

Robert (1243-bef1304)

1. Robert le Brus, son of Lord Robert de Brus (1210-1295) and Christina de Ireby ( - ), was born in [Julian] 1243. He had the title 'Earl of Carrick'. He had the title 'Earl of Carrick, 6th Lord Annandale'. He died before [Julian] 4 April 1304. He married Marjorie COUNTESS OF CARRICK.

 

He was also known as Robert Bruce. Through his marriage, Robert le Brus, Earl of Carrick gained the title of Earl of Carrick in 1271. He abdicated as Earl of Carrick on 27 October 1292. He succeeded to the title of Lord of Annandale before 4 July 1295. Amongst his ten children were the King of Scots, King of Ireland and Queen of Norway.

 

Robert de Brus or Robert Bruce whom some genealogists name "Robert VI de Brus" (c 1250 - c 1304), 6th Lord of Annandale, Earl of Carrick jure uxoris was a feudal lord in Scotland and England during prelude stages of Wars of Scottish Independence. He descended from royal lineage that would give his family a claim to the Crown of Scotland.

He was the son and heir of Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, who then in 1290 claimed the succession to the Throne of Scotland, being one of the two main competitors to rival it. (In 1306, after his death, his eldest son Robert the Bruce eventually succeeded in becoming the king.)

There is an ongoing debate as to whether Robert or his son were born on the family estate in Writtle Essex. The current Dictionary of National Biography indicate the father rather than the contemporary account that Robert I were possibly born in Writtle.

Legends tell that Robert de Brus, heir to Lord of Annandale, was a handsome young man when participating in the Eighth Crusade. Adam de Kilconcath, one of his companion-in-arms, fell in 1270 in Holy Land, and Robert obliged to travel to tell the sad news to Adam's widow Marjorie of Carrick (1256-1292). Story continues reporting that Marjorie was so taken with the messenger that she had him held captive till he agreed to marry her in 1271.

The contemporary records seem to suggest Robert's father accompanied the Princes Edward and Edmund on the 1270-4 crusade, in lieu of his sons.

His wife was by all accounts a formidable woman. Marjorie was the daughter of Niall, 2nd Earl of Carrick, and his heiress. Carrick was a Gaelic Earldom in Southern Scotland. Its territories contained much of today Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. The couple held at least Turnberry Castle and Lochmaben. Marriage with Marjorie made Robert the Earl, as was the custom of that time.

Their children were:
Robert the Bruce
Edward Bruce
Thomas Bruce, executed 1307
Alexander Bruce, executed 1307
Neil Bruce (Niall or Nigel), executed 1306
Christina Bruce (Christian), married Gartnait, Earl of Mar, mother of Domhnall II, Earl of Mar
Mary Bruce, married (1) Neil Campbell; (2) Alexander Fraser
Isobel Bruce (Isabel), married King Eric II of Norway
Matilda Bruce, married Aodh, Earl of Ross

Countess Marjorie died in 1292, and on the day of his wife's death Robert transferred Carrick to their eldest son, the future Robert I of Scotland thus making the son the Earl of Carrick.

Undoubtedly the biggest event of his life was the 'Great Cause' that was concluded in 1292. It gave the Crown of Scotland to his family' great rival, Balliol, instead of his father. Heiress Margaret, the Maid of Norway had died on the Orkney Islands around September 26, 1290. With her death, the main line of the House of Dunkeld came to an end and thirteen competitors claimed their rights to the Scottish crown. The two main competitors were Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale (Robert's own father) and John Balliol, Lord of Galloway. Fearing civil war between the Bruce and Balliol families and their supporters, the Guardians of Scotland asked the kingdom's southern neighbor, Edward I of England to arbitrate among the claimants in order to avoid civil war.

Arbitration processed slowly. After initial solutions which left two contenders, on August 3, 1291 Edward asked both de Balliol and de Brus to choose forty arbiters while he himself chose twenty-four, to decide the case. The arbiters finally gave judgement in early November in favour of John Balliol, in accordance with the precedents of primogeniture: even twenty-nine of Bruce's own auditors voted for Balliol, underlining the strength of his claim. On 17 November Edward gave formal judgement in open court; and on November 30, John Balliol was crowned as King of Scots at Scone Abbey. On December 26, 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 his vassal state. The Bruce family thus lost what they regarded as their rightful place on the Scottish throne.

Soon afterwards, his father, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale - the unsuccessful claimant - resigned his lordship to him. And also his claim to crown, in order to prevent it from extinguishing.

Both Robert and his son the new Earl of Carrick sided with Edward I against Balliol. In April 1294, Robert's son had permission to visit Ireland for a year and a half and, as a further mark of Edward's favour, he received a respite for all the debts owed by him to the English Exchequer. In 1295, his son and heir married his first wife, Isabella of Mar, the daughter of Donald, 6th Earl of Mar. Isabella died a year later bearing child, Marjorie Bruce, Robert's granddaughter.

It was not until 1295 that Edward I was even aware of the secret Franco-Scottish negotiations. In early October, Edward began to strengthen his northern defences against a possible invasion by a revitalised Scottish army. It was also at this point that Robert Bruce himself was appointed governor of Carlisle Castle. Edward also ordered John Balliol to relinquish control of the castles and burghs of Berwick, Jedburgh and Roxburgh. In December, more than two hundred of Edward's tenants in Newcastle were summoned to form a militia by March 1296 and in February, a fleet of ships sailed north to rendezvous with his land forces in Newcastle.

The build up of English forces south of the Anglo-Scottish border did not go undetected and in response, King John Balliol summoned all able-bodied Scotsmen to bear arms and converge near the border at Caddonlee by March 11.

Balliol seized Robert's Annandale estate and reassigned it to John 'The Red' Comyn, Lord of Badenoch. Several of the Scottish nobles choose to ignore the summons, including his son Robert de Brus, Earl of Carrick.

The beginning of the Wars of Independence: In August 1296 Robert and his son swore fealty to Edward I at Berwick, but in breach of this oath, which had been renewed at Carlisle, the younger Robert joined in the Scottish revolt against Edward in the following year.

Shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Annandale was wasted as retaliation to younger Bruce's actions. Yet, when Edward returned to England after his victory at the Battle of Falkirk, Annandale and Carrick were excepted from the lordships and lands which he assigned to his followers, father having not opposed Edward and the son being treated as a waverer whose allegiance might still be retained.

In July, Edward I launched his sixth campaign into Scotland. Though Edward captured Bothwell and Turnberry Castle, Edward did little to damage the Scots’ fighting ability and, in January 1302 agreed to a nine-month truce.

Robert at that time was old and ill, and there are reports that he wished his son to seek peace with Edward, who, he was convinced, would be victorious over the Scots. The elder Bruce would have seen that, if the rebellion failed and his son were against Edward, the son would lose everything, titles, lands, and probably his life.

It was around this time that Robert's son submitted to Edward I, along with other nobles, even though he had been on the side of the patriots until now. There are many reasons which may have prompted his turning, not the least of which was that the Bruce family may have found it loathsome to continue sacrificing his followers, family and inheritance for John Balliol. There were rumours that Balliol would return with a French army and regain the Scottish throne. Soulis supported the return of Balliol as did many other nobles, but the return of John as king would lead to the Bruces losing any chance of ever gaining the throne themselves.

When old, this Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale, suffered from a skin ailment, what some contemporary accounts mention as leprosy. Tendency to severe skin disease apparently was hereditary in Bruce line, as a similar tale of illness is traditionally attached to late years of his son as well.

Robert spent the last few years of his life in retirement on his estates in Cumberland, before dying and being buried in Holmecultram in 1304.

He was portrayed by Ian Bannen in the 1995 film Braveheart.

 

Marjorie COUNTESS OF CARRICK and Robert le Brus had the following children:

 

Robert I Bruce KING OF SCOTLAND (1274-1329). Robert was born on [Julian] 11 July 1274 in Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex. He had the title 'King of Scotland'. He died on [Julian] 7 June 1329 in Cardross Castle, Cardross, Argyllshire.

Second Generation

2. Lord Robert de Brus, son of Robert de Brus, 5th Lord Annandale and Isabella de Clare, was born in 1210. He had the title 'Lord of Annandale'. He died on [Julian] 31 March 1295. He married Christina de Ireby.

 

3. Christina de Ireby has few details recorded about her. She and Robert de Brus had the following children:

 

1

Robert le Brus (1243-bef1304)

Third Generation

4. Robert de Brus, 5th Lord Annandale married Isabella de Clare on 12 May 1240.

 

Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale (Robert de Brus) (c 1220s - 31 March 1295), 5th Lord of Annandale, was a feudal lord in Scotland and northern England during prelude stages of Wars of Scottish Independence, a regent of Scotland in mid-13th century and finally a leading contender to be the King of Scotland in 1290-92.

He was son of Robert Bruce, 4th Lord of Annandale and Isobel of Huntingdon, daughter of David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon who was the granddaughter of King David I of Scotland who was the son of King Malcolm III Canmore.

He descended from royal lineage that would give him and his family a claim to the Crown of Scotland. (In 1306, long after his death, his grandson Robert the Bruce eventually succeeded in becoming the king.)

His father's ancestry was of Anglo-Norman stock, the feudal family having come to southern Scotland sometime during reigns of sons of Saint Margaret of Scotland. They held a remarkable barony in the English borderzone, as well as lands in northern England.

His possessions were extended initially via his marriage to Isabella de Clare and later after the defeat of Simon de Montford at the Battle of Evesham (1265), via a series of grants that included the estates of the former rebel barons Walter de Fauconberg and John de Melsa. Henry III also re-appointed Robert a Justice and Constable of Carlisle and keeper of the Castle in 1267, a position he had been sacked from in 1255, for his support during the rebellion.

It's believed Robert joined the princes Edward and Edmund on their 1270-4 crusade, as his sons failed to attend.

He succeeded in having the young widowed Marjorie of Carrick, heiress of that earldom, married to his son, another Robert Bruce in 1271. She was the daughter of Neil, 2nd Earl of Carrick, and his heiress. Carrick was a Gaelic Earldom in Southern Scotland. Its territories contained much of modern Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. The couple held at least Turnberry Castle and Lochmaben. Marriage with Marjorie made the younger Robert an Earl, as was the custom of that time.

Robert Bruce was Regent of Scotland sometime during minority of his second cousin King Alexander III of Scotland (1241-1286) and was occasionally recognized as a Tanist of the Scottish Throne. He was the closest surviving male relative to the king: Margaret of Huntingdon's issue were all females up until birth of Hugh Balliol sometime in the 1260s. When Alexander yet was childless, he was officially named as heir-presumptive, but never gained the throne as Alexander later fathered three children. The succession in the main line of the House of Dunkeld became highly precarious when towards the end of Alexander's reign, all three of his children died within a few years. The middle-aged Alexander III induced in 1284 the Estates to recognize as his heir-presumptive his granddaughter Margaret, called the "Maid of Norway", his only surviving descendant. The need for a male heir led Alexander to contract a second marriage to Yolande de Dreux on November 1, 1285. All this was eventually in vain. Alexander died suddenly, in a fall from his horse, when only 45 years old, in 1286. His death ushered in a time of political upheaval for Scotland. His three-year old granddaughter Margaret, who lived in Norway, was recognized as his heir. However, the then 7-year old heiress Margaret died, travelling towards her kingdom, on the Orkney Islands around September 26, 1290. With her death, the main royal line came to an end and thirteen claimants asserted their rights to the Scottish Throne.

After this extinction of the senior line of the Scottish royal house (the line of William I of Scotland) David of Huntingdon's descendants were the primary candidates for the throne. The two most notable claimants to the throne, John Balliol and Robert himself (grandfather of another Robert Bruce) represented descent through David's daughters Margaret and Isobel respectively.

Robert Bruce pleaded tanistry and proximity of blood in the succession dispute. He descended from the second daughter of David of Huntingdon, whereas John Balliol descended from the eldest, and thus had the right of primogeniture. However, Robert was a second cousin of kings of Scotland and descended in 4th generation from King David I of Scotland, whereas John Balliol was a third cousin of kings and descended in 5th generation from King David I, the most recent common ancestor who had been Scottish king. The ensuing 'Great Cause' was concluded in 1292. It gave the Crown of Scotland to his family' great rival, John Balliol, instead. The events took place as follows:

Soon after the death of young queen Margaret, Robert Bruce raised a body of men with the help of the Earls of Mar and Atholl and marched to Perth with a considerable following and uncertain intentions. Bishop Fraser of St. Andrews, worried of the possibility of civil war, wrote to Edward, asking for his assistance in choosing a new monarch.

Edward took this chance to demand sasine of the Scottish royal estate, but agreed to pass judgement in return for recognition of his suzerainty. The [guardians of Scotland] denied him this, but Robert Bruce was quick to pay homage. All the claimants swore oaths of homage, but John Balliol was the last to do so. The guardians were forced to concede and were thus reinstated by Edward.

Judgement processed slowly. On August 3, 1291 Edward asked both Balliol and Bruce to choose forty auditors while he himself chose twenty-four, to decide the case. After considering all of the arguments, in early November the court decided in favour of John Balliol, having the superior claim in feudal law, not to mention greater support from the kingdom of Scotland. In accordance with this, final judgement was given by Edward on 17 November. On November 30, John Balliol was crowned as King of Scots at Scone Abbey. On December 26, 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 his vassal state. The Bruce family thus lost what they regarded as their rightful place on the Scottish throne.

(Edward I decided in favor of the senior legitimate heir by primogeniture, John Balliol; however, in 1306, the crown was assumed by a grandson of the Robert himself, who became King Robert I. In doing this, the rightful heir- John Balliol's own son- was smited by his father's misfortune of having been placed on the throne in an inopportune period.)

Robert himself (Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale) resigned the lordship of Annandale to his son, the Earl of Carrick. And also his claim to the crown. Shortly after this, Robert's important daughter-in-law Countess Marjorie died in 1292, and on the day of her death his son transferred Carrick to his eldest grandson, the future Robert I of Scotland thus making the boy the Earl of Carrick. In this clever maneouvre, Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale, had managed to arrange it so that the Bruce claimant (his son) would not have to make oaths of homage and fealty to King John (Balliol), as he was no longer a landowner, leaving them open to contest his kingship in the future.

 

5. Isabella de Clare, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, 5th Earl of Hertford and Lady Isabella Marshal of Pembroke, was born on 8 November 1226 in Gloucestershire. She died on 10 July 1264. She and Robert de Brus, 5th Lord Annandale had the following children:

 

2

Robert de Brus (1210-1295)

Isabel de Brus ( - )