Robert ( - )

1. 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.


Isabella de Clare and Robert de Brus, 5th Lord Annandale had the following children:


Robert de Brus (1210-1295). Robert was born in 1210. He had the title 'Lord of Annandale'. He died on [Julian] 31 March 1295.

Isabel de Brus ( - )