Strathearn Perthshire Scotland > History > People > Robert the Bruce

Historical Figures: Robert I

Robert I, Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) The Bruces, like so many Scottish nobles, were of Norman descent arriving in Scotland in the 12thC. Robert's grandfather had claimed the Scottish crown in 1290.

In the year of 'Braveheart' William Wallace's death, 1306, Bruce killed his main rival and rushed to Scone and was crowned Robert I on 25th March 1306. Scone, ancient coronation site for Scots monarchs, is about 10km east of Strathearn. Edward II of England had garrisons throughout Scotland and Bruce was defeated at Methven in East Strathearn in 1306. After years of campaigning Bruce began to roll back the occupation forces.

Check out Methven on this site or on Perthshire-Scotland.co.uk.

Stirling CastleIn 1314 agreement had been reached between Bruce's brother Edward and Philip de Mowbray, the Commander of the country's strategically most important fortress - Stirling Castle - that if it were not relieved by mid-summer's day, it would be surrendered. A huge English army of almost 20,000 men under the personal command of Edward II attempted to fight through to Stirling. Robert I with 7000 men chose his defensive positions with care at the Bannockburn making use of bogs, gorge and sloping terrain. The English could not deploy properly on the narrow front and Bruce's spearmen held firm. As the day progressed the English began to loss the struggle. Edward II reached Stirling castle with a bodyguard of 500 knights. De Mowbray stuck to his oath saying that the battle was lost, that he was about to surrender and banned Edward's entry. In contrast to old Edward I's past behaviour, both Robert and Edward Bruce had adopted a policy of allowing garrisons who surrendered safe passage. Although many of the Bruce's supporters felt that retribution for past attrocities was called for, this chivalrous policy payed dividends.

Stirling and Bannockburn lie 15km south of Strathearn.

 

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