The Bruce Kings (1284 AD to 1371 AD)

•     February 5, 1284 AD      The infant Princess Margaret, The Maid of Norway is acknowledged as heir presumptive to the Scottish throne.1

•     1284-1328 AD                  Henry Cheyne continues as bishop of Aberdeen.2

•     March 19, 1286 AD         Alexander III, King of Scotland dies while riding his horse at night. As a result Margaret, the 3 year old daughter of Eric, King of Norway, who was to marry Edward I of England’s son, Edward II, was to become queen. (11-page 25)3 The death of King Alexander III at age 44 is dated March 18, 1286 AD.4

•     April 28, 1286 AD          In 1286 AD at an assembly (parliament) at Scone about April 28, 1286 the nobility first swore fealty to the heir. In order to implement these promises a provisional government was set up that included six wardens or ‘Guardians’ comprising two earls (Alexander Comyn earl of Buchan, Duncan earl of Fife), two bishops (William Fraser of St Andrews, Robert Wishart of Glasgow) and two Barons (John Comyn of Badenoch and James Stewart). The two Comyns and William Fraser were deemed to represent the Balliol interests. James Stewart was linked to the Bruces by marriage and Robert Wishart was a Stewart ally and represented the Bruce interest. The loyalties of Duncan, earl of Fife were less certain, but he was known to be an enemy of close Comyn associate, Hugh de Abernethy.((April 28, 1286-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 96.))

•     September 1286 AD       Further evidence of Bruce’s disregard for the Guardians’ authority occurs in September 1286 AD when he made a bond with associates at Turnberry. This Turnbury pact, which involved Robert the Bruce-lord of Annadale (the elder), his son Robert Bruce-earl of Carrick, James Stewart (the Guardian), his brother John Stewart of Jedburg, Walter Stewart-earl of Menteith and his sons Patrick-earl of Dunbar, Angus Macdonald-lord of Islay and his son, was an agreement to support Richard de Burgh-earl of Ulster, and Thomas de Clare against their enemies. The pact involved saving oaths of allegiance to the English king and whoever should be king and whoever should be king of Scotland ‘by reason of the blod of lord Alexander, king of Scotland according to the ancient customs hitherto approved and used in the Kingdom of Scotland’. This oath has been interpreted as an indication of a diliberate bid by the Bruces for the Scottish throne. This is perhaps reading too much into the oath. Yet Robert the Bruce had apparently been recognized by ‘ancient custom’ as heir to Alexander II in 1238 and the vague oath taken at Turnberry did leave open a possible Bruce Claim, given the uncertainty of succession in September 1286 when either the Maid of Norway or a child of Queen Yolande could be heir. More importantly, the fact that such apact of family and factional, if not national, intent (and with an uncertain military objective) could take place and that a member of the committee of Guardians was involved, was certainly an ‘ugly defiance of the “community of the realm”‘.5

•     1286-1290 AD              The Bruce family appears to oppose the guardians or at least Comyn interests and to be disruptive. Most of the disruption occurred in the south-west. The extent of this disruption can be found in the accounts of the sheriffdoms of Dumfries, Wigtown and Edinburgh, controlled by Comyns or Comyn allies and in the account of the justicar of Galloway. The Comyns had been the hereditary sheriffs of Wigtown since around 1263 OR 1264 AD. The Sinclairs (St Clairs) continued to hold the sheriffdoms of Edinburgh and Linlithgow in the period 1286-89 AD with William Sinclair (who had been made a guardian by 1279 AD of Alexander, heir to the throne. William Sinclair also held the sheriffdom of Dumfries before 1290 AD. William Sinclair was also the justicar of Galloway by 1287. Another family long associated with the Comyns, the Cheynes, held the sheriffdoms of Elgin and Kincardine in the period prior to 1290 AD, while the Mowats continued to control Cromarty and the Meldrum Family held the sheriffdom of Aberdeen. The Moray family, generally supporters of the Comyn family in the thirteenth century, held the sheriffdom of Ary through Andrew de Moray by 1288, and the sheriffdom of Perth through Malcolm de moray in 1288. The sheriffdom of Perth was then in the hands of Nicholas de Hay who was in the Comyn party in 1291. Patrick de Graham held the she riffdom of Sterling by 1289, the Lochore family held the sheriffdom of Fife by 1289 and the Earl of Buchan follower David de Bethun held the sheriffdom of Forfar by 1290. All were supporters of the Comyn family.6

•     July 10, 1289 AD           Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan, leader of the Comyn party died shortly after July 10, 1289 AD, having been involved in Scottish politics for almost 50 years.7 John Comyn becomes the earl of Buchan and leader of the Comyn party.8

•     1290 AD           William de Laskereske in 1290 is listed on the Ragman Roll, de Ragements. A legate of Scotland compelled all clergy to give a true account of their benefices, that they might be taxed at Rome accordingly. Subsequently it was applied to four great roles of parchment recording acts of fealty and homage done by the Scots nobility to Edward I of England in 1296. (9)

•     February 20, 1290        Edward I grants Anthony Bek, bishop of Durham, the custody of the lands and tenements in Cumberland and Northumberland which had formerly been held by the king of Scotland.9

•     July 18, 1290            The Treaty of Birgham is signed.10 The treaty stipulated that the Scottish realm was to remain ‘separate and divided from England according to its rightful boundaries, free in itself and without subjection’, and that its rights, laws, liberties and customs were ‘wholly, freely, absolutely, and without subjection’. That was the intention anyway. But Edward I’s negotiators added the ominous words: ‘Saving always the right of our lord king, and of any other whomsoever, that has pertained to him…before the time of the present agreement, or which in any just way ought to pertain to him in the future.’ And King Edward, on ratifying the treaty, insisted on appointing the new Bishop of Durham (Anthony Bek) as his ‘lieutenant’ in Scotland on behalf of the royal pair, and required the Scottish Guardians to obey the bishop (in the event, the appointment seems to have been largely ignored in Scotland.)11

•     August 8, 1290 AD        John Comyn-secular leader of the political community in Scotland, Anthony Bek, Robert Wishart-bishop of Glasgow and two English representatives serve on the Anglo-Scottish commission to negotiate marriage between the Maid and the future Edward II.12

•     September 1290 AD        Margaret, the Maid of Scotland, who was to be married to Edward II of England, son of Edward I, dies in Orkney on the way to Scotland, to become queen.13

•     October 6, 1290 AD       William Fraser, bishop of St Andrews, wrote to Edward I informing him that rumors of Margaret’s death had brought political instability to Scotland and the bishop asked Edward I for his intervention to prevent war. He pointed out that Robert the Bruce, the elder, and his supporters the earls of Mar and Atholl, had come to Perth and were gathering a large armed force. His letter added the recommendation that “If Sir John Balliol comes to your presence we advise you to take care so to treat with him that in any event your honor and advantage be preserved…”14

•     November 6, 1290 AD       It was clear the dominant Comyn party had decided to back the claims to the Scottish throne of John Balliol, John Comyn’s brother-in-law. Some contact had already been made between the Comyn party and the English by November 1290 AD, when Anthony Bek, Edward I’s influential advisor, came to an agreement with John Balliol. On November 6, 1290, at Gateshead, Balliol issued a charter as ‘heir to the kingdom of Scotland’ granting Bek the manors of Wark in Northumberland and Penrith in Cumberland together with all the other lands held by King Alexander in Cumberland. The overseeing role of Edward I was already in evidence as the grant was conditional on the English king’s ratification. No doubt the Comyn’s were aware of winning Bek and the English king over to their side.15

•     Winter 1290-1291 AD        In the winter of 1290-1291, the elder Bruce had asked Edward I to support him as the choice of ‘the Seven Earls’. He had tried to destroy by force the stranglehold the Comyns had on political power in 1286 AD, but the years 1286 to 1288 AD had shown that he had an insufficiently broad power-base. Thus, the urgent appeals by both the Bruce and Comyn parties gave Edward I every reason to believe that his intervention was welcome and that he could take this opportunity to insist on his recognition as lord superior of Scotland.16

•     June 1291 AD          By early June of 1291 AD all the claimants (the thirteen ‘Competitors’) agreed that Edward was the rightful overlord and that they would abide by his judgment on the succession. Further, they agreed that the English king should have possession of the land and especially the royal castles. Control of the Scottish government by the political community of the realm was gradually being forfeited in unusual and difficult circumstances-It was surely the responsibility of the Guardians, if anyone, to relinquish the kingdom and its castles.17

•     June 11, 1291 AD         The Guardians resigned their very authority to be reappointed by the English king. They were no longer elected by the community but were appointed by King Edward. The composition of the Guardians was changed too with an English Baron-Brian fitz Alan, lord of Bedale, added to their number.18

•     June 12, 1291 AD            On June 12, 1291 Edward agreed the decision between the ‘Competitors’ would be made by Edward I in Scotland. He also promised to restore both kingdom and castles to the rightful king within two months of the decision being made.19

•     June 13, 1291 AD           At Upsettleinton, opposite Norham, the Guardians and other magnates swore fealty individually to king Edward I. These leading nobles included the four Guardians including John Comyn of Badenoch, two other members of the Comyn family (John Comyn, earl of Buchan and William Comyn of Kirkintilloch), John Balliol and two members of the Bruce family (Robert Bruce of Annandale and Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick). There then followed a general swearing of fealty at Perth, Ayr, Inverness and Galloway. In his capacity as Guardian, John Comyn of Badenoch together with Brian fitz Alan and the bishop of St Andrews organized the general swearing in at Perth.20

•     November 7, 9 1292 AD         On November 7, 1292 Robert Bruce, the Competitor, realizing that his claim to the Scottish throne was going to be unsuccessful, resigned it to his son Robert Bruce Earl of Carrick. On November 9, 1292 Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick surrendered his earldom of Carrick to his son, the future king of Scotland, Robert, aged 18.21

•     November 17, 1292 AD          In the great hall in Berwick Castle, Edward formally accepts the decision of the auditors and selects John Balloil as the next King of the Scots.22 Robert Bruce of Annandale and the former earl of Carrick refuse to do homage to King John Balloil.23

•     December 1292          Already by December 1292 AD Edward was expressing the forcible viewpoint that he could hear whatever pleas might be brought to him; that he could, if necessary, summon the Scottish king himself; and as far as appeals were concerned, he would not be bound by any previous promises or concessions which he made.((December 1292-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 134.))

•     December 26, 1292 AD            King John Balloil does homage to King Edward I in most unambiguous terms24

•     January 2, 1293             King Edward I forced an important concession from King John who ‘solemnly freed Edward from all obligations and promises which the English king might have entered into with the Guardians and responsible men of the Scottish realm, declaring null and void any written evidence of such promises and explicitly annulling the Treaty of Birgham.((January 2, 1293-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 134.))

•     January 6, 1293 AD          King Edward I overrules decisions of the Guardians in Berwick demonstrating his right to hear appeals and overrule the Guardians25

•     1294 AD            King Edward I summoned the King of Scots as well as his magnates to serve him in France. The English king failed to understand that the Scottish nobility in government, chiefly the Comyns and their supporters, now represented the political community of the Scottish realm and this came before other responsibilities. In this respect, duty to the Scottish realm came before responsibility to the English king as it had for Earl Alexander in 1282 AD.26

•     1294 AD         In the summer of 1294 AD, King John Balliol failed to prevent Master Thomas Dalton of Kirkcudbright, Robert Bruce the elder’s candidate, from becoming the Bishop of Gallway.27

•     1294 AD          Before December of 1294, the Scots were freed ‘from any oaths extracted from them under duress by the absolution of the pope.28

•     1295 AD          Between March and May of 1295 AD, the Scots negotiated an alliance with the French.29

•     July 5, 1295 AD           King John addressed letters to Philip IV appointing four persons to negotiate in France regarding John Balliol’s son, Edward, and a relative of Philip. The four were the experienced William Fraser, bishop of St Andrews, Matthew Crambeth bishop of Dunkeld, John de Soules and Ingreram de Umpharaville. A treaty with france followed on October 23, 1295 AD.30

•     1295 AD          A parliament held a Sterling took the government out of King John Balliol’s hands and given to a ‘Council of Twelve’.  It was decreed that King John could do no act by himself.31 The Council of Twelve was composed of four bishops, four earls and four barons. The four bishops were probably William Fraser of St Andrew, Robert Wishart of Glasgow, Matthew Crambeth of Dunkeld, and Henry Cheyne of Aberdeen. The four earls were probably John Comyn earl of Buchan, Donald earl of Mar, Malise earl of Strathearn, and John de Strathbogie earl of Atholl. The four barons were probably John Comyn of badenoch, James Stewart, Alexander de Balliol, and Geoffrey de Mowbray. This Council was still dominated by the Comyn family, relatives and associates.32

•     Autumn 1295 AD           Tensions between the English and Scottish governments became more obvious in the Autumn of 1295, although it is difficult to understand whether news of the French alliance or the judicial appeal to King Edward I by MacDuff, a younger son of the late Duncan earl of Fife. MacDuff complained that he had not received justice in King John Balliol’s court concerning his inheritance of the lands of Creich and Rires. (Duncan earl of Fife had been murdered by Hugh de Abernethy, a prominent Comyn supporter.)33

•     October 1995 AD         It seems Edward I of England was preparing for action against Scotland by October 1295 AD.  On October 16, 1295 AD, he issued orders to English Sheriffs that all lands and goods of King John and all those Scotsmen ‘who remain in Scotland’ should be taken into the English Kings hands. At the same time he demanded that the castles and towns of Berwick, Roxburgh and Jedburgh should be handed over until the end of the French war. Robert Bruce, lord of Annandale who had done homage to the English king earlier in the year was permitted to keep the castle of Carlisle.34

•     March 24, 1296 AD         Patrick earl of March and Dunbar, Gilbert de Uphraville earl of Angus, Robert Bruce the younger, earl of Carrick, as well as Robert Bruce the elder had don homage to Edward I and promised to ‘serve him well and loyally against all mortal men on March 24, 1296 AD.35

•     March 26, 1296 AD          John Comyn, earl of Buchan set out with a military force on March 26 to attack Carlisle where Robert the Bruce senior was in charge of the garrison. Joining the earl of Buchan were six other earls of Scotland and John Comyn the younger, the Guardian’s son from the Badenoch line.36

•     March 30, 1296 AD          The English army which had gathered around Berwick butchered over 11,000 people.37

•     April 5, 1296 AD               King John Balliol formally renounced his homage to Edward in a defiant letter which certainly reflected the views of the political community of the realm better than his own actions.38

•     April 27, 1296 AD           The first phase of the Scottish wars took a decisive turn when the Scots army trying to relieve the siege of the town of Dunbar were routed by English troops and those Scots within the castle surrendered. Scottish casualties were estimated at 10,000 dead. This was followed by the surrender to the English of the Scottish castles of Roxburgh, Edinburgh and Sterling.39

•     July 8, 1296 AD         After Edward I marched through Scotland via Perth, Montrose, Banff, and Elgin receiving fealty from Scottish nobles and knights. On July 8, 1296 AD, in a humiliating ceremony at Montrose, John Balliol formally resigned his kingdom to Edward I and had his royal arms stripped from his tabard in public, humiliating circumstances.40

•     July and August 1296 AD         King Edward progressed round Scotland visiting royal centers such as Aberdeen, Banff and Elgin which had been under Comyn control and sent commissions to ‘search the district of Badenoch’ the lordship of the senior Comyn branch. This was to be followed by the swearing of fealty to Edward by every freeholder in Scotland. His takeover of the Scottish government was demonstrated clearly by his removal of the Stone of Destiny, the most precious symbol of Scottish monarchy, from Scone abbey to Westminster abbey as well as by the seizure of other Scottish muniments and government records.41

•      August 8, 1296 AD         Before King Edward I left Scotland, a parliament was held in Berwick on August 28, at which a compilation was made of nearly 1,500 earls, lords, bishops, and leading burgesses who swore fealty to him and formally recorded their homage to him as King of Scotland. This document has come to be known as the ‘Ragman Role’ from the tangle of ribbons, which hung from the seals of the signatories.42

•     1296 AD                             The earliest reference to Leask or a related spelling appeared in 1296 in a document (the so called Ragman Role) recording the name of William de Laskereske, which confirmed his recognition of Edward I (on pain of forfeiture of his lands). (d) It was spelled Lafkerefke (f = s). He was listed as ‘del county fyf’ (fyf = fife) (e)

•     1296 AD                                 The removal of the mainstays of the Scottish government, especially the Comyns, to England was part of the same plan. John Comyn, lord of Badenoch, and John Comyn earl of Buchan, who with Donald earl of Mar, submitted at the same time as John Balliol, were sent to England and ordered to stay south of Trent. Many of the allies of the Comyn family and other leaders were imprisoned in England. (12-pages 161, 162)

•     1296-1303 AD                     Edward I had not achieved a total military victory over Scottish forces in 1296 or 1303 AD. The north of Scotland, Comyn dominated territory, was largely out of English control between 1297 and 1303 AD. To attempt a total military conquest in Scotland, a large permanent English presence and new English fortifications, similar to those built north of Wales in the 1270s and 1280s, would be needed. In 1300 Edward was ‘not in a financial position to build new fortifications in Scotland on a scale that he had done in Wales. The commutation of provisional sentences of exile into large fines based on value of land rents showed his financial priorities. The Comyns has a network of castles throughout Scotland but especially dominating the main communication lines across northern Scotland. It was sensible for Edward to influence the Comyns and use these castles for his own interests instead of building new structures. (12-page 190)

•     1297 AD                              John Comyn, lord of Badenoch and John Comyn earl of Buchan were freed in exchange for their promise to join Edwards Flanders campaign in 1297 AD. (12-page 189)

•     Early 1297 AD                  The revolt of the MacDougalls, led by Alexander’s son Duncan, who had not sworn homage to Edward began in early 1297. Edward I presumably thought that with Alexander MacDougall of Argyll having done homage to him and being a prisoner in Berwick castle, the MacDougalls would not cause problems. He did not understand that by appointing their enemy Alexander MacDonald of Islay in April of 1296 as baille in the sheriffdoms of Lorn, Ross and the Isles (formerly under the control of Alexander MacDougall of Argyll) he would provoke the MacDougalls to revolt. Besides the MacDougalls were as closely linked by marriage to the Comyns as the Balliols were and the MacDougalls had been given the responsibilities for the north-west by the Comyn led government. (12-page 164)

•     May to July 1297 AD      Further significant resistance to Edward I’s administration came from another of Scotland’s ‘government’ families, the Morays. A successful revolt in the north was led by Andrew Moray, son of Andrew de Moray of Petty who had been justicar of Scotia during the Balliol kingship (to 1296) and was an important prisoner in the Tower of London. The younger Alan, who had escaped from his imprisonment in Chester, had soon recaptured the English-held castles in the north, including Inverness, Urquhart, Banff, Elgin and Aberdeen between May and June of 1297. (12-page 165)

•     July 1297 AD                     James Stewart played a significant role in the revolt in the south, which soon ended ignominiously with the surrender at Irvine in early July of 1297. This revolt also involved Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick and Bishop Wishart. The Stewarts had lost control of Kintyre because of King Edward appointed Alexander MacDonald of Islay as baillie of Kintyre formerly under James Stewart’s jurisdiction.43

•     1297 AD to 1304 AD       The brother of John Comyn earl of Buchan, Alexander Comyn of Buchan, was married to William Latimer of an English noble family. He was one of Edward I’s consistent servants having served Edward’s cause as sheriff of Aberdeen from around 1297 to 1304 AD. He must have been at least partly condoned by John Comyn, earl of Buchan.44

•     September 11, 1297 AD         Sterling: William Wallace defeated an English army led by John de Warenne at Sterling Bridge. (2 page 47-52) Moray had been able to gather a large infantry force in the north (probably using the Comyn patronage network) and join Wallace for the battle of Sterling Bridge (12-page 167)

•     July 22, 1298 AD              Falkirk: William Wallace was defeated by Edward I because of the treachery of two barons, the Earls of Angus and Dunbar and others of the Scottish nobility. (2 page 53-57) The Comyns and their accomplices forsook the field during the battle. They have been accused of treachery. Robert Bruce earl of Carrick fought on the English side at Falkirk. (12-page 168, 169)

•     1298 AD                               The new guardianship of 1298 was a joint one between John Comyn the younger and Robert Bruce earl of Carrick. The view that the Comyns were traitors to Wallace at Falkirk is at odds with the fact the Scottish political community appointed John Comyn the younger as a Guardian in 1298 after Falkirk. Though Robert Bruce, the earl of Carrick’s father had fought at Falkirk on the English side, the earl was in Ayrshire at the time of Falkirk and set fire to Ayr to prevent its use by the English. The joint Guardianship was obviously a compromise. (12-pages 169, 170)

•     1299 AD                              John Comyn, earl of Buchan becomes justicar of Scotia. (12-page 124)

•     August 19, 1299 AD        At the council of magnates in Peebles on August 19, 1299 AD John Comyn the younger ‘leapt at the earl of Carrick and seized him by the throat, and the earl of Buchan turned on the bishop of St Andrews, showing the friction that had developed between the parties. (12-page 170)

•     May 1301 AD                    John de Soules was appointed a new sole Guardian on behalf of John Balliol.45
Summer 1301 AD           John Balliol was released from papal custody. It appeared that he would soon return to Scotland to reassume the kingship. (12-page 171)

•     February 1302 AD          Robert the Bruce defects to Edward I. Edward consolidated this defection by arranging a marriage alliance between Elizabeth de Burg and Robert the Bruce earl of Carrick, a member of one of King Edward’s chief magnate families. (12-page 172)46

•     May 1303 AD                   Having been defeated in July 1302 by a Fleming army Phillipe the Fair signed a peace treaty with England from which Scotland was excepted.47

•     May 1303 AD                   King Edward I arrived with his main army in May 1303. Castles and strongholds fell all over Scotland.48Edwards campaign concentrated on the center of Comyn power, northeastern Scotland. (12-page 176)

•     February 9, 1304 AD     John Comyn of Badenoch, the Red Comyn surrendered to Edward on behalf of the Community of Scotland. One member of Scottish nobility seems to have been active throughout: Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick.49 (12-page 186) He had been an ally of Edward I since early 1302, actively participating in Edward’s summer campaign of 1303, commanding a garrison at Aye castle in 1303 and early 1304, and sending large siege weapons to help the English in the assault on Sterling, The capture of which set the seal on the English military victory in July 1304 AD. (12-page 185) It was John Comyn who led the negotiations for Scotland’s wholesale submission to Edward I. (12-page 176)

•     1304 AD                             As part of the submission of 1304 AD, the Scots had to agree to the Ordinances of Edward regarding settlement of Scotland. (12-page 191)

•     March 29, 1304 AD       The lands of the Comyn Earls of Buchan were granted to Henry de Percy by Edward I. (12-page 189)

•     May 1304 AD                  With the exception of the castles at Slains and Balvenie, the lands of the earl of Buchan were restored to the Comyns by Edward I. (12-page 189)

•     1305 AD                            According to the 1305 Ordinances a council of 21 Scots, four bishops, four abbots, five earls, eight barons were to act as a council for King Edward’s new lieutenant of Scotland, John of Brittany. This council would act alongside the chancellor, chamberlain and the justiciars. Pairs of justiciars, one Englishman and one Scotsman, would be responsible for four areas: Lothian, Galloway, the area between the Forth and the Mounth, and the area beyond the Mounth. In the ordinance of 1305 eighteen Scots were named sheriff and only two Englishmen. The sheriffs were to be appointed or removed by the lieutenant or the chamberlain. These ordinances were designed to transfer power from the Scottish king to Englishmen. This settlement was forestalled by Bruce’s murder of John Comyn in 1306. Generally names which had dominated Scottish Government in this period: Comyn, Stewart, Moray later joined by Bruce and Soules were not involved in Key executive posts like justiciars or sheriffdoms. Previously the justiciarships had been the virtual preserve of the Comyns. (12-page192)

•     1305 AD                            Reginald Cheyne, who had already shown his loyalty to Edward I after 1296 AD was appointed as the Scottish co-justiciars beyond the Mounth. The Cheyne family had long been associated with the Comyns. Appointed to serve as the English co-justiciars beyond the Mounth was John de Vaux who had been present in John Comyn’s council at the 1304 submission. A review of the sheriffdoms shows there is a return to local families who held the offices under the Guardians. A number were prominent members of Comyn’s council at the time of the 1304 submission. The Comyns had retained their vast landed inheritance but lost political power, i.e. decision-making authority at the center of government, though through their associates they retained local administrative influence especially in the north. It does appear the Comyn’s lost control of Aberdeen as a reprimand. Alexander Comyn of Buchan was replaced as sheriff of Aberdeen by Norman Leslie, a loyal supporter of Edward I. (12-pages 192-194)

•     February 1305 AD           In the February parliament of 1305, Leslie appealed to the king against the forfeiture of his lands by John Comyn as Guardian and the granting of these lands to Philip de Mowbray, a close Comyn associate. (12-page 193)

•     June 11, 1305 AD            Robert Bruce made a secret alliance with Bishop Lamberton, promising ‘to be one another’s counsel in all their business and affairs at all times and against all individuals’. (12-page 196)

•     1305 AD                             Wallace was captured by John de Menteith and later executed in London by King Edward I on August 23, 1305. (12-page 194) (4-695)

•     February 10, 1306 AD    Robert the Bruce murdered John Red Comyn, in Greyfriers’ church at Dumfries. (12-page 184)

•     1306 AD                              Bruce is crowned King of Scots

•     April 5, 1306 AD              King Edward I appoints Aymer de Valence, Comyn’s brother-in-law as his special Lieutenant in Scotland with wide ranging powers against Bruce particularly in the East. (12-page 199)

•     1306 AD                              Bruce defeated at Battle of Methven

•     1307 AD                              Bruce emerges from hiding and starts a comeback

•     1307 AD                              Edward I died

The Bruce Kings (1306 AD to 1371 AD)

•     March 26, 1306 AD         Robert The Bruce was inaugurated as King of The Scots at Scone50December, 1307 (A)        Siloch: King Robert the Bruce defeated a joint English Scottish force led by John Comyn, Earl of Buchan (1 page 67-70 )

•     December 31, 1307 AD   Inverurie: King Robert the Bruce defeats John Comyn (actual date is disputed) (1 page 70)

•     May 23, 1308 AD (A)      Barra: King Robert the Bruce defeated a joint English Scottish force led by John Comyn, Earl of Buchan. (1 page 70-73)

•     May, 1308 AD?                 John Comyn is defeated at Inverurie in May 1308. He flees south leaving his patrimony to be ravaged in what is known as the herschip of Buchan, as Robert the Bruce destroys the visible evidence of the Comyns power in the north. A terrible example is made of this district, the people who supported the Comyn family and the people sympathetic to King John. Those who can seek new patrons or flee. (1-page 74-76)

•     July 1308 AD                     King Robert the Bruce captures Aberdeen

•     1308-14 AD?                      Sir Gilbert Hay is granted the Comyn castle at Slains on the coast of Buchan and is made High Constable of Scotland. (12-page 206)

Battle of Rosslyn

•     June 24, 1314 AD             Bannockburn: Robert the Bruce defeated Edward I giving Scotland its independence. Henry St. Clair and Gilbert de la Hay fight on his side in the battle. (2 page 59-67)

•     1314 AD                              The Clan Hay records indicate their original lands were in Perthshire and Midlothan. It was only after Bannockburn (1314 AD) they were given Comyn lands in Aberdeenshire including Slains in Aberdeenshire. Sir Gilbert de la Hay was named the first High Constable of Scotland in recognition for that service.

•     April 6, 1320 AD             Magnus V signed the Scottish Declaration of Independence at Arbroath with Henry St. Clair, Gilbert de la Hay and others.

•     1331 AD                             Earls of Stratherne replace the Earls of Angus as the Earls of Orkney. (11-page 24)

•     November 24, 1331 AD         David II (aged 7) crowned at Scone. He reins 1329-71.

•     1333-1345 AD               Malise II, father in law of William Sinclair ruled Orkney and Cathiness.

•     July 19, 1333 AD          Halidon Hill (near Berwick): Sir Arcibald Douglas tried to relieve Berwick, but lost to Edward III of England at Halidon Hill. (2 page 69-72)

•     November, 1335 AD           (A) Culblean: King David II defeated David of Strathbogie and followers of the Earl of Athol. (1 page 78-88)

•     1341 AD In 1341-1346         David II, son of Robert the Bruce, granted William Lesk a Charter of Confirmation of the lands of Leaskgoroune in Aberdeenshire. (William is believed to be the first Clan Chief of the Leasks in Slains Parish, Aberdeen.) (g,h)

•     October 13, 1346 AD           Neville’s Cross Junction: King David II was defeated and captured by an English army led by the Archbishop of York. (2 page 73-80)

•     1357 AD                           King David II is released by the English and restored as King (2)

•     February 23, 1371 AD        King David II dies suddenly on the eve of his wedding to Agnes Dunbar, sister of the Earl of March51


  1. February 5, 1284-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 105. 

  2. 1284-1328-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 70. 

  3. March 19, 1286-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 106. 

  4. March 19, 1286-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 70. 

  5. September 1286 AD-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 97-98. 

  6. 1286-1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 96-99. 

  7. July 10, 1289-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 103. 

  8. July 10, 1289-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 108. 

  9. February 20, 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 104. 

  10. July 18, 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 104. 

  11. July 18, 1290-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 111. 

  12. August 8, 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 108. 

  13. September 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 108, 103-104. 

  14. October 6, 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 108. 

  15. November 6, 1290-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 109. 

  16. Winter 1290-1291-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 100. 

  17. June 1291-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 111. 

  18. June 11, 1291-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 112. 

  19. June 12, 1291-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 111. 

  20. June 13, 1291-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 112. 

  21. November 7,9, 1292-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 122. 

  22. November 17,1292-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 117. 

  23. November 17, 1292-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 122. 

  24. December 26, 1292-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 129. 

  25. January 6, 1293-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 133. 

  26. 1294-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 138. 

  27. 1294-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 139. 

  28. 1294-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 139. 

  29. 1295-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 139. 

  30. July 5, 1295-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 139. 

  31. 1295-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 139. 

  32. 1295-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 140. 

  33. Autumn 1295, 1289-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 123, 141. 

  34. October 1995-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 141. 

  35. March 24, 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 158. 

  36. March 26, 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 142,143. 

  37. March 30, 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 157. 

  38. April 5, 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 142. 

  39. April 27, 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 157. 

  40. July 8, 1296-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, pages 121, 157. 

  41. July and August 1296-Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 161. 

  42. August 8, 1296-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 123. 

  43. July 1297-<i>Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314</i>, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, pages 164, 165. 

  44. 1297 to 1304-<i>Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314</i>, Alan Young, Tuckwell Press, 1997, page 190. 

  45. May 1301-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 148. 

  46. February 1302-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 149. 

  47. May 1303-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 149. 

  48. May 1303-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 150. 

  49. February 9, 1304-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 150. 

  50. March 26, 1306-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 167. 

  51. February 23, 1371-Scotland, The Story of a Nation, ©Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, page 208.