This participation is contested as no Bruce appears on the Falkirk roll of nobles present in the English army, and two 19th Century antiquarians, Alexander Murison and George Chalmers, have stated Bruce did not participate and in the following month decided to lay waste to Annandale and burn Ayr Castle, to prevent it being garrisoned by the English. That Bruce was in the forefront of inciting rebellion is shown in a letter written to Edward by Hugh Cressingham on 23 July 1292, which reports the opinion that "if you had the earl of Carrick, the Steward of Scotland and his brother...you would think your business done".

Thus, lineally and geopolitically, Bruce attempted to support his anticipated notion of a pan-Gaelic alliance between Scottish-Irish Gaelic populations, under his kingship. On 1 October 1310 Bruce wrote Edward II of England from Kildrum[54] in Cumbernauld Parish in an unsuccessful attempt to establish peace between Scotland and England. In April, Bruce won a small victory over the English at the Battle of Glen Trool, before defeating Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, at the Battle of Loudoun Hill. The Peerage. Buoyed by his military successes, Robert also sent his brother Edward to invade Ireland in 1315, in an attempt to assist the Irish lords repel English incursions of in their kingdoms and to regain all the lands they had lost to the Crown (having received a reply to offers of assistance from Domhnall Ó Néill, king of Tír Eoghain), and to open a second front in the continuing wars with England. The morale and leadership of the Comyns and their northern allies appeared to be inexplicably lacking in the face of their direst challenge. How this dramatic success was achieved, especially the taking of northern castles so quickly, is difficult to understand. ISBN, Bingham, Caroline (1998). This is revealed by a letter he sent to the Irish chiefs, where he calls the Scots and Irish collectively nostra nacio (our nation), stressing the common language, customs and heritage of the two peoples: Whereas we and you and our people and your people, free since ancient times, share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and by common custom, we have sent you our beloved kinsman, the bearers of this letter, to negotiate with you in our name about permanently strengthening and maintaining inviolate the special friendship between us and you, so that with God's will our nation (nostra nacio) may be able to recover her ancient liberty. On 7 July 1307, King Edward I died, leaving Bruce opposed by the king's son, Edward II. R.W. [27] Edward I thereupon provided a safe refuge for the Bruces, having appointed the Lord of Annandale to the command of Carlisle Castle in October 1295. A further sign of Edward's distrust occurred on 10 October 1305, when Edward revoked his gift of Sir Gilbert de Umfraville's lands to Bruce that he had made only six months before.[42]. [108], According to a legend, at some point while he was on the run after the 1305 Battle of Methven, Bruce hid in a cave where he observed a spider spinning a web, trying to make a connection from one area of the cave's roof to another. His ambition was further thwarted by John Comyn, who supported John Balliol. [40] On 7 July, Bruce and his friends made terms with Edward by a treaty called the Capitulation of Irvine. There were rumours that John Balliol would return to regain the Scottish throne. At the end of March 1329 he was staying at Glenluce Abbey and at Monreith, from where St Ninian's cave was visited. The Harrying of Buchan in 1308 was ordered by Bruce to make sure all Comyn family support was extinguished. Penman, Michael (2008). [75] The king's last journey appears to have been a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Ninian at Whithorn; this was possibly in search of a miraculous cure, or to make his peace with God. Married (1) in 1328. Freed from English threats, Scotland's armies could now invade northern England. [17] There were a number of Carrick, Ayrshire, Hebridean and Irish families and kindreds affiliated with the Bruces who might have performed such a service (Robert's foster-brother is referred to by Barbour as sharing Robert's precarious existence as an outlaw in Carrick in 1307–08).

He then crossed to Argyll and defeated the isolated MacDougalls (allies of the Comyns) at the Battle of Pass of Brander and took Dunstaffnage Castle, the last major stronghold of the Comyns and their allies. Hunter, Paul V (2012). [22], Robert's mother died early in 1292.

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