Elizabeth de Burgh

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For other people named Elizabeth de Burgh, see Elizabeth de Burgh (disambiguation).
Elizabeth de Burgh
Queen consort of Scotland
Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth de Burgh, from the Seton Armorial.
Tenure 1306–1327
Coronation 27 March 1306
Spouse Robert I of Scotland
Issue Matilda
David II of Scotland
John of Scotland
House de Burgh
Father Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster
Mother Margarite de Burgh
Born c. 1289
Died 27 October 1327
Cullen, Banffshire
Burial Dunfermline

Elizabeth de Burgh (c. 1289 – 27 October 1327) was the second wife and the only queen consort of King Robert I of Scotland.


She was born in Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland, the daughter of the powerful Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his wife Margarite de Burgh (died 1304). Her father was a close friend of King Edward I of England.

Elizabeth probably met Robert the Bruce, then Earl of Carrick, at the English court, and they married in 1302 at Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex, England. Elizabeth would have been about thirteen years old.

On 27 March 1306, Robert and Elizabeth were crowned as King and Queen of Scots at Scone. The coronation took place in defiance of the English claims of suzerainty over Scotland, and the new King sent Elizabeth, with other family members, to Kildrummy Castle for safety under the protection of his brother Nigel (sometimes known as Niall).

After the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Methven on 19 June 1306, Elizabeth had taken her stepdaughter Marjorie and her husband's sisters Mary and Christian to Kildrummy Castle.[1] The English laid siege to the castle containing the royal party. The siege finally succeeded when the English bribed a blacksmith with "all the gold he could carry" to set fire to the corn store. The victors hanged, drew and quartered Nigel Bruce,[citation needed] along with all the men from the castle. However, the royal ladies under the escort of the Earl of Atholl had already fled.

They were taken from the sanctuary of St. Duthac at Tain by the Earl of Ross, a supporter of the Comyns, and dispatched to King Edward. He imprisoned Bruce's sister Mary and Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan, in wooden cages erected on the walls of Roxburgh and Berwick castles respectively, and then sent Bruce's nine-year-old daughter Marjorie to the nunnery at Watton.

Elizabeth was held under severe conditions of house arrest in England. The Earl of Atholl was hanged and his head displayed on London Bridge.[2]

She was imprisoned for eight years by the English, from October 1306 to July 1308 at Burstwick-in-Holderness, Yorkshire and then transferred to Bisham Manor, Berkshire until March 1312. From there, she was moved to Windsor Castle until October 1312, Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset until March 1313, Barking Abbey, Essex until March 1314, and Rochester Castle, Kent until June 1314. After the Battle of Bannockburn, she was moved to York while prisoner exchange talks took place. At York, she had an audience with King Edward II of England. Finally, in November 1314, she was moved to Carlisle just before the exchange and her return to Scotland.

After her husband's coronation at Scone, she is quoted as having said,

as though anticipating a defeat by Edward I.[3]

Elizabeth had three children who reached adulthood: Matilda, Margaret, and David (the future king David II of Scotland).[4][5]

Elizabeth died on 27 October 1327 at Cullen, Banffshire and is buried in Dunfermline. King Robert, her husband, died 18 months later.

The organs of Elizabeth de Burgh are said to have been buried in the parish church of Cullen after her death. Robert made an annual payment to the village in gratitude for the treatment of his wife's body and its return south for burial.[6] A recent non-payment of this sum by the government was challenged and settled to the village's favour.[citation needed]


Name Birth Death Notes
between 1315 and 1323
30 March 1346
in childbirth
Married William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland and had one son, John, who died aged twenty of the Black Plague.
Matilda 30 July 1353 Married Thomas Isak/Isaac and had two daughters, Joanna (wife of John of Argyll) and Catherine.
David 5 March 1324 22 February 1371 King of Scots (1329 – 1372). Married Joan of The Tower, no issue.
October 1327
Dunfermline Palace, Fife
Heir to the Crown of Scotland.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 34. 
  2. ^ Scott, Ronald McNair, Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots, p 87
  3. ^ Lang, Andrew, "A history of Scotland from the Roman Occupation"
  4. ^ Bingham, Caroline Robert the Bruce
  5. ^ Boardman, Stephen The Early Stewart Kings
  6. ^ Presbytery of Moray

External links[edit]

Scottish royalty
Preceded by
Yolande de Dreux
Queen consort of Scotland
Succeeded by
Joan of The Tower