Roger de Kirkpatrick

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Sir Roger de Kirkpatrick of Closeburn (fl. 14th century) was a Scottish gentleman, a 3rd cousin and associate of Robert the Bruce, and a 1st cousin of Sir William Wallace. He was born circa 1280 at the Kirkpatrick stronghold of Closeburn Castle.

The killing of John Comyn in the Greyfriars church in Dumfries, as seen by Felix Philippoteaux, a 19th-century illustrator.

Kirkpatrick was appointed one of the deputy justiciars of Scotland, given responsibility for Galloway in partnership with the English justiciar Walter de Burghdon. This appointment is recorded in the Ordinances of 1305, by which Edward I attempted to order the administration of a Scotland reduced to the status of a 'land' instead of a realm. An ally of Robert Bruce, Kirkpatrick was present in the Chapel of Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries on 10 February 1306 when Bruce quarreled with John "the Red" Comyn and killed him.

The exact sequence of events is disputed by historians but some traditions suggest that Bruce proposed that he and Comyn unite against Edward I, a plan which Comyn subsequently betrayed to the English king, a betrayal which led to the conflict at Dumfries and Comyn's death. Kirkpatrick's actions are well-known but attested to be a tale (according to Geoffrey Barrow[1]). Bruce, having wounded Comyn with his dagger, rushed from the church and encountered his attendants outside. Bruce told them what had happened and said, "I must be off, for I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn,"[2] "Doubt?" Kirkpatrick of Closeburn answered, "I mak sikker," ("I'll make sure," or "I make sure") and rushing into the church, finishing Comyn.[2]

Kirkpatrick and Bruce were chased three nights by Comyn's followers but were never caught. Less than seven weeks after the killing in Dumfries, Bruce was crowned King of Scotland; he granted his own arms to Kirkpatrick. Upon the escutcheon he also placed three pillows to denote the three nights they slept in the woods while fleeing. "I mak sikker" became the family motto.[3]

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