Christina Bruce

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Christina Bruce (c. 1278 – 1356/1357), also known as Christina de Brus, was a daughter of Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, and her husband, Robert de Brus, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick, as well as a sister of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. It is presumed that she and her siblings were born at Turnberry Castle in Carrick.

Life[edit]

After his army's defeat at the Battle of Methven on 19 June 1306, Robert Bruce headed west to the mountains. He sent his second wife, Elizabeth, his daughter Marjorie, his sisters Christina and Mary Bruce, as well as Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan to Kildrummy Castle in the north, with his brother Nigel (known as Neil) in an attempt to protect them.[1]

When Kildrummy was besieged, the women were forced to flee. After Kildrummy Castle was betrayed and captured, Neil de Bruce was taken to Berwick to be hanged, drawn, and beheaded.

The women escorted by the Earl of Atholl made it as far as the sanctuary of St. Duthac at Tain in Easter Ross. There, they were captured by a Balliol supporter, Earl William of Ross, who handed them over to Edward I's men.[1]

Christina was sent to a Gilbertine nunnery at Sixhills in Lincolnshire,[1] while her sister Mary and Bruce's supporter Isabella MacDuff were imprisoned in cages.

Christina returned to Scotland in an exchange of prisoners in early 1315 after the Battle of Bannockburn.

Her first marriage was to Sir Christopher Seton, who was born in 1278 and executed in 1306. She remarried in 1326 to Sir Andrew Murray, the posthumous child (b. 1298) of Sir Andrew Murray, a joint victor of the battle of Stirling Bridge along with William Wallace. Sir Andrew died in 1338.

Christina is sometimes thought to have also married Gartnait, son of Donald, Earl of Mar (died 1305). She is never described as a Countess of Mar, however, or even described as "of Mar". Moreover, there is no evidence of any familial relationship with Gartnait's son and successor, Donald II. Gartnait was instead likely married to an elder sister of Christina's.[2]

In 1335, during the Second War of Scottish Independence, Christina commanded the garrison of Kildrummy Castle and successfully held out against pro-Balliol forces led by David of Strathbogie, prior to their defeat by her husband, Sir Andrew Murray, at the Battle of Culblean.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Elizabeth de Burgh and Marjorie Bruce", Foghlam Alba
  2. ^ Watson (2004a); Watson (2004b).
  3. ^ A History of the County of Renfrew from the Earliest Times By William Musham Metcalfe p.69-70

Sources[edit]

  • Penman, Michael Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots
  • Traquair, Peter Freedom's Sword
  • Watson, F (2004a). "Bruce, Christian (d. 1356)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60019. Retrieved 9 April 2016. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • Watson, F (2004b). "Donald, Eighth Earl of Mar (1293–1332)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/18021. Retrieved 12 December 2015. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)