Edward Balliol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edward Balliol
Edward Balliol, King of Scotland seal.png
Edward's seal
Claimant to the Kingdom of Scotland
Tenure24 September 1332 – 20 January 1356
Bornc. 1283
Died1367 (aged approximately 84)
Wheatley, Doncaster
HouseHouse of Balliol
FatherJohn Balliol
MotherIsabella de Warenne
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Edward Balliol (Scottish Gaelic: Èideard Balliol;[1] c. 1283 – 1367) was a claimant to the Scottish throne during the Second War of Scottish Independence. With English help, he ruled parts of the kingdom from 1332 to 1356.

Claim to Scotland[edit]

Edward was the eldest son of John Balliol, erstwhile king of Scotland, and Isabella de Warenne. The death of King Robert I weakened Scotland considerably, since his son and successor, David II, was still a child and the two most able lieutenants, the Black Douglas and the Earl of Moray, both died shortly afterwards. Taking advantage of this, Edward Balliol, backed by King Edward III of England, defeated David's regent, the Earl of Mar, at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in Perthshire.

Edward Balliol was crowned at Scone in September 1332, but three months later he was forced to flee half-naked back to England, following a surprise attack by nobles loyal to David II at the Battle of Annan. On his retreat from Scotland, Balliol sought refuge with the Clifford family, land owners in Westmorland, and stayed in their castles at Appleby, Brougham, Brough, and Pendragon.[2]


Edward was back put into power by the English in 1333, following the siege of Berwick and the Battle of Halidon Hill. Balliol then ceded the whole of the district formerly known as Lothian to Edward and paid homage to him as liege lord while staying in Black friars church in Newcastle upon Tyne [Church of St Nicholas, John McQuillen ISBN 32044081224222]. With no serious support in Scotland, he was defeated again in 1334, fleeing Scotland once more. In November 1334, Edward III invaded again, but unable to bring the Scots to battle, he retreated in February 1335. He and Edward Balliol returned again in July 1336 with a large English army and advanced through Scotland, first to Glasgow and then to Perth, Edward III destroying the surrounding countryside as they went. By late 1336, the Scots had regained control over virtually all of Scotland and by 1338 the tide had turned against the usurper.[3] The final blow was the English defeat on 30 November 1335 at the Battle of Culblean which was the effective end of Balliol's attempt to overthrow the King of Scots.[4]

Edward returned to Scotland after the defeat of David II at Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346 and with a small force raised an insurrection in Galloway in a final attempt to gain the crown of Scotland. He only succeeded in gaining control of some of Galloway, with his power diminishing there until 1355.[5]

Final years[edit]

On 20 January 1356, Balliol surrendered his claim to the Scottish throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension. He spent the rest of his life living in obscurity. He died childless in 1367, at Wheatley, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. The location of his grave is believed to be under a Doncaster Post Office.[6]


  1. ^ Gairm Obar Bhrothaig
  2. ^ Summerson, Trueman & Harrison 1998, p. 18.
  3. ^ Gray, Sir Thomas (2005). Scalachronica. The Boydell Press. pp. 107–111, 113, 115, 119.
  4. ^ Simpson, W. Douglas (1929–30). "Campaign and Battle of Culblean". Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland. 64.
  5. ^ Gray, Sir Thomas (2005). Scalachronica. The Boydell Press. p. 141.
  6. ^ Darren Burke (14 February 2013). "Could Scots king be buried under the Post Office?". South Yorkshire Times. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.



  • Balfour-Melville, E. M. W. (1954). Edward III and David II. London: G. Philip.
  • Beam, Amanda (2008). The Balliol Dynasty, 1210–1364. Edinburgh: John Donald.
  • Campbell, James (1965). "England, Scotland and the Hundred Years War in the fourteenth century". In in J. R. Hale; J. R. L. Highfield; B. Smalley (eds.). Europe in the Late Middle Ages. London: Faber and Faber.
  • Dalrymple, David (1776–79). Annals of Scotland: From the Accession of Malcolm III Surnamed Canmore to the Accession of Robert I. London: J. Murray.
  • Nicholson, Ranald (1965). Edward III and the Scots: The Formative Years of a Military Career, 1327–1335. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Paterson, R. C. Edward Balliol, in Military History, April, 2003.
  • Ramsay, J. H., Edward Balliol's Scottish Campaign in 1347, in English Historical Review, vol. 25 1910.
  • Ramsay, James H. (1913). Genesis of Lancaster; or, The Three Reigns of Edward II, Edward III and Richard II, 1307–1399. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Reid, R. C., Edward de Balliol, in Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Antiquarian and Natural History Society, vol. 35 1956–7.
  • Summerson, Henry; Trueman, Michael; Harrison, Stuart (1998), "Brougham Castle, Cumbria", Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Research Series, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (8), ISBN 1-873124-25-2
  • Webster, B., Scotland without a King, 1329–1341, in Medieval Scotland, Crown, Lordship and Community, ed A. Grant and K. J. Stringer, 1993.
  • Webster, Bruce (2004). "Balliol, Edward". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1206. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Further reading[edit]