Talk:John Balliol

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While he is usually known as John Balliol, some historians consider this unfair, implying that he was a usurper. More to the point, John of Scotland is in accordance with wikipedia conventions on naming of monarchs. PatGallacher 2005 July 9 10:27 (UTC)

Toom Tabard[edit]

Toom Tabard "empty garment" although usually described as meaning a "puppet", may refer to the fact that during King John's humiliation by King Edward, his tabard, or surcoat, would have been stripped of insignia, therefore being literally an "empty garment".

The Auld Alliance[edit]

John did not 'finally stand up for himself' in the alliance with France. The direction of affairs was taken from his hands in July 1295 by a council of twelve-made up equally of earls, barrons and churchmen. It was this council that went on to conclude what was to become known as the Auld alliance. Rcpaterson 08:14, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Some more minor edits. John was not known as Toom Tabard during his reign. It comes from the ceremony at Brechin where the royal arms were torn from his coat. It literally means 'empty coat', but has over time acquired layers of additional meaning-'vacant' and 'ineffectual' are probably closer to the point than 'puppet'. Rcpaterson 02:49, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Place of Birth[edit]

I was always led to believe that John Baliol was born at Buittle see [1] Brendandh 12:55, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I suggested he was probably born at Barnard Castle where, according to numerous records, his parents spent much of their time and was his father's principal seat in Britain. In normal circumstances that would have made most sense. This was only a suggestion based upon, as I have said, the most likely probability. I was pounced upon and a revert was carried out upon my edits accordingly. When does one opinion become superior to anothers? It is this sort of conduct on Wikipedia which has dramatically slowed my contributions. I just cannot be bothered with it. David Lauder 16:58, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
David, you're the only one trying to make "one opinion superior to the others". If you are to be believed, your Victorian source thinks Barnwell is a possibility, whereas modern sources think Picardy or Galloway. Seems to me the current version making it clear that his birth is unknown but suggesting three possibilities is fair. No? BTW, it was Derborgaill ingen Ailin who had the baby, not John de Balliol, so her locational preferences (Galloway very much) would be most important than any John's, though she did travel about too. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:38, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
There is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that Victorian scholars were not as industrious and careful as modern scholars (although everyone in any century is bound to make the occasional error), with great access to the bulk of the ancient records, as is demonstrated by the endless volumes of transcriptions available today. Your continued denigration of many great scholars in preference for those twentieth century writers who play a tune more in keeping with the gaelic/ultra-nationalist line you seem to be pushing does you and Wikipedia no credit. David Lauder 07:48, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Lauder, darling, I know you have a warped perception of reality ... but I think in this instance, there's little reason to bring such ignorant paranoia into the equation, since the topic of John's birthplace is not really impinged by any "Gaelic/ultra-nationalist" line, which isn't a feature of any modern scholarship anyways. If by the latter you're referring to a tendency to gives Gaels the Gaelic forms of their names, well this is just a feature of modern historiography in general where modern historians do tend to give people the form of their name according to their national or cultural background, hence all those Władysławs instead of, as in your day, Ladislaus. I doubt that non-Scots such as David Dumville, Thomas Owen Clancy, James Fraser can really be accused of Gaelic nationalism. Creating such fantasies will not help you on wikipedia, but just make you look like a paranoid nut-case. That's how it'll make you look mind, not what I think of you. Anyways, Victorian scholars and 19th cent. scholars can indeed be good (they had far more time to write than moderns) when you know how to use them and which ones to use, but I know from experiencing your edits that you do not. These scholars used on their own simply are not of equal worth ... they are at the early stage of scholarly debates which have moved on considerably since they were writing; venerating them like you do is almost equivalent to learning science from science books of the same period, and then claiming everything after is "rewriting" or "Revision". Not the best way. There are some Amish communities in the USA though who'd respect this position, but I'm not sure too many users here would. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 08:17, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
We British say Munich, not Munchen, Rome, not Roma, etc. Poles say Jerzy, not George. We have always written in our language with our spellings. If you are a PC American you might not understand us. I don't think there is a comparison between the sciences and the recording and interpretation of history. There is nothing wrong with my understanding of history. I was probably studying these volumes when you were still in nappies. But when we have a Queen of Malcolm Canmore and successive monarchs thereafter constantly anglicising as much as they could I don't try and rewrite history by suggesting that Gaelic was still widely used into the 15th century and I don't insist that all and sundry, after 800 years of history books citing their names otherwise, be slapped in the face with gaelic names which no-one recognises. Unfortunately you are one of those people who feel that the modern generation and their opinions are just so superior to all those who came before us. I don't. I am not attempting to rewrite history, just to make it more widely accessible. David Lauder 10:01, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

"Here Another Version"[edit]

This portion seems unencyclopaedic. I suggest it be deleted. 50n0m4 01:53, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Well spotted. Quite right. Angus McLellan (Talk) 02:17, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

"His Own father!"[edit]

According to the article he is his own father! -- (talk) 16:27, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Title of article[edit]

The current title is an awkward halfway house. Strict interpretation of WP:NCROY would give us "John of Scotland", but his common name is "John Balliol". What do people think? PatGallacher (talk) 02:32, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

According to the new consensus the standard title would be John, King of Scotland, but I don't see why that would be an improvement. His common name is John Balliol, so we certainly want to use that in the title so people know who we're talking about, but he's felt not to be the primary topic for that name (maybe that issue could be discussed), so we add "King of Scotland" to distinguish him from the other John Balliol (his father). Seems perfectly fine to me.--Kotniski (talk) 08:56, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per discussion below. There's not a complete consensus, but the reasons for opposing the move boil down to, "I don't accept cognomens for British Isles monarchs.", and "I like the current title", which aren't really arguments. - GTBacchus(talk) 05:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

John Balliol, King of ScotlandJohn Balliol — This article has been shunted around between a number of different titles, but I think the default option is just to go for his common name, "John Balliol", which already redirects here. The current title is an awkard compromise between this common name and an attempt to apply the naming convention. He is definitely the primary meaning over his father, the only other John Balliol with an article on Wikipedia, who should remain a hatnote. Relisted. Jafeluv (talk) 15:31, 22 December 2010 (UTC) PatGallacher (talk) 21:29, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

If he is the primary meaning, then I support this, though I'm not entirely sure - he was only king for 4 years, whereas his father was a leading light of his time, founded Balliol College etc. Do we have any evidence as to which man the name most commonly refers to?--Kotniski (talk) 07:12, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

If he is not the primary meaning then we need to re-examine where "John Balliol" should direct to. Should it be a dab with only 2 entries, generally not good practice, see WP:TWODABS? Or should we treat his father as primary? I would have thought that monarchs would normally trump non-monarchs, founding a college is hardly on par with ruling a country. He was only de facto ruler for 4 years (although his supporters would argue he was de jure king for longer) but he is a better known and more significant figure than this short reign might suggest. He was an important figure in the events leading up to the Wars of Independence fought by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (see the article for a complete explanation) and is mentioned briefly in Braveheart (although the film gets its history badly mangled at this point, one character asks Wallace whether he will support the Balliol claim, in reality Wallace did describe himself as Governor of Scotland in the name of John Balliol, King of Scotland). PatGallacher (talk) 12:34, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. Perhaps the hatnote pointing to the father might refer explicitly to his role in the founding of Balliol College, Oxford? That seems his main claim to fame. The son is the primary meaning IMO. A two-way DAB is probably the best solution if we can't get consensus that the son is the primary meaning. Andrewa (talk) 16:34, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
  • All right, support in the light of Pat's arguments and Andrew's hatnote suggestion.--Kotniski (talk) 16:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, WP:TWODABS is a miserable rule (although often a sensible suggestion); but this is a reasonable start. What to call his father (I would prefer Sir John Balliol to the present mix of Latin, French, and English) can be discussed on his talk page. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:32, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - clearly the primary meaning, and a less awkward title. john k (talk) 01:49, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Should be moved to John, King of Scotland. GoodDay (talk) 07:04, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Can you say why you think it should be so moved? (This applies in general to your regular cryptic pronouncements on royal naming, not just this one.)--Kotniski (talk) 07:31, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Point # 4 of WP:NCROY: Sovereign with no ordinal, should be styled as Name, title of country. GoodDay (talk) 13:22, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
And have you read point 2, or the rest of point 4 even, which says that we make exceptions e.g. when there's a well-known cognomen?--Kotniski (talk) 21:55, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't accept cognomens for British Isles monarchs. GoodDay (talk) 16:59, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Interesting to know what you'd do with Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, then...--Kotniski (talk) 09:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I like the current title.--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 09:50, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. I oppose the form "X, King of Y" generally. Srnec (talk) 05:01, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
  • All this "I like", "I oppose", "I don't accept" is not really advancing the debate very much. Could we trouble commenters for a few reasons?--Kotniski (talk) 09:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Nom. Kittybrewster 22:25, 28 December 2010 (UTC)


(off topic) The actual WP:TWODABS doesn't even say what people in move discussions invariably seem to think it does (and perhaps it should). All it means is that IF you have only two topics AND one of them is primary THEN there's no need for a dab page (because hatnotes do the job better). It doesn't say that if there are only two topics then one of them ought to be primary. (Though in fact it seems to be widely accepted, and quite logically, though AFAIK not documented in the guidelines, that if there are only two topics then we can be more inclined to identify one of them as primary than we otherwise would be.)--Kotniski (talk) 20:32, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Then it should be reworded.
If there are only two topics, it may be somewhat more likely that one of them has the 80 or 90% predominance which would make a primary topic; certainly the lock against this of having two 20% topics will not happen. But there is still a large chance that they will split 50-50 or 60-40. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:23, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Some unclear statements[edit]

The section entitled "Accession as King of Scotland" contains a couple of rather gnomic statements:

he was a great-great-great-grandson of King David I through his mother (and therefore one generation further than his main rival Robert Bruce...)

What does "one generation further" mean in the above?

Regarding the council of twelve: These men were more likely a group of advisors to King John...

More likely than what?

These could do with clarification (or possibly deletion). Tonywalton Talk 22:55, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Another unclear statement[edit]

" John abdicated at Stracathro near Montrose on 10 July 1296. Here the arms of Scotland were formally torn from John's surcoat..." Torn off by whom? It's important to know - not least because it throws light upon whether it was actually abdication - that this ritual humiliation was carried out, not by disgruntled Scots but by his puppetmaster, England's king, Edward, who was related to John Balliol by marriage. (talk) 09:55, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Toom Tabard . . . again[edit]

The article names two different translations of this epithet without acknowledging (except by footnote) that various interpretations exist. It seems to me that both mentions should be the same and that the first one should carry the footnote. Am I right? Ed8r (talk) 17:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:17, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Place of death and burial[edit]

I note that the Infobox mention of Picardy is unreferenced. And then there is this:

--Mais oui! (talk) 05:02, 17 February 2013 (UTC)