Talk:Robert the Bruce

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When did Robert the Bruce start incorporating the schiltron, as originally devised by Wallace? He definitely used this tactic in the Battle of Bannockburn, but did he use it in ordinary guerilla warfare?

A shiltrom was not any particular shape - it might be circular, rectangular or linear depending on need. There is no reason to assume that the schiltrom was an invention of Willima Wallace - it was the manner of fighting for all spear-armed infantry units throughout the middle ages.

In response to the above question, first of all I believe the formation was called a "Shiltrom," with an 'm.' I'm not sure if the n is an acceptable variation or not. To directly address the above question, John Furdun in his Scottish Chronical described the battle of Falkirk where William Wallace was defeated and he describes Wallace's shiltrom as having been flanked (possibly by Robert Bruce himself, but this was only speculation). So the shiltrom was definitely not designed by Bruce. This is the earliest use of the word that I can think of off the top of my head, so I am not sure whether or not Wallace was the creator of the formation.

Would it really be possible to use that formation in guerilla warfare anyway? Seems a bit unlikey. - Tulloch Gorum —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Guerilla is a poor term to use of the middle ages generally. Most of the fighting was conducted by men-at-arms between 1296 and 1304 and again between 1309 (ish) and the end of the war in 1328. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The Bruce? Or Bruce? Or Bruys? Or Brus?[edit]

Is it Robert THE Bruce, or is it just Robert Bruce?

  • Technically it's both. Robert Bruce, hence Robert of the Bruce family!
    • my understanding is that when the definite article "The" is used, you are referring to the head of the family and/or laird of the region. The MacKenzie, The Bruce, etc.
  • I'm afraid that there may not be a clear answer to this question, since most contemporary records may describe him in Norman French as Robert le Brus. It would be interesting to know how Barbour describes him.
      • The style "The MacIntosh" or "The MacArthur" or

what have you indicates that the person so designated is Chief of the indicated Name or Clan. Robert the Bruce was Chief of the Name of Bruce. The style is still used today.

In the case of Robert the Bruce, long usage has reinforced the style. Barbour refers to King Robert I in several different ways, including as "The Bruce," as well as "the lord Bruce" and as "The King."

  • What is the relationship between the Bruce family and the Stewarts? I have seen on the House of Stuart page that Robert the Bruce was listed as Robert Stewart (Stuart?). Would that be the same person?
      • The daughter of King Robert I married Walter Stuart,

and their son became Robert II, the first of the Stuart Kings of Scots. The Monarch of Scotland was always referred to as "King of Scots" rather than "King of Scotland," the idea being that the Scottish Monarch was first Chief among many Chiefs, rather than an absolute Monarch. Not so simple as that; Medievla kings of Scotland, France and England (at least) are desrcibed in medieval documents as 'KIng of Scots' or 'King of Scotland' or 'France/the French' of England/the Englsih' in a pretty abtirary manner. The idea that Scottsih kings were the 'first chief among chiefs' is a product of nationalist romance. Medieval Scottish kings were just as absloute in their kingship as their French or Englsih counterparts. 11:18, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Docbro

  • We appear to be in danger of getting into a serious muddle between his mother and his daughter. I know his daughter is normally describe as Marjorie Bruce, but should we describe his mother as Marjorie or Margaret? PatGallacher 01:38, 2005 Feb 21 (UTC)

Bruce's Cave[edit]

Is it necessary to have the reference to Bruce's Cave? I'm sure there are dozens of places around Scotland and elsewhere named after him and it would seem unnecessary to pick out one fairly obscure example. Leithp 19:17, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Probably not. There's a cave on Isle of Arran that claims to be the true cave, but there may be others, too. Berek 07:57, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I took out the reference to Rathlin Island, as it's been a couple of weeks and no-one has given a reason for it to remain. Leithp 10:05, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It says in the Rathlin article that the cave was there - that's probably why they added it here. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T-C} 08:55, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the cave issue should be mentioned in the article. Seems like several places claim that they have the cave. I have only visited the one on Arran, the information signs there mentions it as a "legend", so we should make that clear in the article too. RipperDoc


Y-DNA seems to suggest that Bruce male DNA is of the same ancient stock as Fergus of Galloway Male DNA. This would make him Gall-Ghaidhil stock, not Norman.

???? Not sure if this is correct. Prince Fergus --> Gille-Brighde of Galloway --> Donnchadh Earl of Carrick --> Niall, Earl of Carrick --> Marjorie marries Robert VI de Brus --> Robert the Bruce ????


Compare User ID Pedigree Last Name Origin Haplogroup Tested With Markers Compared Genetic Distance

CC7N8 Show Ferguson Scotland R1b1a2a1a1b4 (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 0 Y48QE Ferguson Virginia, USA Unknown Family Tree DNA 67 2 ZKTE9 ferguson Unknown Unknown Family Tree DNA 67 1 BPHVR Bruce Scotland R1b1a2 (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 2 2CX2X Bruce Unknown Unknown Family Tree DNA 67 2 7X268 Ferguson USA R1b1a2 (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 2 BKY6M Ferguson Scotland R1b1a2a1a1b4 (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 3 F6FPK Ferguson Murfreesboro, Scotland Unknown Family Tree DNA 67 3 JCJF2 Bruce North Carolina, USA Unknown Family Tree DNA 67 4 RX7CS Ferguson ooltewah, USA R1b1a2a1a1b4 (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 3 QP7VV Bruce Scotland R1b1a2a1a1b (tested) Family Tree DNA 67 5 A2HJU Ferguson Virginia, USA Unknown Family Tree DNA 42 0 8D7DQ Ferguson America Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 1 TZAC4 Ferguson Unknown Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 2 JGTTM Bruce Scotland Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 2 C2UR7 Furgerson II Scotland Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 3 249T8 kidd Virginia, USA Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 3 M9VBC Ferguson Kentucky, USA Unknown Family Tree DNA 37 4


Fergussons from both Galloway and Carrick alike claim descent from Fergus of Galloway. The grandfather of Donnchadh, Earl of Carrick and in turn great-great-grandfather to Robert Bruce, Fergus, restored the see of Whithorn and founded Dundrennan Abbey during the reign of David I and Malcolm IV. He died as a monk at Holyrood in 1161. Through Robert Bruce passes the line of the Royal Family of Britain. It was the 1st Earl of Carrick's signature that might suggest the origins of the Fergusson surname, Duncan, son of Gilbert, the son of Fergus, hence MacFhearguis.


It has long been written that the ancestor of the family was Robert de Brus, a knight of Normandy who came to England with William the Conqueror[4]. But this was an invention taken from totally unreliable medieval lists of those who fought at Hastings[4]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:54, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Where are your sources for this? How can they recover his y-dna, given that he has no known male-line descendants, his known descendants are all descended from his daughters? PatGallacher (talk) 11:02, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't know about Y-DNA, but I do know that he was my 33rd great grandfather so I see his ancestors on my family tree. It can be assumed accurate since royalty had a tendency to maintain detailed records, but dates and places are sometimes skewed. I also think it's worth mentioning that both he and William I had the same 19th great Grandfather: King Fornjotur Kvenland making the two fairly distant cousins... King Fornjotur Kvenland (160 - 250) (my 54th great grandfather) > king Kari Fornjotsson of Kvenland (my 53rd great grandfather) > king Frosti Karasson of Kvenland > king Jokull Frostasson > king Snaer Jokulsson > king Thorri Snaersson > king Gorr Thorrasson > king Heytir Gorrsson > king Svidri Heytsson > king Sveidi Svidrasson > king Halfdan Sveidasson > king Oplaendinge Jarl Ivar > king "Oplaendinge" (Jarl) Ivar > king Eystein Ivarsson > king Rognvald I Jarl > king Einar Turf ROGNVALDSSON EAR > king Thorfinn I Rollo Brico EINARSSON > king Hlodver Thorfinnsson > king Sigurd Hlodversson > Brusi Sigurdsson > Rognvald Brus (1012 - 1046) > King Robert DeBruce (1020 - 1094) 1:46 AM, 30 June 2011 (CST) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


Could someone please amend the article with the fact that "Bruce" is a Norman family name from Robert's ancestor "Brusse" who came to the island with his cousin William the Conqueror during the Norman Invasion. Both Brusse and William were descended from (respectively) Turf-Einar and Rollo, the sons of Ragnvald Eysteinsson, the Jarl of Moer.

Robert born in Chelmsford?[edit]

The articles Chelmsford and Writtle both contain the sugestion that the latter (which is in or near the former, apparently) is considered a possible birthplace of Robert. I would have thought that the possibility of a non-Scottish birth would be worth a mention in this article, if credible enought to be mentioned in those. But I'd prefer to leave this to folks who know a lot more about the subject than I do. Sharkford July 8, 2005 17:28 (UTC)

Two medieval sources (Galfredi Le Baker De Swinbroke, Chronicon Angliæ temporibus Edwardi II. et Edwardi III and the Fordun Annals) do claim the accepted date of birth and Writtle, but are not taken seriously by some historians. The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton explicitly claims that Scotland and England both now had kings of their own birth (Were????). Lochmaben has a claim which is possible, but it is probably Turnberry Castle in Ayrshire. PatGallacher 2005 July 8 21:32 (UTC)

Where were Robert the Bruce's parents when he was born? Adraeus July 8, 2005 22:13 (UTC)

His father should have been on crusade with Edward I, but apparently didn't go, next reference I've found for his father is: "Earl Robert attended the Westminster parliament of 1278". There were no parliaments between 1270 and 1275, so I guess it's will be down church / court roles & accounts.

"King Alexander, with great pomp, his queen, children and many lords and nobles" were waiting in London, for Edward's tardy return, and coronation, at the beginning of August 1274 (returned on the 2nd). So the father and grandfather should have been there / paying homage / resident at one of their many local posessions (see below), as English nobles, if not Scottish. The question is, was the Countess there, and would a 'Carrick' on role refer to the Countess or her consort. Alexander is reported to have had 100+ Scottish nobels acompany his family to the Coronation, but apparently the role did not survive.

Good question. As at that time his parents were Earl and Countess of Carrick this is the main argument for Turnberry Castle as his birthplace, as this was the seat of the Earls of Carrick. PatGallacher 2005 July 8 22:57 (UTC)

Roberts Grand Mother, Isabel swapped her part claim to Cheshire, for several estates in Derbyshire, Essex (notably the Village + Royal Hunting lodge at Writte), Hertfordshire, Lincoln, Rutland, Staffordshire, Suffolk, along with inheriting other estates in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hunntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Northamtonshire, and Rutland (The Brus Family in England and Scotland, 1100-1295). The Essex and Middlesex estates would be quite handy if your husband's a Justice sitting in London. As to Writtle's claim to Robert's Birth and place of his marriage to Elizabeth de Burgh, they seem to originate from a Geoffrey le Baker's, in the mid 14th cent. As far as I can see they are the only near contemporary claims to an actual place of birth and marriage (John Fourdun gives the same date, but goes straight into a paragraph on Edwards coronation). Robert also appeared keen to regain Writtle, given the recorded litigation in the 1320's. Looking at the latest Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, they have Robert's father (VI) down as possibly being born in Writtle.

Barrow critics the Writtle claim, but does provide a documentory source for a birth at Turnberry Castle.

Bruce Lands & Posession?[edit]

Has anyone seen / compiled a record of the lands held by the Bruce family, prior to the ex-communication? I ask as looking through the National Archives there are numerous references to estates forfeited in England, Scotland and Ireland, but how complete the record is I don't know. For starters the archive mention estates forfeited in:

  • Ayrshire
  • Bedfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Couny Durham
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Essex
  • Huntingdonshire
  • Hampshire
  • Gloucestershire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Middlesex
  • Rutland
  • Somerset
  • Surrey
  • Yorkshire
  • Ireland

With a few references:

  • [1] Annandale castle, Dumfries and Galloway
  • [2] Lochmaban castle, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Carrick, Ayrshire.
  • [3] Manor of Hart, County Durham]
  • Writtle, Essex
  • [4] Baddow, Essex
  • [5] Tottenham, Middlesex
  • [6][7] Hatfield Broadoak, Essex
  • [8] Broomshawbury, Essex
  • [9] Manor of Bellister
  • Guisborough, Yorkshire
  • More generally:
    • [10] Bedfordshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire
    • [11] Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Surrey, Somerset

There's also mention in Edward I's attempted quo warranto land grab of: Ireby, Glassanby and Gambledby

Possibly also via his grand mother Isabel of Gloucester and Hertford: Ripe, East Sussex —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

King of Scots, the traditional style of the Monarch of Scotland[edit]

The Monarchs of Scotland were styled as "Kings of Scots," not "Kings of Scotland." - unsigned comment by:

Not really true. Both titles were always in use, and in fact, King of Scotland is older - i.e. ri Alban 900; rex Scotiae 1034; Basileus/Rex Scottorum, late 11th century. I don't mind King of Scots instead of King of Scotland - but "King of Scots, the traditional style of the Monarch of Scotland" is useless, cumbersome and misleading. - Calgacus 05:14, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Without doubt your opinion on this matter is of great importance. However, to quote the late Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk: "So the royal style was patriarchal not territorial, for it embraced Scotsmen everywhere into the national family: not 'King of Scotland' but 'King of Scots'." Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Sir Iain, Bt. "The Highland Clans." New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1967, p. 32.

Sir Iain Moncreiffe I hope is not being literal, and if he is, he's talking nonsense. Don't get me wrong, I've heard people saying this before, but because I've actually consulted primary sources, I know it isn't true; although in the high middle ages, it was more common in Europe as a whole to call a king rex +people (e.g. rex Anglorum, rex Romanorum, etc), to imply that the Scots were unique in this or that the Scottish king confined himself to this title alone is bad history. - Calgacus 15:08, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Calgacus is absolutely correct, also, SIr Iain Moncreiffe was an expert on heraldry, not a historian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Robert, Walter and Niall Bruce[edit]

Did any of these sons of Robert I have any descendants? Indeed, are there any Bruce families still living in Scotland descended in male line from the Bruce family? What about the children of his brothers, uncles, cousions? Fergananim 16:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

None of the illegitimate sons of Robert the Bruce have any living descendants, and, of course, the Crown was settled on Robert II, the first Stewart King, because David II, King Robert the Bruce's son, had no children. When it became apparent that David II would die childless, and the settlement of the Crown would go to Robert Stewart, King David chartered the Royal fortress of Clackmannan to his "blood cousin" ("consanguinious noster" in the Latin of the charter) Thomas Bruce. Today it is not known for certain exactly what the relationship of this Thomas was to the King, but it is certain that King David II and his advisors would have known who was the senior Bruce after himself. The House of Clackmannan has represented the senior line of the Family or Name of Bruce since the 14th Century, and indeed, it still does today. The representer of the Clackmannan line, and today's Chief of the Name of Bruce is Sir Andrew Bruce, The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Knight of the Thistle. All of the Bruce Families extant today are descended from this Clackmannan line. The many people who claim to be direct descendants of Robert the Bruce have to have Stewart connections, since the only line from him still in existance is through his daughter Marjorie.

They all probably had bastards, if you accept that they were all of aristocratic status and that all had experienced sexual relations before their deaths. I don't know though if any of their bastards are known. Given the cultural background of guys like Niall, their bastards probably faded into the Gaelic society of Carrick. - Calgacus 21:44, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I probably should have written something to this effect: no descendants of these bastard sons of King Robert I are known today. Your statement that their possible descendants probably "faded into the Gaelic society of Carrick" is very true.

Is this the Thomas Bruce who married Marjorie Charteris? What is the common historical view regarding his parentage? Is he considered an illegitimate son of Robert I? Or of another member of the family? Or even a legitimate son of one of Robert's younger siblings (and therefore junior by primogeniture to Robert II)? Michaelsanders 19:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Background and early life[edit]

"Precious little is known of his youth." Rather than make up facts for this section, would it not be better to describe in more general terms the lifestyle and learning that would be expected for someone of his stature? (I believe that is the intent of the section.) If specific information is to be asserted, reasons should be given. If we know that all of his playmates spoke French, English, and Latin, that should be mentioned. If we know that he spent time alone with a king who spoke only English, that is worth specifying. If traditional accounts can be dated to three hundred years after the fact, they may be worth repeating as long as their origin is divulged. If evidence is more tenuous than this, maybe it should be left out.--bkm pdx,or,usa

I don't think many of his "playmates" would have spoken English or Latin, certainly not if he was brought up in Carrick. It's not mentioned in the article, but Robert's first appearance in history is witnessing a charter of Alasdair MacDomhnaill, Lord of Islay, in the company of the Bishop of Argyll, the vicar of Arran, a Kintyre clerk, his father and a host of Gaelic notaries from Carrick. One historian, I think it may be Sean Duffy, suggests the idea that Robert may have been fostered in Argyll, but I don't think there is much evidence for this. The only languages we know for certain he spoke were Gaelic and French. If he did spend time at the court of the English king (i don't know what this idea is based on, since I've never encountered it in serious literature), he would have used the language the English king used, French! Regards. - Calgacus 17:39, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

His father was born in Essex (If you believe the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography / Barrow), and may have spent a couple of years on Crusade with Edward I + Edmund (if you believe the Myth concerning his 1st marriage), along with spending a couple of years with Edward subduing Wales, and time at Edward's court. He is also known to have retired to Essex and died in Cumberland, so the Father is likely to have been fluent, else he would have had difficulty commanding his Sergeants, Servants and Tenants.

Son, Father, and Grandfather were Governor of Carlisle and held assorted estates in England (see above). Not to forget Inglis was the dominant tongue of their hereditary border estate of Annandale, which suggests some familiarity with English.

The Grandfather thought in the English Baronial wars, suggesting he would have need the language, in addition to French. Not to forget he married two English brides in his time.

Which would suggest Robert I would have had some English from his paternal line.

Why? And what level of familiarity? im familiar with Chinese. I recognise it as a language spoken in Beijing I mean. Seamusalba (talk) 02:34, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Not to forget Inglis was the dominant tongue of their hereditary border estate of Annandale, which suggests some familiarity with English."

"Not to forget Inglis was the dominant tongue of their hereditary border estate of Annandale, which suggests some familiarity with English." A bit more than mere familiarity 'Inglis' is just an old variant spelling of the word 'English'. And no wonder, given that England until Robert the Bruce's victories ran up to the Forth of Firth and had been Anglo-Saxon since the 7th century - and had never be a Gaelic land. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Once again we are in the realms of fantasy! with all the above remarks . Can you people understand that from 1066 the French speaking Normans conquered all of England and destroyed the ruling Anglo Saxon English speaking class completely. The only language and culture all the important figures between 1066 and about 1360 used was French or to be more accurate Norman French and Latin.Every document written by Kings or governments for any purpose in England Wales Scotland or Ireland was written in French or Latin,the languages of the French conquerors. In the article the word English or England is used about thirty times.These are meaningless words as the people and England did not exist in a real state.They were of less import to their French Norman Kings and rulers than the Jews in the Warsaw Getto were to Adolf Hitler All the battles and politics of the period is a struggle for power between people we would call today Frenchmen.The English Kings all mentioned were Frenchmen The battles fought were battles not against 'The English' but against the professional French (with servants cooks grooms etc supplied by the nonfighting English This misuse and distortion of history is one of the greatest distortions in history If distortions like this can be made about battles fought 700 years ago,no wonder there are so many lies spread around the world today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC) Once again we are into the realms of wishful thinking...Scottish documents of the period are always in Latin and never in French. Latin was the international language of the day and was widely used in countries which did not have a 'Norman' invasion. . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Wallace the Martyr.[edit]

I know that myth can make a powerful contribution to history, but it is important not to lose sight of the facts, or to allow judgement to be clouded by emotion. The cult of Wallace really only dates from Blind Harry's fanciful fifteenth century epic, which reveals much more about the attitudes and politics of his own time than those of the Wars of Independence. There is no contemporary evidence that the execution of Wallace in 1305 had any immediate effect, or that, by itself, it created any lasting emnity towards Edward I.

I've made one small change to this article: to my knowledge Edward II never 'sued for peace', which would have meant abandoning his claim to Scotland. Temporary truces, of course, were a different thing.

I've now removed the 'Wallace the Martyr' section for the above reasons. My argument is set out more fully in the article on the First War of Scottish Independence. Rcpaterson 22:49, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

In response to the above amendment, I wanted to add my support as Wallace was not even mentioned in John Barbour's poem, "The Bruce." Also, his resignation from position of guardian after his defear at Falkirk has suggested his political weakness.

Immediate effect? Wallace said something the English would do one or a half century later: Support the Balliol claim to the Scottish throne. It seems that someone (in Scotland) was successful at toning down Wallace's last words. Was Robert the Bruce and Wallace good friends? If I would live in a fairyland, I would watch Braveheart repeatedly. I would then say that they were....imediate effect indeed.--Stat-ist-ikk (talk) 12:35, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

First nation state in Europe?[edit]

"Under the rule of the one who was later to be known as 'Good King Robert,' Scotland had become the first nation state in Europe, the first to have territorial unity under a single king."

From the last paragraph of
"Robert I, the Bruce (1274-1329)"

Can anyone elaborate on this? Is it true? --Timeshifter 07:33, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Using that definition, wouldn't England have been a nation-state already? 22:53, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, such a statement is simply rubbish. It always fascinates me how this 'Scottish' hero was, genealogically, overwhelmingly non-Scottish. He was born in Essex and his father was buried in a family crypt in England. My own family fought with Wallace and Bruce but if anyone to start writing about them, an almost purely Norman family at that time, as 'heroic Scots' I would say they were demented. David Lauder 19:19, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
This is untrue. You seem to be forgetting that Robert's mother was the countess of Carrick ... no Norman, but a Gaelic Scot; in simple biological terms, that immediately makes him half Scottish before you even start counting the "Scottish" wives taken by the Annandale Bruces since they settled in Scotland 2 centuries before. Robert (the King) had more biological connection with Fergus of Galloway than with the first de Brus to hold territory from the King of Scots, and if you believe the new theory of G. W. S. Barrow was generationally and biologically closer to Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, High King of Ireland, than to Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale. Also, King Robert was produced by the union between the Carrick family and de Brus and intended later to fulfill the position of Mormaer of Carrick, so was fostered (probably in Carrick or Argyll, maybe Ireland) probably for that purpose. Portraying him as some foreigner foreign to Scotland is nonsense; he was as "Scottish" as anyone else in the Scotland of the time. And he wasn't born in Essex, that's a bunch of crap. There's no evidence that I'm aware of that his mother ever left Scotland. Also, you said in the edit summary that Robert I's father held more land in England than Scotland ... again, that is not true. Robert sr's primary land holding was the large semi-sovereign territorial lordship of Annandale, along with de jure use of the title to Carrick, the rulership of which was held by his wife. So David, I recommend you start reading books written after the Victorian era. ;) All the best. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:00, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, his mother's mother was Margaret, daughter of Walter, the High Steward, and the Stewards were not Scots. His father has few Scots in his lineage. Yes, they held Annandale, but they were not Scots. Even Isabella of Huntingdon's family is only Scots in the direct male line back from her. All her other ancestors are non-Scots. I have had this discussion with you before: please do not tell good scholars their knowledge is rubbish because YOU disagree with it or with virtually all of the ancient chroniclers whom you so arrogantly refer to as "crap". David Lauder 17:12, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, you've just admitted that biologically speaking, they were mostly Scots (for whatever that's worth - not much!) and that most of their territory and most important territory was in Scotland; whether you think Bruces were Scottish or not is neither here nor there unless you start trying to put such BS in articles, in which case you'll have to actually defend yourself rather than just calling people "arrogant". Victorian popular writers, btw, neither count as "ancient chronicles" nor "good scholars"; they did not have access to most sources, and even when one or two of them could access or understand one or two sources, they were too infected with Teutonism, Whiggism and other such creeds to make any use of them. The Stewarts, btw, were Scottish ... whether or not they could trace their paternal line a few generations back to France is irrelevant; Walter Stewart, who was called "Walter Og" (Gaelic for "Little Walter") in the Anglosphere-based Melrose Chronicle and whose own mother was the "pure" Scottish Alesta (daughter of the Mormaer of Mar), could not have been anything other than "Scottish". Why is he not Scottish, yet Michael Portillo is British? Strange ideas you've got there if you don't mind me saying. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:24, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I fear that modern concepts of nationalism may somewhat be clouding the understanding of the nobility at this time. A look back at the relitively recent clashes between Scotland and England provide an intresting incite. Most noteworthy is the Battle of the Standard at which some nobles passed on their lands in Scotland to their sons. By doing such they were able to ensure the family honored its feudal duties to both kings. The father fighting for the sothern lands, and the child for the northern. At that date at least; retention of the familys land was far more important than any concepts of nationalism. Remmembering that any form of centralised government was centuries away, it is hard to see how much this attitude changed over 100 years. Contentious claims about the behaviour of the nobility at Falkirk seem to add weight to this as well as the fact that one of Robert 1st large policies when the nation was secured was to ensure nobility did not continue to hold land in England. Most protaginists from the nobility acted throughout the campaign through personal motivation, taking on the Scottish cause when it suited them. Fortunately for the said cause, this was relitively regular as the English kings required to grant land to there supporters so as to gain such continuing support. The church in this period was the true nationalists, but how much this was driven by a fear of becoming part of the Archbishopric of York is hard to gauge. The huge costs put into the building of the Cathedral at St Andrews would suggest this was a large issue for the nation at a whole. In conclusion, at least in regards the nobility that owned land in both nations (I use the term losely) the priority lay with retention of land; those whom owed fealty to two different kings found themselves in a difficult situation. Even the landowners whom only had title in Scotland were in danger of being forced to decide between Comyn and Bruce factions. Thus I would suggest attempts to establish the 'nationality' of any protaginist falling within the nobility category will prove to be a fully fruitless labour.Dthecat 11:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Robert's predicessor Alexander 3rd unified the country under his own rule during his 'golden reign.' Although there can be little doubting Roberts tour de force enforced this rule; the reason for its existance lies with Alexander. Even though Robert succeded in gaining a 'rea' control over the lords of the isles, these continued to operate as quasi independent kingdoms until brought to line by James 6th. Dthecat 11:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:40, 23 July 2007 (UTC) Lack of Scottish nobles at falkirk might be explained by the fact that so many of them were POWs in England at the time? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Tell me David what exactly is a Scottish genealogy ? Or an English or German one for that matter. Considering we are all descended from either Africa or South Russia, none of us are technically ethnically pure to one nation. Robert I was born in Scotland, hence he was Scottish. This whole native Scottish business is a very primitive mindset to get into as technically there are no native Scottish people, or Dutch or Australian. I mean people didn't just spring up out of the ground in Scotland. They travelled there from somewhere else (when the ice receded) just like the Normans did a few thousand years later. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Nation states didn't really exist until the 17th or 18th centuries, and nor did the idea of them. The idea that Scotland was one in Robert's day is thus incorrect it beign an anchronism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Bruce and the spider[edit]

It's worth noting that this story is a trope in royal biographical writing. A similar story is told in Persian history about Timur/Tamerlane and an ant (see and do a search on "ant"). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:58, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Re: the statement "But this legend appears for the first time in only a much later account, 'Tales of a Grandfather', by Sir Walter Scott". Tales of a Grandfather was a series of books on the history of Scotland, written by Sir Walter Scott beginning around 1827. Have searched the online version at but am unable to find any relevant reference. Ajwnet (talk) 07:45, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

naming (again)[edit]

I have tried to harmonise the naming on "Bruce" (replacing "Robert", "Robert the Bruce", "Robert Bruce"), except where necessary in references or to distinguish from his father or brother. Grafen (talk) 18:56, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

It's pretty standard in wikipedia articles to refer to monarchs by their forenames - no article refers to Charles I as 'Stuart'. Michael Sanders 16:13, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Birthplace issues[edit]

A recent attempt to add Writtle in Essex as a serious contender for his birthplace quotes 2 late 19th century sources, completely ignores 20th century scholarship. The most serious examination of his birthplace was a biography I borrowed once from Coventry City Library, it also put forward syphilis as the possible cause of his death. Barrow, the definitive biography, also goes for Turnberry. PatGallacher (talk) 00:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

As Wikipedia is a tertiary work we should be mainly based on what secondary sources say, mainly Barrow as the most important biography although to a lesser extent other works of 20th/21st century scholarship. Barrow goes for Turnberry and rubbishes the one mediaeval source which claims it was Writtle. PatGallacher (talk) 09:36, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the Writtle thing is based on confusion with his father/grandfather. These guys tend to forget that little Robert had to come out of his mother, who being countess of Carrick and socially Robert senior's superior isn't likely to have went anywhere near Essex. Do we have any evidence she ever left Scotland? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

An anon user has again reverted to this dubious version. I would prefer not to get into a revert war. If this continues I may raise a Request for Comment. I will also consult Barrow and possibly other sources in detail next time I am in the Mitchell Library, the main public reference library in Glasgow. PatGallacher (talk) 21:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Rollo is from Norway, not Denmark- I made the change RMB —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

The Black Douglas[edit]

Should it not be mentioned in the intro that it was the Black Douglas that set off with Roberts heart to the Holy Land? Titch Tucker (talk) 02:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Cleveland and Annandale[edit]

In his novels, the historian Nigel Tranter always referred to the Bruces up to Robert as "Lords of Cleveland and Annandale", the Cleveland being in North Yorkshire, including Guisborough and the nearby manor of Acklam. Encyclopedia Britannica refers to the Bruces as being Anglo-Norman rather than the new and controversial "Scoto-Norman". The founder of the family was Robert_de_Brus,_1st_Lord_of_Annandale. Its certainly true that there was much cross-border ownership of land by these Norman Hybrid families prior to the Wars of Independence. Barnard Castle was owned by and named after Bernard de Balliol, an ancestor of King John Balliol. Sasha (talk) 01:01, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
For info: The 1st Lord of Annandale was probably the second Anglo-Norman Robert, see: A.F.Murison or H. F. Doherty. As to Anglo vs Scoto, you'll see in the page history, all occurrences of 'Anglo' have periodically been changed to 'Scoto'; by a vociferous contingent of the Braveheart School of Scottish history. So unless you wish to participate in a reversion war, with the fanatical followers of the all knowing and infallible MEL, your fighting a lost cause :) (talk) 00:06, 11 September 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: Move. Jafeluv (talk) 22:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Robert I of ScotlandRobert the Bruce — I think we are moving towards using common names of monarchs more often, so this stands out. He should also be treated as the primary meaning of "Robert Bruce". PatGallacher (talk) 00:15, 15 November 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.

Blasted all, I missed this one too. I would've opposed the move. GoodDay (talk) 01:33, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Me too. A bit too "demotic" for my liking. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:30, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Not much of a consensus to move, with only 5 editors participating. GoodDay (talk) 23:19, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Concur. There seems to be no moves to change James II of Scotland to James of the Fiery Face; or William I of Scotland to William the Lion etc. Brendandh (talk) 13:14, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Not true in the case of the second. It all depends how well known (widely used) the cognomen is, compared with the numeral version. Not all cognomens ought to be used, but not all possible numeral versions ought to be used either.--Kotniski (talk) 13:31, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, what would happen to William I's elder brother, as he is widely known as Malcolm the Maiden, but what then about the Canmore name confusion with Malcolm III? Regnal numbers should the norm for the title, and cognomens explained in the intros to articles, no? Brendandh (talk) 14:06, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Up to a point, I agree, but Wikipedia's general practice is to use commonest, or most recognizable, names as article titles. If it isn't clear what the most recognizable name is, or if questions of ambiguity arise, we can consider other factors like consistency. But when one name is overwhelmingly better known (as I suspect it is in this case) and not ambiguous, it would be inconsistent with Wikipedia's norms to reject it.--Kotniski (talk) 14:13, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
However, there was no consensus at this article to move to Robert the Bruce. GoodDay (talk) 16:15, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes there was GoodDay. I don't like this name; it's both too demotic and pointlessly ambiguous, but there was consensus to move it. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:18, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
A meager 5, isn't very convincing. GoodDay (talk) 16:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it was 6 with no opposes. That's as convincing as you'll get w/out a WP:SNOW close. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:37, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not convinced. GoodDay (talk) 16:44, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Support. That's seven. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:49, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You're too late, the RM was hastily closed. GoodDay (talk) 07:58, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction about Matilda Bruce[edit]

This article contradicts itself when talking about Matilda Bruce, (daughter of Elisabeth) In one of the body paragraphs talking about his marriages, It says Robert and Elisabeth had 3 children, one of which was Matilda, who married Thomas Isaac. Later, in the section about his descendants, It says Matilda married Richard de Kelso, fifth feudal lord of the Free Barony of Kelsoland. This is a direct contradiction. I have tried to research it, but the sources can't seem to agree. They all say she married either Richard de Kelso, or Thomas Isaac. This needs to be fixed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Braveheart supporting Bruce[edit]

whoever wrote that Wallace was shown as a complete supporter of Robert the Bruce, has never seen the movie. Wallace in fact(in the movie) refuses to support any one's claim, although he offers advice on the topic to Robert, and suggests possible conditional support. (talk) 23:18, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Movie? WTF? This article is not about an anodyne film made with financial backing from a western American state and with an Australian director. This article is about Robert le Brus, King of Scots. Please leave Randall whateverhispantsisnameis scriptwritershite's awful film out of it? Brendandh (talk) 00:15, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Name of Article[edit]

Hello I believe the name of this article is inappropriate. It should be named Robert I of Scotland. His nickname should be mentioned in the article but he was a king of Scotland and like all the other Scottish kings his official title should be the name of the article should it not ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Hello. Titles of articles on monarchs don't have to be 'official' names. For example, one of Bruce's predecessors lives under the article title 'William the Lion'. See a couple sections above your post where editors voted to move this article to 'Robert the Bruce', and see this section of the talkpage of William the Lion where some editors attempted to move that article to 'William I of Scotland'. Any editor can make a case to move an article, and then others can voice their opinions. If there is consensus to move it under a certain name it'll get moved in the end. That's how Wikipedia pretty much works.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:12, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Scoto-Norman and Franco-Gaelic the same ?[edit]

Aren't these two ethnicities identical to each other ?

Scoto-Norman and Franco-Gaelic the same ?[edit]

Aren't these two ethnicities identical to each other ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Simply, no. Scoto-Norman describes those invited into the Kingdom of Scots by 11th/12th c. Scots monarchs, whereas Franco-Gaelic can be used to describe those of the diaspora that ended up in France following the usurpation of the Stewart throne by William of Orange. Brendandh (talk) 12:55, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Well how can Franco-Gaelic be used to desribe Bruce's ancestors then ? That's about 400 years before the whole William of Orange events. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

"the usurpation of the Stewart throne by William of Orange." - begs the question somewhat. William of Orange was married to Mary Stuart, after all. How does deposition of a yet another hapless, autocratic Stuart monarch, replaced by his daughter and her Dutch husband at the invitation of a dissident faction at the heart of the English establishment become usurpation by the King of Holland? — Preceding unsigned comment added by JF42 (talkcontribs) 22:26, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Still not answered the question as to how the Franco-Gaelic ethnicity can be added if it did not actually exist at the time of Bruce's birth. Is there really any need to mention where his ancestors came from anyway ? I rarely see this information added to other monarchs on wikipedia... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Why not go a step further and add that both maternal and paternal ancestors of Robert I were of African descent. Since technically we do all come from there. Ancestry is a ridiculous notion that really shouldn't be being entertained in this day and age.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:36, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Syphillis as cause of death[edit]

Didn't he die a bit early to have died of Syphillis? -- (talk) 07:01, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Syphillis came from the Americas, so yes, it should be removed. (talk) 13:22, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Advanced Syphillis is one of the few diseases that leaves good archaeological evidence on the bones. A syphillitic skull for instance shows severe pitting and "corrosion" as if the bones were eaten away. I have not read of that pitting being reported in the 19thC pathology. Those doctors were every bit as diligent as today and the forensic analysis would have been meticulous. They were also extremely conversant with syphillis and its appearance. I think a modern analysis of the remains would prove useful. Given the current interest in the remains of King Richard III it might be time to capitalise on public fascination with such archaeology. In good faith. AlexM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Did the Bruce In Fact Destroy Scot-land?[edit]

I can't help thinking that a radical review of the Bruce may be due from revisionist historians. Looked at another way the Bruce was a successful rebellious Anglo-Norman baron with estates in southern and northern england, AND he was only secondly the 'petty king' of the still-tribal Scots in the far north of Britain. Taking advantage of political chaos in England he carved out a seperate kingdom for himself from northern England and the Scot-lands, giving the whole the name of the Kingdom of Scotland. From the 7th century until then England, and the Anglo-sphere, had extended to the Forth of Forth. The Bruce's birthplace, Annnandale, was therefore in England. Like King David before him the Bruce continued the process of turning his now extended kingdom into a 'modern' Anglo-Norman state and, despite continuing the name Scotland, thereafter he marginalised the Gaelic speaking highland Scots and their primitive culture whilst concentrating his rule in 'civilised' lowland 'Scotland' - lands which were formerly northern England, and whose population was ethnically and culturally English. Thus in a supreme irony of history the 'Scots' hero Robert the Bruce's victories in reality destroyed the Kingdom of the Scots and replaced it with an independant north-British second Anglo-Norman Kingdom. The 'independence' being fought for was of course never for Scots or their Scot-land anyway, but rather just simple independence for Robert the Bruce from the feudal duties he owed to his lords and fellow Anglo-Normans, the English Monarchs. Is this cynical view any less likely to be true than the legend and the romance? Given that much of this Wiki 'history' is actually not much more than speculation and political spin I'd say it's rather more likely. Cassandra — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Well you're confusing the modern meaning of Scottish with the meaning it held in those times. Scotland today means anyone or thing from the geographic area that is Scotland. Thus those "English" people you were referring to in Southern Scotland were in fact Scottish. If culture defined nationality then those "English" people would in fact be Germans. Robert I of Scotland hammered national consciousness into the minds of the Scottish people (which has been waning these past few centuries), he saved us from becoming a mere principality or region of another country. If that's not a national hero then I don't know what is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Bruce was not a Gael[edit]

Bruce was not a Gael, he was a Norman by ethnicity and part of the Franco-Norman culture. That his mother was a Gael is a different topic entirely. I would say it is fair enough to put the "Medieval Gaels" category on her article, but not on Bruce's as he was not a Gael in any real sense. Claíomh Solais (talk) 01:32, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Kind of along the same lines... I was surprised that Robert wasn't already in Category:Scoto-Normans prior to my adding it yesterday. daintalk   17:11, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I don't think the Medi-eval Gaels category applies to Robert the Bruce. The Bruces were of Norman origin.QuintusPetillius (talk) 19:42, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Robert the Bruce is regarded as a Gael in Scottish Gaelic oral tradition according to an article I was reading recently. it is highly likely that his main language was Gaelic as this would be necessary to talk with ordinary soldiers and areas like Ayrshire were Gaelic speaking at the time he lived. i see no reason why he cant be seen as a medieval Gael. he was medieval and Gaelic after all. (talk) 16:06, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

It's difficult to believe that the Bruce's 'main language was Gaelic'. As a Norman aristocrat it seems more likely his main language was French, and as a someone brought up in Ananndale and Huntingdon that his second language was English. Gaelic proficiency seems possible, but was far more likely to have been his third language (or even fourth, behind Latin). Unless anyone has some solid evidence however it's all nothing but speculation. Cassandra — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 26 November 2013 (UTC) Nothing much to suggest he was brought up in Huntingdon, but difficult to imagine that he did not spend a good deal of time in his mother's earldom of Carrick, which was most certainly a Gaelic-speaking area. His mother was - at the time of her marriage to Robert Snr. a much more important person in the political hierarchy of Scotland - she was a countess whereas Robert Snr. was a mere baron.It would be rational to expect that Robert spoke Scots and Gaelic and that he would be able to (at least) read French. The term Anglo-Norman is really of little value in England (let alone Scotland) after 1200 or so even though French continued to be a significant 'official' language in England. This was not ever the case in Scotland, where the language of legal documents was Latin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Walter of Coventry (fl. 1290) wrote “The modern kings of Scotia count themselves as Frenchmen, in race, manners, language and culture; they keep only Frenchmen in their household and following, and have reduced the Scots [=Gaels north of the Forth] to utter servitude”. That certainly seems to increase the likelihood that the Bruce spoke French. Cassandrathesceptic (talk) 17:39, 10 April 2015 (UTC) Walter had a political agenda to pursue, he was a very long way from the society he was dexribing and as the only writer to make this suggestion we should regard it with a good deal of scepticism - as medievalists do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

We know roughly when the English aristocracy abandoned speaking Norman French, Richard II of England was the last king to be a native speaker, Henry IV' first language was English. Do we know when this happened in Scotland? PatGallacher (talk) 10:28, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Who crowned him?[edit]

This page says "Bruce was crowned King of Scots by Bishop William de Lamberton at Scone, near Perth, on 25 March 1306", but the page on Lamberton says "Bishop Lamberton was present at the coronation of Robert the Bruce as King Robert I conducted by Bishop Robert Wishart of Glasgow". So which is it? -- (talk) 00:10, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Both and more I'd presume. Lamberton as chief bishop would have been celebrant, Wishart, and the other bishops assisting. Much as they still do in most other European coronations to this day. Isabel of Fife did the honour of plonking it on his head the second time round though! Brendandh (talk) 10:16, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Crowned twice? I confess I don't know a great deal on the subject. But I just wanted to point out that the entries as they stand are quite confusing. -- (talk) 17:02, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

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Douglas and Bruce's heart[edit]

I have edited down this section for accuracy and to conform with the Battle of Teba article where Douglas' death is discussed more fully JF42 (talk) 17:54, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Robert's sternum[edit]

"Robert's sternum and viscera were interred in the chapel of Saint Serf near Cardross"

This cannot be correct, and indeed does not make sense. Not least because the divided sternum was a principal means of identifying the skeleton discovered at Dunfermline Abbey as that of Bruce. How, or why a sternum should be separated from the rest of the body is hard to picture.

What the editor meant when he or she wrote this, I can't make out. I assume it was an error. I shall remove 'sternum' and leave the sentence to stand as "Robert's viscera were interred in the chapel of Saint Serf near Cardross."

If this leaves a piece of the late King's cadaver unaccounted for, I trust someone can redress that omission. JF42 (talk) 12:33, 15 July 2016 (UTC)JF42 (talk) 23:14, 20 July 2016 (UTC)