Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce was a Scottish nobleman who played a significant role in the Scottish Wars of Independence against England. He became the King of Scots in 1306 and led his country to victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. His leadership and determination were instrumental in securing Scotland’s independence and establishing him as a national hero.

Robert the Bruce Facts For Kids

  • Robert the Bruce was a Scottish king.
  • He was born on July 11, 1274.
  • His reign lasted from 1306 to 1329.
  • Robert fought for Scotland’s independence.
  • He won the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
  • This victory led to the recognition of Scotland’s freedom.
  • He’s known as a national hero in Scotland.
  • Robert was crowned king at Scone Palace.
  • He battled against English rule in Scotland.
  • Robert the Bruce died on June 7, 1329.

Scottish War of Independence

Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce, was a key figure in the Scottish War of Independence. Born on July 11, 1274, he ascended the Scottish throne in 1306, providing pivotal leadership during Scotland’s crucial fights against English dominion.

His most notable achievement was his triumph at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where he led Scotland to a significant victory against a considerably larger English force. This critical success marked a substantial turning point in the War of Independence, effectively guaranteeing Scotland’s independence from England.

Throughout his reign until his demise in 1329, Robert the Bruce persistently resisted English efforts to reclaim control over Scotland, thereby playing an instrumental role in establishing Scotland as a completely independent kingdom in the early 14th century.

King Edward I of England

Robert the Bruce, celebrated as Scotland’s national hero, had a complicated and evolving relationship with King Edward I of England. Initially acknowledging Edward I as the Supreme Lord of Scotland, Robert’s loyalty shifted over time, with the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 marking a pivotal moment in his rebellion against Edward’s rule.

This eventually culminated in his crowning as the King of Scots in 1306, a title that Edward I refused to acknowledge, viewing Robert as a traitor and a fugitive, and sparking years of conflict. However, Robert the Bruce’s strategic prowess eventually led to a significant victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, a turning point in the First War of Scottish Independence against Edward I’s forces.

This event cemented Robert the Bruce’s legacy as a resolute leader, who valiantly fought for Scotland’s independence against the oppressive rule of King Edward I of England.

Battle of Bannockburn

Renowned Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, is celebrated for his instrumental leadership in the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 1314, a key event in the First War of Scottish Independence. Despite the formidable English forces led by King Edward II markedly outnumbering his own, he tactfully used the landscape to his advantage, resulting in a triumphant victory despite the odds.

This success at Bannockburn, one of the most defining moments in Scottish history, propelled Robert the Bruce to national hero status and set the stage for Scotland’s recognition as an independent nation in the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328.

Declaration of Arbroath

He is inextricably linked to the influential Declaration of Arbroath due to his pivotal role in securing Scotland’s autonomy. Following his triumphant victory over England in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, which established Scotland’s independence, Bruce was keen on obtaining international legitimacy for his reign and Scotland’s sovereignty.

This aspiration culminated in the drafting of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, a letter to Pope John XXII that ardently affirmed Scotland’s independence and categorically recognized Robert the Bruce as the rightful monarch of the liberated kingdom.

The declaration’s far-reaching implications not only fortified Scotland’s status as an autonomous nation but also cemented Robert the Bruce’s enduring legacy as a national hero.

Medieval Scotland


He was a vital figure in Medieval Scotland, serving as King from 1306 until his death in 1329. His reign was marked by the First War of Scottish Independence against England, where his strategic acumen and bravery were crucial.

His most notable triumph was at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, a decisive turning point that affirmed Scotland as a distinct and independent kingdom. Although his ascension was controversial, leading to initial struggles in securing his rule, Robert the Bruce gradually gained the loyalty of his subjects and even received recognition from the Pope in 1324. His reign was an influential era of resilience and nationalism in Scottish history, shaping the nation’s identity for the following centuries.

William Wallace

Robert the Bruce, a revered Scottish national hero, had a multifaceted association with fellow Scottish luminary, William Wallace. Bruce, originally a vassal of the English king, started exhibiting rebellious tendencies following his father’s demise in 1304, around the same time that Wallace was instigating his notorious revolt against English dominion.

Though no solid proof exists of them battling together, they both pursued the shared objective of Scottish liberation. Bruce continued the fight for freedom after the English executed Wallace in 1305, culminating in Scotland’s independence in 1314 after a triumphant Battle of Bannockburn.

Thus, Bruce and Wallace’s intertwined narratives form a pivotal chapter in the saga of Scotland’s quest for freedom, with Bruce’s story being deeply interconnected with Wallace’s.

Scottish Monarchy

Born on July 11, 1274, Robert the Bruce holds a revered place in Scottish history due to his substantial role in the Scottish Monarchy and his tenacious struggle for Scotland’s independence. Crowned as King Robert I of Scotland in 1306, he ruled until his death in 1329, a reign that was primarily marked by the First War of Scottish Independence against England.

His relentless efforts to secure Scotland’s sovereignty turned him into a national hero, with his victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 serving as a significant turning point towards de facto independence for Scotland. This triumph, along with his unwavering dedication to his country’s sovereignty, has led him to be often regarded as one of Scotland’s greatest kings.

Clan Bruce

Originating from Kincardine, Scotland, Clan Bruce is renowned for being the familial lineage of one of Scotland’s most iconic figures, Robert the Bruce, born on July 11, 1274. As the seventh in the Bruce family line, he ascended to the role of leadership, thereby defining the clan’s heritage.

His rule as King of Scots from 1306 to 1329, particularly his triumph against the English in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, despite being vastly outnumbered, highlights his courage and strategic brilliance.

This victory was instrumental in securing Scotland’s recognition as an independent nation. Today, Clan Bruce members continue to honor Robert the Bruce, valuing his significant contributions to their clan and to Scotland.

Excommunication by the Pope

After committing the sacrilegious act of murdering his rival, John Comyn, in a church in 1306, Robert the Bruce, the King of Scots, was excommunicated by Pope Clement V. This excommunication, a severe punishment bestowed by the powerful Catholic Church at the time, effectively cut Bruce off from the Church and its sacraments.

Despite this severe ecclesiastical sanction, Bruce resolutely pursued Scotland’s independence and, towards the end of his reign, managed to obtain a grudging acknowledgment from the Pope, although it was conditional upon his participation in a crusade—a commitment he was unable to fulfill before his death.

Bruce’s excommunication was ultimately posthumously rescinded under Pope John XXII, acknowledging his critical role in Scottish history.

The Bruce dynasty

Robert I, more commonly known as Robert the Bruce, was a prominent figure in the Bruce dynasty and significantly impacted Scotland’s history. Born on July 11, 1274, as the eldest son of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, he inherited their claims to the Scottish throne. His rule from 1306 to 1329 was a crucial period in Scotland’s fight for independence from England.

Despite setbacks such as the Battle of Methven, Robert the Bruce’s remarkable resilience led to the decisive victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, solidifying his status as one of Scotland’s most influential kings and enhancing the Bruce dynasty’s legacy. His efforts in securing Scotland’s independence culminated in the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton’s official recognition in 1328.

As such, Robert the Bruce’s reign greatly influenced Scotland’s identity and the trajectory of the Bruce dynasty.

Early Life

Robert was born on July 11, 1274, in Ayrshire. His father was Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale. Robert was also a fourth great-grandson of David I, King of Scots. His mother, Marjorie was a fearsome woman who was also the Countess of Carrick. Robert had nine siblings and was the third eldest child of his parents.

During his childhood, Robert kept moving between Annandale and Ayrshire, head of his mother’s earldom of Carrick.

In 1292, Edward I appointed John Balliol, a first cousin of Robert’s grandfather as King of Scotland. After his accession, Robert’s father became Lord of Annandale and Robert became Earl of Carrick.

When the relations between Edward I and John Ballioli deteriorated, Bruces supported Edward I against John.

Later, the Bruces had to move away from Scotland after the Scottish nobles led by John Comyn, turned against them and seized their estates at Carrick and Annandale. Edward I provided refuge to Robert and his family and gave them command of Carlisle Castle.

Start of War of Independence: In 1296, Comyn led Scottish forces to attack Carlisle castle. Edward I considered it an attack on England and invaded Scotland the same year. He inflicted crushing defeat on Scotts in the Battle of Dunbar. He deposed King John and imprisoned him in the Tower of London. Bruces were given back control of Annandale and Carrick and swore allegiance to Edward I.

In 1297, Robert Bruce, in a surprising move joined the Scottish revolt against tyrannical rule of English in Scotland. In 1298, Edward defeated Scots led by William Wallace in the Battle of Falkirk. In 1301, Edward embarked on another campaign in Scotland but achieved little against Scots and a truce was signed between the two sides after which Bruce yet again joined Edward’s camp.

In 1303, Edward launched yet another campaign in Scotland and invaded vast tracts of land. All Scottish nobles, except William Wallace, surrendered to Edwards.

In 1305, William Wallace was captured and executed by the English. In 1306, after a heated scuffle, Robert killed John Comyn, the most powerful noble in Scotland and Robert’s arch-nemesis. Six weeks later he became King of Scotland.


In 1307, Edward I died and was succeeded by his son Edward II. Robert Bruce continued his efforts to secure independence from the English. In 1309, he established his parliament and also strengthened his control over all Scottish territory north of River Tay.

In the next three years, Robert secured several victories against English and retook control of many outposts and castles. In 1314, Bruce secured a momentous victory against English in the Battle of Bannockburn. This victory spelled independence from English rule for Scotts. Bruce later campaigned in Northern England to strengthen his control. He also started a campaign inside Ireland to assist them in securing their own independence from the English.

Yep, despite early successes, this campaign failed to garner support from Irish tribes who eyed Scots with suspicion. Robert Bruce’s biggest diplomatic achievement was signing of Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton with Edward III of England.

This treaty recognized Scotland as an independent country with Robert Bruce as its legitimate ruler.

Later Life and Death

Robert the Bruce kept a frail health during his last years. Its reported that he suffered from leprosy or a similar skin disease. Robert breathed his last on June 7, 1329 at Manor of Cardross near Dumbarton. He was buried in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland. He was then succeeded by his minor son, David II as King of Scotland.