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Houses of Bruce and Stewart (1306 - 1460)
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Houses of Bruce and Stewart (1306 - 1460)HOUSE OF BRUCE ROBERT I (THE BRUCE) (1306-1329)
IN 1312, THE DECLARATION OF ARBROATH affirmed Scottish independence and after Edward III came to the English throne in 1327, Bruce's army the English until Edward also acknowledged Scottish sovereignty. A dying man by 1328, Bruce asked Sir James Douglas to take his heart to the Holy Land when his body was buried in Dunfermline Abbey. But Douglas was killed in Spain, and the heart was brought back for burial in Melrose Abbey.

DAVID II (1329-1371)
Married at four years old to Edward II's daughter Joan, Bruce's son David became King of Scotland a year later. When he was defeated near Perth in 1332 by Edward Balliol (son of 'Toom Tabard' and vassal of Edward III of England) the English king was delighted. Crowned king, Balliol was promptly thrown out by nobles loyal to David but a year later he was back and David fled to France. The Scots rallied under Robert Stewart, Bruce's grand- son. David returned to Scotland in 1339, and in 1346 invaded England, where he was held prisoner until 1357, becoming friendly with Edward III. As David left no heir, the Crown passed on his death to the Stewarts, who took their name from the hereditary title of Walter, High Steward of Scotland under David I. Robert Stewart became king at the age of 54.

Robert ruled as Guardian of Scotland during the absence of David II but - unlike David - he produced a large family of 21 children (13 legitimate). In 1384 he wearily decreed that his eldest son should take over and rule on his behalf.

ROBERT III (1390-1406)
Robert III was born in 1327 (his real name was John, but he thought Robert sounded more martial). Disabled by a kick from his horse, he was overshadowed by his forceful brother, Robert, Duke of Albany (who may have been behind the death of the king's son David). To protect his second son James, Robert prudently sent the 11-year-old boy to France in 1405 but English pirates kidnapped him. After Robert died in 1406, Albany became Governor until 1420, when his incompetent son Murdoch succeeded him.

JAMES I (1406-37)
James was kept prisoner in England for 18 years, though recognized as king by the Scottish Parliament in 1406. Ransomed in 1424, he returned to Scotland, where he restored order and respect for the monarchy. Conspirators acting for Walter, son of Robert II's second marriage, murdered James I at Perth in 1437.

JAMES II (1437-60)
Six-year-old James II was crowned at Holyrood Abbey - ending the Scone tradition begun by Kenneth MacAlpin. During the childhood of 'James of the Fiery Face' (he had a birthmark, Scotland was ruled by Chancellor Sir William Crichton and Governor Sir Alexander Livingstone. Fear of a Douglas coup was removed at the infamous Black Dinner of 1440 when William, 6th Earl of Douglas (great-grand¬son of Robert III), was murdered in front of James. Twelve years later the king himself stabbed William, 8th Earl of Douglas, and later defeated the Douglases at Arkholm. While supporting Henry VI in England's Wars of the Roses, James was killed by an exploding cannon at the siege of Roxburgh Castle.

"... the worst of kings and the most miserable of men."
Robert Ill's view of himself, expressed to his wife

The Scottish hero's statue at the battlefield where he defeated Edward II's army in 1307.

Houses of Bruce and Stewart (1306 - 1460)

James I spent 18 years as a prisoner of the English. A great benefactor of St Andrew's University, his crackdown on rebel nobles and reforms made him many enemies.

Houses of Bruce and Stewart (1306 - 1460)

Having removed the Douglases by murder, James II proceeded to improve government and justice in Scotland. No birthmark appears on James' face, perhaps at the artist's discretion.

Houses of Bruce and Stewart (1306 - 1460)

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