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Robert de Brus,
Earl of Carrick, 6th Lord of Annandale, Constable of Carlisle Castle
Born July , 1243(1243-07-00)
Birthplace probably Writtle, Essex
Died April , 1304 (aged 60)
Buried Holm Cultram Abbey, Cumberland
Predecessor Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale
Consort i) Marjorie of Carrick
ii) Eleanor
Offspring i) Isabel b c1272
ii) Christina b c1273
iii) Robert b c1274
iv) Neil b c1276
v) Edward b c1279
vi) Mary b c1282
vii) Margaret b c1283
viii) Thomas b c1284
ix) Alexander b c1285
x) Elizabeth b c1286
ix) Matilda/Margery b c1287
Father Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale
Mother Isobel of Gloucester and Hertford


Sir Robert de Brus (b July 1243 - d March 1304 [1]), 6th Lord of Annandale (dominus vallis Anandie), jure uxoris Earl of Carrick[2], Lord of Hartness, Writtle and Hatfield Broad Oak (Wretele et Hatfeud Regis), was a cross-border lord[3], and participant of the Second Barons' War, Welsh Wars, and First War of Scottish Independence.

The son and heir of Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale and Isobel de Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, his birth date is generally accepted (July 1243[1]) but there is a ongoing debate as to whether Robert and / or his son King Robert The Bruce, were born on the family estate at Writtle Essex.[4][5][6][7].

Legend tells that the 27-year-old Robert de Brus was a handsome young man participating in the Eighth Crusade. When Adam de Kilconquhar, one of his companions-in-arms, fell in 1270, at Acre, Robert was obliged to travel to tell the sad news to Adam's widow Marjorie of Carrick. The story continues that Marjorie was so taken with the messenger that she had him held captive until he agreed to marry her, which he did in 1271[8][1]. However, since the crusade landed in Acre on May 9 1271, and only started to engage the Muslims in late June, the story and his participation in the Ninth Crusade are generally discounted[4][9].

What is recorded, is that in:

  • 1264 He had to ransom his own father, after his capture, along with Henry III, Richard of Cornwall, and Edward I at the Battle of Lewes, Sussex.
  • 1271 He marries, without Scottish Royal consent, Marjory, countess of Carrick. As a result she temporarily loses her castle and estates, regained on payment of a fine[10].
  • 1274 Jul-Sep He is present, along with Alexander III, his Queen Margaret, their children and 100 Scottish lords and knights at the Coronation and accompanying celebrations of Edward I, at Westminster.
  • 1278 He swears fealty to Edward I, on behalf of Alexander III at Westminster.
    • Accompanies Alexander III to Tewkesbury
  • 1281 He is part of the delegation to Guy of Flanders, to arrange the marriage of the Lord Alexander.
  • 1282 He participates and is paid for his services in Edward's Conquest of Wales [11].
  • 1283 June, he is summoned by writ to Shrewsbury, for the trial of David ap Griffith.
  • 1285 Jun 1 - Earl & Countess, at Turnberry, grant the men of Melrose abbey certain freedoms, according to English law[12].
  • 1286 He is witness, along with his son Robert, to the grant of the church of Campbeltown to Paisley Abbey.
  • 1290 He is party to the Treaty of Birgham.
    • He supports his father's claim to the vacant throne of Scotland, left so on the death of Margaret I of Scotland in 1290. The initial civil proceedings, known as The Great Cause, awarded the Crown to his 2nd cousin and rival, John Balliol.
  • 1291 He swears fealty to Edward I as overlord of Scotland.
  • 1292 His wife Marjorie dies.
    • November, his father, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale - the unsuccessful claimant - resigns his Lordship of Annandale, and claim to the throne to him, allegedly to avoid having to swear fealty to John[4]. In turn he passes his own Earldom of Carrick, in fee, on to his son Robert.
  • 1293 January 1st - His warrener at Gt. Baddow, a Richard, is caught poaching venison at Northle[12].
  • 1293 He sets sail for Norway, for the marriage of his daughter Isabel to King Eric II of Norway, the father of the late Queen Margaret I of Scotland, son-in-law of King Alexander III, and a candidate of the Great Cause.
  • 1294/5 He returns to England.
  • 1295 His father dies.
    • Oct 6, swears fealty to Edward and is made Constable of Carlisle Castle[1].
    • Refuses a summons to the Scottish host.
    • Confirms, to Guisborough Priory, the churches of Annandale and Hart. Witnessed by Walter de Fauconberg and Marmaduke de Thweng[12].
    • Exchanges common pasture, for land held by William of Carlisle at Kinmount[12].
    • Exchanges land in Estfield, for a field adjacent to the prior of Hatfield Regis's manor at Brunesho End Broomshawbury[12].
    • Grants Robert Taper, and his wife Millicent, a messuage in Hatfield Regis, and via a separate grant 5.5 acres (22,000 m2) of arable and 1-acre (4,000 m2) of meadow, in Hatfield Regis, for 16s annual rent[12].
    • Grants John de Bledelowe, the former lands / tenement of Richard de Cumbes, in Hatfield Regis, for 1d annual rent[12].
    • Alters the terms of a grant to Richard de Fanwreyte, of Folewelleshaleyerde, Montpeliers, Writtle, from services to an annual rent. Witnesses includes two of Roberts Cook's at Writtle[12].
    • Alters the terms of a grant to Stephen the Tanner, of Folewelleshaleyerde, Montpeliers, Writtle, from services to an annual rent. Witnesses includes two of Roberts Cook's at Writtle[12].
    • Alters the terms of a grant to Willam Mayhew, of the tenement Barrieland, Hatfield Regis, to an annual rent of 5s and some services[12].
  • 1296 Jan, He is summoned to attend to the King Edward at Salisbury
    • April 28, he again swears fealty to Edward I and fights for Edward, at the Battle of Dunbar Castle.
    • August, with his son Robert he renews the pledge of homage and fealty to Edward, at the 'victory parliament’ in Berwick.
    • Edward I denies his claim to the throne and he retires to his estates in Essex[4].
    • August 29 - At Berwick, agrees the dower lands of his widowed step mother, Christina.[12]
    • Annandale is re-gained.
    • Marries an Eleanor.
  • 1298
    • Jan 7 - Transfers a grant of land at Hatfield Regis, from Walter Arnby to his son William.[12][13].
    • May 29 - Grants a John Herolff a half virgate of land in Writtle[12][14].
  • 1299
    • February 1 - Rents lands at Hatfield Regis, Essex to a John de Bledelowe, for 4s annual rent [12][15].
    • August 4 - While resident at Writtle, he Rents lands at Hatfield Regis, Essex to a Nicholas de Barenton, for 21s annual rent [12][16].
  • 1301 November 26 - Grants, Bunnys in Hatfield Broad Oak and Takeley, to a Edward Thurkyld[12][17].
  • After 1301, Enfeoffments Writtle to a John de Lovetot and his wife Joan[18].
  • 1304 Easter, dies on route to Annandale and is buried at Holm Cultram Abbey, Cumberland[1].
    • Following his death his Eleanor remarries, before February 8, 1306 (as his 1st wife) Richard Waleys, Lord Waleys, and they had issue. She died shortly before September 8, 1331.[1]

Shortly after the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297), Annandale was laid waste as retaliation to younger Bruce's actions. Yet, when Edward returned to England after his victory at the Battle of Falkirk, which one source accords to Robert turning the Scottish flank[19], Annandale and Carrick were excepted from the lordships and lands which he assigned to his followers, the father having not opposed Edward and the son being treated as a waverer whose allegiance might still be retained.

Robert at that time was old and ill, and there are reports that he wished his son to seek peace with Edward. If not his son's actions could jeopardise his own income, which was primarily derived from his holdings south of the border (est. £340 vs £150[12]). The elder Bruce would have seen that, if the rebellion failed and his son was against Edward, the son would lose everything, titles, lands, and probably his life.

It was around this time (1302) that Robert's son submitted to Edward I. The younger Robert had sided with the Scottish nationalists since the capture and exile of Balliol. There are many reasons which may have prompted his return to Edward, not the least of which was that the Bruce family may have found it loathsome to continue sacrificing his followers, family and inheritance for King John. There were rumours that John would return with a French army and regain the Scottish throne. Soulis supported his return as did many other nobles, but this would lead to the Bruces losing any chance of ever gaining the throne themselves.

Family

His first wife was by all accounts a formidable woman. Marjorie was the daughter and heiress of Niall, 2nd Earl of Carrick[8]. Carrick was a Gaelic Earldom in Southern Scotland. Its territories contained much of today's Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. The couple held the principal seats of Turnberry Castle and Lochmaben.

Their children were:

  1. Isabel, married King Eric II of Norway in 1293, d 1358 in Bergen, Norway
  2. Christina b c 1273, Seton, East Lothian, marries 1) Sir Christopher Seton, 2). Gartnait, Earl of Mar, 1292 in Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, 3) Sir Andrew Moray, 20 September 1305, d. 1356/7 in Scotland {By her second marriage mother of Domhnall II, Earl of Mar}
  3. Robert b 11 July 1274, married 1) Isabella of Mar, 2) Elizabeth de Burgh, d June 7, 1329
  4. Neil (Niall or Nigel), taken prisoner at Kildrummie, hanged and beheaded at Berwick-upon-Tweed in September 1306.[8]
  5. Edward, crowned May 2, 1316, 'King of Ireland'. Killed in battle, October 5, 1318.[8]Probable marriage to Isabel, daughter of John de Strathbogie, 9th Earl of Atholl-parents of Alexander Bruce, Earl of Carrick; Edward obtained a dispensation for a marriage to Isabella of Ross, daughter of Uilleam II, Earl of Ross, on June 1, 1317.
  6. Mary, marries (1) Sir. Neil Campbell; (2) Sir. Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser and Cowie.
  7. Margaret married Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland
  8. Sir Thomas, taken prisoner in Galloway, executed 9 February 1307, Carlisle, Cumberland[8]
  9. Alexander, executed 9 February 1307, Carlisle, Cumberland
  10. Elizabeth, b. 1286, d. 1315, married Sir William Dishington of the Orkney Isles.
  11. Matilda,, married Hugh / Aodh, Earl of Ross, in 1308 Orkney Isles, died after September 1323

Bruce in fiction

He was portrayed (as a leper) by Ian Bannen in the 1995 film Braveheart. Braveheart inaccurately portrays Robert de Brus as being involved in the capture of William Wallace in Edinburgh; as noted above Robert de Brus died in 1304 and William Wallace was captured on August 3, 1305 by Sir John de Menteith in Glasgow. {Menteith was a son-in-law to Gartnait, Earl of Mar and Christina Bruce}

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f Richardson, Douglas, Everingham, Kimball G. "Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families", Genealogical Publishing Com, 2005: p732-3, ISBN 0-8063-1759-0, 9780806317595 link
  2. ^ Dunbar, Sir Alexander H., Bt., Scottish Kings, a Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005 - 1625, Edinburgh, 1899: 126
  3. ^ The “Scottish Baronial Research Group”, formed in 1969, first defined the term “Cross-Border Lord”, to categorise the Anglo-Norman families with holdings on both sides of the border, the list includes the Balliol, Bruce, Ross and Vescy.
  4. ^ a b c d A. A. M. Duncan, ‘Brus , Robert (VI) de, earl of Carrick and lord of Annandale (1243–1304)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 accessed 29 Nov 2008
  5. ^ Dunbar (1899) p.127, gives Robert The Bruce's birthplace as Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex.
  6. ^ Scottish Kings 1005 - 1625, by Sir Archibald H Dunbar, Bt., Edinburgh, 1899, p.127, where Robert the Bruce's birthplace is given "at Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex, on the 11th July 1274". Baker, cited above, is also mentioned with other authorities.
  7. ^ Geoffrey le Baker's: Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de Swynebroke, ed. Edward Maunde Thompson (Oxford, 1889)
  8. ^ a b c d e Dunbar, Sir Alexander (1899): 67
  9. ^ The contemporary records seem to suggest Robert's father accompanied the Princes Edward and Edmund on the 1270-4 crusade, in lieu of his sons.
  10. ^ John Of Fordun’s Chronicle Of The Scottish Nation, 1363, translated 1872 Skene, page 299 “Therefore the common belief of the whole country was that she had seized-by force , as it were-this youth for her husband. But when this came to the King Alexander’s ears, he took the castle of Turnberry, and made all her other lands and possessions be acknowledged as in his hands; because she had wedded with Robert of Bruce without having consulted his royal majesty. By means of the prayers of friends, however, and by a certain sum of money agreed upon, this Robert gained the King’s goodwill, and the whole domain.”
  11. ^ Prestwich, Michael, (1988,1997) Edward I: 196
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q The Brus Family in England and Scotland: 1100-1295, By Ruth Margaret Blakely
  13. ^ Essex Records Office - Deed - D/DBa T4/22
  14. ^ Essex Records Office - Deed - D/DP T1/1770
  15. ^ Essex Records Office - Deed - D/DBa T4/24
  16. ^ Essex Records Office - Deed - D/DBa T2/9
  17. ^ Essex Records Office - Roll - D/DBa T3/1
  18. ^ National Archives, SC 8/95/4727
  19. ^ John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish nation

References

  • Burke, Messrs., John & John Bernard, The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with Their Descendants, London, 1848: vol.1, pedigree XXXIV.
  • Flower, William, Norroy King of Arms; Northcliffe of Langton, Charles B., M.A., editor, The Visitation of Yorkshire, 1563/4, London, 1881, p.40.
  • Scott, Ronald McNair, Robert the Bruce - King of Scots.
  • Oxford University Press, editors, Dictionary of National Biography.
Preceded by
Robert V de Brus
Lord of Annandale
1295-1304
Succeeded by
Robert VII de Brus
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