John Comyn

(Red Comyn)

? - c.1306

Noble and Martyr. Known as 'Red Comyn' to distinguish him from his father. Following the death of King Alexander III (1241 - 1286), the so-called Guardians of the Realm, were elected to act as regents ruling for the infant Queen Margaret (c.1283-90). Comyn was one of these, along with his father. Following the defeat of his uncle King John Balliol (1249 - 1313), Comyn was imprisoned by King Edward I (1239 - 1307) in the Tower of London. He joined William Wallace (1274 - 1305), and the cause of Scottish independence, following his release. Comyn was well regarded through his record in the wars of independence, and was at the head of a powerful family. However, instability gave rise to in-fighting. Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329) was less well regarded, with his unsteady record of loyalty. Bruce needed Comyn's support if he were to be King, but when this did not come about Bruce viciously murdered Comyn in Greyfriar's Church in Dumfries (which had been built by John Balliol's mother, Devorguilla, some 30 years previously).

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