King Robert I

(Robert the Bruce)

1274 - 1329

Statue of Robert the Bruce at Battle Site, Bannockburn
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Statue of Robert the Bruce at Battle Site, Bannockburn

Scottish monarch. Defender of Scottish independence. Bruce's birthplace is not definitively known, but was either at Turnberry Castle (South Ayrshire) or in Essex (England). He was the eldest son of Robert de Bruce, 5th Lord Annandale and Earl of Carrick. Despite somewhat wavering loyalty in his earlier years, Bruce became a hero of the Wars of Independence, eventually being crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1306. He defeated the English King Edward II at Bannockburn on the 24th June 1314. He is supposed to have been encouraged towards perseverance and eventual victory by watching a spider build a web in the cave in which he was hiding. Bruce died of leprosy at Cardross Castle on the Firth of Clyde. His body was buried at Dunfermline Abbey and his heart was interred at Melrose Abbey after being carried to the Crusades. His daughter Marjorie married Walter the High Steward, their son Robert II initiating the Stewart line of royalty.

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