Timeline of King Robert the Bruce

The Scotsman newspaper recently reported that descendants of Robert the Bruce, Scotland's greatest king, are to mark his heritage with a tourist trail. And to read a history of Bruce is to travel the length and breadth of Scotland, and to Ireland and northern England. There are many books on Robert the Bruce, such as Caroline Bingham's Robert the Bruce, David R Ross's On The Trail of Robert the Bruce and Robert the Bruce: A Life Chronicled by Chris Brown. For children, try Robert Bruce by Rhona Dick.

  • Cover scan of On The Trail Of Robert The Bruce
    On The Trail Of Robert The Bruce - David R. Ross - Paperback
    This book from Scots historian David R Ross charts the story of Scotland's hero-king from his boyhood, through his days of indecision as Scotland suffered under the English yoke, to his assumption of the crown exactly six months after the death of William
  • Cover scan of Robert Bruce
    Robert Bruce - Rhona Dick - Hardback
    This series of history books is specifically designed to support history schemes of work for pupils in upper primary.
  • Cover scan of Robert The Bruce
    Robert The Bruce - Caroline Bingham - Paperback
    The quintessential patriot king and national hero, Robert the Bruce brought independence to Scotland. Caroline Bingham's biography unites the historic figure of popular mythology with the genuine man.
  • Cover scan of Robert The Bruce
    Robert The Bruce: A Life Chronicled - Chris Brown - Paperback
    Comprising a collection of contemporary and near-contemporary documents from both Scotland and England, with commentaries by the author, this book details the life of Scotland's greatest king. It includes Barbour's 'The Bruce', an epic poem, which is the closest surviving source of documentary evidence.

Robert the Bruce Timeline

  • 1274 - Robert the Bruce is born Turnberry Castle, Ayrshire, the son of Robert de Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie of Carrick.
  • 1292 - Bruce becomes the Earl of Carrick, from his mother's Gaelic heritage
  • 1295 - Bruce marries his first wife, Isabella or Mar. She dies after being thrown from her horse in 1316 while heavily pregnant. The child, the future King Robert II, survives
  • 1296 - King John Balliol abdicates, leaving Scotland without a monarch
  • 1297 - William Wallace beats the English army of Edward I at the battle of Stirling Bridge
  • 1298 - Robert the Bruce and John Comyn become joint Guardians of Scotland, following the defeat and resignation of William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk
  • 1301 - Edward I launches his 6th campaign against Scotland, capturing the castles of Bothwell and Turnberry
  • 1303 - Edward I invades again, marching to Edinburgh, Perth, then north to Dundee, Brechin, Montrose, Aberdeenshire, then south to Dunfermline
  • 1304 - The leaders of Scotland, except William Wallace, surrender to Edward I.
  • 1305 - Wallace is captured near Glasgow, and executed.
  • 1306 - Robert the Bruce, who could claim the Scottish crown through both his Celtic heritage and his relationship with John Balliol, was crowned King of Scotland at Scone. Learn more about Scone and the Stone of Destiny in Scotland's Stone of Destiny by NB Aitchison, or Nigel Tranter's The Stone.
  • 1307 - King Edward I dies, and is succeeded by his son, Edward II. Robert the Bruce begins a guerilla warfare campaign in South West Scotland. Bruce's first major victory against the English is at the Battle of Glen Trool, followed by the Battle of Loudoun Hill.
  • Bruce leaves Dumfries & Galloway under the command of his brother Edward, and heads north, retaking Aberdeenshire, Moray and Buchan.
  • 1909 - King Robert the Bruce holds his first parliament at St Andrews, and later gains the support of the Scottish clergy.
  • 1311 - Bruce takes the fight to the English, in the Lothians and Northern England.
  • 1314 - On June 23, Edward II lead a force of over 20,000 men to end the Scots' siege of Stirling Castle. Bruce and 9,000 men were waiting for them. Over the next two days, Bruce secured his historic defeat over the English; it was said that the river Bannockburn was 'running red' with the blood of the English for several days afterwards. With this victory, Bruce could claim military, if not diplomatic, independence from England. There are several studies of the Battle of Bannockburn, including 1314: Bannockburn by Aryeh Nusbacher, the Osprey military guide Bannockburn 1314, Sir Walter Scott's classic text From Bannockburn to Flodden and, for children, David Ross's I Fought At Bannockburn.
  • 1315 - Bruce invades Ireland (Robert the Bruce's Irish Wars)
  • 1318 - The Scots retake the Border town of Berwick, but the English besiege it the following year.
  • 1320 - probably drafted by Bernard, Abbot of Arbroath Abbey, the Declaration of Arbroath set out to confirm Scotland's status and independent, sovereign state, with a right to defend itself against attack. It was a letter to Pope John XXII, who finally recognised Bruce as King of Scotland in 1314. The date, April 6, was chosen for Canada and America's Tartan Day.
  • 1328 - Edward II recognises Bruce as King of an independent Scotland.
  • 1329 - Aged 57, Robert the Bruce dies at Cardross Castle (in modern Argyll and Bute); his body was buried in Dunfermline Abbey but his heart was eventually interred at Melrose Abbey, after being taken on a Crusade to Spain by Sir James Douglas.

Books featured in this article

  • Cover scan of 1314
    1314: Bannockburn - Aryeh J. S. Nusbacher - Paperback
    In '1314', Aryeh Nusbacher provides a dramatic narrative history of the most celebrated battle between Scotland and England.
  • Cover scan of Argyll And Bute
    Argyll And Bute - Frank Arneil Walker - Hardback
    This is a comprehensive gazetteer of the buildings and monuments of Argyll and Bute, prefaced by an introduction to the region's architecture and an enlightening chronological overview of the the region.
  • Cover scan of Bannockburn 1314
    Bannockburn 1314: Robert Bruce's Great Victory - Pete Armstrong - Paperback
    The most decisive battle of the wars between England and Scotland, the Scots' victory at Bannockburn secured their independence for almost 20 years. This book details one of the most significant events in the life of Robert the Bruce.
  • Cover scan of I Fought At Bannockburn
    I Fought At Bannockburn - David Ross - Hardback
    The Corbies series brings the heroes and rogues, triumphs and tragedies of Scottish history vibrantly into life.
  • Cover scan of Melrose Abbey
    Melrose Abbey - Richard Fawcett; Richard Oram - Paperback
    Situated in the Scottish Borders region, Melrose is perhaps the most beautiful of all Scottish monasteries. Written by leading Scottish historians, this volume discusses the abbey and its history, and why it is the most important example of late Gothic architecture in Scotland.
  • Cover scan of Robert The Bruce's Irish Wars
    Robert The Bruce's Irish Wars: The Invasions Of Ireland, 1306-1329 - Paperback
    This study attempts to answer the many questions surrounding Robert the Bruce's invasion of Ireland and the battles that followed. It will appeal to anyone interested in Scottish and Irish medieval history.
  • Cover scan of Scotland's Stone Of Destiny
    Scotland's Stone Of Destiny - N. B. Aitchison - Paperback
    Scotland's Stone of Destiny is the most famous symbol of both Scottish nationhood and the British monarchy. In this book Nick Aitchison examines its history, mythology and cultural significance.
  • Cover scan of Stirling Bridge & Falkirk, 1297-98
    Stirling Bridge & Falkirk, 1297-98: William Wallace's Rebellion - Pete Armstrong - Paperback
    This series presents accounts of history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics and battle experiences of the opposing forces throughout the crucial stages of each campaign.

Robert the Bruce

Other Historical Figures

More Timelines

Robert the Bruce
The Declaration of Arbroath