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Uniting the Kingdoms? 1066-1603

 
   

Scotland

Scotland Conquered, 1174-1296

In 1174, King William I 'the Lion' of Scotland acknowledged King Henry II of England as his feudalGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window lord. English claims to Scotland went back much further than this formal act of submission, but English dominance over Scotland was won and then lost in the century and a half of conflict that followed it.

For most of the thirteenth century Scotland retained much of its independence. By the time of the Treaty of York (1237) the border between the two countries was agreed. Scotland was ruled by a strong, independent monarchy until 1286, when Alexander III died. His heir was his granddaughter, Margaret, daughter of the Norwegian king and queen. She did not set out for Scotland for several years, and the country was ruled in her absence in Norway by six Guardians appointed by the Scottish Parliament.

 

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Guardians' seal

 

Treaty of Northampton

Margaret died on her way to Scotland in 1290 and Edward I of England was asked to decide the succession in order to prevent civil war. In 1292 John Balliol, Lord of Galloway, was crowned King of Scotland, but Edward nevertheless claimed to be overlord of the country.

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Edward I hoped to dominate Balliol as a puppet king, with Scotland a land subject to English rule. But in 1294 Balliol and other Scottish lords refused Edward's demands to serve in his army against the French (with whom the Scots now formed an alliance). Edward deposed Balliol, and invaded Scotland.

The English captured Berwick and marched as far as Elgin before removing the most important symbols of Scottish national identity - royal regalia, documents and the Stone of DestinyGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window. On 10 July 1296 Edward forced Balliol to surrender Scotland and the homage of all its people.

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Detail from Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce) and his wife Isobel, daughter of John, Earl of Mar. By kind permission of Sir Francis Ogilvy.
 
Detail from Robert I of Scotland (the Bruce) and his wife Isobel, daughter of John, Earl of Mar. By kind permission of Sir Francis Ogilvy.