Sir Robert the Bruce, Knight, VII, Earl of Carrick

Male 1243 - Bef 1304  (~ 60 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Robert the Bruce 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix Knight, VII, Earl of Carrick 
    Birth 0Jul 1243  (Writtle, Essex, England) Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Death Bef 4 March 1304  [2
    Burial Holm Cultram Abbey, Abbeytown, Cumbria, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Holmcultram Abbey (alternatively Holm Cultram Abbey or Holme Cultram Abbey) was a Cistercian monastery in what is now the village of Abbeytown in Cumbria, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1150 and dissolved in 1538. After the dissolution the church continued to be used as the parish church.

      History & source:
    Person ID I45553  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 16 Mar 2016 

    Father Sir Robert de Brus, V, Knight, 5th Lord of Annandale,   b. ~1210, (Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland) Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 3 May 1295, Lochmaben Castle, dumfries, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 84 years) 
    Mother Lady Isabel de Clare,   b. 2 Nov 1226, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 10 Jul 1264 (Age 37 years) 
    Marriage 12 May 1240  [1, 3, 4, 5
    Family ID F16623  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margery of Carrick,   b. 11 Apr 1254, (Ayrshire) Scotland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 0Nov 1292 (Age 38 years) 
    Marriage 1271  Turnberry Castle, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Turnberry Castle is a fragmentary ruin on the coast of Kirkoswald parish, near Maybole in Ayrshire, Scotland.[1] Situated at the extremity of the lower peninsula within the parish, it was the seat of the Earls of Carick.

      Photo, history & source:
     1. Robert the Bruce, I, King of the Scots,   b. 11 Jul 1274, Turnberry Castle, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 7 Jun 1329, Manor of Cardross, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 54 years)
     2. Isabel de Brus, Queen of Norway
     3. Christina Bruce
     4. Neil de Brus
     5. Edward Bruce, King of Ireland
     6. Mary de Brus
     7. Fraser de Brus
    Family ID F16624  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 30 Apr 2023 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 0Jul 1243 - (Writtle, Essex, England) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 1271 - Turnberry Castle, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Holm Cultram Abbey, Abbeytown, Cumbria, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Sir Robert VI de Brus (July 1243 - soon bef. 4 March 1304[1]), 6th Lord of Annandale (dominus vallis Anandie), jure uxoris Earl of Carrick[2] (12711292), Lord of Hartness,[3] Writtle and Hatfield Broad Oak (Wretele et Hatfeud Regis), was a cross-border lord,[4] and participant of the Second Barons' War, Ninth Crusade, Welsh Wars, and First War of Scottish Independence.

      Of Scoto-Norman heritage, through his father he was a third-great grandson of David I. His ancestors included Richard (Strongbow) de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, King of Leinster and Governor of Ireland, and William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, regent of England, and Henry I of England.


      The son and heir of Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale and Lady Isabella de Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, his birth date is generally accepted, but his place of birth is less certain. It has been speculated that he, rather than his first son, was born on the family estate at Writtle, Essex.[5][6][7]

      Legend tells that the 27-year-old Robert de Brus was a handsome young man participating in the Ninth 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.[1][8] However, since the crusade landed in Acre on 9 May 1271, and only started to engage the Muslims in late June, the story and / or his participation in the Ninth Crusade are generally discounted.[5][9]

      What is recorded, is that:

      In 1264 his father, the 5th Lord of Annandale, was captured, along with Henry III, Richard of Cornwall, and Edward I at the Battle of Lewes, Sussex. Bruce negotiated with his uncle Bernard Brus, and cousin Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, both supporters of Simon de Montfort, over the terms of the ransom. Following the Battle of Evesham, in August 1265, both Bruce and his father profited from the seizure of the rebellious Barons' possessions, including those of Bernard. The younger Robert acquired lands in Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Bedfordshire.[10]

      Robert and his younger brother Richard are known to have received letters of protection, in July 1270, to sail with Edward for crusade that August, and are presumed to have taken the cross, with Edward, at Northampton in 1268. They were joined by their Father, who'd sought pardon from Alexander III, but their date of return from Acre is less certain, it may have been as early as October 1271, when the younger Robert is recorded as receiving a quitclaim in Writtle, Essex, and his mother a gift of deer, from the King, also in Essex.[10]

      In 1272 he married, without Scottish Royal consent, Marjory, countess of Carrick. As a result, she temporarily lost her castle and estates, that Oram described as poor, but regained them on payment of a fine.[11]

      Around this time his mother died, the date is unknown but on the 3 May 1273 his father married Christina de Ireby, the Widow of Adam Jesmond, the Sheriff of Northumberland, at Hoddam. The marriage added estates in Cumberland and dower land from her previous husband, to the Brus holdings. The younger Robert and his step-mother do not appear to have got on, with Robert recorded as trying to withhold dower lands, after his father's death in 1295.[10][12][13] This may be one of the reasons why the Father appears to have independently managed the possessions in the North, as well as intermittently holding the position of Constable of Carlisle, while Robert appears to have confined himself largely to the management of the southern and midland possessions, with his brother Richard who independently held Tottenham and Kempston, as well as commanding a Knight banneret for Edward. Richard is recorded as receiving a number of wards and gifts of deer and to have sought permission to empark the forest at Writtle at this time. Robert, while not part of Edward's household, became an envoy and mouthpiece for Alexander III at court, swearing fealty on Alexander's behalf, to Edward at Westminster, in 1277, as well as following Edward to Gascony[10] Robert is also recorded as following Alexander to Tewkesbury, in the autumn of 1278.[10]

      1281 He is part of the delegation to Guy of Dampierre, Count of Flanders, to arrange the marriage of Alexander, Prince of Scotland, to Guy's daughter Margaret (d. 1331). The couple married on 14 November 1282 at Roxburgh
      1282 He participates with his younger brother Richard, who commands at Denbigh, and is paid for his services in Edward's Conquest of Wales.[10][14]
      1283 June, he is summoned by writ to Shrewsbury, for the trial of Dafydd ap Gruffydd.
      In February 1284, Bruce attended to convention at Scone, where the right of succession of Alexander III's granddaughter, Margaret, Maid of Norway was recognized.[15] On 1 June 1285 the Earl & Countess, at Turnberry, grant the men of Melrose abbey certain freedoms, according to English law.[10]

      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 fathers 1st cousin once removed, 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.[5] In turn he passes his late wife's Earldom of Carrick, in fee, on to his son Robert.
      1293 January 1 His warrener at Gt. Baddow, a Richard, is caught poaching venison at Northle.[10]
      1293 He sets sail for Bergen, 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. Her dowry for the marriage was recorded by Audun Hugleiksson who noted she brought: precious clothes, 2 golden boiler, 24 silver plate, 4 silver salt cellars, 12 two-handled soup bowls (scyphus) to the Eric's second marriage.
      1294/5 He returns to England.
      In May 1295 his father, the 5th Lord of Annandale, died,[15] and on 6 October, Bruce swore fealty to Edward and was made Constable and Keeper of Carlisle Castle, a position his father previously held.[1]

      Refuses a summons to the Scottish host.
      Annandale is seized, by King John Balliol, and given to John "The Red" Comyn, Lord of Badenoch.
      Confirms, to Gisborough Priory, the churches of Annandale and Hart. Witnessed by Walter de Fauconberg and Marmaduke de Thweng.[10]
      Exchanges common pasture, for land held by William of Carlisle at Kinmount.[10]
      Exchanges land in Estfield, for a field adjacent to the prior of Hatfield Regis's manor at Brunesho End Broomshawbury.[10]
      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 land 1-acre (4,000 m2) of meadow, in Hatfield Regis, for 16s annual rent.[10]
      Grants John de Bledelowe, the former lands / tenement of Richard de Cumbes, in Hatfield Regis, for 1d annual rent.[10]
      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.[10]
      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.[10]
      Alters the terms of a grant to Willam Mayhew, of the tenement Barrieland, Hatfield Regis, to an annual rent of 5s and some services.[10]
      1296 Jan, He is summoned to attend to the King Edward at Salisbury
      26 March, his garrison repels an attack, led by John Comyn, the new Lord of Annandale, across the Solway on Carlisle Castle. Robert forces the raiders to retreat back through Annandale to Sweetheart Abbey.
      28 April, 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.[5]
      29 August At Berwick, agrees the dower lands of his widowed step mother, Christina.[10]
      Annandale is re-gained.
      Marries an Eleanor.
      7 Jan Transfers a grant of land at Hatfield Regis, from Walter Arnby to his son William.[10][16]
      29 May Grants a John Herolff a half virgate of land in Writtle.[10][17]
      1 February Rents lands at Hatfield Regis, Essex to a John de Bledelowe, for 4s annual rent.[10][18]
      4 August While resident at Writtle, he Rents lands at Hatfield Regis, Essex to a Nicholas de Barenton, for 21s annual rent.[10][19]
      1301 November 26 Grants, Bunnys in Hatfield Broad Oak and Takeley, to an Edward Thurkyld.[10][20]
      After 1301, Enfeoffments Writtle, in part, to a John de Lovetot and his wife Joan.[21][22]
      1304 Easter, dies en route to Annandale and is buried at Holm Cultram Abbey, Cumberland.[1]
      Following his death his Eleanor remarries, before 8 February 1306 (as his 1st wife) Richard Waleys, Lord Waleys, and they had issue. She died shortly before 8 September 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:[23]

      Fordun, John "Chronica Gentis Scotorum (Chronicle of the Scottish nation)", 1363, Translated from the Latin text by Felix J. H. Skene. Ed. by William F. Skene. 1872:

      CI - Battle of Falkirk. : In the year 1298, the aforesaid king of England, taking it ill that he and his should be put to so much loss and driven to such straits by William Wallace, gathered together a large army, and, having with him, in his company, some of the nobles of Scotland to help him, invaded Scotland. He was met by the aforesaid William, with the rest of the magnates of that kingdom; and a desperate battle was fought near Falkirk, on the 22d of July. William was put to flight, not without serious loss both to the lords and to the common people of the Scottish nation. For, on account of the ill-will, begotten of the spring of envy, which the Comyns had conceived towards the said William, they, with their accomplices, forsook the field, and escaped unhurt. On learning their spiteful deed, the aforesaid William, wishing to save himself and his, hastened to flee by another road. But alas! through the pride and burning envy of both, the noble Estates (communitas) of Scotland lay wretchedly overthrown throughout hill and dale, mountain and plain. Among these, of the nobles, John Stewart, with his Brendans; Macduff, of Fife; and the inhabitants thereof, were utterly cut off. But it is commonly said that Robert of Bruce who was afterwards king of Scotland, but then fought on the side of the king of England was the means of bringing about this victory. For, while the Scots stood invincible in their ranks, and could not be broken by either force or stratagem, this Robert of Bruce went with one line, under Anthony of Bek, by a long road round a hill, and attacked the Scots in the rear; and thus these, who had stood invincible and impenetrable in front, were craftily overcome in the rear. And it is remarkable that we seldom, if ever, read of the Scots being overcome by the English, unless through the envy of lords, or the treachery and deceit of the natives, taking them over to the other side.

      This is contested as no Bruce appears on the Falkirk roll, of nobles present in the English army, and ignoring Blind Harry's 15th claim that Wallace burned Ayre Castle in 1297, two 19th Century antiquarians: Alexander Murison and George Chalmers have stated Bruce did not participate in the battle and in the following month decided to burn Ayr Castle, to prevent it being garrisoned by the English. Annandale and Carrick were excepted from the lordships and lands which Edward 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[10]). 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 not until 1302 that Robert's son submitted to Edward I. The younger Robert had sided with the Scots 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 gaining the throne themselves. He died in Palestine and was buried at Holm Cultram Abbey.[15]


      His first wife was Margery of Carrick, 3rd Countess of Carrick (11 Apr 1254 November 1292), 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 married at Turnberry Castle in 1271 and held the principal seats of Turnberry Castle and Lochmaben.

      Their children were:

      Isabel Bruce (born c. 1272); married King Eric II of Norway in 1293; d. 1358 in Bergen, Norway.
      Christina Bruce (born c. 1273, Seton, East Lothian); married, firstly, Sir Christopher Seton. Married, secondly, Gartnait, Earl of Mar, in 1292 in Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire. Married, thirdly, Sir Andrew Murray, 20 September 1305, d. 1356/7, in Scotland. By her second marriage, she was the mother of Domhnall II, Earl of Mar.
      Robert I of Scotland (11 July 1274 7 June 1329); married, firstly, Isabella of Mar; married, secondly, Elizabeth de Burgh.
      Neil de Brus (Niall or Nigel; born c. 1276); taken prisoner at Kildrummie, hanged, drawn and quartered at Berwick-upon-Tweed in September 1306.[8]
      Edward Bruce (born c. 1279); crowned 2 May 1316, "King of Ireland". Killed in battle, 5 October 1318.[8] Possible 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 1 June 1317.
      Mary Bruce (born c. 1282); married, firstly, Sir Neil Campbell; married, secondly, Sir Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser and Cowie.
      Margaret Bruce (born c. 1283); married Sir William Carlyle.
      Sir Thomas de Brus (born c. 1284); taken prisoner in Galloway, hanged, drawn and quartered 9 February 1307, Carlisle, Cumberland.[8]
      Alexander de Brus (born c. 1285); hanged, drawn and quartered 9 February 1307, Carlisle, Cumberland.
      Elizabeth Bruce (born c. 1286); married Sir William Dishington of Ardross, Fife.
      Matilda/Margery Bruce (born c. 1287); married Hugh / Aodh, Earl of Ross, in 1308 Orkney Isles, died after September 1323.
      He had no children from his second wife, Eleanor N (died between 13 April and 8 September 1331). [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S9230] "Isabella of Gloucester and Hertford" biography,, retr.

    2. [S9231] "Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale", biography,,_6th_Lord_of_Annandale,.

    3. [S9229] "Gilbert de Clare, 5th Earl of Gloucester" biography,,_5th_Earl_of_Glouce.

    4. [S9953] "Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale" biogrpahy, accessed November 15th, 2016 by David A. Hennessee, https://en.wikipe.

    5. [S11852] "Sir John Say, III, of Broxbourne (~1419-1478)", Ahnentafel,