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Robert the Bruce

Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of Robert the Bruce of England
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of Robert the Bruce a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: Scottish

  • Also Known as: King Robert I of Scotland and Robert de Brus
  • Lifetime: 1274 1329
  • Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland from 1306-1329
  • Born: He was born on 11 July 1274
  • Family connections : He was the son of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie of Carrick
  • Died: Robert the Bruce died on 7 June 1329
  • Character of Robert the Bruce:
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why Robert the Bruce was famous: As the greatest Scottish King, the story of Robert the Bruce and the spider and his victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314

Robert the Bruce
The story and biography of Robert the Bruce which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of this Medieval person of historical importance

Robert the Bruce leads the Scots and is crowned King of Scotland
King Edward I of England had imprisoned John Baliol of Scotland and fought and executed William Wallace. But the Scots had learned what they could do and they still went on fighting for freedom, under two leaders named Robert the Bruce and John Comyn. King Edward marched against them with another large army. He won a great victory, and the nobles once more swore to obey him. But in spite of this oath, Robert the Bruce meant to free Scotland if he could, and win the crown. Robert the Bruce was privately crowned king of Scotland in the Abbey of Scone in 1306. He said to his wife, "Henceforth you are the queen and I am the king of our country." "I fear," said his wife, "that we are only playing at being king and queen, like children in their games." "Nay, I shall be king in earnest," said Robert the Bruce.

Robert the Bruce pursued by the English
The news that Bruce had been crowned roused all Scotland and the people took up arms to fight under him against the English. But again King Edward defeated the Scots and Bruce himself fled to the Grampian Hills. For two months he was closely pursued by the English who used bloodhounds to track him. He and his followers had many narrow escapes. Once he had to scramble barefoot up some steep rocks, and another time all the party would have been captured had not Bruce awakened just in time to hear the approach of the enemy. He and his men lived by hunting and fishing. However, many brave patriots joined them, until after a while Bruce had a small army. Five times he attacked the English, and five times he was beaten.

Robert the Bruce and the Story of the Spider
After his last defeat he fled from Scotland and took refuge in a wretched hut on an island off the north coast of Ireland. Here he stayed all alone during one winter. It is said that one day, while he was very down-hearted, he saw a spider trying to spin a web between two beams of his hut. The little creature tried to throw a thread from one beam to another, but failed. Not discouraged, it tried four times more without success. "Five times has the spider failed," said Bruce. "That is just the number of times the English have defeated me. If the spider has courage to try again, I also will try to free Scotland!" He watched the spider. It rested for a while as if to gain strength, and then threw its slender thread toward the beam. This time it succeeded. "I thank God!" exclaimed Robert the Bruce. "The spider has taught me a lesson. No more will I be discouraged."

Robert the Bruce and Victory at the Battle of Bannockburn 1314
About this time King Edward I died and his son, Edward II, succeeded to the throne of England. For about two years the new king paid little attention to Scotland. Meantime Bruce captured nearly all the Scottish castles that were held by the English, and the nobles and chiefs throughout the country acknowledged him as their king. At last Edward II marched into Scotland at the head of a hundred thousand men. Bruce met him at Bannockburn on June 24, 1314, with thirty thousand soldiers. Before the battle began Bruce rode along the front of his army to encourage his men. Suddenly an English knight, Henry de Bohun, galloped across the field and tried to strike him down with a spear. Bruce saw his danger in time and with a quick stroke of his battle-axe cleft the knight's skull. The Scottish army shouted again and again at this feat of their commander, and they went into the battle feeling sure that the victory would be theirs. They rushed upon the English with fury and although outnumbered three to one, completely defeated them. Thousands of the English were slain and a great number captured. In spite of this terrible blow Edward never gave up his claim to the Scottish crown. But his son Edward III, in 1328, recognized Scotland's independence and acknowledged Bruce as her king.

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