Little Bits of History

Taking Charge

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 10, 2015
John Comyn and Robert the Bruce

John Comyn and Robert the Bruce

February 10, 1306: John Comyn dies at the hand of Robert the Bruce. John III Comyn, Lord of Badenock and Lord of Lochaber was also known as Red Comyn. The Scottish nobleman was one of the Competitors for the Crown of Scotland and claimed descent from King Donald III of Scotland. He also had family ties to King John Balliol and his wife was related to King Edward I of England. When King Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286 he left only one descendant, his three-year-old granddaughter. The Guardians of Scotland were appointed to rule during the Queen’s minority. When she was seven, they drew up a Treaty to marry her to the heir apparent of the English throne, then five-year-old Edward of Caernarvon. The treaty specified that any issue from the marriage would rule both, but that Scotland would remain a separate state.

The Guardians petitioned King Edward I to put to rest competing claims to the Scottish throne from the House of Balliol and the House of Bruce. Then the Queen died in September 1290 and Scotland was put in the thrall of England when Edward styled himself Lord Paramount of Scotland and made the claimants recognize Edward as their feudal superior. The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England with the First War fought between 1296 and 1328. The Second War was fought between 1332 and 1357. The first battle of the first war was fought when Comyn’s troops crossed the border and attacked Carlisle which was defended for King Edward by the House of Bruce.

Comyn’s troops were forced to retreat and they met with other Scots at the Battle of Dunbar. John was among the prisoners and sent to the Tower of London. His father survived and was able to carry on the war effort. John was released after several months when it seemed the war was over. He was sent to Flanders to fight for Edward against the French. In France, he learned of William Wallace and the victory at the Battle of Sterling Bridge. John escaped France and managed to return to Scotland. John may or may not have been at the defeat at the Battle of Falkirk – historians differ. The defeat left an opening in the Guardians and now John Comyn and Robert the Bruce were fighting on the same side, with everyone aware of the Robert the Bruce’s thirst for power.

On this day, John Comyn was stabbed to death by Robert the Bruce at the high altar of the Greyfriars Church in Dumfries. Legend has it that Robert the Bruce called a meeting and then stabbed John and ran from the church to tell Roger de Kirkpatrick of his deeds. Whereupon Roger rushed into the church and stabbed John again, to make sure he was dead. However it was managed, with John dead, Robert had solidified his power base and less than seven weeks after the stabbing, Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland on March 25. He reigned until his death at age 54 in 1329.

There’s just no place like Scotland when the sun is out. I just love coming home. – Ashley Jensen

I’m William Wallace, and the rest of you will be spared. Go back to England and tell them… Scotland is free! – William Wallace

I’ve always been hopeful about Scotland’s prospects. And I now believe more than ever that Scotland is within touching distance of achieving independence and equality. – Sean Connery

I look upon Switzerland as an inferior sort of Scotland. – Sydney Smith

Also on this day: American Mensa – In 1971, American Mensa was formed.
Boxing and Brains – In 1933, Ernie Schaaf was injured during a boxing match and died three days later.
St. Scholastica Riots – In 1355, The St. Scholastica’s Day riot began.
Arsonist – In 2008, the Namdaemun gate was set afire.
Boom – In 2009, two satellites crashed in orbit.


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