The Bruce Family
Family of Robert the Bruce, or in early years de Bruce, was the surname of an old Scottish family of Norman descent founded by Robert de Bruce I who died approx 1094. De Bruce was a Norman knight from Bruis, a castle near Cherbourg, France. In 1066 he went to England with William the Conquerer.
Robert De Bruce II (1078-1141) son of Robert de Bruce I, was a companion in arms of Prince David of Scotland, later King David I, from whom Robert received a grant of the lordship of Annandale. The English estates of Robert de Bruce II were inherited by his eldest son, whose line ended in Peter Bruce who died in 1271 constable of Scarborough.
Annandale passed to the second son, Robert de Bruce III. who died in 1189. Robert de Bruce III is considered the founder of the Scottish branch of the family. He had two sons Robert de Bruce IV and William de Bruce, whose son was Robert de Bruce V.
Robert de Bruce IV who died in in 1191, married in 1183 the daughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland.
Robert De Bruce V who died in 1245 married a niece of William the Lion, laying the foundation for the claim of the house of Bruce to the Scottish throne.
Robert de Bruce VI (1210-95) was called the Competitor. He vied unsuccessfully for the throne with John de Baliol.
Robert de Bruce VII Earl of Carrick 1253-1304, was the son of Robt de Bruce VI, the competitor who paid homage to king Edward I of England.
In 1306 his son Robert de Bruce VIII, known as Robert Bruce, became king of Scotland, Robert I. He reigned from 1306 to 1329.
As Earl of Carrick he paid homage to King Edward I of England who in 1296 defeated John de Baliol. He later abandoned Edward’s cause to join Scottish leaders for independence. In 1299 the year after William Wallace was defeated by Edward, Bruce was made one of the four regents who ruled the kingdom of Baliol, and was later consulted in making Scotland a province of England. In 1306 he met an old enemy, Scottish patriot Cromyn, and stabbed him in a quarrel, and on March 27, he was crowned King at Scone.
In 1307 Bruce was deposed by Edward’s army, and he had to flee to the highlands and then to the isle of Rathlin on the coast of Antrim (now northern Ireland)while his estates were confiscated. He recruited followers and in less then two years had taken back nearly all of Scotland from the British. He defeated the English again in 1327 at the battle of Bannockburn and twice invaded England. In 1314 he made a truce with Edward II of England for the independence of Scotland and right to the throne.
In later years he was stricken with leprosy and lived in seclusion at Cardross Castle, where he died. He was suceeded by his son David II.
Bruce’s nephew, Robert II, who secceeded David, was the first king of the Stuart house of English and Scottish royalty.