This week – 10 July 1296

John Balliol publicly resigned the kingdom and royal dignity to the bishop of Durham, acting on behalf of King Edward, at Brechin Castle, in the presence of Donald, earl of Mar, John Comyn, earl of Buchan, John Comyn, lord of Badenoch, the bishop of Aberdeen and Alexander de Balliol among others. In a public ceremony, Balliol was stripped of his regalia and while holding white wand surrendered his kingdom by rod and staff, while the royal seal was broken in two. This followed two previous acts by Balliol, in which he renounced his homage and fealty to Edward I (2 July) and then, on 7 July, renounced the alliance with France. From this abdication and the degrading ceremony surrounding it, John earned his ever-lasting nickname of ‘Toom Tabard’. John and his son, Edward, were then taken south as prisoners to the Tower of London.


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