This week – 7 October 1290

Bishop William Fraser of St Andrews wrote to King Edward of England, noting that he had heard rumours that Margaret, granddaughter of King Alexander III, died en route to Scotland from Norway. Upon hearing the news, as he reported, Robert Bruce (d.1295) came to an assembly of Scots at Perth ‘with a great following to hinder certain persons’; the earls of Mar and Atholl also gathered armies. Bishop Fraser pleaded that civil war would ensue ‘unless God provides a swift remedy through Edward’s industry and service’. The news of her death brought turmoil and despair to Scotland, as Fraser said, and consequently began the process of the ‘Great Cause’ to determine her successor.

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