This week in Medieval Scottish History – 8 May 1309

In a charter by John Graham to Melrose Abbey, mention is made of a truce between ‘Edward, the illustrious king of England, and Robert de Brus, the captive’. Statements such as these underline problems of loyalty to Robert Bruce in his early years as king in areas like the Borders, where Melrose Abbey is located. Bruce is not known to have been captured at this time, so the meaning of ‘captive’ is unclear. It may be taken to mean ‘fugitive’ or similar, as Bruce had spent the previous years on the run. In March 1309, however, he was able to hold his first parliament as king, making this statement two months later even more interesting.

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