NOTES: Quees Elizabeth de Burgh, the second wife of King Robert I, the Bruce.
About the time Robert Bruce (King) was at much contention with England and estranged from his father who had retired to his English estates, as he had much land in England and favor with the King of England, Robert, the Bruce, fell in love with Elizabeth de Burgh daughter of the Earl of Ulster. Oddily enough, she was one of King Edward's staunchest lieutenants, daughter. It is presumed, it could of happened they had met in earlier days at the English court or in Northern Ireland, where the lands of the two families were adjacent, or at the house of James Stewart, whose wife, Egidia de Burgh, was Elizabeth's aunt.
MARRIAGE: Was to last through stress and tribulation, warfare with England, separation and reunion until his wife's death twenty-five years later.
A BATTLE WHICH PUT THE ROYAL FAMILY AT RISK:
During a time when King Robert I, was trying to gain parts of Scotland back from the King Edward, of England, he had saved part of his force but his loses of man and horses were severe and the risks of his family and women very great. It went like this:
King Robert I, handed over all the surviving horses to his brother (foster brothers) Nigel Bruce, Earl of Atholl. He ordered them to escort the Queen and his sisters, and daughter, Marjorie (child by his first wife, Isabella, g------grandmother relation to me) and all their companions. Who was twelve-years old at this time) They were to escort them back to Kildrummy Castle. Now when the women had recovered from their hardships of traveling with Bruce and his men across the country fighting for survival, the earl conducted them as best he could to rejoin the Bishop of Moray in the Norway-hel Orkney, while Nigel would fortify and defend the castle against the advancing English to hold them in check as long as possible. Meanwhile Bruce and his remaining followers would take to the heather and bypass his foes to the south.
When the little group of women with their cavalcade of mounted men had disappeared out of sight, Bruce and his companion Knights divested themselves of their mail (armour) and armed, with only their swords, daggers and bows, made their way on foot by Glen Ogle south to Balquhidder where they lay up in a cave. Bruce's object was now the castle of Dunnaverty at the tip of Kintryre peninsula, to which he had sent victuals and arms some after his capture of Dumfries. If he could cross to the west of Loch Lomond, he would find himself in the country of the Earl of Lennox, his constant supporter, of whom he had heard nothing since the battle of Methven, and from there could pass to the Campbell lands in the mountains, which push like a huge fist southwards between loch Fyne and the Firth of Clyde, and so by sea to Kintyre.
To this end he sent ahead his brother-in-law, Sir Neil Campbell, with a small body of followers to go to his kinsmen and arrange with them for boats and provisions to be made ready for the sea voyage to Dunavery, and he appointed a time and place for their meeting.
Soon after Campbell's departure from Balquidder, Bruce and his little contingent of Knights and men travelled southwest by rough tracks through the wooded hillsides, enduring great cold and hunger, reduced to a diet of roots and berried and such small game as they could snare or net. Eventually they found shelter in a cave at Craigroyston under the shadow of Ben Lomond. From there they searched for boats to carry them to the western shore of Loch Lomond so as to avoid the long trek round its northern end which would bring them into the hostile territory of the MacDougalls. ( Who supported the King of England)
But, no boats could be found until James Douglas discovered one amoung the reeds which, after it was drawn ashore and emptied, was capable of carrying three persons at a time. Bruce and Douglas were first rowed over and then towed for a time. The rest were ferried across while Bruce related to those who had landed tales from a French romance. When all were gathered together, Bruce divided them into two parties between himself and James Douglas to hunt for venison, for they were near starvation. As the two parties beat up the quarry towards each other blowing their horns, the Earl of Lennox, who had escaped to his homelands and was also hunting in that area, heard them and , recognizing the note of Bruce's horn, came quickly towards him, and when they saw each other they embraced with tears of joy for each had believed the other to be dead at Methven.
The earl took them to his encampment and gave them food and drink, and when they had finished he went with them to where Sir Neil Campbell had galleys waiting and from there they sailed down the Firth of Clyde, past the Isle of Bute, to Dunaverty, where they were welcomed by Angus Macdonald of the Isles. (A relative being either an g----uncle or g-----grandfather, which I precieve it to be grandfather.)
But the Earl of Lennox, delaying to give final instructions to his thanes before he departed, was almost captured by the galleys of the lord of Lorne which were searching the waters for Bruce. Hurriedly launching a boat, he only escaped by throwing overboard all his goods except his sword.
*********MEANWHILE: Nigel Bruce and his party of women had made their way through the mountains of Atholl and Braemar to the Castle of Kildrummy on Deeside. When they arrived they were greeted witht he news that the Earl of Pempbroke was already installed in Aberdeen and was only waiting for the arrival of the Prince of Wales (Edward II) and his army with their complement of siege engines to attack the castle.
The ladies therefore continued their journey northwards toward the Orkneys under the guidance of the Earl of Atholl. For some hundred miles they travelled safely, but in Easter Ross their fortunce changed. The Earl of Ross, a supporter of the Comyns, (English) heard of their presence and sent a party to apprehend them. They took refuge in the hallowed sanctuary of St. Duthac at Tain on the shore of Dornoch Firth. But the power of the saint was unable to preserve them. They were siezed and dispatched under an armed guard to the brooding presence of the English King, who had taken up his residence at the monastery of Lanercost.
At Kildrummy Matters had fared no better. The Castle was one of the most formidable in Scotland, well provisioned and manned and capable in ordinary circumstances of withstanding a long siege. Day after day, Nigel Bruce and his men beat off every attack with such loss to the enemy that they considered abandoning the siege and returning to England.
But what force could not effect was achieved by treachery. Bribbed by the promise of English gold, the castle's blacksmith, Osborne, threw a red-hot ploughshare into the corn store. The flames spread from this to the wooden buildings within the castle grounds so that the garrison was driven to the narrow walk along the battlements. The castle gate was burned, the English entered and, after resisting for a night and a day, the defenders, attacked from both sides, and surrendered. The Blacksmith recieved his reward. Having convenanted for as much gold as he could carry, the English fulfilled their bargain by pouring it molten down his throat.
*******King Edward took instant revenge for the would which the rebellion of Robert Bruce had inflicted upon what he considered his pride. Nigel Bruce, known to his contemporaties as 'a young knight of exceeding beauty', and all who were taken prisoner with him, were dragged through the streets of Berwick and hanged and then beheaded. The Earl of Atholl was conducted to Westminister and there, in response to the claim of his peers that in virtue of his royal blood he should be treated differently from other men, King Edward granted this distinction, with sardonic humour, by having him led on a horse rather then dragged to his place of execution, and there suspended from a gallows thirty feet higher then the normal, and, when he had been cut down and beheaded, by having his head hoisted on London Bridge taller than all the other grisly relics erected there for the edification of the populace.
As for the women, they were spared death but King Edward conceived for them a punishment pecularily humiliating to their sex. The Countess of Buchan, whose dash to the coronation of Robert Bruce had caused the English Court to whisper accusing her of being his mistress, and Mary Bruce, whose husband, Sir Neil Campbell was still in the arms with her brother, were objects of his greatest displeasure. For them he ordained that wooden cages should be build jutting from the battlements of Berwick and Roxburgh castles respectively, and that within them they should be shut up as animals in a zoo, exposed to the gaze of passer-bys with the only concession to their modesty the provision of privies within the walls. There for the next four years these two herioc young women each endured their solitary confinement with no communication except to the English maid-servants who brought them their food and drink. A similiar cage was prepared at the Tower of London for Robert Bruce's *** twelve-year old daughter, Marjorie, ( a g-----grandmother who sired King Robert the II of Scotland, a g---------grandfather) with the express condition that she should not be allowed to hold converse with any but the constable of the Tower. So savage a sentence against an innocent child resulted in a stir of pity amoung the the peoples and a sense of outrage toward the King and later, the King revoked the order and dispatched her to a nunnery at Walton. Christina Bruce, Robert Bruce's sister, whose second husband, Christopher Seton had so recently been hanged, drawn and quartered, perhaps for that reason was treated more leniently than her sister and was lodged in a convent in Sixhills in Lincolnshire.
**** The last and most important prisoner was Queen Elizabeth, wife to Robert Bruce, through whom the greatest hurt could be done by King Edward to the man he now regarded as a viper nurtured in his bosom. But fortunately for her, she was the daughter of the Earl of Ulster, a noble so valuable in King Edwards court as an high lieutenant in his army. Any offence against him, the lieutenant, could proove dangerous and impolitic. She was therefore, only placed under house arrest in the manor of Burstwick-in-Holderness. She was allowed two ladies-in-waiting but it was specified that they should be 'elderly and not at all gay', and her conditions were such that she was forced to complain to the King that she had 'neither attire for her person or head nor a bed or furniture of her chamber'. She was to remain a prisoner for the next eight years. Queen Elizabeth was the second wife of King Robert Bruce the I, and was barren for many years after she was redeemed. But later on, she did have one son before her death, David II. Who came to the throne after his father's death at about 6 years old. After his death, his half-sister, King Robert Bruce's child, Marjorie from his first wife, had a son and he came to the throne as Robert II, (Stewart). He was my g------grandfather
Robert Bruce and his companions had after many years of battle, taken prisoner followers and trains of King Edward, barons, baronets, and knights and Bruce treated them well. Like guests, as their ransoms were being arranged. His thought ------ to get his loved ones back ------- and this was a tool to do so.
One guest, (prisoner) was the Earl of Hereford. He was a prize so great that in return for his release his wife was empowered by her brother, King Edward II, to offer fifteen Scottish captives. Amoung those who were demanded and received by Bruce were his wife, Elizabeth, his daughter, Marjorie, his sister, Christina, and Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, now blind and ailing. His nephew Donald, the young Earl of Mar, was also given the opportunity to return, but a close personal friendship with King Edward decided him to remain in England.
Mary Bruce, King Robert Bruce's sister was also redeemed. Many others connected to the royal line were also redeemed all of which had been captured by King Edward II in 1306. Now, they were released, most in the year of 1310. But the Countess of Buchan had been less fortunate. From her cage in Berwick she had been removed in 1312 to the House of the Carmelite nuns in that town, and in 1313 handed from there in to the custody of Sir Henry Beaumont. After that there is silence. As she was not included amoung those reclaimed by Bruce, it must be assumed, knowing his loyalty to his friends, that by then she had died.
********IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE*********
The uplift of morale amoung the Scots at the presence of so many renowned prisoners when they had captured them. From what was assumed to be a master race was further increased by the prodigious spoil that had been left behind. The whole English baggage train which, according to the Monk of Malmesbury, stretched for twenty-miles and was worth 200, 000, an astronomical sum in modern currency, was captured intact by the Scots. Amoung the contents listed were gold and silver vessels belonging to the English King and his nobility, money chests, for payment of troops, siege weapons, arms, hangings, tents, silk and linen apparel, wine, corn, hay, herds of cattle, flocks of sheep and swine and numerous warhorses and their saddlery. There was scarcely a family in Scotland which did not benefit from the generoud distribution fo these good which ** King Robert I, the Bruce, made among them. Of course this all occured after Bruce, (King Robert I) had been at war and fighting England and their counterparts and noblemen.
More About Oueen Elizabeth De Burgh/ 2nd Wife: Burial: Scone Abbey, Perthshire, Scotland.
More About Oueen Elizabeth De Burgh/ 2nd Wife and KING Robert I (The Bruce) of Scotland: Marriage: Abt. 1302
Children of Oueen Elizabeth De Burgh/ 2nd Wife and KING Robert I (The Bruce) of Scotland are: