Edward II is preoccupied by his wife, which provides an opportunity for Robert the Bruce. However, Bruce is ill. Despite this, the Scots look set to take control of Northumbria. The English have no choice but to recognise the independence of the Scottish crown in the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, 1328.

First broadcast:
24 November 2008

Discuss with the class the relationship between personal circumstances and national history through the figures of Robert Bruce and Edward II. Debate how different history would have been without Bruce’s illness and conflict surrounding Edward’s personal relationships. Students should consider which was the more important factor in Scotland gaining Independence; the deposition of Edward II, or the tactics and victories that had led to the thirteen-year true between Scotland and England that preceded it.