Edward as overlord of Scotland

John Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone, on 30 November 1292. As soon as King John came to the throne he had several problems to overcome:

  • He had not been trained to be a King.
  • Scotland had been without a monarch for almost seven years and it was poor.
  • Many of the Scottish nobles, especially the Bruces, did not want John to be King.

Edward I of England also made life very difficult for King John:

  • He made King John pay homage to him (accept Edward I as his overlord), showing John that Edward was really in charge of Scotland.
  • He appointed an English noble, Thomas of Hunsingore, as Scottish Chancellor.
  • He humiliated King John by declaring that he would hear legal complaints and court hearings from Scottish nobles.
  • In 1292, the Burgess of Berwick had a legal complaint and was unhappy with King John’s decision. Consequently, he took his case to Edward I's Parliament and Edward overturned John's judgement.
  • In 1293, Edward I instructed MacDuff, another Scot with a legal complaint, to appear before him at Westminster. When King John told Edward that he had no right to hear the case, Edward threatened to arrest John and seize Scottish castles.
  • Edward I made King John agree that the Treaty of Birgham was void as the marriage had not taken place. This implied that Scotland was not free.

Edward I treated Balliol like one of his Lords, rather than as the King of an independent country.