Relations between Scotland and France

The Anglo-French War

During 1294, Edward I was preparing to go to war with France. It was Edward’s right to demand that all of his Lords accompanied him or at least sent soldiers to join his army.

Edward regarded King John as one of his nobles and John was told that he and other Scots would have to fight. This created problems for Scotland:

  • The Scottish nobles believed that Scotland was an independent country and not part of England – therefore Edward I had no right to ask the Scots to fight for him.
  • The Scottish nobles refused to accept that their King would have to fight for England.
  • It would be expensive – it would cost the Scottish nobles in taxes and soldiers.
  • The Kingdom of Scotland had strong trading links with France and the Scots did not want to fight against their trading partners.

The Franco-Scottish treaty

A new group of 12 'Guardians of the Realm' was formed to take action, assuming that King John would do nothing against King Edward. The Guardians sent Scottish messengers to France to discuss how to deal with Edward I. In February 1296 an agreement was made between Scotland and France called the 'Auld Alliance'. The Treaty stated that if France was attacked, Scottish forces would come to their aid. The French agreed to do the same if the situation was reversed.