Feuds and alliances

The Anglo-French War

During 1294, Edward I was preparing to go to war with France. He wanted his feudal lords to accompany him or send soldiers to join his army.

In Edward's opinion, Balliol was another one of his nobles. He told him that he and other Scots would have to fight.

This caused outrage among many of the Scottish nobility:

  • they believed Scotland was an independent country – Edward I had no right to ask Scottish people to fight for him
  • they refused to accept that their king would have to fight for England
  • war would be expensive – it would cost the Scottish nobles in taxes and soldiers
  • Scotland had strong economic ties with France and did not want to fight their trading partners

The Franco-Scottish Treaty

The Scottish nobles were so unhappy with Edward's demands and the performance of their king, that in 1295 they took action.

A new group of twelve 'Guardians of the Realm' was formed. They took several steps to defy Edward:

  • the Guardians sent Scottish messengers to France to discuss how to deal with Edward I
  • in February 1296 a military and diplomatic alliance was agreed between Scotland and France
  • a treaty was signed which became known as the 'Auld Alliance'
  • the treaty stated that if France was attacked, Scottish forces would invade England to help them