The ambitions of Robert Bruce

Bruce was born on 11 July 1274. He came from a well-established noble family with loose links to the Scottish royal bloodline. His grandfather, another Robert Bruce, had been a competitor at the Great Cause of 1291-1292.

He inherited a position of great wealth and power from his father the Lord of Annandale. But Bruce was not satisfied with the role of a noble. He set his sights on using his grandfather's claim to take the Scottish crown.

Coronation of Robert Bruce, sculpture showing the crown about to be placed on his head
Robert Bruce at his coronation

Bruce has often been held in a negative light by historians, especially when compared to William Wallace. He is accused of being an opportunist, rather than a patriot. However, other historians back Bruce and argue that it is unfair to judge him against Wallace.

Regardless, Bruce was undoubtedly a fiercely determined man. His commitment and drive would eventually be rewarded with the crown of Scotland and the guarantee of Scottish independence from England.