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.
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.