The Treaty of Birgham
King Edward I of England
Edward I was interested in becoming more involved in Scotland’s affairs and he suggested that Margaret marry his son, who was also called Edward.
As a result, the Treaty of Birgham was signed in 1290. The marriage agreement had a number of conditions:
- Edward I's son, Prince Edward, would marry the Maid of Norway.
- Scotland would remain an independent country.
- All decisions affecting Scotland would be made in Scotland.
- The agreement would only be finalised once the marriage took place.
The death of the Maid of Norway
Tragedy struck in October 1290 while Margaret was travelling from Norway to Scotland. She was taken ill aboard ship in dangerous seas and died in Orkney, not far from the Scottish mainland.
This meant that the Scottish Kingdom was again in crisis:
- With Margaret dead, the Treaty of Birgham was meaningless.
- There was no direct heir to the Scottish throne.
- Some of the Scottish nobles including Robert Bruce, were preparing to fight for the throne.