The Great Cause and Edward’s choice

The Great Cause began in 1291 and is the name given to the time when Edward was deciding who had the best claim to the throne of Scotland

Thirteen months later, in November 1292, Edward I decided that John Balliol had the strongest claim to the throne and therefore would become King of Scotland.

Edward I chose John Balliol as King for a number of reasons:

  • The law of primogeniture stated that inheritance passed down the line of the first born in the family tree.
  • John Balliol was the grandson of David, Earl of Huntingdon’s eldest daughter.
  • Robert Bruce was a descendant of David, Earl of Huntingdon’s second daughter. So Balliol was chosen.

John Balliol crowned King

John Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace, on 30 November 1292. However there were a number of reasons why he would have a difficult time ruling Scotland:

  • Robert Bruce and the other Competitors would have been disappointed.
  • Many Scottish nobles did not like the Balliol family.
  • Balliol had accepted Edward I as his overlord.
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