The death of Margaret, Maid of Norway

Margaret died in October 1290 while travelling from Norway to Scotland. She had taken ill aboard a ship and died in Orkney.

With Margaret dead, the Treaty of Birgham was meaningless. The Scottish kingdom was again in crisis. Alexander III’s family line had ended so there was no clear heir to the throne.

After news of Margaret's death spread throughout Scotland, there was concern over who would seize power. Many of the Scottish nobles, including Bruce were already preparing to stand up and fight for the crown.

Bishop Fraser of St Andrews informed Edward I that Bruce and the Earls of Atholl and Mar were planning to take power. He asked Edward I for assistance in order to stop a civil war.

But Bruce and his followers had also appealed to Edward, in a document called the 'Appeal of the Seven Earls'. In it Bruce asked Edward to support his claims to the Scottish throne.

Bishop Fraser favoured John Balliol for king and wanted Edward to support his claim.