Jakub Kominka (261474)
PhDr. Lidia Kyzlinková, CSc., M.Litt.
English Social History I (1066—1707)
13 January 2010
Struggle for Freedom -
Brosnachdh Bhruis, in Scottish Gaelic, means Scots, Who Have. It is a title of a poem very well known among Scottish people as it served for a long time as an unofficial anthem of Scotland. It mentions three most important historical figures during the war for Scottish independence – Edward I, William Wallace and Robert Bruce. And thus I would like to analyze the correlation between them on the background of historical events that preceded the Scottish independence.
Edward I was born in 1239 and is also known as Edward Longshanks – he was one hundred and ninety centimeters tall. As Michael Prestwith described him: “His curly hair was blonde in youth, dark in maturity and white in old age. He spoke with a slide lisp, but was said to be persuasive and fluent. He possessed all the physical competence appropriate to knighthood.” (21) Edward’s earliest experience with Scotland had probably been in 1266 when he traveled to Haddington to visit his sister Margaret – the queen in Scots. At that time, English – Scot relations were on quite good terms as Alexander III, the king of Scotland paid homage to Edward I in 1278 without much argument. However, the problem rose in 1686 when Alexander III died in 1286. The latter’s heir was Matilda of Norway but she died unexpectedly four years later. The right to Scottish throne was then disputed between Robert Bruce and John Balliol. Edward determined that he should resolve the dispute himself as he considered himself a feudal overlord of Scotland. The Scots did not want to accept such a claim and after a long dispute, in 1292, John Balliol was crowned the king of Scotland. This dispute became known as the Great Cause. Not even this decision stopped Edward’s ambitions. Edward requested military support against France, but as the Scots had signed an alliance with...