Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baliol, Edward de

BALIOL, EDWARD de (d. 1363), king of Scotland, the eldest son of John de Baliol, king of Scotland, and Isabel, daughter of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, on his father's death in 1314 succeeded to his French fiefs, on which he lived till 1324, when he was invited by Edward II to England, which he again visited in 1327, with the view of being brought forward as a pretender to the Scottish crown. A more favourable opportunity presented itself after the death of Robert Bruce in 1329. Baliol was again summoned to England 20 July 1330, with permission to remain as long and return as often as he pleased in order that preparations might be made for the invasion of Scotland. Placing himself at the head of the disinherited barons whose lands had been forfeited by Bruce for their adherence to England, of whom the chief were Henry de Beaumont, Gilbert de Umfraville, and Thomas, Lord Wake of Liddell, and a small force of 400 men-at-arms and 3,000 foot, Baliol sailed from Ravenspur, near the mouth of the Humber, and landed at Kinghorn, in Fife, on 6 Aug. 1332. The death of Randolph, the valiant regent who found a feeble successor in Donald, earl of Mar, gave Baliol an advantage he was prompt to seize. After defeating the Earl of Fife, who opposed his landing, he marched by Dunfermline to the river Earn, surprised and routed Mar at Dupplin Moor with great slaughter on 12 Aug., and took possession of Perth. A threatened blockade of that town by the Earl of March having been abandoned, Baliol was crowned at Scone on 24 Sept. by William Sinclair, bishop of Dunkeld. Leaving Perth in charge of the Earl of Fife, who soon surrendered it to the Scotch, Baliol marched towards the border, and at Roxburgh on 23 Nov. met Edward III, acknowledged him as superior and lord of Scotland, and bound himself to serve in all his wars. He further engaged to put him in possession of Berwick and to marry the princess Johanna, already betrothed to David II. It was soon seen how fragile was his tenure of the country he affected to dispose of, for on 16 Dec. he was surprised at Annan by Archibald Douglas and completely defeated. His brother Henry was slain, and he had himself difficulty in escaping across the English border. In the following year, 9 March 1333, with additional aid from England, Baliol returned and established his camp near Roxburgh, with the view of besieging Berwick. The Scots lost about this time the services of two of their bravest leaders, Sir Andrew Murray of Bothwell, and Sir William Douglas, the knight of Liddesdale, and Edward, having himself advanced with a great force to the siege of Berwick, defeated Archibald Douglas, who had succeeded to the chief command, at Halidon Hill on 12 July, which forced the capitulation of Berwick.

In February 1334 Baliol held a parliament at Edinburgh, where, on the 12th of that month, his engagements to Edward were renewed and Berwick was annexed to the English crown. Not satisfied with this severance of the great fortress which was the key to the borders from the Scottish kingdom, Edward demanded and Baliol agreed at Newcastle-on-Tyne to the absolute surrender to the English crown of the forests of Jedburgh, Selkirk, and Ettrick, the counties of Roxburgh, Peebles, Dumfries, and Edinburgh, the constabularies of Haddington and Linlithgow, with all the towns and castles in the territory annexed. This comprised the whole of ancient Lothian, the richest and most important part of Scotland. Edward at once parcelled it into sheriffdoms, and appointed a chamberlain and justiciary for Lothian. On 18 June he received the homage of Baliol for the whole kingdom of Scotland, and, as if to mark the ignominy of his vassal with a deeper stain, declared that his private estates were not to be understood as falling within the surrender of the rights of his country. In the autumn of this year a dispute as to the succession of Alexander de Mowbray, one of the disinherited barons, between his brother as heir male, who was at first supported by Baliol, and his daughter as heir general, whose cause was espoused by Henry de Beaumont, earl of Buchan, and David de Hastings, earl of Athole, exposed the weakness of Baliol, who was compelled to change sides and abandon Mowbray through fear of these powerful earls. The return of Sir Andrew Murray from England, and of the Earl of Moray, now acknowledged as regent on behalf of David II, gave able leaders to the Scottish patriots, and Baliol was forced to take refuge in England. In winter he was again brought back, rather than restored, by the aid of Edward, and after wasting Annandale celebrated Christmas at Renfrew, where he created William Bullock, an ecclesiastic, chamberlain of Scotland. In July of the following year Edward again invaded Scotland, and although the fortunes of war were not all on one side, Guy, count of Namur, a mercenary ally of Edward, being defeated on the Borough Muir and forced to leave Scotland, the capture of the Earl of Moray and the aid of the Mowbrays and others enabled Edward to conclude a treatv at Perth 18 Aug. 1335, by which the Earl of Athole and all who submitted to the English king were to be pardoned for their rebellion, and the ancient laws and usages of Scotland as in the days of Alexander III restored. Athole, who was named lieutenant of Scotland, now espoused the side of Baliol, but was soon after surprised and slain by the Earl of March, William Douglas of Liddesdale, and Sir Andrew Murray, in the forest of Kilblain. Baliol succeeded in detaching John, the lord of the Isles, from the national cause by ceding to him Cantire and Knapdale in Argyle, and several of the principal Hebrides, along with the wardship of the young heir of Athole, on 12 Dec. 1335. A loan of 300 marks by Edward on 16 Oct. 1335 and a daily pension of 5 marks during pleasure, granted on 27 Jan. 1336, indicated the poverty and dependence of Baliol. The command of the English troops was given not to Baliol but to the Earl of Lancaster. In August Edward himself suddenly returned to Perth, which was the chief fortress held by Baliol, and overran the north-east of Scotland. After establishing a weak line of forts from Dunottar to Stirling and reinforcing the garrison of Perth, he returned to England, leaving his brother, the Earl of Cornwall, in command. Sir Andrew Murray made an ineffectual attempt to take Stirling, but succeeded in reducing the more northern forts after Edward's departure. In the spring of the following year, 1337, he took Falkland, Leuchars, and St. Andrews in Fife, Cupar alone holding out under the command of Bullock, Baliol's chamberlain. By a sudden diversion to the west he surprised and took Bothwell Castle, and, having thus secured the passage of the Clyde, made a raid into Cumberland, and on his return invested but did not take Edinburgh. In 1338 this gallant commander, who had upheld the cause of Scottish independence for forty years, since he was associated with Wallace against Edward I, died. Robert, the steward of Scotland, succeeded him as regent, and prepared for the siege of Perth, where Baliol still was, and Edward, having no confidence in his military talents, required him to entrust its custody to Sir Thomas Ughtred, an English commander. Before the end of the year Baliol, who had borne no part of any moment in the war nominally conducted on his behalf, but really for that of Edward, retired to England. There he appears to have remained until the defeat and capture of David II at Neville's Cross, 17 Oct. 1346, encouraged him again to return to Scotland. Taking up his residence at Caerlaverock Castle, on the Solway, and aided by English men-at-arms under Percy and Neville, he made a raid as far as Glasgow, wasting Nithsdale and Cunningham. The title, but not the contents, of a treaty in this year between Lionel, duke of Clarence, son of Edward III, and Percy and Neville, has been preserved, which makes it probable that the ambitious prince had set on foot the intrigue for his succession to the Scottish crown with Baliol which was afterwards renewed with David II. Meanwhile the Scots had accepted Robert the Steward, grandson of Robert the Bruce on the mother's side, as regent; and though the English king in official documents continues to style Baliol 'our dear cousin Edward, king of Scotland,' he negotiated at the same time with his captive, David II, and finally, in 1354, released him for the large ransom of 90,000 marks, by annual instalments of 10,000, on non-payment of which he was to return to prison at Berwick or Norham. The Scotch preferring the French alliance and failing to pay the instalment due in 1355, David honourably surrendered himself, and in 1356 Edward mustered a large force for the subjugation of Scotland. Before he set out Baliol at Roxburgh, on 21 Jan., made an absolute surrender of the whole kingdom of Scotland to Edward by delivery of a portion of its soil along with his golden crown, in return for an obligation of payment of 5,000 marks and a pension of 2,000l. which Edward granted on the previous day at Bamborough. This was the last of Baliol's acts as king; but his ignoble life lasted till 1367, when he died without issue at Wheatley, near Doncaster, where, during his last years, 'reft of the crown, he still might share the chase,' as is proved by the writs granting him a license to sport in the royal forests and pardon to some of the neighbouring gentry who joined in his amusement. Except for the brief period of his success at the head of the disinherited barons at Dupplin Moor, he showed no qualities worthy of respect in a warlike age. His character was similar to that of his father, unequal to the honour and peril of a crown, and content to survive the disgrace of doing what lay in his power to sacrifice the independence of his country.

[Rymer's Fœdera, vol. iii.; Fordun's and Wyntoun's Chronicles give the events of his life from the Scottish, Knyghton, Adam of Murimuth, and Walsingham from the English side. Lord Hailes's Annals is still the fullest and most accurate modern account of this period of Scottish history, but Tytler's History of Scotland and Longman's History of the Reign of Edward III may also be consulted with advantage.]

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