Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/48

This page has been validated.


Robert the Bruce.

[844 A.D.-

ber of a knight's following is given. These "sires" are believed to have taken their name from the lands of Bruis, Braose, or Breaux (for the name is found in various documents in England, Scotland, and France, spelled in twenty-four different ways), between Cherbourg and Valognes, where the understructure of an ancient castle may still be traced.

The custom of taking territorial designations was almost universal among the Norman chivalry in the days before such titles, or those derived from hereditary office, became crystallised into surnames. But in the family of de Brus, that branch of it, at least, which settled in Scotland, the variation or alternation of baptismal names, whereby different generations were generally distinguished, is almost wholly wanting. One solitary William appears in a long line of Roberts, so that it requires no little care to distinguish between the successive heads of this house.

One of the "sires" who followed the Conqueror seems to have been named William. He became Lord of Brember in Sussex, in which county he had forty-one lordships, besides twelve in Dorsetshire, and others in Wilts, Hants, and Surrey. Another brother bore the name of——

1. Robert de Brus, who received, in princely reward for his services, the grant of ninety-four manors, extending to 40,000 acres, in Yorkshire. He died about 1094.[1]

  1. The author of the Family Records of the Bruces and the Cumyns is of opinion that Adelme or Adam, son of Robert de Brus, was in Britain some years before the Conquest, and that, if he was not the first lord of the Yorkshire lands, he succeeded to them, and was