Edward Balliol ~ King of Scotland


Robert the Bruce died in 1329 and Edward III of England conspired with Edward Balliol to seize the Scottish crown.

Together with several barons intent on regaining lost Scottish estates, Edward Balliol with 3,400 supporters landed in Fife in 1332. Firstly, they defeated the Earl of Fife and then marched to Dupplin Moor in Perthshire, where on 12 August they took by surprise a body of 30,000 men under Mar, the Regent. Thirteen thousand of the Regent’s men were slain at Dupplin Moor, including Mar himself, as Balliol’s forces emerged victorious. Balliol occupied Perth shortly afterwards.

On 24 September of the same year, Edward Balliol was crowned king of Scotland at Scone. His reign was almost very short when only a few weeks after the coronation forces under Archibald Douglas attacked Balliol’s camp at Annan. Perth was reoccupied and Balliol and his followers forced back over the border.

The following year, Balliol returned with a large force of English barons and their troops. Scotland was taken and Balliol swore fealty to Edward III as his Lord Paramount. Resistance continued and slowly Balliol and his occupying forces were ousted from many places across the country. In 1339 a new battle for Perth began.

The city was under the military command of Sir Thomas Ughtred and was heavily defended and fortified. The town lade gave defence to three sides and the River Tay the fourth. Supplies could be brought from England by ship and the garrison felt secure.The first two months of the siege yielded no success for the Scots. However, five French war vessels were brought into the Tay Estuary and prevented supplies reaching the defenders. The city defences were also undermined by the Earl of Ross who diverted the River Almond from reaching the lade. The water level dropped dramatically and brushwood used to fill the moat.

As the final assault began on 7 July, an eclipse of the sun occurred. This caused anxiety on both sides of the defences and the attack was called off. Sir Thomas Ughtred took the opportunity afforded by this reprieve to surrender to the Scots. He and his men marched out of the city unmolested and with due ceremony. They boarded English ships moored in the Tay Estuary and returned to England.

Very soon Stirling and Edinburgh were recaptured by the Scots. By 1341 the English occupation was over and David returned as king to Scotland from his exile in France.

Edward Balliol died in 1367 near Doncaster.