Possibly born in Turnberry, Scotland on July 11, 1274 – Robert was Son of Robert de Bruce, Earl of Carrick. His bloodline was in keeping with the “ancient” Laws of Scottish Succession. He grew up well educated and trained. He was married at an early age to Isabella (Daughter of The Earl of Mar) and had 1 Daughter. His wife would later die, and Bruce married again. This union gave him yet another Daughter (with no Heir Apparent). Popular with his people, he was Crowned as Robert I. This enraged England (who had, under English King Edward I) - “claimed” Scotland as it's territory. It had spent years trying to buy off various Barons and Lords with title and land grants in Britain (to make them more loyal to England). Various English “Outposts” had been establish along “Marcher Lines” (Borders) – in an attempt to control the population through intimidation and fear. With Edward's death (and the Crowning of his Son, Edward II) – this “Pretender” would be dealt with.
Edward II amassed an Army for the eventual invasion of Scotland. Bruce had no appreciable Army – and went into hiding. English Forces burnt Town after Town. Robert carefully built up a “proper” Army, but the better equipped English defeated him in battle after battle (including almost capturing Bruce at Loudon Hill). The English Occupation began to waver with armed rebellions by The Scots. In 1309, Ireland (another long-time prisoner of English Occupation), sent additional Forces to assist The Bruce. Slowly, by 1311 – Northern Scottish Territories were retaken by Scottish Forces. Robert set about to invade and sack various far Northern English Towns and Villages (to send a clear message). The last major English stronghold was at the captured Stirling Castle. The Bruce set his sights on trying to besiege it. The Bruce was informed that England had dispatched a large Army to relive the Forces at Stirling. The Bruce rallied his Forces for a 2 day march to Bannockburn (June, 1314 - only to find the relieving British Army totally unprepared for their “arrival”). It was a heated battle.
English Heavy Cavalry (long considered the “Queen of Battle”), were no match for 400 years of slavery and mistreatment. Even King Edward II was present (hoping to gloat at the “head” of Robert The Bruce, that he intended to “take”). Well over half of the English Army were killed, with the other half (and King Edward) – in fast retreat. News spread back to Stirling Castle. There was no Siege. They surrendered. Edward had much to think about on his “way home”. Ireland (seeing solidarity with Scotland) – began to openly revolt against Edward as well. The following year in 1315, Edward Bruce (Robert's Brother) – was crowned as King of Scotland. It was too much for Edward. Although several other battles and engagements in Northern England continued, in 1320 – he agreed to The Treaty of Arbroath. Signed by nearly ALL Scottish Nobles – it was sent to The Pope in Rome for approval (they were Catholic, after all!). Both Country Mediators met in Rome as well.
By 1323, all warfare ceased between the 2 Countries (as per Treaty) – including Naval engagements. English Parliament (infuriated with Edward's inability to control Scotland - “deposed” him, in favor of his his Edward III). Edward officially “renounces” The “Peace of Arbroath, and promises to raise a “mighty Army to crush Scotland”. Bruce (at the height of his popularity) – did the same. A full 2 times larger than his Army at Bannockburn, The Bruce marched into Northern England (promising to take London). The tactic worked. That (plus the fact of the massive expense it had taken over the Centuries to keep Scotland under control) was too much. Edward IIIs Envoys met their Scottish counterparts at Edinburgh in 1328. They ratified the original Arbroath Agreement and declared new Treaty of Northhampton, in effect. England would leave Scotland “independent” (for now). Robert The Bruce was the first “true” Scottish King of a Free and Sovereign Scotland. It would be short lived. A year later in 1329, The Bruce died at Cardoss Castle. With only two Daughters and no male Heirs, local Barons and Noblemen went back to their “old ways”. Quarreling over succession and bloodlines – Scotland would eventually fall back into English control, for good!