Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale

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Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale, 'The Cadet', buried at Guisborough Priory, in 1194. Robert made Lochmaben in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the centre of his lordship and constructed there a new castle as his caput.


His parents were Robert de Brus (c1070-1142) Lord of Skelton Castle, Danby, etc., North Yorkshire, and Agnes, daughter of Fulk Paynel, Baron of Dudley &c. These families were Anglo-Norman. Robert (the father) was a notable figure at the court of King Henry 1st, where he became a close friend of David, Prince of Scots, that monarch's brother-in-law. When the Prince became King of Scots, in 1124, he granted de Brus the Lordship of Annandale, and possessions in the south-west of Scotland, which he settled on his son, Robert. Robert the father never resided in Scotland and was buried at Guisborough Priory, near Skelton Castle, Cleveland, the place of his birth.[1]

Battle of the Standard

Robert senior's allegiances were compromised when David I, King of Scots, invaded England in 1138, and he renounced his fealty to David that year. Robert the younger, whose father had already passed to him the Lordship of Annandale, decided therefore to support King David, and fought against both his father, and his elder brother Adam, at the Battle of the Standard near Durham, a major defeat for the Scots.

Legend has it that this Robert the younger was captured by his father at the battle and given over to King Stephen of England. Another legend tells that in the 1140s, Robert the younger was visited at Annan by the Irish (Ulster) St Malachy who asked Robert to pardon a thief, but Robert hanged him anyway, and for this the River Annan destroyed part of his castle and the de Brus line received a curse from the saint.


He married Euphemia, daughter of Adam Crosbie, whose estate was on the river Mersey. They had five known children.

His eldest son and heir-apparent was Robert de Brus, younger of Annandale (d.v.p. & s.p. before 1191) who had married in 1183 Isabella, illegitimate daughter of William 'The Lion', King of Scots.

Robert the father was therefore succeeded by his second son William de Brus, II Lord of Annandale.


  1. Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, The Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, London, 1883, p.80.
  • The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants, etc., by Messrs, John and John Bernard Burke, London, 1848: vol.1, pedigree XXXIV.
  • The Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire by Sir Bernard Burke, C.B.,LL.D., Ulster King of Arms, &c., London, 1883, p.80.
  • The Visitation of Yorkshire, 1563/4, by William Flower, Norroy King of Arms. (Edited by Charles B. Northcliffe, M.A., of Langton) London, 1881, p.40.
  • Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Foundations - The journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, vol.5, May 2013, ISSN 1479-5078, or ISSN 1479-5086 (on-line edition), "Rebellion in Baronial Cleveland" by R. Bevan, pps: 3 - 26 (with copious references).