Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale

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Robert de Brus, Knt., IV of Annandale (1210 - March 31, 1295) was an extensive landowner and sometime Governor of Carlisle Castle.

Robert de Brus was Lord of Annandale in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and also held the manor of Hartlepool, in county Durham, which had been his father's possessions, to which he succeeded in 1245. He also succeeded his mother in 1251/2 in the manors of Writtle and Hatfield-Broadoak, Essex, and the half-hundred pertaining to Hatfield, for which he did homage to the King of England in April or May 1252. During the fifties and sixties of the thirteenth century Robert de Brus was deeply involved in English government and politics. He served for some 20 years as a Royal Judge and earned a place in English legal history by becoming, in 1268, the first Chief Justice of the King's Bench, an office he held for a year before retiring from judicial work.

In April 1264, along with other Scots and northern English lords, he led a large force of men-at-arms to Nottingham to support King Henry III of England and his son Edward. A few months later the Royalist army was smashed by Simon de Montfort at Lewes, East Sussex. Along with the King and Prince Edward, de Brus was taken prisoner. On the 19th April 1267 he, together with his son, again swore fealty to the King and Prince Edward. He was summoned cum equis et armis from 18th July 1257 to 28th June 1283 by Writs of the English Crown directed to Roberto de Brus domino Vallis [or de Valle] Anandi [Annandale].

At the age of 60 he left England in company with Prince Edmund, Henry III's younger son, bound for Tunis and the Holy Land on Crusade.

Being a Competitor for the Crown of Scotland (claiming as nearest in degree) through his mother, Isabella of Huntingdon, a great-granddaughter of David I, King of Scots, he agreed, on 5th June 1291, to be bound by the decision of King Edward I as his overlord, who however decided against him on 6th November 1292.

He died on Good Friday, 1295, at his Scottish seat of Lochmaben Castle, Annandale, Dumfrieshire, having married (1) Isabel (2 Nov 1226 - after July 1264), daughter of Gilbert de Clare, 4th Earl of Gloucester, by his wife Isabel, daughter of William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke. They had five known children. Following her death he remarried (as her third husband) (2)Christian, daughter of Sir William de Ireby of Ireby, Cumberland. They had no issue.

Robert's son and heir was Robert de Brus, Earl of Carrick, etc. Of the other children:

  • Sir John, from whom descend the Bruces of Clackmannan.
  • Mary, granted in marriage by contract dated 8 August 1265 to Sir Ralph de Toeni, Knt., (1255-1295) of Flamstead, Hertfordshire, etc.


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