Sunday, April 20, 2008

Robert Moves North

Following his success in the south west, and the death of Edward I, Robert moved north and embarked on a new phase of Scotland’s War of Independence. Previously the war had been predominantly a struggle between the Balliol party, led by the Comyns, and for a brief period by Wallace, and the administration of Edward I. This earlier stage was characterised by much “side changing” and “fence sitting”, especially by the Bruces who had no wish to see a successful Balliol cause, which would effectively end their claims to the throne. Now the roles were reversed and the Comyns and their allies were firmly in the English camp, and vehemently opposed to the Bruce Kingship.
So as Robert launched his “break-out” northwards the MacDougalls of Lorn found themselves threatened by the Kings forces on land and by the MacDonald galleys on the sea. Faced with what he believed was overwhelming force John of Lorn agreed a truce with the king who was then able to move north to the Great Glen and take Inverlochy castle. He then move rapidly up the great glean taking Urquhart castle on Loch Ness, before taking Inverness and Nairn castles in quick succession. During this period he also intimidated the Earl of Ross into accepting a truce, before moving on to besiege Elgin castle. As the castes were taken they were destroyed, to deny their use to the enemy, this was the start of a strategy, which would be key to final victory.

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