Treason at Brechin

Treason at Brechin In August 1305, Wallace, the icon of Scottish independence, having been betrayed to the English, was removed to London and at the behest of Edward was judicially murdered as a traitor. This travesty was committed despite Wallace never having relinquished his allegiance to King John Balliol and having refused to accept Edward as his superior. However, while Wallace had gained no more than a little support from Scotland's great lords, his role even after his death was, and continued to be, inspirational. While the Scottish barons remained divided, the general popularity of Robert de Bruce gradually increased and despite many initial setbacks in his fight against the English, progress was steady. Bruce, recognized by many Scots as their king, fought a war that avoided conventional methods preferring a 'hit-and-run' strategy that made him one of the world's first guerrilla fighters. One of his many skirmishes was apparently in Glen Esk, possibly on or near the Hill of Rowan, and according to Alex. J. Warden, there were cairns on the east side of the hill marking the graves of the fallen.

After their famous victory at Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots' struggle against the English continued but King Robert was able to consolidate his position against both his external and internal foes. In 1320, in what appeared to be a sign of unity, the Scots sent their Declaration of Arbroath to the Pope, a document in all probability written by the chancellor, Bishop Bernard de Linton, and one of universal historical and political importance. While the declaration clearly set out the Scots' claim of independence it concealed the deep divisions that remained among the magnates. Among the earls and barons whose names and seals appear on the document is that of David, Lord of Brechin, but within months he - and others - were being tried for treason. A conspiracy to assassinate King Robert and to replace him by William de Soules had been discovered and while it appears that David de Brechin was not one of the conspirators, it was alleged that he was aware of the plot but failed to warn the king. He was convicted and executed and his estates forfeited. One of the conspirators, Roger Moubray, had died before the trial but, following the traditions of the time, his body lay before the court until his conviction and sentence!

© Copyright Brian Mitchell 2000

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The Battle of Mons Graupius.
Centre of Religion
Hugh de Brechin: The Amorous Priest
Royal Connection: Henry de Brechin
Battle of Stracathro
Brechin and the Scottish Wars of Independence
Sir Thomas Maule: Hero of the Castle
Treason at Brechin
Walter Stewart, Lord of Brechin