John de Balliol proclaimed King of Scotland
The 17th of November 1292 AD
John de Balliol was king of Scotland for a troubled four years, in effect made king by Edward I of England and deposed by him when John had attempted to assert his and Scotland’s independence.
After the death of the de facto child-Queen of Scotland Margaret Maid of Norway in 1290 the country had two main candidates to take the crown, neither with a clearly superior claim. It was decided that the matter would be decided by 104 Scottish ‘auditors’ sitting in judgement at Berwick Castle , though Edward I more than influenced their findings. It suited Edward to have John de Balliol rather than Robert Bruce (grandfather of Robert the Bruce ) as king of the land beyond his northern border, as he judged the former to be more tractable. Thus on November 17 1292 at Berwick Castle, in the Great Hall, John de Balliol was proclaimed King John of Scotland, to be crowned at the end of that month.
The new king’s reign was brief and far from impressive. Edward treated him humiliatingly as a vassal; John was soon seemingly relieved of control over Scotland’s government by more dynamic Scottish barons, and a treaty with France (that became known as The Auld Alliance ) agreed to the inevitable wrath of the English who invaded and conquered Scotland. He was forced to abdicate in July 1296 and after several years as Edward’s prisoner was allowed to retire to France.
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