Lady Christian Bruce (sometimes referred to as "Christina"), lived from 1273 to 1357. An older sister of Robert the Bruce and Edward Bruce, she played an active part in the Wars of Independence against the English. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Lady Christian was the second of ten children born to Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick. In an unusually twist on what was probably a fairly common medieval story, her mother Marjorie had kidnapped and held Robert prisoner at Turnberry Castle until he agreed to marry her. The wedding took place in 1271, and the following year their first child Isobel was born. Christian followed a year later, and Robert, later known as Robert the Bruce, appeared the year after that. Lady Christian may well have been born at Turnberry Castle.
Christian married her first husband, Gartnait, Earl of Mar, in about 1295. He seems to have died some time after 1300, and Christian married Sir Christopher Seton. The Wars of Independence were viciously fought, and following the defeat of Robert the Bruce in 1306 Lady Christina was captured by the English at Tain while fleeing to safety in Orkney. Other female relatives captured at the same time were imprisoned in cages, and her husband and two of her brothers were executed. Lady Christina herself was imprisoned at the Gilbertine nunnery at Sixhills in Lincolnshire, where she would stay until after Robert the Bruce's victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Some time later, Christian married her third husband, Sir Andrew Murray. Sir Andrew was appointed Guardian of Scotland after the death of Robert the Bruce in 1329 and played a leading role in the 2nd War of Independence against Edward III of England, who wanted to place Edward Balliol on the Scottish throne. In 1335, English forces under David de Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl, besieged Kildrummy Castle in Aberdeenshire. The defenders were commanded by Lady Christina Bruce, who held out until forces commanded by Sir Andrew Murray could march north and defeat David de Strathbogie at the Battle of Culblean on 30 November 1335.
Lady Christian continued to play an important role in Scottish politics until her death in 1357 at the age of 84. She had two children with Gartnait, Earl of Mar, and two more with Sir Andrew Murray.