Logo: small map of Scotland

Timeline: 1200 to 1300

1204: The Scots attack the newly built English fort at Tweedmouth, overlooking the key Scots port of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

1209: The Treaty of Norham between William I and King John of England stops the building of the Tweedmouth fort, but at the cost of a £10,000 payment to the English: and William's two oldest daughters, who John later marries to English nobles.

4 December 1214: William I dies after a reign of 49 years. He is succeeded by his son, Alexander II.

1215: Alexander II takes advantage of King John's weakness after the signing of the Magna Carta to try to capture Northumberland. He is beaten back and a period of cross border warfare follows until John's death in 1216.

1221: Alexander II marries King John's daughter Joan (and the young Henry III of England's elder sister) and a period of peace ensues.

1230: Håkon the Old of Norway tries to reimpose direct Norwegian rule over the Somerled-descended lords in the Hebrides. This includes a successful attack on Rothesay Castle.

1237: Alexander II freely signs the Treaty of York, giving up future claims to lands south of the modern border between England and Scotland.

1240: Alexander II marries Marie de Coucy, a member of the French royal family, following the death of Joan in 1238.

1244: Cross border tension with the English leads to the betrothal of the three year old future Alexander III, and four year old Margaret, daughter of Henry III.

1244: Alexander II opens negotiations with Norway over the sovereignty of the Hebrides. King Håkon is unyielding and unprepared to sell.

1249: The Scots invade the Norwegian territories in Western Scotland and the Hebrides. The first objective is Dunstaffnage Castle, the stronghold of the Macdougalls, appointed Lords of the Isles by Håkon IV.

8 July 1249: Alexander II dies on the island of Kerrera, in Oban Bay, after a premonition while on board his fleet. The military action dissipates on his death.

13 July 1249: Alexander III succeeds his father at the age of 8.

December 1251: Alexander III, aged 10, goes to York to meet Henry III and marry his daughter, Margaret. Alexander evades Henry's efforts to have him do homage for the Kingdom of Scotland.

July 1263: King Håkon IV of Norway responds to Scots raids on the Hebrides with a major invasion force that sails to the Firth of Clyde. A series of negotiations ensue, with the Scots playing for time.

2 October 1263: Håkon's fleet is damaged by a storm on the night of 30 September and this leads to the inconclusive skirmishes along the beach now known as the Battle of Largs. Håkon takes his battered fleet back to Orkney and later dies there. The full story can be read in The Norwegian Account of Haco's Expedition Against Scotland; 1263, first published in translation in 1782.

2 July 1266: In the Treaty of Perth the Norwegians cede the Western Isles and the Isle of Man to the Scots in return for £2,500 and guarantees about future Norwegian rights over Orkney and Shetland.

10 April 1273: Lady Devorgilla of Galloway signs a charter for the establishment of Sweetheart Abbey in memory of her late husband, John Balliol.

17 January 1284: Alexander III's eldest son, also named Alexander, dies aged 20 without children. Alexander III's younger son had died in 1281, and his daughter, Margaret, in 1283, leaving him with an infant granddaughter, also called Margaret, living in Norway. Alexander's wife Margaret had died in 1275.

14 October 1285:Alexander III remarries to Yolande de Dreux.

19 March 1286: Alexander III, aged 44, dies in a fall from his horse en route to be with his new bride Yolande de Dreux in Fife. Once Yolande's child miscarries or is stillborn, his granddaughter Margaret, "The Maid of Norway" becomes Queen of Scots at the age of three.

28 January 1290 : The death of Devorgilla, Lady of Galloway.

September 1290: Margaret, Queen of Scots, sails from Bergen for Leith and an arranged marriage with Edward the young heir to the English throne. This will ensure a stable future relationship between England and Scotland. On 26 September she dies of sea sickness en route, still aged only seven. With her dies the House of Dunkeld that has ruled Scotland since 1058.

November 1292: Edward Iof England oversees the selection between competing claims to the Scottish throne, on condition he is acknowledged as Lord Superior of Scotland. 13 competitors are narrowed down to two. John Balliol is selected over Robert Bruce and is crowned King of Scotland on 30 November 1292.

1295: The Treaty of Paris offers military support for Scotland by France. It is taken by Edward I as a declaration of war and is, in effect, the start of the Wars of Independence.

30 March 1296: Edward I attacks Berwick-upon-Tweed two-thirds of the 12,000 residents are massacred. The Scots retaliate with a raid on 8 April and atrocities of their own in Hexham.

27 April 1296: Edward I defeats the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar, opening the way to his conquest of the country and taking many prisoners, including Andrew Murray and John III Comyn.

8 July 1296: John Balliol resigns his kingdom to Edward I at Montrose. Edward takes the Stone of Scone back to London after the Scottish nobility have signed their loyalty to him. He appoints the Earl of Surrey as Governor of Scotland.

May 1297: William Wallace sacks Lanark Castle, killing the Sheriff and other English in the town. It is the spark for more widespread rebellion.

7 July 1297: An "official" or nobles' rebellion surrenders to the English at Irvine.

Summer 1297: Andrew Murray leads a revolt in the north, captures a series of English castles in the Highlands and the north east, and besieges Urquhart Castle.

11 September 1297: William Wallace and Andrew Murray comprehensively defeat the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Murray subsequently dies of wounds suffered during the battle.

29 March 1298: William Wallace is titled "Guardian of Scotland", but still acts in the name of John Balliol

22 July 1298: William Wallace is badly defeated by Edward Iat the Battle of Falkirk a loss later, possibly unfairly, blamed on the desertion of the Scottish cavalry. Wallace subsequently resigns as Guardian and drops out of sight.

Top of Page Top of Page