David 2

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David II / Kings and Queens

  • Name  : David II
  • Born  : 1324
  • Died  : 1371
  • Category  : Kings and Queens
  • Finest Moment : Battle of Neville?s Cross (1346)

The son of Robert I (The Bruce) no less, David II was born in Dunfermline, on 5 March 1324. His father, with eyes fixed on long-term peace with his neighbour to the south, had arranged his marriage to Joanna, sister of Edward III of England. This wedding duly took place when he was four and she was seven. Bruce died in 1329, and David was crowned two years later at Scone, traditional site for Scottish monarchs to be throned. A special wee sceptre was made to suit his youthful hands.

Unfortunately for David, his father had disinherited many nobles, who then supported Edward Balliol, son of the late King John Balliol. David's guardian was Donald Earl of Mar, and when he was defeated at Dupplin Moor, Balliol was made king. The battle for the throne swayed first one way, then the other. Sir Archibald Douglas defeated Balliol at Annan, then lost at Halidon Hill in 1333. The nine-year old David and his wife fled, at first to Dumbarton Castle, then to France, where King Philip VI looked after them for the next seven years.

David fought for Philip against Edward III several times, finally returning to Scotland in 1341 when he was 17. (There was a Franco-Scottish alliance at this time.) He fought well at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346 but was badly wounded and captured by the English. The next 11 years were spent in captivity, until released for a ransom of 100,000 merks, to be paid in annual instalments. Export duties trebled in three years in order for this to be paid.

David II then ruled with some authority, but fell foul of the Scottish Parliament by his continued willingness to pursue a Union of the Scottish and English Crowns. The Parliament rejected this fanciful notion.

In 1326 David married for a second time, to Margaret Logie nee Drummond. He died without a legitimate heir however, on 22 February 1371, in Edinburgh.

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