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To what extent did Robert the Bruce play a significant role in helping Scotland gain independence?

In his winning entry in the Scottish History Network School Essay Prize, Conlan McPherson discusses the role of Robert the Bruce in helping secure Scotland’s victory in the Wars of Independence.
Bruce in a National Museum of Scotland display.
Conlan pictured with his teacher John Sherry

The brutal execution of William Wallace in 1305 ultimately left Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick to continue Scottish resistance to king Edward I of England. Bruce proclaimed himself king of Scots in 1306 and was crowned by bishop Wishart at Scone. Throughout his reign (1306-1329), king Robert fought successfully to re-establish Scotland’s place as an independent country. Bruce’s attainment of Scottish independence was fundamentally down to three key, and related, aspects: Bruce taking advantage of English mistakes; his successful use of diplomacy; and the most crucial factor, his excellent leadership.

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About History Scotland

In the May/June issue of History Scotland we present the latest research from experts in the fields of Scottish history, heritage and archaeology, as well as news, opinion, book reviews and upcoming history events. Highlights include: · The tragic attempt by the tobacco heir David Guthrie Dunn to sail around the world in his small yacht, Southern Cross, in 1930 · A fresh contribution to the ongoing debate as to where the elusive abbey of Selkirk was situated during its brief existence in the early 12th century · A new study of the causes and consequences of the devastating famine of 1623 Plus: Family history advice, archaeology dig reports and finds analysis, National Records of Scotland column and lots more…