Robert II Of Scotland - Encyclopedia

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ROBERT II. (1316-1390), called "the Steward," king of Scotland, was a son of Walter, the steward of Scotland (d. 1326), and Marjorie (d. 1316), daughter of King Robert the Bruce, and was born on the 2nd of March 1316. In 1318 the Scottish parliament decreed that if King Robert died without sons the crown should pass to his grandson; but the birth of a son, afterwards King David II., to Bruce in 1324 postponed the accession of Robert for nearly forty-two years. Soon after the infant David became king in 1329, the Steward began to take a prominent part in the affairs of Scotland. He was one of the leaders of the Scottish army at the battle of Halidon Hill in July 1 333; and after gaining some successes over the adherents of Edward Baliol in the west of Scotland, he and John Randolph, 3rd earl of Moray (d. 1346), were chosen as regents of the kingdom, while David sought safety in France. The colleagues soon quarrelled; then Randolph fell into the hands of the English and Robert became sole regent, meeting with such success in his efforts to restore the royal authority that the king was able to return to Scotland in 1341. Having handed over the duties of government to David, the Steward escaped from the battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, and was again chosen regent while the king was a captive in England. Soon after this event some friction arose between Robert and his royal uncle. Accused, probably without truth, of desertion at Neville's Cross, the Steward as heir-apparent was greatly chagrined by the king's proposal to make Edward III. of England, or one of his sons, the heir to the Scottish throne, and by David's marriage with Margaret Logic. In 1363 he rose in rebellion, and after having made his submission was seized and imprisoned together with four of his sons, being only released a short time before David's death in February 1371. By the terms of the decree of 1318 Robert now succeeded to the throne, and was crowned at Scone in March 13 71. His reign in unimportant. Some steps were taken by the nobles to control the royal authority. In 1378 a war broke out with England; but the king took no part in the fighting, which included the burning of Edinburgh and the Scottish victory at Otterbourne in 1388. As age and infirmity were telling upon him, the estates in 1389 appointed his second surviving son Robert, earl of Fife, afterwards duke of Albany, guardian of the kingdom. The king died at Dundonald on the 13th of May 1390, and was buried at Scone. His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Mure of Rowallan, a lady who had formerly been his mistress. By her he had at least four sons, the eldest of whom was his successor, King Robert III., and six daughters. By his second wife, Euphemia, daughter of Hugh, earl of Ross, and widow of Moray, formerly his colleague as regent, he had two sons and several daughters; and he had also many illegitimate children.

See Andrew of Wyntoun, The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, edited by D. Laing (Edinburgh, 1872-1879); John of Fordun, Scotichronicon, continued by Walter Bower, edited by T. Hearne (Oxford, 1722); John Major, Historia majoris Britanniae, translated by A. Constable (Edinburgh, 1892); and P. F. Tytler, History of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1841-1843).

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