Edward de Bruce, Earl of Carrick, King of Ireland

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Edward de Bruce, Earl of Carrick, King of Ireland

Also Known As: "Edubard a Briuis", "Edward the Bruce", "Edward of Bruce", "Eideard Bruis/Iomhair Bruis", "High King of Ireland; Earl of /Carrick/", "King of Ireland"
Birthplace: Argyllshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: October 14, 1318 (42-43)
Ballymascanlan, County Louth, Ireland (Died in the Battle of Faughart)
Place of Burial: Ballymascanlan, County of Louth, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert de Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick
Fiancé of Isabel of Ross
Partner of Isabella of Strathbogie
Father of Alexander Bruce, Earl of Carrick
Brother of Isobel de Bruce, Queen of Norway; Christian Bruce; Robert I the Bruce, King of Scots; Nigel Bruce, of Annandale; Matilda (Maud) Bruce and 5 others
Half brother of Isabel Martha du Kilconquhar

Occupation: King of Ireland, crowned May 2, 1316
Managed by: Shirley Marie Caulk
Last Updated:

About Edward de Bruce, Earl of Carrick, King of Ireland

ROBERT [VI] de Brus, son of ROBERT [V] de Brus Lord of Annandale & his first wife Isabel de Clare (Jul 1243-shortly before 4 Apr 1304, bur Abbey of Holm Cultram). m firstly (Turnberry Castle 1271) as her second husband, MARGARET Ctss of Carrick suo iure, widow of ADAM de Kilconquhar, daughter and heiress of NEIL Earl of Carrick & his wife Margaret Stewart (-[1292]).

[Their 4th child was]

EDWARD Bruce (-killed in battle Dundalk 14 Oct 1318). John of Fordun’s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "Eadwardus de Bruce, frater domini regis" entered Ireland in 1315 and was chosen "rex totius Hiberniæ"[1062]. Created Earl of Carrick shortly before 24 Oct 1313 by his brother. He landed at Carrickfergus 25 May 1315, and was crowned King of Ireland 2 May 1316. John of Fordun’s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "rex Hiberniæ Eadwardus, frater germanus domini Roberti Scottorum regis" was killed in battle 14 Oct 1318 at "Dundalk in Hibernia"[1063]. Betrothed (Papal dispensation 1 Jun 1317) to ISABEL, daughter of WILLIAM Earl of Ross & his wife Eupheme ---, but the marriage never took place. The Papal dispensation for the marriage of "Edwardi de Brux comitis de Catrilz" and "Ysabellis nate…Gulielmi comitis de Ros", issued by Pope John XXII, is dated 1 Jun 1317[1064]. Mistress (1): ISABEL, daughter of JOHN of Strathbogie Earl of Atholl & his wife Margaret of Mar. Mistress (2): ---. The name of Edward's second mistress is not known. Edward Bruce had one illegitimate son by Mistress (1):

a) ALEXANDER Bruce (-killed in battle Halidon Hill 19 Jul 1333). Created Earl of Carrick in [1330] or soon after. John of Fordun’s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that "Alexandrum de Bruce comitem de Carrik" was among those captured when King Edward Balliol was defeated "XVII Kal Jan" in 1332 at Annan[1065]. The Liber Pluscardensis names "Alexander de Bruys comes de Carrick" among those killed in battle at Halidon Hill in 1333[1066]. m as her first husband, ELEANOR Douglas, daughter of ARCHIBALD Douglas Regent of Scotland & his wife Beatrice Lindsay of Crawford. She married secondly (before 1349) James Sandilands of Calder (-before 1358), thirdly (before 1364) William Towers of Dalry, fourthly (before 1368) Duncan Wallace of Sundrum, and fifthly (dispensation 18 Mar 1376) as his second wife, Patrick Hepburn of Hales ([1321]-after 1402).

Edward Bruce had one possible illegitimate son by Mistress (2):

b) [THOMAS de Bruce . The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. Ancestor of the Bruce family of Clackmannan.]


Edward de Brus (Medieval Gaelic: Edubard a Briuis), modernised Edward the Bruce or Edward of Bruce (Modern Scottish Gaelic: Eideard Bruis/Iomhair Bruis; c. 1280 – October 14, 1318) was a younger brother of King Robert I of Scotland, who supported his brother in the struggle for the crown of Scotland, then pursued his own claim in Ireland. He was proclaimed High King of Ireland, but was eventually defeated and killed in battle. He also held the Scottish title of Earl of Carrick.

Edward was a son of Robert de Brus, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick. His date of birth is unknown, but as the second or third of five brothers it was probably not long after his older brother was born in 1274. The Irish medievalist Seán Duffy suggests that he was probably fostered in Ireland as a child. This was a common Scottish and Irish cultural practice, and would tie in with, and perhaps explain, parts of his later life.

Edward fought alongside Robert throughout his struggle for the Scottish throne, including his desperate period on the run and as a guerilla. The three younger Bruce brothers Niall, Thomas, and Alexander were all captured and executed by the English during this period, but Edward survived. He played an important role capturing and slighting English-held castles in south-west Scotland. It was him who made a possibly ill-judged pact with the English governor of Stirling Castle, which led to the English sending a large army to relieve the caste. This led to the Battle of Bannockburn on June 23-June 24, 1314, where he commanded a Scottish schiltrom.

Some time between 1309 and 1313, Edward was created Earl of Carrick, a title previously held by his maternal grandfather Niall of Carrick, his mother and his elder brother.

A probable marriage with Isabel, daughter of John de Strathbogie, 9th Earl of Atholl[1] produced a son, Alexander Bruce, who would later inherit his father's earldom.[citation needed] A record for intended marriage to Isabelle de Ross does exist, dated after the probable death of Isabella de Strathbogie, but there is no evidence that the marriage actually occurred.[citation needed]

There are records[citation needed] to suggest a second son, Thomas, was also a result of their union. This second marriage seems improbable as Edward was campaigning in Ireland at the time, and a marriage in the midst of these events is unlikely.

Edward obtained a dispensation for a marriage to Isabella of Ross, daughter of Uilleam II, Earl of Ross, on June 1, 1317. Their marriage may or may not have taken place before Edward's death; in any case, they had no children.

Battle of Faughart

Then in the late summer of 1318, John de Bermingham, 1st Earl of Louth with his army began a march against Edward the Bruce. On 14 October 1318, the Scots-Irish army was badly defeated at the Battle of Faughart by de Birmmingham's forces. Edward was killed, his body being quartered and send to various towns in Ireland, and his head being delivered to King Edward II. The Annals of Ulster (erroneously under the year 1315) summed up the hostile feeling held by many among the Anglo-Irish and Irish alike of Bruce:

"Edward Bruce, the destroyer of Ireland in general, both Foreigners and Gaels, was killed by the Foreigners of Ireland by dint of fighting at Dun-Delgan. And there were killed in his company Mac Ruaidhri, king of Insi-Gall Hebrides [i.e. Alan MacRuari?] and Mac Domnaill, king of Argyle, [i.e. Angus Og of Islay?] together with slaughter of the Men of Scotland around him. And there was not done from the beginning of the world a deed that was better for the Men of Ireland than that deed. For there came death and loss of people during his time in all Ireland in general for the space of three years and a half and people undoubtedly used to eat each other throughout Ireland."

Edward Bruce created havoc in the colonised parts of Ireland, and might be said to have rocked the settlement to its foundations. But notwithstanding this, he failed in the end, and with him the attempt to recreate a kingdom of Ireland and drive out the settlers ceased. From then on the Gaelic revival failed to find a national leader. Its impulse remained local down to the end of the Middle Ages; its success was measured in the innumerable battles fought by local chieftans or confederations of chieftains. So while everywhere the Gaelic recovery of lost territories was remarkable, there was never any serious attempt made to unite Gaelic Ireland or to bring about the downfall of the English government in Ireland and the end of the colony.


Edward Bruce has given rise to the perception that there was a strong fellow feeling amongst mediaeval Scotsmen and Irishmen that they had a common enemy in the shape of England. This is reflected in the 1996 Mel Gibson film Braveheart where Irishmen come to join William Wallace in his fight against Edward I.

He is buried on the Cooley peninsula near Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bruce



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Edward de Bruce, Earl of Carrick, King of Ireland's Timeline

Argyllshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Carrick, Argyll, Scotland
October 14, 1318
Age 43
Ballymascanlan, County Louth, Ireland

Killed in Battle

Age 43
Age 43
Faughart Old Graveyard, Ballymascanlan, County of Louth, Ireland