Elizabeth de Burgh, Queen of Scots

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Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, Queen of Scots

Also Known As: "Elizabeth de Burgh", "wife of King Robert"
Birthplace: Dumfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
Death: October 27, 1327 (34-42)
Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
Place of Burial: Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and Margaret de Burgh
Wife of Robert I the Bruce, King of Scots
Mother of Maud Bruce; Margaret Bruce; Elizabeth de Bruce; David II, king of Scots and John Bruce
Sister of Eleanor de Burgh; Walter de Burgh; John de Burgh; Maud Matilda de Burgh; Katherine de Burgh and 4 others

Occupation: Queen of Scotland and 4th Countess of Ulster, 2nd wife of Robert I.
Managed by: Flemming Allan Funch
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth de Burgh, Queen of Scots

Elizabeth de Burgh (c. 1289 – 27 October 1327) was the second wife and the only queen consort of King Robert I of Scotland.


She was born in Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland, the daughter of the powerful Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his wife Margarite de Burgh (died 1304). Her father was a close friend of King Edward I of England.

Elizabeth probably met Robert the Bruce, then Earl of Carrick, at the English court, and they married in 1302 at Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex, England. Elizabeth would have been about thirteen years old.

On 27 March 1306, Robert and Elizabeth were crowned as King and Queen of Scots at Scone. The coronation took place in defiance of the English claims of suzerainty over Scotland, and the new King sent Elizabeth, with other family members, to Kildrummy Castle for safety under the protection of his brother Nigel (sometimes known as Niall).

After the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Methven on 19 June 1306, Elizabeth had taken her stepdaughter Marjorie and her husband's sisters Mary and Christian to Kildrummy Castle.[1] The English laid siege to the castle containing the royal party. The siege finally succeeded when the English bribed a blacksmith with "all the gold he could carry" to set fire to the corn store. The victors hanged, drew and quartered Nigel Bruce,[citation needed] along with all the men from the castle. However, the royal ladies under the escort of the Earl of Atholl had already fled.

They were taken from the sanctuary of St. Duthac at Tain by the Earl of Ross, a supporter of the Comyns, and dispatched to King Edward. He imprisoned Bruce's sister Mary and Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan, in wooden cages erected on the walls of Roxburgh and Berwick castles respectively, and then sent Bruce's nine-year-old daughter Marjorie to the nunnery at Watton.

Elizabeth was held under severe conditions of house arrest in England. The Earl of Atholl was hanged and his head displayed on London Bridge.[2]

She was imprisoned for eight years by the English, from October 1306 to July 1308 at Burstwick-in-Holderness, Yorkshire and then transferred to Bisham Manor, Berkshire until March 1312. From there, she was moved to Windsor Castle until October 1312, Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset until March 1313, Barking Abbey, Essex until March 1314, and Rochester Castle, Kent until June 1314. After the Battle of Bannockburn, she was moved to York while prisoner exchange talks took place. At York, she had an audience with King Edward II of England. Finally, in November 1314, she was moved to Carlisle just before the exchange and her return to Scotland.

After her husband's coronation at Scone, she is quoted as having said,

"Alas, we are but king and queen of the May!"

as though anticipating a defeat by Edward I.[3]

Elizabeth had three children who reached adulthood: Matilda, Margaret, and David (the future king David II of Scotland).[4][5]

Elizabeth died on 27 October 1327 at Cullen, Banffshire and is buried in Dunfermline. King Robert, her husband, died 18 months later.

The organs of Elizabeth de Burgh are said to have been buried in the parish church of Cullen after her death. Robert made an annual payment to the village in gratitude for the treatment of his wife's body and its return south for burial.[6] A recent non-payment of this sum by the government was challenged and settled to the village's favour.[citation needed]


  • Margaret: born between 1315 and 1323, died on March 30, 1346 in childbirth. Married William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland and had one son, John, who died aged twenty of the Black Plague.
  • Matilda: born between 1315 and 1323, died on July 30, 1353. Married Thomas Isak/Isaac and had two daughters, Joanna (wife of John of Argyll) and Catherine.
  • David: born 5 March 1324, died 22 February 1371. King of Scots (1329 – 1372). Married Joan of The Tower, no issue.
  • John: born and died in October, 1327 in Dunfermline Palace, Fife.

Further Reading

Sharon Bennett Connolly, Elizabeth de Burgh, the Captive Queen 24 April 2015, Website: History ... the interesting bits

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


  1. Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 34.
  2. Scott, Ronald McNair, Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots, p 87
  3. Lang, Andrew, "A history of Scotland from the Roman Occupation"
  4. Bingham, Caroline Robert the Bruce
  5. Boardman, Stephen The Early Stewart Kings
  6. Presbytery of Moray
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Elizabeth de Burgh, Queen of Scots's Timeline

Dumfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
July 12, 1303
Age 14
Carrick, Argyllshire, Scotland
Age 26
Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
Age 28
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
March 5, 1324
Age 35
Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland
Age 36
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 27, 1327
Age 38
Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland, (Present UK)
Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, United Kingdom