A History of Great Britain by Robert Balmain Mowat - CHAPTER IX - Guienne, Wales, Scotland

August 27 2018

CHAPTER IX - Guienne, Wales, Scotland

Besides Ireland, the french town of Guienne, Wales and Scotland were without proper English rule.

Guienne was disputed territory with France and war seems inevitable.

Soon, Henry III. tries to take Poitou and fails miserably. He decides to sign the ‘Treaty of Paris’* in 1259, with the french king Louis IX.

*Not to be confused with the 32 other events named ‘Treaty of Paris’.

The 1259 treaty leaves France with all important parts of the country and Guienne as a fief to the French Crown. Henry is now effectively a vassal to Louis IX.

This odd arrangement and the lack of exact borders, means continuous war between the two powers.

Wales has so far remained largely tribal, governed by an array of princes. After his father’s death in 1272 and his crowing in the same year, Edward I., decides in 1277 to attack Wales and it’s current ‘Prince of Wales’, Llewellyn.

Edward is victorious. Cardigan and Carmarthen are given to England and Llewelyn is demoted to Lord of Snowdon.

In 1282, Llewelyn’s brother starts to revolt and LLywelyn feels compelled to join him. The Welsh are ill-prepared and after a sneak attack, Llewelyn is surrounded and struck down. He would become the last sovereign Prince of Wales.

In 1284, Parliament decrees that all of Wales must be annexed to the English Crown.

**Scotland **had his own king, Alexander III., until his accidental death in 1286. There were three claimants to the Scottish throne, and feudal law would have allowed for all three to rule separate sections of Scotland - however, Edward decides to elect one of the claimants to king himself.

John Balliol becomes king of Scotland and vassal to Edward.

Due to his unconventional crowing, the Scottish barons all but ignore Balliol’s authority and, recognizing his position, Balliol now tries to win favours by opposing the summons by Edward.

In 1296, Edward answers Balliol’s disobedience by invaded Scotland.

Scotland falls and becomes an English province.

Little time passes until a disgruntled knight, William Wallace, takes up the cause to free Scotland once more. His cause is popular and many people freely join him.

On 11. September 1297, at the ‘Battle of the Stirling Bridge’, Wallace successfully annihilates a fraction of the English forces.

Despite the execution of Wallace in 1305, Edward will never again manage to subdue the Scottish lust for freedom and he during his reign, many Scots simply refuse to acknowledge him.

Balliol is followed by another claimant, Robert de Bruce.

Edward I. dies in 1307, rousing Scottish fervour again. His son, Edward II. is thrust into a complicated role, for which he will be prove to be unprepared.

In 1314, Edward II. tries to attack Scotland again and take back Stirling but he underestimates the well-prepared Scots who, despite having much less men, triumph at the sides of the battle at Bannockburn.

Already unpopular, Edward II. has now lost all credibility. His wife deserts him, he is quickly disposed as king and flees, is caught, imprisoned and ultimately killed.

In 1327, young Edward III. ascends the throne. Due to his age, the country is governed by his mother and her lover.

In an ill-advised campaign, England invades Scotland again in the same year of Edward’s crowing.

The Scots are clearly on the winning side. While the English troupes are slow moving due to requiring heavy baggage carts for provisioning, the Scottish soldiers live of oatmeal carried with them directly and hunting.

Thus much faster, the Scots simply stay ahead of the English and never actually engage in any fighting, but devastate the English countryside and its villages.

The English army is soon running out of provisions and money and Edward III. is forced to make peace.

Robert de Bruce is acknowledge as independent king of Scotland in the ‘Treaty of Northhampton’ in April 1328.

Robert would only rule a year, but the Treaty has exposed the feebleness of the government under Edward’s guardians and in 1330, now aged 18, Edward kills his mother’s lover and exiles her.