Robert II


Robert II

Robert the Steward was already 55 years old when he was crowned King Robert II in 1371. He was generous to anyone loyal and unlike David II who struggled to produce an heir Robert had several children (at least 20 many of whom were illegitimate). Robert seemed determined to safeguard his dynasty and handed his family a number of earldoms and huge swathes of land.

The first few years of his reign were relatively peaceful and uneventful though he showed a lack of skill when it came to finance and justice. He renewed the alliance with France and observed the fourteen year truce which had been agreed with England in 1369. When Edward III died in 1377 the Scots stopped paying the ransom for David II, no longer fearing English reprisals.

Robert was keen to preserve the truce with England but could not stop his nobles from engaging in border raids. These skirmishes continued at land and sea in the years leading up to the expiration of the truce in 1384. Almost as soon as the truce expired war broke out and Robert appealed to France for help under the terms of their alliance. A French army arrived in 1385 and Richard II the new young king of England led an army north to invade. There were a few battles but nothing genuinely decisive and the Scots soon tired of the French presence.

Robert II took little part in his government allowing the council and his heir to rule in his name. His son was named guardian in 1389 and the 74 year old Robert died in 1390. His son was crowned Robert III the same year and proved to be even more incapable than his father.