Baliol, John de, 1249–1315, king of Scotland

Baliol, John de, 1249–1315, king of Scotland (1292–96), son of John de Baliol (d. 1269). He became head of the family after the death of his elder brothers in 1278. At the death of Margaret Maid of Norway (1290), he claimed the Scottish throne through his grandmother, eldest daughter of David of Huntingdon, brother of King William the Lion. His principal rival was Robert the Bruce, of the celebrated Bruce family, son of David of Huntingdon's second daughter and hence one generation closer to his royal ancestor, although through a younger line. The laws of succession not being firmly established, the question was referred to Edward I of England, who first demanded and secured (1291) recognition as feudal overlord of Scotland. Edward decided in favor of Baliol, who was then crowned king (1292) and did homage to Edward for the kingdom. Baliol, after some hesitation, accepted Edward's asserted right to hear appeals from Scottish courts. However, when he attended Edward's Parliament at Westminster in late 1293, he refused to answer such an appeal. The Scottish council subsequently disregarded Edward's summons for help against France and formed (1295) an alliance with Philip IV of France. Early in 1296 the Scots invaded England, and as Edward marched north to take Berwick, Baliol renounced his oath of fealty to the English king. However, after defeat in a brief campaign, in which he took no active part, Baliol surrendered to Edward. He was imprisoned in England until 1299 and ended his days on his estates in France, ignoring the continuing struggle for Scottish independence.

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