Stuart McCulloch

Articles by this author

Stuart McCulloch

Personal Allegiance in South West Scotland: 1286 – 1356

Mediaeval, History

TDGNHAS Series III, 84 (2010), 57(3.44 MB)


The death of Alexander 3rd in 1286 threw Scotland into tumult and struggle. When, in the same year, the South West was attacked by the forces of Robert Bruce it gave an unpleasant foretaste of what was to come. The strategic position of the region ensured that it became a transit area, traversed by the participating armies at least 13 times during the period. However, through-transit cannot explain the full-scale invasions, almost 30 battles and serious skirmishes and the very frequent harrying of the region throughout a 70 year period of intermittent warfare. Indeed, only 27 of these 70 years were without significant conflict somewhere in the South West. Thus the South West became pivotal in the wars of this period and often exhibited non-conformist and anti-central authority patterns of allegiance and support. The reasons for this persistent local turbulence are complex.