After the death of King Alexander III in 1286, Scotland was plunged into uncertainty while a new heir was chosen. Eventually, with the aid of King Edward I of England, John Balliol was selected in 1292, but his was not to be a peaceful reign.
Refusing aid in England’s war with France, Balliol attracted the wrath of Edward and the two kingdoms descended into a conflict that would endure for more than 40 years. Some of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history took place in this time, immortalising the memory of such notable men as William Wallace, Andrew Murray, and Robert the Bruce.
• King John Balliol and Edward I
• The War with France, 1292-1295
• The Ragman's Roll
• The Battle at Bannockburn
• Declaration of Arbroath
• The Treaty of Edinburgh
These videos provide additional insight into the people, events and historical context of this topic.
Listen to a selection of interviews and readings which relate to the Scottish Wars of Independence.
These online interactive historical documents have been produced from the archives of the National Archives of Scotland.