Scotlands History

The Auld Alliance

Scotland and France formed a close alliance in medieval times. They agreed to support each other against the threat of attack from England.

The Scots and the French had traded for centuries. King David I had brought Norman families to Scotland. Wool from Scottish sheep was shipped to Flanders and wines from France were imported to Leith.

In October 1295 a group of Scots negotiated a treaty in Paris with the French. This Franco-Scottish alliance became known as the ‘Auld Alliance’.

The King of France, Philip the Fair, agreed to the alliance and it was decided that his niece, Jeanne de Valois, would marry Edward Balliol, the son of King John Balliol and heir to the Scots’ throne. (The marriage did not take place.)

King Eric II of Norway, the father of Margaret the Maid of Norway, had also allied the Norwegians with the French.

In the centuries to come the Auld Alliance grew stronger but at the start of the Wars of Independence it brought little practical support to the Scots. It enraged Edward I of England. He mustered his army and prepared to make war on Scotland.

  • Image of a king on a gold coin

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