|King of Scots|
|Reign||17 November 1292 – 10 July 1296|
|Coronation||30 November 1292|
|Successor||Robert I (1306)|
|Died||late 1314 (aged around 65)|
Château de Hélicourt, Picardy, France
|Spouse||Isabella de Warenne|
|House||House of Balliol|
|Father||John I de Balliol|
|Mother||Dervorguilla of Galloway|
John Balliol 1249 – late 1314), known derisively as Toom Tabard (meaning "empty coat" – coat of arms), was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296. Little is known of his early life. After the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway, Scotland entered an interregnum during which several competitors for the Crown of Scotland put forward claims. Balliol was chosen from among them as the new King of Scotland by a group of selected noblemen headed by King Edward I of England.(c.
Edward used his influence over the process to subjugate Scotland and undermined Balliol's personal reign by treating Scotland as a vassal of England. Edward's influence in Scottish affairs tainted Balliol's reign, and the Scottish nobility deposed him and appointed a Council of Twelve to rule instead. This council signed a treaty with France known as the Auld Alliance.
In retaliation, Edward invaded Scotland, starting the Wars of Scottish Independence. After a Scottish defeat in 1296, Balliol abdicated and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Eventually, Balliol was sent to his estates in France and retired into obscurity, taking no more part in politics. Scotland was then left without a monarch until the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306. John Balliol's son Edward Balliol would later exert a claim to the Scottish throne against the Bruce claim during the minority of Robert's son David.
In Norman French his name was Johan de Bailliol, in Middle Scots it was Jhon Ballioun, and in Scottish Gaelic, Iain Bailiol. In Scots he was known by the nickname Toom Tabard, usually understood to mean "empty coat" in the sense that he was an ineffective king. Alternatively the word coat may refer to coat of arms; either to the Balliol arms which are a plain shield with an orle, also known as an inescutcheon voided or because his arms were stripped from his tabard in public.
Little of Balliol's early life is known. He was born between 1248 and 1250 at an unknown location; possibilities include Galloway, Picardy and Barnard Castle, County Durham.He was the son of John, 5th Baron Balliol, Lord of Barnard Castle (and founder of Balliol College, Oxford), and his wife Dervorguilla of Galloway, daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway and granddaughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon—the brother of William the Lion. From his mother he inherited significant lands in Galloway and claim to Lordship over the Gallovidians, as well as various English and Scottish estates of the Huntingdon inheritance; from his father he inherited large estates in England and France, such as Hitchin, in Hertfordshire.
In 1284 Balliol had attended a parliament at Scone, which had recognised Margaret, Maid of Norway, as heir presumptive to her grandfather, King Alexander III.Following the deaths of Alexander III in 1286 and Margaret in 1290, John Balliol was a competitor for the Scottish crown in the Great Cause, as he was a great-great-great-grandson of David I through his mother (and therefore one generation further than his main rival Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale, grandfather of Robert the Bruce, who later became king), being senior in genealogical primogeniture but not in proximity of blood. He submitted his claim to the Scottish auditors with King Edward I of England as the administrator of the court, at Berwick-upon-Tweed on 6 June 1291. The Scottish auditors' decision in favour of Balliol was pronounced in the Great Hall of Berwick Castle on 17 November 1292, and he was inaugurated accordingly King of Scotland at Scone, 30 November 1292, St. Andrew's Day.
Edward I, who had coerced recognition as Lord Paramount of Scotland, the feudal superior of the realm, steadily undermined John's authority. He demanded homage to be paid towards himself, legal authority over the Scottish King in any disputes brought against him by his own subjects, contribution towards the costs for the defence of England, and military support was expected in his war against France. He treated Scotland as a feudal vassal state and repeatedly humiliated the new king. The Scots soon tired of their deeply compromised king; the direction of affairs was allegedly taken out of his hands by the leading men of the kingdom, who appointed a Council of Twelve—in practice, a new panel of Guardians—at Stirling in July 1295. They went on to conclude a treaty of mutual assistance with France—known in later years as the Auld Alliance.
In retaliation for Scotland's treaty with France, Edward I invaded, commencing the Wars of Scottish Independence. The Scots were defeated at Dunbar and the English took Dunbar Castle on 27 April 1296.John abdicated at Stracathro near Montrose on 10 July 1296. Here the arms of Scotland were formally torn from John's surcoat, giving him the abiding name of "Toom Tabard" (empty coat).
John was imprisoned in the Tower of London until allowed to go to France in July 1299. When his baggage was examined at Dover, the Royal Golden Crown and Seal of the Kingdom of Scotland, with many vessels of gold and silver, and a considerable sum of money, were found in his chests. Edward I ordered that the Crown be offered to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury, and that the money be returned to John for the expenses of his journey. But he kept the Seal himself.John was released into the custody of Pope Boniface VIII on condition that he remain at a papal residence. He was released around the summer of 1301 and lived the rest of his life on his family's ancestral estates at Hélicourt, Picardy.
Over the next few years, there were several Scottish rebellions against Edward (for example, in 1297 under William Wallace and Andrew Moray). When Wallace was chosen as commander, he claimed to act in the name of his king, John Balliol.This claim came to look increasingly tenuous, as John's position under nominal house-arrest meant that he could not return to Scotland nor campaign for his release, despite the Scots' diplomatic attempts in Paris and Rome. After 1302, he made no further attempts to extend his personal support to the Scots. Effectively, Scotland was left without a monarch until the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306.
John died in late 1314 at his family's château at Hélicourt in France.On 4 January 1315, King Edward II of England, writing to King Louis X of France, said that he had heard of the death of 'Sir John de Balliol' and requested the fealty and homage of Edward Balliol to be given by proxy.
A John de Bailleul is interred in the church of St Waast at Bailleul-sur-Eaune in Normandy.This may or may not be the Scottish king.
John was survived by his son Edward Balliol, who later revived his family's claim to the Scottish throne, received support from the English, and had some temporary successes.
John married around 9 February 1281 to Isabella de Warenne, daughter of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey.Her mother, Alice de Lusignan, was niece of Henry III of England. John was also an uncle to John Comyn, who was killed following a scuffle with Robert the Bruce in February 1306, in the chapel of the Greyfriars, Dumfries.
It has been established that John and Isabella had at least one child.
However, other children have been linked to the couple as other possible issue:
John Balliol has been depicted in drama:
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish Independence.
The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.
The Battle of Dunbar was the only significant field action of the campaign of 1296 during the beginning of the First War of Scottish Independence.
Andrew Moray, also known as Andrew de Moray, Andrew of Moray, or Andrew Murray, was an esquire, who became one of Scotland's war-leaders during the First Scottish War of Independence. Moray, heir to an influential north Scotland baron, initially raised a small band of supporters at Avoch Castle in early summer 1297 to fight King Edward I of England, and soon had successfully regained control of the north for the absent Scots king, John Balliol. He subsequently merged his army with that of William Wallace, and jointly led the combined army to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on 11 September 1297. Moray was mortally wounded in the fighting at Stirling, dying at an unknown date and place that year.
Patrick de Dunbar, 9th Earl of March, was a prominent Scottish magnate during the reigns of Robert the Bruce and David II.
The First War of Scottish Independence was the first of a series of wars between English and Scottish forces. It lasted from the English invasion of Scotland in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton in 1328. De facto independence was established in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn. The wars were caused by the attempts of the English kings to establish their authority over Scotland while Scots fought to keep English rule and authority out of Scotland.
Patrick IV, 8th Earl of Dunbar and Earl of March, sometimes called Patrick de Dunbar "8th" Earl of March, was the most important magnate in the border regions of Scotland. He was one of the Competitors for the Crown of Scotland.
Walter Stewart was the 6th Hereditary High Steward of Scotland and was the father of King Robert II of Scotland, the first Stewart monarch.
Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick (1252–1292), Lord of Hartness, Writtle and Hatfield Broad Oak, was a cross-border lord, and participant of the Second Barons' War, Ninth Crusade, Welsh Wars, and First War of Scottish Independence, as well as father to the future king of Scotland Robert the Bruce.
Dervorguilla of Galloway was a 'lady of substance' in 13th century Scotland, the wife from 1223 of John, 5th Baron de Balliol, and mother of John I, a future king of Scotland.
William II, Earl of Ross was ruler of the province of Ross in northern Scotland, and a prominent figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Sir Archibald Douglas was a Scottish nobleman, Guardian of Scotland, and military leader. He is sometimes given the epithet "Tyneman", but this may be a reference to his great-nephew Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas. He fought and died at the Battle of Halidon Hill.
Sir Ingram de Umfraville was a Scottish noble who played a particularly chequered role in the Wars of Scottish Independence, changing sides between England and Scotland multiple times, throughout the conflict.
The Sack of Berwick was the first significant battle of the First War of Scottish Independence in 1296.
Edward Balliol was a claimant to the Scottish throne during the Second War of Scottish Independence. With English help, he ruled parts of the kingdom from 1332 to 1356.
Sir William Oliphant, Lord of Aberdalgie and Dupplin, was a Scottish magnate, knight and leader during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Alexander de Baliol, Baron Balliol, Lord of Cavers was an Anglo-Scottish noble. He served at one time as Chamberlain of Scotland.
Sir William Oliphant, was a Scottish knight and Governor of Stirling Castle during the Wars of Scottish Independence. He switched loyalties to the English and died in a Scottish prison.
The English invasion of Scotland of 1296 was a military campaign undertaken by Edward I of England in retaliation to the Scottish treaty with France and the renouncing of fealty of John, King of Scotland and Scottish raids into Northern England.
Events from the 1290s in the Kingdom of Scotland.