Birthday: March 2, 1316
Emperors & Kings
Died At Age: 74
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Robert the Steward
Born Country: Scotland
Born in: Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Famous as: King of Scots
Spouse/Ex-: Elizabeth Mure (m. 1347), Euphemia de Ross (m. 1355)
father: Walter Stewart - 6th High Steward of Scotland
mother: Marjorie Bruce
children: David Stewart - Earl of Strathearn, Egidia Stewart, Elizabeth Stewart - Countess of Crawford, Isabel Stewart, Robert III of Scotland, Robert Stewart - Duke of Albany, Thomas Stewart, Walter Stewart - Earl of Atholl, Walter Stewart - Lord of Fife
Died on: April 19, 1390
place of death: Dundonald Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland
Robert II, also remembered as Robert the Steward, was the King of Scots who ruled from 1371 to his death. He was the only child of Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland and his first wife Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce and Isabella of Mar. On the death of his father in 1326, he became the hereditary steward of Scotland. In 1318, Robert II was named heir to King Robert I, his maternal grandfather. Although he lost his position after King Robert’s son David was born, he was made heir apparent to David. Robert II was then made a guardian of the kingdom in 1334 when David escaped to France. He succeeded the throne after David’s death in 1371. During his reign as the king, he took no active part in the renewed war for independence. He married Elizabeth Mure in 1336; he had four sons and five daughters with her. A superior claim to the throne was asserted on behalf of the king’s two daughters and two sons by his second wife, Euphemia Ross. From 1384, the kingdom was reigned over by Robert’s oldest son with Mure, John, Earl of Carrick aka King Robert III, and later by another son, Robert, Earl of Fife. Robert II died in 1390 in Dundonald Castle in Ayrshire.
Childhood & Early Life
Robert II was born on 2 March 1316 in Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, as the only child to King Robert I's daughter Marjorie Bruce and Walter Stewart, High Steward of Scotland.
His mother died in 1317 and he was chosen to be the heir presumptive to the Scottish throne in 1318. Although the birth of David to King Robert I cancelled his position, he became the heir apparent to David.
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Renewed War for Independence
The first war of independence started during the reign of King John Balliol who was challenged by Edward I. After their deaths, Robert II’s grandfather Robert the Bruce gained the Scottish throne after defeating Edward II of England.
In April 1327, Walter the Steward died and Robert II was placed under the guardianship of Sir James Stewart of Durrisdeer, who along with others, including Thomas Randolph, was appointed as joint guardians.
On 7 June 1329, David Bruce became the king after death of his father Robert the Bruce. In 1332, he was challenged by the son of John Balliol, Edward Balliol, who attacked their sovereignty with the support of King Edward III of England.
On 19 July 1333, Edward Balliol’s army fought the Bruce supporters at Halidon Hill and Robert II, who was 17 at that time, participated in the war. The latter’s estates were overrun by Balliol and were granted to David Strathbogie.
Strathbogie later submitted to the English king and was made the warden of Scotland which resulted in the removal of Robert II’s guardianship. However, the latter resumed his position in 1338.
On 17 October 1346, Robert II accompanied David to a war at Neville's Cross. David was eventually captured while Robert II apparently fled the field. The war also led to the killing of John Randolph, the co-guardian of the kingdom.
King David's Captivity
With Randolph dead and King David in prison, Robert II again resumed his position as the guardian. In 1347, he petitioned Pope Clement VI to allow him a canon law marriage to Elizabeth Mure in order to ensure the legitimation of their children.
In January 1356, King Edward III of England led his forces into Scotland and burnt several regions in the 'Burnt Candlemas' campaign. After his victory over France in September, Scotland negotiated for King David’s release with the Treaty of Berwick. The conditions of Berwick were, however, not followed by Robert II.
Accession & Reign
After King David’s death in 1371, Robert II was made the King of Scots. During his reign, he appointed his sons as keepers of his castles and lieutenants.
Under his rule during the 1370s, the nation’s financial condition improved, especially due to the flourishing wool trade.
In 1384, the king ensured Scotland was included in the Anglo-French truce.
Family & Personal Life
Robert II married Elizabeth Mure in 1336. The couple had four sons and five daughters, including John, Earl of Carrick, Robert, Earl of Fife and Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan. Elizabeth died in 1355.
In 1355, he married his second wife Euphemia de Ross, daughter of Hugh, Earl of Ross. The two had two sons, David Stewart, Earl of Strathearn, and Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Egidia. Euphemia de Ross died in 1387.
The king also had many illegitimate children with his several mistresses, including the widow of Alexander Mac Naugthon, and Mariota Cardeny, daughter of Sir Cardeny. Some of his illegitimate children were Sir John Stewart, Alexander Stewart, John Stewart, Lord of Burley, and Thomas Stewart.
On, 19 April 1390, Robert II died in Dundonald Castle and was later buried at Scone Abbey.