House of Bruce Relationship Theories

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Date: 12 May 2020 [unknown]
Location: Scotlandmap
Surnames/tags: Bruce Scottish_Clans Scotland
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Bruce of Annandale-Clackmannan Relationship Theories

Feel free to add notes, thoughts, ideas, sources, comments.

The parentage of Thomas Bruce, 1st of Clackmannan, apparently born about 1318, died circa 1348, has been the subject of many theories and discussions. Just lately, I noticed that the Red Book of Scotland has a blog on their site naming the four possiblities below. Scots Peerage is on the fence and names three, including a natural son who was created Earl of Ross. Electric Scotland names two.
I will probably have biros, knives, arrows, bombs and torpedos aimed at me by our WT "cite proper sources" afficionados for mentioning this but, Stirnet also picks two, the above mentioned Earl of Ross and John, listed below and the Clan MacFarlane website favours Edward, Earl of Carrick.
I myself, would like to try to settle this discussion once and for all.

Presently linked to this father on WikiTree.

  1. Sir Robert of Liddsdale son of King Robert 1, d 1332. Red Book of Scotland says he died in 1333 at Hallidon Hill. and not at Dupplin Moor in 1332.

Possible Father's.

    1. Thomas Bruce brother of King Robert 1, married Helen or Mary Erskine, d 1307, with brother Alexander. Red Book of Scotland's favourite, but if he died in 1307... then he can't be the father. Some sources say his son, Thomas was the father of Thomas Bruce of Clackmannan. Bruce DNA project follows this and uses links from the Peerage website.
    2. Edward Bruce, Earl of Carrick brother of King Robert 1, lived Ireland, d c 1318. Died the same approximated year as Thomas's birth...possible. Has two sons attributed to him, one named Thomas of approximately the same age. This son was favoured by the then Lyon King of Arms.
    3. John Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, 6th of Annandale, probably the son of Robert, 5th of Annandale not on WikiTree, little known about him. Some say it was his son Robert who died at Dupplin Moor in 1332.


  1. Find something that gives a close birth date or time period for Thomas of Clackmannan.
  2. Find sources for John Bruce, even though he is probably of the wrong generation.
  3. Is Edward's son Thomas a possible candidate ?? ...find sources for him.

Other Profiles.

Father of Helen or Mary Erskine.


Other Links

Other Links are on their profiles.


See Also:

  • The Scots Peerage : Founded On Wood's Ed. Of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage Of Scotland; Containing An Historical And Genealogical Account Of The Nobility Of That Kingdom : Paul, James Balfour, Sir, 1846-1931 : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Accessed May 12 2020.>Balfour, Earls of Elgin, Vol II, pgs 466-483
  • The Scots Peerage : Founded On Wood's Ed. Of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage Of Scotland; Containing An Historical And Genealogical Account Of The Nobility Of That Kingdom : Paul, James Balfour, Sir, 1846-1931 : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Accessed May 13 2020.>Earls of Carrick, Vol II, pgs 428-437
  • The History Of Scotland : Buchanan, George, 1506-1582 : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Accessed May 16 2020.>History of Scotland Book 1
  • The History Of Scotland; : Buchanan, George, 1506-1582 : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Accessed May 16 2020.>History of Scotland, Book 2

Also checked:

and Bruce DNA Project shows the genealogy of Thomas as:

Their son was Earl Robert (Ulf) DE BRUSEE or DE BRUIS. He married Emma, daughter of Lord Allan of Normandy.
Their son, Adam (Adelme) BRUCE, died in 1094. He married Emma RAMSAY the daughter of Sir William RAMSAY.
Their son, Robert BRUCE (DE BRUS) 1st Lord of Cleveland & Annandale, was born in 1071 and died in 1141. He married Agnes DE PAGANELL who was born in 1076. She was the daughter of Fulke DE PAGANELL.
Their son, Robert BRUCE ( LE MESCHIN), 21oA&IoS, was born in 1103 and died in 1171. He married Eupliemia (Euphemia).
Their son, William BRUCE (DE BRUS), VoABaG, was born in 1142 and died in 1215. He married Christina.
Their son, Robert DE BRUS (THE NOBLE), 4th Lord of Annamdale, was born in 1183 and died in 1245. He married Isabel (Isabelle) who was born in 1226 and died in 1251. She was the daughter of David Earl of Huntingdon & Garrioch.
Their son, Lord Robert BRUCE, 5th of Annandale & Cleveland, was born in 1210 an died 31 Mar 1295. He married Isabel DE CLARE who was born on 2 Nov 1236 and died in 1295.
Their son, Robert BRUCE (DE BRUS), 1st Earl of Carrick & VIth of Annandale, was born in Jul 1243 and died in 1304. He married Countess Marjorie (Margaret) of Carrick who died in 1292.
Their son, Sir Thomas BRUCE was born in 1307. He married Mary ERSKINE who was the daughter of Sir John ERSKINE of Erskine.
Their son, Sir Thomas BRUCE (BRUS), died in 1330.
His son, Sir Thomas BRUCE (DE BRUYS) died in 1358 or 59. He married Marjorie CHARTERIS of Stenhouse.
Their son, Sir Robert (Roberto) BRUCE (DE BRUYS), 1st Baron of Clackmannan & Rait, died in 1403. He married Isabel STEWART of Rosyth the daughter of Sir Robert STEWART of Durrisdear & Innermeath.

the great and illustrious name of BRUCE being fully set rth under the title of Bruce lord of Annandale and earl of Carrick, to that we shall refer our readers. All the families of that firname now in Scotland are descended of the Bruces of Clackmannan, (of which this is the chief and principal branch.) Their imme∣diate ancestor, according to some historians, was,JOHN de BRUCE, third son of Robert fifth lord of Annandale, competitor for the crown, grand-father of the immortal king Robert, and great grand-father of sir Robert of Clackmannan, who flourished in the reign of king David Bruce. From him, therefore, we deduce the descent of this noble family, by authentic documents.I. Sir ROBERT BRUCE of Clackmannan,Chart. in ar∣chiv. familie de Clackman∣nan. got a charter from king David II. dilecto et sideli consanguineo nostro, Roberto Bruis," while Thomas is not named he is Robert's father so by inference this establishes him as a cousin to the king. and this theme is continued on the next page "dated 9th December 1359 before these witnesse, William bishop of St. Andrews, Patrick bishop of Brechin, chancellor, Robert lord high steward of Scotland, earl of Strath∣e, the king's nephew, William earl of Dou∣glas, Willim Keith, great marishal of Scot∣land, Archibald de Douglas, Walter de Haly∣burton, and John Harper, knights &c.He got also a charter under the great seal from the same prince, of the lands of Gyr∣manston, Kennet,Chart. in ar∣chivis regis David. and several others in the shire of Clackmannan, contained in the pre∣ceeding charter, to him, and the lawful heir-male of his body, dated 20th October 1365.And another charter, under the great seal, of the lands of Rait in Perthshire, to the same sir Robert, and the lawful heirs-male of his body,Ibidem. dated 17th January 1369; in both which charters he is designed the king's be∣loved cousin, &c. And certain it is▪ there was no family of the name of Bruce then in Scotland, so nearly related to the royal fami∣ly by blood as that of Clackmannan.This family of old carried the arms of the Bruces, lord of Annandale, iz. or, a chief and saltire, gules, with a star or mullet on the chief,Nitbet, vol. I. p. 144. to denote their descent from a younger son of that family; but afterwards they laid aside the mullet, and have continu∣ed to carry the arms of the Bruces lords of Annandale simply, as being the head or chief of the Bruces now subsisting in Scotland, who undoubtedly are all sprung from that illust∣ous house."

  • Full text of "Book of Bruce; ancestors and descendants of King Robert of Scotland. Being an historical and genealogical survey of the kingly and noble Scottish house of Bruce and a full account of its principal collateral families. With special reference to the Bruces of Clackmannan, Cultmalindie, Caithness, and the Shetland Islands, and their American descendants" shows lineage as:

Issue of Robert Bruce, by his wife Marjory, Countess of Carrick:

1. Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, of whom below.

2. Edward Bruce, the younger brother of King Robert Bruce, was most famous for his incursion into Ireland where he was made king. When King Robert Bruce invaded the district of Galloway in 1308, Edward Bruce acted as comman- der of the forces part of the time, and led the retreat from the army of the Earl of Richmond. On the banks of the river Dee he made a stand and defeated the chiefs of Gallo- way, making a prisoner of Donall, Prince of the Isles. Fi- nally, he brought the district of Galloway under the control of King Robert and gained possession of the town of Dundee, thus driving the English out of almost their last stronghold in Scotland. In 1313 he besieged Stirling Castle, and in 1314 he was one of the chief commanders on the glorious field of Bannockburn, leading the right column of the Scottish army.

In 1315 in a convention of the prelates, nobles, and com- mons of Scotland, Edward Bruce was, by ordinance, recog- nized as king in the event of the death of his brother Robert without male heirs. This action was a just tribute to his talent, his commanding force of character, and, as well, to his high ambition. He was a valiant, experienced, and able soldier and is said to have aspired to share the kingship with his brother. But his thoughts were turned away from the throne of Scotland by an invitation from some of the native chiefs of Ireland to go over to that island to drive out the English. The Bruce descent from the old line of Irish kings through the family of Scottish kings into which their ances- tors had married, gave them something of a claim to the Irish throne and this was recognized by the chiefs who called upon him.

The Scottish army landed in Ulster in May, 1315, led by Edward Bruce, the Earl of Moray, and others. The town of Carrickfergus was besieged and taken and there Bruce was crowned King of Ireland. In the campaign that ensued he encountered and defeated on many occasions the forces of the government in Ireland. John Barbour, in his rhymed history of the Bruces, says that he defeated the English in nineteen engagements. In the autumn of 1318, he projected another descent upon Leinster, but in battle near Dundalk, in October of that year, he was slain and his forces put to flight. His body was quartered and his head was sent to King Ed- ward in England. He was not married.

3. Thomas Bruce, who was taken prisoner by the English at Galloway in 1307 and put to death at Carlisle by order of King Edward I.

4. Alexander Bruce, who was taken prisoner with his brother, Thomas Bruce, and suffered a like fate.

5. Nigel, or Niel Bruce, who was taken prisoner by the English in 1306 and executed at Berwick.

6. Isabel Bruce. She married, first, Thomas Randolph of Strathdon, Chamberlain of Scotland; second, the Earl of Athol ; third, Alexander Bruce.

7. Mary Bruce. She married, first. Sir Niel Campbell of Lochow; second, Alexander Frazer of Cowie, Chamberlain of Scotland.

8. Christiana Bruce. She married, first, Gratney, Earl of Mar; second. Sir Christopher Seton, who was put to death at Dumfries, in 1306, by order of King Edward I.; third, Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, who was governor of Scotland during the minority of King David.

9. Matilda Bruce. She married Hugh, Earl of Ross.

10. Elizabeth Bruce. She married Sir William Dishington of Ardross in Fife.

11. Margaret Bruce. She married Sir William Carlyle of Torthorwald and Crunnington.

12. Margery Bruce. She married Sir David de Breschin.


AN important chapter in the history of the Bruce family is that dealing with the distribution of the various branches throughout the mainland of Scotland and the adjacent islands. The name became con- spicuously identified not only with Scotland, where the younger branch settled in the eleventh century and was most famous, but also with England where the same branch, as well as the elder, has given to public life many distinguished men and women. The branch from which the American Bruces came adhered to its early Scottish habitat. For several generations immediately after King Robert Bruce I., its representative was established at Clackmannan, one of the great Bruce's castle homes. Then toward the close of the fifteenth century a cadet of the house moved to Cultmalindie, in Perthshire, marrying into one of the leading families of that section.

Both in Clackmannan and in Cultmalindie these branches of the Bruce family became famous and for generations were actively and substantially identified with the life of those localities. Particularly the Bruces of Clackmannan were numbered among the great noble houses for several cen- turies. The heads of the house were active and influential in all public aifairs and worthily carried the honors of their distinguished ancestors.

Robert Bruce, eleventh of the name, son of the preceding, is on record as having received the castle of Clackmannan from King David II., the charter, dated December 9, 1359, being to " delicto et fideli consanguineo suo Roberto de Bruys." By this charter Bruce received the castle and manor of Clack- mannan, Gyrmanston, Garclew, Wester Kennault, Pitf ol- den, and other lands in the sheriffdom of Clackmannan. In October, 1364, he had other grants in the same sheriffdom and in January, 1367-68, lands in Rait within the sheriffdom of Perth.

He was killed in the battle of Shrewsbury July 23, 1403.

He married Isabel Stewart, daughter of Sir Robert Stewart of Roslyth or Rosyth castle.

Issue :

1. Robert Bruce, of whom below.

2. Edward Bruce, ancestor of the Bruces of Airth, Earlshall, and Stenhouse. (Is this the one born around 1373 in the FTDNA genealogy?)

3. Alexander Bruce, ancestor of the Bruces of Garbot.

4. James Bruce, Bishop of Dunkeld, 1441, and High Chan- cellor of Scotland, 1440; died in 1447.

5. Helen Bruce, who married David Ross of Balnagowan.

Robert Bruce, twelfth of the name, son of the preceding, was the second baron of Clackmannan. In 1393, he received the lands and castle of Rait or Raith by charter from King Robert Bruce III. who called him "my beloved cousin."

He died in 1405.

“The sword was a gift from David II, the surviving son of King Robert,” he explained. “His marriages did not produce an heir and realising that the Bruce dynasty would come to an end, he presented his father’s sword to his first cousin, Thomas Bruce of Clackmannan. “The sword was kept at Clackmannan Tower for 14 generations until 1791 when it passed by descent to the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine.”


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"Collections towards a history of the county of Clackmannan" online at claims that no Thomas Bruce was mentioned in Royal Charters until 1389. That charter is catalogued in the National Records of Scotland at . That particular Thomas Bruce does not appear to be on WikiTree.

There is a "Thomas of Clackmannan" (no surname) cited in POMS(People of Medieval Scotland) in 1303 ( the assize court in Cumberland

There is a Thomas Bruce- brother of King Robert I (; accessed 14 May 2020) a prisoner at Carlisle on 1307 and there are two references to a clerk Thomas Bruce in 1233 (; accessed 14 May 2020)