THE FIRST INTERREGNUM

The First Interregnum in Scotland, which lasted from either 19 March 1286 or 26 September 1290 until 17 November 1292. The exact start date depends on whether Margaret, Maid of Norway was officially queen before her death in 1290 or whether Alexander III was the last monarch. The Interregnum lasted until John de Balliol was crowned King of Scots.

A crisis arose with the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway as there was no obvious heir to the throne of Scotland. In the ensuing vacuum four guardians were appointed to govern the country. They were: William Fraser, Bishop of St Andrews; Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow; John II Comyn, Lord of Badenoch; and James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland.

Thirteen candidates presented themselves as the next king. They included John de Balliol, Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale, Floris V, Count of Holland, Patrick Dunbar, 8th Earl of Dunbar, William de Vesci, Baron de Vesci, William de Ros, Baron de Ros, Robert de Pinkeney, Nicholas de Soules, Patrick Galithly, Roger de Mandeville, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, John Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, and Eric II, King of Norway.

Edward I of England, who also had a claim to the throne through Malcolm III's daughter Edith, the wife of Henry I of England, was asked to arbitrate the claims; he did so, but forced the Scots to swear allegiance to him as overlord.



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