In Brief

17th October 1997 at 01:00
ROBERT THE BRUCE'S RIVALS: The Comyns 1212-1314. By Alan Young. Tuckwell Press Pounds 16.99

Not an academic riposte to Braveheart but the product of quarter of a century's interest by Yorkshire history lecturer Alan Young in the family who dominated 13th century Scottish politics and whose rivalry with the Bruces gives the Wars of Independence the character of a civil conflict as well as a struggle for freedom.

The Comyns built their power mainly in the north of the country. They called the shots during Alexander III's minority and helped create the good government that was shattered by his early death and that of the Maid of Norway. The Comyns backed John Balliol as king. Like the Bruces they were holders of English as well as Scottish lands. Later chroniclers branded them collaborators with Edward I, but they were no more so than Robert the Bruce, who needed history to blacken the rival family in order to excuse his murder of John Comyn in a Dumfries church.

Young restores the reputation of the losers. After Bannockburn, the Bruce ascendancy and a series of ill-timed deaths removed a family which had exemplified high medieval ideas of aristocratic partnership in royal authority.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now