John Balliol

Basic Data

*1240 (ca.)
†11/1314
Father
John, Baron de Balliol
Mother
Devorguilla of Galloway
Marriage
Isabella, Daughter of John de Warenne
Children
none
Coronation
11/1292 in Scone
Regency
1292 to 1296

After the young Margarete died on the way to her coronation, Scotland was leaderless and dispute arose among the 13 Candidates for the scottish Throne. Again England’s King Edward I. was appointed referee. After recognizing himself as the supreme Ruler of the candidates and let swearing allegiance from the rest of the Nobility, Edward chose the latter among the two promising contenders, Robert Bruce and John Balliol, as he suspected he had a willing ally in him.
After Balliol’s coronation in Scone, he again swore allegiance to the english King.

Edward I. always influenced the Affairs of State.
Scottish Citizens were able to complain to him about their King and Balliol was often quoted to London to be interviewed and humiliated, or to receive new demands. When King Edward asked the scottish King Balliol to support him in the fight against France, his patience came to an end. He refused the english King and relied on the ‘Auld Alliance’ of William I. Then Eduard manned in Scotland, sparking the scottish Wars of Independence.

After the ‘Battle of Dunbar’, in which the Scots were beaten, the scottish King Balliol was captured and was forced to abdicate in July 1296. Edward let Balliol call in front of him, publicly tore off the Coat of Arms -the Lion Rambant from his Coat, earning him the epithet ‘Toom Tabbart’ (empty Jacket) and locked him in the Tower of London.
At the request of Pope Boniface VIII., after several years in prison, Balliol was released on condition that he be exiled to France. When searching for Balliol’s luggage at Dover, they found the royal Crown, the Seal of the Kingdom of Scotland, vessels of Gold and Silver, and a considerable sum of Money. On Edwards’ command, the Crown was offered to St. Thomas the Martyr and the Money returned to Balliol for his travel expenses. The Seal kept Edward for himself.
Since the abdication Balliols under duress happened and thus invalidated in the Eyes of the scottish People, he was still regarded as a legitimate King. The claim of Balliol, however, became more questionable, after he no later than 1302 showed no efforts in supporting the Rebels.

Balliol died in November 1314 at his family Home in Hélicourt in France.
His Grave is not known for sure. A John de Bailleul was buried in the Church of St. Waast at Bailleul-sur-Eaune, which may have been the scottish King.
In January 1315 King Edward II. of England wrote to King Louis X. of France that he had heard of the Death of Sir John de Balliol and demanded the allegiance and homage of his Son Edward Balliol by proxy.