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David II (Medieval Gaelic: Daibhidh a Briuis, Modern Gaelic: Dàibhidh Bruis) (5 March 1324 – 22 February 1371) was King of Scotland from 7 June 1329 until 22 February 1371.

Early life

II was the elder and only surviving son of Robert I of Scotland and his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh. He was born on 5 March 1324 at Dunfermline Palace, Fifemarker. His mother died in 1327. In accordance with the Treaty of Northampton's terms, David was married on 17 July 1328 to Joan of the Tower, daughter of Edward II of England and Isabella of France, at Berwick-upon-Tweedmarker. They had no issue.


David became king of Scotland upon the death of his father on 7 June 1329, aged 5 years, 3 months, and 3 days. David and his Queen were crowned at Sconemarker on 24 November 1331.

During David's minority, Sir Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray was appointed Guardian of Scotland by the Act of Settlement of 1318. After Moray's death, on 20 July 1332, he was replaced by Donald, Earl of Mar, elected by an assembly of the magnates of Scotland at Perthmarker, 2 August 1332. Only ten days later Mar fell at the Battle of Dupplin Moormarker. Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, who was married to Christian , the sister of King Robert I (her third husband), was chosen as the new Guardian. He was taken prisoner by the English at Roxburghmarker in April 1333 and was thence replaced as Guardian by Sir Archibald Douglas who fell at Halidon Hillmarker that July.

Meanwhile, on 24 September 1332, following the Scots' defeat at Dupplin, Edward Balliol a protégé of Edward III of England, was crowned King of the Scots at Scone by the English and his Scots adherents. By December, however, Balliol was forced to flee to England but returned the following year as part of an invasion force led by the English king. Following the victory of this force at the Battle of Halidon Hillmarker in July 1333, David and his Queen were sent for safety into France, reaching Boulognemarker on 14 May 1334, and being received very graciously by the French king, Philip VI. Little is known about the life of the Scottish king in France, except that Château-Gaillardmarker was given to him for a residence, and that he was present at the bloodless meeting of the English and French armies in October 1339 at Vironfosse, now known as Buironfossemarker, in the Arrondissement of Vervins.

Joan & David II with Philip VI of France.
Meanwhile David's representatives had once again obtained the upper hand in Scotland, and the king was able to return to his kingdom, landing at Inverberviemarker in Kincardineshiremarker on 2 June 1341, when he took the reins of government into his own hands.

In 1346 under the terms of the Auld Alliance, he invaded England in the interests of France, but was defeated and taken prisoner by John Coupeland at the Battle of Neville's Crossmarker on 17 October 1346, and taken to London. He was then transferred to Windsor Castlemarker in Berkshire before he and his household were moved to Odiham Castlemarker in Hampshire. His imprisonment was not a rigorous one, although he remained in England for eleven years.

On 3 October 1357, after several protracted negotiations, a treaty was signed at Berwick-upon-Tweedmarker under which Scotland's nobility agreed to pay 100,000 marks as a ransom for their king. This was ratified by the Scottish Parliament at Scone on 6 November 1357.

David returned at once to Scotland; but owing to the poverty of the kingdom it was found impossible to raise the ransom. A few instalments were paid, but the king sought to get rid of the liability by offering to make Edward III, or one of his sons, his successor in Scotland. In 1364 the Scottish parliament indignantly rejected a proposal to make Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the next king; but David negotiated secretly with Edward III over this matter, after he had suppressed a rising of some of his unruly nobles.

He remarried about 20 February 1364, Margaret Drummond, widow of Sir John Logie, Knt., and daughter of Sir Malcolm Drummond, Knt. He divorced her about 20 March 1370. They had no issue. Margaret, however, travelled to Avignonmarker and made a successful appeal to the Pope to reverse the sentence of divorce which had been pronounced against her in Scotland. She was still alive in January 1375.


David II died unexpectedly and at the height of his power in Edinburgh Castlemarker on 22 February 1371. He was buried in Holyrood Abbeymarker. At the time of his death, he was planning to marry his mistress, Agnes Dunbar (daughter of Agnes Dunbar, 4th Countess of Moray). He left no children and was succeeded by his nephew, Robert II. He was the last male of the House of Bruce.



  1. Richardson, Douglas, Plantagenet Ancestry, Baltimore, Md., 2004, p. 23, ISBN 0-8063-1750-7
  2. Richardson (2004) p. 23
  3. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H., Scottish Kings — A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005 – 1625, Edinburgh, 1899, pp. 146–7
  4. Dunbar (1899) pp. 147–9
  5. Dunbar (1899) pp. 148–9
  6. Dunbar (1899) p. 150
  7. Dunbar (1899) p. 152
  8. Dunbar (1899) p. 154
  9. Dunbar (1899) p. 156.


Further reading

  • Michael Brown. (2004). The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1371. The New Edinburgh History of Scotland, volume 4. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Ranald Nicholson. (1975)., Scotland. The Later Middle Ages. Edinburgh: Mercat Press.
  • Michael Penman. (2003). David II, 1329–71: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland. East Linton: Tuckwell Press.

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