Edward Balliol

Edward Balliol (c. 1283 – 1367) was a pretender to the Scottish throne during the Second War of Scottish Independence. With English help, he ruled parts of the country from 1332 to 1356.

Edward Balliol
Mid 18th century engraving of Edward Balliol
Claimant to the Scottish Kingdom
Reign24 September 1332 – 20 January 1356
Diedc. 1367
Wheatley, Doncaster
HouseHouse of Balliol
FatherJohn Balliol
MotherIsabella de Warenne
ReligionRoman Catholicism


He was the eldest son of John Balliol, erstwhile King of the Scots, and Isabella de Warenne, daughter of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, and Alice de Lusignan. Alice was daughter of Hugh X de Lusignan and Isabella of Angoulême, widow of John, King of England.

The death of King Robert I weakened Scotland considerably, since his son and successor David II was still a child and the two most able lieutenants, the Black Douglas and Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, both died shortly afterwards.

Taking advantage of this, Edward Balliol, backed by Edward III of England, defeated the Regent, the Earl of Mar, at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in Perthshire. He was crowned at Scone in September 1332, but three months later he was forced to flee half-naked back to England, following a surprise attack by nobles loyal to David II at the Battle of Annan.

On his retreat from Scotland, Balliol sought refuge with the Clifford family, land owners in Westmorland, and stayed in their castles at Appleby, Brougham, Brough, and Pendragon.[1]

He was restored by the English in 1333, following the siege of Berwick and the Battle of Halidon Hill. Balliol then ceded the whole of the district formerly known as Lothian to Edward and paid homage to him as liege lord. With no serious support in Scotland, he was deposed again in 1334 and restored again in 1335, and finally deposed in 1336 by those loyal to David II.

He returned to Scotland after the defeat of David II at Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, raising an insurrection in Galloway, and speedily penetrated to the central parts of the kingdom. However, he gained no permanent footing.

On 20 January 1356, Balliol surrendered his claim to the Scottish throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension. He spent the rest of his life living in obscurity. He died in 1367, at Wheatley, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. The location of his grave is believed to be under a Doncaster Post Office.[2]



  1. Summerson, Trueman & Harrison 1998, p. 18.
  2. Darren Burke (14 February 2013). "Could Scots king be buried under the Post Office?". South Yorkshire Times. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.



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Further reading

Edward Balliol
Born: c. 1283 Died: 1367
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
John Balliol
King of Scots
Reason for succession failure:
First War of Scottish Independence
Rights passed to Edward III of England
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