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Did Robert the Bruce ever commit murder?

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βˆ™ 2008-04-01 13:38:26

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Technically, Yes. In February 1306 a meeting was arranged at Dumfries Abbey between Robert the Bruce and his arch rival for the Scottish throne John Comyn the Red. The two mistrusted each other so much that only in a church would both men feel safe. Bruce never forgave Comyn for grabbing him by the throat at a previous meeting and so some historians believe Bruce engineered the meeting for one reason only, to kill him. Comym, of course would feel safe to attend the meeting if it was in a Church, nothing would happen to him there. There is evidence to suggest that Comyn betrayed Bruce by revealing his plans to the English King Edward I (The Longshanks) to take the throne from John Balliol (King Edward of England's Scottish puppet King) and to install himself on the Scottish throne. Comyn may have wanted the throne for himself as he did have a reasonable claim (just as Bruce did). Bruce may have been trying one last time to recruit Comyn and his men to the Scottish (and thus Bruce's) cause. Whatever the reasons we do know that both men were alone in the Church and that a quarrel was heard. Bruce came out of the Church and told his men that he THOUGHT he had slain the Red Comyn. 'You THINK?' asked his friend Roger de Kirkpatrick, 'then I'll make sure', and went into the Church with others. Some of Comyn's men may also have been outside the door (it is hard to believe he would have come alone). Inside the Church, Kirkpatrick's men drove away the Friars who had carried Comyn to the altar, and dispatched the wounded man with their daggers. There are many partisan accounts of the murder and soon all Europe would know. Not because of WHO was killed but WHERE the deed was done. The Pope excommunicated Bruce for committing murder in a church, which did not affect his standing with his countrymen who remember him today as Scotland's greatest king.

2008-04-01 13:38:26
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