Many believe the beginning of the Reiver time period was marked by the English invasion of Scotland of 1296. Which was a military campaign undertaken by Edward I of England in retaliation to the Scottish treaty with France and the renouncing of fealty of John, King of Scotland and Scottish raids into Northern England.
The Scottish army was defeated at the Battle of Dunbar, with Edward I effectively subjugating Scotland and forcing the surrender of John, King of Scotland, before heading back to England, with Scotland’s regalia items and a large number of the Scots nobility, as prisoners of war.
Upon the death of King Alexander III of Scotland in 1286, the crown of Scotland passed to his only surviving descendant, his three-year-old granddaughter Margaret. With the death of Queen Margaret in 1290, on her way to Scotland, the Guardians of Scotland, who feared civil war over the vacant throne of Scotland, called upon King Edward I of England, to decide between various competitors for the Scottish throne in a process known as the Great Cause. John Balliol by tradition of primogeniture, was acknowledged as the King of Scotland by Edward I on 17 November 1292 and he was inaugurated accordingly at Scone, 30 November 1292 upon St. Andrew’s Day. Edward I, had coerced recognition as Lord Paramount of Scotland, the feudal superior of the realm as part of the arbitration process.
Treaty of Paris:
By 1295, King John of Scotland and the Scottish Council of Twelve felt that Edward I of England sought to subjugate Scotland. Edward asserted his authority over Scotland, requiring appeals on cases ruled on by the court of guardians that had governed Scotland during the interregnum, to be heard in England. In a case brought by Macduff, son of Malcolm, Earl of Fife, Edward demanded that King John appear in person before the English Parliament to answer the charges, which King John refused to appear in person, sending the Henry, Abbot of Arbroath. Edward I also demanded that the Scottish magnates provide military service in the war against France. In response Scotland sought alliances with King Philippe IV of France, with embassies sent in October 1295, that resulted in the Treaty of Paris in February 1296.
All setting the stage for many battles and invasions which continually devastated the Borders and its inhabitants.
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