Trapped in Westminster’s chair tray,
Scotland sparked not liberty’s ray,
When Bruce was crowned at Scone.
Wallace’s head crowned London’s Tower,
To Edward, Lowlands did cower,
Then Bruce fled to maintain bower,
Scotland to bemoan.
Hunted by Edward all the while,
He sailed to the Rathin Isle,
There in peace to use his wile
On Highland war pipe drone
He mustered them; he returned to them,
He retook Stirling, England’s hem,
He cut short Edward’s royal stem,
Scotland was now its own.
Edward charged the burn of Bannock
But could not break Bruce’s block,
Scotland was free from hill to loch,
Even without the Stone.
Despite the Stone imprisoned lay,
Trapped in Westminster’s chair tray,
Scotland flared bright liberty’s ray,
For Bruce saved the throne.
Per Scriptum E. Wesley Reynolds
After the death of William Wallace in 1305, the cause for Scottish independence seemed all but lost. Claim to the Scottish thrown was divided between Robert the Bruce and John Comyn (who naturally despised each other). Bruce's grandfather had died, Bruce's father had fled to Norway, and later gave his lands and titles (the Earldom of Carrick, Scotland) to England. Now desperate, Bruce paid fealty to English King Edward I in 1302. Ironically, it would be the division in the Scottish throne that would later unite Scotland for its final push to independence.
The statuesque did not last long. Bruce eventually killed Comyn in a church some years after Bruce almost lost his own life when Comyn had previously attacked him. Facing imminent charges for murder and sacrilege, Bruce theorized that becoming king would be his safest way out of the situation. He made for Scone, and there was crowned on March 25, 1306 according to Scottish custom (despite the fact that the Stone of Scone, upon which Scottish kings were usually crowned, had been stolen by Edward I in 1299). Edward I was enraged, and mockingly called Bruce "king hob." Bruce was then excommunicated from the church, and under attack from the Earl of Pembroke.
Throughout Scottish history, those who are being chased have repeatedly looked to the Highlands for solitude or protection. Perhaps most famous of these flights to the mountains is Bruce's escape. The next two years were perilous. Bruce's wife and daughter were captured, and he himself narrowly avoided capture as he traveled the Highlands in search for clan support. He sailed on to Rathin Isle, where he fearlessly sent messengers to the Hebrides, all along the Scottish western coast. The Gaelic chiefs of the Hebrides were indifferent to the state of the Lowland Scots, who they viewed were just as Saxon as the English. However, they were of an independent spirit, and so supported the cause by and by. Bruce returned to Scotland in full vigor, mustered the Highland chiefs, and headed south (as Bonnie Prince Charlie would do nearly 440 years later). Bruce led a resounding victory at Loudon Hill against Pembroke, and with the aid of Angus Og (founder of the MacDonald clan), Mar, and Ross, he defeated Comyn's son at Inverurie. For the first time since William Wallace's death, hope for independence was in the air.
Meanwhile in England, Edward I died, leaving the thrown to his son Edward II. Edward II gave battle to Bruce, but Bruce would not be stopped. One by one, Bruce, his brothers, and clan allies regained the lost strongholds for Scotland. Bruce laid siege to the English garrison at Stirling Castle in 1314, which was the gateway to the highlands and consequently, the most important fortress in all of Scotland. It was agreed that if the garrison was not relieved by Edward II by midsummer, it would surrender. Edward II missed the deadline, and Bruce took the fortress, proving his abilities to the chiefs who reciprocated with utmost loyalty.
Edward II had only one option, meet Bruce on the open field of battle. He made straightway to the "burn" (little stream) of Bannock. Bruce and his men decimated the English in the ensuing Battle of Bannockburn. Bruce led the battle from the front. English knight Henry de Bohun spotted the Bruce and made for him with a spear. Bruce cleft the knight's helm with a battle-axe, and the Scottish cheered themselves to victory. The Battle paved the way for the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. In 1323, Edward signed a peace treaty extending 13 years. Edward III took the thrown, and pushed into Scotland to no avail. He later signed the Treaty of Northampton, which formally acknowledged the legitimacy of an independent Scottish state and proclaimed Robert the Bruce, King Robert I.
As for the Bruce, he was now reconciled with the church and the first King of a recognized independent Scotland. On his deathbed, he requested that his heart be taken along on Douglas's crusade. At Bruce's death on June 7, 1329, his son David became king of Scotland. The pope issued a bull six days later, recognizing the sovereignty of Scotland. Bruce's life work had been accomplished.
Image of Robertthebruce from Wikipedia