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Wars of Independence

Robert (I) the Bruce

Turnbury Castle

Period:
18th Century
Description:

Captain Francis Grose was one of the first systematic recorders of architectural and archaeological remains in Britain. His six volume Antiquities of England and Wales published between 1773 and 1787, was followed by Antiquities of Scotland in two volumes published in 1789 and 1791. Robert Burns met him while he was undertaking the latter, and became a friend – writing three pieces about him including On Captain Grose’s Peregrinations through Scotland.

This is a plate from Antiquities of Scotland showing Turnberry Castle.

 

Turnberry is the castle most commonly thought to have been the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.  It had belonged to his mother and was also the probable place of his parents wedding, how that couple first met is strange even by medieval standards as Francis Grose described in his book:  "This castle belonged to Alexander, Earl of Carrick, who died in the Holy Land, and left an only daughter and heiress named Martha; she about the year 1274, taking a diversion of hunting, with her women and attendants, met by accident Robert Bruce, Lord of Annandale in Scotland, and Cleveland in England, a very handsome young man, who after the usual salutes and kisses, which Fordun says were customary in courts, would have proceeded on his way; but the Countess being enamoured with him, seized his horses reins, and with a kind of violence, apparently against his will, led him ti her castle of Turnbury, where after detaining him above a fortnight, she married him privately, unknown to the king, or to any of the friends of either party, whence it was currently reported that she had obtained her husband by a rape.  On this the king, to punish her for her feudal delinquency, in marrying without his consent, seized her castle and estates; but by the interposition of friends, and the payment of a sum of money, Robert Bruce shortly after obtained a full restitution".

Source:
The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
EAPR021n
Creation Date:
1790
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council