John Baliol was chosen by Edward I of England as ruler of Scotland. Baliol worked towards improving and modernising the Scottish law system by appointing many new sheriffs. Baliol also worked to further increase international trade, especially with France.
However, since Baliol was chosen by Edward I, this had made the English king think he could be Scotland's overlord. He summoned Baliol to appear in English courts and demanded that Scottish nobles join the English army.
Baliol declined, and in 1295 broke the peace treaty with England, and signed a treaty with France.
Edward I was furious at this, and immediately declared war with Scotland. Many Scottish nobles were Anglo-Norman in descent and had relatives in England, this discougaged them from fighting alongside Baliol.
In 1296 Edward I sent an army into Scotland and engaged the Scottish army in battle, this battle is now known as the Battle of Dunbar. The English defeated Baliol's small army with ease, and Baliol was captured by English knights he was then taken before Edward I and was Stripped of his Royal surcoat (a shirt like garment worn over the chestplate of a suit of armour). After the Dunbar debacle Baliol was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
- The History of Scotland by Fiona Macdonald (Lomond Books, 2005)
- Encyclopaedia Brittanica 2008