Last modified on November 13, 2021, at 01:01

John Baliol

John, King of Scotland

King of Scotland
In office
November 17, 1292 – July 10, 1296
Preceded by Margaret
Succeeded by Robert the Bruce

Born April 1249[1]
Barnard Castle
Died c. November 25, 1314
Chateau de Helicourt
Children Edward Balliol

John Baliol (1249-1314) also known as Toom Tabard (meaning Empty Coat) 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 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 he 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.

He was then sent into exile where he died in France in late 1314/early 1315.

[2] [3]


  2. The History of Scotland by Fiona Macdonald (Lomond Books, 2005)
  3. Encyclopaedia Brittanica 2008