[DE BRUS FAMILY IN NORTH EAST ENGLAND - Before 1350
After the Battle
There must have been reconciliation between David I and Robert de Brus I, since Robert de Brus II eventually returned to Annandale and founded the Scottish branch of the de Brus dynasty. In 1295 his great grandson, Robert V the Competitor died in Lochmaben, but was buried in Gisborough Priory with his ancestors. A cross border dynasty had lasted for 300 years. Its most famous ancestor, King Robert the Bruce, descended from Robert de Brus II.
The Battle of the Standard (sometimes called the Battle of Northallerton) was fought between the English and the Scots near Brompton, which is just outside Northallerton in North Yorkshire. (Grid Ref NZ 360 977).
During the reign of Henry II there had been relative peace between England and Scotland. King David I of Scotland had been brought up in the Anglo-Norman court and counted Robert de Brus I as his friend and mentor, giving him the lordship of Annandale in Scotland. Robert I was a cross-border lord with lands in both countries. He had built Gisborough Priory as his family's spiritual home in about 1119 and Skelton Castle as his fortress in about 1140.
On the death of Henry I in 1135, King David seized the opportunity to renew his claims on the Northern Counties with an invasion while King Stephen was down in the south fighting rebels. Robert de Brus I had to choose to support either his friend and Scottish King David or Stephen, King of England, where most of his lands were. It is recorded that he gave an impassioned speech before the battle, pleading with David to withdraw his forces, so breaking his chain of fealty to the King of Scotland. He was about 70 years old at the time with Adam I, his oldest son and heir at his side and his youngest son Robert II amongst the Scots. Robert II was a minor at the time of the battle and after being captured, was later returned by King Stephen to his mother. The transgression of David I across the River Tees was a step too far for Robert de Brus I.
Monument north of Northallerton.
(Grid Ref SE 362 979)