Family names and crests of the main characters involved in the struggle for Scotland's independence. Use the menu above to navigate through the list.
In the immediate aftermath of the Comyn murder, many men flocked to Bruce's standard. They did so for complex and varying reasons. Some had seen their lands taken from them by Edward I and his occupation force. Many had long standing records of fighting for an independent Scotland. Others came from divided families and were possibly hedging their bets. The majority, of course, did nothing preferring to sit back and await developments.
Supporting Bruce meant taking great risks, not only for family lands but for life itself. Edward lost no time in demonstrating what a cruel, vindictive, ruthless, tyrant he was, unprepared to countenance any opposition to his ambitions, as the Bruce faction quickly found out. Those captured found only death awaiting them. And it usually came in the most horrific of fashions, the prisoner being drawn by a cart through the streets to a place of execution, hanged but cut down while still alive and beheaded, sometimes even disembowelled before the final blow was struck. The body would then be cut up with the head often displayed on the end of a pole at some focal point in a city. The lucky ones were just hanged.
Those supporters who saw out the years of campaigning and remained loyal to Bruce were usually richly rewarded by his patronage. Indeed families like Douglas and Boyd can trace their power base to lands awarded by Bruce for their support. But initially by rallying to Bruce's cause they were stripped of lands and titles by Edward who passed them on to his supporters. Indeed at the Battle of Bannockburn the baggage trains
included cartloads of furniture destined for the new homes that the arrogant knights of Edward II's army expected to be awarded after the victory which, of course, did not happen.
The following is a list of some of those who joined Bruce in the early days with a brief explanation of their family origins. More information can be obtained from Professor Geoffrey W S Barrow's authoritative book Robert Bruce and The Community of The Realm of Scotland.