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Edward Bruce lived from about 1280 to 14 October 1318. He was the younger brother of King Robert the Bruce, and went on to be proclaimed High King of Ireland before his death in battle there. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Edward Bruce is also sometimes known as Edward de Brus or Edward the Bruce. He was the second son of Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick. Edward had eleven siblings, of whom 9 survived childhood. His older brother, Robert, was born in 1274 and would become King Robert the Bruce. One of his older sisters, Lady Christian Bruce, also played an active role in the wars of independence against England. Another, Isabel, married King Eric II and became Queen of Norway.
Edward was fighting alongside his brother Robert by 1307 and accompanied him during his flight from Scotland and subsequent guerilla campaign against the English, a period during which three of their brothers were killed. As the Scots became more dominant, Edward commanded a number of successful sieges of English-held castles across the country. By November 1313 Edward commanded the siege of the last remaining English outpost in Scotland, Stirling Castle. Without Robert's knowledge, Edward made a deal with the English Constable of the castle that if an English army had not arrived to relieve it by 24 June 1314, the castle would surrender, so making an aggressive siege unnecessary. Robert was deeply unhappy, but had little choice but to confront the English army sent by Edward II to relieve Stirling in June 1314. The armies met at the Battle of Bannockburn, and the result was a decisive victory for the Scots which left Robert in fairly unopposed control of Scotland.
Robert the Bruce decided to open a second front against the English and dispatched an army of 6,000 men under the command of Edward to Ireland. The aim was to challenge English dominance of the British Isles by drawing together Scottish and Irish (and, Robert hoped, Welsh) interests. Scottish and Irish forces were initially successful in defeating the English and in 1316 Edward was appointed High King of Ireland. A famine in 1317 proved a setback to Edward and greatly reduced his popularity. This allowed time for an English army under John de Bermingham to be assembled. The English army met the Scots-Irish army under King Edward Bruce at the battle of Faughart on 14 October 1318. The result was a victory for the English, and the death of Edward. He was to be the last High King of Ireland.