The Bruce Invasion 1315–18


Map Code: Ax01926

The motives for the invasion of Ireland by Edward Bruce, younger brother of Robert, the king of the Scots, are tangled. He was either opening up a second front in elder brother Robert’s war with England or attempting to seize his own kingdom. The Scots army disembarked at Larne in May 1315. Initially, the campaigns on either side of the North Channel appeared coordinated, but Edward’s self-proclamation as High King of Ireland in June betrayed his personal ambitions. He defeated the Earl of Ulster at Connor (10 September) then other Norman barons at Dundalk, Kells and finally Ardscull (26 January 1316), before shortage of supplies in midwinter forced his return to Ulster. Meanwhile, many Irish clans rose to support Edward and, with England occupied by a Welsh revolt, Robert Bruce came over with reinforcements. After an abortive 1317 campaign, a frustrated and impetuous Edward was defeated and slain at Faughart (1318) by the Earls of Louth and Carrick, bringing the invasion to an end.

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