(First Mother of the Stuart Line – U.K., Scotland & Wales Royal Families)
Marjorie Bruce or Marjorie de Brus (1296 – 2 March 1316) the eldest Daughter of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots by his first love and Wife, Isabella of Mar, and the Founder of the Stewart Dynasty. Our Grandmother & SAINT Marjorie’s marriage to Walter, High Steward of Scotland gave rise to the House of Stewart. Their son was the First Stewart Monarch, King Robert II of Scotland. Her Mother, and our Great Grandmother Isabella, a nineteen-year-old noblewoman from the Clan Mar, who died soon after giving birth to Marjorie. Her Father was then the Earl of Carrick. Marjorie was named after her Father’s Mother, Marjorie, Countess of Carrick. According to LEGEND, Grandmother & SAINT Marjorie’s parents had been very much in love. GRANDFATHER Robert the Bruce did not remarry until Marjorie was six years after a long story best told in the NETFLIX BLOCKBUSTER “THE OUTLAW KING”.
In 1302, a Courtier named Elizabeth de Burgh became her Stepmother. On 27 March 1306, her father was crowned King of Scots at Scone, Perthshire, and Marjorie, then nine years old, became a Princess of Scotland. Three months after her father’s coronation, in June, 1306, her father was defeated at the Battle of Methven. He sent his female relatives (his wife, two sisters and Marjorie) north with his supporter the Countess of Buchan, but by the end of June the band of Bruce women were captured and betrayed to the English by the Earl of Ross. As punishment, Edward I sent his hostages to different places in England. Princess Marjorie went to the convent at Watton; her aunt Christina Bruce was sent to
another convent; Queen Elizabeth was placed under house arrest at a manor house in Yorkshire (because Edward I needed the support of her father, the powerful Earl of Ulster, her punishment was lighter than the others’); and Marjorie’s aunt Mary Bruce and the Countess of Buchan were imprisoned in wooden cages, exposed to public view, Mary’s cage at Roxburgh Castle and Countess Isabella’s at Berwick Castle. For the next four years, Marjorie, Elizabeth, Christina, Mary and Isabella endured solitary confinement, with daily public humiliation for the latter two. A cage was built for Marjorie at the Tower of London, but Edward I reconsidered and
instead sent her to the convent. Christopher Seton, Christina’s husband, was executed. Edward I died on 7 July 1307. He was succeeded by his son, Edward II, who subsequently held Marjorie captive in a convent for about seven more years. She was finally set free around 1314, possibly in exchange for English noblemen captured after the Battle of Bannockburn. Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland distinguished himself in the battle and was rewarded the hand of the adolescent princess. Her dowry included the Barony of Bathgate in West Lothian. The original site of Bathgate Castle, which was part of the dowry, can be found on the grounds of Bathgate Golf Club. The site is protected by the Historic Scotland organization and the Club is debarred from carrying out any excavation work on the site without prior permission. Every year on the first Saturday of June, the town of Bathgate celebrates the marriage of Marjorie and Walter in their annual historical pageant, just before the town’s procession and Newland festival. Local school children are given the parts of Marjorie, Walter and other members of the court. After the pageant, everyone joins the procession along with Robert the Bruce on horseback.
Two years later, on 2 March 1316, Marjorie was riding in Gallowhill, Paisley, Renfrewshire while heavily pregnant. Her horse was suddenly startled and threw her to
the ground at a place called “The Knock.” She went into premature labor and delivered the child at Paisley Abbey, surviving the birth by a few hours at most. She
was nineteen at the time of her death, like her mother, who was also nineteen years old when she died in childbirth. At the junction of Renfrew Road and Dundonald
Road in Paisley, a cairn marks the spot near to where Marjorie reputedly fell from her horse. While the reputed place of her death is now referred to as Knockhill Road,
with nearby roads of Bruce Way, and Marjorie Drive named in her honour. She is buried at Paisley Abbey. Her son succeeded his childless uncle David II of Scotland in 1371 as King Robert II. Her descendants include the House of Stuart and all their successors on the throne of Scotland, England and the United Kingdom.