SCOTTISH HISTORY & HERITAGE
After King Alexander III's death, went the dream of peace that Scotland was enjoying so much. Alexander III only had one heir left alive, she was Margaret - the infant princess of Norway the known as (the Maid of Norway).
The English King, Edward I (Longshanks) was a ruthless and evil man who wanted to smash and rule Scotland the same as he had done with Wales. But instead of fighting he arranged the marriage of his son to Alexander III's granddaughter, (the Maid of Norway). However, the princess had taken ill on her way to England and died in the Orkney Islands. Scotland was left with no heir to the throne. John Balliol and Robert the Bruce were the two claimants to the throne and Edward I was familiar with the Balliol family and loyalties.
Immediately, Edward I had Balliol swear fealty to him and made an agreement with him that Scotland would supply men, money and arms to England for its war with France. John Balliol was given the name "Toom Tabard" meaning empty coat as he was no proper King. John Balliol was now desperate to show to his fellow Scots that he wasn't weak, so he signed a treaty with France "The Auld Alliance" .
Edward I now decided to use force to take Scotland and he rode north to crush the Scots. He attacked Berwick, killing Scots women, children as well as the Scots army defences. When Edward was done campaigning, he left Scotland a devastated mess.
Edward I rode home confident that Scotland was now subdued. He was very wrong. The atrocities he and his army committed in Berwick would fuel the fires of rebellion in Scotland. And then William Wallace, the greatest Scottish patriot Scotland has ever seen came forward, just when they needed him most.