19th June 1306

The Battle of Methven

1306 was a momentous year for Scotland. When Robert the Bruce participated in the killing of John Comyn, he was excommunicated, which forced him to accelerate plans to claim the throne of Scotland. He was crowned King of the Scots and, as a result, was confirmed the national figurehead in the ongoing struggle for independence.

King Robert’s first job was to eject Aymer de Valence from Perth. De Valence was Earl of Pembroke and a supporter of the English king, Edward I, having previously acted as a diplomat for the monarch in France. He was also the brother-in-law of the murdered John Comyn. Thus, on 18 June, Robert’s troops set up outside the town, at Methven, ready to do battle two days later – on the 20th – as per an agreement struck with the English.

English attack

However, the English clearly had no intention to stick to the agreement, and they attacked the next day: the 19th. Robert’s forces fought back, but they were significantly outnumbered, and were defeated before the day was out.

Nobody knows exactly where the Battle of Methven was fought. Historic Environment Scotland researched it in summer 2016 and declared it around six miles west of Perth and north of present-day Methven. However, “a combination of historical, primary sources and map sources, such as the First Edition and subsequent Ordnance Survey maps, place the battle location in this area, but do not record the precise limits of the battle, or the location of military units”. On that basis, Historic Environment Scotland said that as it couldn’t determine the full extent of the battlefield it didn’t meet the criteria for inclusion in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields.



Other events that occured in June

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