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also spelled BRAOSE, BREAUX, or BRUS, an old Scottish family of Norman French descent, to which two kings of Scotland belonged. The name is taken from Bruis (present-day Brix), a Norman castle town between Cherbourg and Valognes.

The family is descended from Robert de Bruce (d. 1094?), a Norman knight who came to England with William I the Conqueror and who was awarded by the gift of many manors, chiefly in Yorkshire, of which Skelton was the principal. His son, the second Robert de Bruce (1078?-1141), received from Scotland's King David I, his comrade at the English court of Henry I, a grant of the lordship of Annandale, in Scotland. Later estranged from David, he renounced his Scottish fief of Annandale, which, however, was restored to his son, the third Robert (fl. 1138-89?).

The family's royal connections began when the fourth Robert (d. before 1191) married Isabel, natural daughter of King William I the Lion, and when their son, the fifth Robert (d. 1245), married Isabel, second daughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon, and niece of William I.

The sixth Robert (1210-95), son of the fifth, was one of the 13 claimants to the Scottish throne in 1291. When the English king Edward I decided in favour of John de Balliol, Robert de Bruce resigned Annandale to his son, the seventh Robert (1253-1304), already (by marriage) Earl of Carrick. The eighth Robert de Bruce (1274-1329) revived his grandfather's claim and became king of Scotland in 1306 (see Robert I under Robert [Scotland]). His brother Edward (d. 1318) was killed while fighting to make himself effective king of Ireland. The direct line of the Bruces ended in 1371 with the death of King Robert's son, David II (1324-71; see David II under David [Scotland]). The crown of Scotland then passed to a grandson of Robert I (through the female line)--namely, Robert Stewart, who, as Robert II, was the first of the Scottish royal house of Stewart (later, Stuart) and ancestor of the English house of Stuart.

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"Bruce FAMILY" Britannica Online.


[Accessed 24 September 1998].

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