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Norway law essay

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

Late in 1290, following the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway, (granddaughter of Alexander III, himself killed in an accident in 1286) a new period of ‘perplexity’ began in the Kingdom of Scotland. The Maid, who had been accepted by the Magnates (on paper at least) as the heir to the throne of Scotland, had left the Kingdom she had never seen on the brink of a power struggle between two rival factions for the crown- the Bruce and Balliol families. In a bid to avoid Civil War, Edward I was accepted to judge the competitors and choose a King. Although 14 claims were submitted, only four ever stood any real chance of success- the claims of Balliol (the favourite), Bruce (also strongly backed), Count Florence of Holland and John de Hastings. This essay argues that Balliol’s claim of primogeniture was legally far superior and the foundation of the Bruce claim was nothing more than opportunism.

All four candidates for the throne were legitimately descended through Henry of Northumberland, son of King David I. All but Florence Count of Holland were descended through David, Earl of Huntingdon, the Count being descended through Ada, David’s older sister. Florence whose argument went against the claims of all of the other three, based his claim on Earl David giving up his own claim to the throne in return for the lands of Gairoch in the north-east of Scotland. He alleged that the then King, (William) had named his sister Ada and her heirs as first in line of succession should his own line fail (as it had with the death of the Maid of Norway.). If proved this would defeat the claims of both Bruce and Balliol. Read more…