The community of the realm in Scotland, 1249–1424
History, law and charters in a recreated kingdom

The second war of independence: competing and overlapping networks

By Matthew Hammond

CITE THIS PAGE: Matthew Hammond, 'The second war of independence: competing and overlapping networks', The community of the realm in Scotland, 1249 -1424: History, law and charters in a recreated kingdom, 21 Nov. 2019,

The following Gephi sociogram shows the network of all royal charters witnesses in the 1330s, during the most violent phase of the Second War of Independence, witnesses to charters of both kings, David Bruce and Edward Balliol. While there are two distinct areas of the graph representing the core supporters of each king, there are also points of connection - people who witnessed for both kings. The closest supporters of each king tend to have thicker lines connecting them, meaning they witness more frequently together. The area on the right side of the graph is dominated by Edward Balliol's supporters, with his two most prominent backers, David Strathbogie and Henry Beaumont, in very central positions. The prominence of northern English figures, including bishops and the prominent northern families of Percy and Neville, is noteworthy.

The area on the left represents the Bruce side is populated with the guardians Thomas Randolph and Earl Donald of Mar, both of whom died in 1332, as well two highly central holdovers from his father's reign, the marischal Robert Keith and the constable Gilbert Hay.

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Explore an interactive version of this graph at the People of Medieval Scotland website.

The following graph allows us to visualize the structure of the network more clearly. The two bridge figures are Earl Patrick of March and Robert Lauder, justiciar of Lothian. Further research into the role of these two individuals is desirable; in particular the importance of Robert Lauder merits deeper investigation.


Table of witnessed documents of David II and Edward Balliol in the 1330s

There are twelve documents in this dataset, five of King David and seven of King Edward.

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The following graph demonstrates the connections between the documents themselves, in terms of shared witnesses. The separate segments formed by the Bruce charters (1/54) and the Balliol charters (1/56) are clear to see. 1/56/13 is the document of Edward Balliol which included some witnesses who also attested to Bruce charters. This records the transaction at a Newcastle-upon-Tyne parliament in 1334 whereby Edward Balliol gave King Edward III essentially all of southeastern Scotland. That Earl Patrick and Robert Lauder attended is presumably died to the overwhelming effects this arrangement would have had on both men's careers had it ever been fully taken up.

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Table of witnesses of documents of David II and Edward Balliol in the 1330s

PoMS ID Name Status Degree Weighted Degree
18234 Henry de Beaumont, titular earl of Buchan L 25 41
23161 David of Strathbogie, titular earl of Atholl (d. 1335) L 25 41
18522 Alexander de Mowbray, knight L 24 37
22813 Robert of Lauder, justiciar of Lothian L 23 35
19422 Richard Talbot, knight L 20 34
5981 Patrick (V), earl of March (d.1369) L 18 25
24041 William Melton, archbishop of York (d. 1340) C 13 13
24042 Richard of Bury, bishop of Durham (d. 1345) C 13 13
24043 John Kirkby, bishop of Carlisle (d. 1352) C 13 13
20442 John de Warenne, earl of Surrey (d.1347) L 13 13
23112 Thomas of Wake, knight L 13 13
18683 William de Montague, keeper of Berwick L 13 13
23012 Henry de Percy (II), knight (d. 1352) L 13 13
22611 Ralph de Neville (d. 1367) L 13 13
23120 Adam Murray, master, bp Brechin, chancellor (d. 1349/50) C 12 25
13771 Thomas Randolph (d.1332), earl of Moray L 12 25
16344 Alexander Fraser (II), chamberlain (d.1332) L 7 15
17574 Donald, earl of Mar (d.1332) L 7 10
17148 Duncan (IV), earl of Fife (d.1353) L 7 7
23392 Gilbert de Umfraville, titular earl of Angus (d. 1381) L 7 7
23393 Henry de Ferrers (14C) L 7 7
23395 Eustace Maxwell, knight L 7 7
22928 John Lindsay, bishop of Glasgow (d. 1334x36) C 7 7
23153 Alexander of Kinninmonth, bp Aberdeen (d. 1344) C 7 7
16590 William Sinclair, bishop of Dunkeld (d.1337) C 7 7
23149 Alexander Seton, knight (mid 14C) L 7 7
23300 William Keith, marischal of Scotland L 7 7
16138 Robert Keith, marischal (d.1343) L 6 12
12057 Gilbert Hay (II), lord of Errol, constable (d.1333) L 6 12
22859 Murdoch, earl of Menteith (d. prob. 12 Aug. 1332) L 6 6
22892 William de Munfichet (Muschet) (14C) L 6 6
17928 Alexander Seton, knight (late13C/early 14C) L 6 6
23391 Thomas Uhtred, knight L 6 14
24067 John Stirling, knight (mid 14C) L 5 10
23144 John Stewart, earl of Angus (d. 1331) L 4 4
18549 John Felton, keeper of Alnwick L 4 4
23147 James Fraser, knight L 3 3
24025 Thomas Surtees, knight L 2 2
24028 Adam Perceval, knight L 2 2
24029 Henry of Haverington, knight L 2 2