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Atholl, John of Strathbogie, earl of

Atholl, John of Strathbogie, earl of (d. 1306). Scottish earl who played a leading if inconsistent role in the Wars of Independence. He was captured at the battle of Dunbar (1296) and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Reconciled with Edward I, he became warden of northern Scotland in 1304. He subsequently reverted to the Scottish allegiance, attended the coronation of Robert Bruce, his brother-in-law, in 1306, and was retaken by the English three months later, shortly after the Scottish defeat at Methven. Hanged in London from an exceptionally high gallows, then decapitated and burned, he was the first earl to be executed in England since 1076. His fate shows Edward I's cruelty and vindictiveness, but it was also a logical development of the English view that the Scots, far from fighting a just war, were rebels and traitors against their lawful sovereign lord.

Keith J. Stringer

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