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Great Cause

Great Cause. The disputed Scottish succession which arose when Alexander III died in 1286 leaving only a young granddaughter, the Maid of Norway, who herself died in Orkney on her journey to Scotland in 1290. Edward I had already been consulted before the Maid's death and was called in again to adjudicate between the thirteen ‘competitors’, chief of whom were John Hastings, John Balliol, and Robert Bruce. The complex proceedings culminated in Edward claiming the throne of Scotland for himself. Though Bruce's grandson succeeded in resisting the English claim, the dispute poisoned relations between the two countries for generations.

J. A. Cannon

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