NameJohn “The Red” Comyn Lord of Badenoch
Birthabt 1269, Badenoch, Inverness-Shire, Scotland
Death10 Feb 1306, Murdered by Robert Bruce, Castle of Lochmaben
Misc. Notes
obert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, had assisted Edward I. in his last campaign, and supplied him with a battering-ram for the siege of Stirling Castle. He was a grandson of the Bruce who had fought out the contest in Edward’s court, for the Crown with the now deposed John Baliol. He was a young man, little over thirty years, and hitherto had shown a rather vacillating character. On the death of his father in the spring of 1304, he succeeded to the large family estates in England and Scotland, and was Lord of Annandale as well as Earl of Carrick. In June, 1304, he entered into a compact with Bishop Lamberton, in which they mutually agreed to assist each other against all their enemies. It appears that somehow this compact became known to Edward I., and Bruce, when attending the English Court, was questioned concerning it. He at once saw that his life was in danger, and one morning he mounted his horse and rode swiftly to Scotland.

Bruce arrived at his Castle of Lochmaben early in February, 1306. On the 12th of February, as a freeholder of the county, he attended the English judges who were holding their courts at Dumfries, and there he met the Lord of Badenoch, John Comyn, the late Guardian of Scotland— sometimes called "The Red Comyn." Bruce and Comyn entered the Greyfriars convent to have a private interview touching public affairs; and their conversation waxed warm. Bruce referred to the miserable state of Scotland—once an independent kingdom, and now nothing but a province of England. He then proposed that Comyn should take his lands and help him to be king; or if Comyn preferred it, Bruce was to take his lands and help him to be king. But Comyn demurred to such proposals, and professed loyalty to Edward I. Bruce charged him with betraying important secrets of his; their talk became bitter and hot, and at last Bruce drew his dagger and stabbed Comyn. He immediately turned from the convent, and rushed into the street shouting for a horse. His friends asked if anything was amiss. "I doubt," said Bruce, "I have slain Comyn." Instantly Kilpatrick, one of his followers, ran into the convent and slew the wounded man outright, and also killed his uncle, Sir Robert Comyn.

It may be that the murder of Comyn was unpremeditated; yet it removed the only competitor for the throne of Scotland whom Bruce had reason to fear. Comyn had claims to the Crown as his mother was a sister of John Baliol; and he was also a descendant of Donald Bane, a brother of Malcolm III., as before indicated. This relation to the old line of Celtic Kings would have given him a great advantage in the eyes of the people in the event of any struggle between the two for the throne of Scotland. Bruce had rashly committed himself and could not recede. He had assassinated one of the most powerful men in the kingdom, and incurred the bitter enmity of all his kin and numerous followers.


Weis, Sheppard, Beal, The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215, 5th Ed.,
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, [1999], 141-12.

References: [BurkePB],[AR7],[Baronage1],[MCS5]
Spouses
ChildrenElizabeth (1299-1356)
Last Modified 24 Jun 2003Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh