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On this day: The Treaty of Berwick is signed

On this day in Scottish History

On 3rd October 1357, the Treaty of Berwick was signed at Berwick-upon-Tweed. It ended the Second War of Scottish Independence (1332-1357) and saw the release of King David II of Scotland from English captivity.

David II had been captured at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346 and was held at a ransom of 100,000 merks. On signing the treaty the Scots nobility agreed to pay the sum in installments of 10,000 merks per year. The treaty was ratified by the Scottish Parliament on 6th November 1357.

The Scots were only able to pay the first two installments of the ransom. Taxation was increased in order to raise enough money. This caused widespread resentment, especially when the rumour went around that David was using the money raised for his own needs. David also caused anger when he named Edward III of England as his successor, this was however rejected by the Scottish Parliament.

David II ruled Scotland until his death on 22nd February 1371 and was succeeded by his nephew Robert Stewart. Robert was the first monarch of the House of Stewart.

Further Reading:

The Wars of Scotland: 1214-1371, (2004), Micheal Brown, Edinburgh University Press

David II: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland, (2003), Micheal Penman, John Donald Publishers Ltd

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