Historica Wiki

The Siege of Kildrummy Castle occurred in late 1307 when the Scottish king Robert Bruce recaptured his home, Kildrummy Castle, from the English in a surprise attack. The capture of Kildrummy Castle marked the start of Bruce's merciless guerrilla campaign against the English occupiers.


Following the Scottish king Robert Bruce's defeat by the English at the Battle of Methven in 1306, Bruce and his army's 50 survivors fled to the Isle of Islay, where they attempted to replenish their ranks by enlisting local villagers. Meanwhile, Prince Edward of England and a large English army, sent by King Edward I of England, arrived in Scotland to rendezvous with Aymer de Valence's Perth garrison and crush the renewed Scottish rebellion. Prince Edward was infuriated that Aymer was unable to kill Bruce at Methven, and he ordered that no chivalry was to be shown to the Scottish rebels, and that anyone suspected of aiding Bruce's rebels would be executed without trial.

In September 1306, Prince Edward and John Comyn, Earl of Buchan captured Kildrummy Castle from Simon Fraser and Nigel de Brus (Robert's brother), and they had Fraser and De Brus hanged and drawn, while they took Bruce's wife Elizabeth de Burgh and his daughter Marjorie into captivity in the Tower of London. Months later, after surviving a defeat at the Battle of Loch Ryan, Bruce was told of his brother's fate and the capture of his wife and daughter, and Bruce - encouraged by his lieutenant James Douglas - decided to pursue revenge against the English without chivalry, promising to "fight like wolves".


Robert Bruce and a handful of his lieutenants infiltrated his home of Kildrummy Castle while hiding in a wagon carrying wood back to the castle; when the driver and the guard began to unload the wood and take it to the storehouse, Bruce and his companions snuck out of the wagon and into the main hall. They proceeded to stealthily kill several guards in the main hall before opening the front gate to the rest of the Scottish warriors. The Scots then overwhelmed the English garrison, which was massacred. Bruce then ordered his men to burn down the castle after taking as many supplies and valuables as they could, and he decided to continue pursuing this strategy of capturing and neutralizing English castles to deny them strongpoints.