Robert II Keith, Marischal of Scotland
Sir Robert Keith
|Died||11 August 1332|
Dupplin Moor, Scotland
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Scotland|
|Commands held||Scottish cavalry at Bannockburn|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Inverurie|
Battle of Bannockburn
Battle of Dupplin Moor
|Other work||Diplomat, again soldier|
”Sir Robert Keith II, Keith Earl Marischals married Elizabeth Strachan, and had a son, Sir Robert Keith III (d. 1346) who married Elizabeth, the daughter of John Comyn, a potent man".
Service before BannockburnEdit
Under Malcolm IV, the title Marischal of Scotland had been bestowed on Keith's ancestors, a title which became hereditary and was passed on from one Keith to the next. Robert Keith was the great-great-grandson of Hervey de Keith, great-grandson of Philip de Keith (d. c. 1225), paternal grandson of ... de Keith and son of William de Keith (d. c. 1293), all his predecessors as Marischals. He took up a military career as a young man, but was also considered by other Scottish barons to be something of a leader, being appointed justiciary of the lands beyond the River Forth.
Keith served as a relatively senior general with Bruce's army throughout the war, and, prior to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, was appointed co-leader of a reconnoitering force sent out to gather information about the army of King Edward II of England. During the battle itself, he commanded about 500 Scottish cavalry, although, like other Scottish knights, he may have fought dismounted.
Keith's force was drawn into combat with the English archers, who had in the past and would in later battles inflict heavy losses among the Scottish infantry. Keith and his men, however, flanked the archers and routed them.
Keith was among the Scottish magnates who in 1320 signed a letter to the Pope vindicating Scottish independence. Afterward, he was given several diplomatic assignments, serving as a peace commissioner to England in 1323. He was also among the dignitaries who ratified the Treaty of Corbeil (1326) with the King of France.
Ancestors and descendantsEdit
Sir Robert Keith was the great-great-great-grandson of Hervey de Keith, the first Marischal of Scotland.
Keith's grandson and successor as Marischal, also named Robert Keith, was killed during the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. Keith's indirect descendants, eventually known as the Earls Marischal, held that title for several centuries to come. During the English Civil War, one of his descendants fought as a Royalist officer, and was imprisoned under Oliver Cromwell's regime.
- article on Keith family
Freedom's Sword, Peter Traquair
- Nisbit, "System of Heraldry" Appendix p. 2.
- Burke's Peerage & Gentry and The Origins Network, Extract from The Great Historic Families of Scotland (1887), by James Taylor
- Armstrong, Pete-Bannockburn 1314, Osprey Publishing 2002
- http://www.burkespeerage.com/articles/scotland/esnews/es0502a.aspx%7CTHE KEITHS
- http://www.burkespeerage.com/articles/scotland/esnews/es0502a.aspx[bare URL]