Bruce, Robert, or Robert I (1274–1329), a king of Scotland, reigned 1306–29. Robert the Bruce, as he was known, is a Scottish hero because he saved Scotland from subjugation by England. Robert Stewart, Bruce's grandson, founded the House of Stuart, the ruling family of Scotland from 1371 to 1714 and of England, 1603–49 and 1660–1714.
When Scotland lacked a direct heir to the throne in 1290, Bruce's grandfather (descended from a brother of King William I of Scotland) was one of the claimants. Edward I of England arbitrated in favor of John de Baliol, whom the Scots refused to accept. In 1296 Edward deposed Baliol and annexed Scotland.
Bruce supported Sir William Wallace in a revolt against the English, but later submitted to Edward. In 1306 Bruce killed John Comyn, a nephew of John de Baliol, who was his rival for the Scottish throne, then vacant. He had himself crowned king and began a revolt against England. Edward's armies marched against him, and his forces suffered a series of defeats. The death of Edward I in 1307 was a turning point, the English king being succeeded by his incompetent son, Edward II. In 1314 Bruce won a major victory at the Battle of Bannockburn. In 1328 Edward III of England recognized Scotland's independence.