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Robert de Brus, the Competitor, claimed the Crown of Scotland though descended only from the second sister.
The arms here assigned to him on his shield appear on his seal attached to a deed, confirming grants of churches in Scotland made to Guisbrough by his grandfather, Robert de Brus, and his father, William de Brus. The circumscription is SIGILLVM: ROBERTI DE: BRVS. On the secretum the same arms and the following legend, SECRETVM: ROBERTI : DE: BRVS.58 According to the pedigree given in Surtees' Durham (III. 94), he died in 1245 and his wife in 1251,59 and were both buried at Sawtrey in Huntingdonshire. Walter of Hemingway (ii. 69), who on this point must have been writing with local knowledge, says he was buried at Guisbrough. He is probably the "Roberte Bruis, which was a Scotte," who is mentioned just before the Competitor, in the list of sepultures at Guisbrough Priory.
The head-piece of the fourth knight is a bascinet of the pot-de-fer kind, having rosettes to cover the hinges of the chin-piece, which is lowered. On the top is a knob or button and in the front scroll-work. On the neck is the gorget of plates, and on the cuirass is seen one of the mamelières or ornamental circular plates to which the chain was attached for holding the helmet. It is here rather out of its place, as though the artist did not quite understand what he was carving. On the armpits are large circular palettes; round the waist is an ornamental belt; and over the loins is a curious kind of apron to which it would be difficult to give a name. Beneath this is seen the lamboys before mentioned. The cuisses are ribbed and studded; the genouillières are large and have ornamental plates below them. The feet are in sabatouns. On the lower part of the shield is seen a saltire, above which is a bar. The top part has been chipped away, but as he did not bear a lion in chief, nothing is missing.61 The person intended is Robert de Brus IV., better known as the Competitor, from his having been one of the claimants to the throne of Scotland on the death of the Maid of Norway. He styles himself in his
58 Guisbrough Chart., ii., 341. these seals have been engraved in the Finchale Book (Surtees Society), p. 134.
59 An entry on the Close Roll for 36 Henry III. (m. 22), granting the administration of the goods and chattels of Isabella de Brus to the executors of her
will, supports the latter date.
60 Atkinson's History of Cleveland,
61 Robert de Brus, d'or ung saultoir de goules, et ung chief de goules (Nicolas's Roll of Arms, temp. Hen. iii., p. 10).
deeds, Robert, son of Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale, or more simply Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale.62 Round his seal in lieu of his name and title, which are given on the secretum, is inscribed his motto, ESTO FEROX UT LEO, which appears in one place, if the transcript be trusted, 63 as ESTO FEROX IN BELLO.
He died at Lochmaben on Coena Domini, that is the Thursday before Good Friday, in that year March 31st, 1295, and according to his orders was buried at Guisbrough beside his father on April 17, being the second Sunday after Easter, with all the honour and reverence which was due to him. Hemingburgh, who knew him, gives him a very high character. He states he was all his life renowned, witty, wealthy and liberal, and in life and death wanted nothing. 64 He married as his first wife, Isabel, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Isabel, daughter of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. His second wife was Christiana, widow of Adam de Jesemuthe. She was daughter of William de Irreby, and granddaughter of Odardus de Hodalmia, to whom King John granted the manors of Gamelsby and Glassanby in Cumberland.65 They were married as early as 1274-5, when they brought an action against Robert de Hampton about land in those two places.6 Her Inquisitio post mortem was taken in 33 Edward I., when it is stated she died without issue by her second husband.67
The last knightly figure on this side has his armour much more correctly shown than on any of the foregoing. His helmet is a burgonet but has no chin-piece. It is encircled with an orle, which was a wreath made by twisting two bands of silk of different colours, such as red and white, and was often called the crest wreath, and is in fact the origin of the twisted band showing beneath the crest in the note-paper heraldry of to-day. Its use was to relieve the pressure of the tilting helm, when worn over the helmet. On the breastplate is a large fleur-de-lys of antique form.68 The shoulders
62 Guisbrough Chart. ii., 335, 342. 63 Vincent's Discovery of Errors, p. 255, from an instrument dated 1291.
64 Walter of Hemingburgh, ii. 69. See also Chronicon de Lanercost, p. 159. The homage of Robert, son of Robert de Brus, was taken in 1294-5 (Excerpta è Rot. Finium, 23 Edw. i., m. 12).
65 Historical Documents of Scotland, i. 363, 365. Placita de Juratis et Assisis. Ebor. 7 Edward I., m. 29.
66 Deputy Keeper of Public Records, 44th Report, p. 112.
67 Calendarium Genealogicum, ii. 681. 68 Robert, son of Robert de Brus, has a fleur-de-lys on his seal, appended to a
are protected by pauldrons, that on the left being larger than that on the right shoulder. Over he hips are the taces, to which are attached tuilles of large size and strengthened with flutings. The genouillières on the knees are large and ample, and the feet are incased in sabatouns. The sword hangs from a waist-belt which is decorated with a number of four-leaved flowers at intervals. The baldric, which carries the miséricorde, is similarly ornamented. The shield is charged with a saltire, and in chief a lion passant to the dexter. These were the arms borne by Robert de Brus V. He was styled Robertus, filius Roberti de Brus quarti, Dominus Vallis Anandiæ.69 He married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Nigel of Galloway, in whose right he became Earl of Carrick. She is said to have died in 1292.70 According to Walter of Hemingburgh, Robert de Brus V. died shortly after Easter 1304, which in that year fell on the 29th of March, on his way to Annandale, and was buried at Holm Cultram in Cumberland." and heir, Robert de Brus junior, who succeeded him in the Earldom of Carrick, and ultimately became King of Scotland, was according to one inquisition aged thirty years, and according to another thirty-two years, old at the time of his father's death.72
The figures of the four Evangelists which occupy the four smaller niches between the knights, have already been alluded to. They resemble each other closely except in their costume. They are made to face different ways, the head in each case being turned half round. They are all shown in the act of reading or writing, and standing by the side of desks with sloping tops and supported with pillars, one of which is octagonal, and the others circular and twisted. Commencing at the original east end, St. Matthew
deed dated about 1242 (Guisbrough Chart., ii., 333-335).
69 Guisbrough Chart., ii., 343. is a fine example of his seal in the British Museum (Add. Charters, No. 28535). It is attached to a grant by "Robertus de Brus, Comes de Carrik' et Dominus Vallis Anandiæ, filius Domini Roberti de Brus," to Robert Taper and Millecent his wife, of property at Hatfield Regis in Essex. The seal is of brownish wax, circular, 14 inches in diameter. The shield bears a saltire with a lion passant to the dexter in chief. It hangs from a tree, the upper
branches of which appear above. The interstice on either side is filled with a dragon crawling up the shield. [S' ROB'] DE BRVS COMIT DE KARRIK ET VALLIS ANAND'. . . . The inscription is not very clear.
70 Surtees' Durham, iii. 94. She was widow of Adam de Kilconiath, Earl of Carrick in her right (Chronicon de Mailros. 219).
71 ii. 240. His obit was kept at Guisbrough on the eleventh of the Calends of May, that is April 21.
72 Calendarium Genealogicum, ii. 665.