By Fiona Watson
PhD Dissertation, University of Glasgow, 1991
Abstract: This thesis sets out to investigate the activities of Edward I and his officials in Scotland during the period from the conquest of 1296 up until the settlement of September/October 1305. To this end, the administration established by the English king in 1296 is discussed to provide a starting-point from which to assess the events of the following decade. Following the renewal of the war in 1297, the investigation centres primarily on the activities of the English garrisons in Scotland in order to establish where, and to what extent, Edward could describe himself as ruler of Scotland. The campaigns of 1297, 1298, 1300, 1301 and 1303-4 form a necessary part of that investigation as the English sought to expand and consolidate their hold in south-west Scotland particularly. As a complement to the above, the administration of Scotland outwith English control – for which there is very little direct evidence – is also considered, as is the role of the fleet, vital to the survival of Edward’s garrisons. The role of these garrisons – which defined the limit and extent of the English administration – is of such importance that an account is then given of the history of each castle held for Edward, however briefly.
The final section of the thesis describes Edward’s second settlement of Scotland. Between the submission of the Guardian in February 1304 and the ordinances of September 1305, the king devoted much time and energy to his Scottish subjects: a large number of disputes resulting from the war, largely concerned with lands and property, required to be decided and a new administrative system palatable both to Edward and the Scottish nobility to be worked out. This activity thus reflects the problems of the previous decade and the lessons learned from them.
The final assessment of the period 1296 to 1305 is concerned with placing the English administration in its proper context, gauging its successes and failures according not only to what was expected of it in 1296, but through a comparison with what little is known of the administration of the Guardians. Thus, it is hoped, we have come to a better understanding of what it meant to have Edward I in Scotland.