1291 ~ 1301

The De Brus Tomb - Once in Guisborough Priory and from 1907 in Guisborough Parish Church

1294 The De Brus family of Annandale had acquired a claim to the Scottish Crown and in 1292 a court of 140 had chosen John Balliol in preference to Robert de Brus, known as the Competitor.

In this year the 'Competitor' died at Lochmaben in Annandale.

He was brought to Skelton Castle to be buried with his ancestors at Guisborough Priory and alongside his father.

The tomb of the De Brus family now resides in Guisborough Church.

East end of the De Brus Tomb

North side. The Annandale line.

North side. The Annandale line. Detail

At this time a market was held in Skelton on a Sunday, when the people attended divine worship in the morning and, it is said, were in the habit of quitting church early to conduct their business and get drunk.

A charter was granted in this year to the Fauconbergs of Skelton Castle to build a gallows, a pillory, stocks and a tumbril [a ducking stool].

There is a reference in this year to a road called 'Pottersty', which ran along the top of Airey Hill.

Map of Skelton area about this time.
It has been reckoned that the Skelton estate had some 2000 acres of farmland owned by the lord of the manor and worked by 'villeins'.
[ These were the peasants who held a plot of land from the lord with obligations to work on his.]

[A modern theory suggests that Skelton itself had fewer villeins and labour was supplied by other hamlets - Stanghow, Moorsolm. ]

Note on the map the quarries from which Skelton Castle and most other local sandstone buildings have been built and which were worked until the nineteenth century.

1295 - John Balliol allied with the king of France and rebelled against Edward I. The De Brus's of Annandale were driven out of Scotland.

1296 - Robert de Bruce of Annandale swore fealty to Edward I, who invaded Scotland and dealt severely with those whom he saw as rebels.

Balliol was taken prisoner to England and Scotland placed under an English overlord.

De Bruce, for acknowledging Edward, recovered Annandale.

1297 - William Wallace defeated the English overlord of Scotland at Stirling.

1298 - Edward I defeated Wallace at Falkirk.

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