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Edward Balliol lived from 1283 to 1367. He was the oldest son of King John Balliol who had been removed from the Scottish throne by Edward I in July 1296 and was later exiled to the family estates in France. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
When Robert the Bruce was succeeded by his four year old son David II, Edward Balliol saw his opportunity to reclaim the crown lost to his father. With the backing of Edward III of England, Edward Balliol invaded Scotland, beating the Scottish forces led by the Regent, the Earl of Mar, at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in Perthshire. Edward Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in September 1332. By the end of the year he had been beaten back by Scottish nobles loyal to David II led by Sir Andrew Murray and retreated to England.
Edward Balliol, supported by the English, defeated the Scots again at the Battle of Haildon Hill near Berwick on 19 July 1333. His victory was so crushing that David II and his young Queen fled to France for safety, leaving the country in the hands of Governors. In return for English support, Balliol granted control of the whole of Lothian, including Edinburgh, to Edward III.
Balliol was again deposed and forced to retreat to England by Sir Andrew Murray in 1334; then restored by the English in 1335 before being ousted by Sir Andrew Murray at the end of the year; before yet again being deposed in, again by Sir Andrew Murray, 1336.
Sir Andrew Murray went on to defy a further invasion by Edward III in support of Edward Balliol in 1336, conducting a guerrilla war in which it was said that much of Aberdeenshire and Angus was turned to desert. From February 1337, Murray slowly rolled back the English influence, capturing one stronghold after another and securing most of northern Scotland even before the official "campaigning season" had started for the year. In May, Edward Balliol left for England to appeal for military support once more, but this time Edward III's attention had turned to pursuing his claim to the Crown of France and he no longer wished to help. Despite some English strongholds remaining north of the border, Sir Andrew was able to mount a series of raids into England. He had effectively seen off the serious claims to the Scottish throne of Edward Balliol.
After the defeat and capture of David II at the Battle of Neville's Cross on 17 October 1346, Balliol again took the opportunity to invade Scotland. This time he led an uprising in Galloway, but it never really threatened to place him on the throne again. Balliol finally gave up, and on 20 January 1356 relinquished his claim to the Scottish crown to Edward III of England in exchange for an English pension.