In April 1315, the brothers Robert and Edward Bruce came to Ayr where an army of thousands was mustering. A parliament was held in the town’s parish church of St John the Baptist, and it was agreed that if King Robert should die, the Scottish crown would pass, not to his daughter Marjorie but to his brother Edward. A month later, Edward Bruce sailed from Ayr with a great fleet of ships and launched his bid to drive the English out of Ireland. The Bruce victory at Bannockburn had failed to bring about a peace treaty with England, and now a second front had been opened in the war. At first Edward was successful, and was crowned High King of Ireland, but the adventure ended with his defeat and death in 1318.
An exhibition commemorating these events will be on show in Ayr’s Carnegie Library during July 2015. Jointly produced by the Ulster-Scots Academy, the Ulster-Scots Agency and the Ulster Historical Foundation, it consists of twelve panels telling the story of the Bruce campaigns in Ireland and explaining the family’s Ulster connections.