No personal assessments of Robert Bruce (Perspective, 2 July) can detract from his colossal achievements for Scotland. Without Bannockburn, the Scottish people would have suffered the fate of medieval Ireland – a downtrodden, leaderless peasantry, colonised by a foreign aristrocracy.
Bruce achieved English and Papal recognition of Scottish independence. After the 1328 Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, Scottish monarchs were annointed with oil at their coronations for the first time: the key mark of an internationally recognised independent kingdom. Centuries-old English claims of overlordship ended.
The land settlement after Bruce’s victory forced noble families to decide to which country, Scotland or England, they belonged. This created separate national aristocracies for the first time in Britain.
The patriotic Scottish Catholic Church – a strong supporter of independence – rose from being a mere “special daughter” of Rome to becoming a recognised, separate national church as it is today, with St Andrews no longer threatened by the claims of York.
Bruce was the man who made Scotland.