John Balliol was the king of Scotland from November 17, 1292-1296. He was selected from twelve or fourteen candidates as King of Scots by Edward I of England, following the death of the Maid of Norway in 1290. Edward then treated Scotland as a vassal state, and humiliated his appointee. John finally stood up for himself and his nation and set up the first international treaty of alliance, the Auld Alliance, between Scotland, Norway and France. In response Edward invaded Scotland, brutally commencing the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Edward defeated John and forced him to abdicate, placing Scotland under the administration of English officials. John was imprisoned in the Tower of London at first but eventually released on condition that he took up exile in France. This left Scotland without a monarch for ten years, until the ascension of Robert the Bruce in 1306.
King John was known as Toom Tabard (Empty Jacket, ie. Puppet). His dates are not known with certainty: he was born either about 1240 or in 1249/50. He died between March 4, 1313 and January 4, 1314.
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