1295 – The ‘Auld Alliance’
With Edward I on the throne of England, John Balliol of Scotland and Philip IV of France drew up an offensive and defensive alliance which became a treaty in 1295. This was to have been endorsed with marriage between Balliol’s son Edward and Philip’s niece. The unnecessary disaster of Flodden in 1513 however, brought the alliances into question.
The spreading success of the English Reformation and the quality of Scottish soldiers were among the reasons France continued to promote the alliance, while the Jacobites of the eighteenth century relied heavily on French support.
With cultural as well as political associations, Scotland has taken French influence into its architecture, law and vocabulary. In the ensuing Wars of Independence the treaty proved valuable to Scotland.
Robert the Bruce renewed the alliance with the 1326 Treaty of Corbeil. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the countries assisted each other against English aggression six times.