Bruce of Skelton Family History

The Family Name is derived from the Chateau d’ Adam, an 11th century fortress situated between Cherbourg and Valognes at Brix and built by and named for Adam de Brus.

The first Bruce recorded in Britain was Adam’s brother Robert de Brus, who arrived during or shortly after the invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. This Robert de Brus who died circa 1094 is considered the progenitor of the family.

According to Burke; Adam and Robert are descendants of Einar (fourth jarl of Orkney) the brother of Rollo – great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror (who acquired Normandy in 912 and became its first duke).

Robert, fourth Lord Annandale, married a niece of William the Lion, which formed the basis of subsequent claims of the Bruces to the throne of Scotland. This was realised in Robert, the seventh Lord Annandale, second Earl of Carrick, who was born in 1274 and crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1306. King Robert’s celebrated victory against the English at Bannockburn in 1314 gained the independence of Scotland which was ratified by the Treaty of Northampton in 1328. He died in 1329 and was buried at Dunfermline although his heart, having first been carried to the Crusades, was brought back to Scotland and buried at Melrose Abbey. David II, King Robert’s only son, died childless and the Royal Line was taken up by the Stewart descendants of Lady Marjory Bruce.

Lords of Skelton

The Lord of Skelton was a title in the Peerage of England.

  • Robert de Brus (??-1141/1142)
  • Adam II de Brus (1142-1167)
  • Adam III de Brus (1167-1188)
  • Peter I de Brus (1188-1222)
  • Peter II de Brus (1222-1240)
  • Peter III de Brus (1240-1272)

Information Sources:

1. I. J. Sanders, “English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent, 1086-1327,” Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960.

2. William Farrer, Hon.D.Litt., Editor, “Early Yorkshire Charters,” Edinburgh: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., 1915-1916, Vol. I (1914), Vol. II (1915)  Vol. III (1916), Vol. XII [the family of Constable of Flamborough], courtesy Rosie Bevan, Vol. V [Manfield fee, pp. 53-58 ], courtesy Rosie Bevan, Vol. IX [Stuteville fee], , SGM, 26 Feb 2002.

3. Richard Borthwick, “Re: Researching DE BRUS and descendants,” August 21, 1999, cites sources for the ancestry of Laderine de Brus, wife of Sir John de Bellew (or ‘de Bella Acqua’), souces include Sanders, English Baronies; EYC – C T Clay *Early Yorkshire Charters*; HKF – W Farrer *Honors and Knights’ Fees*;, and ES – D Schwennicke (ed) *Europaeische Stammtafeln*.

4. “A History of the County of York,” 1974, Volume 3:  ‘Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Guisborough’, URL:

5. Sir Archibald C. Lawrie, “Early Scottish Charters Prior to A.D. 1153,” Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1905.

6. Gordon Donaldson, “Scottish Historical Documents,” Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1970.

7. “Durham Cathedral Muniments: Miscellaneous Charters,” Durham University Library Archives & Special Collections,….

8. “The Visitation of Yorkshire,” Harleian Soc., William Flower, Esquire, Norroy King of Arms, Harleian Series, Vol. 16, Mitchell  and Hughes, Printers, London, 1881, pp. 154-156: pedigree of Hastings of Elsing (‘Hastynges..’ of Fenwick, co. Yorks.), ‘The Visitation of Yorkshire in the Years 1563 and 1564’.

9. Cristopher Nash, “Re: Domesday Descendants corrections: Harcourt & Brus,” June 8, 2002, GEN-MEDIEVA…@xxxxxxxxxxxx, citing Ruth Blakely, ‘The Bruses of Skelton and William of Aumale’, Yorks Archeol. Jnl. (2001) 73:19-28.

10. Rosie Bevan, “Re: Domesday Descendants corrections: Harcourt & Brus,” June 8, 2002, GEN-MEDIEVA…@xxxxxxxxxxxx, citing Ruth Blakely, ‘The Bruses of Skelton and William of Aumale’, Yorks Archeol. Jnl. (2001) 73:19-28.

11. Douglas Richardson, “Adam II de Brus and his alleged wife, Agnes of Aumale,” Mar 31, 1999, GEN-MEDIEVA…@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

12. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, “Domesday Descendants,” The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2002, cited by Rosie Bevan, ‘Re: de Stuteville’ Jul 2, 2002, p. 723 (Osmund de Stuteville), full title: Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons, Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166: Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum.

13. “The Pipe Roll of the Twenty-second year of King Henry II., A.D. 1175-6,” Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, vol. XXV: published for the Society, 1904.

14. Charles Roberts, ed., “Excerpta ex Rotulis Finium,” The Commissioners of the Public Records of the Kingdom, Vol I (1216-1246), 1835, full title: Excerpta e Rotulis Finium in Turri Londinensi asservatis, Henrico Tertio Rege, A.D. 1216-1272.

15. G. E. Cokayne, “The Complete Peerage,” 1910 –      [microprint, 1982 (Alan Sutton) ], The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

16. William Brown, B.A., ed., “Yorkshire Inquisitions,” The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series), various dates:, Vol. I (Record series vol. XII) – 1892, Vol. II(Record series vol. XXIII) – 1898, Vol. III (Record series vol. XXXI) – 1902, Vol. IV (Record series vol. XXXVII) – 1906.

17. “Genealogics,” website by Leo van de Pas,, cites Europ ische Stammtafeln, J.A. Stargardt Verlag Marburg., Detlev
Schwennicke, Editor, [ES], and other sources, ES VII 81, for Arnoul III, comte de Guines.

18. G. H. R. Kent, ed., “A History of the County of York, East Riding,” Oxford: published for the Institute of Historical Research, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002, Vol. VII, online available, courtesy British History Online, URL:

19. Joseph Bain, ed., “Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland,” Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s General Register House, 1881 (Vol. I), full title: Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office, London.

20. Institute for Historical Research,  ‘Kirkby in Kendale: c. 1100-1350’, Records relating to the Barony of Kendale, 1923, Vol. ,, courtesy University of London and History of Parliament Trust.

21. “Calendar of the Patent Rolls,” preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward II.  A.D. 1313-1317, London: for the Public Record Office.
22. John de Kirkby, “The survey of the county of York taken by John de Kirkby, commonly called Kirkby’s Inquest,” also inquisitions of knights’ fees, the Nomina villarum for Yorkshire, and an appendix of illustrative documents, Durham: Pub. for the Society by Andrews and Co., 1867.

23. Ruth M. Blakely, “The Brus Family in England and Scotland, 1100-1295,” Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005.

24. John Bilson, F.S.A., “Gilling Castle,” The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. XIX (1907), Leeds: John Whitehead & Sons, pp. 105-192.

25. John Burke, Esq. and John Bernard Burke, Esq., “A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland,” London: Henry Colburn, 1847 [Vol. I, A-L], courtesy Googlebooks.

26. Douglas Richardson, “Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families,” Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005.


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