(c. 1280—1364) claimant to the Scottish throne
B. c.1283, s. of John Balliol and Isabella de Warenne; crowned 24 Sept. 1332, expelled Dec. 1332, rest. 1333–6; d. Wheatley, nr. Doncaster, Jan. 1364.
Son of the king of Scots chosen by Edward I from the thirteen claimants in 1292, Edward de Balliol's prospects seemed good until the wars of independence marginalized the family, and he stayed in his Picardy lands after his father's death in 1313. With David II only a small boy on accession in 1329, and the death of his regent in July 1332, Edward resumed the Bruce–Balliol civil war the following month, landing at Kinghorn (Fife) with the ‘disinherited’ and other land-hungry nobles, and supported by Edward III of England. Defeating the Scots at Dupplin, Balliol assumed the title ‘king of Scots’ and was crowned at Scone on 24 September. He was compelled to seek refuge in Carlisle within three months, but was joined by Edward III in a siege of Berwick the following May, the relieving Scots being massacred (through use of the long-bow) at nearby Halidon Hill in July. Balliol's subsequent parliament at Edinburgh (1334), which acknowledged English help and surrendered Berwick ‘forever’ to England, was followed by his homage to Edward and grant of southern counties from Haddington to Dumfries to direct English rule. Edward III's incursions to support his puppet king ceased only with the start of the French wars, and by 1341 David II had returned from exile. Balliol, meanwhile, had spent much of his time in England, but did not surrender his claim to the Scottish crown to Edward III until 20 January 1356, in return for a pension.