Robert Masterton (fl 1270-1300)

Robert Masterton (fl 1270-1300)

Scottish Freedom Fighter

Between 1298 and 1300, Robert Masterton was imprisoned in Carlisle Castle, with other Scottish prisoners, under the wardship of the Bishop of Carlisle, during the War of Scottish Independence. He is described as an "obsidis" (hostage) and was liberated on 8 September 1300, probably after payment of a ransom. The War of Independence was waged between 1297 and 1314 leading ultimately to the Scots defeating the English army, against overwhelming odds, at the Battle of Bannockburn.

In the earlier phases, the Scots had mixed fortunes. It is likely that Robert and his fellow prisoners were captured after the English victory against William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk on 22 July 1298.


Too early to be able to track connections confidently, but Robert has been added to the page of Early Mastertons.

Documents illustrative of the history of Scotland

The War of Independence

3 December 1300

Allowances to be made to the Bishop of Carlisle for Expenses incurred on Scottish Affairs.1.


Expenses for the garrison of Carlisle……,

For the castle of Lochmaben,…..

And for certain Scottish prisoners,…….

Et cxviij s. iiij d. quos posuit in vadiis Roberti ‘dicti’ Maistersone, obsidis, commorantis ibidem xxviij Septembris, anno regni nostri xxvj, usque viij diem Septembris, anno regni nostril xxviij2, per dccx dies, utroque die computato, quo die idem Robertus liberatus fuit per praeceptum nostrum, capientis per diem ij d.

Et viij l. xviij s. viij d. quos posuit in vadiis unius garcionis servientis eisdem, a xxiij die Octobris, anno regni nostril xxv, usque festum sancti Michaelis, anno regni nostril xxviij, per mxxij dies, utroque die computato, capientis per diem ij d

Teste rege apud Wyrskope, iij die Decembris.
Per billam de scaccario.

1 From the Liberate Roll, 29 Edw. I. m. 4.
2 28 September 1298 to 8 September 1300
3 23 October 1297 to 29 September 1300.

Documents illustrative of the history of Scotland
from the death of King Alexander the Third
to the accession of Robert Bruce. MCCLXXXVI-MCCCVI
Joseph Stevenson
pp 424-7
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1870

Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland
preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, London

Vol II. 1272-1307

3 December 1300, Worksop

Edward I. 1179. Writ of allocate for John bishop of Carlisle, farmer of Carlisle castle [besides amounts laid out on the houses, brewery, bretaches, new bridges, glass windows for the K.'s chamber and chapel, repairs of the great hall, the great chamber, garderobe, great and little kitchens, great stable, ramparts, granges, and stone walls around the gates, and cleaning the ditches within and without the castle], for 6l. 10s. 8d. wages of 14 crossbowmen defending the castle against the Scottish army besieging the castle and city from Martinmas till 8th December next following 1297, both days reckoned, 28 days at 4d. a day ; 22l. 3s. 4d. wages of 95 foot for same time at 2d. a day ; 46s. 8d. wages of 10 crossbowmen for defence of the castle against the Scots from St Margaret's day [20 July] till the morrow of St Peter ad vincula [2nd August] 1298, 14 days at 4d each; 70s. wages of 30 foot for same time at 2d. ; 26s. paid for 8 crossbows 'ad pedes,' and 2 'ad turnum,' delivered same year at Lochmaben castle to Robert de Feltone the constable; 7l. 10s. paid for 6000 quarrels delivered to him there; 18s. 1d. spent in setting up and repairing the little engine in said castle [Carlisle] anno xxviii. [1299-1300]; 7s. 6d. for ropes and hide for the K.'s springalls there and foundation of the great engine, anno xxvi. [1297-1298];

98l. 20d. allowed to 11 Galloway men hostages in the castle, sent there by John de Warenne earl of Surrey, the K.'s lieutenant in Scotland, from 23rd October 1297 till Michaelmas 1300, 1070 days at 2d. each; [also to the following Galloway hostages from said 23rd October till their deaths in prison, at 2d. daily], 50s. to Laughlan son of Laughlan de Carsan, till his death on 18th August 1298, 300 days; 52s. 4d. to Dovenald son of Thomas de Carsan, till his death on 1st September 1298, 314 days ; 54s. to Martin son of Ivo de Slethan, till his death on 10th September 1298; 57s. 8d. to John son of William Brunbert, till his death on 2nd October 1298, 346 days; 59s. 2d. to Gillepatrike son of Brice son of Make Rori, till his death on 12th October 1298, 355 days; 62s. 4d. to Ninian son of Thomas Make Rori, till his death on 31st October 1298, 374 days; 63s. 8d. to Andrew son of John Make Gille Reue, till his death on 8th November 1298, 382 days; 4l. 5s. 8d. to Mathew son of Maurice Make Salui till his death on 20th March 1298-99, 514 days; 119s. 6d. to Ivo son of Stephen de Closeburn (Killeosberne), till his death on 9th October 1299, 717 days; and 8l. to John son of Duncan Makehou, till his death on 10th June 1300, 960 days.

Also 118s. 4d. allowed to Robert called 'Maistersone,' a hostage there from 28th September 1298 till 8th September 1300, 710 days, at 2d. a day when he was freed from prison by the K.'s precept. And 8l. 18s. 8d., wages of a groom attending them from 23rd October 1297 till Michaelmas 1300, 1022 days at 2d. a day. Worksop. [Liberate, 29 Edw. I. m. 4.]

On 1st April 1302, these eleven hostages were delivered to John de St John the K.'s lieutenant in Galloway. [Liberate, 13 Edw. I. m. 3.]

Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland
preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, London
Vol II (1272-1307)
Joseph Bain (ed)
p. 301
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1884