John Balliol, known derisively as Toom Tabard (meaning "empty coat"), was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296. Little is known of his early life. After the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway, Scotland entered an interregnum during which several competitors for the Crown of Scotland put forward claims. Balliol was chosen from among them as the new King of Scotland by a group of selected noblemen headed by King Edward I of England. Edward used his influence over the process to subjugate Scotland and undermined Balliol's personal reign by treating Scotland as a vassal of England. Edward's influence in Scottish affairs tainted Balliol's reign and the Scottish nobility deposed him and appointed a Council of Twelve to rule instead. This council signed a treaty with France known as the Auld Alliance. In retaliation, Edward invaded Scotland, starting the Wars of Scottish Independence (Wikipedia).
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