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Edward’s scheme for the subjugation
of Scotland was not yet completed ;
but all had hitherto succeeded to his
wishes. He had procured the acknow­
ledgment of a claim of superiority over
that kingdom, which, if Baliol should
refuse to become the creature of his
ambition, gave him a specious title to
compel obedience as Lord Paramount.
By holding out the prospect of a crown
to the various competitors, and by
many rich grants of estates and sal­
aries to the prelates and the nobility,
he had succeeded in securing them to
his interest;3 and if any feelings of

1  Rymer, vol. ii. p. 591.

2  Fordun a Hearne, p. 967.

3  This appears from the Rotuli Scotiæ, vol.
i. p. 24, et passim. He gave the Bishop of

indignation, any spirit of ancient free­
dom and resistance, remained, the ap­
parent hopelessness of fighting for a
country which seemed to have deserted
itself, and against a prince of so great
a military genius as Edward, effectually
stifled it for the present.

Baliol had scarce taken possession
of his kingdom when an event occurred

Glasgow an obligation to bestow on him lands
to the annual value of £100. To James the
Steward, lands of the same annual value.

Annual value.
To Patrick, earl of Dunbar, Lands of £100
To John de Soulis,                Lands of 100 mks.

To William Sinclair,             Lands of 100 mks.

To Patrick de Graham, Lands of 100 mks.
To William de Soulis,          Lands of £100

All these persons were to have lands of the
subjoined value, “ Si contingat Regnum Regi
et heredibus suis remanere.” Edward after­
wards changed his plan, and gave these barons
and prelates gratifications in money, or other
value. But to John Comyn, the King of Eng­
land gave the large sum of £1563, 14s. 6½d.—
Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 17, 6th January 1292.
He took care, however, to reimburse himself
by keeping the wards, marriages, and other
items of the revenue, which had fallen to the
Scottish crown during the interregnum, as
may be seen from many places in the Rotuli

1292-93.1                                     JOHN BALIOL.                                                39

which recalled him to a sense of his
miserable subjection, and brought out
the character of Edward in all its
severity. It had been a special pro­
vision of the treaty of Brigham, that
no Scottish subject was to be com­
pelled to answer in any criminal or civil
suit, without the bounds of the king­
dom ; but, in the face of this, Roger
Bartholomew, a citizen of Berwick,
entered an appeal to the King of Eng­
land, from a judgment of those regents
whom he had appointed in Scotland
during the interregnum. Baliol was not
slow to remind Edward of his solemn
promise to observe the laws and usages
of Scotland; and he earnestly protested
against withdrawing any pleas from
that kingdom to the courts of Eng­
land.1 To this Edward replied, that
he had in every article religiously
observed his promise ; but that when
complaints were brought against his
own ministers, who held their com­
missions from him as Sovereign Lord
of Scotland, it was he alone who could
have cognisance of them, nor had his
subjects therein any right to interpose.
He then, with that air of apparent im­
partiality which he often threw over
his aggressions, required the opinion
of some of the ablest Scottish prelates
and judges, with regard to the law and
custom of their kingdom in one of the
cases brought before him; and com­
manded his council to decide accord­
ing to the judgment which they de­
livered.2 Irritated, however, by being
reminded of the treaty of Brigham,
he openly declared, by his justiciary
Brabazon, that although, during the
vacancy of the kingdom of Scotland,
he had been induced to make promises
which suited the time, now when the
nation was ruled by a king, he did not
intend to be bound by them, to the
effect of excluding complaints brought
before him from that kingdom, or of
preventing him from dispensing jus­
tice and exercising the rights of his
sovereign dominion, according to his
power and pleasure. To give the
greater weight to this imperious an­
nouncement, the King of England

1 Rymer, vol. ii. p. 596.
Ryley’s Placita, p. 145.

summoned Baliol and his principal
prelates and nobles into his privy
chamber at Newcastle, and there made
Brabazon repeat his resolutions upon
the matter in question; after which,
Edward himself rose up, and, in the
French language, spoke to the same
tenor. “ These are my firm determi­
nations,” said he, “ with regard to all
complaints or appeals brought before
me from Scotland; nor will I be
bound by any former promises or con­
cessions made to the contrary. I am
little careful by what deeds or instru­
ments they may be ratified; I shall
exercise that Superiority and direct
dominion which I hold over the king­
dom of Scotland, when and where I
please; nor will I hesitate, if necessary,
to summon the King of Scotland him­
self into my presence within the king­
dom of England.”3

Baliol’s spirit sunk under this de­
claration; and he, and the Scottish
nobility then in his train, pusillani-
mously consented to buy their peace
with Edward by a renunciation of all
stipulations regarding the laws and
liberties of Scotland which had been
made in the treaty of Brigham, and
which, so long as they continued in
force, convicted the King of England
of a flagrant disregard of his oath,
formerly so solemnly pledged. On
this being agreed to, Edward ordered
the public records and ancient histori­
cal muniments of the kingdom, which
had formerly been transmitted from
Edinburgh to Roxburgh, to be de­
livered to the King of Scotland. He
also, out of special favour, commanded
possession of the Isle of Man to be
given to him; 4 and, softened by these
concessions, Baliol returned to his
kingdom. But it was only to experi­
ence fresh mortification, and to feel all
the miseries of subjection.

The policy of Edward towards Scot­
land and its new king was at once
artful and insulting. He treated every
assumption of independent sovereignty

3 Rymer, Foed. vol. ii. p. 597. Tyrrel’s
England, vol. in. p. 74.

4 Edward, in 1290, when Margaret was
alive, had taken under his protection her
kingdom of Man, at the request of its inhabi­
tants.—Rymer, vol. ii. p. 492.

40                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

with rigour and contempt, and lost no
opportunity of summoning Baliol to
answer before him to the complaints
brought against his government; he
encouraged his subjects to offer these
complaints by scrupulously administer­
ing justice according to the laws and
customs of Scotland; and he distri­
buted lands, pensions, and presents,
with well-judged munificence, amongst
the prelates and the nobility. The King
of Scotland possessed large estates both
in England and Normandy; and in all
the rights and privileges connected
with them he found Edward certainly
not a severe, almost an indulgent,
superior. To Baliol the vassal he was
uniformly lenient and just :1 to Baliol
the king he was proud and unbending
to the last degree. An example of
this soon occurred.

The Earl of Fife died, leaving his
son Duncan a minor, and the earldom
to the protection of the Bishop of St
Andrews. Macduff, the grand-uncle
of Duncan, then seized it; but being
ejected by the bishop, on complaining
to Edward, was, at the king’s com­
mand, restored io his estates by the
sentence of the Scottish regents. When
Baliol held his first parliament at
Scone,2 Maccduff was summoned to
answer for his having taken forcible
possession of lands, which, since the
death of the last Earl of Fife, were in
the custody of the king. He attempted
a defence; but being found guilty,
suffered a short imprisonment. On
his release, he was not slow to carry
his appeal to the King of England;
and Edward immediately summoned
Baliol to answer in person before him
to the allegations of Macduff.3 To
this order Baliol paid no regard, and
Edward again commanded him to ap­
pear. This was not all. He procured
his parliament to pass some regula­
tions regarding the attendance of the
King of Scots, which, from their ex­
treme severity, seem to have been
expressly intended to exasperate this
monarch, who found that, in every

1 Rymer, vol. ii. p. 635.

2  Winton, vol. ii. p. 73.

3  Rymer, Fœdera, vol. ii. p. 606. Fordun
a Hearne, p. 963.

case of appeal, he was not only to be
dragged in as a party, but that his
personal attendance was to be rigidly
exacted. The first was a grievous, the
last an intolerable burden, to which
no one with even the name of a king
could long submit.4

Meanwhile, dissembling his chagrin,
he appeared in the English parliament
held after Michaelmas, where Macduff
was also present. When the cause of
this baron noble came on, Baliol was
asked what defence he had to offer.
“ I am,” said he, the King of Scot­
land. To the complaint of Macduff,
or to any matters respecting my king­
dom, I dare not make an answer with­
out the advice of my people.” “What
means this refusal ? “ cried Edward.
“Are you not my liegeman,—have you
not done homage to me,—is it not my
summons that brings you here ? “ To
this impetuous interrogation the Scot­
tish monarch firmly answered, “ Where
the business respects my kingdom, I
neither dare, nor can answer, in this
place, without the advice of my
people.”5 An artful proposal was
then made by Edward, that, in order
to consult with his people, he should
adjourn giving his final reply to a
future day ; but this he peremptorily
declined, declaring that he would
neither name a day nor consent to an
adjournment. Under these circum­
stances, the English parliament pro­
ceeded to pronounce judgment. They
declared that the King of Scotland was
guilty of open contempt and disobe­
dience. He had, they said, offered no
defence, but made a reply which went
to elude and weaken the jurisdiction
of his liege lord, in whose court as a
vassal he had claimed the crown of
Scotland. In consequence of which
they advised the King of England, not
only to do full justice to Macduff, and
to award damages against Baliol, but,
as a punishment for his feudal delin­
quency, to seize three of his principal
castles in Scotland, to remain in the
hands of the English monarch until
he should make satisfaction for the

4 Ryley’s Placita, p. 151. Hailes’ Annals,
vol. i. p. 227.
Ryley’s Placita, p. 158.

1293-96.]                                      JOHN BALIOL.                                                41

injury offered to his lord superior.1
Before this judgment of the parlia-
ment was publicly made known,
Baliol presented himself to Edward,
and thus addressed him : “ My lord,
I am your liegeman for the king-
dom of Scotland; and I entreat you
that, as the matters wherewith, you
now are occupied concern the people
of my kingdom no less than myself,
you will delay their consideration
until I have consulted with them, lest
I be surprised from want of advice;
and this the more especially, as those
now with me neither will, nor dare
give me their opinion, without consult-
ing with the Estates of the kingdom.
After having advised with them, I
will, in your first parliament after
Easter, report the result, and perform
what is my duty.”

It was evident that the resolutions
of the parliament were unnecessarily
violent, and could not have been
carried into effect without the presence
of an army in Scotland. The King of
England, aware of this, and dreading
to excite a rebellion, for which he was
not then prepared, listened to the
demand of Baliol, and delayed all pro­
ceedings until the day after the Feast
of the Trinity, in 1294.2

Not long after this, Edward, who
was a vassal of the King of France for
the duchy of Aquitaine, became in
volved with his lord superior, in a
quarrel similar to that between him­
self and Baliol. A fleet of English
vessels, belonging to the Cinque Ports,
had encountered and plundered some
French merchant ships; and Philip
demanded immediate and ample satis­
faction for the aggression. As he
dreaded a war with France, Edward
proposed to investigate, by commis­
sioners, the causes of quarrel; but
this seemed too slow a process to the
irritated feelings of the French king;
and, exerting his rights as lord supe­
rior, he summoned Edward to appear
in his court at Paris, and there answer,
as his vassal, for the injuries which he
had committed. This order was, of

1 Prynne’s Edward I., pp. 537, 554.

2 Ryley’s Placita, pp. 152, 160. Prynne’s
Edward I., p. 554.

course, little heeded; upon which
Philip, sitting on his throne, gave sen­
tence against the English king; pro­
nounced him contumacious, and
directed his territories in France to
be seized, as forfeited to the crown.3
Edward soon after renounced his alle­
giance as a vassal of Philip; and, with
the advice of his parliament, declared
war against France.

To assist him in this war, he sum­
moned Baliol, and others of the most
powerful of the Scottish nobles, to
attend him in person with their armed
vassals; but his insolent and over­
bearing conduct had entirely disgusted
the Scots. They treated his summons
with scorn; and, instead of arming
their vassals for his assistance, they
assembled a parliament at Scone.4
Its first step was, under the pretence
of diminishing the public charges, to
dismiss all Englishmen from Baliol’s
court; and having thus got rid of
such troublesome spies upon their
measures, they engaged in a treaty of
alliance with France,5 and determined
upon war with Edward. Many estates
in Scotland were at this time held by
English barons, and many also of the
most powerful of the Scottish nobility
possessed lands in England. Anxious
for a general union against the com­
mon enemy, the Scottish estates in
the hands of English barons were for­
feited, and their proprietors banished ;
while those Scottish nobles who re­
mained faithful to Edward had their
lands seized and forfeited.6 In this
way Robert Bruce lost his rich lord­
ship of Annandale. It was given to
John Comyn, earl of Buchan, who
instantly assumed the rights of a pro­
prietor, and took possession of its
castle of Lochmaben—an injury which,
in that fierce age, could never be for­

Edward, although enraged at the
conduct of the Scottish parliament,
and meditating a deep revenge, was at
this time harassed by a rebellion of

3  Tyrrel's England, vol. iii. p. 79. Prynne’s
Edward I., pp. 583, 584.

4  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 153.

5  Rymer, vol. ii. p. 695.

6 Hemingford, p. 83, vol. i. Hailes, vol. i.
p. 240.

42                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

the Welsh, and a war with France.
Dissimulation and policy were the
weapons to which he had recourse,
whilst he employed the interval which
he gained in sowing dissension among
the Scottish nobles, and collecting an
army for the punishment of their
rebellion. To Bruce, the son of the
competitor for the crown, whose mind
was irritated by the recent forfeiture
of his estates, he affected uncommon
friendship; regretted his decision in
favour of the now rebellious Baliol;
declared his determination to place
him on the throne, of which the present
king had shewn himself unworthy;
and directed him to inform his nume­
rous and powerful friends in Scotland
of this resolution.1 Bruce either
trusted to the promises, or was intimi­
dated by the power of Edward. Be­
sides this, Comyn, earl of Buchan, who
now mainly directed the Scottish
councils, was his enemy, and held
violent possession of his lordship of
Annandale. To join with him was
impossible ; and accordingly this
powerful baron and his son, after­
wards king, with Dunbar, earl of
March, and Umfraville, earl of Angus,
repaired to Edward, and renewed to
him their oaths of homage.2 The un­
decided character of Baliol was ill
calculated to remove this disunion
amongst the Scottish nobles; and the
party who then ruled in the Scottish
parliament, dreading a submission
upon the part of their king, secluded
him from all power, confined him in
a mountain fortress, and placed the
management of affairs in the hands of
twelve of the leading nobles.3

The measures adopted by these
guardians were decided and spirited.
They, in the name of the King of
Scots, drew up an instrument, re­
nouncing all fealty and allegiance to
Edward, on account of the many and
grievous injuries committed upon his
rights and property as King of Scot­
land.4 They despatched ambassadors
to France, who concluded a treaty of

1 Fordun a Hearne, p. 971.
Hemingford, vol. i. p. 102.
Math. Westminster, p. 425.
Fordun a Hearne, p. 969.

marriage and alliance, by which the
niece of Philip, daughter of Charles,
count of Valois, was to be united to
the eldest son of Baliol5—the French
king engaging to assist the Scots with
troops kept at his own charges; and
they assembled an army under the
command of Comyn, earl of Buchan,
which invaded Cumberland.6 This
expedition, however, returned without
honour, having been repulsed in an
attempt to storm Carlisle.

Nothing could be more favourable
for Edward than the miserably dis­
united state of Scotland. He knew
that three powerful factions divided
the country, and hindered that firm
political union without which, against
such an enemy, no successful opposi­
tion could be made. Bruce, and his
numerous and powerful followers, ad­
hered to England. The friends of
Baliol, and that part of the nation
which recognised him for their sove­
reign, beheld him a captive in one of
his own fortresses, and refused to join
the rebels who had imprisoned him;
and the party of Comyn, which had
invaded England, were either so desti­
tute of military talent, or so divided
amongst themselves, that a handful of
the citizens of Carlisle compelled them
to retreat with loss into their own
country. These advantages, the result
of his own able and artful policy, were
easily perceived by the King of Eng­
land. It was now his time for action,
and for inflicting that vengeance upon
his enemies, which, with this monarch,
the longer it was delayed was generally
the more sure and terrible. He as­
sembled a numerous and well appoint­
ed army. It consisted of thirty thou­
sand foot, and four thousand heavy-
armed horse. He was joined by Beck,
the warlike Bishop of Durham, at the
head of a thousand foot and five hun­
dred horse; and with this combined
force, and the two sacred banners of
St John of Beverley and St Cuthbert
of Durham carried before the army,7

5 Fœdera, vol. ii. p. G96.

6 Hemingford, p. 87. Trivet, p. 288.

7 Rymer, vol. ii. p. 732. Prynne’s Edward
I., p. 667. Anthony Beck was a prelate,
whose state and magnificence were exceeded
only by his sovereign. His ordinary personal

1296.]                                          JOHN BALIOL.                                                 43

he marched towards Scotland. It ap­
pears that some time before this
Edward had thought proper to grant
a prolongation of the term agreed on
for the decision of the question of
Macduff, and had required Baliol to
attend him as his vassal at Newcastle-
upon-Tyne.1 On arriving there, he
summoned the King of Scotland ; and
after waiting a few days for his ap­
pearance, advanced to the eastern
border, and crossed the Tweed with
his main army below the Nunnery of
Coldstream. On the same day the
Bishop of Durham forded the river at
Norham ; and the whole army, march­
ing along the Scottish side, came be­
fore the town of Berwick, then in the
hands of the Scots.2

Edward was determined, at all
sacrifices, to make himself master of
this city. It was celebrated for the
riches and the power of its merchants;
and the extent of its foreign com­
merce, in the opinion of a contem­
porary English historian, entitled it to
the name of another Alexandria.3 It
was protected only by a strong dyke,
but its adjacent castle was of great
strength, and its garrison had made
themselves obnoxious to the king, by
plundering some English merchant
ships which had unsuspiciously en­
tered the port. The king summoned
it to surrender, and offered it terms of
accommodation, which, after two days’
consideration, were refused. Edward,
upon this, did not immediately pro­
ceed to storm, but drew back his army
to a field near a nunnery, about a mile
from the town, and where, from the
nature of the ground, he could more
easily conceal his dispositions for the
attack. He then despatched a large
division, with orders to assault the
town, choosing a line of march which
concealed them from the citizens; and
he commanded his fleet to enter the
river at the same moment that the
great body of the army, led by him-

suite consisted of a hundred and forty
knights.—Hutchinson’s History of the County
Palatine of Durham, p. 239.
Prynne’s Edward I., p. 537.

2 Hemingford, p. 89.

3 Torfæus, book i. chap, xxxii. Chron. of
Lanercost, a Stevenson, pp. 162, 185.

self, were ready to storm.4 The
Scottish garrison fiercely assaulted the
ships, burnt three of them, and com­
pelled the rest to retire ;5 but they, in
their turn, were driven back by the
fury of the land attack. Edward
himself, mounted on horseback,6 was
the first who leaped the dyke; and
the soldiers, animated by the example
and presence of their king, carried
everything before them. All the
horrors of a rich and populous city
sacked by an inflamed soldiery, and a
commander thirsting for vengeance,
now succeeded. Seventeen thousand
persons,7 without distinction of age or
sex, were put to the sword; and for
I two days the city ran with blood like
a river. The churches, to which the
miserable inhabitants had fled for
sanctuary, were violated and defiled
with blood, spoiled of their sacred
ornaments, and turned into stables for
the English cavalry,8

In the midst of this massacre a fine
trait of fidelity occurred. The Flem­
ings at this period carried on a lucra­
tive and extensive trade with Scotland,
and their principal factory was estab­
lished in Berwick. It was a strong
building, called the Red-hall, which,
by their charter, they were bound to
defend to the last extremity against
the English. True to their engage­
ments, thirty of these brave merchants
held out the place against the whole
English army. Night came, and still
it was not taken. Irritated by this
obstinate courage, the English set it on
fire, and buried its faithful defenders
in the burning ruins.9 The massacre
of Berwick, which took place on Good
Friday, was a terrible example of the
vengeance which Edward was ready
to inflict upon his enemies. Its plun­
der enriched his army, and it never
recovered its commercial importance

4 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 159. Heming-
ford, vol. i. p. 90.
Herningford, p. 90.

6 Langtoft’s Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 272. His
horse’s name, we learn from this Chronicle,
was Bayard.
Knighton, apud Twysden, p. 2480.
Fordun, book xi. chap. liv. lv.
Hemingford, vol. i. p. 91, Hailes’ An
nals, vol. i. p. 236.

44                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

and prosperity. Sir William Douglas,
who commanded the castle, after a
short defence surrendered, and swore
fealty to the King of England; and its
garrison, after taking an oath not to
bear arms against that country, were
allowed to march out with military

Whilst Edward remained at Ber­
wick, engaged in throwing up new
fortifications against future attacks,
Henry, abbot of Arbroath, attended by
three of his monks, appeared at his
court, and delivered to him the instru­
ment containing Baliol’s renunciation
of his homage. “ You have,” said the
Scottish king, “wantonly summoned
me to your courts; you have com­
mitted grievous outrages and robberies
upon my subjects, both by sea and
land ; you have seized my castles and
estates in England, killed and im­
prisoned my subjects, and the mer­
chants of my realm ; and when I de­
manded a redress of these injuries,
you have invaded my dominions at
the head of a vast army, with the
purpose of depriving me of my crown;
and have cruelly ravished the land.
Wherefore, I renounce that fealty and
homage which have been extorted
from me ; and do resolve openly to
oppose myself, in defence of my king­
dom, against Edward of England.”2

Edward received this letter with
angry contempt. “ The senseless
traitor!” said he; “of what folly is
he guilty! But since he will not
come to us, we will go to him ! “3

Enraged at the dreadful vengeance
inflicted on Berwick, the Scottish
army, under the Earls of Ross, Men-
teith, and Athole, made a second in­
road into England; and, imitating the
example of Edward, with merciless
severity ravaged Redesdale and Tyne-
dale, carrying away a great booty, and
sparing neither sex nor age.4 The
flames of towns and villages, and the

1 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 91.

2  Fœdera, vol. ii. p. 707. Fordun a Hearne,
p. 969.

3  Ha ce fol felon, tel folie fet! sil ne voult
venir a nous, nous viendrons a lui.—Fordun
a Hearne, p. 969.

4 Rymer, vol. ii. p. 887. Trivet p. 291.
Peter Langtoft, vol. ii. p. 273.

ashes of the ancient monasteries of
Lanercost and Hexham, marked their
destructive progress ; but the ven­
geance of the Scots was short-lived,
and their plans unconnected. That of
their enemy was the very opposite : it
was deep-laid in its plans, simultane­
ous in its movements, and remorseless
in its contemplation of consequences.

The castle of Dunbar was at this
time one of the strongest, and, by its
situation, most important in Scotland.
Its lord, Patrick, earl of Dunbar, served
in the army of Edward; but his wife,
the countess, who held the castle, and
hated the English, entered into a secret
negotiation with the Scottish leaders
for its delivery into the hands of her
countrymen. The Earls of Ross,
Athole, and Menteith, the barons John
Comyn, William St Clair, Richard Se-
ward, and John de Mowbray, with
thirty-one knights and a strong force,
threw themselves into the place; and,
assisted by the countess, easily expelled
the few soldiers who remained faithful
to England.5 On being informed of
this loss, Edward determined upon re­
covering it at all hazards ; and for this
purpose despatched the Earl of Surrey
with ten thousand foot and a thousand
heavy-armed horse. When summoned
by Warrene, the garrison agreed to
Surrender, unless relieved within three
days; and the Scots, anxious to retain
so important a place, led on the whole
of their army, and possessed them­
selves of a strong and excellent posi­
tion on the high ground above Dun-
bar. Forty thousand foot, and fifteen
hundred horse, encamped on the
heights near Spot; and, confident of
rescue, the garrison of the castle in
suited the English from the walls, as
if already beaten.6

On the first appearance of the Scot­
tish army, Surrey steadily advanced to
attack it. On approaching the high
ground, it was necessary to deploy
through a valley; and the Scots im­
agined they observed some confusion
in the English ranks when executing

5 Walsingham, p. 67. This happened on
St Martin’s day.

6 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 165. Heming-
ford, vol. i. p. 95.

1296.1                                          JOHN BALIOL.                                                 45

this movement. Mistaking this for
flight, they precipitately abandoned
their strong position on the hills, and
rushed down with shouts upon the
enemy. Meanwhile, before the lines
could meet, the English earl had ex­
tricated himself from the valley, and
formed into compact order. The Scots,
ruined, as they had often been, by
their temerity, perceived their fatal
error when it was too late. Instead of
an enemy in flight, they found an army
under perfect discipline, advancing
upon their broken and disordered
columns ; and having in vain endea­
voured to regain their ranks, after a
short resistance they were completely
routed. Three hundred and fifty years
after this, Cromwell, on the same
ground, defeated the army of the Scot­
tish Covenanters, which occupied the
same admirable position, and with
equal folly and precipitancy deserted
it. Surrey’s victory was. complete,
and for the time decided the fate of
Scotland. Ten thousand men fell on
the field or in the pursuit. Sir Patrick
de Graham, one of the noblest and
wisest of the Scottish barons, dis­
dained to ask for quarter, and was
slain in circumstances which extorted
the praise of the enemy.1 A great
multitude, including the principal of
the Scottish nobility, were taken pri­
soners ; and next day, the King of
England coming in person with the
rest of his army before Dunbar, the
castle surrendered at discretion. The
Earls of Athole, Ross, and Menteith,
with four barons, seventy knights, and
many other brave men, submitted to
the mercy of the conqueror.2

All the prisoners of rank were im­
mediately sent in chains to England,
where they were for the present com­
mitted to close confinement in different
Welsh and English castles.3 After
some time, the king compelled them
to attend him in his wars in France;
but even this partial liberty was not
allowed them till their sons were deli­
vered into his hands as hostages.4

1 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 96. Fordun a
Hearne, p. 974.

2 Scala Chronicle, p. 123.

3 Peter Langtoft, Chron. p. 278.

4 Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. sub Ed. I. 25, p. 44 ;

Edward was not slow to follow up
the advantages which this important
success had given him. Returning
from Lothian, he sat down before the
castle of Roxburgh, which was surren­
dered to him by James, the Steward
of Scotland, who not only swore fealty
and abjured the French alliance,5 but
prevailed upon many others of the
Scottish nobility to forsake a struggle
which was deemed desperate, and to
submit to England. It was at his in­
stigation that Ingeram de Umfraville
surrendered the castle of Dumbarton,6
and gave up to Edward his daughters,
Eva and Isobel, as hostages. Soon
after, the strong fortress of Jedburgh
was yielded to his mercy;7 and his
victorious army being reinforced by a
body of fifteen thousand men from
Wales, he was enabled to send home
that part of his English force which
had suffered most from fatigue in this

With these fresh levies he advanced
to Edinburgh, made himself master of
the castle after a siege of eight days ;8
passed rapidly to Stirling, which he
found abandoned ; and while there,
the Earl of Ulster, with a new army of
thirty thousand foot and four hundred
horse, came to join the king, and com­
plete the triumph of the English arms.
The monarch continued his progress
without opposition to Perth, where he
halted to keep the feast of the nativity
of John the Baptist, with circum­
stances of high feudal solemnity, re­
galing his friends, creating new
knights, and solacing himself and his
barons. In the midst of these rejoic­
ings, messengers arrived from the un­
happy Baliol announcing his submis­
sion, and imploring peace.9 Edward
disdained to treat with him in person,
but informed him that he intended,
within fifteen days, to advance to
Brechin, and that on Baliol’s repairing
to the castle there, the Bishop of Dur­
ham would announce the decision of

where a great many of the names of the
prisoners will he found.

5  Prynne’s Edward 1., p. 649.

6  Rotuli Scotiæ, 22 Ed. I., memb. 8 dorso.

7  Rymer, Foed. vol. ii. pp. 714, 716.
Hemingford, vol. i. P. 98.

9 Ibid.

46                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

his lord superior. This was none other
than that of an absolute resignation of
himself and his kingdom to the mercy
of his conqueror; to which Baliol,
now the mere shadow of a king, with­
out a crown, an army, or a nobility,
dejectedly submitted. In presence of
the Bishop of Durham and the barons
of England, he was first stript of his
royal robes; after which they spoiled
him of his crown and sceptre, and
compelled him, standing as a criminal,
with a white rod in his hand, to per­
form a humiliating feudal penance.1
He confessed that, misled by evil
counsel and his own weakness, he had
grievously offended his liege lord; he
recapitulated his various transgres­
sions, his league with France, and his
hostilities against England; he acknow­
ledged the justice of the invasion of
his kingdom by Edward, in vindication
of his violated rights; and three days
after this, in the castle of Brechin, he
resigned his kingdom of Scotland, its
people, and their homage, into the
hands of his liege lord, Edward, of his
own free will and consent.2 After
this humiliating ceremony, Baliol de­
livered his eldest son, Edward, to the
King of England, as a hostage for his
future fidelity; and this youth, along
with his discrowned father, were soon
after sent by sea to London, where
they remained for three years in con­
finement in the Tower.3

Thus ended the miserable and in­
glorious reign of John Baliol, a prince
whose good dispositions might have
insured him a happier fate, had he
been opposed to a less terrible and
ambitious enemy than Edward the
First; or had the courage and spirit,
in which he was not deficient, been
seconded by the efforts of a united
nobility. But Edward, with a policy
not dissimilar to that which we have
adopted in our Eastern dominions, had

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 167. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 88.

2 Prynne’s Edward L, pp. 650, 651. See
Notes and Illustrations, letter F.

3 Langtoft, Chron. vol. ii. p. 280. Speak-
ing of Baliol—

First he was king, now is he soudioure,
And is at other spendyng bonden in the

Succeeded in preventing all union
amongst the most powerful Scottish
barons, by arraying their private and
selfish ambition against the love of
their country; by sowing dissension in
their councils, richly rewarding their
treachery, and treating with unmiti­
gated severity those who dared to love
and defend the liberty of Scotland;
and Baliol’s character was not of that
high stamp which could unite such
base and discordant materials, or
baffle a policy so deep and a power so


The spirit of the Scottish people was
for the time completely broken; and
Edward, as he continued his expedi­
tion from Perth to Aberdeen, and from
thence to Elgin in Moray, did not ex­
perience a single check in his progress;
while most of the Scottish barons who
had escaped death or imprisonment
crowded in to renounce the French
alliance, and renew their oaths of
fealty. On his return from the north
to hold his parliament at Berwick, in
passing the ancient Abbey of Scone,
he took with him the famous and fatal
stone upon which, for many ages, the
Scottish kings had been crowned and
anointed. This, considered by the
Scots as their national palladium,
along with the Scottish sceptre and
crown, the English monarch placed in
the cathedral of Westminster, as an
offering to Edward the Confessor, and
a memorial of what he deemed his
absolute conquest of Scotland ;4 a con­
quest, however, which, before a single
year had elapsed, was entirely wrested
from his hands.

Edward was desirous of annihilat­
ing everything which could preserve
the patriotic feeling of the country
which he had overrun. With this ob­
ject, when at Scone, he mutilated the
ancient chartulary of that abbey, the
historical notices in which were per-

4 Fordun a Goodal, book xi. chap. xxv. vol.
ii. p. 166. Hemingford, vol. i. pp. 37, 100.

1296-97.]                                     INTERREGNUM.                                              47

haps fatal to his pretended claim of
superiority, carrying off some of its
charters, and tearing the seals.1 Our
historians affirm, that in his progress
he industriously sought out and de­
stroyed every monument connected
with the antiquity and independ­
ence of the nation. The character of
Edward, and his conduct at Scone,
give great probability to the asser­

On the 28th of August, the king
held his parliament at Berwick, for
the purpose of receiving the fealty of
the clergy and laity of Scotland.
Multitudes of Scotsmen of all ranks
resorted to him—earls, barons, knights,
and esquires. The terror of his arms;
the well-known severity of his temper,
which made imprisonment and the
immediate confiscation of their estates
the consequence of their refusal; the
example of their nobility, who now
felt, too late for remedy, the sad effect
of their dissensions, all combined to
render this submission to Edward a
measure as unanimous as it was humi­
liating ; and the oaths of homage, the
renunciation of the French alliance,
and the names of the vassals, which
fill thirty-five skins of parchment, are
still preserved amongst the English

After the battle of Dunbar, Bruce,
earl of Carrick, who was then in the
service of England, reminded Edward
of his promise to place him on the
throne. “ Have I nothing to do,”
said the haughty monarch, “but to
conquer kingdoms for you ? “ Judging
it probably a more befitting occupa­
tion, the King of England empowered
the Earl of Carrick, and his son the
younger Bruce, to receive to his peace
the inhabitants of their own lands of
Carrick and Annandale.4 How little
did he then think, that the youthful
baron, employed under his royal com­
mission in this degrading office, was

1 Chart, Scon. f. 26, quoted by Hailes, vol.
i. p. 243.

2 Innes’s Critical Essay on the Ancient
Inhabitants of Scotland, pp. 554, 555. See
Notes and Illustrations, letter G.

3  Ragman Rolls, printed by Bannatyne
Club, 1834.

4  Rymer, Fœdera, vol. ii. p. 714.

destined to wrest from him his con­
quest, and to become the restorer of
the freedom of his country !

Edward next directed his attention
to the settlement of his new dominions;
and the measures which he adopted
for this purpose were equally politic
and just. He commanded the sheriffs
of the several counties in Scotland to
restore to the clergy their forfeited
lands; and he granted to the Scottish
bishops for ever the privilege of be­
queathing their effects by will, as fully
as the right was enjoyed by the pre­
lates of England. The widows of
those barons whose husbands had died
before the French alliance, and who
had not since then been married to
the king’s enemies, were faithfully re­
stored to their estates; but, effectually
to secure their allegiance, the English
Guardian of Scotland was permitted,
at his option, to take possession of the
castles and strengths upon their lands.
He even assigned pensions to the wives
of many of his Scottish prisoners; and
few of those who held office under the
unfortunate Baliol were dispossessed.
The jurisdictions of Scotland were
suffered to remain with those who
possessed them, under ancient and
hereditary titles ; no wanton or un­
necessary act of rigour was committed,
no capricious changes introduced, yet
all means were adopted to give security
to his conquest. John Warrene, earl
of Surrey, was made Guardian of Scot­
land; Hugh de Cressingham, Treasurer;
and William Ormesby, Justiciary.
Henry de Percy, nephew of Warrene,
was appointed keeper of the county of
Galloway, and the sheriffdom of Ayr;
the castles of Roxburgh, Berwick,
Jedburgh, and Edinburgh, were com­
mitted to English captains; a new
seal, in place of the ancient Great Seal
of Scotland, surrendered by Baliol and
broken into pieces at Brechin, was
placed in the hands of Walter de Ag-
mondesham, an English chancellor;
and an Exchequer for receiving the
king’s rents and taxes was instituted
at Berwick, on the model of that at

5 Madox, Hist, of Exchequer, p. 550. Ro-
tuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 29, 35.

43                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.


Edward had scarcely made this settle­
ment of Scotland, and set out for his
own dominions, when he found that,
instead of the acclamations due to a
conqueror, he was to be received at
home with the lowering countenances
of discontent and rebellion. He had
incurred a heavy expense in his Scot­
tish expedition, and he was now an­
xious to carry on with vigour his war
with France; but the clergy of Eng­
land, headed by a proud and firm pre­
late, Winchelsea, archbishop of Canter­
bury, demurred as to the supplies
which he demanded ; and a powerful
party of the barons, led by the Con­
stable and the Marshal of England,
refusing to pass over into France,
indignantly retired from parliament,
with a great body of their armed re­

These discontents in England en­
couraged the people of Scotland to
rise against their English oppressors.
Although deserted by their nobility,
a spirit of determined hatred against
England was strongly manifested by
the great body of the nation. Through­
out the whole country, numerous
bands of armed peasants infested the
highways, and in contempt of govern­
ment plundered the English, and laid
waste their lands. Their numbers in­
creased, and their Successes soon be­
came alarming. They besieged the
castles garrisoned by the English, took
prisoners, committed all kinds of ra­
pine and homicide; and the impression
made upon the mind of Edward may
be judged of by a letter still remain­
ing, addressed to his treasurer Cres-
singham, commanding him not to
scruple to spend the whole money in
his exchequer to put down these
violent disorders.1

The patriotic principle which seems
at this time to have entirely deserted
the highest ranks of the Scottish nobles,
whose selfish dissensions had brought
ruin and bondage upon their country,
still burned pure in the breasts of
these broken men and rebels, as they
Rotuli Scotiæ, 25 Ed. I., vol. i. p. 42.

are termed by Edward. The lesser
barons, being less contaminated by the
money and intrigues of England, pre­
served also the healthy and honest
feelings of national independence; and
it happened that at this time, and out
of this middle class of the lesser barons,
arose an extraordinary individual, who,
at first driven into the field by a desire
to avenge his individual injuries, with­
in a short period of time, in the re-
conquest of his native country, de­
veloped a character which may, with­
out exaggeration, be termed heroic.
This was William Wallace, or Walays,
the second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace
of Ellerslie, near Paisley, a knight,
whose family was ancient, but neither
rich nor noble.2 In those days bodily
strength and knightly prowess were of
the highest consequence in command­
ing respect and insuring success.
Wallace had an iron frame. His
make, as he grew up to manhood,
approached almost to the gigantic;
and his personal strength was superior
to the common run of even the strong­
est men. His passions were hasty and
violent; a strong hatred to the Eng­
lish, who now insolently lorded it over
Scotland, began to shew itself at a very
early period of his life ; and this aver­
sion was fostered in the youth by an
uncle, a priest, who, deploring the
calamities of his country, was never
weary of extolling the sweets of liberty,
and lamenting the miseries of depend­

The state of national feeling in Scot­
land, at this time, has been already
described; and it is evident that the
repressing of a rising spirit of resist­
ance, which began so strongly to shew
itself, required a judicious union of
firmness, gentleness, and moderation.
Upon the part of the English all this
was wanting. Warrene, the governor,
had, on account of ill health, retired
to the north of England. Cressingham,
the treasurer, was a proud, ignorant
ecclesiastic. Edward, before he de­
parted, had left orders that all who

2 Winton’s Chron. vol. ii. p. 91, book viii.
chap. xiii. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 169.

3 Fordun a Goodal. book xii. chap. iii. vol.
ii. p. 223.

1297.]                                 PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                         49

had not yet taken the oath of fealty,
including not only the lesser barons,
but the burghers and inferior gentry,
should be compelled to do so under
severe penalties, exacted by military
force; and Ormesby, the justiciary,
had excited deep and general odium,
by the intolerable rigour with which
these penalties were extorted.

The intrepid temper of Wallace ap­
pears first to have shewn itself in a
quarrel, in the town of Lanark, with
some of the English officers who in­
sulted him. This led to bloodshed ;
and he would have been overpowered
and slain in the streets had it not
been for the interference of his mis­
tress, to whose house he fled, and by
whose assistance he escaped to the
neighbouring woods. In a spirit of
cruel and unmanly revenge, Hislop,
the English sheriff, attacked the house,
and put her to death ; for which he
was himself assaulted and slain by
Wallace.1 The consequence of this
was to him the same as to many
others, who at this time preferred a
life of dangerous freedom to the in­
dulgence and security of submission.2
He was proclaimed a traitor, banished
his home, and driven to seek his safety
in the wilds and fastnesses of his coun­
try. It was here that he collected by
degrees a little band, composed at first
of a few brave men of desperate for­
tunes, who had forsworn their vassal­
age to their lords, and refused submis­
sion to Edward, and who at first carried
on that predatory warfare against the
English, to which they were impelled
as well by the desire of plunder, and
the necessity of subsistence, as by the
love of liberty. These men chose
Wallace for their chief. Superior rank
—for as yet none of the nobility or
barons had joined them—his uncom­
mon courage and personal strength,
and his unconquerable thirst of ven­
geance against the English, naturally
influenced their choice, and the result
proved how well it had fallen. His
plans were laid with so much judg­
ment, that in his first attacks against

1 Winton, vol. ii. p. 95, book viii. chap,
xiii. Fordun a Hearne, p. 978.
Triveti Annales, p. 299.

straggling parties of the English he was
generally successful; and if surprised
by unexpected numbers, his superior
strength and bravery, and the ardour
with which he inspired his followers,
enabled them to overpower every effort
which was made against them.

To him these early and desultory
excursions against the enemy were
highly useful, as he became acquaint­
ed with the strongest passes of his
country, and acquired habits of com­
mand over men of fierce and turbu­
lent spirits. To them the advantage
was reciprocal, for they began gra­
dually to feel an undoubting confi­
dence in their leader; they were
accustomed to rapid marches, to en­
dure fatigue and privation, to be on
their guard against surprise, to feel
the effects of discipline and obedience,
and by the successes which these in­
sured, to regard with contempt the
nation by whom they had allowed
themselves to be overcome.

The consequences of these partial
advantages over the enemy were soon
seen. At first few had dared to unite
themselves to so desperate a band.
But confidence came with success, and
numbers flocked to the standard of
revolt. The continued oppressions of
the English, the desire of revenge, and
even the romantic and perilous nature
of the undertaking, recruited the ranks
of Wallace, and he was soon at the
head of a great body of Scottish exiles.3

When it was known that this brave
man had raised open banner against
the English, Sir William Douglas,4
who had been taken by Edward at the
siege of Berwick, and restored to his
liberty, upon swearing fealty, disre­
garding his oath, joined the Scot­
tish force with his numerous vassals.
Ormesby, the English justiciary, was
at this time holding his court at
Scone; and Surrey, the guardian, had
gone to attend the English parlia­
ment. Wallace, by a rapid march,

3 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 118. Triveti
Annales, p. 299.

4 This William Douglas was, according to
Hume of Godscroft, the seventh Lord Douglas.
He was called William the Hardy, or Long-
leg. Hume’s Hist, of House of Douglas and
Angus vol. i. p. 32.


50                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. IT.

surprised the justiciary, dispersed
his followers, and, whilst he himself
escaped with the greatest difficulty,
took a rich booty and many prisoners.1
This exploit giving new confidence to
their little army, they more openly
and boldly ravaged the country, and
put all Englishmen to the sword. As
circumstances allowed, they either
acted together, or engaged in separate
expeditions. Whilst Wallace marched
into Lennox, the castles of Disdeir and
Sanquhar were taken by Douglas; and
when their united strength afterwards
broke in upon the west of Scotland,
they were joined by some of the most
powerful of the Scottish nobility.
The Steward of Scotland, and his
brother, Sir Andrew Moray of Both-
well, Alexander de Lindesay, and Sir
Richard Lundin, with a spirited pre­
late, Wishart, bishop of Glasgow, were
amongst the number.2

Their united forces, led by the
military skill and animated by the
personal intrepidity of Wallace, con­
tinued to be successful in repeated
attacks upon the English ; and these
successes were frequently followed, as
was to be expected, by many circum­
stances of cruelty and violence. Their
revenge seems especially to have been
directed against the English ecclesi­
astics who were possessed of Scottish
livings. A public edict, passed by the
Scottish Estates in 1296, had banished
these intruders from Scotland; and
this edict Wallace, it is said, improved
upon with a refinement in cruelty.
Some aged priests, and it is even
asserted, although almost too horrid
to believe, some helpless women, had
their hands tied behind their backs,
and in this helpless state were thrown
from high Bridges into rivers, their
dying agonies affording sport to their
merciless captors.3

The conduct of the younger Bruce,
afterwards the heroic Robert the First,
was at this period vacillating and
inconsistent. His large possessions
in Carrick and Annandale made him

1 Triveti Annales, p. 299.

2  Hailes, vol. i. p. 246.

3  Hen. Knighton, p. 2514, apud Twysden,
vol. i. Raynaldi, Cont. Baronii, vol. iv. p. 66.

master of an immense tract of country,
extending from the Firth of Clyde to
the Solway; and the number of armed
vassals which his summons could call
into the field would have formed an.
invaluable accession to the insurgents.
His power caused him to be narrowly
watched by England; and as his incon­
stant character became suspected by
the Wardens of the Western Marches,
they summoned him to treat on the
affairs of his master the king at Car­
lisle, Bruce, not daring to disobey,
resorted thither with a numerous at­
tendance of his friends, and was com­
pelled to make oath on the consecrated
host, and the sword of Thomas à
Becket, that he would continue faith­
ful to the cause of Edward. To give
a proof of his fidelity, he ravaged
the estates of Sir William Douglas,
then with Wallace, seized his wife and
children, and carried them into Annan-
dale. Having thus defeated suspicion,
and saved his lands, he privately as­
sembled his father’s retainers; talked
lightly of an extorted oath, from which
the Pope would absolve him; and
urged them to follow him, and join
the brave men who had taken arms
against the English. This, however,
they refused, probably because their
master and overlord, the elder Bruce,
was then with Edward. Robert, how­
ever, nothing moved by the disap­
pointment, collected his own tenants,
marched to join Wallace, and openly
took arms against the English.4

The news of this rebellion reached
the King of England as he was pre­
paring to sail for Flanders. He at first
disregarded it; and as many of the
most powerful of the Scottish nobles
were then either prisoners in England,
or in attendance upon himself, and
ready to embark for the Continent,
he was easily persuaded that it would
be instantly put down by the autho­
rity of the governor. Anthony Beck,
however, the martial bishop of Dur­
ham, was despatched in great haste
into Scotland; and Edward finding,
from his account, that the revolt was
of a serious nature, commanded the

4 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 120. Knighton, p.

1297.1                          PERIOD OF WALLACE.                               51

Earl of Surrey to call forth the military
force on the north of the Trent, and,
without delay, to reduce the insurgents.1
This, however, was no easy matter.
Surrey sent his nephew, Henry Percy,
before him into Scotland, at the head
of an army of forty thousand foot, and
three hundred armed horse. Percy
marched through Annandale to Loch-
maben, where, during the night, his
encampment was suddenly attacked by
the Scots with great fury. It was very
dark, and Percy’s men knew not where
to rally. In this emergency they set
fire to the wooden houses where they
lay, and, guided to their banners by
the blaze, repulsed the enemy, and
marched towards Ayr,2 for the pur­
pose of receiving the men of Gallo­
way to the peace of the king. It
was here told them that the Scot­
tish army was not four miles distant;
and Percy, having struck his tents,
advanced at the first break of the
morning to Irvine, and soon discovered
their squadrons drawn up nearly op­
posite to him, on the border of a small
lake. This force, which equalled the
English in foot, although inferior in
horse, was sufficient, under able con­
duct, to have given battle to Percy,
but it was enfeebled by dissension
amongst its leaders; and although
Wallace was there to direct them,
the pride of these feudal barons would
not submit to be commanded by him.
Accordingly, most of these chiefs be­
came anxious to negotiate terms for
themselves, and to save their lands.
Sir Richard Lundin, a Scottish knight,
who had till now refused allegiance to
Edward, went over with his followers
to the army of Percy, declaring it to
be folly to remain longer with a party
at variance with itself. At the same
time, Bruce, the Steward of Scotland,
and his brother Alexander de Linde-
say, Sir William Douglas, and the
Bishop of Glasgow, made submission
to Edward, and entreated his forgive­
ness for the robberies and slaughters
which they had committed. An instru­
ment, commemorating this desertion

1 Hemingford, p. 122. Tyrrel, Hist. Eng.
p. 112, vol. iii.
Hen. Knighton, p. 2515.

of their country, to which their seals
were appended, was drawn up in Nor­
man-French;3 but this brave man
treated all proposals of submission
with high disdain. Although the
greater nobles had deserted the cause,
he knew that many of their vassals
were enthusiastically attached to his
person and fortunes.4 He could
muster also a large body of his own
tried and veteran followers ; and put­
ting himself at the head of these, he
retired indignantly to the north. Sir
Andrew Moray of Bothwell was the
only baron who accompanied him.

The conduct of the Scottish nobility,
who had capitulated to Percy, was
irresolute and contradictory. Edward
had accepted their offers of submis­
sion; but although they would not
act in concert with Wallace, whose
successes had now effectually raised
the spirit of the nation, they drew
back from their agreement with Percy,
and delayed the delivery of their
hostages, until security should be
given them for the preservation of the
rights and liberties of their country.
Sir William Douglas and the Bishop
of Glasgow, however, considered that
they were bound to abide by the
capitulation signed at Irvine; and
finding themselves unable to perform
their articles of agreement, they
voluntarily surrendered to the Eng­
lish.5 It was the fate of this last-
mentioned prelate to be trusted by
neither party. Wallace, whose pas­
sions were fiery and impetuous,
loudly accused him of treachery, at­
tacked his castle, ravaged his lands,
and led his servants and family cap­
tive ; whilst the King of England de­
clared that, under this surrender of
himself at the castle of Roxburgh, a
purpose was concealed of betraying
that important fortress to the Scots.6
Notwithstanding the capitulation of

3 Rymer, Fœdera, dated 9th July 1297, vol.
ii. p. 774. Rymer has read the concluding
sentence of this deed erroneously, as has been
shewn by Sir F. Palgrave. The words which
he prints as “Escrit a Sire Willaume,” are
“ Escrit a Irwine.”

4 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 125.

5 Ibid. p. 124. Tyrrel, Hist. Eng. vol. iii.
p. 112.

6 Hailes’ Annals, vol. i. p. 250.

52                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

Irvine, the spirit of resistance became
soon very general throughout the
northern counties. In Aberdeenshire,
especially, the revolt was serious; and
Edward directed his writs to the
bishop and sheriffs of the county, com­
manding them to punish the rebels
for the murders and robberies which
they had been committing, and to be
on their guard against an intended
attack upon the castle of Urquhart,
then held by William de Warrene.1

What were the particular successes
of Wallace and his brethren in arms,
during the summer months which
elapsed between the treaty at Irvine
and the battle of Stirling, we have no
authentic memorials to determine.2
That they had the effect of recruiting
his army, and giving him the confi­
dence of the body of the people of
Scotland, is certain; for Knighton, an
old English historian, informs us, “that
the whole followers of the nobility had
attached themselves to him; and that
although the persons of their lords
were with the King of England, their
heart was with Wallace, who found
his army reinforced by so immense a
multitude of the Scots, that the com­
munity of the land obeyed him as their
leader and their prince.”3 Edward,
in the meantime, dissatisfied with the
dilatory conduct of Surrey, in not
sooner putting down a revolt, which
the king’s energetic and confident
spirit caused him to treat too lightly,
superseded him, and appointed Brian
Fitz-Alan governor of Scotland. At the
same time he liberated from their im­
prisonment, in various castles through
England, the Scottish nobles and barons
taken at the battle of Dunbar, and
carried them along with him to Flan­
ders. Their forfeited lands were re­
stored; but to secure their fidelity, the
king compelled their eldest sons to
remain in England as hostages.4 Others
of the Scottish nobles, whose fidelity
was less suspected, were permitted to
return home, under a promise of assist­
ing in the reduction and pacification

1 Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 41, 42.

2 From 9th July to 3d September.

3 Knighton, apud Twysden, p. 2516.

4 Rotuli Scotiae, pp. 44, 45. Trivet, p. 301.

of the country; and as many of the
most powerful and warlike English
barons as he could spare from his
expedition to Flanders were directed
to repair to Scotland, with all the
horse and foot which they could muster,
and to co-operate with Fitz-Alan and
Surrey.5 Having taken these precau­
tions, King Edward passed over to
Flanders on the 22d of August.6

It was fortunate for the Scots, that
Warrene, the earl of Surrey, evinced
great remissness in insisting on the
fulfilment of the treaty of Irvine. He
was on bad terms with Cressingham
the treasurer, a proud and violent
Churchman, who preferred the cuirass
to the cassock;7 and it is probable
that his being superseded in his go­
vernment of Scotland, and yet com­
manded to remain with the army, was
an indignity which so high a baron
could ill brook.8 The consequences of
this inactivity were soon apparent.
The Scottish barons still delayed the
delivery of their hostages, and cau­
tiously awaited the event of the war;
whilst Wallace, at the head of a power­
ful army, having succeeded in expel­
ling the English from the castles of
Forfar, Brechin, Montrose, and nearly
all their strongholds on the north of
the Forth, had just begun the siege of
the castle of Dundee, when he received
intelligence that the English army,
under the command of the Earl of
Surrey, and Cressingham the treasurer,
was on its march to Stirling. Well
acquainted with the country there, his
military skill taught him of what im­
portance it would be to secure the
high ground on the river Forth, above
Cambuskenneth, before Surrey had
passed the bridge at Stirling; and
having commanded the citizens of
Dundee, on pain of death, to continue
the siege of the castle, he marched
with great expedition, and found, to
his satisfaction, that he had antici­
pated the English, so as to give him
time to choose the most favourable

5  Rot. Scot. pp. 47, 48. Surrey, although
superseded in the command, remained with
the army.

6  Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 120.

7  Hemingford, p. 130.

8  Rymer, vol. ii. p. 794.

1297.]                                   PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                      53

position for his army, before the co­
lumns of Cressingham and Surrey had
reached the other side of the river.

The nature of the ground concealed
the Scottish army, which amounted
to forty thousand foot, and one hun­
dred and eighty horse. Wallace’s in­
tention was to induce the main body
of the English to pass the bridge, and
to attack them before they had time
to form. Surrey was superior in num­
bers. He commanded a force of fifty
thousand foot soldiers, and one thou­
sand armed horse. Lord Henry Percy
had marched from Carlisle towards
Stirling, with a reinforcement of eight
thousand foot and three hundred horse;
but Cressingham the treasurer, dread­
ing the expense of supporting so great a
force, had, with an ill-judged economy,
given orders for disbanding these suc­
cours, as he considered the army in the
field to be sufficient for the emergency.1

The Steward of Scotland, the Earl
of Lennox, and others of the Scottish
barons, were at this time with the
English army; and on coming to Stir­
ling, requested Surrey to delay an
attack till they had attempted to bring
Wallace to terms. They soon returned,
and declared that they had failed in
their hopes of pacification, but that
they themselves would join the Eng­
lish force with sixty armed horse. It
was now evening, and the Scottish
barons, in leaving the army, met a
troop of English soldiers returning
from forage. Whether from accident
or design, a skirmish took place be­
tween these two bodies, and the Earl
of Lennox stabbed an English soldier
in the throat. This, of course, raised
a tumult in the camp; a cry arose that
they were betrayed by the Scots; and
there seems to be little doubt that
Lennox and his friends were secretly
negotiating with Wallace, and only
waited for a favourable opportunity of
joining him. Crying out for vengeance,
the English soldiers carried their
wounded comrade before their gene­
ral, and reproached him with having
trusted those who had broken their
faith, and would betray them to the
enemy. “ Stay this one night,” said he,
Hemingford, p. 127.

“ and if to­morrow they do not keep
their promise, you shall have ample
revenge.” He then commanded his sol­
diers to be ready to pass the bridge
next day; and thus, with a carelessness
little worthy of an experienced com­
mander, who had the fate of a great
army dependent on his activity and fore­
sight, he permitted Wallace to tamper
with his countrymen in the English
service ; to become acquainted with the
numbers and array of the English force;
and to adopt, at his leisure, his own
measures for their discomfiture.

Early next day, five thousand foot
and a large body of the Welsh passed
the bridge by sunrise, and soon after
repassed it, on finding that they were
not followed by the rest of the army,
and that the Earl of Surrey was still
asleep in the camp. After an hour the
earl awoke, the army was drawn up,
and as was then usual before any great
battle, many new knights were created,
some of whom were fated to die in
their first field. It was now the time
when the Scottish barons ought to
have joined with their sixty horse;
and Surrey, having looked for them
in vain, commanded the infantry to
cross the bridge. This order was
scarcely given when it was again re­
called, as the Steward of Scotland and
the Earl of Lennox were seen approach­
ing, and it was hoped brought offers of
pacification. But the contrary was the
case. They had failed, they said, in all
their efforts to prevail on the Scottish
army to listen to any proposals, and
had not been able to persuade a single
soldier to desert. As a last resource,
Surrey, who seems to have been aware
of the strong position occupied by the
Scots, and of the danger of crossing the
river, despatched two friars to propose
terms to Wallace, who made this memo­
rable reply :—“ Return to your friends,
and tell them that we came here with
no peaceful intent, but ready for bat­
tle, and determined to avenge our own
wrongs and set our country free. Let
your masters come and attack us; we
areready to meet them beard to beard.”2
Incensed at this cool defiance, the
English presumptuously and eagerly
Hemingford, vol. i. p. 126

54                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

demanded to be led on; upon which
Sir Richard Lundin, a Scottish knight,
who had gone over to the enemy at
Irvine, anxiously implored them to be
still. “ If,” said he, “ you once attempt
to pass the bridge, you are desperately
throwing away your lives. The men
can only cross two by two. Our ene­
mies command our flank, and in an
instant will be upon us. I know a
ford not far from hence where you
may pass by sixty at a time. Give me
but five hundred horse, and a small
body of foot, I shall turn the enemy’s
flank, whilst you, lord earl, and the
rest of the army, may pass over in
security.” This was the sound advice
of a veteran soldier who knew the
country; but although it convinced
some, it only irritated others, and
among these last, Hugh Cressingham
the treasurer. “ Why, my lord,” cried
he to Surrey, who was prudently hesi­
tating, “ why do we protract the war,
and spend the king’s money ? Let us pass
on as becomes us, and do our duty.”1

Stung with this reproach, Surrey
weakly submitted his better judgment
to the rashness of this Churchman, and
commanded the army to defile over
the bridge. Sir Marmaduke Twenge,
a knight of great experience and cour­
age, along with Cressingham himself,
led the van; and when nearly the half
of the army had passed the bridge,
perceiving that the Scots kept their
strong ground on the heights, Twenge,
with chivalrous impetuosity, gave or­
ders for a charge, and made the heavy-
armed cavalry spur their horses up the
hill. The consequence of this preci­
pitate movement was fatal to the Eng­
lish. A part of the Scottish army had
by this time made a circuit and pos­
sessed themselves of the foot of the
bridge;2 and Wallace, the moment

1 '' Minim dictu,” exclaims Hemingford, in an
animated reflection on the madness of Surrey’s
conduct, "sed terribile, quid in eventu, quod
tot et tanti discreti viri dum scirent hostes im­
promptu, strictum pontem ascenderint, quod
bini equestres, vix et cum diificultate simul
transire potuerunt.”—Hem., vol. i. p. 128.

2 Hemingford, 128. — “ Descenderunt de
monte, et missis viris lanceariis occupaverunt
pedem pontis, ita quod extunc nulli patebat
transitus vel regressus.” See also Walsing-
ham, p. 73.

that he saw the communication be­
tween the van and the rear of the
English force thus cut off, and all re­
treat impossible, rushed rapidly down
from the high ground, and attacking
Twenge and Cressingham, before they
had time to form, threw them into
inextricable disorder. In an instant
all was tumult and confusion. Many
were slain, multitudes of the heavy-
armed horse plunged into the river,
and were drowned in making a vain
effort to rejoin Surrey, who kept on
the other side, a spectator of the dis­
comfiture of the flower of his army.
In the meantime, the standard-bearers
of the king and of the earl, with
another part of the army, passed over,
and shared the fate of their compan­
ions, being instantly cut to pieces. A
spirited scene now took place. Sir
Marmaduke Twenge, on looking round,
perceived that the Scots had seized
the bridge, and that he and his sol­
diers were cut off from the rest of the
army. A knight advised, in this peril­
ous crisis, that they should throw
themselves into the river, and swim
their horses to the opposite bank.
“ What,” cried Twenge, “ volunteer
to drown myself, when I can cut my
way through the midst of them, back
to the bridge ! Never let such foul
slander fall on us ! “ So saying, he put
spurs to his horse, and driving him
into the midst of the enemy, hewed
a passage for himself through the
thickest of the Scottish columns, and
rejoined his friends, with his nephew
and his armour-bearer, in perfect

Meanwhile the Scots committed a
dreadful slaughter. It is the remark
of the historian Hemingford, who de­
scribes this victory of Stirling from
the information of eye-witnesses, that
in all Scotland there could not be
found a place better fitted for the de­
feat of a powerful army by a handful
of men, than the ground which Wal­
lace had chosen.3 Multitudes perished
in the river; and as the confusion and
slaughter increased, and the entire de­
feat of the English became inevitable,
the Earl of Lennox and the Steward
Hemingford. vol. i. p. 128.

1297.]                             PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                    55

of Scotland, who, although allies of
the King of England, were secretly
in treaty with Wallace, threw off the
mask, and led a body of their followers
to destroy and plunder the flying
English. Surrey, on being joined by
Sir Marmaduke Twenge, remained no
longer on the field; but having hastily
ordered him to occupy the castle of
Stirling, which he promised to relieve
in ten days, he rode, without drawing
bridle, to Berwick : a clear proof of
the total defeat of the powerful army
which he had led into Scotland. From
Berwick he proceeded to join the Prince
of Wales in the south, and left the
country which had been intrusted to
him exposed to ravage and desolation.
Although the English historians re­
strict the loss of soldiers in this fatal
and important battle to five thou­
sand foot, and a hundred heavy-armed
horse,1 it is probable that nearly one
half of the English army was cut to
pieces, and Cressingham the treasurer
was amongst the first who fell. Hem­
ingford allows that the plunder which
fell into the hands of the Scots was
very great, and that waggons were
filled with the spoils. Smarting under
the cruelty and rapacity with which
they had been treated by the English,
the Scots were not slow now to take
their revenge, nor was Wallace of a
temper to restrain his soldiers. Few
prisoners seem to have fallen into
their hands, and the slaughter was
general and indiscriminate. So deep
was the detestation in which the char­
acter of Cressingham was regarded,
that his dead body was mangled, the
skin torn from the limbs, and in savage
triumph cut into pieces.2

1 So say Hemingford and Knighton. But
Trivet, p. 307, and Walsingham, p. 73, assert,
that before the half of the English army had
passed, the Scots attacked and put almost
all of them to the sword. Now the English
army consisted of fifty thousand foot and one
thousand horse. Hemingford, p. 127. See
Notes and Illustrations, letter H.

2 Triveti Ann. p. 307. Hemingford, p.
130. The Chron. Lanercost, p. 190, says
that Wallace ordered as much of his skin to
be taken off as would make a sword belt.
This is the origin of the stories of Abercromby,
vol. i. p. 631, that the Scots made girths of
his skin, and of others that they made saddles
of it. Hailes, vol. i. p. 252.

The decisive nature of the defeat is,
perhaps, most apparent from the im­
portant consequences which attended
it. To use the words of Knighton,
“ this awful beginning of hostilities
roused the spirit of Scotland, and sunk
the hearts of the English.” 3 Dundee
immediately surrendered to Wallace,
and rewarded his army by a rich
booty of arms and money. In a short
time not a fortress or castle in Scot­
land remained in the hands of Edward.
The castles of Edinburgh and Rox­
burgh were dismantled; and Berwick,
upon the advance of the Scottish army,
having been hastily abandoned, Wal­
lace sent Henry de Haliburton, a Scot­
tish knight, to occupy this important
frontier town.4 Thus, by the efforts
of a single man, not only unassisted,
but actually thwarted and opposed by
the nobility of the country, was the
iron power of Edward completely
broken, and Scotland once more able
to lift her head among free nations.

A dreadful dearth and famine, no un-
frequent accompaniment of the ravages
of war, now fell severely upon the
country; and Wallace, profiting by
the panic inspired by his victory at
Stirling, resolved upon an immediate
expedition into England.5 To enable
his own people to lay in, against the
time of scarcity, the provisions which
would otherwise be consumed by his
numerous army, and to support his
soldiers during the winter months in
an enemy’s country, were wise ob­
jects. Previous, however, to his march­
ing into England, he commanded that
from every county, barony, town, and
village, a certain proportion of the
fighting men, between sixteen and
sixty, should be levied. These levies,
however, even after so decisive a vic­
tory as that of Stirling, were tardily
made. The vassals of Scotland, tied
up by the rigid fetters of the feudal
law, could not join Wallace without
the authority of their overlords; and
as most of the Scottish nobility had
left hostages for their fidelity in the
hands of Edward, and many of them

3 Hen. Knighton, p. 2519.

4 Scala Chronicon, a Stevenson, p. 124.

5 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 172.

56                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

possessed great estates in England,
which, upon joining Wallace, would
have immediately been forfeited, they
did not yet dare to take the field
against the English. A jealousy, too,
of the high military renown and great
popularity of Wallace prevented all
cordial co-operation ; and the contempt
with which this deliverer of his coun­
try must have regarded the nobility,
who yet sheltered themselves under
the protection of Edward, was not
calculated to allay this feeling. The
battle of Stirling was fought on the
11th of September; and on the 25th
of that month the English govern­
ment, alarmed at the success of Wal­
lace, sent letters to the principal
Scottish nobility, praising them for
their fidelity to the king ; informing
them that they were aware the Earl
of Surrey was on his way to England,
(a delicate way of noticing the flight of
Warrene from Stirling;) and directing
them to join Brian Fitz-Alan, the go­
vernor of Scotland, with all their horse
and foot, in order to put down the re­
bellion of the Scots. The only nobles
with whom the English government
did not communicate were the Earls
of Caithness, Ross, Mar, Athole, Fife,
and Carrick. Fife, however, was a
minor; the others, we may presume,
had by this time joined the party of

The great majority of the nobles
being still against him, this intrepid
leader found it difficult to procure
new levies, and was constrained to
adopt severe measures against all who
were refractory. Gibbets were erected
in each barony and county town; and
some burgesses of Aberdeen, who had
disobeyed the summons, were hanged.2
After this example he soon found him­
self at the head of a numerous army ;
and having taken with him, as his

1 John Comyn of Badenoeli; Patrick, earl
of Dunbar; Umfraville, earl of Angus; Alex­
ander, earl of Menteith; Malise, earl of
Strathern; James, the Steward of Scotland ;
John Comyn, earl of Buchan; Malcolm, earl
of Lennox; and William, earl of Sutherland ;
Nicholas de la Haye; Ingelram de Umfraville;
Richard Fraser, and Alexander de Lindesay,
were the nobles written to by the English
government. Rotuli Scot. vol. i. p. 49.

2 Fordun a Goodal. vol. ii. p. 172,

partner in command, Sir Andrew
Moray of Bothwell, then a young
soldier of great promise, and after­
wards regent of the kingdom, he
marched towards the north of Eng­
land, and threatened Northumber­
land.3 Such was the terror inspired
by the approach of the Scots, that
the whole population of this county,
with their wives and children, their
cattle and household goods, deserted
their dwellings, and took refuge in
Newcastle. The Scots, to whom plun­
der was a principal object, delayed
their advance; and the Northum­
brians, imagining the danger to be
over, returned home; but Wallace,
informed of this by his scouts, made
a rapid march across the border, and
dreadfully ravished the two counties
of Cumberland and Northumberland,
carrying off an immense booty, and
having the head­quarters of his army
in the forest of Rothebury. “ At this
time,” says Hemingford, “the praise
of God was unheard in any church
and monastery through the whole
country, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne
to the gates of Carlisle ; for the monks,
canons regular, and other priests, who
were ministers of the Lord, fled, with
the whole people, from the face of the
enemy; nor was there any to oppose
them, except that now and then a few
English, who belonged to the castle of
Alnwick, and other strengths, ven-
tured from their safeholds, and slew
some stragglers. But these were
slight successes; and the Scots roved
over the country from the Feast of St
Luke to St Martin’s day,4 inflicting
upon it all the miseries of unrestrained
rapine and bloodshed.” 5

After this, Wallace assembled his
whole army, and proceeded in his de­
structive march to Carlisle. He did
not deem it prudent, however, to
attack this city, which was strongly
garrisoned; and contented himself
with laying waste Cumberland and
Annandale, from Inglewood forest
to Derwentwater and Cockermouth.6

3 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 131.

4  From 18th Oct. to 11th Nov.

5  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 132.

6  Fordun a Hearne, p. 980.

1297-98.1                             PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                       57

It was next determined to invade the
county of Durham, which would have
been easily accomplished, as three
thousand foot and a hundred armed
horse were all that could be mustered
for its defence. But the winter now
set in with great severity. The frost
was so intense, and the scarcity of
provisions so grievous, that multi­
tudes of the Scots perished by cold
or famine, and Wallace commanded a
retreat. On returning to Hexham,
where there was a rich monastery,
which had already been plundered
and deserted on the advance, a strik­
ing scene occurred. Three monks
were seen in the solitary monastery.
Thinking that the tide of war had
passed over, they had crept back, to
repair the ravages they had left, when
suddenly they saw the army return­
ing, and fled in terror into a little
chapel. In a moment the Scottish
soldiers with their long lances were
upon them, calling, on peril of their
lives, to shew them the treasures of
their monastery. “ Alas! " said one of
the monks, “it is but a short time
since you yourselves have seized our
whole property, and you know best
where it now is.” At this moment
Wallace himself came into the chapel,
and, commanding his soldiers to be
silent, requested one of the canons to
celebrate mass. The monk obeyed,
and Wallace, all armed as he was, and
surrounded by his soldiers, reverently
attended. When it came to the eleva­
tion of the host, he stepped out of the
chapel to cast off his helmet and lay
aside his arms, but in this short ab­
sence the fury and avarice of his sol­
diers broke out. They pressed on the
priest, snatched the chalice from the
altar, tore away its ornaments and the
sacred vestments, and even stole the
missal in which the service had been
begun. When their master returned,
he found the priest in horror and dis­
may, and gave orders that the sacri­
legious wretches who had committed
the outrage should be sought for and
put to death. Meanwhile he took the
canons under his protection. “ Re­
main with me,” said he ; “ it is that
alone which can secure you. My sol­

diers are evil disposed. I cannot jus­
tify, and I dare not punish them.”1
This sacrilegious attack was the more -
unpardonable, as the monastery of Hex-
ham was dedicated to the patron saint
of Scotland, and enjoyed a perpetual
protection from King David. Wal­
lace, to atone for the outrage, granted a
charter of protection to the priory and
convent, by which its lands, men, and
movables, were admitted under the
peace of the king, and all persons inter­
dicted from doing them injury.2 The
Scots now advanced to Newcastle, but
finding the garrison prepared to stand
a siege, they contented themselves
with ravaging the adjacent country;
and having collected the booty, they
allotted their part to the Galwegians
who were with the army, and marched

In revenge for this terrible visita­
tion, Lord Robert Clifford collected
the strength of Carlisle and Cum­
berland, and twice invaded Annandale
with an army of twenty thousand foot
and a hundred horse. On passing the
Solway, it was proclaimed by sound
of trumpet that every soldier should
plunder for himself, and keep his own
booty ; on hearing which, the infantry
with undisciplined rapacity dispersed,
and the horse alone remained toge­
ther. In consequence of this, nothing
was effected worthy of so powerful an
army. Three hundred and eight Scots
were slain, ten villages or hamlets
burnt, and a few prisoners taken.
This happened at Christmas. In his
second inroad, the town of Annan,
and the church of Gysborne, were
burnt and plundered.4 Annandale
belonged to Robert Bruce; and the
destruction of his lands and villages
determined him once more to desert

1 Hemingford, vol. i. pp. 133,134. Knighton,
p. 2521.

2  This famous instrument is granted in
name of “Andrew de Moray, and William
Wallace, leaders of the army of Scotland, in
the name of the illustrious prince, John, by
the grace of God, King of Scotland, and with
consent of the Estates of the kingdom.” It
is dated at Hexham, on the 8th of November
1297. Hemingford, p. 135.

3   "Dividentes inter se spolia quæsita, tra-
diderunt Galivalensibus partes suas, et abi-
erunt in loca sua.” Hemingford, p. 136.

4 Knighton. p. 2522.

58                                 HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                      [Chap. II.

the English, and join the party of the

Soon after his return from his expe­
dition into England, Wallace, in an
assembly held at the Forest Kirk in
Selkirkshire, which was attended by
the Earl of Lennox, William Douglas,
and others of the principal nobility,
was elected Governor of Scotland, in
name of King John, and with con­
sent of the community of Scotland.1
Strengthened by this high title, which
he had so well deserved, and which
the common people believed was rati­
fied by the express approval of St
Andrew, who presented to the hero a
sacred sword, to be used in his battles
against the English,2 he proceeded to
reward his friends and fellow-soldiers,
to punish his enemies; and, despising
the jealousy and desertion of a great
majority of the nobility, to adopt and
enforce those public measures which
he considered necessary for securing
the liberty of the country. He con­
ferred the office of Constable of Dun­
dee upon Alexander Skirmishur, or
Scrimgeour, and his heirs, for his
services in bearing the royal banner of
Scotland.3 By a strict severity, he
restrained the licentiousness of his
soldiers, and endeavoured to introduce
discipline into his army.4 In order
to secure a certain proportion of new
levies, at any time when the danger
or exigency of the state required it,
he divided the kingdom into military
districts. In each shire, barony, lord­
ship, town, and burgh, he appointed a
muster-book to be made, of the num­
ber of fighting men which they con­
tained, between the age of sixteen and
sixty;5 and from these he drew at

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 174. Craw­
ford, Hist, of House of Douglas, p. 22, MS.,
quoted in Sir R. Sibbald’s Commentary on the
Relationes Arnaldi Blair.

2 Fordun a Goodal, p. 170.

3 This famous grant is dated at Torphiehen,
March 29, 1298 ; apud Anderson, Diplomata

4 He appointed an officer or sergeant over
every four men, another of higher power over
every nine, another of still higher authority
over every nineteen men, and thus, in an
ascending scale of disciplined authority, up
to the officer, or chiliarch, who commanded a
thousand men. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 171.

5 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 170.

pleasure, and in case of refusal under
pain of life and limb, as many recruits
as he thought requisite. In a short
time, such were the effects of his firm
and courageous dealing in the govern­
ment, that the most powerful of the
nobility were compelled, by the fears
of imprisonment, to submit to his
authority, although they envied him
his high elevation, and whenever an
opportunity presented itself, took part
with the King of England.6 But
although few of the earls had joined
him, the lesser barons and gentry
repaired in great numbers to the
banner of the governor, and willingly
supported him with all their forces.

The general revolt of the Scots, and
that rapid success with which it was
attended, determined the English
Regency to summon a parliament at
London, on the 10th of October.7 To
this assembly came the Earl of Nor­
folk and the Earl of Hereford, the
one Marshal and the other Constable
of England, with so powerful a body of
their retainers, that they overawed
its proceedings ; and aware of the try­
ing emergency in which the rebellion
of the Scots had placed the king, they
declared that no aids or levies should
be granted against the Scots, unless
the Great Charter, and the Charter of
the Forests, were ratified, along with
an additional clause, which prohibited
any aid or tillage from being exacted,
without the consent of the prelates,
nobles, knights, and other freemen.
Edward was startled when informed
of these demands. His affairs detained
him in Flanders, where accounts had
reached him of the whole of Scotland
having been wrested from his hand by
Wallace : he was still engaged in a
war with France; and, thus surround­
ed by difficulties, it was absolutely
necessary for him to make every sacri­
fice to remain on good terms with his
barons.8 He accordingly, after three

6 “Et si quis de magnatibus gratis suis non
obediret mandatis, hunc tenuit et coercuit, et
custodiæ mancipavit, donec suis bene placitis
penitus obtemperaret.” Fordun a Goodal,
vol. ii. p. 170.

7  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 138.

8 Tyrrel, Hist. Eng. vol. iii. p. 124. Hem-
ingford, vol. i. p. 138. Triveti Annales, p. 309.

1298.]                                 PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                        59

days’ deliberation, consented to con­
firm all the charters which had been
sent over to him; and having wisely
secured the affections of his nobility,
he directed letters to the earls and
barons of England, commanding them,
as they valued his honour, and that of
the whole kingdom, to meet at York
on the 14th January, and thence,
under the orders of the Earl of Sur­
rey, to proceed into Scotland, and put
down the rebellion of that nation.1
At the same time he sent letters to
the great men of Scotland, requir­
ing them on their fealty to attend
the muster at York, and denouncing
them as public enemies if they re­

These seasonable favours granted to
the nobility, and the good grace
with which Edward bestowed them,
although, in truth, they were extorted
from him much against his inclina­
tion, rendered the king highly popu­
lar; so that at York, on the day-
appointed, there was a great muster
of the military force of the kingdom.
There came the Earl Marshal and the
Great Constable of England, the Earl
of Surrey, the king’s lieutenant against
the Scots, the Earls of Gloucester and
Arundel, Lord Henry Percy, John de
Wake, John de Segrave, Guido, son of
the Earl of Warwick, and many other
powerful earls and barons.2 Having
waited in vain for the Scottish nobles
whom Edward had summoned to at­
tend—an order which, as the result
shewed, the dread of Wallace rather
than the love of their country com­
pelled them to disobey—the English
nobles appointed a general muster of
their forces to be held eight days after,
at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, purposing
from thence to march against the
enemy. Here they accordingly met,
and the army, both in numbers and
equipment, was truly formidable.
There were two thousand heavy
cavalry, armed both horse and man at
all points, along with two thousand
light horse, and a hundred thousand

1 The confirmation of Magna Charta and
the Charta de Foresta is dated at Ghent. Nov.
5. 1297. Rymer, new edit. vol. i. part ii. p. 880.

2 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 144.

foot, including the Welsh. With this
force they marched across the border,
and advanced to Roxburgh. This
important fortress was then invested
by Wallace; and the garrison, worn
out by a long siege, were in a state of
great distress, when the army of Sur­
rey made its appearance, and the Scots
thought it prudent to retire. After
relieving “their wounded country­
men,” the English skirmished as far
as Kelso, and returned to occupy
Berwick, which had been in the
hands of the Scots since the battle
of Stirling. They found it deserted,
and brought a joyful relief to the
castle, the garrison of which had
stoutly held out, whilst the rest of
the town was in possession of the

Edward, in the meantime, having
learnt in Flanders the strength of the
army which awaited his orders, was
restless and impatient till he had
joined them in person. His anger
against the Scots, and his determina­
tion to inflict a signal vengeance upon
their perfidy on again daring to defend
their liberties, had induced him to
make every sacrifice, that he might
proceed with an overwhelming force
against this country. For this pur­
pose, he hastened to conclude a truce
with the King of France, and to refer
their disputes to the judgment of
Boniface the pope.4 He wrote to the
Earl of Surrey not to march into Scot­
land till he had joined the army in
person; and having rapidly concluded
his affairs in Flanders, he took ship­
ping, and landed at Sandwich, where
he was received with much rejoicing
and acclamation.5 Surrey, on receiv­
ing letters from the king to delay his
expedition, had retained with him a
small proportion of his troops, and
dismissed the rest; but the moment
Edward set his foot in England, he
directed his writs, by which he sum­
moned the whole military power of
the kingdom to meet him at York, on
the Feast of Pentecost, with horse and

3 Knighton, p. 2525. Triveti Annales, p. 311.

4 Rymer’s Fcedera, new edit. vol. i. part
ii. p. 887.

5 Ibid. p. 889.

60                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

arms, to proceed against the Scots.1
He also commanded all the earls and
barons, with two knights of every
shire, and the representatives from
the towns and burghs, to attend his
parliament to be held in that city;
and summoned the nobility of Scot­
land, unless they chose to be treated
as vassals who had renounced their
allegiance, to be there also on the day
appointed.2 To this summons they
paid no regard. Those who had ac­
companied him in his expedition to
Flanders, on his embarkation for Eng­
land, forsook him, and resorted to the
French king; and the rest of the Scot­
tish barons, although jealous of Wal­
lace, dreaded the vengeance which his
power and high authority as governor
entitled him to inflict on them. Mean­
while Edward, having commanded his
army to rendezvous at Roxburgh on
the 24th of June, with misplaced de­
votion, made a pilgrimage to the shrine
of St John of Beverley. The sacred
standard of this saint, held in deep
reverence by the king and the army,
had been carried with the host in the
former war ; and it is probable Ed-
ward would not lose the opportunity
of taking it along with him in this

On coming to Roxburgh, he found
himself at the head of an army more
formidable in their number, and more
splendid in their equipment, than
even that which had been collected
by the Earl of Surrey six months be­
fore. He had seven thousand horse,
three thousand heavy-armed, both men
and horse, and four thousand light
cavalry. His infantry consisted at
first of eighty thousand men, mostly
Welsh and Irish; but these were soon
strengthened by the arrival of a
powerful reinforcement from Gascony,
amongst whom were five hundred
horse, splendidly armed, and admira­
bly mounted. On reviewing his troops,

1 Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 129. Rymer, vol. i. part
ii. p. 890. Palgrave’s Parliamentary Writs,
Chron. Abstract, p. 38. The names of the
leaders to whom writs are directed occupy
the whole Rotulus Scotiæ 26 and 27 Edward
First. They are a hundred and fifty-four in

2 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 158.

Edward found that the Constable and
Marshal, with the barons of their
party, refused to advance a step until
the confirmation of the Great Charter
and the Charter of the Forests had
been ratified by the king in person:
so jealous were they of their new
rights, and so suspicious lest he should
plead that his former consent, given
when in foreign parts, did not bind
him within his own dominions.3 Ed­
ward dissembled his resentment, and
evaded their demand, by bringing for­
ward the Bishop of Durham, and the
Earls of Surrey, Norfolk, and Lincoln,
who solemnly swore, on the soul of
their lord the king, that on his return,
if he obtained the victory, he would
accede to their request.4 Compelled
to rest satisfied with this wary pro­
mise, which he afterwards tried in
every way to elude, the refractory
barons consented to advance into Scot­

Meanwhile that country, notwith­
standing the late expulsion of its
enemies, was little able to contend
with the superior numbers and disci­
pline of the army now led against it.
It was cruelly weakened by the con­
tinued dissensions and jealousy of its
nobility. Ever since the elevation of
Wallace to the rank of Governor of
Scotland, the greater barons had en­
vied his assumption of power; and,
looking upon him as a person of ig­
noble birth, had seized all opportuni­
ties to despise and resist his authority.5
These selfish jealousies were increased
by the terror of Edward’s military
renown, and in many by the fear of
losing their English estates ; so that
at the very time when an honest love
of liberty, and a simultaneous spirit
of resistance, could alone have saved
Scotland, its nobility deserted their
country, and refused to act with the
only man whose success and military
talents were equal to the emergency.

3 Hemingford, p. 159.

4 “ Quod in reditu,” suo, obtenta victoria,
“omnia perimpleret ad votum.” Heming-
ford, p. 159.

5 “Licet apud comites regni et proceres
ignobilis putaretur.” Fordun a Hearne, p.
978. See also Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p.

1298.]                                  PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                        61

The governor, however, still endea­
voured to collect the strength of the
land. John Comyn of Badenoch, the
younger, Sir John Stewart of Bonkill,
Sir John Graham of Abercorn, and
Macduff, the grand-uncle of the Earl
of Fife, consented to act along with
him; whilst Robert Bruce, maintain­
ing a suspicious neutrality, remained
with a strong body of his vassals in
the castle of Ayr.

The plan adopted by Wallace for
the defence of Scotland was the same
as that which was afterwards so suc­
cessfully executed by Bruce. It was
to avoid a general battle, which, with
an army far inferior to the English,
must have been fought at a disadvan­
tage; to fall back slowly before the
enemy, leaving some garrisons in the
most important castles, driving off all
supplies, wasting the country through
which the English were to march, and
waiting till the scarcity of provisions
compelled them to retreat, and give
him a favourable opportunity of break­
ing down upon them with full effect.
Edward had determined to penetrate
into the west of Scotland, and there
he purposed to conclude the war. He
directed a fleet, with supplies for his
army, to sail round from Berwick
to the Firth of Forth; and having
left Roxburgh, he proceeded by mo­
derate marches into Scotland, laying
waste the country, and anxious for a
sight of his enemies. No one, however,
was to be found who could give him
information regarding the Scottish
army; and he proceeded through
Berwickshire to Lauder,1 and without
a check to Templeliston, now Kirklis­
ton, a small town between Edinburgh
and Linlithgow. Here, as provisions
began already to be scarce, he deter­
mined to remain, in order to receive
the earliest intelligence of his fleet;
and, in case of accidents, to secure his
retreat. At this time he learnt that
frequent attacks were made against
the foraging parties of his rear divi­
sion, by the Scottish garrison in the
strong castle of Dirleton; and that
two other fortalices, which he had
passed on his march, were likely to
Prynne, Edward I., p. 788.

give him annoyance.2 Upon this he
despatched his favourite marshal
bishop, Anthony Beck, who sat down
before the castle; but, on account of
the want of proper battering machines,
found it too strong for him. He then
attempted to carry it by assault, but
was driven back with loss; and as his
division began to be in extreme want,
the bishop sent Sir John Marmaduke
to require the king’s pleasure. “ Go
back,” said Edward, “and tell Anthony
that he is right to be pacific when he
is acting the bishop, but that in his
present business he must forget his
calling. As for you,” continued the
king, addressing Marmaduke, “you
are a relentless soldier, and I have
often had to reprove you for too cruel
an exultation over the death of your
enemies; but return now whence
you came, and be as relentless as
you choose. You will have my
thanks, not my censure; and look
you, do not see my face again, till
these three castles are razed to the

In the meantime, the besiegers were
relieved from the extremities of want,
by the arrival of three ships with pro­
visions ; and the bishop, on receiving
the king’s message, took advantage of
the renewed strength and spirit of his
soldiers to order an assault, which
was successful; the garrison having
stipulated, before surrender, that their
lives should be spared.4 Edward, when
at Kirkliston, had raised some of the
young squires in his army to the rank
of knighthood; and these new knights
were sent to gain their spurs, by tak­
ing the other two fortalices. On
coming before them, however, they
found that the Scots had abandoned
them to the enemy; and having de­
stroyed them, they rejoined the main

These transactions occupied a month,
and the army began again to suffer
severely from the scarcity of provi­
sions. The fleet from Berwick was
anxiously looked for, and Edward

2  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 160.

3  Ibid.

4  Ibid. p. 161. Walsingham, p. 75.

5  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 161.

62                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. If.

foresaw that in the event of its ar­
rival being protracted a few days
longer, he should be compelled to re­
treat, At last a few ships were seen
off the coast, which brought a small
supply; but the great body of the
fleet was still detained by contrary
winds, and a dangerous mutiny broke
out in the camp. The Welsh troops
had suffered much from famine; and
a present of wine having been sent to
them by the king, their soldiers, in a
paroxysm of intoxication and national
antipathy, attacked the English quar­
ters in the night, and inhumanly
murdered eighteen priests. Upon
this the English cavalry hastily ran
to their weapons, and breaking in upon
the Welsh, slew eighty men. In the
morning the Welsh, of whom there
were forty thousand in the army, ex­
asperated at the death of their com­
panions, threatened to join the Scots.
“ Let them do so,” said Edward, with
his usual cool courage; “ let them go
over to my enemies : I hope soon to
see the day when I shall chastise them
both.” This day, however, was, to all
appearance, distant. The distress for
provisions now amounted to an abso­
lute famine. No intelligence had been
received of the Scottish army. As
the English advanced, the country had
been wasted by an invisible foe ; and
Edward, wearied out, was at length
compelled to issue orders for a re­
treat to Edinburgh, hoping to meet
with his fleet at Leith, and thereafter
to recommence operations against the

At this critical juncture, when the
military skill and wisdom of the
dispositions made by Wallace became
apparent, and when the moment
to harass and destroy the invading
army in its retreat had arrived,
the treachery of her nobles again
betrayed Scotland. Two Scottish
lords, Patrick, earl of Dunbar, and
the Earl of Angus, privately, at day-
break, sought the quarters of the
Bishop of Durham, and informed him
that the Scots were encamped not far
off in the forest of Falkirk. The
Scottish earls, who dreaded the re­
sentment of Edward, on account of

their late renunciation of allegiance,1
did not venture to seek the king in
person. They sent their intelligence
by a page, and added, that having
heard of his projected retreat, it was
the intention of Wallace to surprise
him by a night attack, and to hang
upon and harass his rear. Edward,
on hearing this welcome news, could
not conceal his joy. “Thanks be to
God,” he exclaimed, “who hitherto
hath extricated me from every danger!
They shall not need to follow me, since
I shall forthwith go and meet them.”
Without a moment’s delay, orders
were issued for the soldiers to arm,
and hold themselves ready to march.
The king was the first to put on his
armour; and, mounting his horse, rode
through the camp, hastening the pre­
parations, and giving orders in person,
to the merchants and sutlers who
attended the army to pack up their
wares, and be ready to follow him.
At length all was prepared, and at
three o’clock the whole army was on
its advance from Kirkliston to Fal­
kirk, astonished at the sudden change
in the plan of operations, and at the
slow and deliberate pace with which
they were led on. It was late before
they reached a heath near Linlithgow,
on which they encamped for the night.
They were not allowed the refresh­
ment of disarming themselves; but,
to use the striking words of Heming-
ford, “each soldier slept on the ground,
using his shield for his pillow; each
horseman had his horse beside him,
and the horses themselves tasted no­
thing but cold iron, champing their
bridles.” In the middle of the night
a cry was heard. King Edward, who
slept on the heath, whilst a page held
his horse, was awakened by a sudden
stroke on his side. The boy had been

1 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 162. Lord Hailes
has omitted to notice the fact that the intel­
ligence regarding the position of the army
was brought by two Scottish earls. It is
difficult to understand how he should have
overlooked it, as he quotes the very page of
Hemingford where it is stated. He has at­
tempted to disprove what appears to me com­
pletely established by the authority of Hem-
ingford, “ that the defeat at Falkirk wa3
brought about by the dissensions amongst
the Scottish leaders.

1298.]                                   PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                      63

careless, and the horse, in changing
his position, had put his foot on the
king as he slept. Those around him
cried out that their prince was wound­
ed ; and this, in the confusion of the
night, was soon raised into a shout
that the enemy were upon them, so
that they hastily armed themselves,
and prepared for their defence. But
the mistake was soon explained. Ed-
ward had been only slightly hurt; and
as the morning was near, he mounted
his horse, and gave orders to march.
They passed through Linlithgow a
little before sunrise ; and on looking
up to a rising ground, at some distance
in their front, observed the ridge of
the hill lined with lances. Not a
moment was lost. Their columns
marched up the hill, but on reaching
it, the enemy had disappeared; and as
it was the feast of St Mary Magdalene,
the king ordered a tent to be raised,
where he and the Bishop of Durham
heard mass. These lances had been
the advanced guard of the enemy; for
while mass was saying, and the day
became brighter, the English soldiers
could distinctly see the Scots in the
distance arranging their lines, and pre­
paring for battle.

The Scottish army did not amount
to the third part of the force of the
English; and Wallace, who dreaded
this great disparity, and knew how
much Edward was likely to suffer by
the protraction of the war and the
want of provisions, at first thought of
a retreat, and hastened to lead off his
soldiers; but he soon found that the
English were too near to admit of this
being accomplished without certain
destruction; and he therefore pro­
ceeded to draw up his army, so as
best to avail himself of the nature of
the ground, and to sustain the attack
of the English. He divided his in­
fantry into four compact divisions,
called Schiltrons,1 composed of his
lancers. In the first line the men
knelt, with their lances turned ob­
liquely outwards, so as to present a
serried front to the enemy on every
side. In this infantry consisted the
chief strength of the Scottish army,

1 See Notes and Illustrations, letter I.

for the soldiers stood so close, and
were so linked or chained together,
that to break the line was extremely
difficult.2 In the spaces between
these divisions were placed the archers,
and in the rear was drawn up the
Scottish cavalry, consisting of about a
thousand heavy-armed horse.3

After hearing mass, the King of
England, being informed of the
Scottish disposition of battle, hesi-
tated to lead his army forward to the
attack, and proposed that they should
pitch their tents, and allow the soldiers
and the horses time for rest and re­
freshment. This was opposed by his
officers as unsafe, on account of there
being nothing but a small rivulet be­
tween the two armies. “What then
would you advise?’’ asked Edward.
“An immediate advance,” said they;
“the field and the victory will be
ours.” “In God’s name, then, let it
be so,” replied the king; and without
delay, the barons who commanded
the first division, the Marshal of Eng­
land, and the Earls of Hereford and
Lincoln, led their soldiers in a direct
line against the enemy. They were
not aware, however, of an extensive
moss which stretched along the front
of the Scottish position, and on reach­
ing it, were obliged to make a circuit
to the west to get rid of the obstacle.
This retarded their attack; meanwhile
the second line, under the command
of the Bishop of Durham, being better
informed of the nature of the ground,
in advancing inclined to the east with
the same object. The bishop’s cavalry
were fiery and impetuous. Thirty-six
banners floated above the mass of
spears, and shewed how many leaders
of distinction were in the field; but
Anthony Beck, who had seen enough
of war to know the danger of too pre-

2 “ Ther formost courey ther bakkis togidere
There speres poynt over poynt, so sare, and

so thikke
And fast togidere joynt, to se it was wer-

Als a castelle thei stode, that were walled
with stone,
Thei wende no man of blode thorgh tham suld

haf gone.”
—Langtoft’s Chronicle, book ii. 1. 804, 305.
Hemingford, vol. i. p, 163.

64                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

cipitate an attack, commanded them
to hold back, till the third line, under
the king, came up to support them.
“Stick to thy mass, bishop,” cried
Ralph Basset of Drayton, " and teach
not us what we ought to do in the
face of an enemy.” “ On then,” replied
the bishop; “ set on in your own way.
We are all soldiers to­day, and bound
to do our duty.” So saying, they
hastened forward, and in a few minutes
engaged with the first column of the
Scots; whilst the first line, which had
extricated itself from the morass, com­
menced its attack upon the other flank.
Wallace’s anxiety to avoid a battle
had in all probability arisen from his
having little dependence on the fidelity
of the heavy-armed cavalry, com­
manded by those nobles who hated
and feared him; and the events shew­
ed how just were his suspicions : for
the moment the lines met, the whole
body of the Scottish horse shamelessly
retired without striking a blow.1

The columns of infantry, however,
with the intermediate companies of
archers, kept their ground, and a few
of the armed knights remained beside
them. Amongst these, Sir John Stew­
art of Bonkill, in marshalling the ranks
of the archers from the forest of Sel­
kirk, was thrown from his horse. The
faithful bowmen tried to rescue him,
but in vain. He was slain, and the
tall and athletic figures of those who
fell round him drew forth the praise
of the enemy.2 On the death of this
leader, the archers gave way; but the
columns of the Scottish infantry stood
firm, and their oblique lances, pointing
every way, presented a thick wood,
through which no attacks of the ca­
valry could penetrate. Edward now
brought up his reserve of archers and
slingers, who showered their arrows
upon them, with volleys of large round

1  Fordun a Hearne, p. 981. “Nam propter
conceptam maliciam, ex fonte invidiæ gene-
ratam, quam erga dictum Willelmum Cumin-
enses habebant, cum suis complicibus cam-
pum deserentes, illæsi evaserunt.” See also
Hemingford, p. 164—“Fugerunt Scottorum
equestres absque ullo gladii ictu.”— And
Winton, vol. ii. p. 101, book viii. chaip 15, 1.
47. Also Chron. de Lanercost, p. 19

2  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 165.

stones, which covered the ground where
they stood. This continued and gall­
ing attack, along with the reiterated
charges of the cavalry, at last broke
the first line, and the heavy-armed
horse, pouring in at the gap which wa3
thus made, threw all into confusion,
and carried indiscriminate slaughter
through their ranks. Macduff, along
with his vassals from Fife, was slain ;3
and Wallace, with the remains of his
army, having gained the neighbouring
wood, made good his retreat, leaving
nearly fifteen thousand men dead upon
the field.4 On the English side, only
two men of note fell; one of them was
Sir Bryan de Jaye, Master of the Scot­
tish Templars, who, when pressing
before his men in the ardour of the
pursuit, was entangled in a moss in
Callander wood, and slain by some of
the Scottish fugitives. The other was
a companion of the same order, and of
high rank.5

The remains of the Scottish army
immediately retreated from Falkirk to
Stirling, Unable to maintain the town
against the English army, they set it
on fire; and Edward, on entering it
on the fourth clay after the battle,
found it reduced to ashes.6 The con­
vent of the Dominicans, however, es­
caped the flames; and here the king,
who still suffered from the wound
given him by his horse, remained for
fifteen days to recover his health.
Meantime he sent a division of his
army across the Forth into Clackman-
nanshire and Menteith, which, after
ravaging the country and plundering
the villages, advanced in its destructive
march through Fife. The whole of
this rich and populous district was
now regarded with great severity, on
account of the resistance made by
Macduff and the men of Fife at Fal-
kirk. It was accordingly delivered up

3 Winton, vol. ii. p. 101, book viii. chap, l5,
1. 45.

4 Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 130, who quotes, as his
authority, the Norwich Chronicle and the
Chronicle of John Eversden, both English
authorities. The older Scottish historians,
Fordun and Winton, make no mention of the
loss of the Scots.

5 Notes and Illustrations, letter K.

6 Prynne, Edward I., p. 791. Edward was
at Stirling 26th July.

1298-99.]                            PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                       65

to complete military execution; and,
to use the words of an ancient chro­
nicle, “clene brent.”1 The city of St
Andrews was found deserted by its in­
habitants, and delivered to the flames.
Beginning to be in distress for provi­
sions, the English pushed on to Perth,
which they found already burnt by
the Scots themselves; so that, defeated
in the hope of procuring supplies, and
unable longer to support themselves
in a country so utterly laid waste, they
returned to Stirling, the castle of which
Edward had commanded to be repaired.
Having left a garrison there, he pro­
ceeded to Abercorn,2 near Queensferry,
where he had hopes to find his long-
expected fleet, with supplies from Ber­
wick ; but his ships were still detained.
He then marched to Glasgow, and
through the district of Clydesdale, by
Bothwell, to Lanark, from which he
proceeded towards the strong castle of
Ayr, then in the hands of the younger
Bruce, earl of Carrick. Bruce fled at
the approach of the king, after having
set fire to the castle; and Edward
marched into Galloway with the inten­
tion of punishing this refractory baron,
by laying waste his country.3 The
army, however, began again to be
grievously in want of provisions; and
the king, after having for fifteen days
struggled against famine, was con­
strained to return through the middle
of Annandale, and to be contented with
the capture of Bruce’s castle of Loch-
maben,4 from which he proceeded to
Carlisle. Thus were the fruits of the
bloody and decisive battle of Falkirk
plucked from the hands of Edward,
by famine and distress, at the moment
he expected to secure them; and after
leading against Scotland the most nu­
merous and best appointed army which
had perhaps ever invaded it, and de­
feating his enemies with great slaugh­
ter, he was compelled to retreat while
Hardynge’s Chronicle, 8vo, London, 1543,
p. 165. See Notes and Illustrations, letter L.

2  Trivet, p. 313, calls this place “Abour-
toun juxta Queenesferrie;“ and Hearne, the
editor, in a note, observes it may mean Aber-
dour. Prynne, Edward I., p. 791, quotes a
letter of presentation by Edward, of John
Boush of London, to the vacant church of
Kinkell, dated at Abercorn, Aug. 15, 1298.

3  Hemingford, vol. i. p. 166.            4 Ibid.


still nearly the whole of the country
beyond the Forth was unsubdued, and
even when that part which he had
wasted and overrun was only waiting
for his absence to rise into a new revolt
against him.5 At Carlisle the Earls of
Norfolk and Hereford left the army to
return home, under the pretence that
their men and horses were worn out
with the expedition, but in reality be­
cause they were incensed at the king
for a breach of faith. Edward, when
at Lochmaben, had, without consulting
them or their brother nobles, disposed
of the Island of Arran to Thomas Bis-
set, a Scottish adventurer, who, having
invaded and seized it about the time
of the battle of Falkirk, pretended that
he had undertaken the enterprise for
the King of England. This was done
in violation of a solemn promise, that,
without advice of his council, he would
adopt no new measures; and to atone
for so irregular a proceeding, a parlia­
ment was held at Carlisle, in which the
king, who as yet was master of but a
very small part of Scotland, assigned
to his earls and barons the estates of
the Scottish nobles. These, however,
as an old historian remarks, were grants
given in hope, not in possession; and
even the frail tenure of hope by which
they were held was soon threatened :
for on reaching Durham messengers
arrived with the intelligence that the
Scots were again in arms, and the king
hastily returned to, and
from thence to Coldingham, near Be-
verley. His army was now much re­
duced by the desertion of Norfolk and
Hereford; and the soldiers who re­
mained were weakened with famine
and the fatigues of war. To commence
another campaign at this late season
was impossible; but he instantly issued

5 Lord Hailes, 4to edit. vol. i. p. 263, as­
cribes the successes of Edward in this cam­
paign to the precipitancy of the Scots. Yet
the Scots were any thing but precipitate.
They wasted the country, and purposely re­
tired from Edward; nor did they fight, till
the Earl of Dunbar and the Earl of Angus
treacherously brought information where the
Scottish army lay, and enabled Edward, by a
rapid night-march, to surprise them. Edward
owed his success to the fatal dissensions
amongst the Scots, and to the superior num-
bers and equipment of his army.


66                                 HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                      [Chap. II.

his writs for the assembling of a new
army, to chastise, as he said, the obsti­
nate and reiterated rebellions of the
Scots; and he appointed his barons to
meet him at Carlisle on the eve of the
day of Pentecost.1 He also commanded
the speedy collection of the money
granted by the clergy of the province
of York to assist him in his war with
Scotland; and despatched letters to the
nobles of England, ordering their at­
tendance in the army destined against
Scotland. Patrick, earl of Dunbar
and March, and his son, Gilbert de
Umfraville, earl of Angus, Alexander
de Baliol, and Simon Fraser, all of
them Scottish barons, were at this
time friends to Edward, and resident
at his court, and to them were the
same commands directed.2

Wallace, soon after the defeat of
Falkirk, voluntarily resigned the office
of Governor of Scotland. The Comyns
had threatened to impeach him of
treason for his conduct during the
war; and the Braces, next in power
to the Comyns, appear to have forgot
their personal animosity, and united
with their rivals to put him down.
To these accusations the disaster at
Falkirk gave some colour, and he chose
rather to return to the station of a
private knight, than to retain an
elevation which, owing to the jealousy
of the nobility, brought ruin and
distress upon the people.3 One ancient
manuscript of Fordun4 asserts that
he passed over into France, where he

1 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 166. “Juxta oc-
tavas beatæ virginis.” 8th Sept, The king
was at Carlisle till the 12th Sept. Prynne,
Edward I., p. 789. Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 131, on
the authority of the Chron. Abingdon, p. 171,
says the parliament was held at Durham.
Rymer. Fœdera, new edit, part ii. p. 809.
Prynne’s Edward I., p. 789. The day of as­
sembling was afterwards prorogated to the
2d of August. Rymer, new edit, part ii. p. 908.

2  Madox’s Hist, of Exchequer, chap. xvi. § 5,
p. 445. Ex. Rotul. de adventu vicecomitum.

3  “ Eligens magis subesse cum plebe quam
cum ejus ruina et gravi populi præesse dis-
pendio, non diu post bellum variæ capellæ
apud aquam de Forth officium custodis et
curam quam gerebat sponte resignavit.
Fordun a Hearne, p. 982. Winton, book viii.
chap. xv. vol. ii. p. 102. Lord Hailes has
omitted to notice this important fact, so
positively stated by Fordun and Winton.

4  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 176.

was honourably welcomed and enter­
tained by Philip, and increased his
high character for personal prowess,
by his successes against the pirates
who then infested the seas; so that
his exploits were celebrated in the
French songs and ballads of the day.
An examination of the valuable histo­
rical materials which exist in the
public libraries of France might per­
haps throw some light on this dark
portion of his story. It is certain that
his great name does not again recur
in any authentic record, as bearing
even a secondary command in the wars
against Edward; nor indeed do we
meet with him. in any public transac­
tion, until eight years after this, when
he fell a victim to the unrelenting
vengeance of that prince.

On the demission of Wallace, the Scot­
tish barons chose John Comyn of Bade-
noch, the younger, and John de Soulis,
to be governors of Scotland,5 and after
some time Bruce, earl of Carrick, and
William Lamberton, bishop of St An­
drews, were associated in the command.6

It is now necessary to allude to an
attempt at a pacification between
Edward and the Scots, which some
time previous to this had been made
by Philip of France ; as the negotia­
tions which then took place conduct
us to the termination of Baliol’s career,
and throw a strong light on the char­
acter of the King of England.

John Baliol, whom the Scots still
acknowledged as their rightful mon­
arch, had remained a prisoner in Eng­
land since 1296. On the conclusion
of a truce between the Kings of France
and England in 1297,7 the articles of
which afterwards formed the basis of
the negotiations at Montreuil,8 and of
the important peace of Paris.9 Philip
demanded the liberation of Baliol, as
his ally, from the tower. He required,
also, that the prelates, barons, knights,

5 Fordun a Hearne, p. 982. Winton, book
vii. chap. xv. vol. ii. p. 103.

6 Rymer, Fcedera, p. 915, new edit, part ii.
The first notice of Robert Bruce and Bishop
Lamberton, as Guardians of Scotland, is on
Nov. 13,1299.

7 Rymer, p. 878, new edit, part ii. Oct. 9,

8 Ibid. p. 906, June 19, 1299.
Ibid. p. 952, May 20, 1302.

1299.]                                  PERIOD OF WALLACE.                                        67

and other nobles, along with the
towns and communities, and all the
inhabitants of Scotland, of what rank
and condition soever, should be in­
cluded in the truce, and that not only
Baliol, but all the other Scottish
prisoners, should be liberated, on the
delivery of hostages. These demands
were made by special messengers, sent
for this purpose by Philip to the
King of England ;1 and it is probable
that John Comyn the younger, the
Earl of Athole, and other Scottish
barons, who had left Edward on his
embarkation at Hardenburgh in Flan­
ders,2 and repaired to the Court of
France, prevailed upon Philip to be thus
urgent in his endeavours to include
them and their country in the articles
of pacification. Edward, however, had
not the slightest intention of allowing
the truce to be extended to the Scots.
He was highly exasperated against
them, and was then busy in collecting
and organising an army for the pur­
pose of reducing their country. He
did not, at first, however, give a direct
refusal, but observed that the request
touching the king, the realm, and
nobles of Scotland, was so new and
foreign to the other articles of truce,
that it would require his most serious
deliberation before he could reply.3
Immediately after this, he marched,
as we have seen, at the head of an
overwhelming army into Scotland;
and, after the battle of Falkirk, found
leisure to send his answer to Philip,
refusing peremptorily to deliver up
Baliol, or to include the Scottish nobles
in the truce, on the ground, that at the
time when the articles of truce were
drawn up, Philip did not consider the
Scots as his allies, nor was there any
mention of Baliol or his subjects at that
time,4 “ If,” said Edward, “any alliance
ever existed between Baliol and the
French king, it had been deliberately
and freely renounced.” To this Philip
replied, “ That as far as the King of
Scots, and the other Scottish nobles

1 Trivet, p. 311. Rymer, Fœdera, new edit,
part ii. 861.

2 Walsingham, p. 75. Trivet, p. 311.

3 Rymer, Fœdera, new edit, part ii. April

4 Ibid. p. 898.

who were Edward’s prisoners, were
concerned, the renunciation of the
French alliance had been made through
the influence of force and fear, on
which account it ought to be consid­
ered of no avail; that it was they alone
whom he considered as included in the
truce; and if any Scottish nobles had
afterwards, of their own free will, sub­
mitted to Edward, and sworn homage
to him, as had been done by Patrick,
earl of Dunbar, Gilbert, earl of Augus,
and their sons, the King of France
would not interfere in that matter.” 5
Edward, however, who, at the time
he made this reply, had defeated Wal­
lace at Falkirk, and dispersed the only
army which stood between him and
his ambition, continued firm, notwith­
standing the earnest remonstrances of
Philip. The mediation of the Pope
was next employed; and at the earnest
request of Boniface, the king consented
to deliver Baliol from his imprison­
ment, and to place him in the hands
of the Papal legate, the Bishop of Vi-
cenza. “ I will send him to the Pope,”
said Edward, “as a false seducer of
the people, and a perjured man.”6
Accordingly, Sir Robert Burghersh,
the Constable of Dover, conveyed the
dethroned king, with his goods and
private property, to Whitsand, near
Calais. Before embarking, his trunks
were searched, and a crown of gold,
the Great Seal of Scotland, many
vessels of gold and silver, with a con­
siderable sum of money, were found
in them. The crown was seized by
Edward, and hung up in the shrine
of St Thomas the Martyr; the Great
Seal was also retained, but the money
was permitted to remain in his coffers.
On meeting the legate at Whitsand,
Burghersh formally delivered to this
prelate the person of the ex-king, to
be at the sole disposal of his Holiness;
but a material condition was added, in
the proviso “ that the Pope should not

5 The important public instrument from
which these facts regarding the negotiations
between Edward and Philip are taken has
been printed, for the first time, in the new
edition of Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. i. part ii. p.
898. See also Du Chesne, Hist. p. 600.

6 Walsingham, pp. 76, 77. Prynne’s Ed­
ward I., pp. 797, 798. Trivet, p. 315.

68                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

ordain or direct anything in the king­
dom of Scotland concerning the people
or inhabitants, or anything appertain­
ing to the same kingdom, in behalf of
John Baliol or his heirs.” Edward’s
obsequiousness to the Roman See even
went further, for he conferred on the
Pope the power of disposing of Baliol’s
English estates. These estates were
many and extensive. They were situ­
ated in nine different counties, and
gave a commanding feudal influence
to their possessor. But the king had
not the slightest intention of paying
anything more than an empty compli­
ment to Boniface; for he retained the
whole of Baliol’s lands and manors in
his own hand, and, some years after­
wards, bestowed them upon his nephew,
John of Bretagne.1

The dethroned King of Scotland was
conveyed by the messengers of the
Pope to his lands and castle of Bail-
leul, in France, where he passed the
remaining years of his life in quiet

The restless activity of Edward’s
mind, and the unshaken determination
with which he pursued the objects of
his ambition, are strikingly marked by
his conduct at this time. He was em­
broiled in serious disputes with his
barons; some of the most valuable
prerogatives of his crown were being
wrested from his hands; he was deeply
engaged with his negotiations with
France; he was on the eve of his
marriage: but nothing could divert
him from the meditated war. He
held a council of his nobility at West­
minster, concerning the Scottish ex­
pedition. At midsummer he took a
journey to St Albans, for the purpose
of imploring the assistance of that
saint.3 In September he was married
at Canterbury, to the sister of the King
of France; and on the seventh day
after his marriage he directed his
letters to Edmund, earl of Cornwall,
to meet him with horse and arms at

1 Rhymer, Fœdera, vol. ii. p. 1029. The
grant to John of Bretagne was made on Nov.
10, 1306.

2 Walsingham, p. 77. See Notes and Illus­
trations, letter M.

3 Chronicon Sti. Albani, quoted in Tyrrel,
vol. iii. p. 134.

York, on the 10th of November.4 He
commanded public prayers to be made
for the success of his arms in all the
churches of the kingdom, and enjoined
the Friars Predicant to employ them­
selves in the same pious office.

Aware of these great preparations,
the Scottish Regents, whose army was
encamped in the Torwood, near Stir­
ling, directed a letter to Edward, ac­
quainting him that information of the
late truce had been sent them by
Philip, king of France; and that they
were willing to desist from all aggres­
sion, during the period which was sti­
pulated, provided the King of England
would follow their example.5 Edward
did not deign to reply to this com­
munication ; but having assembled his
parliament at York, in the beginning
of November, he communicated to
them his intentions as to the continu­
ance of the war; and in the face of
the approaching severity of the winter,
marched with his army to Berwick-on-
Tweed, where he had appointed a body
of fifteen thousand foot soldiers, with a
large reinforcement from the diocese of
York,6 and the whole military strength
of his greater barons, to meet him. So
intent was he on assembling the bravest
knights and most hardy soldiers to ac­
company him, that he forbade, by pub­
lic proclamation, all tournaments and
plays of arms, so long as war lasted
between him and his enemies; and
interdicted every knight, esquire, or
soldier, from attending such exhibi­
tions, or going in search of adventures,
without his special permission.7 The
object of the king was to march im­
mediately into Scotland, to raise the

4 Rymer, Fœd. vol. i. part ii. p. 913, new
edition. Palgrave’s Parliamentary Writs, p.
42, Chron. Abstract.

5 Rymer, vol. i. p. 915, new edition. The
date of the letter is, Foresta dell’ Torre, 13th
Nov. 1299.

6  Rymer, Fœd. vol. i. pp. 915, 916, new

7  Rymer, ibid. p. 916, new edition. This is
one of the instruments added by the editors
to the new edition of this great work. Its
terms are, “Ne quis miles, armiger, vel alius
quicunque, sub forisfactura vitæ et membro-
rum, et omnium que tenet in dicto regno,
torneare, bordeare, seu justas facere, aven-
turas quærere, aut alias ad arma ire presumat,
quoquo modo sine nostra licencia speciali.”

1299-1300.]                               INTERREGNUM.                                              69

siege of Stirling, then invested by the
regents, and to reduce that great divi­
sion of Scotland beyond the Firth of
Forth, which, along with the powerful
district of Galloway, still remained
independent. But after all his great
preparations, his hopes were cruelly
disappointed. His barons, with their
military vassals, refused to go further
than Berwick. They alleged that the
early severity of the winter, the im­
passable and marshy ground through
which they would be compelled to
march, with the scarcity of forage and
provisions, rendered any military expe­
dition against Scotland impracticable
and desperate.1 The nobles, besides
this, had other and deeper causes of
discontent. The Great Charter, and
the perambulation of the forests, had
not been duly observed, according to
promise; and without waiting remon­
strance, they withdrew to their estates.
Edward, in extreme anger, marched
forward, with a small force, and seemed
determined to risk a battle; but being
informed of the strong position of the
Scottish army, and of the resolute
spirit with which they awaited his
advance, the king submitted to the
necessity of the case, and retreated to
England.2 Meanwhile the English,
who were beleaguered in Stirling, after
making a brave and obstinate defence,
had begun to suffer the extremities of
famine; upon which the king, finding
it impossible to raise the siege, com­
manded them to capitulate; 3 and the
castle was delivered to Sir John de
Soulis, one of the regents. The Scots
garrisoned it, and committed it to the
keeping of Sir William 01ifant.

In the course of the following year,
Edward, indefatigable in the prosecu­
tion of his great object, again invaded
Scotland, and found that the enemy,
profiting by experience, had adopted
that protracted warfare, which was
their best security—avoiding a battle,
and cutting off his supplies.4 En-

1 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 170. Trivet, p. 316.

2  Langtoft’s Chronicle, p. 308.

3  Math. Westminst. p. 445. He mistakes
the date of the surrender, which was 1299,
not 1303.

4  Rymer, Fœdera, vol. i. part ii. new edit.

camping in Annandale, he besieged
and took Lochmaben, and afterwards
sat down before the castle of Caer-
laverock, strongly situated on the
coast of the Solway Firth. After
some resistance, this castle was like­
wise taken and garrisoned,5 and the
king marched into Galloway, where he
had an interview with the bishop of
that diocese, who, having in vain at­
tempted to mediate a peace, the Earl
of Buchan and John Comyn of Bade-
noch repaired personally to Edward,
and had a violent interview with the
king. They demanded that Baliol,
their lawful king, should be permitted
peaceably to reign over them; and that
their estates, which had been unjustly
bestowed upon his English nobles,
should be restored to their lords.
Edward treated these propositions,
which he considered as coming from
rebels, with an unceremonious refusal;
and after declaring that they would
defend themselves to the uttermost,
the king and the Scottish barons parted
in wrath.

After this the king marched to
Irvine, a seaport town situated on a
river of the same name, and remained
there encamped for eight days, until
provisions were brought up from the
ships which lay on the coast. During
this time the Scottish army shewed
itself on the opposite side of the river;
but on being successively attacked by
the Earl of Surrey, the Prince of
Wales, and the king himself, they
rapidly retreated to their morasses
and mountains. Through this rough
and difficult ground the heavy-armed
English soldiers could not penetrate ;
and the Welsh, whose familiarity with
rocky passes rendered them well fitted
for a warfare of this kind, obstinately
refused to act. Thus baffled in his
attempts at pursuit, Edward stationed

p. 920. Walsingham, p. 78, and Chron. I de
Eversden apud Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 139.

5 See a curious and interesting historical
poem, in vol. iv. of Antiquarian Repertory,
p. 469, published from a MS. in the British
Museum : since published with valuable his­
torical and heraldic additions, by Sir Harris
Nicolas. The garrison was only sixty strong,
yet for some time defied the whole English

70                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

his head­quarters at Dumfries, and
employed himself in taking possession
of the different towns and castles of
Galloway, and in receiving the sub­
mission of the inhabitants of that dis­
trict.1 Here he remained till the end
of October; and having spent five
months on an expedition which led to
no important success, he was at last
compelled, by the approach of winter,
to delay till another season all his
hopes of the entire subjugation of
Scotland. Affecting, therefore, now
when it suited his convenience, to be
moved by the representations of the
plenipotentiaries sent from the King
of France, he granted a truce to the
Scots, and artfully gave to a measure
of necessity the appearance of an act
of mercy. Edward, however, cau­
tiously added, that he acceded to the
wishes of Philip, out of favour to him,
as his friend and relative, not as the
ally of Scotland ; nor would he give
his consent to the cessation of arms,
until the ambassadors of France agreed
to consider it in this light: so careful
was he lest any too hasty concession
should interrupt his meditated ven­
geance, when a less refractory army
and a milder season should allow
him to proceed against his ene­

The king was induced, by another
important event, to grant this truce
to the Scots. This was no less than
an extraordinary interposition upon
the part of the Pope, commanding
him, as he reverenced his sacred autho­
rity, to desist from all hostilities; and
asserting that the kingdom of Scot­
land now belonged to the Holy See,
and from the most remote antiquity
had done so. The arguments by
which the Roman Church supported
this singular claim were, no doubt,
suggested by certain Scottish commis­
sioners whom Soulis, the regent, in a
former part of this year, had sent on a
mission to Rome, to complain of the
grievous injuries inflicted by Edward
upon Scotland, and to request the

1 Rymer, vol. i. new edition, p. 921. Wal-
singham, p. 78, makes Irvine, Swinam.

2 Fordun a Hearne, p. 983. Winton, vol.
ii. p. 104. Rymer, vol. i. p. 921.

Pope’s interposition in behalf of their
afflicted country.3

Boniface, accordingly, influenced, as
is asserted, by Scottish gold,4 directed
an admonitory bull to Edward, and
commanded Winchelsea, archbishop of
Canterbury, to deliver it to the king,
who was then with his army in the
wilds of Galloway. This prelate, with
much personal risk, owing to the un­
licensed state of the country, and the
danger of being seized by the bands of
Scottish robbers, who roamed about,
thirsting, as he tells us, for the blood
of the English, travelled with his
suite of clerks and learned dignitaries
as far as Kirkcudbright; and having
passed the dangerous sands of the Sol-
way with his chariots and horses,

found the king encamped near the
castle of Caerlaverock, and delivered
to him the Papal bull.5 Its arguments,
as far as concerned the right of the
King of England to the feudal supe­
riority of Scotland, were sufficiently
sound and judicious ; but, as was to
be expected, the grounds on which he
could rest his own claim far less satis­
factory. “ Your royal highness,” he

observed, “ may have heard, and we
doubt not but the truth is locked in
the book of your memory, that of old
the kingdom of Scotland did and doth
still belong in full right to the Church
of Rome, and that neither your ances­
tors, kings of England, nor yourself,
enjoyed over it any feudal superiority.
Your father Henry, king of England,
of glorious memory, when, in the wars
between him and Simon de Montfort,
he requested the assistance of Alex­
ander III., king of Scotland, did, by
his letters-patent, acknowledge that he
received such assistance, not as due
to him, but as a special favour. When
you yourself requested the presence of
the same King Alexander at the solem­
nity of your coronation, you, in like
manner, by your letters-patent, en­
treated it as a matter of favour and

3 Fordun a Hearne, p. 983. Winton, vol.
ii. p. 105.

4 Walsmgham, quoted in Tyrrel, vol. iii. p.

5 Prynne, Hist. Ed. I., p. 882. where there
is a curious letter from the archbishop, giv-
1 ing an account of his journey.

1300-1.]                                      INTERREGNUM.                                              71

not of right. Moreover, when the
King of Scotland did homage to you
for his lands in Tynedale and Penrith,
he publicly protested that his homage
was paid, not for his kingdom of Scot­
land, but for his lands in England;
that as King of Scotland he was inde­
pendent, and owed no fealty; which
homage, so restricted, you did accord­
ingly receive. Again, when Alexander
III. died, leaving as heiress to the
crown a grand­daughter in her minor­
ity, the wardship of this infant was
not conferred upon you, which it
would have been had you been lord
superior, but was given to certain
nobles of the kingdom chosen for that
office.” The bull proceeded to notice
the projected marriage between the
Prince of Wales and the Maiden of
Norway; the acknowledgment of the
freedom and independence of Scotland
contained in the preliminary negotia­
tions ; the confusions which followed
the death of the young queen; the
fatal choice of Edward as arbiter in
the contest for the crown; the express
declaration of the King of England to
the Scottish nobility, who repaired to
his court during the controversy, that
he received this attendance as a mat­
ter of favour, not as having any right
to command it; and, lastly, it asserted
that if, after all this, any innovations
had been made upon the ancient rights
and liberties of Scotland, with consent
of a divided nobility, who wanted their
kingly head; or of that person to
whom Edward had committed the
charge of the kingdom, these ought
not in justice to subsist, as having
been violently extorted by force and

After such arguments, the Pope
went on to exhort the king, in the
name of God, to discharge out of
prison and restore to their former
liberty all bishops, clerks, and other
ecclesiastical persons whom he had in­
carcerated, and to remove all officers
whom by force and fear he had ap­
pointed to govern the nation under
him ; and he concluded by directing
him, if he still pretended any right to
the kingdom of Scotland, or to any
part thereof, not to omit the sending

commissioners to him fully instructed,
and that within six months after the
receipt of these letters, he being ever
ready to do him justice as his beloved
son, and inviolably to preserve his

In presenting this dignified and im­
perious mandate, the archbishop, in
presence of the English nobles and the
Prince of Wales, added his own ad­
monitions on the duty of a reverent
obedience to so sacred an authority,
observing that Jerusalem would not
fail to protect her citizens, and to
cherish, like Mount Sion, those who
trusted in the Lord. Edward, on
hearing this, broke into a paroxysm of
wrath, and swearing a great oath,
cried out—“ I will not be silent or at
rest, either for Mount Sion or for
Jerusalem; but, as long as there is
breath in my nostrils, will defend
what all the world knows to be my
right.” 2 But the Papal interference
was in those days, even to so power­
ful a monarch as Edward, no matter
of slight importance; and, returning
to his calmer mind, he requested the
archbishop to retire until he had con­
sulted with his nobility. On Win-
chelsea’s re-admission, the king, in a
milder and more dignified mood, thus
addressed him :—“ My Lord Arch­
bishop, you have delivered me, on the
part of my superior and reverend
father, the Pope, a certain admonition
touching the state and realm of Scot­
land. Since, however, it is the cus­
tom of England that, in such matters
as relate to the state of that kingdom,
advice should be had with all whom
they may concern, and since the pre­
sent business not only affects the
state of Scotland, but the rights of
England; and since many prelates,
earls, barons, and great men, are now
absent from my army, without whose
advice I am unwilling, finally, to re­
ply to my Holy Father, it is my pur-

1 Rymer, Fœclera, new edition, vol. i. part
ii. p. 907. Knighton, p. 2529. The date of this
monitory bull is 5th July 1299. The letter
of the archbishop, describing his journey to
Edward, then at or near Caerlaverock, and
his delivery of the bull, is dated at Otteford,
8th October 1300. Prynne, Edward I., p. 883.

2 Walsingham, p. 78.

72                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

pose, as soon as possible, to hold a
council with my nobility, and by their
joint advice and determination, to
transmit an answer to his Holiness by
messengers of my own."1

It was particularly dangerous for
Edward to quarrel with the Pope at
this moment; for the peace with
France was unconcluded, and Gascony
still remained in the hands of the
Holy See, which had not yet decided
to whom it should rightly belong.
The King of England, therefore, as­
sumed the appearance of solemn de­
liberation in the preparation of his
answer. He disbanded his army; he
summoned a parliament to meet at
Lincoln; he wrote to the chancellors
of both universities, commanding them
to send to this parliament some of
their most learned and expert civilians,
to declare their opinion as to the right
of the King of England to be Lord
Paramount of Scotland; and he gave
directions to the abbots, priors, and
deans of the religious houses in Eng­
land that they should diligently exa­
mine the ancient chronicles and ar­
chives of their monastery, and collect
and transmit to him by some one of
their number, not only all matters
illustrative of the rights competent to
the King of England in the realm of
Scotland, but everything which in any
way related to that kingdom.2

On the meeting of the parliament
at Lincoln, the king, after having con­
ciliated the good­will of his nobility,
by the confirmation of the great char­
ters of liberties, and of the forests,
the last of which he had evaded till
now, ordered the Pope’s bull to be
read to the earls and barons assembled
in parliament; and, after great debates
amongst the lawyers who were pre­
sent, the nobility of England directed
a spirited letter to the Pope, with a
hundred and four seals appended to
it.3 In this epistle, after compliment­
ing the Holy Roman Church upon the
judgment and caution with which she
respected and inviolably preserved the
rights of every individual, they re-

1 Prynne, Edward L, p. 883.

2  Rymer, Fœdera, new edit. vol. i. p. 923.

3  Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 146.

marked, that a letter from the Holy
See had been shewn to them by their
lord, King Edward, relating to certain
matters touching the state and realm
of Scotland, which contained divers
wonderful and hitherto unheard-of
propositions. It was notorious, they
observed, in these parts of the world,
that from the very first original of the
kingdom of England, the kings thereof,
as well in the times of the Britons as
of the Saxons, enjoyed the superiority
and direct dominion of the kingdom
of Scotland, and continued either in
actual or in virtual possession of the
same through successive ages. They
declared that in temporals, the king­
dom of Scotland did never, by any
colour of right, belong to the Church
of Rome; that it was an ancient fief
of the crown and kings of England;
and that the kings of Scotland, with
their kingdom, had been subject only
to the kings of England, and to no
other. That with regard to their
rights, or other temporalities in that
kingdom, the kings of England have
never answered, nor ought they to
answer, before any ecclesiastical or
secular judge, and this on account
of the freedom and pre-eminence of
their royal dignity, and the custom to
this effect observed through all ages.
Wherefore, they concluded—“ having
diligently considered the letters of his
Holiness, it is now, and for the future
shall be, the unanimous and unshaken
resolution of all and every one of us
that our lord the king, concerning his
rights in Scotland, or other temporal
rights, must in nowise answer judi­
cially before the Pope, or submit them
to his judgment, or draw them into
question by such submission; and that
he must not send proxies or commis­
sioners to his Holiness, more especially
when it would manifestly tend to the
disinheritance of the crown and royal
dignity of England, to the notorious
subversion of the state of the king­
dom, and to the prejudice of our liber­
ties, customs, and laws, delivered to
them by their fathers; which, by their
oaths, they were bound to observe and
defend, and which, by the help of
God, they would maintain with their

1301-2.]                                     INTERREGNUM.                                               73

whole force and power.” And they
added, “ that they would not permit
the king to do, or even to attempt,
such strange and unheard-of things,
even if he were willing so far to forget
his royal rights. Wherefore they re­
verently and humbly entreated his
Holiness to permit the king to possess
his rights in peace, without diminution
or disturbance.1

Having in this bold and spirited
manner refused to submit his pre­
tended rights in Scotland to the juris­
diction of the See of Rome, the mon­
arch, about two months after the
meeting of his parliament at Lincoln,
directed a private letter to the Pope,2
which he expressly declared was not
a memorial to a judge, but altogether
of a different description, and solely
intended to quiet and satisfy the con­
science of his Holy Father, and in
which, at great length, and by argu­
ments too trifling to require confuta­
tion, he explained to him the grounds
upon which he rested his claim of
superiority, and the reasons for his
violent invasion of Scotland.3

More intent than ever upon the
reduction of this country, Edward
once more summoned his barons to
meet him in arms at Berwick on the
day of St John the Baptist, and di­
rected letters to the different seaports
of England and Ireland, for the as­
sembling of a fleet of seventy ships to
rendezvous at the same place.4 He
determined to separate his force into
two divisions, and to intrust the com­
mand of one to his son, the Prince of
Wales. A pilgrimage to the shrine of
St Thomas à Becket, and other holy
places, was undertaken by the king
previous to his putting himself at the
head of his army; and this being con­
cluded, he passed the Borders, and
besieged and took the castle of Bon­

1 Rymer, vol. ii. p. 875. "Nec etiam per-
mittimus, aut aliquatenus permittemus, sicut
nec possumus, nec debemus, præmissa tam
insolita, prœlibatum dominum nostrum Re-
gem etiam si vellet faeere.”

2 Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 147. Rymer, vol. i. part
ii. new edit. p. 932.

3 Fordun a Hearne, p. 084.

4 Ryley, p. 483. The summons is dated 12th
March 1301. Rymer, Fœdera, vol. i. p. 928.

kill, in the Merse. The Scots contented
themselves with laying waste the
country; and aware of the hazard of
risking a battle, they attacked the
straggling parties of the English, and
distressed their cavalry, by carrying
off the forage.5 The campaign, how­
ever, which had been great in its pre­
parations, passed in unaccountable
inactivity. An early winter set in
with extreme severity, and many of
the large war-horses of the English
knights died from cold and hunger;
but Edward, who knew that the Scots
only waited for his absence to rise into
rebellion, determined to pass the win­
ter at Linlithgow. Here, accordingly,
he established the head­quarters of his
army, sent orders to England for sup­
plies to be forwarded to his troops,
employed his warlike leisure in build­
ing a castle, and kept his Christmas
with his son and his nobles.6

The treaty of peace between Edward
and Philip of France was still uncon-
cluded; and as Philip continued a
warm advocate for Baliol and the
Scots, Edward, moved by his remon­
strances, gave authority to his envoys
at the French court to agree to a truce
with Scotland.7 The envoys, however,
were sharply reproved by the king
and his nobles for giving the title of
king to Baliol, and permitting, as the
basis of the negotiation, the alliance
between France and his enemies.8 Ed­
ward was well aware that if he ad­
mitted this, any conclusion of peace
with Philip would preclude him from
continuing the war which he had so
much at heart; and on ratifying the

5 Chron. Abing., quoted in Tyrrel, vol. iii.
p. 148. Trivet, pp. 331, 332. Hemingford,
vol. i. p. 196. Langtoft, vol. ii. pp. 315, 316.

6 Fordun a Hearne, p. 984. Palgrave’s
Parl. Writs, Chron. Abstract, vol. i, p. 51.

7  Rymer, Fcedera, new edit. vol. i. pp. 936,
937. Langtoft, p. 316.

8 In Prynne, Edward I., p. 876, we find
that Edward protested against this truce at
Devizes, 30th April 1302. How are we to
reconcile this protestation with the power
granted to the English envoys, by an instru­
ment signed at Dunipace, 14th Oct. 1301,
Rymer, p. 936? and with the express ratifica­
tion of the truce in Rymer, Fœd. vol. i. new
edit. p. 938, signed at Linlithgow. 26th Jan.
1302? The truce was to continue till St
Andrew’s day, the 30th Nov. 1302.

74                                  HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

truce, he subjoined his protestation,
that although he agreed to a cessation
he did not recognise John Baliol as the
King of Scotland, nor the Scots as the
allies of the King of France. Having
brought these matters to a close at
Linlithgow, the king proceeded to
Roxburgh, and from this, by Morpeth
and Durham, returned to London.1

The perseverance and courage of the
Scots were ill supported by their allies.
Boniface soon deserted them, and with
extreme inconsistence, forgetting his
former declarations, addressed a letter
of admonition to Wishart, the bishop
of Glasgow, commanding him to desist
from all opposition to Edward. Wish-
art had been delivered from an Eng­
lish prison some time before, and, on
taking the oath of fealty, had been
received into favour; but unable to
quench his love of liberty, or perhaps
of intrigue, he had recommenced his
opposition to the English; and the
Pope now addressed him as the “ prime
mover and instigator of all the tumult
and dissension which has arisen be­
tween his clearest son in Christ, Ed­
ward, King of England, and the Scots.” 2
At the same time his Holiness ad­
dressed a bull to the body of the Scot­
tish bishops, commanding them to be
at peace with Edward, and threatening
them, in case of disobedience, with a
severer remedy.3

Deserted by Boniface, the Scots still
looked to Philip for support; and
aware that the negotiations for peace
between France and England were in
the course of being concluded, they
sent the Earl of Buchan, James, the
Steward of Scotland, John Soulis, one
of the regents,4 and Ingelram de Urn­
fraville, to watch over their interests
at the French court. But Philip,
having been defeated in Flanders, be­
came anxious at all risks to conclude
a peace with England, and to concen­
trate his efforts for the reduction of
the revolted Flemings.5 Edward, who

1 Rymer, Fœdera, new edit. vol. i. p. 936.
Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 149.

2 Rymer, vol. i. new edit. p. 942.

3 Ibid.

4 Maitland, vol. i. p. 461. Rymer, vol. i. new
edit. p. 955.

5 Tyrrel, vol. iii. 152.

had hitherto supported the Flemings,
entertained the same wish to direct
his undivided strength against the
Scots, and a mutual sacrifice of allies
was the consequence. The English
king paved the way for this, by omit­
ting the Earl of Flanders in the enu­
meration of his allies, in the former
truce ratified at Linlithgow; and Philip
in return, not only left out the Scots
in the new truce concluded at Amiens,
but entirely excluded them in the
subsequent and final treaty of peace
not long afterwards signed at Paris.6
Previous, however, to the conclusion
of this treaty, so fatal to the Scots, the
army of Edward experienced a signal
defeat near Edinburgh.

John de Segrave had been appointed
Governor of Scotland; and Edward,
much incensed at the continued re­
sistance of the Scots, who, on the ex­
piration of the truce, had recommenced
the war with great vigour, directed
letters to Ralph Fitz-William, and
twenty-six of his principal barons. By
these he informed them that he had
received intelligence from Segrave of
the success of his enemies, who, after
ravaging the country, and burning
and seizing his towns and castles,
threatened, unless put down with a
strong hand, to invade and lay waste
England. “ For which reason,” adds
the king, “we request, by the fealty
and love which bind you to us, that
you will instantly repair to John de
Segrave, with your whole assembled
power of horse and foot.” He then
informs them of his resolution to be
with his army in Scotland sooner than
he at first intended; and that, in the
meantime, he had despatched thither
Ralph de Manton, his clerk of the
wardrobe, who would pay them their
allowances, and act as his treasurer as
long as they continued on the expedi­

Segrave marched from Berwick to­
wards Edinburgh, about the beginning
of Lent, with an army of twenty thou­
sand men,8 chiefly consisting of cavalry,

6 Rymer, Fœd. new edit. vol. i. p. 946-952.

7 Rymer, Fœd. vol. i. new edit, part ii. p.
947. This document is published for the first
time in the new edition of Rymer.

8 Winton, vol. ii. p. 111.

1302-3.]                                     INTERREGNUM.                                               75

commanded by some of Edward’s best
leaders. Amongst these were Segrave’s
brothers,1 and Robert de Neville, a
noble baron, who had been engaged
with Edward in his Welsh wars.2 In
approaching Roslin, Segrave had sepa­
rated his army into three divisions ;
and not meeting with an enemy, each
division encamped on its own ground,
without having established any com­
munication with the others. The first
division was led by Segrave himself;
the second probably by Ralph de Man-
ton, called, from his office, Ralph the
Cofferer; the third by Neville. Early
in the morning of the 24th February,
Segrave and his soldiers were slumber­
ing in their tents, in careless security,
when a boy rushed in, and called out
that the enemy were upon them. The
news proved true. Sir John Comyn,
the governor, and Sir Simon Fraser,
hearing of the advance of the English,
had collected á force of eight thousand
horse, and marching in the night from
Biggar to Roslin, surprised the enemy
in their encampment. Segrave’s divi­
sion was entirely routed; he himself,
after a severe wound, was made pri­
soner, along with sixteen knights, and
thirty esquires ; his brother and son
were seized in bed, and the Scots had
begun to collect the booty, and calcu­
late on the ransom, when the second
division of the English army appeared.
A cruel but necessary order was given
to slay the prisoners; and this having
been done, the Scots immediately at­
tacked the enemy, who, after an ob­
stinate defence, were put to flight with
much slaughter. The capture of Ralph
the Cofferer, a rich booty, and many
prisoners, were the fruits of this second
attack, which had scarcely concluded
when the third division, led by Sir
Robert Neville, was seen in the dis­
tance. Worn out by their night-
march, and fatigued by two successive
attacks, the little army of the Scots
thought of an immediate retreat. But
this, probably, the proximity of Ne-

1 Hemingford, p. 197. “Cum Johanne de
Segrave et fratribus suis, erant enim milites

2 Rymer, vol. i. new edit. p. 608. Trivet,
p. 336.

ville’s division rendered impossible;
and after again resorting to the same
horrid policy of putting to death their
prisoners, an obstinate conflict began,
which terminated in the death of Ne­
ville, and the total defeat of his divi­
sion.3 There occurred in this battle
a striking but cruel trait of national
animosity. Ralph the Cofferer had
been taken prisoner by Sir Simon
Fraser; and this paymaster of Ed­
ward, though a priest, like many of
the ecclesiastics and bishops of those
fierce times, preferred the coat of mail
to the surplice. On the order being
given to slay the prisoners, Sir Ralph
begged his life might be spared, and
promised a large ransom. “ This laced
hauberk is no priestly habit,” observed
Fraser; “ where is thine albe, or thy
hood ? Often have you robbed us of
our lawful wages, and done us grievous
harm. It is now our turn to sum up
the account, and exact its payment.”
Saying this, he first struck off the
hands of the unhappy priest, and then
severed his head with one blow from
his body.4

The remains of the English army
fled to Edward, in England; and the
Scots, after resting from their fatigues,
collected and divided their booty, and
returned home.5

This persevering bravery of the
Scots in defence of their country
was unfortunately united to a credu­
lity which made them the dupes of
the policy of Philip. Although not
included in the treaty of Amiens, the
French monarch had the address to
persuade the Scottish deputies then
at Paris, that having concluded his
own affairs with Edward he would
devote his whole efforts to mediate a
peace between them and England;
and he entreated them, in the mean­
time, to remain with him at the
French court, until they could carry
back to Scotland intelligence of his
having completed the negotiation with
Edward on behalf of themselves and
their countrymen. The object of
Philip, in all this, was to prevent the

3 See Notes and Illustrations, letter N,
Langtoft, vol. ii. p. 319.
Winton, vol. ii. p. 117.

76                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. II.

return of the deputies, amongst whom
were some of the most warlike and
influential of the Scottish nobles, pre­
vious to the expedition which Edward
was about to lead against their country.
Unsuspicious of any false dealing, they
consented to remain; and in the mean­
time addressed a letter to the governor
and nobility of Scotland, in which they
exhorted them to be of good courage,
and to persevere in vindicating the
liberties of their country. “ You
would greatly rejoice,” they say in
this letter, “ if you were aware what a
weight of honour this last conflict with
the English has conferred upon you
throughout the world.----------Where­
fore, we beseech you earnestly that
you continue to be of good courage.
And if the King of England consent to
a truce, as we firmly expect he will,
do you likewise agree to the same,
according to the form which the am­
bassadors of the King of France shall
propose by one of our number, who
will be sent to you. But if the King
of England, like Pharaoh, shall grow
hardened, and continue the war, we
beseech you, by the mercy of Christ,
that you quit yourselves like men, so
that, by the assistance of God, and
your own courage, you may gain the
victory.” l

To gain the victory, however, over
the determined perseverance and over­
whelming military strength of the
English king, was no easy task. The
distress of Scotland, from its exposure
to the continued ravages of war, had
reached a pitch which the people of
the land could endure no longer.
They became heart-broken for a time,
under a load of misery and suffering
from which they could see no relief
but in absolute submission; the gover­
nor Comyn, the late guardian Wallace,
and the few patriotic nobles who were
still in the field, found it impossible
to keep an army together; and all
men felt assured that the entire sub­
jugation of the country was an event
which no human power could possibly
prevent or delay. If Edward, at this
crisis, again resumed the war, it was

1 Rymer, Fœd. vol. i. new edit. p. 955, June
8, 1303.

evident that nothing could oppose him.
We may judge, then, of the desolating
feelings of this unhappy country when
word was brought that the King of
England had once more collected the
whole armed force of his dominions,
and, leading his army in person, had
passed the Border. The recent defeat
at Roslin had chafed and inflamed his
passions to the utmost; and he de­
clared that it was his determined pur­
pose either to reduce the nation to
entire subjection, or to raze the land
utterly with lire and sword, and turn
it to a desert, fit only for the beasts of
the field. In recording the history of
this last miserable campaign, the his­
torian has to tell a tale of sullen sub­
mission, and pitiless ravage; he has
little to do but to follow in dejection the
chariot wheels of the conqueror, and
to hear them crushing under their iron
weight all that was free, and brave, in
a devoted country.

Edward separated his army into two
divisions. He gave the command of
one to his eldest son, the Prince of
Wales, who directed his march west­
ward into Scotland,2 whilst the king
himself, at the head of the second
division, proceeded eastward by Mor-
peth and Roxburgh, and reached the
capital without challenge or interrup­
tion in the beginning of June 1303.
The whole course of the king, as well
as that of the prince, was marked by
smoke and devastation, by the plunder
of towns and villages, the robbery of
granges and garners, the flames of
woods, and the destruction of the
small tracts of cultivated lands which
yet remained. Wherever he turned
his arms, the inhabitants submitted to
a power which it was impossible for
them to resist; and the governor
Comyn, Sir Simon Fraser, and the late
guardian William Wallace, were driven
into the wilds and fastnesses, where
they still continued the war by irregu­
lar predatory expeditions against the
convoys of the English.

From Edinburgh Edward continued
his victorious progress by Linlithgow
and Clackmannan to Perth, and after­
wards by Dundee and Brechin pro
Hemingford, 205. Langtoft. 321.

1803-4.1                                      INTERREGNUM.                                              77

ceeded to Aberdeen. From this city, pur­
suing his march northward, he reached
Banff, and from thence he pushed on
to Kinloss in Moray. Leaving this, he
struck into the heart of Moray, and for
some time established his quarters at
Lochendorb, a castle strongly situated
upon an island in a lake.1 Here he
received the oaths and homage of the
northern parts of the kingdom,2 and it
is probable added to the fortifications
of the castle. It is curious to find
that, after a lapse of near five hundred
years, the memory of this great king
is still preserved in the tradition of
the neighbourhood; and that the
peasant, when he points out to the
traveller the still massy and noble
remains of Lochendorb, mentions the
name of Edward I. as connected in
some mysterious way with their his­

From this remote strength, the
king, penetrating into Aberdeenshire,
reached the strong castle of Kildrum-
mie, in Garvyach,3 from whence he
retraced his route back to Dundee.
Thence, probably by Perth, he
marched to Stirling and Cambusken-
neth, visited Kinross, and finally pro­
ceeded to take up his winter quarters
at Dunfermline early in the month of
December, where he was joined by his
queen.4 In this progress, the castle
of Brechin shut its gates against him.
It was commanded by Sir Thomas
Maule, a Scottish knight of great in-
trepidity; and such was the impreg­
nable nature of the walls that the
battering engines of the king could
not, for many days, make the least
impression. So confident was Maule
of this, that he stood on the ramparts,
and, in derision of the English soldiers
below, wiped off with a towel the
dust and rubbish raised by the stones
thrown from the English engines.5 At

1 See Notes and Illustrations, letter 0.

2 Fordun a Hearne, p. 989.

3 He was at Kildrummie on the 8th of
October 1303, and at Dundee on the 20th of
the same month. Prynne, 1015, 1017.—-See
Notes and Illustrations, letter P.

4 Langtoft, p. 322.

5  “Stetit ille Thomas cum manutergio et
extrusit Cæsuram de Muro in subsannatio-
nem et derisum totius exercitus Anglicani.”
M. West. p. 446.

last this brave man was struck down
by one of the missiles he affected to
despise, and the wound proved mortal
When he lay dying on the ground,
some of his soldiers asked him if
now they might surrender the castle.
Though life was ebbing, the spirit of
the soldier indignantly revived at this
proposal, and pronouncing maledic­
tions on their cowardice, he expired.6
The castle immediately opened its
gates to the English, after having
stood a siege of twenty days.

The English king was chiefly em­
ployed at Dunfermline in receiving the
submission of those Scottish barons
and great men who had not made
their peace during his late progress
through the kingdom. But he en­
gaged in other occupations little cal­
culated to conciliate the Scots; for
when at this place, his soldiers, by
orders of their master, with savage
barbarity destroyed a Benedictine
monastery, of such noble dimensions
that, an English historian informs us,
three kings with their united retinues
might have lodged within its walls.
On account of its ample size, the
Scottish nobles had often held their
parliaments within its great hall—a
sufficient crime, it would appear, in
the eyes of the king. The church of
the monastery, with a few cells for
the monks, were spared; the rest was
razed to the ground.

Meanwhile Comyn, the governor,
along with Sir Simon Fraser, and a
few barons, still kept up a show of
resistance; and Wallace, who, since
his abdication of the supreme power,
had continued his determined opposi­
tion to Edward, lurked with a small
band in the woods and mountains.
The castle of Stirling, also, still held
out; and as it was certain that the
king would besiege it, Comyn, with the
faint hope of defending the passage of
the Forth, collected as many soldiers
as he could muster, and encamped on
the ground where Wallace had gained
his victory over Cressingham and
Surrey. But the days of victory were
past. The king, the moment he heard

6 Liber Garderobæ Ed\v. I., fol. 15. Math.
West. p. 446.

78                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

of this, forded the river in person, at
the head of his cavalry, and routed
and dispersed the last remnant of an
army on which the hopes of Scotland
depended. He had intended to pass
the river by the bridge, but on coming
forward he found it had been broken
down and burnt by the Scots. Had
the leaders profited by the lesson
taught them by Wallace, they would
have kept up the bridge, and attacked
the English when defiling over it; but
their rashness in destroying it com­
pelled the king to find a ford, and en­
abled him to cross in safety.1

Soon after this expiring effort, the
governor, with all his adherents, sub­
mitted to Edward. The Earls of
Pembroke and Ulster, with Sir Henry
Percy, met Comyn at Strathorde, in
Fife,2 on the 9th of February; and a
negotiation took place, in which the
late regent and his followers, after
stipulating for the preservation of
their, lives, liberties, and lands, de­
livered themselves up, and agreed to
the infliction of any pecuniary fine
which the conqueror should think
right. The castles and strengths of
Scotland were to remain in the hands
of Edward, and the government of
the country to be modelled and ad­
ministered at his pleasure. From
this negotiation those were specially
excepted, for whom, as more obsti­
nate in their rebellion, the King of
England reserved a more signal pun­
ishment. In this honourable roll we
find Wishart, bishop of Glasgow,
James, the Steward of Scotland, Sir
John Soulis, the late associate of
Comyn in the government of the
kingdom, David de Graham, Alexander
de Lindesay, Simon Fraser, Thomas
Bois, and William Wallace.3 To all
these persons, except Wallace, certain
terms, more or less rigorous, were
held out, on accepting which Edward
guaranteed to them their lives and
their liberty; and we know that
sooner or later they accepted the
conditions. But of this great man a

1 Notes and Illustrations, letter Q.

2  Strathurd, or Strathord, on the Ord
water in Fife, perhaps now Struthers.

3  Prynne, Hist. Edward I., pp. 1120, 1121.

rigorous exclusion was made. “ As
for William Wallace,” I quote the
words of the deed, “ it is covenanted
that if he thinks proper to surrender
himself, it must be unconditionally
to the will and mercy of our lord the
king.” Such a surrender, it is well
known, gave Edward the unquestion­
able right of ordering his victim to
immediate execution.

An English parliament was soon
after appointed to meet at St Andrews,
to which the king summoned the
Scottish barons who had again come
under his allegiance. This summons
was obeyed by all except Sir Simon
Fraser and Wallace ; and these two
brave men, along with the garrison of
Stirling, which still defied the efforts
of the English, were declared outlaws
by the vote, not only of the English
barons, but with the extorted consent
of their broken and dispirited country­

At length Fraser, despairing of
being able again to rouse the spirit of
the nation, consented to accept the
hard conditions of fine and banish­
ment offered him by the conqueror;
and Wallace found himself standing
alone against Edward, excepted from
all amnesty, and inexorably marked
for death.5 Surrounded by his ene­
mies, he came from the fastnesses
where he had taken refuge to the
forest of Dunfermline, and, by the
mediation of his friends, proposed on
certain conditions to surrender him­
self. These terms, however, partook
more of the bold character of the
mind which had never bowed to
Edward, than of the spirit of a sup­
pliant suing for pardon. When re­
ported to Edward he broke out into
ungovernable rage, cursed him by the
fiend as a traitor, pronounced his
malediction on all who sustained or
supported him, and set a reward of
three hundred marks upon his head.
On hearing this, Wallace betook him­
self again to the wilds and mountains,
and subsisted on plunder.6

4 Trivet, p. 338.

5 See Notes and Illustrations, letter R.

6 It is singular that this last circumstance
should have escaped Lord Hailes and our

1304.]                                    INTERREGNUM.                                         79

The castle of Stirling was now the
only fortress which had not opened
its gates to Edward. It had been in­
trusted by its governor, John de Soulis,
who was still in France, to the care of
Sir William 01ifant, an experienced
soldier, who, on seeing the great pre­
parations made by Edward against his
comparatively feeble garrison, sent a
message to the king, informing him
that it was impossible for him to sur­
render the castle without forfeiting his
oaths and honour as a knight, pledged
to his master, Sir John Soulis; but
that if a cessation of hostilities were
granted for a short time, he would in­
stantly repair to France, inquire the
will of his master, and return again to
deliver up the castle, if permitted to
do so.1 This was a proposal perfectly
in the spirit of the age, and Edward,
who loved chivalry, would at another
time probably have agreed to it; but
he was now, to use the expressive
words of Langtoft, “full grim,” and
roused to a pitch of excessive fury
against the obstinate resistance of the
Scots. “ I will agree to no such

other historians. It is expressly and min­
utely stated by Langtoft. Chronicle, vol. ii.
p. 324.

“ Turn we now other weyes, unto our owen

And speke of the Waleys that lies in the

foreste ;
In the forest he lendes of Dounfermelyn,
He praied all his frendes, And other of his

After that Yole, thei wilde beseke Edward,
That he might yelde till him, in a forward
That were honorable to kepe wod or beste,
And with his scrite full stable, and seled at

the least,
To him and all his to haf in heritage ;
And none otherwise, als terme tyme and

Bot als a propre thing that were conquest

till him.
Whan thei brouht that tething Edward was

fulle grim,
And bilauht him the fende, als his tray-

toure in Lond,
And ever-ilkon his frende that him sus-

teyn’d or fond.
Three hundreth marke he hette unto his

That with him so mette, or bring his hede

to toun.
Now flies William Waleis, of pres nouht he

In mores and mareis with robberie him

Prynne, Edward I., p. 1051.

terms,” said he; “if he will not sur­
render the castle, let him keep it
against us at his peril.” And 01ifant,
accordingly, with the assistance of Sir
William Dupplin, and other knights,
who had shut themselves up therein,
proceeded to fortify the walls, to di­
rect his engines of defence, and to pre­
pare the castle for the last extremities
of a siege. Thirteen warlike engines
were brought by the besiegers to bear
upon the fortress.2 The missiles which
they threw consisted of leaden balls of
great size, with huge stones and jave­
lins, and the leaden roof of the refec­
tory of St Andrews was torn away to
supply materials for these deadly ma­
chines ;3 but for a long time the efforts
of the assailants produced no breach
in the walls, whilst the sallies of the
besieged, and the dexterity with which
their engines were directed and served,
made great havoc in the English army.
During all this, Edward, although his
advanced age might have afforded
him an excuse for caution, exposed his
person with an almost youthful rash­
ness. Mounted on horseback, he rode
beneath the walls to make his obser­
vations, and was more than once
struck by the stones and javelins
thrown from the engines on the ram­
parts. One day, when riding so near
that he could distinguish the soldiers
who worked the balistæ, a javelin struck
him on the breast, and lodged itself
in the steel plates of his armour. The
king with his own hand plucked out
the dart, which had not pierced the
skin, and shaking it in the air, called
out aloud that he would hang the vil­
lain who had hit him.4 On another
occasion, when riding within the range
of the engines, a stone of great size and
weight struck so near, and with such
noise and force, that the king’s horse
backed and fell with his master; upon
which some of the soldiers, seeing his
danger, ran in and forced Edward
down the hill towards the tents.5

2 “Threttene great engynes, of all the reame
the best,
Brouht thei to Strivelyne, the kastelle
down to kest.”         —Langtoft, p. 326.

3  Fordun a Hearne, p. 990.

4  Walsingham, p. 89.

5  Math. Westminster, p. 449.

80                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

Whilst these engines within the castle
did so much execution, those of Ed-
ward, being of small dimensions in
comparison with the height of the
walls, had little effect; and when
fagots and branches were thrown into
the fosse, to facilitate the assault, a
sally from the castle succeeded in
setting the whole in flames, and car­
ried confusion and slaughter into the
English lines.

The siege had now continued from
the 22d of April to the 20th of
May, without much impression having
been made. But determination was
a marked feature in the powerful
character of the king. He wrote to
the sheriffs of York, Lincoln, and
London, commanding them to pur­
chase and send instantly to him, at
Stirling, all the balistæ, quarrells, bows
and arrows, which they could col­
lect within their counties; and he de­
spatched a letter to the governor of
the tower, requiring him to send
down, with all haste, the balistæ and
small quarrells which were under his
charge in that fortress.1 Anxious,
also, for the assistance and presence
of all his best soldiers, he published,
at Stirling, an inhibition, proclaiming
that no knight, esquire, or other per­
son whatsoever, should frequent jousts
or tournaments, or go in search of
adventures and deeds of arms, with­
out his special licence;2 and aware
that the Scottish garrison must soon
be in want of provisions, he cut off
all communication with the surround­
ing country, and gave orders for the
employment of a new and dreadful
instrument of destruction, the Greek
fire, with which he had probably be­
come acquainted in the East,3 The
mode in which this destructive com­
bustible was used seems to have been
by shooting from the balistæ large
arrows, to whose heads were fastened
balls of ignited cotton, which stuck in
the roofs and walls of the buildings
they struck, and set them on fire. In
addition to this, he commanded his
engineers to construct two immense

1 Rymer, new edit. vol. i. p. 063.

2 Ibid. p. 964.

3 Wardrobe Book of Edward I., p. 52.

machines which, unlike those employed
at first, overtopped the walls, and
were capable of throwing stones and
leaden balls of three hundred pounds
weight. The first of these was a com­
plicated machine, which, although
much pains was bestowed on its con­
struction, did no great execution; but
the second, which the soldiers called
the wolf, was more simple in its form,
and, from its size and strength, most
murderous in its effects.4

These great efforts succeeded : a
large breach was made in the two
inner walls of the castle; and the
outer ditch having been filled up with
heaps of stones and fagots thrown
into it, Edward ordered a general as­
sault. The brave little garrison, which
for three months had successfully re-
sisted the whole strength of the Eng­
lish army, were now dreadfully reduced
by the siege. Their provisions were
exhausted. Thirteen women, the
wives and sisters of the knights and
barons who defended the place, were
shut up along with the soldiers, and
their distress and misery became ex­
treme. In these circumstances—their
walls cast down, the engines carrying
the troops wheeled up to the breach,
and the scaling ladders fixed on the
parapet—a deputation was sent to
Edward, with an offer to capitulate,
on security of life and limb. This
proposal the king met with contempt
and scorn; but he agreed to treat on
the terms of an unconditional surren­
der, and appointed four of his barons,
the Earls of Gloucester and Ulster,
with Sir Eustace le Poor, and Sir
John de Mowbray, to receive the last
resolution of the besieged.

Sir John and Sir Eustace accord­
ingly proceeded to the castle gate,
and summoned the governor; upon
which Sir William Olifant, his kins­
man Sir William de Dupplin, and
their squire Thomas Lillay, met the
English knights, and proceeded with
them to an interview with the two
earls. At this meeting they consented,
for themselves and their companions,

4 Liber Garderobæ Edw. I. fol. 52. I owe
these curious particulars to the research of
Mr Macgregor Stirling.

1304-5.]                                       INTERREGNUM.                                              81

to surrender unconditionally to the
King of England; and they earnestly
requested that he would permit them
to make this surrender in his own
presence, and himself witness their

To this Edward agreed, and forth­
with appointed Sir John Lovel to fill
the place of governor. A melancholy
pageant of feudal submission now
succeeded. Sir William 01ifant, and,
along with him, twenty-five of the
knights and gentlemen, his companions
in the siege, presented themselves be­
fore the king, who received them in
princely state, surrounded by his
nobles and warriors. In order to save
their lives, these brave men were com­
pelled to appear in a garb and posture
against which every generous feeling
revolts. Their persons were stript to
their shirts and drawers; their heads
and feet were bare; they wore ropes
around their necks; and thus, with
clasped hands and bended knee, they
implored the clemency of the king.
Upon this, Edward, of his royal mercy,
exempted them from the ignominy
of being chained; but Olifant was
sent to the Tower, and the rest were
imprisoned in different castles through­
out England.2 The garrison was found
to consist of no more than a hundred
and forty soldiers; an incredibly small
number, if we consider that for three
months they had resisted the efforts of
the army of England, led by the king
in person.3

Having thus secured his conquest,
by the reduction of the last castle
which had resisted his authority, and

1  It is asserted, both by Fordun a Hearne,
p. 991, and by Winton, vol. ii. p. 119, that the
castle was delivered up to the English on a
written agreement signed by Edward that
the garrison should be quit and free of all
harm ; which agreement Edward perfidiously
broke. The only thing mentioned in Rymer,
new edit. p. 996, which gives some counte­
nance to this accusation, is the fact that Oli-
fant and Dupplin agreed to surrender accord­
ing to the terms which had been offered by the
Earl of Lincoln,
and the record somewhat
suspiciously conceals what these terms were.
They may have amounted to a promise that
the garrison should be quit of all harm.

2  Rymer, new edit. p. 966. Math. West,
pp. 449, 450.

3 Hemingford, vol. i. p. 206. See Notes
and Illustrations, letter S.

having appointed English captains to
the other strengths in Scotland, Ed­
ward left the temporary government
of that country to John de Segrave;
and, accompanied by the chief of the
Scottish nobility, proceeded by Sel­
kirk and Jedburgh to Yetholm, upon
the Borders, and from thence to Lin­
coln, where he kept his Christmas with
great solemnity and rejoicing.4

The only man in Scotland who had
steadily refused submission was Wal­
lace ; and the king, with that in­
veterate enmity and unshaken per­
severance which marked his conduct
to his enemies, now used every pos­
sible means to hunt him down, and
become master of his person. He had
already set a large sum upon his head;
he gave strict orders to his captains
and governors in Scotland to be con­
stantly on the alert; and he now care­
fully sought out those Scotsmen who
were enemies to Wallace, and bribed
them to discover and betray him.5
For this purpose he commanded Sir
John de Mowbray, a Scottish knight
then at his court, and who seems at
this time to have risen into great
trust and favour with Edward, to
carry with him into Scotland Ralph
de Haliburton, one of the prisoners
lately taken at Stirling. Haliburton
was ordered to co-operate with the
other Scotsmen who were then en­
gaged in the attempt to seize Wallace,
and Mowbray was to watch how this
base person conducted himself.6 What
were the particular measures adopted
by Haliburton, or with whom he co-
operated, it is now impossible to de­
termine ; but it is certain that, soon
after this, Wallace was betrayed and
taken by Sir John Menteith, a Scot­
tish baron of high rank. Perhaps we
are to trace this infamous transaction
to a family feud. At the battle of Fal-
kirk, Wallace, who, on account of his
overbearing conduct had never been
popular with the Scottish nobility,
opposed the pretensions of Sir John

4 Math. West. p. 450. Hemingford, vol. i.
p. 206.

5 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 223.

6 Ryley, Placita, p. 279. Leland, Collect,
vol. i. p. 541, shews that Wallace employed in
his service a knight named Henry Haliburton.


82                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. II.

Stewart of Bonkill, when this baron
contended for the chief command. In
that disastrous defeat, Sir John Stew­
art, with the flower of his followers,
was surrounded and slain; and it is
said that Sir John Menteith, his uncle,
never forgave Wallace for making
good his own retreat, without attempt­
ing a rescue.1 By whatever motive
he was actuated, Menteith succeeded
in discovering his retreat, through the
treacherous information of a servant
who waited on him;2 and having in­
vaded the house by night, seized him
in bed, and instantly delivered him to

His fate, as was to be expected, was
soon decided; but the circumstances
of refined cruelty and torment which
attended his execution reflect an in­
delible stain upon the character of
Edward; and, were they not stated
by the English historians themselves,
could scarcely be believed. Having
been carried to London, he was
brought with much pomp to West­
minster Hall, and there arraigned of
treason. A crown of laurel, in mock­
ery placed, was on his head, because
Wallace had been heard to boast that
he deserved to wear a crown in
that hall. Sir Peter Mallorie, the
king’s justice, then impeached him
as a traitor to the King of England,3
as having burnt the villages and
abbeys, stormed the castles, and slain
and tortured the liege subjects
of his master the king. Wallace
indignantly and truly repelled the
charge of treason, as he never had
sworn fealty to Edward; but to the
other articles of accusation he pleaded
no defence; they were notorious, and
he was condemned to death. The
sentence was executed on the 23d
of August. Discrowned and chained,
he was now dragged at the tails of
horses through the streets, to the
foot of a high gallows, placed at the
elms in Smithfield.4 After being

1 Fordun a Hearne, p. 981. Duncan Stew­
art, Hist, of Royal Family of Scotland, p.

2  Langtoft, Chron. p. 329.

3  Stow, Chron. p. 209.

4  Winton, vol. ii. Notes, p. 602. Wallace

hanged, but not to death, he was cut
down yet breathing, his bowels taken
out, and burnt before his face.5 His
head was then struck off, and his body
divided into four quarters. The head
was placed on a pole on London bridge,
his right arm above the bridge at New-
castle, his left arm was sent to Berwick,
his right foot and limb to Perth, and his
left quarter to Aberdeen.6 “ These,”
says an old English historian, “ were
the trophies of their favourite hero,
which the Scots had now to contem­
plate, instead of his banners and gon-
fanons, which they had once proudly
followed.” But he might have added,
that they were trophies more glorious
than the richest banner that had ever
been borne before him; and if Wal­
lace already had been, for his daring
and romantic character, the idol of the
people,—if they had long regarded
him as the only man who had as­
serted, throughout every change of cir-
cumstances, the independence of his
country,—now that the mutilated
limbs of this martyr to liberty were
brought amongst them, it may well
be conceived how deep and inextin­
guishable were their feelings of pity
and revenge. Tyranny is proverbially
short-sighted: and Edward, assuredly,
could have adopted no more certain
way of canonising the memory of his
enemy, and increasing the unforgiving
animosity of his countrymen.

The course of events which soon
followed this cruel sentence demon­
strates the truth of these remarks.
For fifteen years had Edward been
employed in the reduction of Scot­
land,—Wallace was put to death,—
the rest of the nobility had sworn
fealty,—the fortresses of the land
were in the hands of English gover­
nors, who acted under an English
guardian,—a parliament was held at
London, where the Scottish nation
was represented by ten commissioners,
and these persons, in concert with
twenty English commissioners, orga-

was executed at Smithfield, on the site occu­
pied now by Cow Lane.

5 Math. Westminster, p. 451.

6 MS. Chronicle of Lanercost, p. 203.
Notes and Illustrations, letter T,

1305.]                                         ROBERT BRUCE.                                              83

nised an entirely new system of go­
vernment for Scotland. The English
king, indeed, affected to disclaim all
violent or capricious innovations; and
it was pretended that the new regu­
lations which were introduced were
dictated by the advice of the Scottish
nobles, and with a respect to the
ancient laws of the land; but he took
care that all that really marked an
independent kingdom should be de­
stroyed ; and that, whilst the name of
authority was given to the Scottish
commissioners who were to sit in

parliament, the reality of power be­
longed solely to himself. Scotland,
therefore, might be said to be entirely
reduced; and Edward flattered him­
self that he was now in quiet to en­
joy that sovereignty which had been
purchased by a war of fifteen years,
and at an incredible expense of blood
and treasure. But how idle are the
dreams of ambition ! In less than
six months from the execution of
Wallace,1 this new system of govern­
ment was entirely overthrown, and
Scotland was once more free.

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