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On the death of Bruce, Scotland, de­
livered from a long war by a treaty
equally honourable and advantageous,
was yet placed in perilous circum­
stances. The character of Edward
the Third had already begun to de­
velop those great qualities, amongst
which a talent for war, and a thirst
for conquest and military renown were
the most conspicuous. Compelled to
observe the letter of the recent treaty
of Northampton, this prince soon
shewed that he meant to infringe its
spirit and disregard its sanctions, by
every method of private intrigue and
concealed hostility. With a greater
regard for public opinion than his
Chamberlain Accounts, vol. i. p. 101.

grandfather, Edward the First, he was
yet as thoroughly bent upon the ag­
grandisement of his dominions. Un­
willing to bring upon himself the
odium of an open breach of so recent
and solemn a treaty, cemented as it
was by a marriage between King
David and his sister, Edward’s policy
was to induce the Scots themselves to
infringe the peace by the private en­
couragement which he gave to their
enemies, and then to come down with
an overwhelming force and reduce the

2 See an interesting Report of the discovery
of the Tomb, and the re­interment of the body
of Robert Bruce, drawn up by Sir Henry Jar-
dine, in the second volume of the Transac­
tions of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland,
part ii. p. 435.

1329-30.]                                    DAVID II.                                            161

kingdom.1 Against these designs there
were many circumstances which pre­
vented Scotland from making an effec­
tual resistance. Randolph was indeed
nominated regent, and the talents of
this great man in the arts of civil
government appear to have been as
conspicuous as in war; but he was
now aged, and could not reasonably
look to many more years of life.
Douglas, whose genius for military
affairs was, perhaps, higher than even
that of Randolph, was soon to leave
the kingdom on his expedition to the
Holy Land; and the powerful faction
of the Comyns still viewed the line of
Bruce with persevering enmity, and
shewed themselves ready to rise upon
the first opportunity against the go­
vernment of his son. Nor was it long
before this opportunity presented itself.
Edward, the eldest son of John Baliol,
had chiefly resided in France since his
father’s death; but he now came to
England, and with the private con­
nivance of Edward the Third began
to organise a scheme for the recovery
of the Scottish crown. Dornagilla,
the mother of Baliol, was sister-in-
law to the Red Comyn, whom King
Robert Bruce had stabbed at Dum­
fries, so that the rights of the new
claimant were immediately supported
by the whole weight of the Comyns ;
and, no longer awed by the com­
manding mind of Bruce, disputes and
heart-burnings arose amongst the
Scottish nobility, at a time when a
concentration of the whole strength
of the nation was imperiously re­

To return to the course of our nar­
rative, Randolph, upon the death of
Bruce, immediately assumed the office
of regent, and discharged its duties
with a wise and judicious severity.
He was indefatigable in his application
to business, and his justice was as bold
and speedy as it was impartial. An
instance of it has been preserved by

1 It is unfortunate that the Rotuli Scotiæ,
from which some of the most authentic and
valuable materials for Scottish history are to
be drawn, are wanting from the first year to
the seventh of the reign of Edward the Third.
Rotuli Scotiæ, p. 224. From 22d January
1327-8 to 1st April 1333.

Bower.2 A priest was slain; and the
murderer, having gone to Rome and
obtained the Papal absolution, had the
audacity to return openly to Scotland.
He was seized and brought before
Randolph, who was then holding his
court at Inverness, during a progress
through the country. He pleaded
the absolution ; but was tried, con­
demned, and instantly executed. The
Pope, it was remarked by the Regent
Randolph, might absolve him from the
spiritual consequences of the sin, but
it was nevertheless right that he should
suffer for the crime committed against
the law. Aware of the important in­
fluence of the local magistrates and
judges, he made every sheriff respon­
sible for the thefts committed within
his jurisdiction; so that, according to
the simple illustrations of the chro­
nicles of those times, the traveller
might tie his horse to the inn-door,
and the ploughman leave his plough­
share and harness in the field, without
fear; for if carried away, the price of
the stolen article came out of the
pocket of the sheriff. Anxious for the
continuance of peace, Randolph sent
Roger of Fawside on an amicable mis­
sion to the English king, whilst he
took care at the same time to strengthen
the borders, to repair the fortifications
of the important town of Berwick, and
commanded John Crab, the expe­
rienced Flemish mercenary, whom he
retained in the pay of Scotland, to re­
main in that city, and keep a watch
upon the motions of England.3

In the meantime, as soon as the
season of the year permitted, Douglas,
having the heart of his beloved master
under his charge, set sail from Scot­
land, accompanied by a splendid re­
tinue, and anchored off Sluys in
Flanders, at this time the great sea­
port of the Netherlands.4 His object
was to find out companions with whom
he might travel to Jerusalem; but he
declined landing, and for twelve days
received all visitors on board his ship

2 Forduni Scotichron a Goodal, chap, xviii.
book xiii. vol. ii. p. 297.

3 Fordun a Groodal, vol. ii. p. 297. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 139. Chamberlain’s Accounts, pp.
171, 227, 228. See Illustrations, CC.
Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 400.


162                                   HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

with a state almost kingly. He had
with him seven noble Scottish knights,
and was served at table by twenty-
eight squires of the first families in
the country. “ He kept court,” says
Froissart, “ in a royal manner, with
the sound of trumpets and cymbals;
all the vessels for his table were of
gold and silver; and whatever persons
of good estate went to pay their re­
spects to him were entertained with
the richest kinds of wine and spiced
bread.1 At Sluys he heard that Alon-
zo, the king of Leon and Castile, was
carrying on war with Osmyn, the
Moorish governor of Granada. The
religious mission which he had em­
braced, and the vows he had taken be­
fore leaving Scotland, induced Douglas
to consider Alonzo’s cause as a holy
warfare; and before proceeding to
Jerusalem, he first determined to visit
Spain, and to signalise his prowess
against the Saracens. But his first field
against the infidels proved fatal to
him, who, in the long English war,
had seen seventy battles.2 The cir­
cumstances of his death were striking
and characteristic. In an action near
Theba, on the borders of Andalusia,
the Moorish cavalry were defeated;
and after their camp had been taken,
Douglas, with his companions, engaged
too eagerly in the pursuit, and being
separated from the main body of the
Spanish army, a strong division of the
Moors rallied and surrounded them.
The Scottish knight endeavoured to
cut his way through the infidels; and
in all probability would have suc­
ceeded, had he not again turned to
rescue Sir William Saint Clair of
Roslin, whom he saw in jeopardy. In
attempting this, he was inextricably
involved with the enemy. Taking
from his neck the casket which con­
tained the heart of Bruce, he cast
it before him, and exclaimed with a
loud voice, “ Now pass onward as thou
wert wont, and Douglas will follow
thee or die!"3 The action and the
sentiment were heroic; and they were
the last words and deed of a heroic

1 Froissart, p. 117, vol. i. Ed. de Buchon.

2 Fordim a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 302.

3 Barbour a Pinkerton, vol. iii. p. 171.

life, for Douglas fell, overpowered by
his enemies; and three of his knights,
and many of his companions, were
slain along with their master.4 On the
succeeding day, the body and the cas­
ket were both found on the field, and
by his surviving friends conveyed to
Scotland. The heart of Bruce was de­
posited at Melrose, and the body of
the “ Good Sir James,” the name by
which he is affectionately remembered
by his countrymen, was consigned to
the cemetery of his fathers in the
parish church of Douglas.

Douglas was the model of a noble
and accomplished knight, in an age
when chivalry was in its highest splen­
dour. He was gentle and amiable in
society, and had an open and delight­
ful expression in his countenance,
which could hardly be believed by
those who had only seen him in
battle. His hair was black, and a little
grizzled; he was broad-shouldered,
and somewhat large-boned; but his
limbs were cast in the mould of fair
and just proportion. He lisped a
little in his speech; but this defect,
far from giving the idea of effeminacy,
became him well, when contrasted
with his high and warlike bearing.5
These minute touches, descriptive of
so great a man, were communicated
by eye-witnesses to Barbour, the his­
torian of Bruce.

The Good Sir James was never
married; but he left a natural son,
William Douglas, who inherited the
military talents of his father, and
with whom we shall soon meet, un-

4 The three knights were Sir William Sin­
clair of Roslin, Sir Robert and Sir Waiter
Logan. Boece, who might have consulted
Bower in his continuation of Fordun, or Bar-
boar, prefers his own absurd inventions, which
he substitutes at all times in the place of au­
thentic history. Buchanan, b. viii. c. 58, erro­
neously states that Douglas went to assist the
King of Arragon, and that he was slain “post
aliquot prosperas pugnas.” In Buchon’s
Notes to Froissart, vol. i. p. 118, we find “that
the object of the Moors was to raise the siege
of Gibraltar, then straitly invested by the
Spaniards. On their approach, Alonzo raised
the siege, and marched against the enemy.”
Hume of Godscroft, in his Hist, of Douglas
and Angus, vol. i. p. 96, adopts Boece’s fable
as to Douglas having been thirteen times
victorious over the Saracens.

5 Barbour, p. 15.

1331-2.]                                      DAVID II.                                             163

der the title of the Knight of Liddes-

Soon after this disaster, which de­
prived Scotland of one of its best
defenders, David, then in his eighth
year, and his youthful queen, were
crowned with the usual solemnities at
Scone,1 on which occasion the royal
boy, after having been himself knight­
ed by Randolph the regent, surrounded
by his barons and nobles, conferred
knighthood on the Earl of Angus,
Thomas, earl of Moray, Randolph's
eldest son, and others of his nobles.
His father Robert, in consequence of
his disagreement with the court of
Rome, had never been anointed King;2
but in virtue of a special bull from
the Pope, the Bishop of St Andrews
poured the holy oil on the head of his

Notwithstanding the wise adminis­
tration of Randolph, the aspect of
public affairs in Scotland began to be
alarming, and the probability of a rup­
ture with England became every day
more apparent. The designs of Ed­
ward Baliol, and the dissembling con­
duct of Edward the Third, have been al­
ready alluded to; and it unfortunately
happened that there were circum­
stances in the present state of Scotland
which gave encouragement to these
schemes of ambition. During the wars
of King Robert, many English barons
who had been possessed of estates in
that country, and not a few Scottish
nobles who had treacherously leagued
with England, were disinherited by
Bruce, and the lands seized by the
crown. By the treaty of Northamp­
ton, it was expressly provided that the
Scottish estates of three of those
English barons, Henry Percy, Thomas
Lord Wake, and Henry Beaumont,
should be restored. Percy was accord­
ingly restored, but, notwithstanding

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 302.

2 Winton, book viii. chap. 24, p. 137, vol. ii.

3 The coronation oath, in its full extent, is
not given by any ancient historian ; but in
one part of it the king solemnly swore that
he would not alienate the crown lands, or any
of the rents of the same; and that whatever
lands and revenues fell to the crown, should
not be bestowed upon subjects without mature
advice.—Robertson’s Parl. Records of Scot­
land, p. 97.

the repeated requisitions of the English
king, the Scottish regent delayed per­
formance of the stipulations in favour
of Wake and Beaumont, and there
were strong reasons both in justice
and expediency for this delay.4 Wake
claimed the lordship of Liddel, which
would have given him an entrance into
Scotland by the Western Marches,
while Beaumont, one of the most
powerful barons in England, who, in
right of his wife, claimed the lands
and earldom of Buchan, might have
excited disturbances, and facilitated
the descent of an enemy upon the
coast. These were not the only con­
siderations which induced Randolph
to suspend performance of this part of
the engagement. Henry de Beaumont
and Lord Wake had violently opposed
the whole treaty of Northampton, and
declared themselves enemies to the
peace with Scotland; they had leagued
with the disinherited Scottish barons,
and had instigated Baliol to an inva­
sion of that country, and an assertion
of his claim to the crown. The Eng­
lish king, on the other hand, although
speciously declaring his intention to
respect that treaty,5 extended his pro­
tection to Edward Baliol; and when
he was perfectly aware that a secret
conspiracy for the invasion of Scotland
was fostered in his court, of which
Baliol, Wake, and Beaumont, were the
principal movers, he yet preposter­
ously demanded of Randolph to restore
Beaumont and Wake to their estates
in that country.6

The power and opulence of Beau­
mont induced the whole body of the
disinherited barons 7 to combine their
strength; and, aware that no effectual
measures for suppressing their attempt
would be used by Edward,8 they openly
put themselves at the head of three

4 Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 461.

5 Rymer, vol. iv. p. 470.

6 Ibid. vol. iv. pp. 445, 452, 511, and 518.

7 Their names and titles are given by Le-
land, Collect, vol. i. pp. 552, 553. The an­
cestors of Lord Ferrers, one of these disin­
herited lords, were settled in Scotland as far
back as 1288. See Excerpta ex Rotulis Com-
pot. Temp. Alex. III. p. 56, Chamberlain’s

8 Rapin’s Acta Regia, vol. i. p. 201. Rymer’s
Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 590.

164                                   HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                          [Chap. V.

hundred armed horse and a small body
of infantry, and declared their design
of subverting the government of Bruce,
and placing Baliol on the throne. It
was their first intention to invade
Scotland by the marches, but to this
the King of England would not con­
sent : he allowed them, however, with­
out any offer of opposition, to embark
at Ravenshire, near the mouth of the
Humber, with the design of making
a descent on the coast, while, to pre­
serve the appearance of the good faith
which he had broken, he published a
proclamation, enjoining his subjects
strictly to observe the treaty of North­
ampton.1 In the meantime, Randolph
the regent, who, with his wonted acti­
vity, had put himself at the head of
an army to resist these hostile designs.
died suddenly, without any apparent
cause,2 and not without the strongest
suspicion of his having been poisoned.
Winton and Barbour, both historians
of high credit, and the last almost a
contemporary, assert that he came by
his death in this foul manner, and that
the poison was administered to him at
a feast held at his palace of the Wemyss,
by a friar who was suborned by the
faction of Beaumont.3 It is certain, at
least, that the friar took guilt to him­
self, by a precipitate flight to England.
In the Earl of Moray Scotland lost
the only man whose genius was equal
to manage the affairs of the nation,
under circumstances of peculiar peril
and difficulty. In his mind we can
discern the rare combination of a cool
judgment with the utmost rapidity
and energy of action; and his high
and uncorrupted character, together
with his great military abilities, kept
down the discordant factions which
began to shew themselves among the
nobility, and intimidated the conspira­
tors who meditated the overthrow

1 Rymer, vol. iv. pp. 518, 529.

2 He died at Musselburgh, and was buried
at Dunfermline, Bower’s Continuat. Fordun,
vol. ii. p. 300. Hailes seems to have bor­
rowed his scepticism on Randolph’s death
from Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 372, who gives no
ground for his opinion. See Remarks on
this subject, Illustrations, letters DD.

3 Winton, vol. ii. p. 146. Barbour a Pink-
erton, vol. iii. p. 179. Fordun a Groodal, vol.
ii. p. 299.

or the government. Upon his death,
a parliament assembled at Perth for
the election of his successor, and the
spirit of civil disunion broke out with
fatal violence. After great contention
amongst the nobility, Donald, earl of
Mar, nephew to the late king, was
chosen regent.4 This nobleman was
in every way unfitted for so arduous
a situation. When a child, he had
been carried into England by Edward
the First, and on being released from
captivity, had continued to reside in
that country, and had even carried
arms in the English army against
Scotland. Although he was after­
wards restored to his country, and
employed by Bruce, it was in a sub­
ordinate military command. The king
appears to have considered his talent
for war as of an inferior order, and
the result shewed how well Bruce had
judged.5 In the meantime, on the
very day that the reins of the state
fell into this feeble hand, word was
brought that the fleet of Edward
Baliol, and the disinherited barons,
had appeared in the Forth. They
landed soon after with their army at
Wester Kinghorn, where the ground
was so unfavourable for the disem­
barking of cavalry, that a small force,
led by any of the old captains of Bruce,
would have destroyed the daring en­
terprise in its commencement. But
Mar, who was at the head of a Scottish
army more than ten times the strength
of the English, lingered at a distance,
and lost the opportunity; whilst Alex­
ander Seton threw himself, with a
handful of soldiers, upon the English,
and was instantly overpowered and cut
to pieces.6 Baliol immediately ad­
vanced to Dunfermline, where he found
a seasonable supply for his small army
in five hundred spears, and a quantity
of provisions, laid up there by the or­
ders of Randolph, then recently dead.7

4 Winton, vol. ii. p. 147. Fordun a Hearne,
p. 1018.

5  Barbour, pp. 387, 389. llotuli Scotiæ, 13
Ed. II. m. 3.

6 Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. pp. 1018, 1019.
Scala Chronicle, p. 159.

7  Leland, Collect, vol. i. p. 553. Randolph
had died twelve days before. Knighton, p.

1332.]                                                DAVID II.                                                   165

When he first effected a landing, he
had with him only four hundred men;
but by this time he had collected a
force of about two thousand foot sol­
diers ; 1 and feeling more confident,
he commanded his fleet to sail round
the coast, and anchor in the mouth of
the Tay, while he himself pushed on
to Perth, and encamped near Forteviot,
having his front defended by the river
Earn. On. the opposite bank lay the
extensive tract called Dupplin Moor,
upon which the Earl of Mar drew up
his army, consisting of thirty thousand
men, excellently equipped, and com­
manded by the principal nobility of
Scotland. Eight miles to the west of
Forteviot, at Auchterarder, was the
Earl of March, at the head of an army
nearly as numerous, with which he
had advanced through the Lothians
and Stirlingshire, and threatened to
attack the English in flank.

Nothing could be imagined more
perilous than the situation of Baliol;
but he had friends in the Scottish
camps.2 Some of the nobility, whose
relatives had suffered in the Black
Parliament, were decided enemies to
the line of Bruce, and secretly favoured
the faction of the disinherited barons;
so that, by means of the information
which they afforded him, he was en­
abled, with a force not exceeding three
thousand men, to overwhelm the army
of Mar at the moment that his own
destruction appeared inevitable.3

It is asserted by an English histo­
rian, on the authority of an ancient
manuscript chronicle, that the newly
elected regent had entered into a secret
correspondence with Baliol; but the
conduct of that ill-fated nobleman
appears to have been rather that of
weakness and presumption than of
treachery.4 Aware of the near pre-

1 Knighton, p. 2560. Leland, Col. vol. i. p.
553. Walsingham, p. 131. Fordun a Goodal,
vol. ii. p. 307, says, “six hundred was the
original number.”

2 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 304.

3  Bower’s Continuat. Fordun, vol. ii. p.
301. “ Annon audivisti de internecione no-
bilium in Nigro Parliamento ? Generatio
eorum tibi adstabit.” Winton, vol. ii. p. 151.
The place where the disinherited lords en­
camped was called “Millei’s Acre.”

4  Barnes’ Hist of Ed. III., p. 60.

sence of the enemy, he kept no watch,
and permitted his soldiers to abandon
themselves to riot and intemperance.
Andrew Murray of Tullibardine, a
Scottish baron, who served in the
army of March, basely conducted the
English to a ford in the river, which
he had marked by a large stake driven
into its channel.5 Setting off silently
at midnight, Baliol passed the river,
and marching by Gask and Dupplin,
suddenly broke in upon the outposts
of the Scottish camp, and commenced
a dreadful slaughter of their enemies,
whom they mostly found drunken and
heavy with sleep.6 The surprise, al­
though unfortunate, was not at first
completely fatal. Young Randolph,
earl of Moray, Murdoch, earl of Men-
teith, Robert Bruce, a natural son of
King Robert, and Alexander Fraser,
hastily collected three hundred troops,
and with the desperate courage of men
who felt that all hung upon gaining a
few moments, checked the first onset
and drove back the English soldiers.
This gave time for the main body of
the Scots to arm, and as the morning
had now broke, the small numbers of
the assailants became apparent. But
the military incapacity of the regent
destroyed the advantage which might
have been improved, to the total dis­
comfiture of Baliol. Rushing down
at the head of his army, without order
or discipline, the immense mass of
soldiers became huddled and pressed
together; spearmen, bowmen, horses,
and infantry, were confounded in a
heap, which bore down headlong upon
the English, and in an instant over­
whelmed Randolph and his little
phalanx.7 The confusion soon be­
came inextricable : multitudes of the
Scottish soldiers were suffocated and
trodden down by their own men ; and
the English, preserving their discipline,
and under brave and experienced
leaders, made a pitiless slaughter.

The rout now became total, and
the carnage, for it could not be called
a battle, continued from early dawn
till nine in the morning, by which

5 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307.

6 Ibid. p. 305.

7 Winton, vol. ii. pp. 152, 153.

166                                  HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                          [Chap. V.

time the whole of the Scottish army
was slain, dispersed, or taken prisoners.
So rapid and easy had been the victory,
that the English ascribed it to a mi­
raculous interference for their preser­
vation, and the Scots to a sudden in­
fliction of divine vengeance. But the
military incapacity of Mar, and the
treachery of Murray, sufficiently ac­
count for the disaster.

On examining the field it was found
that multitudes had perished without
stroke of weapon, over­ridden by their
own cavalry, suffocated by the pres­
sure and weight of their armour, or
trod under foot by the fury with
which the rear ranks had pressed upon
the front.1 On one part of the ground
the dead bodies lay so thick that the
mass of the slain was a spear’s length
in depth.2 It is difficult to estimate
the numbers of those who fell; but
amongst them were some of the
bravest of the Scottish nobility. The
young Randolph, earl of Moray, whose
conduct that day had been worthy of
his great father ; Robert, earl of Car-
rick, a natural son of King Edward
Bruce; Alexander Fraser, Chamber­
lain of Scotland, who had married the
sister of the late king ; Murdoch, earl
of Menteith, and the Regent Mar him­
self, were amongst the slain. In addi­
tion to these, there fell many Scottish
knights and men-at-arms, and probably
not less than thirteen thousand infan­
try and camp followers.3 Duncan,
earl of Fife, was made prisoner after a
brave resistance, in which three hun­
dred and sixty men-at-arms, who
fought under his banner, were slain.
Of the English the loss was incon­
siderable : besides those of less note,
it included only two knights and
thirty-three esquires, a disparity in
the numbers which, although very
great, is not without parallel in his­
tory.4 There does not occur in our
Scottish annals a greater or more
calamitous defeat than the rout at
Dupplin, even when stripped of the

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 305.

2  Winton, vol. ii. p. 155. Laner. Chron. p. 268.

3  Walsingham, p. 131. Fordun a Hearne,
vol. iv. p. 1019.

4  At Cressy, the English lost only three
knights and one esquire.

additions of some English historians.5
It was disgraceful, too, as its cause is
to be found in the military incapacity
of Mar the leader, and in the acknow­
ledged treachery of one, and probably
of more than one, of the Scottish
barons. The principal of these, Mur­
ray of Tullibardine, was speedily over­
taken by the punishment which he
deserved: he was made prisoner at
Perth, tried, condemned, and exe­

After the battle of Dupplin, Baliol
instantly pressed forward and took
possession of Perth, which he fortified
by palisades, with the intention of
abiding there the assault of the enemy,
for the Earl of March was still at the
head of a powerful army of thirty
thousand men. March was a baron
of great landed power, but lightly
esteemed by all parties;7 timid, and
intent upon his own interest, unwill­
ing to peril his great estates by an
adherence to the losing side, and pos­
sessed of no military talents. Upon
hearing the account of the defeat at
Dupplin, he passed with his army over
the field of battle, which presented a
ghastly confirmation of the tale ; and
on reaching Lammerkin Wood, com­
manded the soldiers to cut fagots and
branches to be used in filling up the
fosse, should they assault Perth,
against which town he now advanced.
The near approach of so great an army
alarmed the citizens, who began to
barricade the streets and the approach
to their houses. But on reaching the
high ground immediately above the
town, March commanded his men to
halt. Beaumont, who intently watched
his operations, observing this, called
out “to take courage, for he knew
they had friends in that army, and
need fear no assault.”8 It is probable
that, in the halt made by March,
Beaumont recognised a sign of his
friendly intentions, which had been
previously agreed on. It is probable,

5 Echard, p. 145. Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 372.

6 Fordun a Hearno, vol. iv. p. 1020. For-
dun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307.

7 Scala Chron. p. 161. Hailes, vol. ii. p.
189. 8vo edition.

8 Winton, vol. ii. p. 156. Fordun a Goodal,
vol. ii. p. 306.

1332.]                                              DAVID II                                                    167

at least, that this powerful baron
himself, and certain that some of his
leaders, had engaged in a correspond­
ence with Baliol; as the intended as­
sault was delayed, and the protracted
measure of a blockade preferred; a
change which, in the mutual situation
of the two parties, can be accounted
for on no ground but that of a friendly
feeling to Baliol. At this moment,
Crab, the Flemish mercenary, appeared
with his fleet in the Tay, and attacked
the English ships. He was at first
successful, and made a prize of the
Beaumondscogge, Henry de Beau-
mont’s vessel; but the rest of the
squadron defended themselves with
such resolution, that in the end Crab
was defeated, and compelled to fly to
Berwick.1 This disaster gave March
a plausible pretext for deserting. The
blockade was changed into a retrograde
movement, which soon after ended in
the total dispersion of the Scottish
army, and, after a decent interval, in
the accession of the Earl of March to
the English interest.2

1 Walsingham, p. 130. The Cogga de Ben-
mond, or Beaumondscogge. was purchased
by the State in 1337. It had become the
property of Reginald More, Chamberlain of
Scotland, who sold it to the king for two
hundred pounds. Chamberlain’s Accounts,
p. 256.

2 Lord Hailes, Ann. vol. ii. p. 155, in a
note, exculpates March, and softens his ac­
cession to the English lords. He tries to
shew that March raised the leaguer of Perth
not from treachery but necessity. It is evi­
dent that much of the question as to March’s
treachery, and that of the “noble persons”
who acted along with him, hangs on Beau-
mont’s speech. Now, Hailes has curtailed it.
Beaumont really said, “Take courage, for
that army, as I conjecture, will not hurt us,
because I perceive, without doubt, our friends
and well-wishers amongst them.”
The author
of the Annals makes him say, “Take cour­
age, these men will not hurt us ;“ and he
then observes, “Whether he said this merely
to animate the English, or whether he formed
his conjecture from the disordered motions
of the enemy, or whether he indeed discerned
the banners of some noble persons who
secretly favoured Baliol, is uncertain.” Now
there is really no uncertainty about the
speech. Beaumont, in the part of the pas­
sage which Hailes has overlooked, expressly
affirmed that he perceived friends in March’s
Had he consulted Winton, he would
have found that this old and authentic
chronicler, vol. ii. p. 156, makes Beaumont

Baliol, secure from all opposition for
the present, now repaired to Scone, and
in the presence of many of the gentry
from Fife, Gowry, and Strathern, was
crowned King of Scotland.3 Duncan,
earl of Fife, who had joined the Eng­
lish party, and Sinclair, bishop of Dun-
keld, officiated at the solemnity.

The chief causes which led to this
remarkable revolution, destined for a
short time to overthrow the dynasty
of Bruce, are not difficult of discovery.
The concluding part of the late king’s
reign, owing to the severity with which
he punished the conspiracy of Brechin,
had been unpopular; and part of the
discontented nobility were not slow in
turning their eyes from the line of
Bruce, which his great energy and
military talents had compelled them
to respect, to the claims of Baliol,
weak in personal power, but, as they
imagined, better supported in right
and justice. A party of English
barons, headed by Henry Beaumont,
one of the most influential subjects in
England, having been dispossessed by
Bruce of their estates in Scotland,
determined to recover them by the
sword, and united themselves with
Baliol, concealing their private ambi­
tion under the cloak of re-establishing
the rightful heir upon the throne.
They were mostly men of great power,
and were all of them more or less con­
nected with the numerous sept of the
Comyns, the inveterate enemies of
Bruce. They received private encour­
agement and support from the King
of England, and they began their en­
terprise when the civil government in
Scotland, and the leading of its armies,
was in the hands of Mar and March:
the first a person of no talents or
energy, and suspected of being in­
clined to betray his trust; the second
undoubtedly a favourer of the Eng­
lish party.

There was nothing, therefore, extra­
ordinary in the temporary recovery of
the crown by Baliol; but a short time
shewed him how little dependence was

“Look that ye be
Merry and glad, and have no doubt,
For we have friends in yon rout.”
Winton. vol. ii. p. 157.

168                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. V.

to be placed on such a possession. The
friends of the line of Bruce were still
numerous in the country: amongst
them were the oldest and most ex­
perienced soldiers in Scotland; and
the feelings of the nation were en­
tirely on their side. Their first step
was a decided one. Anxious for the
safety of the young king, then a boy in
his ninth year, they sent him and his
youthful queen with speed to the
court of France, where they were hon­
ourably and affectionately received by
Philip the Sixth.1

Perth had been fortified by the dis­
inherited lords; after which Baliol
made a progress to the southern parts
of Scotland, and committed the cus­
tody of the town to the Earl of Fife.
It was soon after attacked and stormed
by Sir Simon Fraser and Sir Robert
Keith, who destroyed the fortifica­
tions, and took the constable Fife and
his daughter prisoners. Upon this
first gleam of success, Sir Andrew
Moray of Bothwell, who had married
Christian, the sister of the late king,
was chosen regent. Meanwhile Baliol,
with ready pusillanimity, hastened to
surrender to Edward the liberties of
Scotland; and the English king moved
on to the borders with the declared
purpose of attending to the safety of
that divided country. The transac­
tions which followed at Roxburgh
throw a strong light upon the charac­
ters of both sovereigns.

After his many hypocritical declara­
tions as to the observation of the
treaty of Northampton, the English
king now dropt the mask, and de­
clared that the successes of Baliol in
Scotland were procured by the assist­
ance of his good subjects, and with his
express permission or sufferance.2 In
return for this assistance, Baliol ac­
knowledged Edward as his feudal lord,
and promised that he would be true
and loyal to the English king and to
his heirs, the rightful sovereigns of
the kingdom of Scotland. In addition
to this, he agreed to put Edward in

1 Winton, vol. ii.p. 158. Fordun a Goodal,
vol. ii. p. 307.

2 Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 538. The
deed is dated Roxburgh, 23d November 1332.

possession of the town, castle, and
territory of Berwick, and of other
lands upon the marches, extending to
the value of two thousand pounds;
and, affecting to consider the Princess
Joanna of England as only betrothed
to King David Bruce, he proposed
himself as a more convenient match,
and offered to provide for David Bruce
in whatever way Edward should think
fit. He lastly promised to assist the
English king, in all his wars, with two
hundred men-at-arms, maintained at
his own charges; and he engaged that
his successors should furnish a hun­
dred men-at-arms for the same service.
The penalty affixed to the breach of
this agreement was a fatal part of the
treaty. If Baliol, or his successors,
neglected to appear in the field, they
became obliged to pay to England the
enormous sum of two hundred thou­
sand pounds sterling; and if this money
could not be raised, it was agreed that
Edward should take possession of the
“ remainder of Scotland and the isles.”
This last obligation, which was to be
perpetually in force, evidently gave
Edward the power of draining Scot­
land of its best soldiers, and, in the
event of resistance, of at once seizing
and appropriating the kingdom.3

Thus, in a moment of sordid selfish­
ness, were the chains, which had cost
Robert Bruce thirty years’ war to
break, again attempted to be fixed
upon a free country, and this by the
degenerate hands of one of her own
children. But Baliol’s hour of pros­
perity was exceeding brief. Strong,
as he imagined, in the protection of
the King of England, and encouraged
in his security by the readiness with
which many of the Scottish barons
had consented to recognise his title,4
the new king lay carelessly encamped
at Annan, not aware of the approach
of a body of armed horse, under the
command of the Earl of Moray, the
second son of the great Randolph,
along with Sir Simon Fraser and
Archibald Douglas, brother to Bruce’s
old companion-in-arms, the Good Sir

3 Fœdera, vol. iv. pp. 536 and 548.
Fordun a Hearne, pp. 1020, 1021. Win-
ton, vol. ii. p. 159.

1332-3.]                                           DAVID II.                                                    169

James. These barons, informed of
the new king’s remissness in his disci­
pline, made a sudden and rapid march
from Moffat, in the twilight of a De­
cember evening, and broke in upon
him at midnight. Taken completely
by surprise, the nobles who were with
him, and their vassals and retainers,
were put to the sword without mercy.
Henry Baliol, his brother, after a
gallant resistance, was slain; and
Walter Comyn, Sir John de Mowbray,
and Sir Richard Kirby, met their
deaths along with him. Alexander,
earl of Carrick, was made prisoner;
and Baliol, in fear of his life, and
almost naked, threw himself upon a
horse, and with difficulty escaped into
England.1 Carrick, the natural son of
King Edward Bruce, would have been
executed as a traitor, but young Ran­
dolph interfered and saved his life.
With the assistance of strangers and
mercenary troops, it had cost Baliol
only seven weeks to gain a crown : in
less than three months it was torn
from his brow, he himself chased from
Scotland, and cast once more a fugitive
and an exile upon the charity of Eng­

Encouraged by this success, and
incensed at the assistance given by
Edward to Baliol and the disinherited
lords, the Scottish leaders began to
retaliate by breaking in upon the
English borders. It is a singular in­
stance of diplomatic effrontery that the
English king, on hearing of this in­
vasion, accused the Scots of having
violated the treaty of Northampton ;3
in his correspondence with the King
of France and the court of Rome, he
does not hesitate to cast upon that
nation the whole blame of the recom­
mencement of the war ;4 and as if this

1  Winton, vol. ii. p. 161. Lanercost
Chron. p. 271.

2  He landed 31st July, and was crowned
24th Sept. He was surprised and chased
into England on 16th December.

3 Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 552.

4 During the whole period of his intrigues
and alliance with Baliol, both before and
after his successes in Scotland, Edward had
taken especial care, in his correspondence
with Rome, to keep the Pope ignorant of the
real state of Scottish affairs ; and the cause of
this sedulous concealment was the dread of

was not enough, the English historians
accuse them, in broad terms, of having
attacked Baliol at Annan during the
existence of a truce. Both the one
and the other assertion appear to be

Hostilities having again broke out
between the two nations, the border
inroads recommenced with their accus­
tomed fury; but at first were attended
with circumstances disastrous for Scot­
land. It happened that Baliol, after
his flight from Annan, had experienced
the Christmas hospitality of Lord
Dacres; in return for which kindness,
Archibald Douglas, at the head of a
small army of three thousand men,
broke in upon Gillsland, and wasted
the country belonging to Dacres with
fire and sword, spreading desolation
for a distance of thirty miles, and
carrying off much booty. To revenge
this, Sir Anthony Lucy of Cocker-
mouth, and William of Lochmaben,
with eight hundred men, penetrated
into Scotland; but on their return
were encountered by Sir William
Douglas, commonly called the Knight
of Liddesdale, and at that time keeper
of Lochmaben castle. After a conflict,
in which Lucy was grievously wounded,
Douglas was totally defeated. Of the
Scots, a hundred and sixty men-at-arms,
including Sir Humphrey Jardine, Sir
Humphrey Boys, and William Carlisle,
were left on the field, and the best of
the chivalry of Annandale were either
slain or made captive.6 Amongst the
prisoners were Douglas himself, Sir
William Baird, and a hundred other
knights and gentlemen.

So anxious was Edward to secure
the prize he had won in the Knight
of Liddesdale, a natural son of the
Good Sir James, who inherited his
father’s remarkable talents for war,
that he issued orders for his strict

being subjected in the payment of two
thousand pounds, the stipulated fine in
case he infringed the treaty. Knighton, p.

5 Lingard’s Hist, of England, vol. iv. p.
23. The passage in Knighton, p. 2562, does
not seem to me conclusive ; for neither March
nor Douglas were at the head of affairs, but
Sir Andrew Moray.

6 Walsingham, p. 132.

170                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

confinement in iron fetters;1 and
Baliol having, a short time before this
success, again entered Scotland, and
established himself in the castle of
Roxburgh, endeavoured to confirm his
authority in Annandale, by bestowing
the lands of the knights who were
slain upon his English followers.2

Another disaster followed hard upon
the defeat of Douglas at Lochmaben.
The regent, Sir Andrew Moray, with
a strong body of soldiers, attacked and
attempted to storm the castle of Rox­
burgh, where Baliol then lay. A
severe conflict took place on the bridge;
and in the onset, Ralph Golding, an
esquire in the regent’s service, pushing
on far before the rest, was overpowered
by the English. Moray, in the ardour
of the moment, more mindful of his
duty as a knight than a loader, at­
tempted singly to rescue him, and
instantly shared his fate.3 Disdaining
to surrender to any inferior knight, he
demanded to be led to the King of
England; and being brought to Ed­
ward, was thrown into prison, where
he remained for two years. The Scots,
who at their greatest need had lost in
Douglas and Moray two of their best
soldiers, endeavoured to supply their
place by conferring the office of regent
upon Archibald Douglas, lord of Gal­
loway, the brother of the Good Sir

In consequence of these advantages,
Edward determined to carry on the
war with renewed spirit. He as­
sembled a powerful army, besought
the prayers of the Church for his suc­
cess, and wrote to the Earl of Flanders,
and to the magistrates of Bruges,
Ghent, and Ypres, requesting them
to abstain from rendering assistance
to the Scots.5 He informed the King
of France, who had interposed his
good offices in behalf of his ancient
allies, that, as they had repeatedly
broken the peace, by invading and
despoiling his country, he was necessi-

1 Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 552.

2 Rotuli Scotiæ, 8 Ed. III., 18th Nov. vol. i.
p. 294.

3  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 309, 310.
Ibid. p. 310.

5 Itotuli Scotiæ, 7 Ed. III., vol. i. pp. 233,
204. Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 556.

tated to repel such outrages by force
of arms ; 6 and having taken these pre­
liminary steps, he put himself at the
head of his army, and sat down before

The Scots, on their side, were not
unprepared to receive him. Although
Crab’s disaster, in the former year, had
weakened their strength by sea, they
still possessed a fleet of ships of war,
which committed great havoc on the
English coasts, and plundered their
seaports;7 and Douglas, the regent,
exerted himself to raise an army equal
to the emergency. The defence of
the castle of Berwick was imprudently
committed to the Earl of March, whose
conduct, after the battle of Dupplin,
had evinced already the strongest lean­
ing to the English interest; the com­
mand of the town was intrusted to Sir
Alexander Seton.8 The garrison ap­
pears neither to have been numerous
nor well supplied; but for some time
they made a gallant defence, and suc­
ceeded in sinking and destroying by
fire a great part of the English fleet.
Edward at first attempted to fill up
the ditch with hurdles, and to carry
the town by assault; but having been
repulsed, he converted the attack into
a blockade ; and as the strength and
extent of his lines enabled him to cut
off all supplies, it became apparent
that, if not relieved, Berwick eventually
must fall. After a protracted block­
ade, a negotiation took place, by which
the besieged agreed to capitulate by
a certain day, unless succours were
thrown into the town before that
time; and for the performance of the
stipulations, the Scots delivered host­
ages to Edward, amongst whom was a
son of Seton, the governor.9 The pe­
riod had nearly expired, when, one
morning at the break of day, the citi­
zens, to their great joy, saw the army
of Scotland, led by the regent in per­
son, approach the Tweed, and cross
the river at the Yare ford. They ap
proached Berwick on the south side of

6  Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 557.

7  Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 233. 249, and 252.

8  Scala Chron. pp. 162, 163, and Rotuli
Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 272. Compot. Camerarii
Scotiæ, p. 255.

9  Ibid.

1333.]                                               DAVID II.                                                   171

the river; and although the English
endeavoured to defend every passage,
Sir William Keith, Sir William Pren-
dergest, and Sir Alexander Gray, with
a body of Scottish soldiers, succeeded
in throwing themselves into the town.
The main body of the Scots, after hav­
ing remained drawn up in order of
battle, and in sight of the English
army, for a day and a half, struck
their tents at noon of the second day,
and, with the hope of producing a
diversion, entered Northumberland,
and wasted the country. But although
they menaced Bamborough Castle,
where Edward had placed his young
queen, that monarch, intent upon his
object, continued before Berwick; and
on the departure of the Scottish army,
peremptorily required the town to be
given up, as the term stipulated for
their being succoured had expired.
With this demand the besieged refused
to comply : they asserted that they
had received succours, both of men
and of provisions; the knights, they
said, who had led these succours, were
now with them; out of their number
they had chosen new governors, of
whom Sir William Keith was one; and
they declared their intention of defend­
ing the city to the last extremity.1
Edward upbraided the citizens, ac­
cused them of duplicity, and requested
the advice of his council with regard
to the treatment of the hostages. It
was their opinion that the Scots had
broken the stipulations of the treaty,
and that their lives were forfeited.
The king then commanded the son of
the late governor to prepare for death,
expecting that the threatened severity
of the example, and the rank and in­
fluence of his father, would induce
the townsmen to surrender. But he
was disappointed; and Thomas Seton,
a comely and noble-looking youth, was
hanged before the gate of the town,’2
so near, it is said, that the unhappy
father could witness the execution
from the walls.3 Immediately after
this, the citizens became alarmed for
the lives of the rest of the hostages,

1 Scala Chron. pp. 163, 164.

2 Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1022.

3 See Illustrations, letters EE.

and from affection for their children,
renewed the negotiations for surren­
der, unless succoured before a certain
day. To this resolution Keith, their
governor, encouraged them, by holding
out the sure hope of the siege being
raised by the Scottish army, which he
represented as superior to that of Eng­
land.4 Unhappily they embraced his
advice. It was stipulated, in a solemn
instrument yet preserved, and with a
minuteness which should leave no room
for a second misunderstanding, that
Berwick was to be given up to the
English, unless the Scots, before or on
the 19th of July, should succeed in
throwing two hundred men-at-arms
into the town by dry land, or should
overcome the English army in a
pitched field.5

Keith, the governor of the town,
was permitted, by the treaty of capi­
tulation, to have an interview with the
regent, Archibald Douglas. He repre­
sented the desperate situation of the
citizens; magnified the importance of
the town, which must be lost, he said,
unless immediately relieved; and per­
suaded the regent to risk a battle.
The resolution was the most imprudent
that could have been adopted. It was
contrary to the dying injunctions of
Bruce, who had recommended his cap­
tains never to hazard a battle if they
could protract the war and lay waste
the country; and especially so at this
moment, as desertion and mutiny now
began to shew themselves in the Eng­
lish army, which all the endeavours of
Edward had not been able to suppress.6
Notice, too, had reached the camp,

4 Scala Chron. in Hailes, pp. 163, 164. Ad
Murimuth, p. 80. Hailes says, and quotes
Fordun, book xiii. chap, xxvii. as his autho­
rity, that during a general assault the town
was set on fire, and in a great measure con­
sumed ; and that the inhabitants, dreading a
storm, implored Sir William Keith and the
Earl of March to seek terms of capitulation.
Neither Fordun, nor his continuator, Bower,
nor Winton, say anything of the town having
been set on fire. The English historians,
Walsingham and Hemingford, indeed assert
it; but it is not to be found in the narrative
of the Scala Chronicle, which appears to be the
most authentic ; I have therefore omitted it,

5 Fœdera, vol. iv. pp. 566, 567.

6 Rotuli Scot. 7 Ed. III. in. 26, dorso, vol.
i. p. 235.

172                                      HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                      [Chap. V.

of illegal meetings and confederations
having taken place in London during
the king’s absence, and the people of
the northern shires had peremptorily
refused to join the army; so that there
was every probability that it must soon
have been disbanded.1

It was in expectation of this result,
Seton, the former governor, had de­
termined to hold out the town to the
last extremity, and sternly refused to
capitulate, although the life of his son
hung upon the issue. But his resolu­
tion was counteracted by the rashness
of Keith, the new governor of the
town, as well as by the excusable
affection of the citizens for their sons,
who were hostages. The regent suf­
fered himself to be overruled ; and on
the day before the festival of the
Virgin, being the 18th of July, the
Scottish army crossed the Tweed, and
encamped at a place called Dunsepark.
Upon this, Edward Baliol and the
King of England drew up their forces
on the eminence of Halidon Hill,
situated to the west of the town of
Berwick. Nothing could be more
advantageous than the position of the
English. They were divided into four
great battles, each of which was
flanked by choice bodies of archers.
A marsh separated the hill on which
they stood from the opposite emi­
nence, and on this rising ground the
Scottish commanders halted and ar­
ranged their army.2 It consisted also
of four divisions, led respectively by
the regent Douglas; the Steward of
Scotland, then a youth of seventeen,
under the direction of his uncle, Sir
James Stewart; the Earl of Moray,
son of Randolph, assisted by two
veteran leaders of approved valour,
James and Simon Fraser; and the
Earl of Ross. The nature of the
ground rendered it impossible for the
English position to be attacked by

1 Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 234, 244.

2 I take this from an interesting and curi­
ous manuscript preserved in the British
Museum, Bib. Harleiana, No. 4690, of which
I find a transcript by Macpherson, the editor
of Winton, and an accurate investigator into
Scottish history, in his MS. Notes on Lord
Hailes’ Annals. As it has never been
printed, I have given it in the Illustrations,
letters FF. Winton, vol. ii. p. 169.

cavalry. Their adversaries accordingly
fought on foot, and the leaders and
heavy-armed knights having dis­
mounted, delivered their horses to be
kept by the camp-boys in the rear.
Before reaching their enemy, it was
necessary for the Scottish army to
march through the soft and unequal
ground of the marsh; an enterprise
which required much time, and was
full of danger, as it inevitably exposed
the whole host to the discharge of the
English archers, the fatal effects of
which they had experienced in many
a bloody field. Yet, contrary to the
advice of the elder officers, who had
been trained under Bruce and Ran­
dolph, this desperate attempt was
made; and the Scots, with their
characteristic impetuosity, eagerly
advanced through the marsh. The
consequence was what might have
been expected: their ranks, crowded
together, soon fell into confusion;
their advance was retarded; and the
English archers, who had time for a
steady aim, plied their bows with
such deadly effect, that great numbers
were every instant slain or disabled.
An ancient manuscript says that the
arrows flew as thick as motes in the
sunbeam, and that their enemies fell
to the ground by thousands.3 It
could not indeed be otherwise; for
from the nature of the ground it was
impossible to come to close fighting;
and having no archers, they were
slaughtered without resistance—the
English remaining in the meantime
uninjured, with their trumpets and
nakers sounding amid the groans of
their dying opponents. Upon this
dreadful carnage many of the Scots
began to fly ; but the better part of
the army, led on by the nobility,
at last extricated themselves from
the marsh, and pressing up the hill,
attacked the enemy with great
fury. It was difficult, however, for
men, breathless by climbing the ac­
clivity, and dispirited by the loss
sustained in the marsh, to contend
against fresh troops admirably posted,
and under excellent discipline; so

3 MS. Harleian, Illustrations, letters GG.
Ad Murimuth. p. 80.

1333-4.]                                           DAVID II.                                                   173

that, although they for a little time
fiercely sustained the battle, their
efforts being unconnected, the day, in
spite of all their exertions, went
against them.

The Earl of Ross, in leading the
reserve to attack the wing where
Baliol commanded, was driven back
and slain. Soon after, the Regent
Douglas was mortally wounded and
made prisoner. The Earls of Lennox,
Athole, Carrick, and Sutherland, along
with James and Simon Fraser, were
struck down and killed; while the
English, advancing in firm array with
their long spears, entirely broke and
drove off the field the remains of the
Scottish army. In the pursuit which
succeeded, the carnage was great.
Besides the nobles and barons already
mentioned, John Stewart and James
Stewart, uncles of the Steward of
Scotland, were mortally wounded,
Malise, earl of Strathern, John de
Graham, Alexander de Lindesay, and
other barons, were also slain; and
with them fell, on the lowest calcula­
tion, fourteen thousand men. Such
was the disastrous defeat of the Scots
at Halidon Hill.1 The battle was
fought on the 20th day of July, and
the English monarch immediately
addressed letters to the archbishops
and bishops of his dominions, directing
them to return thanks to God for so
signal a victory.2

In the conflicting accounts of the
various annalists, the exact number of
the two armies, and the extent of the

1 Winton, vol. ii. p. 170. Fordun a Hearne,
vol. iv. p. 1021. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p.

2 Winton, vol. ii. p. 166, says the Scots had
an army fully sixty thousand strong. It is
observed by Edward, in his letters ordaining
a public thanksgiving, that the victory was
obtained without great loss upon his side ;
an expression proving the inaccuracy of the
assertion of the English historians, that of
their army only thirteen foot soldiers, with
one knight and one esquire, were slain. Nor
is it unworthy of remark that the king makes
no allusion to any inferiority of force upon
the English side ; which, had such been the
case, he could scarcely have failed to do, if
we consider the subject of his letter. When
the English historians inform us that the
Scots were five times more numerous than
their opponents, we must consider it as exag­

loss on either side, cannot be easily
ascertained. It seems probable that
nearly the whole of the men-at-arms
in the Scottish ranks were put to the
sword either in the battle or in the
pursuit; and that of the confused
multitude which escaped, the greater
part were pages, sutlers, and camp
followers. So great was the slaughter
of the nobility, that, after the battle,
it was currently said amongst the
English that the Scottish wars were
at last ended, since not a man was left
of that nation who had either skill or
power to assemble an army or direct
its operations.3

The consequences of the battle of
Halidon were the immediate delivery
of the town and castle of Berwick into
the hands of the English, and the
subsequent submission of almost the
whole kingdom to Baliol, who tra­
versed it with an army which found
no enemy to oppose it.4 Five strong
castles, however, still remained in
possession of the adherents of David,
and these eventually served as so
many rallying points to the friends of
liberty. These fortresses were Dum­
barton, which was held by Malcolm
Fleming ; Urquhart, in Inverness-
shire, commanded by Thomas Lauder;
Lochleven, by Alan de Vipont; Kil-
drummie, by Christian Bruce, the
sister of Robert the First; and Loch-
maben, by Patrick de Chartres.5 A
stronghold in Lochdon, on the borders
of Carrick, was also retained for David
Bruce by John Thomson, a brave
soldier of fortune, and probably the
same person who, after the fatal battle
of Dundalk, led home from Ireland the
broken remains of the army of King
Edward Bruce.6

Patrick, earl of March, who had
long been suspected of a secret leaning
to the English, now made his peace
with them, and swore fealty to Ed­
ward, and along with him many per­
sons of rank and authority were com­
pelled to pay a temporary homage;
but the measures which this monarch

3 Murimuth, p. 81.

4 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 311.

5 Rotuli Scotiæ, 8 Ed. III. vol. i. p. 274.
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 311.

174                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                       [Chap. V.

adopted on making himself master of
Berwick were little calculated to con­
ciliate the minds of those whom he
somewhat prematurely considered as
a conquered people. He seized and
forfeited the estates of all the barons
in the county of Berwick who held
their property by charter from King
Robert; in giving leases of houses
within the town, or of lands within
the shire, he prohibited his tenants
and vassals from subleasing them to
any except Englishmen;1 he directed
the warden of the town to transport
into England all the Scottish monks
whom he suspected of instilling rebel­
lious principles into their countrymen,
to be there dispersed amongst the
monasteries of their respective orders
on the south side of the Trent; and
he commanded the chiefs of the dif­
ferent monastic orders in that country
to depute to Scotland some of their
most talented brethren, who were
capable of preaching pacific and salu­
tary doctrines to the people, and of
turning their hostility into friendship.
Orders were also transmitted to the
magistrates of London and other prin­
cipal towns in the kingdom, directing
them to invite merchants and traders
to settle in Berwick, under promise of
ample privileges and immunities ; and,
in the anticipation that these measures
might still be inadequate to keep down
the spirit of resistance, he emptied the
prisons throughout his dominions of
several thousands of criminals con­
demned for murder and other heinous
offences, and presented them with a
free pardon, on the condition of their
serving him in his Scottish wars.2

Baliol having thus possessed himself
of the crown by foreign assistance,
seemed determined to complete the
humiliation of his country. An as­
sembly of his party was held at Edin­
burgh on the 10th of February. Lord
Geoffrey Scrope, High Justiciar of
England, attended as commissioner
from Edward, along with Sir Edward
Bohun, Lord William Montague, Sir
Henry Percy, and Ralph Neville,

1 Rotuli Scotiæ, 8 Ed. III. vol. i. pp. 272,
Ibid. 7 Ed. III. vol. i. p. 254.

seneschal of England. As was to be
expected, everything was managed by
English influence. Lord Henry Beau­
mont, the Earl of Athole, and Lord
Richard Talbot, were rewarded with
the extensive possessions of the Co-
myns in Buchan and Badenoch. The
vale of Annandale and Moffatdale,
with the fortress of Lochmaben, were
bestowed upon Lord Henry Percy;
and the Earl of Surrey, Ralph Lord
Neville, of Raby, Lord John Mow-
bray, and Sir Edward Bohun, were
remunerated for their labours in the
Scottish war by grants of the estates
of those who had fallen at Halidon, or
who were forfeited for their adherence
to David Bruce. To his royal patron
more extensive sacrifices were due.
Not only was the town, castle, and
extensive county of Berwick surren­
dered to the King of England, but
the forests of Jedburgh, Selkirk, and
Ettrick, the wealthy counties of Rox­
burgh, Peebles, Dumfries, and Edin­
burgh ; the constabularies of Liniith-
gow and Haddington, with the j towns
and castles situated within these ex­
tensive districts, were, by a solemn
instrument, annexed for ever to the
kingdom of England.3

To complete the dismemberment of
the kingdom, there was only wanting
a surrender of the national liberties.
Baliol accordingly appeared before
Edward at Newcastle, acknowledged
him for his liege lord, and swore fealty
for the kingdom of Scotland and the
Isles. Edward, thus rendered master
of the fairest and most populous part
of Scotland, hastened to send English
governors to his new dominions;4
while the friends of the young king
once more retired into the mountains
and fastnesses, and waited for a favour­
able opportunity of rising against
their oppressors. Nor was it long ere
an occasion presented itself. Dissen­
sions broke out amongst those English
barons to whose valour Baliol owed
his restoration; and a petty family
quarrel gave rise to an important

3 Rymer, Fœdera, vol. iv. pp. 614, 616.
Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 261, 262.
Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 263.

1334.]                                               DAVID II.                                                    175

The brother of Alexander de Mow-
bray died, leaving daughters; but no
male heirs; upon which Mowbray
claimed the estate, in exclusion of the
heirs-female, and, by a decision of
Baliol, was put in possession:1 an
award the more extraordinary as it
went to destroy his own title to the
crown. The cause of the disinherited
daughters was warmly espoused by
Henry de Beaumont, Richard Talbot,
and the Earl of Athole, all of them
connected by marriage with the power­
ful family of the Comyns; and, upon
the denial of their suit by Baliol, these
fierce barons retired in disgust from
court. Beaumont, taking the law into
his own hands, retreated to his strong
castle of Dundarg in Buchan, and
seized a large portion of the disputed
lands which lay in that earldom.
Athole removed to his strongholds
in the country of Athole; and Talbot,
who had married the daughter of the
Red Comyn slain by Bruce,2 collected
his vassals and prepared for war.

Encouraged by this disunion amongst
their enemies, the old friends of the
dynasty of Bruce began again to reap­
pear from their concealment; and, at this
favourable conjuncture, Sir Andrew
Moray of Bothwell3 was released from
his captivity, and returned to Scotland.
At the same time some Scottish ships
of war, assisted by a fleet of their
allies laden with provisions and arms,
and well manned with soldiers, hov­
ered on the coast, and threatened to
intercept the English vessels which had
been sent by Edward with supplies
for his adherents.4 Baliol, in the
meantime irresolute and alarmed, re­
treated to Berwick, and reversed his
decision in favour of Mowbray. But
this step came too late to conciliate
Beaumont, and it entirely alienated
Mowbray, who, eager to embrace any
method of humbling his rivals, went
over with his friends and vassals to

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 312. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 175.

2 Macpherson’s Notes on Winton, vol. ii.
pp. 506, 509. Scala Chron. p. 165.

3 Erroneously called by Maitland, vol. i.
p. 520, the Earl of Bothwell.

4 Rotuli Scot, vol. i. p. 279. 20th Sept,

the party of David Bruce, and cordi­
ally co-operated with Moray, the late

And now the kingdom which Ed­
ward so lately believed his own, on
the first gleam of returning hope, was
up in arms, and ready again to become
the theatre of mortal debate. Talbot,
in an attempt to pass with a body of
soldiers into England, was attacked
and taken prisoner by Sir William
Keith of Galston; six of the knights
who accompanied him, and many of
his armed vassals, being put to the
sword.5 He was instantly shut up in
the strong fortress of Dumbarton;
and one of their most powerful oppo­
nents being disposed of, Moray and
Mowbray hastened to besiege Beau­
mont in the castle of Dundarg. This,
however, was no easy enterprise.
Situated on a precipitous rock over­
hanging the Moray Firth, the strong
retreat which the English baron had
chosen was connected with the main­
land by a neck of land so narrow, that
a few resolute men could defend it
against a multitude. To attempt to
storm it would have been certain de­
feat ; and Moray chose rather, by a
strict blockade, to compel a surrender.
An unexpected circumstance accele­
rated his success. Having discovered
the situation of the pipes which sup­
plied the garrison with water, he
mined the ground, cut them through,
and reduced the besieged to extre­
mity. Beaumont capitulated, and, upon
payment of a high ransom, was per­
mitted to retire into England.6

Amongst the numerous confiscations
which followed his brief possession of
power, Baliol had conferred the exten­
sive possessions of Robert, the Steward
of Scotland, upon the Earl of Athole;
while this young baron, stript of his
lands, and compelled to be a wanderer,
had lain concealed in Bute since the
defeat at Halidon Hill, and escaped
the search of his enemies. With a
prudence and determination superior

5  Walsingham, p. 134. Leland, Collect,
vol. i. p. 554. Eordun a Goodal, vol. ii.
p. 325.

6  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 312. Stat.
Acc. of Scotland, vol. xii. p. 578.

176                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

to his years, he now organised a plan
for escaping to the castle of Dumbar­
ton, in which he happily succeeded.
Two old vassals of the family, named
Gibson and Heriot, brought a boat to
Rothesay late in the evening, and the
Steward, accompanied only by a cham­
ber-boy and two servants, threw himself
into it, and rowed that night to Over-
tunnock, from which they crossed to
Dumbarton, where they were joyfully
welcomed by Malcolm Fleming, the
governor.1 Here he did not long re­
main inactive; but assembling his scat­
tered vassals, with the assistance of Co­
lin Campbell of Lochow, attacked and
stormed the castle of Dunoon in Cowal,

The news of this success soon flew
to Bute; and there the hereditary
vassals of the young patriot instantly
rose upon the English governor, Alan
de Lyle, put him to death, and pro­
ceeded, carrying his head in savage
triumph along with them, to join their
master. The castle of Bute soon after
fell into the hands of the insurgents.2

The country of Annandale, as we
have already stated, was presented by
Baliol to Henry Percy; but its moun-
tains and fastnesses had given refuge
to many brave men who obstinately
refused to submit to the English king.
On the first intelligence that the Stew­
ard had displayed open banner against
the English, these fugitives, says an
ancient historian, came suddenly, like
a swarm of hornets, from the rocks
and woods, and warred against the
common enemy. The chief amongst
them was William de Carruthers, who,
since the success of Baliol, had pre­
ferred a life of extremity and hardship,
as a fugitive in the woods, to the igno­
miny of acknowledging a yoke he de­
tested. He now left his strongholds,
and with a considerable force united

1 Winton, vol. ii. p. 178. Fordun a Goodal,
vol. ii. p. 313.

2 Winton calls the vassals of the young
Steward “The Brandanys of Bute;” and in
describing the battle in which Lyle was slain,
tells us they overwhelmed him with showers
of stones, hence

“ Amang the Brandanis all
The Batayle Dormang they it call.”

The battle Dormang is evidently,” Mac-
pherson remarks, “a corruption of the Batail

himself to the Steward.3 Thomas
Bruce, with the men of Kyle, next
joined the confederacy; and soon after
Randolph, earl of Moray, who had
escaped to France after the defeat at
Halidon Hill, returned to his native
country, and, with the hereditary val­
our of his house, began instantly to
act against the English. Strengthened
by such accessions, the Steward in a
short time reduced the lower division
of Clydesdale; compelled the English
governor of Ayr to acknowledge King
David Brace; and expelled the adhe­
rents of Baliol and Edward from the
districts of Renfrew, Carrick, and Cun­

The Scottish nobles of his party
now assembled, and preferred this
young patriot and the Earl of Moray
to the office of joint regents under
their exiled king. The choice was in
every respect judicious. The Steward,
although now only in his nineteenth
year, had early shewn great talents for
war; he was the grandson of Robert
the First, and had been already de­
clared by parliament the next heir to
the crown : Moray, on the other hand,
was the son of the great Randolph;
so that the names of the new gover­
nors were associated with the most
heroic period of Scottish history : a
circumstance of no trivial importance
at a period when the liberties of the
country were threatened with an utter
overthrow. About the same time, the
friends of liberty were cheered by the
arrival of a large vessel laden with
arms, besides wines and merchandise,
in the port of Dumbarton; a circum­
stance which Edward considered of so
much importance, that he directed his
writs to the magistrates of Bristol and
Liverpool, commanding them to fit
out some ships of war to intercept her
on her return.4

The first enterprise of the regents
was against the Earl of Athole, who
now lorded it over the hereditary
estates of the Steward, and whose im-
nan dornaig;” Dorneag being a round stone :
a proof that, in Bute, the Gaelic was then the
common language. Winton, vol. ii. p. 186.
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 316.
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 316
Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 320.

1334-5.]                                           DAVID II.                                                    177

mense possessions, both in Scotland
and England, rendered him the most
formidable of their enemies.1 Moray,
by a rapid march into the north, at­
tacked the earl before he had time to
assemble any considerable force, drove
him into the wild district of Locha-
ber, and compelled him to surrender.
Thus, by the overthrow of Beaumont,
Talhot, and Athole, the most power­
ful branch in the confederacy of the
disinherited barons was entirely de­
stroyed ; and Baliol, once more a fugi­
tive, passed into England, and implored
the protection and assistance of Ed­

On being informed of the revolution
in Scotland, this monarch, although
it was now the middle of November,
determined upon a winter campaign,
and issued writs for the attendance of
his military vassals. The expedition,
however, proved so unpopular, that
fifty-seven of the barons who owed
suit and service, absented themselves;2
and, with an army enfeebled by deser­
tion, Edward made his progress into
Lothian, where, without meeting an ene­
my, if we except some obscure malefac­
tors who were taken and executed, he
ruled over a country which the Scots,
following the advice of Bruce, aban­
doned for the time to his undisturbed
dominion.3 Baliol, as usual, accom­
panied Edward, and with a portion of
his army ravaged Avondale, and laid
waste the districts of Carrick and Cun­
ningham. The vassal king then passed
to Renfrew, and affected a royal state
in his Christmas festivities, distribut­
ing lands and castles to his retainers,
and committing the chief management
of his affairs to William Bullock, a
warlike ecclesiastic, whom he created
chamberlain of Scotland, and governor
of the important fortresses of St An­
drews and Cupar.4 Such castles as he
possessed were garrisoned with English
soldiers; and John de Strivelin, with
a large force, commenced the siege of
Lochleven, which was then in the
hands of the friends of David Bruce.

1 Douglas’ Peerage, vol. i. p. 133.

2 Rotuli Scotrae, 8 Edward III., vol. i. p. 293.

3 Hemingford, vol. ii. p. 277.

4 Winton, vol. ii. p. 177.


From its insular situation this proved a
matter of difficulty. A fort, however,
was built in the churchyard of Kin­
ross, on a neck of land nearest to the
castle; and from this point frequent
boat attacks were made, in all of which
the besiegers were repulsed. At last
Alan Vipont, the Scottish governor,
seizing the opportunity when Strivelin
was absent on a religious pilgrimage
to the shrine of St Margaret at Dun­
fermline, attacked and carried the fort, “
put part of the English garrison to the
sword, and raised the siege. He then
returned to the castle with his boats
laden with arblasts, bows, and other
instruments of war,5 besides other
booty, and many prisoners.

Encouraged by this success, and
anxious to engage in a systematic plan
of military operations, the Scottish
regents summoned a parliament to
meet at Dairsay. It was attended by
Sir Andrew Moray, the Earl of Athole,
the Knight of Liddesdale, lately re­
turned from captivity, the Earl of
March, who had embraced the party
of David Bruce, and renounced his
allegiance to Edward, Alexander de
Mowbray, and other Scottish barons.
But at a moment when unanimity was
of infinite importance in the national
councils, the ambition and overween­
ing pride of Athole embroiled the de­
liberations, and kindled animosities
amongst the leaders. His motives
cannot easily be discovered. It is
probable that, as he became convinced
that Baliol would never be suffered to
reign in Scotland, his own claims to
the crown became uppermost in his
mind, and that he was induced to re­
nounce the allegiance which he had
sworn to Edward, in the hope that, if
Baliol were set aside, he might have a
chance, amid the confusions of war, to
find his way to the throne. He ap­
peared accordingly at the parliament,
with a state and train of attendants
almost kingly; and, having gained an
ascendancy over the young Steward,

5 Winton, book viii. chap. xxix. vol. ii. p.
183. I have rejected the story of the attempt
to drown the garrison by damming up the lake
as physically improbable, and unnoticed by
Winton. See Macpherson’s Notes on Winton,
vol. ii. p. 507.


178                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

treated Moray and Douglas with such
haughtiness, that the assembly became
disturbed by mutual animosities and
heartburnings, and at length broke up
in confusion.1 Ambassadors soon after
this arrived in England from Philip
of France, earnestly recommending a
cessation of hostilities between his
ancient allies the Scots and the King
of England; but Edward, intent upon
his scheme of conquest, although he
consented to a short truce, continued
his warlike preparations, and, despising
all mediation, determined again to in­
vade his enemies, and dictate the terms
not of peace, but of absolute sub­

About midsummer, the English king,
accompanied by Baliol, joined his army
at Newcastle, having along with him
the Earl of Juliers, with Henry, count
of Montbellegarde, and a large band of
foreign mercenaries.2 Meanwhile his
fleet, anticipating the movements of
the land forces, entered the Firth of
Forth; and while Edward, with one
part of his army, advanced by Carlisle
into Scotland, Baliol, having along
with him those English barons upon
whom he had bestowed estates, and
assisted by a numerous body of Welsh
soldiers, remarkable for their ferocious
manners, proceeded from Berwick.

But, notwithstanding the great pre­
parations, the campaign was one of
little interest. Having penetrated to
Glasgow, the two kings united their
forces, and advanced to Perth without
meeting an enemy. By an order of
the regents, the Scots drove their cattle
and removed their goods from the
plain country to inaccessible fastnesses
among the mountains, so that the
English only wasted a country already
deserted by its inhabitants.3 They
did not, however, entirely escape mo­
lestation; for the Scottish barons,
although too prudent to oppose them
in a pitched field, hovered round their
line of march, and more than once
caught them at a disadvantage, sud­
denly assaulting them from some con-

1 Fordun a Goodal, book xiii. chap. xxiv.
vol. ii. p. 317.
2 Leland, Collect, vol. i. p. 555.
Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1025.

cealed glen or ambush, and cutting off
large bodies who had separated them­
selves from the main army. In this
way, a party of five hundred archers
were attacked and cut to pieces by
Moray the regent, and Sir William
Douglas.4 On another occasion, the
Earls of March and Moray fell upon
the Earl of Namur, as he was leading
his band of foreign knights to join
Edward at Perth. The two parties
met on the Borough Muir; for the
foreign troops, imagining that the
country was wholly in possession of
the English, had advanced fearlessly
towards Edinburgh. The mercenaries,
however, clad in complete steel, and
strongly mounted, made a desperate
defence ; nor was it till the appearance
of the Knight of Liddesdale, with a
reinforcement, that they found them­
selves compelled to retreat into the
town. Confined within the streets
and lanes, the conflict now changed
into a series of single combats ; and
it is interesting to remark the warm
spirit of chivalry which diffuses itself
into the details of our ancient histo­
rians, in their descriptions of this
event. They dwell with much com­
placency on a famous stroke made
by Sir David de Annand, a Scottish
knight, who, enraged by a wound from
one of the mercenaries, raised himself
in his stirrups, and wielding a pon­
derous battle-axe with both hands,
hewed down his opponent with such
force, that the weapon cut sheer
through man and horse, and was only
arrested by the stone pavement, where
the mark of the blow was shewn in
the time of the historian.5 The foreign
soldiers were at last driven up the
High Street to the castle. This for­
tress had been dismantled, but Namur
and his knights took their stand on
the rock, and having killed their horses,
piled their bodies into a mound, be­
hind which they, for a while, kept the
Scots in check. They were at last
compelled to surrender; and Moray
and Douglas treated their noble pris­
oner, who was near kinsman to their

4 Knighton, p. 2567.

5 Extracta ex Chronicis Scotiæ, folio 197.
Fordun. vol. ii. p. 519. Scala Chron., p. 165.

1335.]                                               DAVID II.                                                   179

ally the King of France, with much
generosity. l He and his brother
knights and soldiers were set at liberty
without ransom, and their captors ac­
companied them with an escort across
the English border. But this act of
courtesy cost Moray dear; for, on his
return, his little party was attacked
by the English, under William de
Pressen, warden of Jedburgh Forest,
and entirely routed. The regent was
taken prisoner and instantly ironed,
and shut up in the strong castle of
Bamborough; Douglas, however, had
the good fortune to escape a second
captivity in England, but his brother
James Douglas was slain.2

From Perth, Edward and Baliol
made a destructive progress through
the north of Scotland; and soon after
the Earl of Cornwall, brother to the
King of England, along with Sir An­
thony Lucy, ravaged the western dis­
trict of the kingdom, not even sparing
the religious houses, but razing the
churches to the ground, and burning
along with them the unhappy wretches
who had there taken sanctuary. After
this he marched to Perth, and joined
his forces to those of the king, who
had returned from his northern expe­

At this melancholy crisis, when, to
use an expression of an ancient his­
torian, none but children in their
games dared to call David Bruce their
king,4 the Earl of Athole shewed his
versatile and selfish character. The
captivity of Moray the regent had de­
livered him from a formidable oppo­
nent, and his ambition now prompted
him to aspire to the vacant office of
regent, for the purpose, as was shewn
by the result, of gratifying his rapa­
city and his revenge. He accordingly
informed Edward that he and his
friends were willing to make their
final submission; and he despatched
five deputies, who concluded a treaty
at Perth, in which the English mon­
arch agreed that “ the Earl of Athole,

1  Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1026.
Winton, vol. ii. p. 194.

3 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 323. Scala
Chron. pp. 165, 166.

4 Winton, vol. ii. p. 184.

and all other Scottish barons who
came under his peace, should receive
a free pardon, and have their estates
in Scotland secured.”5 By another
article, the large English estates of
this powerful baron were restored to
him; and to give a colour of public
zeal to an agreement essentially selfish,
it was stipulated that the franchises
of the Scottish Church, and the
ancient laws of Scotland, should be
preserved as they existed in the reign
of Alexander the Third.6 As the price
of this pacification, Athole was im­
mediately appointed governor in Scot­
land under Baliol; Edward having
repaired the fortifications of Perth,
returned to England, and the new go­
vernor, anxious to distinguish himself
in the service of his master, began to
slay or imprison the friends of Bruce,
and to confiscate their estates, with a
rapacity which filled the hearts of the
people with an eager desire of ven­

Nor was it long before this feeling
was gratified. The handful of brave
men, who still obstinately supported
their independence, chose for their
leader Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell,
in early life the pupil of Wallace, a
soldier of great experience, and of
undoubted integrity. This hardy vete­
ran did not long remain inactive, and
his first enterprise was eminently suc­
cessful. It happened that within
Kildrummie, a strong castle in the
north, his wife, a noble matron, sister
of Robert Bruce, had taken refuge
during the insolent administration of
Athole, who, eager to make himself
master of so valuable a captive, in­
stantly attacked it. Moray hastily
collected a small army, and burning
with a resentment which was kindled
by a sense both of public and private
wrongs, flew to raise the siege : he was
accompanied by the Knight of Liddes-
dale and the Earl of March. Their
troops encountered those of Athole in
the Forest of Kilblene, and, after a

5 Knighton, p. 2566. This indemnity was
declared not to extend to those who, by com­
mon assent,
should be hereafter excepted
from it.

6 Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 387.

7 Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1026.

180                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                       [Chap. V.

short resistance, entirely dispersed
them: Athole himself, with five
knights who attended him, was slain
in the wood.1 He died young in years,
but old in political intrigue and ambi­
tion, and successively the friend of
every party which promised him most
personal advantage. Insolent and un­
steady, he yet possessed, from his im­
mense estates and noble birth, a great
capacity of doing mischief ; and not
only his last agreement with Edward,
but the indiscriminate cruelty with
which he was at that moment hunting
down the few remaining friends of
liberty, rendered his death, at this
crisis, little less than a public benefit.
It was followed by the election of Sir
Andrew Moray to the regency of the
kingdom, in a parliament held at Dun-

It might have been evident to Ed­
ward long before this that although it
was easy for him to overrun Scotland,
and destroy the country by the im­
mense military power which he pos­
sessed, yet the nation itself was further
than ever from being subdued. The
people were strong in their love of
liberty, and in their detestation of
Baliol, whom they now regarded with
the bitterest feelings of contempt. It
was true, indeed, that many of their
highest nobles, swayed by private am­
bition, did not hesitate to sacrifice
their patriotism to the lust of power;
yet, amongst the barons and gentry,
there was a remnant left animated
by better feelings, and kept up the
spirit of resistance against the power
of England.

This was remarkably shewn in the
history of the present period. The
death of Athole was followed by the
reappearance of Edward in Scotland,
at the head of a formidable army,
strengthened by the accession of the
Anglicised Scottish barons and their
numerous vassals. Alarmed at the
declaration, now openly made by the
French king, of his intention to assist
his ancient allies,3 and prompted by

1 Winton, book viii. chap. xxxi. vol. ii. p.
201. Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1027.

2 Fordun a Hearne, p. 1028.

3 Rymer. vol. iv. pp. 704-0.

the restless desire, so often formed,
and so constantly defeated, of com­
pleting the subjugation of the country,
the English monarch penetrated first
to Perth, and afterwards into the
more northern parts of the kingdom.
His march was, as usual, marked
by the utter destruction of the dis­
tricts through which it lay. The
counties of Aberdeen, Nairn, and In­
verness, with their towns and villages,
were wasted by fire and sword; but
he in vain endeavoured to bring the
regent, Sir Andrew Moray, to a battle.4
Under the command of this leader,
the Scots, intimately acquainted with
the country, were ever near their
enemy, and yet always invisible to
them ; and an anecdote of a masterly
retreat, made during this northern
campaign, has been preserved, which
is characteristic of the cool discipline
of Moray. On one occasion, word
being brought to Edward that the
regent was encamped in the wood of
Stronkaltere,5 he instantly marched
against him. The intelligence was
found to be true ; the English and
Scottish outposts came in sight of
each other, in a winding road leading
through the wood, and after some
skirmishing, the Scots fell back to in­
form Moray of the near approach of the
English army. The general was then
at mass, and although the danger was
imminent, none dared to interrupt him
till the service was concluded. On
being told that Edward and his army
were at hand in the forest, he observed
there was no need of haste; and, when
the squires brought him his horse, be­
gan quietly to adjust its furniture,
and to see that the girths were tight
and secure. When this was going on,
the English every moment came nearer,
and the Scottish knights around Moray
shewed many signs of impatience.
This, it may be imagined, was not
lessened when one of the straps which
braced his thigh armour snapt as he
buckled it; and the regent, turning to

4 Fordun a Hearne, p. 1028.

5 The exact position of this ancient wood
cannot now be discovered. I conjecture it
was in Perthshire, somewhere between Dun-
keld and Blair.

1335-8.]                                           DAVID II.                                                   181

an attendant, bade him bring a coffer
from his baggage, from which he took
a skin of leather, and, sitting down
leisurely on the bank, cut off a broad
strip, with which he mended the frac­
ture. He then returned the box to
its place, mounted his horse, arrayed
his men in close column, and com­
menced his retreat in such order that
the English did not think it safe to
attack him ; and having at last gained
a narrow defile, he disappeared from
their view without losing a man. “ I
have heard,” says Winton, “from
knights who were then present, that
in all their life they never found time
to go so slow as when their old com­
mander sat cutting his leather skin in
the wood of Stronkaltere.”1

The widow of Athole was, soon after
this, shut up by the army of Moray in
the castle of Lochendorb : she was the
daughter of Henry Beaumont, who,
forgetful of the conditions under which
he had obtained his freedom at Dun­
darg, had accompanied Edward into
Scotland, and she now earnestly im­
plored the king and her father to have
compassion on her infant and herself,
and to raise the siege. It was an age
in which the ordinary events of the
day assumed a chivalrous and romantic
character. A noble matron in sorrow
for the slaughter of her husband, be­
leaguered in a wild mountain fortress,
and sending for succour to the King of
England and his barons, is an inci­
dent similar to what we look for in
Amadis or Palmerin. The monarch
obeyed the call, and hastened to her
rescue. On his approach, the regent
again retired into the woods and
morasses; and the king, having freed
the countess from her threatened cap­
tivity, wasted with fire and sword the
rich province of Moray. Unable, how­
ever, to dislodge the Scottish com­
mander from his strengths, he was at
last compelled to leave the country,
with the conviction that every forest
or mountain-hold which he passed
afforded a shelter for his enemies,
who would reappear the instant he
retreated. He endeavoured, however,
more effectually to overawe the spirit
Winton, vol. ii. pp. 204, 205.

of resistance, by having a powerful
fleet in the Firth of Forth, and on
the eastern and western coasts of the
kingdom;2 and before he retired he
repaired and garrisoned anew the most
important fortresses in the kingdom.
He then left a reinforcement of troops
with his army at Perth, intrusted the
command to his brother, the Earl of
Cornwall, and returned to England.

On his departure, Sir Andrew Moray
instantly appeared from his fastnesses.
Sir William Douglas, the knight of
Liddesdale, Sir William Keith, and
other patriot barons, assembled their
vassals : and the castles of Dunnottar,
Kinclevin, and Laurieston, were wrested
from the English, after which, accord­
ing to Bruce’s old practice, they were
broken up and dismantled.3 Soon
after, the regent made himself master
of the tower of Falkland and the castles
of St Andrews, Leuchars, and Both
well, which he razed and destroyed.4

A grievous famine, occasioned by
the continued ravages of war, and the
cessation of all regular agricultural
labour, had for some time desolated
Scotland; and the regent, anxious to
obtain subsistence for his army in
the enemy’s country, made various
predatory expeditions into England.5
On his return, he reduced the whole
of the Lothians, and laid siege to
the castle of Edinburgh. The lords
marchers of England hastened with a
strong body of troops to relieve it.
They were encountered by William
Douglas, the knight of Liddesdale,
near Crichton castle, and, after much
hard fighting, were compelled to retire
across the Tweed. But Douglas was
grievously wounded, and his little
army so crippled with the loss which

2  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 318, 322.

3  Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1030. Leland,
Coll. vol. i. p. 556. Winton, vol. ii. p. 214.

4  Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1031. It is
stated by this historian that after this, Moray
commenced the siege of Stirling ; but that the
English monarch, advertised of these disasters,
again flew to his army in Scotland ; while his
wary antagonist, as was his custom, retired
before a superior force, and awaited the return
of Edward to his own dominions. This event,
however, belongs, I suspect, to a later year.

5  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 324. llotuli
Scotiæ, 2 Edward III., vol. i. p. 507.

182                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                       [Chap. V.

he sustained, that Moray deemed it
expedient to abandon the siege.l

During the whole of this obstinate
war, the French king had never ceased
to take a deep interest in the affairs of
his allies. Before David had been
compelled to take refuge in his king­
dom, he had sent him a seasonable
present of a thousand pounds.2 By
his earnest remonstrances he had suc­
ceeded in procuring many truces in
favour of the Scots; and, as the breach
between France and England gradually
grew wider, the French ships had occa­
sionally assisted the Scottish privateers
in infesting the English coast, and had
supplied them with stores, arms, and
warlike engines.3 Against these mari­
time attacks, it was the policy of Ed­
ward to arm the vessels of the petty
sea-kings, who were lords of the nume­
rous islands with which the western
sea is studded; and for this purpose
he had entered into an alliance with
John of the Isles,4 one of the most
powerful of these island chiefs. But
his efforts in the Scottish war began
at length to languish; occupied with
his schemes of continental ambition,
he found himself unable to continue
hostilities with his usual energy; and,
after four successive campaigns in
Scotland, which he had conducted in
person, at the head of armies in­
finitely more numerous than any which
could be brought against them, he had
the mortification to discover that the
final conquest of that country was as
remote as ever. He now endeavoured
to gain time, by amusing the Scots
with the hopes of a general peace ; but
the barons who led the opposition
against England were well informed
of the approaching rupture with
France, and, aware that the oppor­
tunity was favourable for the entire

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 332. Scala
Chron. p. 167. Leland’s Coll. vol. i. p. 556.

2  Chamberlain Accounts, Compot. Came-
rarii Scotiæ, p. 253. Et de 56 lb. 13 sh. 4d.
recept, de Dno Com. Moravie illis mille libris,
concess. Dno nostro regi per regem Franciæ
ante adventum suam in Franciam. Ibid.
p. 261.

3  Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 513.

4  Rymer, Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 711. Rotuli
Scotiæ, 11 Edward III., p. 516.

expulsion of the English, they rejected
all overtures for a pacification, and
pushed on the war with vigour.

The event shewed the wisdom of
such conduct; for the English mon­
arch had advanced too far in his
quarrel with Philip to withdraw, or
even postpone his pretensions, and to
the great joy of the Scots, war between
the two countries was declared, by
Edward making his public claim to
the crown of France on the 7th of
October 1337.5

The Earls of Arundel, Salisbury,
and Norfolk, with Edward Baliol, were
now left in command of the army in
Scotland; and on the failure of the
negotiations for peace, Salisbury laid
siege to the castle of Dunbar, a place
of great importance, as the key to
Scotland on the south-east border.6

The Earl of March, to whom this
fortress belonged, was not then on the
spot; but his wife, a daughter of the
famous Randolph, earl of Moray, with
the heroic spirit of her family, under­
took the defence of the castle.7 For
five months, in the absence of her lord,
Black Agnes of Dunbar, as she was
called by the vulgar from her dark
complexion, maintained an intrepid
stand against the assault of the Eng­
lish army, and with many fierce wit­
ticisms derided them from the walls.
When the stones from the engines of
the besiegers struck upon the battle­
ments, she directed one of her maidens
to wipe off the dust with a white
napkin, a species of female defiance
which greatly annoyed the English
soldiers. Perpetually on the ram­
parts, or at the gate, she exposed her
person in every situation of danger,
directing the men at arms and the
archers, and extorting even the praise
of her enemies by her determined and
warlike bearing. It happened that
an arrow from one of the Scottish
archers struck an English knight, who
stood beside the Earl of Salisbury,
through his surcoat, and, piercing the
habergeon, or chained mail-coat, which

5 Rapin’s Acta Regia, vol. i. p. 239. Rymer’s
Fœdera, vol. iv. p. 818.

6 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 325.

7  Winton, vol. ii. p. 208.

1338.]                                                DAVID II.                                                   183

was below it, made its way through
three plicatures of the acton which he
wore next his body, and killed him on
the spot. “There,” cried Salisbury,
“ comes one of my lady’s tire-pins :
Agnes’s love-shafts go straight to the
heart.” At length the English, foiled
in every assault, and finding that the
strength of the walls defied the efforts
of their battering engines, judged it
necessary to convert the siege into a
blockade. This had nearly succeeded.
A fleet, amongst which were two large
Genoese ships, entirely obstructed all
communication by sea; and the garri­
son began to suffer dreadfully from
want of provisions, when Alexander
Ramsay of Dalhousie sailed at mid­
night with a light vessel, from the
Bass. Favoured by the darkness, he
passed unobserved through the line of
the enemy’s fleet, and ran his ship,
laden with provisions, and with forty
stout soldiers on board, close under
the wall of the castle. This last suc­
cess deprived Arundel and Salisbury
of their only hope of making them­
selves masters of this important for­
tress ; and, mortified by repeated fail­
ure, they withdrew the army, and
retired with the disgrace of having
been foiled for five months, and at last
entirely defeated, by a woman.1

Edward now began to experience the
distress which the expense of a double
war, and the necessity of maintaining
an army both in Franco and Scotland,
necessarily entailed upon him. Ani­
mated by the fiercest resentment, the
Scots, under the guidance of such able
soldiers as the regent, the Knight of
Liddesdale, and Ramsay of Dalhousie,
were now strong enough to keep the
open country, which they cleared of
their enemies, compelling the English
to confine themselves within the walls
of their castles. Edinburgh, Perth,
Stirling, Cupar, and Roxburgh were
still in their hands, and the king com­
manded large supplies of provisions to
be levied upon his English subjects,
and transported into Scotland; but this
occasioned grievous discontent, and in

1 Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1032. For-
dun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 325. MS. Extracta ex
Chronicis Scotiæ, folio, p. 201.

some cases the commissaries were
attacked and plundered.2 Nor even
when the supplies were procured was
it an easy matter to carry them to
their destination ; for the enemy
watched their opportunity, and be­
came expert in cutting off convoys,
and assaulting foraging parties; so
that the war, without any action of
great consequence, was occupied by
perpetual skirmishes, concluding with
various success, but chiefly on the side
of the Scots. Sir William Douglas,
the knight of Liddesdale, whose bra­
very procured him the title of the
Flower of Chivalry, expelled the Eng­
lish from Teviotdale ; overpowered
and took prisoner Sir John Stirling, at
the head of five hundred men-at-arms;
intercepted a convoy near Melrose as
it proceeded to the castle of Hermitage,
which he soon after reduced; attacked
and defeated Sir Roland de Vaux; and
routed Sir Laurence Abernethy, after
a conflict repeatedly renewed, and ob­
stinately contested.3

Meanwhile, in the spirit of the age,
these desperate encounters were some­
times abandoned for the more pacific
entertainments of jousts between the
English and Scottish knights, the re­
sult of which sometimes proved little
less fatal than in the conflicts of
actual war; whilst to a modern reader
they throw a strong light on the man­
ners of the times. Henry de Lancas­
ter, earl of Derby, with great courtesy,
sent a herald to request the Knight of
Liddesdale to run with him three
courses; but in the first Douglas was
wounded by a splinter of his own
lance in the hand, and compelled to
give up the contest. The English
earl then entreated Sir Alexander
Ramsay of Dalhousie to hold a solemn
jousting for three days at Berwick,
twenty against twenty; a proposition
which was instantly accepted, but it
turned out a sanguinary pastime.
Two English knights were slain; and
Sir William Ramsay was struck
through the bars of his aventaile by a
spear, which penetrated so deep that

2 Rotuli Scotiæ, 12 Ed. III.. Oct. 12th, vol.
i. p. 546. See also pp. 438, 451.
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 329.

184                                   HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

it was deemed certain he would expire
the moment it was extracted. He was
confessed, therefore, in his armour;
and as the knights crowded round,
“So help me, Heaven,” said Derby,
who stood hard by, “ I would desire to
see no fairer sight than this brave
baron thus shrived with his helmet
on; happy man should I be could I
insure myself such an ending.” Upon
this, Sir Alexander Ramsay placed his
foot upon his kinsman’s helmet, and
by main force pulled out the broken
truncheon, when the wounded knight
started on his feet, and declared he
should soon ail nothing. He died,
however, immediately in the lists.1
“ What stout hearts these men have ! "
was Derby’s observation; and with
this laconic remark the jousting con­
cluded. On another occasion, Sir Pa­
trick de Graham, a Scottish knight,
having arrived from France, Lord
Richard Talbot begged to have a joust
with him, and was borne out of his
saddle and wounded, though not
dangerously, through his habergeon.
Graham was then invited to supper;
and in the midst of the feast an Eng­
lish knight, turning to him, courteously
asked him to run with him three
courses. “Sir knight,” replied Gra­
ham, “if you would joust with me, I
advise you. to rise early and confess,
after which you will soon be delivered.”
This was said in mirth, but it proved
true; for in the first course, which
took place , next morning, Graham
struck the English knight through the
harness with a mortal wound, so that
he died on the spot.2

Such were the fierce pastimes of
those days of danger and blood. On
resuming the war, the tide of success
still continued with the Scots, and Sir
Alexander Ramsay rivalled the fame
of the Knight of Liddesdale. At the
head of a strong band of soldiers, he
infested the rocky and wooded banks
of the Esk; and concealing him­
self, his followers, and his booty, in
the caves of Hawthornden, sallied
from their recesses, and carried his

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 329. Winton,
vol. ii. pp. 220, 223.
Winton, vol. ii. p. 224.

depredations to the English borders,
cruelly ravaging the land, and leading
away from the smoking hamlets and
villages many bands of captives. In
these expeditions his fame became so
great that there was not a noble
youth in the land who considered his
military education complete unless he
had served in the school of this brave
captain.3 On one occasion he was
pursued and intercepted by the lords
marchers in a plain near Werk Castle ;
but Ramsay attacked and routed the
enemy, took Lord Robert Manners
prisoner, and put many to the sword.4
About this time Scotland lost one
of its ablest supporters. Sir Andrew
Moray, the regent, sinking under the
weight of age, and worn out by the
constant fatigues of war, retired to his
castle at Avoch, in Ross, where he
soon after died ; upon which the High
Steward was chosen sole governor of
Scotland. Moray, in early life, had
been chosen by Wallace as his partner
in command; and his subsequent mili­
tary career was not unworthy of that
great leader. His character, as it is
given by Winton, possesses the high
merit of having been taken from the
lips of those who had served under
him, and knew him best. He was, says
he, a lord of great bounty; of sober
and chaste life; wise and upright in
council; liberal and generous; devout
and charitable; stout, hardy, and of
great courage.5 He was endowed with
that cool and somewhat stern and in­
flexible character of mind which pecu­
liarly fitted him to control the fierce
temper of the feudal nobility at a
period when the task was especially
difficult; and it may be added that,
when the bravest, despairing for their
country, had, by the sacrifice of its in­
dependence, saved their estates, Moray
scorned to follow such examples; and,
imitating his old master in arms, Wal­
lace, appears never to have sworn
fealty to any king of England. He
was buried in the little chapel of Rose-
martin ; but his body was afterwards
raised and carried to Dunfermline,

3 Fordun a Goodal. vol. ii. p. 333.
Ibid. Scala Chron. p. 168.
Winton, vol. ii. p. 217.

1338-41.]                                    DAVID II.                                            185

where it now mingles with the heroic
dust of Bruce and Randolph.1

The first act of. the Steward was to
despatch the Knight of Liddesdale
Upon a mission to the court of France
to communicate with King Philip, and
to procure assistance. He then assem­
bled his army and commenced the
siege of Perth, upon the fortifications
of which the English, considering it a
station of the first importance, had
expended vast sums of money. Mean­
while Baliol, universally hated by his
countrymen, became an object of sus­
picion to the English; and leaving
Perth, in obedience to the orders of
Edward, retired a pensioned dependant
into England. Ughtred, a baron who
had long served in the Scottish war,
undertook its defence, and for ten
weeks the town resisted every effort
of the besiegers, so that the army of
the Steward began to meditate a re­
treat, when there suddenly appeared
in the Tay five French ships of war.

This squadron was commanded by
Hugh Hautpile, a skilful naval officer,
and had on board a strong party of
men-at-arms, under the leading of Ar­
nold Audmeham, afterwards a mares-
chal of France;2 the Lord of Garen-
cieres, who had formerly been engaged
in the Scottish wars; and two esquires,
Giles de la Huse, and John de Bracy.
Along with them came the Knight of
Liddesdale; and immediately, all idea
of relinquishing the siege being aban­
doned, hostilities recommenced by the
French ships seizing the English vic­
tualling vessels, and effectually cutting
off every supply from the garrison.

At this time William Bullock, Ba-
liol’s chancellor, who commanded in
the castle of Cupar, which had baffled
the attack of the late regent, betrayed
his master, and joined the army be­
fore Perth. This military ecclesiastic
was one of those extraordinary indi­
viduals whom the troubled times of
civil disorder so frequently call out
from the quiet path to which more
ordinary life would have confined

1 Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1032.

2 Froissart par Buchon, vol. i. p. 211. Corn-
pot. Camerarii Scotiae, pp. 255, 277. Fordun
a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 330.

them. His talents for state affairs
and for political intrigue were great ;
yet we are told by the historians of the
time that his ability in these matters
was exceeded by his uncommon genius
for war; and we cannot wonder that
these qualities made him to be dreaded
and courted by all parties. In addi­
tion to this, he was ambitious, selfish,
and fond of money: passions which
could not be gratified if he continued
attached to a falling cause. Accord­
ingly, the arrival of the French auxi­
liaries, the desertion of Scotland by
Baliol, with the bribe of an ample
grant of lands,3 induced him to re­
nounce the English alliance, and deliver
up the castle where he commanded.
He then joined the army besieging
Perth, and his military experience was
soon shewn by the success of the opera­
tions which he directed. Although
the Knight of Liddesdale was griev­
ously wounded by a javelin, thrown
from one of the springalds, and the two
captains of the Scottish archers slain,
yet Bullock insisted in continuing and
pressing the siege ;4 and the Earl of
Ross, with a body of miners, having
contrived to make a subterranean ex­
cavation under the walls, drew off the
water from the fosse surrounding the
town, and rendered an assault more
practicable. The minuteness of one
of our ancient chronicles has preserved
a striking circumstance which occurred
during the siege. In the midst of the
military operations the sun became
suddenly eclipsed, and as the darkness
gradually spread over all, the soldiers
of both armies forgot their duties, and,
sinking under the influence of super-
stitious terror, gazed fearfully on the
sky.5 Bullock, however, unintimidated

3 It must have been ample, for Bullock re­
nounced a considerable property conferred on
him by Edward. See Rotuli Scotiæ, 28th July,
13 Edw. III. vol. i. p. 571.

4 Fordun a Groodal, vol. ii. p. 330. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 234.

5 Winton, vol. ii. p. 234. I find, by the re­
sult of a computation, politely and kindly
communicated to me by its distinguished
author, Professor Henderson, that the eclipse
took place on the 7th July, commencing at
twelve minutes after noon, the greatest ob­
servation being at twenty-eight minutes after
one, when eleven one-third digits of the sun’s
disc were eclipsed, leaving only two-thirds of

186                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                       [Chap. V.

by what was then considered an omen
of wrath, gave orders for the tents to
be struck and pitched nearer the town,
previous to his attempt to storm; but
the English governor had now lost re­
solution ; and, seeing his provisions
exhausted, his hope of supplies cut off,
and his fosse dry and ready to be filled
by the fagots of the besiegers, capitu­
lated upon honourable terms. The
soldiers of the garrison and the gover­
nor Ughtred were instantly shipped
for England, where his conduct be­
came the subject of parliamentary in­
quiry.1 Thus master of Perth, the
Steward, according to the wise policy
of Bruce, cast down the fortifications,2
and proceeded to the siege of Stirling.
It is difficult to imagine a more
lamentable picture than that presented
by the utter desolation of Scotland at
this period. The famine, which had
been felt for some years, now raged
in the land. Many had quitted their
country in despair, and taken refuge
in Flanders; others, of the poorer
sort, were driven into the woods, and,
in the extremities of hunger, feeding
upon the raw nuts and acorns which
they gathered, were seized with dis­
eases which carried them off in great
agony.3 The continued miseries of
war reduced the district round Perth
to the state of a desert, where there
was neither house for man nor har­
bour for cattle; and the wild deer
coming down from the mountains,
resumed possession of the desolate
region, and ranged in herds within a
short distance of the town. It is even
said that some unhappy wretches
were driven to such extremities of
want and misery, as to prey upon
human flesh ; and that a horrid being,
vulgarly called Cristicleik, from the
iron hook with which he seized his
victims, took up his abode in the
mountains, and, assisted by a feroci­
ous female, with whom he lived, lay
in ambush for the travellers who
passed near his den, and methodically

a digit uneclipsed. The eclipse ended at
forty-two minutes after two.

1  Fœdera, vol. v. p. 181.

2  Winton, vol. ii. p. 236.

3  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 324. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 236.

exercised the trade of a cannibal.4
The story is perhaps too dreadful for
belief; yet Winton, who relates it, is
in no respect given to the marvel­
lous; and a similar circumstance is
recorded as late as the reign of James
the Second.

In the midst of this complicated
national distress, the Steward con­
tinued to prosecute the siege of Stir­
ling with much vigour and ability;
and Rokesbury, the governor, after a
long and gallant defence, was at last
compelled by famine to give up the
castle, which, being found too strong
in its mason work and bastions to be
easily dismantled, was intrusted to the
keeping of Maurice of Moray.5 In this
siege, the Scots had to lament the
loss of Sir William Keith, a brave
and experienced soldier, who had done
good service in these wars. As he
mounted the ladder in complete ar­
mour, he was struck down by a stone
thrown from the ramparts, and, fall­
ing heavily and awkwardly, was thrust
through by his own spear.6 It is
related by Froissart that cannon were
employed at the siege of Stirling; but
the fact is not corroborated by con­
temporary historians.

Scotland had of late years suffered
severely from famine, and had owed
its support more to provisions surrep­
titiously imported from England, than
to the fruits of native industry.7 But
the exertions of the High Steward,
and his fellow soldiers Douglas and
Ramsay, had now expelled the Eng­
lish from nearly the whole country;
the castles of Edinburgh, Jedburgh,
Lochmaben, and Roxburgh, with some

4 Winton, vol. ii. p. 236. Fordun a Groodal,
vol. ii. p. 331.

5 Lord Hailes seems to have antedated the
siege of Stirling, when he places it in the
year 1339. We find, from the llotuli Scotiæ,
vol. i. p. 600, 14 Edw. III. m. 15, that Stir­
ling was in possession of the English as late
as 1340 ; and that in June 1341 the Scots
were employed in the second siege of Stir­
ling. What was the exact date of the first
siege is uncertain, but it seems to have
been interrupted by an armistice. Fordun a
Hearne, p. 1031, asserts that Sir William
Keith was slain at the siege of Stirling in
1337 ; but the date is an error.

6  Winton, vol. ii. p. 237.

7  Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 541.

1341-2.]                                             DAVID II.                                                   187

inferior strengths in their vicinity,
were all that remained in the hands
of Edward ; and the regent seized a
short interval of peace to make a pro­
gress through the country, for the re-
establishment of order and the distri­
bution of justice.1 The good effects of
this were soon observable in the gra­
dual revival of regular industry : to
use the strong language of Bower,
the kingdom began to breathe anew;
husbandmen once more were seen at
the plough, and priests at the altar ;
but the time which was allowed
proved too short to give permanency
to these changes. War suddenly re­
commenced with great fury; and the
castle of Edinburgh, commanded by
Limosin, an English knight, fell into
the hands of the enemy. The Scots
owed the possession of this fortress to
a stratagem of Bullock, the late go­
vernor of Cupar, executed with ad­
dress and boldness by the Knight of

The castle was strongly fortified
both by art and nature; and, as its
garrison scoured and commanded the
country round, they gave great annoy­
ance to the Scots. Douglas, who
lurked in the neighbourhood with
two hundred soldiers, procured Wal­
ter Curry, a merchantman of Dundee,2
to run his ship into the Forth, under
pretence of its being an English
victualling vessel, and to make an
offer to supply the garrison with wine
and corn. The device succeeded;
and the porter, without suspicion,
opened the outer gate and lowered
the drawbridge to the waggons and
hampers of the pretended merchant
and his drivers, who, throwing off the
gray frocks which covered their ar­
mour, stabbed the warder in an in­
stant, and sounded a horn, which
called up Douglas and his men from
their ambush at the foot of the
hill. All this could not be so rapidly
executed but that the cry of treason

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 331, 332.

2 Curry seems to have been assisted by
another person, named William Fairley.
Chamberlain Accounts. Compotum Came-
rarii Scotiæ, p. 278. They received a grant
of 100 lbs. reward from a parliament held at
Scone. Ibid.

alarmed the governor; and the sol­
diers arming in haste, and crowding
to the gates, began a desperate con­
flict. The waggons, however, had been
so dexterously placed, that it became
impossible to let down the portcullis;
and Douglas rushing in with his men,
soon decided the affair. Of the garri­
son, only the governor, Limosin, and
six esquires, escaped ;3 the rest were
put to the sword, and the command of
the castle was intrusted to a natural
brother of the Knight of Liddesdale.

There are two particulars regarding
this spirited enterprise which are
worthy of remark. Curry was a Scots­
man, yet it seems he found no diffi­
culty in introducing himself as an
English merchant, from which there
arises a strong presumption that the
languages spoken in both countries
were nearly the same; and both he
and his followers, before they engaged
in the enterprise, took the precaution
of shaving their beards, a proof that
the Norman fashion of wearing no
beard had not been adopted in Scot-
land in the fourteenth century.4 Soon
after this success, the regent and the
Estates of Scotland, considering the
kingdom to be almost cleared of their
enemies, sent an embassy to France,
requesting that their youthful sove­
reign would return to his dominions.
David accordingly, who had now for
nine years been an exile in a foreign
land, embarked with his queen; and,
although the English ships had al­
ready greatly annoyed the Scots, and
still infested the seas, he had the
good fortune to escape all interrup­
tion, and to land in safety at Inner-
bervie on the 4th of June, where he
was received with the utmost joy by
all classes of his subjects,5

The young king was now in his
eighteenth year, and began to betray
a character violent in its passions and
resentments, and of considerable per­
sonal intrepidity; but his education
at the French court had smitten him

3  Froissart, vol. i. p. 359. Edition de

4  Winton, vol. ii. pp. 240, 243. Fordun a
Goodal, vol. ii. p. 332.

5  Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 334. Winton,
vol. ii. p. 250.

188                                    HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                         [Chap. V.

with an immoderate love of plea­
sure : he possessed few of the great
qualities necessary for the govern­
ment of a kingdom so perilously cir­
cumstanced as Scotland ; and he ap­
pears to have been totally unacquainted
with the dispositions of the fierce
and independent nobility over whom
he ruled. This was the more to be
regretted, as the circumstances in
which he found the country upon his
arrival were such as, to manage suc­
cessfully, required a union of great
prudence and firmness. In the mi­
nority which had taken place since
the death of Bruce, and in the absence
of the name and power of a king, a
race of fierce and independent barons
had grown up, who ruled at will over
their own vast estates, and despised
the authority of the laws. Between
the king and the Steward of Scotland,
who now laid down his office of regent,
there does not appear to have been
any cordial feelings; and it is proba­
ble that David never forgot the con­
spiracy of Athole in 1334, by which
this fickle and ambitious baron, and
the Steward, then a young man, ac­
knowledged Baliol, and made their
peace with Edward. Athole indeed
was slain, and the subsequent conduct
of the Steward had been consistent
and patriotic ; but the king could not
fail to regard him with that jealousy
which a monarch, without children, is
apt to feel towards the person whom
the parliament had declared his suc­
cessor, and who had already, on one
occasion, shewn so little regard for his

As for the other powerful barons,
the Knight of Lidclesdale, his kinsman
Lord William Douglas, the Earl of
Moray, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dal-
housie, and Bullock, who soon after
became chamberlain, they were indeed
unanimous in their opposition to Eng­
land; but a long possession of military
power made them impatient of the
control of a superior, and it was al­
most impossible for a sovereign to
confer his favours upon them without
exciting jealousy and dissension. All
this, in a short time, became apparent;
and a thoughtless measure, which the

monarch adopted soon after his arrival,
evinced his ignorance aud want of
judgment in a fatal manner. Sir
Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie had
distinguished himself in the Scottish
wars, and was universally beloved in
the country for his brave and patriotic
qualities. Scarcely had the young
king arrived in his dominions when
word was brought him that Roxburgh
castle, a fortress of great strength and
importance, had been taken in a night
escalade by this baron, upon whom, in
the first ardour of his gratitude, David
conferred the government of the place,
and along with it the sheriffship of
Teviotdale.1 This was a generous but
thoughtless act, and certainly unjust,
for the Knight of Liddesdale then
held the office of sheriff; and a fierce
and deadly enmity arose in the breast
of Douglas against Ramsay, his old
companion in arms. His way of re­
venging himself affords a melancholy
proof of the lawless independence of
these feudal nobles, as well as of the
treachery of his disposition. He first
pretended to be reconciled to Ramsay;
and, having silenced suspicion by
treating him with his usual friend­
ship, led a band of soldiers to Hawick,
where he knew that the new sheriff
held his court in the open church. It
is said that Ramsay was warned of his
intention, but, trusting to the recon­
ciliation which had taken place, dis­
credited the story. On Douglas en­
tering the church, Ramsay invited him
to take his place beside him, on which
that fierce baron drew his sword, seized
his victim, who was wounded in at­
tempting a vain resistance, and throw­
ing him bleeding across a horse, carried
him off to his castle of Hermitage,
where he thrust him into a dungeon.
It happened that there was a granary
above his prison, and some particles
of corn fell through the chinks and
crevices of the floor, upon which he
supported a miserable existence for
seventeen days, and at last died of

1  Winton, vol. ii. p. 252.

2  Winton, vol. ii. p. 254. More than four
hundred years after this, a countryman, in
excavating round the foundation of Hermit­

1342-6.]                                            DAVID II.                                                   189

It is a melancholy reflection that a
fate so horrid befell one of the bravest
and most popular leaders of the Scot­
tish nation ; and that the deed did
not only pass unrevenged, but that its
perpetrator received a speedy pardon,
and was rewarded by the office which
had led to the murder. Douglas be­
came governor of Roxburgh castle,
sheriff of Teviotdale, and protector of
the middle marches, and owed his
pardon and preferment to the inter­
cession of the High Steward of Scot­
land. In attempting to form an esti­
mate of the manners of the age, it
ought not to be forgotten that this
savage murder was perpetrated by a
person who, for his knightly qualities,
was styled the “ Flower of Chivalry.
It was an invariable effect of the prin­
ciple of vassalage in the feudal sys­
tem that the slaughter of any of the
greater barons rendered it an impera­
tive duty in every one who followed
his banner to revenge his death upon
all who were in the most remote de­
gree connected with it; so that we
are not to wonder that the assassina­
tion of Ramsay was followed by inter­
minable feuds, dissensions, and con­
spiracies, not only amongst the higher
nobility, but amongst the lesser barons.
It was probably one of these plots, of
which it is impossible now to detect
the ramifications, that accelerated the
fate of Bullock, the able and intrigu­
ing ecclesiastic renegade, who had de­
serted Baliol to join the king. Having
become suspected by his master, he
was suddenly stript of his honours,
deprived of the high offices in which
he had amassed immense wealth, and
cast amongst the meanest criminals,
into a dungeon of the castle of Loch-
endorb, in Moray, where he was
starved to death. The probable truth
seems to be, that Bullock, a man of
high talents, but the slave of ambition
and the love of intrigue, had been
tampering with the English, and that

age castle, laid open a stone vault, in which,
amid a heap of chaff and dust, lay several
human bones, along with a large and power­
ful bridle-bit, and an ancient sword. These
were conjectured, and with great probability,
to have belonged to the unfortunate victim
of Douglas

his fate, though cruel, was not un­

The period immediately following
the arrival of David in his dominions
till we reach the battle of Durham2
is undistinguished by any events of
importance. The Scots, with various
success, invaded and ravaged the
Border counties of England; but a
revolt of the Island chief, John of
Argyle, and other northern barons,3
recalled the king’s attention to the
unsettled state of his affairs at home,
and made him willing to accede to a
two-years’ truce with England. This
interval was employed by Edward in
an attempt to seduce the Knight of
Liddesdale from his allegiance, and
there seems reason to think that a
conspiracy, at the head of which was
this brave but fickle soldier, and
which had for its object the restora­
tion of Baliol to the crown, was orga­
nising throughout Scotland, and that
Bullock, whose fate we have just re-
counted, was connected with the plot.4
It is certain, at least, that Douglas had
repeated private meetings with Baliol
and the English commissioners; that
he had agreed to embrace the friend­
ship of the King of England, and to
receive a reward for his services.5
These treacherous designs, however,
came to nothing. It may be that the
stipulated reward was not duly paid ;
or, perhaps the fate of Bullock was
a timely warning to Douglas ; and,
anxious to wipe away all suspicion of
treachery, the Knight of Liddesdale,
regardless of the truce, broke across
the Borders at the head of a numerous
army, burnt Carlisle and Penrith, and
after a skirmish, in which the Bishop
of Carlisle was unhorsed, retreated
precipitately into Scotland.

1 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 336.

2  From 1342 to 1346.

3  Knighton, p. 2581.

4  This may be inferred, I think, from the
circumstance that Bullock was seized by
David de Berklay ; and Berklay himself was,
not long after, waylaid and assassinated by
John de Saint Michael, at the instigation of
the Knight of Liddesdale. Fordun a Hearne,
pp. 1035 and 1940. See also Hume’s Douglas
and Angus, vol. i. pp. 142, 143.

5  Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 637, 640. April
10, 1343. Foedera, vol. v. p. 379.

100                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.                        [Chap. V.

After this recommencement of hos­
tilities, the mortal antipathy between
the two countries broke out with
greater violence than before; and the
young king, believing Edward to be
entirely occupied with his war on the
continent, and anxious to produce a
diversion in favour of his ally, Philip
of France, gave orders for assembling
an army, and resolved to invade Eng­
land in person.1 The muster took
place at Perth, and was greater than
any known for a long period; troops
were drawn from the islands of Scot­
land, as well as the mainland ; but the
Highland chiefs brought their deadly
feuds along with them, and these soon
broke out into bloodshed. The Earl
of Ross assassinated Ranald of the
Isles in the monastery of Elcho, and
dreading the royal vengeance, led his
men back to their mountains—a cir­
cumstance which, in those days of
superstition, was considered by the
rest of the army a bad omen of suc­
cess. In one respect it was worse than
ominous; for not only Ross’s men left
the army, but the soldiers of the Isles,
deprived of their leader, dispersed in
confusion; whilst many of the inferior
Highland lords, anxious for the pre­
servation of their lands, privately
deserted, and returned home; so that
the king found his forces greatly re­
duced in number.

Inheriting, however, the bravery of
his father, but, as the event shewed,
little of his admirable judgment and
military skill, David pressed forward
from Perth; and, after rapidly tra­
versing the intervening country, on
reaching the Border, sat down before
the castle of Liddel, then commanded
by Walter Selby. Selby was that
fierce freebooting chief whose services
we have seen successfully employed
by King Robert Bruce to waylay and
plunder the Roman cardinals in their
ill-fated attempt to carry the bulls
of excommunication into Scotland.
Since that time, he had lent himself
to every party which could purchase
his sword at the highest rate, and had
lately espoused the quarrel of Edward
Baliol, from whom he received a grant
Walsingham, pp. 165, 516.

of lands in Roxburghshire.2 David
brought his military engines to bear
upon the walls, which, after six days’
resistance, were demolished.3 Hethen
stormed the castle, put the garrison
to the sword, and ordered Selby to in­
stant execution.

After this success, the veteran ex­
perience of the Knight of Liddesdale
advised a retreat. Douglas was, no
doubt, aware of the strength of the
northern English barons, and the over­
whelming force which soon would be
mustered against them; but his salu­
tary counsel was rejected by the youth­
ful ardour of the king, and the jealousy
of the Scottish nobles. “You have
filled,” said they, “your own coffers
with English gold, and secured your
own lands by our valour; and now
you would restrain us from our share
in the plunder, although the country
is bare of fighting men, and none but
cowardly clerks and mean mechanics
stand between us and a march to Lon­

This, however, was a fatal mistake;
for although Edward, with the army
which had been victors at Cressy, lay
now before Calais, yet Ralph Neville
of Raby, Lord Henry Percy, Edward
Baliol, the ex-king of Scotland, the
Earl of Angus, and the Border lords,
Musgrave, Scrope, and Hastings, with
many other barons, instantly sum­
moned their strength to repel the in­
vasion; and a body of ten thousand
men, who were ready to embark for
Calais, received counter orders, and
soon joined the muster. Besides this,
the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York, and the Prelates of Durham,
Carlisle, and Lincoln, assumed their
temporal arms, and with such of their
church troops and vassals as had not
accompanied the king, assembled to
defend the country, so that an army
of thirty thousand men, including
a large body of men-at-arms, and
twenty thousand English archers,5
were speedily on their march against
the Scots.

2 Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 820.

3 Robert of Avesbury, a Hearne, p. 145.

4 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 340.

5 Winton, vol. ii. pp. 260, 261. Fordun a
Goodal, vol. ii.;p. 341.

1346.]                                               DAVID II.                                                    191

David, meanwhile, advanced to Hex-
ham, and for fourteen days plundered
and laid waste the country, leaving
his route to be traced through the
bishopric of Durham by the flames
of villages and hamlets. It seems to
have excited unwonted resentment
and horror that he did not spare even
the sacred territory of St Cuthbert,
although, if we may believe a monkish
historian, the venerable saint visited
the slumbers of the king, and implored
him to desist from the profanation.
Satiated at length with plunder, the
Scottish army encamped at a place
called Beaurepair, now Bear Park,
within a short distance of Durham.
By this time, the English army had
taken up their ground in the park of
Bishop Auckland, not six miles distant
from Beaurepair. The Scots’ position
was ill chosen. It was a plain or com­
mon, much intersected with ditches
and hedges, which separated the divi­
sions, and hindered them from sup­
porting each other; and the country
round was of that undulated kind,
that, unless the scouts were active, an
enemy might approach within a few
miles without being discovered. This
was, in truth, the very event which
happened; and it gave melancholy
proof that there were no longer such
leaders as Bruce, or the Good Sir
James, in the Scottish army.

At daybreak, the Knight of Liddes-
dale pushed on before the rest of the
Scots. He led a strong squadron of
heavy-armed cavalry, and, advancing
for the purpose of forage through the
grounds near Sunderland, suddenly
found himself in presence of the whole
English army. The proximity of the
enemy rendered a retreat as hazardous
as a conflict; yet Douglas attempted
to retire; but his squadron was over­
taken, and driven back, with the loss
of five hundred men, upon the main
body of the Scots. David instantly
drew up his army in three divisions.
He himself led the centre; the right
wing was intrusted to the Earl of
Moray, while the Knight of Lid-
desdale, and the Steward, with the
Earl of Dunbar, commanded the left.
These dispositions were made in great

haste and alarm, and scarcely com-
pleted, when the English archers had
advanced almost within bowshot.1
Sir John de Graham, an experienced
soldier, at this moment rode up to the
king, and earnestly besought him to
command the cavalry to charge the
archers in flank. It was the same
manoeuvre which had been successful
at Bannockburn, but from ignorance,
or youthful obstinacy, David was deaf
to his advice. “Give me,” cried
Graham, in an agony of impatience,
as the fatal phalanx of the archers
advanced nearer and nearer; “give
me but a hundred horse, and I engage
to disperse them all.”2 Yet even this
was unaccountably denied him, and
the brave baron, seconded by none
but his own followers, threw himself
upon the bowmen; but it was too late;
time had been given them to fix their
arrows, and the deadly shower was
sped. Graham’s horse was shot under
him, and he himself with difficulty
escaped back to the army.

It was now nine in the morning,
(17th Oct. 1346,) and the whole Eng­
lish force had come up. A large
crucifix was carried in the front of the
line, around it waved innumerable
banners and pennons, gorgeously em­
broidered, belonging chiefly to the
Church, and the close battle imme­
diately began, under circumstances
discouraging to the Scots. The dis­
charge of the archers had already
greatly galled and distressed them, the
division commanded by the Earl of
Moray was fiercely attacked by the
English men-at-arms, the ditches and
hedges which intersected the ground
broke his array and impeded his move­
ments, and the English cavalry charged
through the gaps in the line, making
a dreadful havoc. At last Moray fell,
and his division was entirely routed.
The English then attacked the main
centre of the Scots, where David com­
manded in person : and as it also was
drawn up in the same broken and
enclosed ground, the various leaders
and their vassals were separated, and

1  Winton, vol. ii. pp. 261, 262.

2  Ibid., book viii. chap. xl. vol. ii. p. 262
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 342.

192                                     HISTORY OF SCOTLAND:                       [Chap. V.

fought at a serious disadvantage.1
Their flank, too, was exposed to the
discharge of a body of ten thousand
English bowmen; and, as the distance
diminished, the arrows, flying with a
truer aim and more fatal strength,
told fearfully against the Scots. Yet
the battle raged for three hours with
great slaughter; 2 and the young king,
although he had evinced little military
judgment in the disposition of his
army, fought with obstinate and here­
ditary valour. He was defended by a
circle of his nobility, who fell fast
around him. The Constable David de
la Haye, Keith the Marshal, Chartres
the High Chancellor, and Peebles the
Lord Chamberlain, with the Earls of
Moray and Strathern, and thirty barons
belonging to the principal families in
Scotland, were slain. The king him­
self, although grievously wounded by
two arrows, one of which pierced deep,
and could not be extracted without
great agony, long continued to resist
and encourage the few that were left
around him. An English knight,
named Copland, at last broke in upon
him, and after a hard struggle, in which
two of his teeth were knocked out by
the king’s dagger,3 succeeded in over­
powering and disarming him.

On the capture of the king, the High
Steward and the Earl of March, whose
division had not suffered so severely,
judging probably that any attempt to
restore the day would be hopeless,
drew off their troops, and escaped from
the field;4 for the English were for­
tunately too much occupied in plunder
and making prisoners, to engage in a
pursuit which might have been so fatal.
Amongst the prisoners, besides the
king, were the Knight of Liddesdale,
the Earls of Fife, Menteith, Suther­
land, and Wigton, and fifty other barons
and knights. It is not too high a com­
putation if we estimate the loss of the
Scots in this fatal battle at fifteen

1 Winton, vol. ii. p. 263.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid. p. 264. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii.
p. 342.

4 Fordun a Hearne, p. 1038. See observa­
tions on Lord Hailes’ account of the battle of
Durham, Illustrations, GG. Chronicle of Lan-
ercost, pp. 348, 351.

thousand men.5 That of the English
was exceedingly small, if we consider
how long the conflict lasted. Frois-
sart has asserted that the English
Queen, Philippa, was in the field, and
harangued the troops, mounted on a
white charger. The story is contra­
dicted by all the contemporary histo­
rians, both English and Scottish.

A defeat so calamitous had not been
sustained by Scotland since the days
of Edward the First. Their best
officers were slain or taken, and their
king a captive. David, with the rest
of the prisoners, was, after a short
time, conveyed to London, and led in
great state to the Tower, amid a guard
of twenty thousand men-at-arms. The
captive prince was mounted on a tall
black courser, so that he could be seen
by the whole people; and the mayor
and aldermen, with the various crafts
of the city, preceded by their officers,
and clothed in their appropriate dresses,
attended on the occasion, and increased
the effect of the pageant.6 On being
lodged in the tower, however, all ex­
pense and splendour were at an end;
and Edward, with an ungenerous eco­
nomy, compelled his royal prisoner to
sustain the expense of his establish­
ment,7 and imposed the same heavy
tax upon his brother captives.8

Thus was David, after his tedious
exile in France, and having enjoyed
his kingly power but for six years,
compelled to suffer the bitter penalty
of his rashness, and condemned to a
long captivity in England. The con­
duct of the Steward, in preferring the
dictates of prudence, perhaps of ambi­
tion, to the feelings which would have
led him to have sacrificed his life in
an attempt to rescue the king, cannot
be easily exculpated. He and the Earl
of March, with the third division of
the army under their command, made
good their retreat; and their escape
was ultimately fortunate for the coun­
try. But it excited a feeling of lasting

5 Knighton, p. 2591. Leland, p. 561, from
the Scala Chronicle.

6 Knighton, p. 2592.

7 Rotuli Scotiæ, 21 Ed. III. vol. i. pp. 690,

8 Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. pp. 705, 706.

1346.]                                      DAVID II.                                           193

personal resentment in the bosom of the
king; it was probably the cause of that
determined opposition which he ever
afterwards manifested to the Steward;
and it is this unforgiving hostility,
embittered by the conviction that he
owed his eleven years’ captivity to the
desertion at Durham, which can alone
explain those extraordinary intrigues
for substituting an English prince upon
the throne, in which David, at a subse­
quent period, basely permitted himself
to be involved. Meanwhile, the con­
sequences of the battle of Durham
were brilliant to England, but not
lasting or important.

Roxburgh castle, the key of the
kingdom on the Borders, Surrendered
to Henry Percy and Ralph Neville.
and the English overran the districts of
Tweeddale, the Merse, Ettrick, Annan-
dale, and Galloway.1 Availing them­
selves of the panic and confusion which
ensued upon the captivity of the king
they pushed forward into Lothian, and
boasted that the marches of the king­
dom were from Coldbrandspath to
Soutra, and from thence to Carlops
and Crosscryne.2

Baliol, who had acted a principal
part in these invasions, now believed
that the entire subjugation of Scot­
land, so long delayed, was at length to
be accomplished, and the sceptre to be
for ever wrested from the line of Bruce.
He took up his residence at the castle
of Caerlaverock, on the shores of the
Solway ;3 and having collected a strong
force of the savage freebooters of Gal­
loway, was joined by Percy and Neville,
with a large body of men-at-arms and
mounted archers. At the head of this
army he overran the Lothians, scoured
the country as far as Glasgow, wasted
Cunningham and Niddesdale, and ren­
dered himself universally odious by the
ferocity which marked his progress.

At this time, Lionel, duke of Ulster,
the son of Edward the Third, became
engaged in a mysterious transaction

1 Winton, vol. ii. p. 265. Scala Chron.
quoted in Leland’s Collection, vol. i. p. 562.
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 848.
Knighton, p. 2592.

relative to the affairs in Scotland, upon
which, unfortunately, no contempo­
rary documents throw any satisfac­
tory light. By an agreement entered
into between this English prince and
the Lords Henry Percy and Ralph
Neville, these barons undertook to
assist Baliol with a certain force of
men-at-arms. Only the name of the
treaty remains;4 but if a conjecture
may be hazarded on so dark a subject,
it seems probable that the ambition of
Lionel began already to aspire to the
crown of Scotland. Baliol was child­
less ; and the English prince may have
proffered him his assistance under some
implied condition that he should adopt
him as his successor. We know for
certain, that on Baliol being for ever
expelled from Scotland, Lionel engaged
in the same political intrigue with
David the Second. But, although the
precise nature of this transaction is
not easily discoverable, it soon became
apparent that the English king had no
serious design of assisting Baliol in his
recovery of the crown. At this con­
juncture, the nobles who had escaped
from Durham conferred the guardian­
ship of the kingdom upon the High
Steward;5 and whatever imputations
his conduct at Durham might have
cast upon his personal ambition, it is
certain that, as the enemy of the am­
bitious designs of England, and the
strenuous asserter of the liberty of his
country, the grandson of Bruce did not
shew himself unworthy of his high de­
scent. During a season of unequalled
panic and confusion, he maintained the
authority of the laws; the command of
the castles and the government of the
counties were intrusted to men of tried
fidelity; and to procure a breathing
time, negotiations were set on foot for
a truce.

4 Ayloffe’s Ancient Charters, p. 299. “ In­
dentura tracfcatus inter Leonellum filium Ed-
wardi tertii primogenitum, Comitem de Ulster,
ex una parte, et Monsieur Henry Percy et
Ranf. Neville, ex altera parte, per quam ipsi
Henricus et Radulphus conveniunt se servi-
turos in Scotia pro auxilio prestando Edwardo
de Baliol Regi Scotiæ, cum 360 soldaris.’'
12 Ed. III.

5 Fordun a Heame. p. 1039.

VOL. I.                                                                                           N

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