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country. After remaining here for eight days, want of provisions, and the sufferings of the soldiers from the rain, which poured down in torrents, almost produced a mutiny, and compelled Edward to march once more in quest of the Scottish army. He offered a high reward to any one who would conduct him to it. Douglas and Randolph sent one of their prisoners, a Yorkshire gentleman, to tell him that they were within six miles of his own army, and would be glad to see him. The English advanced accordingly, but upon their approach were mortified to find their enemies drawn up on the crest of a steep hill, at the foot of which ran the river Wear, through a rocky channel, so that they could not be attacked without certain destruction to the assailants. The King sent a herald to defy the Scots to a fair field of fight; but Douglas and Randolph returned for answer, that they had entered England without the consent of the King and his barons; that they would abide in the realm as long as they pleased; "and if,” said they, “the King dislikes our presence, let him pass the river, and do his best to chastise us.” Thus the two armies continued facing each other; the Scots on the south bank subsisting on the herds of cattle which they drove in from the country, the English on the north side, which was already wasted, and afforded but scanty supplies for their army. On the third morning the Scots' position was seen deserted and empty. They had decamped with much silence and celerity, and were soon found to have occupied a new position on the Wear, even stronger than the former. The English again confronted them, but were not permitted to remain long undisturbed in their slumbers. On the second night after their rival in this new position, Douglas, with a select body of men at arms, crossed the Wear and entered the English camp, saying as he passed the sleepy sentinels, in the manner of an English officer making the rounds, “Ha! St George! have we no ward here?” He reached the King's tent without discovery, cut asunder the ropes, and cried his war-cry of “ Douglas ! Douglas !” The young King only escaped death or captivity by the fidelity of his chaplain and others of his household, who fell in his defence. Douglas, finding the King had es
caped, cut his way through the English host, and returned in safety to the Scottish camp.
The English, after this daring attempt of Douglas to carry
off their King from the midst of his own army, kept better guard, and even lay on their arms all night. But on the morning of the second day it was ascertained that the Scots, having left great fires burning in their camp, had marched off about midnight. They reached the north in safety, having by a circuit turned the flank of the English, who now retreated to Durham, dejected and distressed.
Peace was at length concluded between the two countries in 1328, and confirmed by a match agreed upon between the Princess Joanna, sister to Edward III., and David, son of Robert I., though both were as yet infants. England renounced all claim to the sovereignty of Scotland, and engaged to restore the records and coronation stone which Edward I. had carried off; an engagement which never was fulfilled. They, however, delivered up the deed called Ragman's Roll, being the list of the barons and men of note who subscribed the submission to Edward I. in 1296.
King Robert the Bruce died at Cardross on the 7th of June 1329, at the almost premature age of fifty-five; a man distinguished alike for military talent and political wisdom, and one whose name will be ever dear to the hearts of his countrymen. He had on his death-bed enjoined Douglas to convey his heart to Jerusalem; and that renowned warrior, having landed in Spain on his way to Palestine, was there slain in battle with the Moors. The heart of the Bruce was brought back, and interred in Melrose Abbey. His body had previously been buried at Dunfermline.
Abridged from Sir Walter Scott.- Cabinet Library.
HAVING dwelt at considerable length on the reign of Robert Bruce, as exhibiting the struggles of a gallant nation for its independence, distinguished by many heroic achievements and signal reverses, but at length crowned with complete success, we must be more brief in our notice of subsequent events.
David II., the infant son of Robert I., was crowned at Scone in 1331; but the cause of the young prince soon lost its best support by the death of the brave and experienced Regent Randolph. This patriot died at Musselburgh in 1332, when leading the Scottish army northward to oppose Edward Baliol (son of John Baliol, a short time the vassal king of Scotland), who was advancing to claim his father's throne. He was supported by the English king, and by those disinherited barons who had lost their estates for their attachment to the English cause during Bruce's struggle against that power. Edward Baliol landed at Kinghorn, and having defeated the Earl of Fife, encamped with three thousand men near Forteviot, with the river Earne in front. Donald, Earl of Mar, the unworthy successor of Randolph in the regency, encamped upon Dupplin moor, on the opposite or right bank of the river, with thirty thousand men, where he allowed himself to be surprised in the nighttime, and his whole host dispersed or cut to pieces by Edward Baliol, who had only one-tenth part of his Bumbers. Edward Baliol was now crowned by his adherents at Scone; and he not only did homage to the English king, Edward III., but even delivered up to him the southern provinces of Scotland.
Douglas, brother of the famous Lord James, who was now regent on behalf of the young Bruce, endeavoured to relieve Berwick, which was besieged by the Englishı. A terrible battle ensued at Halidon hill, near that town, in which the Scots were defeated with great loss. The friends of David II., however, gathering strength, compelled Edward Baliol to take refuge in England, whence he returned with an English army, under the command of the English king in person, who came to restore his vassal to the throne of Scotland. For this purpose he twice overran the country, penetrating as far as Inverness, and strengthening the English garrisons; but no sooner had he withdrawn, than the royalists rose in all quarters, and retook the towns and castles from the garrisons he had left behind. The knights most conspicuous in these achievements, were the Steward of Scotland, grandson of Robert Bruce by his daughter Marjory, Sir William Douglas, the knight of Liddisdale, natural son
of the good Sir James, and Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalwolsey. By the efforts of these and other patriots, the friends and adherents of Baliol were so far overcome, that king David, now eighteen years of age, returned with his consort from France, where they had hitherto resided.
About this period Scotland was oppressed by a grievous famine, agriculture having been neglected and the produce destroyed, amid the devastations of border and civil war. Disease, its natural consequence, following, a pestilence swept the land, and carried off many of the famished inhabitants.
David, though weak and selfish, was not deficient in personal courage. _He invaded England in 1346, and was taken by the English at Neville's cross, near Durham, fifteen thousand of his men having fallen in the battle. The royal captive was conducted to London.
Edward III., the hero of Cressy, having returned victorious from France, directed all his energies to the permanent acquisition of Scotland. To obtain something like a claim, he caused Edward Baliol to appear before him, arrayed in royal robes, and with a golden crown on his head: these he put off, and laid at the feet of the English king, resigning to him all right and title he might claim to the sovereignty of Scotland. The English monarch then marched northward with an army of ninety thousand men; but the Scots having laid their country waste, he could find no provisions for his army, and after burning the fine abbey church at Haddington, he was obliged to retreat, the Scots harassing on every side his army, already disorderly from their sufferings. He then, for a ransom of one hundred thousand merks, restored David to liberty, having first secretly bound him to use his utmost efforts to get Edward, or one of his sons, declared heir to the Scottish throne, failing heirs-male of his own body. This secret and shameful stipulation, David attempted repeatedly but in vain to fulfil; the Scottish nobles declaring, that they would never have an alien to reign over them.
David II. died in the castle of Edinburgh, on the 22d of February 1371, in the forty-seventh year of his age, and forty-second of his reign. He was a weak and selfish prince, in every respect unworthy of his great father.
Written for the present Work.
VI.-ACCESSION OF THE STUART FAMILY.
ROBERT II.-1371-1389. DAVID II. having died without children, Robert the High Steward of Scotland succeeded to the throne-an infirm old man of fifty-five years of age. He was grandson of Robert I. by his daughter Marjory; and his father, Walter, the sixth High Steward, had distinguished himself in the battle of Bannockburn, and subsequently, by his brave defence of Berwick, against the power of the English. The old man, now King, had a numerous family of sons grown to manhood. John, Earl of Carrick ; Robert, Earl of Fife, afterwards Duke of Albany; and Alexander, Lord of Badenoch, were born to him of his first marriage with Elizabeth More; David, earl of Strathern, and Walter, Lord of Brechin, by his second wife Euphemia Ross, widow of Randolph. Robert II. was crowned at Scone on the 26th of March 1371. Notwithstanding the existing truce with England, hostilities were still carried on upon the borders. The English, under Sir Thomas Musgrave, were defeated near Melrose by Sir Archibald Douglas, who, dismounting, rushed into the thickest of the fight with his large two-handed sword, and broke the English ranks by the fury of his blows. Douglas also made a foray into England, and brought off an immense booty. He likewise surprised and burnt the town of Penrith during a fair that was held there, and drove off much spoil.
About this time, John of Gaunt, the celebrated Duke of Lancaster, took refuge in Scotland, and the Abbey of Holyrood was assigned for his residence.
In 1385, Richard II. advanced with a large army to invade Scotland. He burnt the beautiful Abbeys of Dryburgh and Melrose, and advanced as far as Edinburgh, which was given up to pillage and flames, the Abbey of Holyrood only being spared at the earnest entreaty of John of Gaunt, to whom it had lately afforded an asylum. The Scots, however, had reduced the whole southern counties to a desert, having driven off their flocks and herds, and