BUT now touching Bruse; after he had slaine Cumin (as before is mentioned) he purchased an absolution from Rome for that act: and to the end he might then through
Absolution from Rome.
Robert Bruse is crowned king of Scotland, the first of that name.
authoritie obteine some aid to resist the puissance of his aduersarie king Edward, he went by
support of friends vnto Scone, & there caused himselfe to be crowned king, on the 27 day
of March, though he had no great number that tooke his part in the beginning, as shortlie
after well appeared. For when he should assemble an armie against a power of Englishmen
that were sent against him by king Edward, immediatlie vpon knowledge had of his attempts, he was not able to get togither anie sufficient number to resist his aduersaries,
though with those few which came vnto him, he thought to trie the chance of battell, and
King Robert is discomfited at Meffen.
so incountring with Odomare de Valence lieutenant of the English armie at Meffen the
19 day of Iune 1306, he was there put to flight; and though the slaughter was not great,
yet for that it was iudged to be an euill signe to haue such infortunat lucke vpon his entering into the estate, the peoples fauor shranke greatlie from him.
Odomare de Valence after he had obreined this victorie against king Robert, banished
the wiues of all those that supported the same Robert, by means whereof, manie ladies and
gentlewomen were constreined to flée into woods, and other desert places, to eschew the
crueltie of their aduersaries. King Robert also after this ouerthrow, fled into Atholl, and
King Robert eftsoones discomfited is Atholl.
from thence to Streill, where the thrid Ides of August at a place called Daireie, he fought
againe with the Cumins and other such Scots & Englishmen as were assembled in those
parties readie to pursue him, and had the like lucke here that had chanced to him before at
Meffen ; for he was put to flight after the same maner, though he lost here but few or his
men, neither in the fight nor chase. This place Dalreie is as much to say, as the kings
field: Buchan lib. 8, which is also called Dawkie by I. Maior. lib. 4. cap. 19, who suppeseth that Bruse had so hard a beginning for a punishment of the death of Cumin, slaine in
the church by him and his friends. Wherevpon finding fortune thus contrarie vnto him
The miserable state of K. Robert in the beginning of his reigne.
in these two seuerall battels, he was left so desolat and vnprouided of all friendship, that he
was constreined for his refuge to withdraw into the woods and mounteins, with a few other
in his companie, and there liued on herbs and roots oftentimes for want of other food.
Whilest he remained in this estate of aduerse fortune, there were two that shewed themselues right trustie and faithfull seruants vnto him aboue all the rest, the earie of Leuenox,
The earle of Leuenox and Gilbert Haie faithfull seruitors to king Robert.
and Gilbert Haie : for though either inforced by persecution of enimies, or constreined
through some other necessitie, they departed sometimes from his presence; yet did they euer
acknowledge him for their souereigne lord and onelie king, readie at all seasons to serue
and obey him in each behalfe. The most part of all other his friends yea and seruants,
in that present miserie, did clearelie forsake him; so that sometimes he was left with onelie
one or two in his companie, & glad to kéepe himselfe secret in desert places, where no person lightlie vsed to resort. His wife & quéene fled to saint Dutho, and chanced to be taken
King Roberts wife taken.
by William Cumin earle of Rosse, who deliuered hir to king Edward, by whose commandement she was committed to safe kéeping at London, where she remained till after the
battell of Bannocksborne. His brother Nigell was also taken, and so afterwards were his
Nigell Thomas and Alexander brethren to king Robert are taken and put to death.
two other brethren, Thomas and Alexander, with manie other nobles and gentlemen of
Scotland, of whome some were executed at Carleill, and some at Berwike. Nigell was
taken at the castell of Kildrome whither he fled, and came to Berwike. Thomas and
Alexander were taken at Locreis, and carried to Carleill, and so behedded. Io. Maior.
lib. 4. cap.19. Finallie the most part of all such as had aided him before, and were
now shroonke from him, were within one yeare after, either slaine or kept as prisoners in
Yet though he was thus left desolat of all aid and succor, hauing his brethren and other
of his friends murthered and slaine to his vtter discomfort and ruine (as was to be supposed)
he neuerthelesse liued euer in hope of some better fortune, whereby in time to come he
King Roberts good hope in time of extreme aduersitie.
might recouer the reaime out of the enimies hands, and restore the ancient libertie thereof
to the former estate. As for the paines which he tooke in liuing barelie for the most
part by water & roots, & lodging ofttimes on the bare earth, without house or other harborough, he was so accustomed thereto by haunting the warres in his youth, that the same
gréeued him little or nothing at all. But to conclude, such was his valiancie and most
His inuincible hart and vndaunted stomach.
excellent fortitude of mind and courage, that no iniurious mischance of froward aduersitie
could abash his inuincible heart and manlike stomach. At length, after he had wandered
from place to place in sundrie parie of Scotland, the better to auoid the sleights of them
that laie in wait to apprehend him, he got ouer into one of the Iles, where comming vnto
King Robert getteth ouer into the Iles.
one of his speciall friends, a man of high nobilitie and welbeloued of the people in those
parts, he was most bartilie welcome, and gladlie of him receiued, to his great ease and
Here when he had remained a certeine space, hee got support of men, armor and weapons,
King Robert purchaseth aid in the Iles.
He winneth the castell of Carrike.
by meanes whereof taking new courage, he passed ouer vnto Carrike, & winning the castell
there that belonged to his fathers inheritance, he slue all the Englishmen, which he found
within it, and bestowed all the spoile of monie and goods gotten there amongst his souldiers
and men of warre. His friends that laie hid in couert and secret corners, hearing of these his
dooings, began from each side to resort vnto him, by whose assistance shortlie after he wan
His power increaseth.
Inuernesse castell taken.
King Robert commeth to Glenneske.
the castell of Inuernesse, and slue all them that were within it in garrison. With the like felicitie he got the most part of all the castels in the north, racing & burning vp the same till he
came to Glenneske, where being aduertised that Iohn Cumin with sundrie Englishmen and
Scots were gathered against him, bicause he was vpon a strong ground, he determined there
to abide them: but they being thereof informed, and woondering at his manlie courage, durst
not approch to giue him battell, but sent ambassadors vnto him to haue truce for a time, vnder
colour of some communication for a peace, till they might increase their power more strongly
against him: which being doone, they pursued him more fiercelie than before. Neuerthelesse
K. Robert receiued them at all times in such warlike order, that they might neuer take him at
anie aduantage, but were still driuen backe with slaughter and losse; though the same was of
no great importance to make account of, but such like as happeneth oftentimes in skirmishes
& light incounters, where the battels come not to ioine puissance against puissance. The
fame whereof procured him the fauour of sundrie great barons in Scotland.
* About this time, Simon Fraser, and Walter Logan (most valiant knights, and greatlie
Simon Fraser and Walter Logan executed.
fauouring their countrie) were taken (by such as followed the faction of Cumin) deliuered to
the English, sent to London, and there executed. Almost about which time, Iames Dowglasse
ioined himselfe to the part of king Robert. This Iames being the sonne of William Dowglasse, was a yoong gentleman very actiue and forward in all chiefe exercises and arts. Who
when he gaue himselfe to studie at Paris (hearing that his father was by the king of England cast in prison, in which he shortlie after died, as is before noted) returned home to dispose the rest of his life after the aduise of his friends. But being without liuing, & all his other
friends by misfortune dispersed: he committed himselfe to the seruice of W. Lambert bishop
of saint Andrews, of whome hée was gentlie recelued into his familie, and well interteined:
vntill king Edward comming to Sterling (after that he had almost pacified all the rest of Scotland) to besiege Striueling: at what time Lambert going to Sterling to salute the king, caried
Dowglasse to attend vpon him, to the end to prefer him to his liuing and inheritance. Wherevpon the bishop finding the king at conuenient leisure, besought him to be fauourable to this
Dowglasse; to restore him vnto his fathers patrimonie: and that (receiuing the yoong man
into his fealtie and defense) it would please him to imploie him in his faithfull and warlike seruice: adding further such commendations in the behalfe of Iames, as for that time he thought
most conuenient. But the king vnderstanding his name and kinred, spake bitterlie of the disobedience and stubbernesse of his father William Dowglasse; further answering, that he
would neither vse the same Iames, nor his trauell in anie thing, neither that he could (if so
he would) restore him to his patrimonie, bicause he had with the same gratified other that well
deserued it. For which cause being by the king so repelled, he remained still in the bishops
seruice, vntill Bruse came into Merne, at what time (least he might loose the opportunitie to
offend king Edward, whome he secretlie in heart disdeined) this Dowglasse departed from
Lambert his maister, taking with him all the bishops gold, and certeine of his best horsses,
with the which, hauing in his companie diuerse other hardie yoong gentlemen, priuie
to his dooings, he fled with all spéed vnto king Robert, offering him his seruice, and to
spend his life in his quarell and defense.) The bishop was priuie to his cousins going
A craftie dissembling prelate.
awaie, yea and counselled him therevnto, though he would by no means it should outwardlie so appeare, for doubt least if things had not come to passe as he wished, he
might haue run in danger for his cloked dissimulation. The Dowglasse was ioifullie receiued of king Robert, in whose seruice he faithfullie continued both in peace and warre to
his liues end.
Though the surname and familie of the Dowglasses was in some estimation of nobilitie
The rising of the Dowglasses to honor.
before those daies, yet the rising thereof to honor chanced through this Iames Dowglasse: for
by meanes of his aduancement, other of the same linage tooke occasion by their singular manhood and noble prowes shewed at sundrie times in defense of the realme, to grow to such
height in authoritie & estimation, that their mightie puissance in mainrent, lands, & great
possessions, at length was (through suspicion conceiued by the kings that succeeded) the cause
in part of their ruinous decay. Edward king of England hearing of the dooings of his
aduersarie king Robert, doubted (if some redresse were not found in time) lest the Scots
reioising in the prosperous successe of his said aduersarie, would reuolt wholie from the
English obeisance: and herevpon purposing with all spéed to subdue the whole realme of
Scotland from end to end, he came (with a far greater armie than euer he had raised before) to the borders; but before his entring into Scotland, he fell sicke of a right sore and
The death of king Edward Longshanks.
grieuous maladie, whereof he died shortlie after at Burgh vpon sands, as in the English
historie more plainlie dooth appeare, though Buchanan say he died at Lancaster.
The Scotish writers make mention, that a litle before he departed out of this world, there
The crueltie of king Edward as is noted by the Scotish writers.
were brought vnto him 55 yoong striplings, which were taken in the castell of Kildrummie,
after it was woone by the Englishmen, and being asked what should be doone with them,
he commanded they should be hanged incontinentlie, without respect to their yoong yéeres,
or consideration of their innocencies that might haue mooued him to pitie. After his deceasse, his sonne Edward of Carnaruan succéeded in the gouernement of England, who
Edward of Carnaruan, sonne to Edward Longshanks.
Homage to king Edward of Carnaruan.
following his fathers enterprise, called a councell at Dunfreis, summoning the lords of Scotland
to appeare at the same, and caused a great number of them at their comming thither to doo
their homage vnto him, as to their superior lord and gouernor: but yet diuers disobeied his
commandements, and would not come at his summoning, vpon trust of some change of
fortune by the death of his father, for that the son was much giuen (as was reported) to
incline his eare to lewd counsell, not without the great griefe of his people, and namelie of
the lords and chiefe nobles of his realme.
Shortlie after this, the said Edward of Carnaruan returned into England, and in the meane
time Iohn Cumin erle of Buchquhane gathered a mightie armie, both of Scots and Englishmen to resist against king Robert, that he might thereby declare his faithfull affection
toward the new English king. He trusted onelie with multitude of people to cause his
enimies to giue place: but king Robert though he was holden with a sore sicknesse at that
time, yet he assembled a power, and caused himselfe in a horselitter to be caried foorth
with the same against his enimies, who abiding him at a streight, supposed it had bin an
easie matter for them to be put to flight: but it chanced quite contrarie to their expectation,
for in the end the Cumin with his whole armie was discomfited, and a great number of
king Roberts aduersaries slaine or taken. This victorie was gotten at a village called
Iohn Cumin discomfited by king Robert at Enuerrour.
Enuerrour, ten miles distant from Aberden, on the Ascension daie, wherewith king Robert
was so much refreshed in contentation of mind, that he was suddenlie thervpon restored to
his former health, hauing at that time also taken the castell of Aberden, which he vtterlie destroied, and caused to be leuelled with the ground, to the end his enimies might haue no
more refuge thereby.
In the same yere Donald of the Iles came with a great armie of Englishmen and Scots
Donald of the Iles discomfited by Edward Bruse.
against K. Robert, and was on the feast day of the apostles Peter and Paule discomfited by
Edward Bruse the kings brother, at the water of Deir. At this battell was a right valiant
knight named Rowland, slaine of the English part, with a great number of other about him,
and Donald himselfe was taken prisoner. Thus king Robert through fauour of prosperous
Argile subdued by king Robert.
This was in 1309, as Iohn Ma. saith.
K. Edward commeth into Scotland.
Anno 1310 as should séeme by Io. Maior.
fortune, obteining the victorie in sundrie conflicts, came with an armie into Argile, and not
onelie subdued the countrie to his obeisance, but also tooke Alexander lord of Argile out of
a strong castell in that countrie, and banished him with all his friends into England, where
shortlie after he deceassed. In the yéere next following, king Edward came with an armie
into Scotland, where ioining with an other armie of Scots that were assembled readie to aid
him, he passed through the countrie vnto Ranfrew, and at length without atchiuing anie
notable enterprise woorthie the mentioning, he returned againe into England.
In the same yeere, through continuall warres, there rose such dearth & scarsitie of things
A sore dearth.
in Scotland, that neither corne nor other vittels could be had for monie: for the ground in
manner generallie through the countrie laie vntilled, and beasts with all kind of cattell were
driuen awaie, as booties taken by the enimies. By reason wherof the famine so increased
on each side, that the people were constreined to eat horsses, and other lothsome flesh & meats,
thereby to susteine their liues. In the yéere following which was after the incarnation 1311,
Castels recouered by king Robert.
King Robert inuadeth England.
king Robert chased the Englishmen out of all parts of Scotland, winning manie castels out
of their hands, diuerse of the which he raced and consumed with fire. After this entring at
sundrie times into England with his fierce armie, he brought from thence innumerable booties
of cattell and other riches, afflicting the Englishmen with like slaughter and calamities, as
the Scots had suffered in the yéeres before, by the outragious force and puissance of king
Edward. On the eight day of Ianuarie next insuing, King Robert wan by fine force the
1312. Io. M.
The towne of Perth recouered, otherwise called S. Iohns towne.
Rokesburgh woone on Shrouetuesday.
The castell of Edenburgh woone.
Striueling castell besieged.
strong towne of Perth, sleaing and hanging all the people both English and Scotish, which
were found in the same. He threw also the walles of that towne to the ground, and filled
the ditch with the rampire. The same yere the castels of Dunfreis, Aire, Lanarke, with
manie other strengths and castels were rendered vnto him, and cast to the ground.
The castell of Rokesburgh was taken by sir Iames Dowglasse on Feastings euen, in the
yéere 1313, when they of the garison were ouercome with immoderate surfetting by meats
and drinks excessiuelie taken, according as on that day the accustomed vse is. In that yéere
also Thomas Randall, afterwards created earle of Murrey, wan the castell of Edenburgh.
In which yéere also, Bruse wan the Ile of Man; Iohn Maior lib. 5. cap. 1. And the same
yéere Edward Bruse besieged the castell of Striueling: but the strength of the house was
such, what by nature of the high crag whereon it stood, and what by fortification of mans
hand beside, all his trauell and inforcement diligentlie imploied to win it, proued vaine for
the time. Within this castell as capteine thereof, was a right valiant knight named sir Philip
Sir Philip Mowbray.
Mowbray, a Scotish man borne, but taking part with the English men, who feared nothing
the siege, for he had sufficient store of men, vittels, munition, and all maner of purueiance
sufficient to defend the hold for a long season: so that finallie Edward Bruse, perceiuing no
meanes whereby to atchiue the enterprise, which he had rashlie taken in hand, was abashed
thereof: for by force he saw well inough it could not be brought to passe, and by large
offers made to the capteine, if he would render the place, and become seruant to the king
his brother, he could not once mooue him to giue anie eare thereto, insomuch as at length
he sought to trie him another way foorth, which in the end tooke better effect than was
likelie it would haue doone, considering the lacke of circumspection vsed in the bargaine
making: as thus.
After long siege, and (as before is said) no good doone, there was a motion made betwixt him and the capteine within for a truce, which was accorded on this wise: that if the
fortresse were not succoured within twelue moneths next insuing, it should then be rendered
vnto king Robert, and in the meane time no force should be vsed against it. This
An vnwise composition.
composition was vnwiselie made, as most men iudged: for euerie man of anie wisedome might
easilie coniecture, that king Edward hauing so long day to make his prouision, would come
in support of them within the castell, and that so stronglie, as would be hard for the Scots
to resist him. King Robert himselfe also was sore offended with his brother for his follie
King Robert offended with his brother.
shewed in this behalfe: but yet hée would not go about to breake the couenant accorded,
for doubt to lose his brother, whose aid hée might not well want.
In the meane time king Edward sent foorth messengers with letters, not onelie vnto all
K. Edward taketh vp souldiers.
his subiects, but also vnto all his confederats and alies, to haue men of warre taken vp and
reteined to serue him in his warres against the Scots, which he intended to folow to the
vtter destruction of the whole nation. There came therefore in hope of spoile, not onlie
such as were appointed by commissioners of the musters, but also a great number of other
that offered themselues of their owne accord to go in that iournie, namelie such as had
little to liue vpon at home, and trusted to amend the matter by some good fortune in the
warres abroad. The countries out of the which it is reported by the Scotish writers, that
Out of what countries K. Edward had aid of men.
such aid came to the English, were these; Holand, Zeland, Brabant, Flanders, Picardie,
Bolognois, Gascoigne, Normandie, Guian, and Burdelois. For all these at that time were
either subiect to the king of England, or else in confederate league with him. There were
also manie Scots that were English by deuotion, and aided king Edward at this time.
But the number of naturall Englishmen excéeded anie one nation beside, insomuch that
the whole annie what of one and other, conteined (as the fame went) one hundred and
fiftie thousand footmen, and almost as manie horssemen, beside cariage-men, coistrels, women, and lackies, but the fame herein belike (as often happeneth) did farre excéed the
Fame oftentimes excéedeth the truth.
truth. For it is not to be thought (as fohn Maior himselfe writeth) that he should get
such a number togither, not for that England it selfe is not able to set foorth such a power:
for as the same Maior saith, as maine men as are to be found in England of lawfull age, so
manie able personages may be found there to passe for able souldiers. But either kings are
not of abilitie to find so great a multitude with vittles and sufficient prouision, or else they
will not streine themselues thereto. Neuerthelesse, the whole number by all likelihood
was great, for many as well strangers as Englishmen, brought their wiues, their children, and
whole houshold-meinie with them, in hope after the countrie were once subdued, to haue
dwelling places appointed them in the same, there to inhabit: for so had king Edward
K. Edwards promise.
promised them. By reason whereof the disorder was such, that no warlike discipline might
be obserued amongst them; for men, women, and children, were all mixt togither might
such clamor and noise, through the huge number of people, and diuersitie of languages,
that it was a thing rigt strange to behold a campe so confusedlie ordered.
King Edward himselfe most proud and insolent of such incredible number, tooke no
héed at all to the gouerning of them, supposing victorie to be alreadie in his hands; insomuch that at his comming to the borders, he tooke aduise with his councell to what kind
of torment and death he might put king Robert, for he had no doubt of catching him
at all. He also brought with him a religious man somwhat learned belike, of the order
of the Carmelites, to describe the whole maner of his conquest and victorie ouer the
K. Edward thinketh himselfe sure of victorie.
Robert Baston a Carmelite.
Scots: so sure he thought himselfe that all things would come to passe as he could wish
or deuise. This Carmelite, as may appeare in Iohn Bales booke, intituled A summarie of
the writers of great Britaine,
was named Robert Baston, and had the gouernance of
an house in Scarburgh, of the Carmelites order, he being (as before is said) of that cote
On the contrarie part, king Robert ordered all his dooings by good & prudent aduise,
Iohn Ma. hath in his booke 35 thousand.
King Robert his comming toward the battell.
and with 30000 men, right hardie and throughlie exercised in wars, came foorth against his
enimies, shewing no token of feare in the world, but boldlie pitched downe his tents in good
order and warlike araie, vpon a piaine a little aboue Bannocksborne. Whether he did this
for the great confidence he had in the hardinesse of his people, or for that he would shew
how little hee doubted the puissance of his enimies, least they shuld haue him in contempt,
it is vncerteine. Indéed there were diuerse expert warriours amongest the Engishmen,
The opinion of expert warriors of king Edwards.
that said (when they heard how the Scots were thus assembled to fight) that the victorie
would not be had, except it were dearelie bought: the wisedome and manhood of king
Robert was knowne so well amongst them, that they were assured he would not ieopard
himselfe in such a case, but that he knew he had such fellowes about him, as would sticke
to their tackle.
Moreouer the Scots by appointment of their king, to the furtherance of his hardie
Trenches made by Scots to ouerthrow the Englishmen.
enterprise, had cast déepe pits and ditches in the place where it was iudged the battels should
ioine, and pitched sharpe stakes within the same, and after couered them ouer slightlie with
gréene turfes or sods, in such wise that a few footmen might passe ouer well inough; but
if anie great number should come preassing togither, or that anie horssemen came therevpon, the sods would shrinke and fail to the bottome of the trenches, with extreme perill of
the men and horsses, that were sure to fall vpon the stakes set there for that purpose; or
else to be so inclosed, that they should not be able to get out of those pitfals. By the place
where king Robert was thus incamped, there runneth a great brooke or water called
Bannocksborne, so named of oten-cakes called bannocks, which were vsed to bée made commonlie
at the mils standing on the banks of the said water. It falleth into the Forth right famous
afterwards by reason of this battell fought néere to the same.
When both the armies were approched within a mile togither, king Edward sent eight
hundred horsmen by a secret waie, vnto the castell of Striueling, to giue notice to sir Philip
Mowbraie the capteine, that he was come with his armie to succour him. K. Robert being
aduertised of their gate, & beholding them which way they tooke, he sent Thomas Randall
The fight of Th. Randall with 500 Scotishmen in his companie against 800 Englishmen.
with flue hundred Scotish horsmen to saue the countrie from spoile, who with singular
manhood incountering with those Englishmen in sight of both the armies, there insued a
cruell fight betwixt them for so small a number, continuing a long space with vncerteine
victorie. In the meane time sir lames Dowglasse, dreading that his speciall friend the said
Thomas Randall should be ouerset with multitude of the Englishmen, came to K. Robert,
and falling on his knées before him, required licence to go foorth to the support of them
that were thus fighting with their enimies: which bicause the king would not grant at the
first, he rushed foorth of the campe without licence, hauing in his companie a small band
of men, but yet chosen out for the purpose, that if it were but by shewing himselfe, hée
might put the enimies in some feare.
Notwithstanding, when he was come néere to the place where they fought, and saw how
the Scots had got the victorie with great murther of the Englishmen, be staied and went
no further; least he should by his comming séeme to beréeue them the glorie of the
victorie, which had woone it with so great prowesse & singular valiancie. All those in the
Scotish campe were relieued, in good hope of greater successe to follow in the whole enterprise by so happie a beginning. The Englishmen passed litle thereof, but yet for that the
The Englishmen determine to giue battell.
King Robert prepareth to receiue the enimies by battell.
Scots should not waxe proud, and take ouermuch courage thereby, they determined to giue
them battell the next morow. King Robert with great diligence caused his people to prepare themselues readie to receiue the enimies, though he was nothing able to match them
in number, deuising which waie he might traine them into the ditches before prepared. He
commanded through the armie that euerie man should on the next morow receiue the
sacrament of the Lords bodie, through the which they might haue the better hope of victorie
against the vniust inuaders of their realme and countrie.
On the other side, the Englishmen trused that all things would prosper with them, euen
as they could best deuise: for by one small daies labour they hoped to be lords of all Scotland, and to dispose of the lands and goods of their enimies, as should séeme to them good,
and most for their owne auaile. But king Robert all the night before the battell tooke
litle rest, hauing great care in his mind for the suertie of his armie, one while reuoluing in
his consideration this chance, and an other while that; yea and sometimes he fell to deuout contemplation, making his praier to God and saint Phillane, whose arme as it was set
and inclosed in a siluer case, he supposed had béene the same time within his tent, trusting
the better fortune to follow by presence thereof. In the meane time, as he was thus making his praiers, the case suddenlie opened, and clapped to againe. The kings chapleine
A subtill chapleine.
being present, astonied therewith, went to the altar where the case stood, and finding the
arme within it, he cried to the king & other that were present, how there was a great
miracle wrought, confessing that he brought the emptie case to the field, and left the arme
at home, least that relike should haue beene lost in the field, if anie thing chanced to the
armie otherwise than well.
The king verie ioifull of this miracle, passed the remnant of the night in praier and
A matter deuised betwixt the king and his chapleine, as is to be thought.
thankesgiuing. On the morow he caused all his folks to heare diuine seruice, and to receiue the sacrament, as ouer night he had appointed. The abbat of Inchchaffraie did celebrate before the king that day, and ministred vnto him and other of the nobles, the communion, other priests being appointed to minister the same vnto the residue of the armie.
After this, when seruice was ended, the king called the people to his standard, and first
The exhortation of king Robert to his people.
declared vnto them from point to point, how necessarie it was for them to shew their woonted
manhood, considering that such an huge multitude of people was brought thither against
them by king Edward, not of one nation or dominion, but of sundrie languages and parties,
as well subiects as alies to the Englishmen, with full purpose vtterlie to extinguish the
Scotish name and memorie, and to plant themselues in their seates and roomes, as in possessions vtterlie voided of all the ancient and former inhabitants. To increase the fierce
stomachs of the Scotishmen against the enimies, he recounted vnto them what he heard by
credible report touching the menacing woords and insolent brags of the same enimies, able
to mooue verie quiet minds vnto full indignation. Againe, to auoid feare out of their harts,
which they might conceiue by reason of the multitude of their aduersaries, he rehearsed
what a number of rascals were amongest them, without anie skill of warrelike affaires, not
taken vp by choise and election in appointed musters, but resorting without difference togither, in hope of spoile and booties, hauing not else wherevpon to liue at home in their
Moreouer, if nothing else might raise their harts in hope of victoric, their iust cause sith
they came in defense of their countrie against iniurious inuaders, was matter sufficient to aduance their manlie stomachs, in trust of Gods aid in that quarell, hauing partlie assured
them thereof, by notable miracles shewed in the night last passed. Hereto he added, that
the greater multitude there was of the enimies, the more spoile and riches was to be got,
if they atteined the victorie. Finallie, the more to stirre their harts to doo valiantlie, he required them of one thing, which he trusted (their manhood being such) they would not
thinke hard for them to atchiue, and this was, that euerie of them would but dispatch one
of the enimies, which if they performed, he promised them assured victorie. As for ten
thousand, he knew to be amongst them of such approoued souldiers, and old men of war,
as he durst safelie vndertake for them that they would slea two of the enimies a péece, at
the least. Such manner of persuasions king Robert vsed to incourage his people.
* But lohannes Maior, lib. 5. cap. 2. putteth spéech much different from this, in the
mouth of Bruse, further saieng, that when this oration was ended, that the king came downe
the hill, on which he stood, when he vttered these woords, and bareheaded imbraced all
the nobilitie in his armes, and after turning himselfe to the whole armie, he reached to
euerie man his hand, in signe of amitie: but I suppose he was ouerwearied before he had
shaken 35000 men by the hands.) On the other part, king Edward caused the coronels
The exhortation of king Edward.
of ech nation within his campe, to exhort their retinues to remember, that if they fought
valiantlie for one houre or two, they should purchase infinit riches with the whole realme
of Scotland, in reward of their labour: for he desired nothing for himselfe, but the superioritie. Againe, he willed they should haue in remembrance what irrecouerable shame
would follow (sith they had departed out of their countries in hope of gaine) to returne
home with emptie hands, and void of victorie, not without some reproch and note of cowardise.
* Besides which (as séemeth by lohannes Maior) king Edward clothed in his kinglie
Iohannes Maior maketh K. Edward to speake (by his pen) what he list himself.
Io. Maior forgot that guns were not yet inuented.
robes, is said to haue vsed these spéeches to the armie. "If I did not behold the open victorie,
I would this day (most valiant men) make an other beginning of speech vnto you. We
are in preparation & number of souldiors farre beyond these miserable Scots. Besides
which, we haue abundance of brasse péeces, catapultes, bowes, and other such engins of
warre, which on the contrarie part the Scots doo want. They are onelie couered with leather pilches made of bucks skins, and with clokes like vnto the wild mounteine people, for
which cause our archers, before the strength of the maine battell shall ioine, will soone
subdue them. Maruell not that they haue before time subdued some of my subiects, because they did it by their accustomed deceits, and not by strength of battell. And though
by chance they haue ouercome (in fight) some weake companie of equall number vnto
them, yet are they not able to resist vs; being farre more excellent in number, preparation,
and order of battell. The Scot hath a weake nation fighting on his owne charge, not
hauing anie chosen souldier. God hath in this field inclosed that for Bruse (nourished by
my good father) to the end that he might receiue woorthie punishment for his wickednesse.
His three brethren were consumed by my father: wherefore it now remaineth that we
apprehend (aliue) these other two wicked and wauering men, to lead them to London,
there to receiue their due punishment. You had great reuenues (noble princes) giuen to
you by my father, in that kingdome. Wherefore now shew your selues valiant persons,
that you may againe recouer the same, at this day possessed by the vniust and vnrightfull
owners. Besides which, I will further by line geometricallie measure foorth all the land of
K. Edward a good mathematician by Maiors hyperbolicall spéeches.
Incombrance in an armie.
Scotland, to be diuided vnto those that deserue the same, according to the merits of the
men." Thus much Maior.)
But yet when they should march forward in arraie of battell towards the Scots, they might
scarse be seuered from their wiues and children, which they had there in campe with them:
neuerthelesse, at length by the sharpe calling vpon of their capteins, they were brought into
order of battell, not without much adoo, by reason of the vnrulie multitude. The archers
The order of the English battels.
The appointing of the Scotish battels.
The first battell.
were placed in wings, mingled amongest the horssemen on the sides of the wards and
battels, which stood inclosed in the middest of the same wings. King Robert appointing
all his battels on foot, diuided the same into thrée parts: the fore ward he committed to
Thomas Randulfe, & lames Dowglasse, capteins of verie approoued valiancie, vnder whome
went seuen thousand of the borderers, and thrée thousand of the Irish Scots, otherwise called
Katerans or Redshanks. These no lesse fierce and forward, than the other practised and
skilfull. The second ward was gouerned by Edward the kings brother, wherein were ten
thousand men: but for that he was suspected of too much rashnesse, there was ioined with him
certeine ancient gentlemen of great sobrietie and circumspection, to qualifie his hastie and
hot nature. The third battell, in the which were (as Iohn Maior recordeth) fiftéene
thousand fighting men, the king himselfe led, shewing a verie chéerefull countenance amongest
them, so farre foorth, that euerie one that beheld him, conceiued in his mind an assured
hope of victorie to succéed.
The abbat of Inchchaffraie aforesaid (who as before is mentioned, did celebrate that
The abbat of Inchchaffraie bearing a crosse.
Ross. li. 7. pag. 244. saith, it was Mauricius the abbat a man of singular pietie and puritie of life, such vertue they can find in their cleargie.
morning afore the king) came foorth before the battels, with the crucifix in his hands,
bearing it aloft like a standard [admonishing them valiantlie to take in hand the defense of
their countrie, and the libertie of their posteritie: for (saith he) you must not euerie man
fight as it were for his owne priuat defense, his owne house and children, but euerie man
for all men, and all men for euerie man must fight for the libertie, life, patrimonie, children,
and wiues of all the realme: for such and so great is the dignitie of our countrie, as they
which deface or spoile it, are to be punished with perpetuall fier, and they which do preserue it, are to be recompensed with an eternall crowne of glorie. And héerewithall this
abbat instructed them of manie things touching the loue of their countrie, which nature
hath so planted in all men, that for the preseruation and libertie therof, none should refuse
anie danger, no not the losse of life, yea though (if it were possible) that it might be manie
times lost therefore. Which doone, he feared not to admonish them to worship the image
of Christ, which he shewed them on the crosse.] Incontinentlie whervpon, the Scotish
armie fell on knées before it, deuoutlie commending themselues to almightie God.
The English armie beholding the Scots fall on knées, thought verelie they had yéelded
without stroke striken. But when they saw them rise againe, and to come forward, they
began to be somewhat doubtfull. And herevpon rushing togither, at the first ioining a
The first ioining.
great number of people on either side were beaten downe & slaine. The archers which
were arraied on the vtter skirts of the English wings, sore annoied the Scots, till finallie
Edward Bruse came on their backs with a thousand speares, and brake them assunder, in
such wise that they did but little more hurt that day. Albeit incontinentlie herewith a battell
Thirtie thousand English horssemen ouerthrowen in trenches.
of horssemen to the number of thirtie thousand, came rushing togither all at once in shocke,
to haue borne downe and ouerridden the Scots; but being so in their full race galloping
with most violence towards them, they tumbled into the fosses and pits before mentioned,
in such wise one vpon another, that the most part of them was slaine, without all recouerie.
Neuerthelesse the Scots in maner oppressed through the huge multitude of the enimies,
were néere at the point to haue beene vanquished. [During which conflict saith Buch.
Nothing omitted for the glorie of their nation, since valure is commendable in all men, but most in a king.
Et virtus in hoste landatur.
King Robert killeth an Englishman.
this happened (which though it be a small thing to put in writing, yet was such as oftentimes it chanceth in battell, and as brought no small benefit to the perfection of their businesse) that king Robert (who continuallie rode before the battell appointed to his gouernement) holding a mace of warre in his hand (and kéeping the first order in the arraie) was
espied of an Englishman that knew him verie well: and forthwith rode full against Bruse
with his speare. But the king beating the stroke aside, came to his English aduersarie, ouerthrew him by the force of his horsse, in the end killed him with his mace & so left him
dead. Wherevpon, the common people beholding the valure of their king and capteine,
did with great force by the instigation of their fierce and fierie minds (and not by the kings
persuasion) fall vpon their enimies in such sort, that they séemed to haue had the victorie
of the aduerse battell of their enimies: had it not béene for the English archers, which
were placed in the wings of the battell; whom Bruse (sending out certeine light horssemen) did soone represse: whereby the Scots incouraged, made their partie good, rather by
hidden policie, than prepared force. For a stratagem by the Scots deuised, and an error
by the English therof conceiued, did far more hurt to the enimie, than the power assembled
in the field. For that deuise in the end was the cause that the English lost the victorie, being in this sort.]
The Scots which were appointed to attend the carriage, as carters, wainemen, lackies, and
the women, beholding in what danger their maisters, friends, & countriemen stood, put on
shirts, smocks, and other white linnen aloft vpon their vsuall garments, and herewith binding towels and napkins to their speares, and to other such staues as they got in their hands,
placed themselues as well as they could in arraie of battell, and so making a great muster
and shew anew, came downe the hill side in the face of their enimies, with such a terrible
noise and hideous clamor, that the Englishmen fighting as then with most furie against the
Scots with vncerteine victorie, and beholding this new reenforce comming downe the hill
vpon their faces, supposing verelie it had beene some new armie, their hearts began to faint,
The Englishmens hearts begin to faint.
The Englishmen put to flight.
the more in deed, for that they saw themselues vneth able to susteine the violent incounter
of the Scots then present. And herevpon they began to turne their backs, and fell to
running away as people clearelie vanquished: on whome the Scots followed with insatiable
ire, and slue them down on all sides where they might ouertake them. Sir lames Dowglas
with foure hundred chosen horssemen, was commanded by king Robert to pursue the king
of England with all spéed, to trie if he might ouertake him.
Dowglas (according to his charge) followed him in chase to Dunbar, & casting betwixt
that and the borders, laie in wait to haue taken him, if he had returned by land; but he
being receiued into the castell of Dunbar by Patrike Dunbar erle of March, with fiftéene
King Edward escapeth.
earles in his companie, was by the same earle of March conueied into certeine vessels, lieng
there at anchor, with the which he passed alongst by the shore into England, to shew an
example of the vnstable state of princes: for though this Edward was that day in the
The vnstable state of worldlie puissance.
morning right proud of the great puissance and number of people which he had about him, not
vnlike sometime to the great armie of king Xerxes, yet he was constreined before the
euening of the same day, to saue his life in a poore fishers boat. In this battell were slaine
fiftie thousand Englishmen (as the Scotish writers affirme) amongst whome was the earle
of Glocester, with two hundred knights. On the Scotish part were slaine about foure
The number of Scots slaine.
thousand, and amongst other two valiant knights, sir William Wepount, and sir Walter
Rosse. The spoile was so great of gold, siluer, and other iewels gotten in the field, that the
whole number of the Scotish armie was made rich thereby: and besides this, they got
little lesse monie and riches by ransoming of prisoners taken at this battell, than of spoile
gotten in the fight, campe, and field. But the death of sir Giles Argentine, that died
Sir Giles Argentine slaine.
amongst other in this mortall battell, was so displeasant to king Robert, for the familiaritie
which he had sometimes with him in England, that he reioised little of all the gaine got by
so famous a victorie. He caused his bodie to be buried right honorablle in saint Patriks
church, beside Edenburgh. The quéene king Roberts wife, who had béene kept in
The quéene king Roberts wife restored to hir husband.
captiuitie the space of 8 yeares, was in England now deliuered by exchange for one of the nobles
of England, which was taken at this battell. The rich clothes of silke, veluet, and gold,
which were found in the English campe, were distributed to the abbeies and monasteries of
the realme, to make thereof vestments, copes, and frontals for altars. The Carmelite frier,
of whome ye heard before, brought thither by king Edward to describe the victorie of the
Englishmen, was taken prisoner amongst other, and commanded by king Robert to write
contrarilie the victorie of the Scots, according as he had séene: who therevpon gathered his
rustie wits togither, & made certeine rude verses beginning thus.
Verses made by Robert Baston the Carmelite.
De planctu cudo metrum cum carmine nudo,
Risum retrudo cùm tali themate ludo.
With barren verse this rime I make,
Bewailing whilest such theame I take.
There be some that haue iudged, how this victorie was atteined by the singular fauor of
almightie God, by reason of miracles which they rehearse to happen at the same time. The
night before the day of the battell, there came to the abbeie of Glastenburie two men in
complet armour, desiring to lodge there all night: the abbat kéeping an house of great
hospitalitie, receiued them right gladlie, and making them good cheare, demanded what
Miracles if ye list to beléeue them.
they were, and whither they were going: who answered that they were the seruants of
God, and going to helpe the Scots at Bannoxsborne. On the morrow the chamberlaine
found them departed before anie of the gates were opened, & the beds faire made, and not
stirred otherwise than as they left them ouer night. The same day that the battell was
foughten, a knight clad in faire bright armour, declared to the people at Aberden, how the
Scots had gotten a famous victorie against the Englishmen, and was séene shortlie after to
passe ouer Pictland Firth on horssebacke. It was supposed by the people that this was saint
Magnus, sometime prince of Orkenie, and for that cause king Robert endowed the church
of Orkenie with fiue poundes sterling of the customes of Aberden, to furnish the same
church, with bread, wine, and wax.
Manie noble men for their approoued manhood shewed in this conflict, were highlie rewarded at the hands of king Robert. One Robert Fleming, by whose means he reuenged
Robert Fleming rewarded for his faithfull seruice.
the treason wrought against him by Iohn Cumin, with slaughter of the same Iohn, had the
lands of Cumnernald giuen him, which were of the inheritance belonging to the said Cumin.
It is reported by writers, that two knights of Brabant that serued amongest the Englishmen,
chanced to heare manie reprochfull words spoken in the English campe against king Robert,
who being somewhat mooued therewith, and misliking such dismeasured talke, wished in
words that the victorie might chance vnto him. For the which wish K. Edward informed
thereof, caused them by a trumpet to be conueied vnto the Scotish campe, with commandement to aid king Robert to the vttermost of their powers, purposing to punish them according to his mind, if he atteined the victorie, as he had no doubt but he should. Herevpon, before the ioining of the battels, he caused proclamation to be made, that whosoeuer
brought their heads vnto him, should haue an hundred marks in reward.
King Robert hearing in what danger they had run for his sake, rewarded them with
great riches of the spoile got in the field, with the which they returning into Brabant, built
a goodlie house in Antuerpe, naming the same Scotland, and causing the Scotish armes, and
The Scotish house in Antuerpe builded.
the picture of Bruse to be set vp in the same, appointed it for a lodging to receiue them of
the Scotish nation that should resort vnto that towne, as may appeare euen vnto this day.
And this was doone for a memoriall, to shew what loue and hartie beneuolence these two
knights bare towards king Robert and his people, for the great liberalitie receiued at his
hands. This glorious victorie chanced to the Scots on the day of the natiuitie of saint Iohn
Baptist, in the yeare 1314.
* About this time for the varietie of fortune (in so small a course of yeares) happened
a thing not vnwoorthie the reporting. For Iohn Mentith, which before betraied his déere
friend Wallase to the English, being theerefore (as of right he ought) extremelie hated of
the Scots, was (in recompense thereof beside manie other rewards) benefited with the
Iohn Mentitl made capteine of Dunbriton castle.
gardianship of the castle of Dunbriton: which fort (after all the other castles before said
were recouered to the Scots) was almost the onlie thing (except some few others) that remained in the hands of the English: and because this fort was by nature inexpugnable,
king Robert dealt with the capteine (by such as were friends and of kinred vnto him) to
betraie the castle into his hands, promising great recompense therefore. Wherevnto this
Mentith by no means would agrée, vnles K. Robert would giue to him the earledome of
Lennox for his reward. Wherevpon the king being greatlie in doubt what to say therein,
(though in déed he vehementlie longed for the said castle) because he did not thinke the
obteining thereof to be of such good vnto him, as that he would therefore offend or loose
the earle of Lennox; who had in all his calamities béene the most certeine, and almost the
onelie friend of the king: which doubt, when the earle vnderstood; he foorthwith came
vnto him, willing him in no wise to refuse the condition; whervpon the bargaine was concluded betwéene Iohn Mentith and the king, and that in such sort, as it was most solemnelie
Now, when the king should come to receiue this castle (according to compositions) as he
was in the wood Colchon, a mile distant from the same, a certeine carpentar called Rowland
Englishmen inclosed in a cellar to kill king Robert after his enterance into Dunbriton castle.
came thither secretlie vnto him, & desired licence that he might speake to the king, for he
would discouer a great matter touching a treason that was deuised and prepared against him,
by the capteine of Dunbriton. Which pardon obteined, he opened vnto Bruse, that below
in the wine-cellar of the castle, were a number of English inclosed, which at dinner should
either take or kill the king (being then safe) after that he had obteined the castle. Wherevpon the king nothing abashed, but kéeping on his former determination, & being (according
to appointment) receiued by the said Iohn Mentith in the castle of Dunbriton: after that
he had searched all other places, and was courteouslie inuited to sit downe to dinner; answered that he would not eate, vntill he had looked into the cellar below. Wherevnto for
excuse, and to defer the time, the capteine answered that the smith was absent and caried
the key away with him. But the king not waiting for the comming of the smith, did incontinentlie breake open the cellar doore, whereby all the deceit appeared. After which, the
armed men were brought foorth before the king, who being seuerallie examined, confessed
the whole matter; and further, that there was a ship readie in the hauen to haue caried the
K. prisoner into England, if they had taken him aliue. Wherevpon the rest being punished,
Iohn Mentith was onelie cast into prison, & reserued from further paine: because the king
would not offend his friends & kinred in so dangerous a time as that was. For this Mentith
had manie beautifull daughters maried to men of great power & riches. After which imprisonment of this Mentith was by mediation of such as greatlie fauored him, restored to
the fauor of Bruse, vnder whome he did after serue most faithfullie.
Immediatlie after, king Robert called a parlement at Aire, where, by consent of the thrée
The crowne of Scotland intailed.
Margerie the daughter of king Robert by his first wife.
states he was confirmed king, and the crowne intailed to the heires male of his bodie lawfullie begotten, and for want of such heires, to remaine vnto his brother Edward Bruse,
and to the heires male of his bodie; and if he chanced to die without such heires, then
should the crowne descend to Margerie the daughter of king Robert, and to the heires generall
of hir bodie by lawfull succession. In which parlement it was further decréed, that if the
king were in his minoritie, he should then be gouerned by Thomas Randolph, and if anie
misfortune chanced vnto the said Randolph, that then the gouernement of the kings person and kingdome should be committed to Iames Dowglasse.
This Margerie was gotten by king Robert on the earle of Mar his sister, his first wife, and
was maried by the aduise of his nobles vnto Walter great Steward of Scotland. Also king
The second mariage of king Robert.
Robert, for that his first wife aforesaid was deceassed, maried shortlie after Elizabeth the
daughter of the earle of Vlster, on whome he got a sonne named Dauid, and two daughters,
The issue of king Robert by his second wife.
the one named Margaret, and the other Mauld. The first was maried to the earle of Sutherland, and bare him a sonne named Iohn: the second departed this world in hir infancie. After the mariage solemnized betwixt his daughter Margerie, and the foresaid Walter Steward,
king Robert went through all the bounds of his realme, and did not onelie confirme the ancient liberties and priuileges of the hurrowes and townes in all places where he came, but also
Liberties by king Robert.
augmented the same, and granted vnto diuerse, aswell townes as baronies, sundrie new prerogatiues and franchises, as may appeare by his charters made vnto them of the same, speciallie
the townes of Perth, Dundée, and Aberden.
In the yeare following, which was in the yeare 1315, the princes of Ireland oppressed (as
they tooke it) with long and insufferable tyrannie of the Englishmen, and trusting by support of
Scots to recouer their libertie, now after so notable an ouerthrow of the whole English puissance,
The lords of Ireland require aid of king Robert.
sent ambassadors vnto king Robert, requiring that it might please him to send his brother
Edward Bruse, to receiue the crowne and gouernement of their countrie of Ireland. This request being granted, Edward prepared to take that iournie in hand, and so with a small power
of Scotishmen transporting ouer into Ireland, and ioining with an armie of such as were readie
to assist him there, he tooke the towne of Vister, and siue a great number of Englishmen
which were found in the same. Then afterwards, by the generall consent of all the estates
Edward Bruse proclamed king of Ireland.
of Ireland, Edward Bruse was proclamed king of that realme, and certeine of the Irish nobilitie sent ambassadors vnto the pope, to sue for a ratification of their act and procéedings, for
the suertie and weale of their countrie, sith they were not able longer to susteine the gréeuous
yoke of the English thraldome. These ambassadors, through their earnest diligence, got such
fauor in their sute, that the pope sundrie times charged the Englishmen to auoid out of Ireland;
The English men passe little on the popes commandements.
howbeit, they séemed to passe little of his commandements in that behalfe, for they dailie
sought how to make themselues strong in that part, least they should lose the possession of
that countrie, which their enimies were about to get foorth of their hands.
King Robert being informed how through the reenforcement of the English armie, being
dailie refreshed with new succors, his brother was like to run in danger to be cast away, he
left sir Iames Dowglasse gouernor in Scotland, with a competent number of men to defend
Sée more hereof in Ireland
King Robert passeth ouer into Ireland.
the borders, and he himselfe with a great power of other souldiers and men of war went ouer
into Ireland, to support his brother: but suffering great distresse at his first comming thither,
for want of vittels & other prouisions, he lost almost the one halfe of his folks through verie
famine & hunger, & the residue were constreined to eate horsses and other such lothsome
meats, therewith to susteine their languishing liues. At length being approched within a daies
iournie of his brother, in purpose to haue supported him with those people which he had left,
his brother not abiding his comming, fought vnwiselie with the Englishmen at a place called
Dundach, and receiuing the ouerthrow, was slaine himselfe with a great number of other. It
Edward Bruse is slaine in Ireland.
Sée more of this matter in Ireland.
is vncerteine whether he had anie knowledge of the comming of his brother king Robert, or
that through desire of fame he feared least if he staied till his brother came, a great part of
the praise (if they got the victorie) should remaine to him: and therefore he made such hast
to fight. But howsoeuer it was, thus he was slaine on the fourtéenth of October, in the
Edward king of England, hearing that king Robert was passed ouer into Ireland, thought
the time to serue well for his purpose, eftsoones to inuade Scotland: and herevpon comming with
a great power to the borders, he purposed to haue doone some great feat. But sir Iames Dewglas the gouernor, hauing likewise gathered an armie, gaue him battell, and put both him & his
people to flight. In this battell were slaine thrée notable capteins on the English side: as sir
Edmund Lilaw a Gascoigne capteine of Berwike, with sir Iames Neuill, and the third sir Iames
Dowglasse slue with his owne hands. King Edward perceiuing it was not like that he should
doo anie good at that time against the Scots by land, thought it best to assaile them by sea,
which way foorth the Englishmen commonlie were euer too good for the Scots. He rigged
therefore a fléet of ships, and sent the same into the Forth, which burned the countrie on each
K Edward sendeth a nauie into Scotland.
side, and tooke manie rich booties from the inhabitants néere to the shore.
Duncane earle of Fife, hearing of these cruelties doone by the Englishmen, came foorth
with fiue hundred hardie souldiers, to defend the countrie from such inuasions: but when he
perceiued that the enimies were of greater number than he was able well to incounter,
hauing but an handfull of men in comparison to them, he gaue somewhat backe, and
in the meane time met with William Sinclare bishop of Dunkeld, hauing about thrée score
armed men in his companie, who blaming the earle for his faintnesse of courage, caused him
to set forward againe towards the enimies, & finding them busie in spoiling & harrieng the
countrie, they gaue an onset vpon them so fiercelie, that there was slaine at the first incounter
to the number of fiue hundred of the Englishmen, and the residue chased to their botes lieng
at Dunbrissell, which they entred in such haste, that one of the botes being pestered with ouer
great number, sanke with them before they could get to their ships. K. Robert euer after
William Sinclare called K. Roberts bishop.
customablie called this Wil. Sinclare his owne bishop, for the noble prowes which he shewed
in this enterprise.
In the same yeere Robert Steward the sonne of Walter Steward and Margerie Bruse was
Robert Steward borne.
borne, which Robert after the death of K. Dauid le Bruse was preferred to the crowne. After
this, Thomas Randall earle of Murrey, the second day of Aprill recouered the towne of Berwike out of the English mens hands, which they had held for the space of twentie yeeres before. It was taken now by practise, through meanes of one Spaldein an Englishman, who
for his labour had certeine lands giuen him in Angus, which his posteruie inioieth to these
*Trulie it were a woonderfull processe to declare what mischiefes came through hunger
and other misfortunes, by the space of 11 yeeres in Northumberland; for the Scots became
so proud after they had gotten Berwike, that they nothing estéemed the English nation. But
(amongst other things by the Scots attempted) much about this time, Adam de Gardonne
came with 160 men, to driue awaie the cattell pasturing by Norham, which the people of the
towne perceiuing, ran foorth and incountered with the Scots, who had gotten the victorie of
them, had not Thomas Grey capteine of the castell, séeing them in some ieopardie, issued
foorth with 60 of his souldiers, & slaine most part of the Scots, and their horsses. The which
Grey had beene twise before besieged in the castell of Norham, once almost by the space of a
whole yéere, and another time by the terme of seuen moneths, in which he behaued himselfe
like a woorthie gentleman, in that his enimies got none aduantage of him, although that
during the siege, they had erected manie fortresses before the castell, to annoie such as were
within: of which forts they made one at Vpsitlington, and one in the church of Norham, the
castell whereof had beene twise teinted and in danger of losse, had not the lord Persie
and Neuill (being great succourers of the marches) rescued the same. For at one time the
vtter ward of Norham castell was taken in the time of this Grey on saint Katharins eeuen,
which the Scots kept not but thrée daies, and their purpose in winning the same did vtterlie
After that the earle of Murrey had recouered Berwike, he and the lord Iames Dowglasse
The Scots enter further into England thā they were accustomed, euen vnto Wetherbie (as Fourd. saith.)
in the moneth of Maie inuaded England with a puissant armie, passing further into the countrie
than the Scots had béene accustomed to doo before time, burning as they went forward the
townes of Northallerton and Burrowbridge; and comming to Rippon, they spoiled the
towne of all the goods found therein; but compounding with them that kept the church
against them for a thousand marks, they forbare to burne anie of the buildings. After they had
taried here thrée daies, they departed thence, and went to Knaresburgh, which towne they
burnt, and beating the woods (into the which the people were withdrawne with their goods
and cattell) they got a great bootie, and returning homewards by Scipton in Crauen, they
first spoiled the towne, and after burnt it, and so marching thorough the countrie, came backe
into Scotland with their spoiles and prisoners without anie resistance. [This castell of
Knaresburgh was taken by Iohn Lilleborne, which after rendered himselfe to the king vpon
In the yeere following, king Edward came and laid siege vnto Berwike, but the towne was
so well defended, that he was constreined with small honor to returne home, and leaue it as he
found it. For in the meane time, while king Edward lay at the siege before Berwike, Thomas
Randall earle of Murrey, and the lord Iames Dowglasse assembled their forces togither; but
perceiuing themselues too weake to remooue the siege by force, they passed by, and entring
into England, wasted and spoiled all before them, kéeping on their way vnto Burrowbridge:
whereof when the citizens of Yorke were aduertised, with their capteins William Melton their
William Melton archbishop of Yorke.
archbishop, and the bishop of Elie, not making them of the countrie once priuie to their purpose, but hauing in their companie a great number of priests and men of religion, they gaue
battell to the Scots one day in the after noone, not farre from the towne of Mitton vpon Swale,
The battell of Mitton vpon Swale.
twelue miles distant from Yorke northwards.
But forsomuch as the most part of the Englishmen were not expert in the feates of warre,
and came not in anie orderlie arraie of battell, they were easilie vanquished & put to flight by
The English men discomfited.
the Scots, who were readie to receiue them in good order, close togither in one entier squadrone, and after their accustomed maner, at their first ioining they gaue a great showt, wherewith the Englishmen out of hand began to giue backe: which when the Scots perceiued,
they got them to their horsses, and followed the chase most egerlie, beating downe and
sleaing the Englishmen, neither sparing religious person nor other, so that there died to the
number of foure thousand Englishmen that day, and amongst the rest was the maior of Yorke
The maior of Yorke slaine.
one. In the water of Swale (as was said) there were drowned to the number of a thousand.
To be short, if night had not come the sooner vpon, it was thought scarse there should anie
of the English part haue escaped.
When king Edward lieng as yet at the siege of Berwike, vnderstood what mischiefe the
Scots did within his realme, he raised his siege, in purpose to haue incountered with his enimies: but the Scots aduertised of his purpose, returned with all their prisoners and spoile
by Stanemoore, and so through Gilsland, and the west marches, withdrew home into their
countrie. About the feast of All saints, when the inhabitants of the north parts had got in
their haruest, so that their barnes were now stuffed with corne, of the which prouision they
were to liue all the yéere after, the Scots vnder the conduct of the said two capteins, the earle
The Scots inuade England.
of Murrey, and the lord Dowglasse, entered into England, and burnt the countrie of Gilsland,
taking away both such people as they tooke prisoners, and also all the cattell which they might
meet with, and so kept vpon their iournie till they came to Burgh vnder Stanemoore,
Burgh vnder Stanemoore.
destroieng all afore them, & then returning through Westmerland, practised the like mischiefe
there, in burning vp houses and come in all places where they came, as they had doone before in Gilsland. And finallie passing through Cumberland with the like hauocke, at length
they drew home into their owne countrie, with no small number of prisoners, and plentie of
great riches which they had got in that iournie. [And the souldiers going backe againe
toward Scotland, fought with the commons of Newcastell at the bridge end, for certeine displeasures doone vnto them, in which conflict sir Iohn Perith knight was slaine, and manie other
squires belonging to the constable and marshall. About which time also, king Edward (lieng
at Lieth to go vnto Edenburgh) was constreined to returne for lacke of vittels.]
About the same time died Margerie Bruse king Roberts daughter. Shortlie after also was
Margerie Bruse deceasseth.
A parlement at Perth.
The euidence and charters whereby the lords of Scotland held their lands.
a truce taken betwixt the two realmes of England & Scotland for a certeine time. Then king
Robert hauing no trouble, neither within his realme nor without, caused a parlement to be
holden at Perth, where hée required the lords to shew their deeds and charters whereby
they held their lands. The lords after long aduisement taken herein, at length pulled out
their swoords all at once, declaring that they had none other euidence nor charter to shew for
the tenure of their lands. King Robert was somewhat amazed at this sight, and tooke no
small indignation therewith, but yet he dissembled for the time, and commended them for
their noble hearts and valiant stomachs: neuerthelesse, he purposed to be reuenged of their
proud presumptions, when more opportunitie of time serued thereto. Sundrie of the nobles
Conspiracie of the lords against king Robert.
perceiuing that the king bare an inward grudge towards them for this matter, deuised amongst
themselues how to deliuer him into king Edwards hands, so to auoid all danger that right
follow of his displeasure conceiued thus against them. For the accomplishment of this their
treasonable practise, they made a bond in writing, confirmed with their hands and seales betwixt them, & minded to send the same into England vnto king Edward. But king Robert
hauing some inkeling of this their purpose, caused diligent watch to be laid by the way
for such as should passe into England from them with the said bond, insomuch that in
the end a palmer or pilgrime was apprehended which had the bond, and other writings
A palmer taken with writings on him.
inclosed within his pilgrims staffe.
King Robert vnderstanding by these writings all the manner of the treason, and what they
were that had consented to the same, hastilie sent for the whole number of them, as though
there had beene some matter in hand wherein he wished to haue their aduise. They were no
sooner come, but streightwaies calling them before him, he questioned with them whether they
knew their owne hands and seales, and immediatlie therewith shewed the writings, which
were found in the palmers staffe: and because they could not denie their owne act, they were
committed to ward within sundrie castels, till he had taken further aduise in the matter.
The lords that had conspired, are committed to ward.
Incontinentlie after, he went to Berwike, and there arrested the capteine of the towne, named sir
William Soulis, and caused him to be conueied to Perth (committing the said William Souils
(as saith Io. Maior) with the countesse of Straherne, to perpetuall prison) where shorlie
after he called an assemblie of all the estates of the realme. This was called the blacke
The black parlement.
parlement, kept in the yéere after the incarnation of our Sauiour 1320. In this parlement,
at the beginning thereof, was Dauid Abernethie, the sisters sonne of king Robert, accused as
partie to the treason aforesaid, though being laboured vnto by the rest of the conspirators to
ioine with them therein, he refused so to doo, but yet for that he did not vtter the thing, but
concealed it with them, he was condemned & lost his head, the people sore lamenting his
Dauid Abernethie loseth his head.
mishap, for the great valiancie which was knowne to be in him, hauing serued honorablie manie
yeeres before against the Saracens, and other miscreants in the parties of beyond the seas,
where he was called the flower of chiualrie.
In déed the king himselfe would gladlie haue saued his life, but for that he minded to doo
iustice on the residue, and finding no man to make sute for him, he permitted the execution
to procéed against him. On the morrow after, he caused all the residue of the traitors to be
Among other were these, Gilbert de Malet, Iohn Cogi knights, and Richard Bron a notable warriour.
brought foorth to iudgement, and sentence being giuen against them, he commanded without
delaie that they should be executed. Then came diuerse and sundrie persons in most humble
wise to make sute for pardon to the king for their friends and kinsmen: but he made them
plaine answer, that there was none to be found that would make intercession for the sauing
of his kinsmans life the day before, when he was led to execution, that had offended nothing
so grieuouslie, in comparison of them for whome they now made sute; and therfore he bad
them be contented, for they should assuredlie haue according to that which they had deserued.
And therewith were the officers commanded to make hast with the execution, which was
Execution without respit.
doone incontinentlie without anie further respit.
There were some that were accused to be partakers in this treason, but yet for that no euident proofes could be produced against them, they were dismissed, as Walter Maxwell, with
Walter Berclaie shiriffe of Aberdene, Patrike Graim, Hameline Neidrinton, and Eustace
Rathre, knights; besides eight others. But yet the countesse of Straherne & William de
Soulis were condemned to perpetuall prison. The earle of Buchquhanes lands, who suffered
at that present, were diuided into two parts, the one being giuen to William Haie that was
made constable of the realme in place of Iohn Quincie, who likewise suffered at the same
time; and the other part was giuen vnto William Reth, togither with the office of the stewardship of the realme. About the same time the king of England by complaint made to the
pope, purchased that a legat was sent from the sée apostolike into Scotland, to admonish king
A legat sent from rome to the Scots.
Robert to ceasse from further disquieting the realme of England, by such cruell inuasions, as
were surmised that he wrongfullie exercised against the same realme. But answer was made
The answer made to the legat.
héerevnto by the king, and other the nobles of the realme of Scotland, that all the world might
well vnderstand that the whole occasion of all the trouble which had chanced betwixt
the two realmes of England and Scotland, did onelie procéed of the couetous desire in the
Englishmen, séeking to conquer that realme without anie iust claime or title: and therefore
they thought it reason first to suppresse the loftie stomachs of the Englishmen; and then
if there were anie thing woorthie to be reformed on their behalfes, they would be contented to
stand vnto the order of the popes authoritie therein. Thus was the legat dispatched home,
without other effect of his errand [sauing (as saith Buchanan) he curssed and interdicted the
Scots and Scotland.]
Shortlie after, king Robert entered with an armie into England, and wasted the countrie
King Robert with an armie in Scotland.
The bishoprike of Durham burnt by the Scots.
before him, till he came to the recrosse, which standeth vpon Stanemoore. Howbeit it should
séeme by that which Richard Southwell writeth héereof, that king Robert was not present
himselfe in person in this iournie, but that he appointed the earle of Murrey to be his lieutenant,
who with an armie, after the feast of the Epiphanie entered into England, and comming to
Darington, staied there for a season, whilest the lord Iames Dowglasse, and the lord Steward
of Scotland went abroad to harrie and spoile the countrie on ech side, the one of them passing
foorth towards Hartilpoole and Cliueland, and the other towards Richmond. The
Richmondshire redeemed from spoile with a summe of monie.
inhabitants of Richmondshire, hauing no capteine amongest them to defend their countrie from
that grieuous inuasion of the enimie, gaue a great summe of monie in like manner, as at other
times they had doone, to haue their countrie spared from fier and spoile.
The Scots taried at this time about 15 daies within England, and in the end returned without battell. For when the knights of the north countries repared vnto the duke of Lancaster
The duke of Lancasters disloialtie.
then lieng at Pomfret, and offered to go into the field with him against the Scots, he would
not once stirre his foot, by reason of the discord that was depending betwixt him and king
Edward: but howsoeuer the matter went, king Edward sore grieued in his mind with such
inuasion made by his enimies the Scots, he gaue order to leauie an armie of an hundred thousand men, what on horssebacke and on foot (as the report went) appointing them to be readie to enter into Scotland at Lammias next: whereof king Robert being aduertised, ment to
King Robert inuadeth England.
preuent him, and thervpon in the octaues of the Natiuitie of saint Iohn Baptist, he entered
into England with an armie néere to Carleill, and burnt a manor place that sometime belonged
to him at Rosse, and Allerdale, and spoiled the monasterie of Holme, notwithstanding his
The abbeie of Holme burnt.
fathers corps was there interred.
From thence he marched forward, destroieng and spoiling the countrie of Copland, and so
kéeping vpon his iournie, passed Doden sands, towards the abbeie of Fourneis: but the
abbat méeting him on the waie, redéemed his lands from spoile, and brought king Robert to
his house, and made to him great chéere: but yet the Scots could not hold their hands from
burning and spoiling diuerse places; and marching forward vnto Cartmele beyond Leuin
sands, burnt and spoiled all the countrie about, except a priorie of blacke canons which stood
there. Passing from thence they came to Lancaster, which towne they also burnt, saue onelie
The towne of Lancaster burnt.
the priorie of blacke moonks, and a house of preaching friers. Héere came to them the earle
of Murrey, and the lord Iames Dowglasse with an other armie, wherevpon marching further
southwards, they came to Preston in Anderneis, and burnt that towne also, the house of friers
Preston in Anderneis burnt.
minors onelie excepted.
And thus being foure score miles within England from their owne borders, they returned
homewards with all their prisoners, cattell, and other boodes which they had got in that iournie,
comming to Carleill on the éeue of saint Margaret, and lodging about that towne the space of
fiue daies, they wasted and destroied the come, & all other things that came within their reach.
Which doone, on saint Iames euen they entred into Scotland againe, hauing béene within
England at this time thrée weekes and thrée daies. Immediatlie heerevpon, to wit, about
K. Edward raiseth an armie.
He entered Scotland.
the feast of Lammas, king Edward with his armie came to Newcastell, and desirous to be
reuenged of such iniuries doone to his subiects, entered into Scotland, and passing foorth till
he came to Edenburgh, through want of vittels and other necessarie prouision, he was constreined to returne home within the space of 15 daies. For king Robert aduertised of his
comming, had caused all the come and cattell in the countrie to be conueied out of the waie
into certeine forts, wherevnto the Englishmen might not come to get it into their hands, & so
to relieue themselues therewith. But in their returning homeward, somewhat to reuenge their
displeasures, they spoiled and burnt the abbeies of Melrose, and Driburgh, with diuerse other
The abbeies of Mewrose or Melrose & Driburgh burned.
King Robert inuadeth the north parts of England, approching almost to Yorke.
K. Edward is put to flight.
The earle of Richmond is taken.
religious houses and places, not sparing anie kind of crueltie against all those of the inhabitants
that fell into their hands.
In reuenge heereof, king Robert shortlie after entred with a puissant armie into England
spoiling & wasting the countrie, till he came almost to Yorke. At length, hearing that king
Edward was comming towards him with an armie, he chose a plot of round betwixt the abbeie of Biland and saint Sauiour, there to abide battell; which king Edward refused not to
giue, though in the end he was put to flight with his whole power, and chased with great
slaughter both of Englishmen and Normans, which were there in his aid. Diuerse also of
the nobilitie were taken prisoners, as Iohn de Britaine earle of Richmond, and Henrie Sowlie,
with others. This battell was fought in the yéere of our Sauiour 1323, 15 daies after the feast
of saint Michaell the archangell. King Edward lieng the same time at the abbeie of Riuale,
aduertised of this ouerthrow, fled and got him into Yorke, leauing his plate and much other
stuffe behind him for want of cariage in that his sudden departure, which the Scots comming
thither found, and tooke awaie with them. And from thence they passed foorth into
Yorkeswold wasted by Scots.
Yorkeswold, spoiling and wasting the countriemen vnto Beuerleie, which towne for a summe of
monie they were contented to spare, and so then they returned homewards, entering againe
into Scotland on All soules day, which is the second of Nouember, after they had remained
within England at that time the space of a moneth and foure daies.
Shortlie after, king Robert sent an ambassador to the French king [to pacifie him offended
The bond of amitie betwixt Scotland and France renewed with new articles.
with them for the English] and to renew the ancient bond of amitie betwixt the two realines of
Scotland and France, which was accomplished with this new condition added to the former
articles, that if it chanced that succession failed touching the inheritance of the crowne of
either realme, so that a doubt should rise, who ought by right to inioy the same, the claime
and title thereof should be tried and decided by the nobles of both the realmes; and further,
that they should not onelie remooue and exclude all such as went about wrongfullie to vsurpe
the crowne, but also to defend and mainteine the true inheritor to the vttermost of their powers.
In confirmation of this couenant, both the kings receiued the sacrament. And for further ratifieng of it, they made a prouiso, that whereas (then) they had the popes consent héereto,
neither he, nor anie of his successors héereafter should dispense with them for the breaking
of that bond; and if they did, euerie such dispensation should be reputed void and of none
In this yéere 1323 (as Richard Southwell reporteth) about the Ascension day, came
commissioners from the two kings of England and Scotland, vnto Newcastell, there to treate of
some agréement of peace. For the king of England came Amerie de Valence earle of Penbroke, the lord Hugh Spenser the yoonger, and foure other persons sufficientlie authorised.
And for the king of Scots came the bishop of saint Andrewes, Thomas Randall earle of Murrey, and foure other persons likewise of good calling. After much talke, in the end they
agréed vpon a truce to indure for 13 yéeres, which was proclamed in both realmes about the
Hamton an Englishman, of whome the Hamiltons are descended.
reast of saint Barnabie'next insuing. About this time also, or not long before, an Englishman
descended of noble linage, called Hamton, chanced for speaking certeine woords in commendation of king Robert, to fall at variance with one of king Edwards priuie chamber,
named Iohn Spenser; insomuch that fighting togither about the same woords, Hammons
hap was to slea this Spenser, & therevpon knowing there was no waie but death, if he
should hap to be caught, he fled with all speed into Scotland, where he was receiued of
the king in most friendlie wise, and had giuen to him for the maintenance of his estate like a
gentleman, the lands of Cadzow [which (as saith Buchanan) he called by the name of Hamilton.]
The posteritie of this Hamton remaineth in Scotland vnto this day, increased so in kinred
and honor, by reason it was in processe of time mingled with the kings bloud, that few
linages in that realme are of like estimation. They are now called Hamiltons, somewhat
The Hamiltons mingled with the kings bioud.
changed from the name of their first beginner. [Donald earle of Marre, was made by king
Edward the second gardian or capteine of the castell of Bristow in England, the which he
kept vntill the comming of quéene Isabell against hir husband Edward the second, at what
time he deliuered the same into the hands of the said queene, and returned into Scotland.]
In the meane time, Edward king of England being ruled altogither by two of the Spensers,
as Hugh the father and Hugh the sonne, ran so farre into the hatred of his people, as
well the nobles as commons, that in the end he was deposed of all kinglie authoritie,
K. Edward deposed.
cominitted to prison, and in fine secretlie murthered, as in the English historie more plainelie
His sonne Edward the third was placed in his roome, and crowned the 26 day of Ianuarie,
His son Edward the third crowned.
The castell of Norham.
in the yéere 1326. In the night of the same day in which he receiued the crowne, the Scots
ment to haue stolne the castell of Norham by scaling, and they went so cunninglie about
their purpose, that they were to the number of 16 of them got aloft on the wals: but the
capteine of this castle Robert Maners being warned aforehand of their comming by one of
his souldiers that was a Scotishman borne, suddenlie assailed them, slue nine or ten of
them, and tooke fiue prisoners aliue, but sore wounded, so as this misfortune falling to them
in the beginning of king Edward the third his reigne, might haue beene a forwarning of
their losses to follow in the daies of his gouernement.
Whilest these things were a dooing in England, king Robert though he might séeme to
haue title iust inough to the crowne of Scotland, which he had possessed now not onliy by
rightfull conquest but also by lawfull interest of inheritance for a certeine number of yéeres,
by consent of all the estates of the realme; yet to the end to put awaie all doubts, and to
conclude the succession of the Balioll from all claime, which heereafter they might pretend
to the crowne of Scotland, he sent sir Iames Dowglasse into France vnto the lord Iohn
Iames Dowglasse sent into France to the Balioll.
Balioll, to inquire him to transpose and resigne all the challenge of right and interest which
he might séems to had to the crowne of Scotland, as well for himselfe as his heires &
successors for euer, to king Robert le Bruse, and his heires. In consideration of which resignation, he offered faire lands and rents to him to be appointed foorth in Scotland.
The Balioll being now sore worne with age, and thereto blind of bodilie sight, lightlie
consented vnto this motion, considering (as he said) he tooke it to be the ordinance of
almightie God, that king Robert should inioy the gouernement of the Scotish kingdome, as
most woorthie and able thereto, hauing deliuered the same, and defended it most valiantlie
from the hands of most cruell enimies. He called therefore his friends and kinsmen togither, in the presence of whome he wholie resigned vnto king Robert and his heires, all
The resignation of the Balioll to king Robert.
the right and title which he or anie other for him either had, or héereafter might haue to
the crowne of Scotland, concerning anie interest or claime which might be auouched for
anie cause or consideration, from the beginning of the world vnto that present day. After
the returne of sir Iames Dowglasse foorth of France, with so good expedition and dispatch
of that businesse wherabout he was sent, king Robert verie ioifull thereof, assembled a
parlement of the nobles and other estates of the realme at Cambuskenneth, where he
A parlement at Cambuskenneth.
An act for the succession of the crowne.
procured a new act to be established touching the succession of the crowne, which was, that
if his sonne Dauid deceassed without heires of his bodie lawfullie begotten, that then Robert
Steward begotten on Margerie Bruse his daughter, should succéed in possession of the
crowne. All the lords at the same time were sworne to mainteine this ordinance.
In the meane while, king Edward the third sent vnto king Robert for peace, but forsomuch
as it was perceiued to be but a coloured pretense, no conclusion thereof insued, but preparation
made on either part for wars. King Robert shortlie after fell sicke, by reason whereof,
being not able to ride abroad, nor to trauell himselfe, he committed the administration of all
The rule of things committed to Thomas Randall and to Iames Dowglasse.
They inuade Northumberland.
King Edward the third commeth with an armie against them.
things touching the common-wealth, and other the affaires of the realme vnto Thomas Randall, earle of Murrey, and to the lord Iames Dowglasse, two capteins, for their high prowesse
and noble valiancie in those daies greatlie renowmed. These two hardie chiefteins assembling an armie of twentie thousand men, or (as some writers haue) 25 thousand, entered
with the same into Northumberland, wasting & spoiling the countrie on ech side. [And
incountring with an assemblie of the English at Darlington, there siue manie of them, and
put the rest to flight.] Against whome came king Edward with an armie of an hundred
thousand men: of the which number there were (as Froissard saith) eight thousand horssemen, and 24 thousand archers. At their comming into Northumberland, they might well
perceiue by the smoke of the fiers, which the Scots made in burning of villages, houses,
and townes, where the enimies were: but yet because they taried not long in a place, but
passed on without soiorning here or there, the Englishmen might not come néere to fight
King Edward therefore was counselled to draw towards Scotland, that lieng betwixt them
and home, he might haue them at some aduantage as they should returne, which was
thought should be shortlie, as well for lacke of vittels, as also to defend their owne borders,
when they heard once that the English armie drew that waies foorth. But comming to
the riuer of Tine, through abundance of raine (latelie fallen) the streame was so risen, that
neither horase nor man might passe, so that the armie was constreined to incampe there
for the space of thrée daies, in great scarsitie of vittels, till they were faine to send vnto
Newcastell (which was distant from thence 26 miles) and to Carleill (which was about
22. miles thence) for prouision, which was sent them from those places in great plentie,
In the meane time were thus certeine light horssemen sent abroad into the countrie, to
vnderstand where the Scots were, and to view their dooings. [Vpon proclamation before
made by the king (that who so could bring him word where the Scots were harbored, should
haue a hundred pounds of yéerelie reuenues in recompense for the same; Thomas Rokesbeie after diligent search, brought word to the king thereof:] for those which were sent,
finding where the Scots were incamped, vpon the top of a mounteine, not past sixe miles
The Scots are incamped on a hill.
from the English campe, returned backe to king Edward, and declared what they had séene
and learned of the enimies dooings.
King Edward right ioifull of the news, causeth his armie to be diuided into thrée battels,
and foorthwith marcheth on towards the place where his enimies laie. And comming about
noone daies within sight of the Scots, he perceiued at length that the place which they kept
was so strong, what with the heigth of the ground, & thereto defended on the one side
with the course of a riuer, that by no means they might be assailed without great and manifest danger. The Englishmen in the end thought it best to choose foorth a place to
The Englishmen sent to the Scots.
incampe in for that night, and so doing, sent an herald at armes vnto the Scots, requiring
them to come downe vnto some euen ground where battell might be giuen; but the Scots
refused so to doo, alledging that sith the Englishmen were three to one in number, it was
The answer of the Scots.
no reason to will them to forsake their ground of aduantage which they had taken and
chosen for their owne defense.
Thus were they incamped néere togither either in sight of other for the space of thrée
nights, euerie day shewing themselues in order of battell, without breaking their arraie,
except certeine of the horssemen, which on either part now and then came foorth and
fell in skirmish, so that sometimes a man might haue seene good emptieng of saddles
betwixt them. On the fourth day in the morning, when the Englishmen beheld the hill
The Scots dislodge.
where the Scots had lien the night before, they perceiued how they were gone, and therevpon sending foorth light horssemen to trie out which way they had taken, word was
brought how they were but remoued to an other hill a little off, lieng fast by the same riuer,
and there lay incamped more stronglie than before. Incontinentlie herevpon, king Edward
The English armie raised.
raiseth his campe, and remoueth to an other hill lieng ouer against that hill where the Scots
with their power were now lodged. At length, after that both the armies had lien thus a
good space the one ouer against the other, Iames Dowglasse tooke aduise with himselfe to
exploit a right hardie enterprise.
He chose foorth two hundred of perfect good horssemen, mounted vpon verie swift and
readie geldings, with the which in the night season he passed sillie by the English watch,
An enterprise exploited by sir Iames Dowglasse.
that he was not once descried by amie of them, till he was entered into their campe, where,
by the noise of the moouing of the horsse féet, some chanced to awake that lay asléepe
But yet yer the alarme were raised to anie purpose, the Scots thus led by Dowglas had
persed through, euen vnto the kings tent, and cut two cords of the same in sunder, so
that the king was in no small danger to haue beene slaine, had not the Scots withdrawen the
sooner for doubt of being inclosed with their enimies as now raised on each side to come
to his succors, but Dowglasse yet returned in safetie with his number backe againe to the
Scotish campe, hauing slaine (as some books report) thrée hundred Englishmen at this
brunt. The Englishmen warned hereby, tooke better heed after to their watch.
These armies lay thus one against an other for the space of eightéene daies, till at length
The Scots secretlie returne home to their countrie.
the Scots priuilie in the night conueied themselues away, and returned home in most spéedie
wise, supposing they had doone sufficientlie inough for that time. It chanced that in the
euening, before the Scots went thus their waies, there was a Scot taken by the English
watch, who being brought before the king, confessed that there was commandement giuen
through the Scotish campe, that euerie man should be readie with his armor and weapon
to follow the standard of Dowglasse at a certeine houre the same night, but whither they
intended to go, it was vnknowne, saue onelie amongest the capteins. Herevpon the English
doubting least the Scots minded to giue them a camisado that night, placed themselues in
order of battell, and so stood till the next morning readie to haue receiued them, if they
had come. The Scots also made great fires within their campe, that they might sée about
them. In the breake of the day, there were two Scotish trumpeters taken by the English scouts,
the which being brought before the king, declared that the Scotish armie was broken vp
and returned, and further shewed how they were appointed thus to declare vnto him, hauing
suffered themselues to be taken for the same intent. As soone as the Englishmen were
aduertised that the Scots were thus departed, they hasted to the place where they had lien
incamped, in hope to haue found some riches, which for hast they had left behind them:
but at their comming thither, they found nothing, but 20000 paires of hieland shooes,
which are made of the gréene hides of beasts vntanned. Also they found three hundred
hides of sauage beasts set vpon stakes in stead of caldrons, therein to seeth their meat.
Moreouer, they had left behind them fiue hundred dead carcasses of beasts & shéepe, which
for that they could not driue them away, they killed, to the end the Englishmen should
haue no game by them. There were likewise found fiue Englishmen with their legs
broken, & bound naked vnto trées, which were quicklie loosed and committed to the cure
of surgians. The enimies being thus departed, king Edward by aduise of his councell
King Edward breaketh vp his campe.
brake vp his campe, and returned to London, supposing it but lost labour to trauell his
people anie further at that time.
In this yeare died Walter Steward, father to Robert Steward, that was after king of
1326. as Io. Maior saith, but that cannot be, if she died the same yeare that the Scots were besieged in Stanhop parke.
Norham castell woone.
Ambassadors sent from K. Edward for a peace.
Scotland. And in this yeare following, or rather the same yeare, Q. Elizabeth mother to
Dauid Bruse the prince deceassed, and was buried in Dunfirmling in the yeare after the birth
of our Sauiour 1328. In the same yeare, king Robert wan the castell of Norham, and
shortlie after besieged the castell of Alnwike, where were slaine William de Mountalte knight,
Iohn Clapauen, and Malisius de Dunbar, with diuerse other of the Scotish nobilitie. In
the end of the same yeare, there were ambassadors sent from king Edward into Scotland
for the conclusion of a peace, which was accorded in this wise: that K. Edward should renounce all his right & claime which he had or might haue to the crowne of Scotland,
in declaring it frée as it was in time of king Alexander the third, vnder these conditions,
that Northumberland should be admitted for the marches of Scotland on the east part,
and Cumberland on the west. For the which renuntiation thus to be made, and for the
A peace concluded with England in the yeare 1328, after the account of them that begin the yeare at Christmasse.
Iane, or rather Ione, the sister of king Edward, maried to Dauid Bruse prince of Scotland.
The death of king Robert.
damages doone to England by the Scots, it was couenanted that king Robert should pay
to king Edward thirtie thousand marks sterling. And for the more suertie and ratification
of this finall agréement and peace betwixt the two nations, it was concluded that lane the
sister of king Edward should be coupled in mariage with Dauid Bruse the prince of Scotland.
All which articles were put in writing, wherevnto all the seals of the great lords within
both the realms were set in most substantiall wise. The solemnization of the mariage
before remembred was kept at Berwike within a while after, on the eightéenth day of Iulie,
in the presence of a great number of the nobilitie, both of England and Scotland. King
Robert liued not past tweiue moneths after this mariage, departing out of this life at Caroros
the seuenth day of Iulie, in the yeare of our Lord 1329. In the latter end of his daies,
he was gréeuouslie vexed with a leprosie, which thus finallie made an end of him, in the
twentie fourth yeare of his reigne, being one of the most valiant princes knowen in anie part
King Robert tasted both prosperous and aduerse fortune.
of the whole world in those his daies, hauing felt in his time the force of either fortune: for in
the beginning of his reigne, such storms of aduersitie surrounded him on each side, that
if his constant manhood had not béene the greater, it might haue brought him in despaire
of all recouerie: for beside sundrie discomfitures, which he receiued at the hands of the
enimies, with losse of all his brethren (his brother Edward onlie excepted) the most part
of all the lords of Scotland were against him, and aided his aduersaries to the vitermost of
his* power: yet he nothing discouraged herewith, ceassed not to imploy all industrious
means to deliuer his countrie from the yoke of seruile bondage (which he beléeued would
succéed by the gouernment of the English kings) till at length (as it were in despite of all
former chances) he atteined the effect of his whole indeuors, so much the more to his
praise, as he had found the hinderance and difficultie great in bringing the same fullie to
His fame therefore did spread hugelie, not onelie amongst his owne people, but also
The fame of king Robert.
amongst strangers, insomuch that his due praise was not wanting, no not euen amongst
and in the midst of his verie enimies. For (as it is said) on a time it chanced that king
His praise amongst the enimies.
A question proponed to an English herald by king Edward the third.
Edward the third, sitting at a banket amongst his nobles, fell in talke with them of warlike
enterprises, and of such notable capteins as had excelled in knowledge in that behalfe. At
length, after much reasoning to and fro, he proponed this question to the king of heralds,
that as then stood by, commanding him to declare which were the thrée most worthie &
valiant capteins that he had knowne in all his daies. The herald aduising with himselfe of
this matter, staied a space, in which meane while all the companie were quiet, longing to
heare his answere therein, both for that they knew his skill was such as was able best to
giue sentence in such a matter; and againe, for that manie of them thought hée would
haue numbred some of those that were there present amongst those three. But the herald
did not onelie know all the noble men within the realme of England, but also all such
strangers as had in anie wise excelled in Martiall prowesse, hauing all their acts and valiant
dooings in fresh memorie, and therevpon boldlie vttered his mind as followeth.
"The first, most woorthie and valiant chiefteine (said he) that hath liued in these our
The heralds answer to the question.
daies, was Henrie the emperour: for he subdued thrée kings and thrée realmes, and mainteined his imperiall estate and prosperous felicitie to his liues end. The second, was sir
Giles of Argentine, who in thrée sundrie battels against the Saracens get the victorie, & slue
two of their principall capteins with his owne hands. The third (if vnder your graces correction I may praise the enimie) I must iudge to be Robert Bruse king of Scotland."
whom the herald had no sooner named, but all those that were present, with scornfull
The herald is scorned.
laughter began to ieast at the heralds presumption, for that he durst so maiapertlie in the
kings presence honor the enimie with so high praise. At length, at the heralds request,
the king commanded them to be still. The herald then began againe thus: "I beséech
The heralds excuse.
our highnesse (said he) if I haue ought offended, to take my woords in good part: for
I haue beene euer of this opinion, that the truth should in euerie case be vttered, receiued,
The heralds opinion.
and allowed in your presence; namelie, where your highnesse commandeth anie man to
declare the same. This one thing therefore I shall desire you to consider, that if a man
must néeds be vanquished, it is lesse dishonor to be vanquished of him that is knowne for
a right valiant personage, than of him that is but a coward. Moreouer, to shew plainelie
vnto your grace, how much I estéeme the valiancie of king Robert (whome I perceiue
some here may not abide to haue numbred with the two former most valiant capteins) if
truth might appeare, I durst be bold to preferre him with good cause before them both:
for the valiant acts atchiued by Henrie the emperour may be ascribed rather to the
The opinion of the herald concerning king Roberts valiancie.
wisedome of his councellors, than to his owne valiantnesse and prudence: but contrarilie, king
Robert being confined out of his countrie, and destitute of friends and all conuenient aid,
recouered the realme of Scotland, by his singular manhood, out of the hands of your
noble father, and established it with such tranquillitie, that he appeared more terrible to
his enimies of England, than euer they had béene afore to his subiects of Scotland."
¶ These or the like words vttered by the herald, were well allowed of the king, and
stopped the mouths of them that tooke the matter so strangelie at the first.
But now to returne to the purpose. King Robert a little before the time of his death,
called togither into the chamber where he laie, the chiefest péeres of his realme, and there
in presence of them all, committed vnto them the gouernment of his sonne Dauid, a child
as then not past seuen yéeres of age. He also aduised them of sundrie things touching the
rule of the realme after his decease, which he perceiued was at hand. And first he counselled them, that in no wise they should at anie time make an absolute lord ouer the Iles,
The aduise giuen by king Robert vnto his nobles before his deceasse.
bicause the people of the same are of nature vnstedfast, and soone seduced and brought to
mooue rebellion against the king, into the which being once fallen, they are not easilie
reduced to their due obedience againe, by reason their countries are of such strength, that
they cannot be approched but by sea, as inuironed with the same. Secondarilie, he aduised
them neuer to appoint anie set battell with the Englishmen, nor to ieopard the realme vpon
the chance of one field: but rather to resist and kéepe them off from indamaging their
countrie, by often skirmishing, & cutting them off at streicts & places of aduantage, to the
intent that if the Scots be discomfited, they may haue some power yet reserued to make
new resistance. Thirdlie, he forbad them in anie wise to make any long peace with England; for naturallie men wax dull and slouthfull by long rest and quietnes, so that after
long peace, through lacke of vse and exercise of armes, men are not able to susteine anie
great paines or trauell.
Moreouer, he alledged, how the Englishmen would continue in peace no longer than
there wanted oportunitie and conuenient occasion for them to attempt the warres: and
therefore he iudged it best, that the Scots should neuer conclude anie perpetuall peace with
them, nor take anie truce longer than for thrée or foure yéeres at the most. He willed
them further, to consider one thing, that when their appeared least occasion of warres with
England, then they ought to be most circumspect, least peraduenture their enimies should
come at vnwares, and find them vnprouided for timelie resistance. Herevnto he desired them,
His desire to haue his heart borne to the holy sepulchre.
that after his deceasse, they would choose some one of the most worthie capteins within the
whole realme, to beare his heart vnto lerusalem, and there to sée it buried within the
temple, before the holie sepulchre of our Lord. For if he had not beene for a long space
hindered by vrgent businesse of warres at home, and lastlie preuented by death, he had
vowed to haue passed with an armie into the holie land, in defense of the christian faith,
against the Turkes and Saracens.
Herevpon when he was dead, the lords by one assent, appointed sir Iames Dowglasse to
The cause why the Dowglasses beare the bloudie heart.
take this enterprise in hand, who willinglie obeied their order, as he that had euer during the
life of king Robert, serued most faithfullie the bodie wherein the same heart was inclosed,
& for this cause the Dowglasses beare the bloudie heart in their armes. * The
commendations of which king Robert, Buchanan setteth foorth (to comprehend manie things in
few words) to be: that he was euerie way a most woorthie person, and that there were
few to be found (from the former heroicall daies) equall vnto him in all kinds of vertue.
For as he was in battell most valiant, so was he in peace most temperate & iust. And
There is no bodie but hath his shadow, no rose but hath his pricke.
though his vndiuided good successe and perpetuall course of victories (after that fortune was
once satisfied or rather weried with his misfortunes) were verie great, yet he séemeth to
Buchanan to be farre more woonde; full in his aduerse fortune: whose valure of mind was
such, that it could not be broken (no not so much as weakened) by so manie euils as happened vnto him at one time: whose singular constancie appeared by the captiuitie of his
wife, and the death of his valiant brethren. And besides that, his friends were at one
time vexed with all kind of calamities, and they which escaped death, were banished with
the losse of their substance: he himselfe was not onelie spoiled of all his patrimonie,
but of the kingdome also, by the mightiest king of that age Edward the first, king of
England, a man most readie in counsell, and of dispatch of his affaires as well in warre
as peace. Yea, so farre was this Bruse oppressed at one time with all these kinds of
euils, that he was driuen into extreame pouertie. In all which misfortunes he neuer
doubted of the recouerie of the kingdome, neither did or said anie thing vnbeseeming the
noble mind of a king, for he offered no violent hands to himselfe, as did the late Cato and
Marcus Brutus, neither with Marius did he pursue his enimies with continuall hatred. For
when he had recouered his former estate, he so liued with them that most occasioned his
labour and trouble, that he rather remembred himselfe to be a king ouer them, and not an
enimie vnto them. To conclude, he did not so forsake himselfe towards his end (when
a grieuous disease added troubles to age) but that he confirmed and established the present
estate of the kingdome, and prouided for the quiet of posteritie, whereby his subiects did not
so much lament his death, as that they were depriued of so iust a king and godlie father.)
Sir Iames Dowglasse then chosen as most worthie to passe with king Roberts heart vnto
the holie land, closed the same in a case of gold, imbalmed with sweet spices, & right pretious ointments. And herewith hauing in his companie a number of nobles, and gentlemen,
amongst whom sir William Sinclare and sir Robert Logan were chiefe, he passed foorth
till he came to the citie of Ierusalem, where he buried the heart aforesaid, with all reuerence
and solemnitie that he might deuise. This doone, he resorted with such number as he had
The valiancie of Iames Dowglasse shewd against the Turkes.
brought thither with him, vnto such other christian princes as at the same time were
gathered with great puissance, from sundrie parts of christendome to war with the Turks,
and there in companie with them, he did so noble seruice against the common enimies of
our religion, that by his often victories he wan great honor to the christian name. At
length, hauing accomplished his charge in those parties, with no lesse fame and glorie than
princelie magnificence, he tooke the seas to haue returned home into Scotland: but
Iames Dowglas commeth on land in Spaine.
by force of contrarie winds he was driuen on the coast of Spaine, landing there vpon the
borders of Granado, where at the same time he found the king of Aragon, readie to make
warres against the Saracens that inhabited in those parties.
The Dowglasse, to make his manhood and prowesse the more knowne in all parts where
he came, offered the king of Aragon to serue vnder him in those warres against the infidels,
and so fought at sundrie times in his support against the enimies, with prosperous successe,
till at length hauing too much confidence in fortunes fauour (which hath brought so
manie noble men to their deaths) hée waxed negligent, and tooke small regard of dangers
that might insue, so that in the end he was inclosed by an ambush laid for him by the
enimies, and there slaine amongst them, with all such as he had about him. This was the
Iames Dowglas slaine by the Saracens in Spaine.
How often Iames Dowglasse had got the victorie.
end of that noble Dowglasse, one of the most valiant knights that liued in his daies. He
had gotten the victorie 57 sundrie times in fight against the Englishmen, and 13 times
against the Turkes, as it is written at length (saith Bellenden) in Scotichronicon. He
might haue beene right necessarie for the defense of Scotland, if his chance had béene to
haue returned home in safetie. He ended his life in maner (as is before mentioned) on the
26 day of August, in the yere of Grace 1330.