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Title: Life of Sir William Wallace of Elderslie, Vol, II (of II)
Author: Carrick, John D.
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life of Sir William Wallace of Elderslie, Vol, II (of II)" ***

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  Original and Selected Publications




  G. F. Sargent.      W. Archibald Jun^r

Page 18.]




                          THOMAS CAMPBELL.


  VOL. II.




  CHAP. I.

  Wallace appointed Guardian of the Kingdom.--Invades England.
    --Inroad of De Clifford on the South of Scotland                   9


  Wallace returns to Scotland.--Envied by the Nobility.--Edward
    lands in England.--Wallace meets his Army at Stanmore.--Battle
    of Blackironside.--Legality of Wallace’s Regency.--Edward
    Invades Scotland.--Treachery of two Scottish Noblemen             22


  The English Army advance to Linlithgow.--Battle of Falkirk,
    from the Accounts given by English and Scottish Writers.--
    Miscellaneous Transactions                                        36


  Notices respecting Sir John Graham and Sir John Stewart.--Conduct
    of Cumyn.--Wallace resigns the Guardianship.--Edward returns
    home.--Triumphant Procession of the Londoners in honour of his
    Victory at Falkirk.--Review of the Campaign                       61

  CHAP. V.

  State of Scotland after the Return of Edward.--Opinion of an
    English Spy on the Strength of that Fortress.--Various Exploits
    of Wallace.--Edward sends Supplies to the Garrison of Stirling.
    --List of Articles sent.--Baliol delivered over to the Pope.--
    The Scots besiege Stirling Castle.--Edward raises an Army for
    its Relief.--The English Barons Refuse to accompany him.--
    Surrender of Stirling Castle.--Conduct of Cumyn                   74


  Edward again invades Scotland.--Siege of Carlaverock.--
    Miscellaneous Occurrences during the Siege                        85


  Winchelsea, Archbishop of Canterbury, reads a Bull from the
    Pope, in the English Camp before Carlaverock.--Edward’s
    Answer.--Earl Warren advances to Irvine.--Cruelty of the
    English at Lesmahago.--Edward agrees to a Truce.--Wallace
    visits France.--Captures a French Pirate.--Notices of
    Longueville                                                       98


  Edward again Invades Scotland.--Sir Simon Frazer deserts the
    English, and joins his Countrymen.--Wallace returns to
    Scotland.--Battle of Roslin                                      112


  Second Visit of Wallace to the French Court.--Encounters an
    English Pirate.--The English again enter Scotland.--Submission
    to the Nobles.--Wallace returns.--Conflicts with the English.--
    Edward destroys and carries off the Records of the Monasteries.
    --Marches through the Country.--Wallace follows the Invaders     116

  CHAP. X.

  Edward’s Policy respecting the Settlement of Scotland.--
    Endeavours to gain Wallace to his Interest.--Siege of Stirling.
    --It Surrenders.--Conduct of Edward towards the Prisoners.--
    Haliburton undertakes to betray Wallace                          132


  State of the Country.--Bruce invited to take the Crown--Conduct
    of Cumyn towards Bruce.--Notice of Cumyn.--Tradition respecting
    the Clan Cumyn.--Notice of Kerle.--Wallace betrayed by Menteith  144


  Trial, Execution, and Character of Wallace                         156


  Conclusion                                                         171


  A. Original Letter from Sir William Wallace and Sir Andrew Murray  191

  B. Memoir of Patrick Earl of Dunbar                                199

  C. Charter of Protection Granted to the Prior and Convent of
       Hexceldsham                                                   203

  D. On the intention of Edward to curtail the power of his Barons   205

  E. The Setons                                                      206

  F. Memoir of Fitz-Marmaduke                                        210

  G. Memoir of Brian Fitz-Alan                                       213

  H. Memoir of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke                    216

  I. Memoir of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln                        227

  K. Memoirs of Richard Siward and Walter de Huntercombe             235

  L. Memoir of Sir Simon Fraser                                      242

  M. Extracts from the Wardrobe Accounts                             254

  N. Trial of Wallace                                                258

  O. On the Martyrdom of Wallace                                     259

  P. On the Personal Appearance of Wallace                           269

  Q. Reminiscence of Wallace                                         272

  R. Wallace’s Descendants                                           277

  S. On the Treachery of Menteith                                    280

  T. Singular Legend                                                 292

  U. Verses on the Death of Wallace                                  294






Stirling Castle capitulated immediately after the battle, and Sir
Marmaduke Twenge,[1] who had taken shelter in it, was sent prisoner
to Dumbarton. The surrender of the castle of Dundee followed; and,
with the exception of the garrisons remaining in Roxburgh, Berwick,
and Dunbar, Scotland was once more completely cleared of her invaders.
These places, with the exception of the last, were also given up, as
soon as they were summoned by the leaders of the Scottish army; and
about this time, at a meeting held in the Forest-kirk, Selkirkshire,
Wallace was elected, or declared Regent of Scotland, in the name of
King John; the appointment being sanctioned by the presence of the Earl
of Lennox, Sir William Douglas, and a number of the most powerful among
the nobility.

Thus armed with legitimate authority, the newly appointed Guardian
began to exercise it in the manner that he conceived would be most
conducive to the general interest and welfare of the country. He had
often experienced the difficulties which feudal vassalage presented
to his efforts in behalf of the national independence. The numerous
serfs who were retained in bondage by the more powerful barons, could
be either restrained from taking up arms, or withdrawn at the caprice
of their masters, even when their services were of the greatest
importance. A power so dangerous in the hands of a party comparatively
small, had been productive of the most ruinous consequences. To reform
a system pregnant with mischief, and one at the same time so much in
favour with the prejudices of the age, required wisdom and energy, such
as he possessed. Aware of the opposition which an open and declared
attempt to emancipate the _adscripti glebæ_ would create,--he attacked
the system in the only part where it appeared to be vulnerable. Having
divided the country into districts, he caused a muster-roll to be made
out, containing the names of all who were capable of bearing arms
between the age of sixteen and sixty. These he divided and subdivided
in a manner peculiarly his own. Over every four men he appointed a
fifth; over every nine, a tenth; over every nineteen, a twentieth; and
thus continued the gradation of rank till it reached the chiliarch, or
commander of a thousand.[2] In the different parishes, gibbets were
also erected to enforce obedience to these regulations; and whoever
refused to appear for the defence of his country when summoned, was
hung up as an example to others. Those barons who interposed their
authority to prevent their vassals from joining the ranks of the
patriots, were either punished with imprisonment, or confiscation of

Though the active and restless mind of Wallace may now seem to have had
full employment in the various duties of his office,--yet, amidst the
multiplicity of objects of internal policy which occupied his time, the
resuscitation of the foreign trade of the kingdom appears to have had
its proper share of his attention. The advantage which Scotland derived
from her foreign commercial intercourse, as has been already stated,
was too important to be soon forgotten; and the heroic and faithful
conduct of the Flemings at the siege of Berwick, was too recent not to
be dwelt on with grateful remembrance. In order, therefore, to renew
the connection with those useful strangers, accredited persons appear
to have been despatched with letters to the free towns of Hamburg and

Having provided for the necessary supplies of men, the Guardian
determined on retaliating the injuries Scotland had sustained at
the hands of her late oppressors. Meanwhile a famine,--the natural
consequence of the neglect of agriculture during the unsettled state of
the country, had begun to make its appearance; and was soon followed
by a pestilence,--occasioned, doubtless, by the multitude of putrid
carcasses which remained, partially at least, if not altogether,
exposed after the recent carnage. To alleviate, as far as possible, the
misery consequent on those dreaded calamities, he commanded all the
standing crops to be carefully gathered in, and stored up in barns and
yards under proper regulations, to meet the exigencies of the country
during winter. In order, at the same time, to concentrate the strength
and resources of the country, and establish that unanimity so necessary
for its defence, he summoned all the vassals of the Scottish crown to
meet him at Perth. From this parliament, which was pretty numerously
attended, Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, thought proper to absent himself.
The great power and military experience of this baron, joined to the
circumstance of his occupying a fortress which was considered as the
key of the _eastern_ part of the kingdom, made it an object of some
importance that his allegiance should be unquestionable. An early
partisan of Edward, he had as yet shown no disposition to relinquish
his unnatural connection with the enemy. When the subject of his
absence came, therefore, to be discussed before the Scottish Nobles,
they unanimously resolved on proceeding against him without delay.
Wallace, however, proposed the more gentle expedient of remonstrance,
before having recourse to extremities; and a deputation was accordingly
sent, to request his attendance as a Scottish Peer, in order to take
part in the government of the country, and to aid, with his counsel
and his arms, in the establishment of the national independence.
Possessed of large dominions in England, as well as an extensive
inheritance in Scotland, this Earl felt little inclination to incur
the displeasure of his Lord Paramount in the South, by a too ready
accession to the cause of liberty in the North; and he accordingly
returned a haughty and scornful answer, no way calculated to allay the
prejudice which his former contemptuous behaviour had excited against
him. As soon, therefore, as the various objects which had engaged the
attention of the parliament were disposed of, Wallace proceeded, with
a select body of four hundred men, to reduce the turbulent chieftain.
A little to the east of Dunbar, the Guardian found the Earl awaiting
his approach at the head of nine hundred followers; and a desperate
conflict immediately commenced, which ended in the flight of Patrick,
who escaped to England.[4] The castle of Dunbar was in consequence
surrendered to the victor, who gave it in charge to Sir Christopher
Seton, with a competent garrison for its defence.

1297. Early in October a proclamation was issued for every one capable
of bearing arms to appear on the moor of Roslin. An immense multitude
attended. The most vigorous and the best equipped were then selected;
and having thus embodied an efficient, numerous, and gallant army,
Wallace excited their ardour by a short and animating address, in
which he told them, that, united as they were, with only one glorious
object in view, they had nothing but victory to expect,--their country
had been stript of its wealth by their late oppressors, and it was
now their duty and interest to recover it, and punish the aggressors.
The army[5] then proceeded in high spirits towards the English
frontier,--their leader rightly judging, that, by withdrawing so many
men, a larger quantity of provisions would remain for those left
behind; and by adopting this measure, his soldiers also, while they
escaped from the contagion which had appeared in Scotland, would be
moreover rewarded for their past labours, by the riches they would find
in the more flourishing regions of the South; which, having enjoyed a
long interval of peace, might be conceived to be overflowing with that
description of wealth most desirable in the estimation of the needy
adventurers of the North;--and the latter, no doubt, as they drove home
their lowing and bleating prey from the rich pastures of Durham and the
neighbouring counties, considered that they were merely removing their
own property, of which they had been unjustly deprived by the tyranny
of the English.

In this expedition, Wallace divided the command of the army with Sir
Andrew Murray of Bothwell, the promising son of the brave Sir Andrew,
who fell in the late engagement. This honour he may have thought due to
the patriotic conduct of the father, in adhering to the fortunes of his
country, amidst the general defection of the Scottish barons. And--as
it might tend to give the _lie_ to those reports which began to be
circulated of an intention to aggrandize himself at the expense of the
aristocracy,--the appointment was evidently a measure of judicious and
honourable policy.

On the approach of the Scottish army, the inhabitants of Northumberland
deserted their dwellings, and fled to Newcastle, carrying with them
their wives and children, their cattle and household stuff. The
Guardian, however, for a short time delayed his advance; and having
received notice that several of the burgesses of Aberdeen, and others
in that quarter, had disobeyed his summons to appear at Roslin, he
hurried back to the North, where, on apprehending the parties, those
whose excuses were inadmissible, he ordered for immediate execution.
Hastily rejoining his forces, he crossed the Border, and succeeded in
surprising the English, who, thinking the storm had blown over, were
returned to their homes.

The Scots now commenced their destructive reprisals, by wasting with
fire and sword the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland. In this
work of devastation they were assisted by Robert de Ros of Werk, a
great northern baron, who, as we have already observed, had deserted
the standard of Edward in 1295. It is presumed that the same influence
which formerly seduced him from his loyalty, still existed; and it is
a pity that the name of the lady who made so patriotic a use of her
charms, has not been preserved by the historians of her country.

The former inroads of the Scots were trifling, compared with the
wide-spreading desolation which now marked their career. The havoc they
made, and the spoils they collected, are feelingly dwelt on by the
English writers of the day. Langtoft thus expresses himself:--

    “To werre than ros thei eft, tille God thei mad a vowe,
    That no thing suld be left, that myght to Inglond prowe,
    Mercy suld none haue, tille alle thei suld do wo,
    Kirke suld no man saue, bot brenne ther in & slo.
    In Northumberland ther first thei bigan,
    & alle that com tille hande, they slouh and ouer ran
    To Flandres tille Edward tithinges men him sent,
    That Scottis com in hard, the North is nere alle brent,
    & more salle zit be lorn, bot if we haf socoure.
    Nouht standes tham biforn, toun, castelle ne toure.”

            Vol. ii. p. 298, 299.

Hemingford says, “At this time the praise of God was not heard in any
church or monastery through the whole country, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne
to the gates of Carlisle; for the monks and canons regular, and other
priests who were ministers of the Lord, fled with the whole people from
the face of the enemy; nor was there any to oppose them, except now and
then a few English who belonged to the Castle of Alnwick, who ventured
from their strongholds, and slew some stragglers. But these were but
slight successes; and the Scots roved over the country[6] from the
Feast of St Luke to St Martin’s day, inflicting on it all the miseries
of rapine and bloodshed.”[7]

The Guardian having summoned in all his plundering parties, and
concentrated his army, directed his march towards Carlisle. The sack
of this city would have been most desirable to the invaders, not only
on account of its riches, but also as in some measure enabling them to
avenge the injuries inflicted upon Berwick. The place, however, was
strongly fortified; and the Scots not being provided with a battering
train, they had to content themselves with sending a summons; which,
being disregarded by the garrison, they passed on, and laid waste
Cumberland and Allerdale, from Inglewood Forest to Derwentwater and
Cockermouth. Winter now advanced:--the frost set in with uncommon
severity,--and the Scots, who had created a desert around them, began
also to dread the miseries of famine, as well as the inclemency of the
season. Their encampments could now be traced by the frozen bodies of
those who had perished during the night from the intensity of the cold.
Under these circumstances, Wallace gave orders for their return to

On their reaching Hexceldsham,[8] the monastery of which had been
plundered during their advance, the following singular scene is said
by Hemmingford to have occurred. Three monks, all who had the courage
to remain, were observed in a small chapel. Thinking that the danger
was over, they had forsaken their concealments, and were endeavouring
to repair the damages of the late visitation, when, in the midst of
their labours, they discovered the Scottish army returning, and fled in
dismay to the oratory. The soldiers, however, with their long spears,
were soon among them; and brandishing their weapons, commanded them, at
their peril, to give up the treasures of the monastery. “Alas!” said
one of the monks, “it is but a short time since you yourselves have
seized our whole property, and you know best where it now is.” At this
juncture Wallace entered, and commanding his soldiers to be silent,
requested one of the monks to perform mass: he obeyed, and the Guardian
and his attendants heard the service with becoming reverence. When
the elevation of the host was about to take place, Wallace retired
for a moment to lay aside his helmet and arms. Instantly the avarice
and ferocity of the soldiers broke out. They pressed upon the priest,
snatched the cup from the high altar, tore away the ornaments and
sacred vestments, and even stole the book which contained the ceremony.
When their leader returned, he found the priest in fear and horror at
the sacrilege. Wallace, indignant at such conduct, gave orders that the
villains should be searched for, and put to death. In the mean time, he
took the monks under his own special protection.

As some atonement for the outrage committed, the Guardian granted to
the monks of Hexceldsham a charter of protection for twelve months,
from the 7th November 1297,[9] by which their lives and property
were held sacred. “The prohibition,” says Lord Hailes, “to slay any
ecclesiastic of the monastery of Hexceldsham, shows that the Scots had
been guilty of uncommon barbarities.” Had his Lordship said that the
conduct of the Scots was merely an humble imitation of the example
which the English had set them in their “Good Friday” _revelries_ at
the sack of Berwick, he would have been nearer the truth. We find
no such restraint put upon the English soldiery, who were allowed
to murder their lay and clerical victims indiscriminately; not even
excepting nuns, whose sex, independent of every other consideration,
ought to have been their protection. If a shadow of humanity can be
discovered in the mode of warfare carried on by the two nations, it
certainly belongs of right to those who published a prohibition of such
enormities. In the invasion by the Scots in 1296, there is no charge
brought against them of killing priests. Langtoft says, vol. ii. p.
273, that in coming to Hexham and Leynertofte, they merely chased out
the chanons, and took away their goods. Their subsequent severity must
therefore have been forced upon them by their enemies.

English writers have lamented, with eloquence and pathos, the cruelties
exercised in this invasion; and from their silence respecting the
atrocities of their own countrymen, have endeavoured to fix the
stain of exclusive barbarity on the arms of Scotland. This is all
natural enough, and quite consistent with that national prejudice by
which the people of every country are more or less imbued; but it is
painfully mortifying, when we find Scotchmen of acknowledged talent
and penetration forgetting what is due to themselves and to their
country; and from a weak fear of being thought illiberal, following
humbly in the train of such authors, and echoing their reflections;
or favouringly assenting to their _ex parte_ statements, in place
of standing forward and showing the world, that their countrymen,
in resorting to such severities, merely exercised a system of fair
retaliation, for the purpose of repressing enormities of the deepest
dye, committed in support of an aggression of the most unparalleled

During the time the Scottish army was engaged in ravaging the northern
counties of England, Robert de Clifford, at the head of one hundred
men-at-arms, and twenty thousand foot, left Carlisle, and proceeded to
plunder in Scotland. His success, however, was not great, having killed
three hundred and eight Scots, burned two villages, and taken a few
prisoners, with whom he returned home about Christmas.

Whilst the Guardian was thus successfully prosecuting the cause of his
country’s independence, his efforts, at the same time, were becoming
daily more beneficial to the real liberties of the very people to whom
he was opposed. Elated, first by the conquest of Wales, and afterwards
by that of Scotland, Edward had already begun to stretch forth the
iron road of oppression over the legitimate subjects of his own native
kingdom; and, trusting to the assistance he should receive from the
barons of his newly acquired conquests, who, he might naturally suppose
would not be found reluctant to act as instruments in holding their
late conquerors in subjection, he assumed, towards the nobles of
England, an air of haughty superiority that awakened their jealousy,
and alarmed their fears. But as the investigation of this subject would
interrupt the course of our narrative, we shall reserve it till the end
of the volume.[10]



During the time that Wallace remained in England, his army was
occasionally renewed; for as soon as the quota of men belonging to one
clan or parish had collected a sufficient share of booty, they were
allowed to retire and secure it in the North, while their places were
supplied by fresh hordes of not less hungry adventurers. By such means
the spoil of England became pretty equally divided throughout the
several districts of Scotland, and the inhabitants began to experience
the benefits of returning plenty. Having, in this manner, enriched
his own country at the expense of her enemies, the intrepid Guardian
returned--poor it is true, in wealth, but rich in fame--to behold the
prosperity he had so gallantly achieved.[11] This expedition, however,
though it had increased his reputation among the common people,
failed not to awaken the envy of the nobles, who could ill brook the
popularity of one whose actions had thrown them so much into the shade;
and his praise, which they heard on all sides, sounded in their ears
like so many reproaches against themselves, who, possessing wealth
and power, either could not, or from treachery would not, do what he,
so much their inferior in wealth and influence, had taken in hand
and finished, with glory to himself and honour to the country. Hence
the private heart-burnings which arose among these noblemen, whose
consciences whispered that they had been either traitors or sluggards
when the liberty of their country was at stake.

1298. In the mean time, Edward having complied with the demands of
his subjects, the Barons of England collected an army, and advanced
towards the Border. On the 14th March, the King himself landed at
Sandwich, and instantly summoned the Scottish barons to a Parliament
at York. According to Abercrombie, he also addressed letters to the
Guardian, and in a strain more impassioned than courteous, upbraided
him for his audacity in disturbing the tranquillity of Scotland, and in
presuming afterwards to invade England,--a line of conduct which, he
observed, would not have been ventured upon, had he (Edward) been in
the country; and concluded, by commanding Wallace to redeem his errors
by an immediate submission to his authority. To these letters the
Guardian replied, that in availing himself of the absence of Edward, in
order to regain the liberty of his country, he had done no more than
his duty, and that the baseness lay with the English monarch in taking
advantage of the disunion of a free people to enslave them. As to
invading England, he had done so in order to indemnify Scotland for the
injuries she had so unjustly sustained; and in respect to submission,
as he intended soon to be in England again, he would then give him his
answer in person.

The active and undaunted Guardian was instantly at the heels of his
messenger, and on the 20th March came in sight of the English army at
Stanmore. Scottish historians say, that Edward’s force though much
superior to that of Wallace, was composed chiefly of raw militia
hastily raised, few or none of his veterans having been yet landed,
and that the English monarch, struck with the appearance and admirable
discipline of the Scots, and, unwilling to risk his fame in a conflict
so doubtful,--when about five hundred paces from the enemy, turned
his banners and marched off the field. Wallace, afraid of an ambush,
restrained his soldiers from the pursuit, and repressed their ardour
by telling them, that the victory they had already gained was the more
glorious, as it was got without blood and against the first captain
of the age, at the head of an army which, to all human appearance,
was able, from its numbers, to have swallowed them up; concluding
his address, by ordering thanksgivings to Heaven for so great an
interposition in their favour.

This account, however, is not corroborated by English historians. They
allege that the King was not present; and in this they are certainly in
the right. Edward, on his arrival in England, was detained by matters
of importance, in such a manner as to render his presence at Stanmore
on the 20th March utterly impossible. That the Scots may have come in
sight of the English army on the borders, is not at all unlikely; or
that the latter should decline risking a general engagement, after
their late reverses, without the presence of their King, who was daily
expected, is extremely probable. It may also be observed, that the
charters of their rights, though granted at Ghent, had not as yet been
confirmed in England. The conduct of the English leaders, under such
circumstances, may be considered as highly prudent and judicious.

But if the Scots were disappointed in _not_ coming to blows with their
enemies at Stanmore, it was not long before they had an opportunity
of trying the mettle of their swords. Aymer, or Aldomer de Vallance,
son of the Earl Pembroke, a youth at that time of eighteen years, had
raised himself high in the estimation of Edward, by the ready manner
in which he accompanied him to Flanders. The abilities and discretion,
which he soon displayed, obtained for him so much of the confidence of
his master, that he was employed in various important matters of state.
On the truce with France being concluded--for the furtherance of which
he was appointed a commissioner--Edward, it appears, had ordered him
to sail for Scotland with the force under his command, for the purpose
of co-operating in the invasion which he meditated on his arrival in
England. Various circumstances contributed to retard the projected
attempt; and it was not till midsummer that Aldomer and Sir John Siward
(a recreant Scot, son of the traitor of Dunbar) landed in Fife with a
considerable body of troops, and began to lay waste the country. Their
destructive operations, however, were soon interrupted by the arrival
of Wallace and his Scots, who fell upon them in the extensive forest
of Blackironside, and, after an obstinate conflict, the invaders were
defeated with the loss of 1580 men. This engagement, which is sometimes
called the Battle of Dillecarew, was fought on the 12th June. The loss
of the Scots was comparatively trifling; and, with the exception of Sir
Duncan Balfour, Sheriff of Fife, and according to some, Sir Christopher
Seton,[12] few, if any, of note, were killed,--Sir John Graham being
only wounded. Sir John Ramsay of Auchterhouse, with Squires Guthrie
and Bisset[13] are particularly mentioned as having distinguished
themselves in this brilliant rencounter.

On his return to Scotland, after the affair at Stanmore, Wallace
applied himself to rectify the abuses and disorders which had arisen
from the disorganized state of the country. For this purpose, he seems
to have made a tour through the kingdom, and on 29th March we find him
presiding in an assembly of the Barons at Torphichen. At this assembly,
which was most probably held in the preceptory of the Templars, various
meritorious individuals were rewarded for their patriotic exertions
in the cause of independence. Among those, Alexander Scrymgeour had
the constabulary of Dundee conferred upon him _and his heirs, for his
“faithful aid in bearing the Royal Banner of Scotland, which service
he actually performs_.” This document appears to have been made with
the consent and approbation of the Scottish nobility, and is dated 29th
March 1298.[14]

Some authors assert, that the election of Wallace to the Guardianship
took place after his return from the invasion of England. Lord Hailes
says, he _assumed_ the title of Guardian subsequent to that event.
This we consider extremely improbable; as the degree of popularity he
had attained among his countrymen would have certainly anticipated
any assumption on the part of their deliverer. Although Abercromby be
not a first-rate authority, we conceive that he is right in placing
the election before the advance of Wallace to the south. The immense
preparations necessary for an invasion of England, required the
sanction of something like legitimate authority to carry it into
effect; and the measures which he resorted to for the good of the
country, immediately posterior to the battle of Stirling, were not of
a less decisive character than those which marked his policy on his
return from England. Abercromby also states, that he held a commission
of Regency under the seal of Baliol,[15] which was privately executed
during the captivity of the latter in the Tower of London. To this
statement, tradition unites her testimony, and adds, that Wallace
likewise obtained a bond from the principal barons of Scotland,
authorizing any measures he might adopt for the recovery of the
kingdom. This bond, it is asserted, he held _in terrorem_ over the
heads of the aristocracy, for the purpose of compelling them to their

The authority of Wallace, however, whether _conferred_ or _assumed_,
unfortunately for his country, was not destined to be of long
duration. Soon after the defeat of the Earl of Pembroke, Edward, now
reconciled to his barons, entered Scotland by the eastern marches, with
a formidable army, consisting, according to English writers, of 3000
horsemen, armed at all points, 4000 of a lighter description, called
_hobelars_, and 80,000 foot. A further reinforcement overtook him on
his march, which swelled his forces to upwards of 100,000 fighting men,
a great proportion of whom were veterans, inured to arms in the French
wars. To oppose a power so overwhelming in the open field, the Guardian
well knew would be in vain; he, therefore, again resorted to those
measures which had already been found so effective: the population
retired with their cattle and provisions before the approaching enemy,
after destroying whatever they conceived might be useful to the
invaders. While the Scottish army kept far in the advance, a strict
_surveillance_ was exercised over the motions of their adversaries,
so that few of the English scouts were able to return with any
satisfactory account of the position or numbers of their opponents;
and though most of the fortified places made little or no resistance,
yet the supplies the conquerors found in the garrisons, did little to
relieve that scarcity which soon began to be severely felt among the
multitudes who followed the banner of England.

In the meantime, the fleet which Edward had ordered to attend him with
provisions being detained by contrary winds, he was compelled to wait
their arrival; and, for this purpose, he fixed his head-quarters in the
preceptory of the Knights Templars at Torphichen;[16] while part of
his army occupied Temple-liston, thus keeping open his communication
with the sea.

Edward, in his march, had met with little annoyance, except from
the stronghold of Dirleton, and two other castles in his rear, the
garrisons of which made frequent sorties, and cut off several of
his foraging parties. The Bishop of Durham was therefore ordered
to lay siege to these fortresses. His efforts, however, were at
first unsuccessful; he was driven from the walls of Dirleton with
considerable loss; and as the force under his command was in want of
provisions, as well as of a sufficient battering train, he sent Sir
John Fitz-Marmaduke to represent his situation at head-quarters. “Go
back,” said Edward, “and tell Antony that he is right to be pacific
when he is acting the Bishop, but that in his present business he
must forget his calling: and as for you, Marmaduke,” addressing the
messenger, “You are a relentless soldier; I have often had to reprove
you for too cruel exultation over the death of your enemies; but return
now whence you came, and be as relentless as you choose, you will
deserve my thanks, not my censure;--but look you do not see my face
again till these three castles are razed to the ground.”[17]

While lying inactive in the preceptory of the Templars, Edward appears
to have amused himself, by raising a number of young squires to the
rank of knighthood; and--a few ships, affording a temporary supply,
having very opportunely arrived--a donation of wine was distributed
on the occasion among the soldiers, the effects of which liberality
soon became apparent. Intoxicated with their allowance, the national
animosity of the English and Welsh troops broke out in a dangerous
mutiny. The latter, inflamed by wine, and irritated by the privations
they had already suffered, attacked the English in their quarters
during the night, and murdered eighteen ecclesiastics; whereupon
the English cavalry, in revenge, rode in upon the assailants, and
slew eighty of their number. The Welsh, who amounted to 40,000, now
withdrew from the English in high displeasure at the slaughter of their
countrymen; and Edward, having at first made light of the affair,
afterwards found it necessary to exert himself, in order to effect
a reconciliation. Meantime, the scarcity continued to increase in
his camp to such an extent, as induced him to issue his orders for a

The Scottish army, by the prudence of its leader, had hitherto been
kept as it were invisible from the enemy, who were only aware of its
existence, by the desolation with which it surrounded them; and the
excellent generalship of Wallace was now to all appearance about to be
crowned with its usual success, when his plans were rendered abortive
by the treachery of his pretended adherents. Two Scottish noblemen[18]
found means to communicate to the Bishop of Durham the position of
the Scottish army, and their intention to surprise the English by a
night attack, and afterwards to hang upon their rear, and harass them
in their retreat. Edward received this news with ecstasy. “Thanks be to
God!” he exclaimed, “who hath hitherto extricated me from every danger.
They shall not need to follow me, since I shall forthwith go and meet
them;” and, instantly countermanding the orders for a retreat, he
prepared to go in search of the Scottish army.

Though the utmost diligence was used by Edward and his officers,
morning was pretty far advanced before the immense concourse of
warriors could be put in motion. The distant stations which an army so
numerous must necessarily have occupied, rendered an instant removal
altogether impossible; and a whole summer’s day was therefore consumed,
in enabling them to reach an extensive heath to the east of Linlithgow;
where, for that night, they rested in their armour. In the mid-watch,
however, an alarm spread, that the enemy were at hand, and considerable
confusion ensued. It originated in an uproar, occasioned by an accident
which happened to the King:--His war-horse, which stood beside him, had
it seems become restive, and trampled on him as he lay on the heath;
and his domestics having raised the cry, that the King was wounded,
every man grasped his weapon, and stood on his defence. Philip de
Belvey, the King’s surgeon, however, soon quieted their apprehensions,
and they again betook themselves to rest.



Day broke on the army of England moving onward to Linlithgow in one
long and variegated column. To those whom sanctity of character, or
local situation, enabled to await its approach, the spectacle, which
was now at hand, must have been fearfully interesting. Since the days
of the Romans, the present army was perhaps the largest that had
traversed the plains of Scotland. Many alterations had been introduced
about this time into Europe by the crusaders; and Edward, who was
no inapt scholar in the military art, had, during his residence in
Palestine, and his expeditions to France, availed himself of every
invention that came under his observation. His army, therefore, might
justly be considered as the most perfect in discipline, equipment,
and feudal splendour, that Christendom could boast of at the time.
As it approached, it seemed to lengthen,--the interminable array
issuing, as it were, from some inexhaustible source on the verge of the
horizon: Its glittering mazes occasionally appearing and disappearing
among the inequalities of the road, might be aptly compared to the
undulating movements of one of those enormous serpents that figure in
the pages of romance, some of whose coils are at times seen while its
extremities are concealed amid the darkness of the den from whence it
is represented as issuing forth. Most of the inhabitants fled before
the unwelcome intruders, except a few Carmelite friars, who stopped to
gaze on the warlike pageant.

The confused hum of this living mass increased as it advanced, till the
deserted walls of Linlithgow resounded to the braying of clarions, the
thundering of kettle-drums, and the prancing of war-steeds in flowing
caparisons, bestrode by warriors mailed to the teeth, having long
two-handed swords depending from their girdles, while their right hands
held lances, and their left supported triangular shields painted with
the various devices of their families.

Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln,[19] and Humphry de Bohun, Earl of
Hereford, and Constable of England, led the first division. The second
was under the charge of Bishop Bek, who, having executed the commission
Edward had sent him by John Fitz-Marmaduke, next appeared in this
portentous march, attended by thirty-nine banners; for this proud
ecclesiastic spared no expense to render his retinue as magnificent as
possible. In the third division under the command of the King, besides
the royal standard (_three leopards courant_), there waved, the sacred
banner of St John of Beverley, that of St George (_white with a red
cross_), that of St Edmond, King of the West-Saxons, (_blue with three
gold crowns_), that of St Edward the Confessor, (_blue, with a cross
fleury between five martlets, gold_), and also the ominous standard of
Henry III., by the unfurling of which the army were apprised of the
vicinity of the enemy, and the certainty of an approaching battle.
This gorgeous emblem of war was never displayed, except to announce
a positive intention to fight: it was formed of red satin, bearing
a dragon embroidered in gold, having sapphire eyes, and the tongue
ingeniously contrived to seem continually moving.[20]

Amongst those who followed the royal banner, was Brian Fitz-Alan,[21]
the late Governor of Scotland, attended by his vassals, and those
Scots who still ventured to oppose the liberties of their country. Of
the latter, we find Brian le Jay, preceptor of the Scottish Templars,
who probably joined Edward at Torphichen. What number of knights
accompanied him to the field in this formidable crusade against the
freedom of that people who fostered them, cannot now be ascertained;
we may, however, venture to include _John de Sautre, “Maister de la
Chivalerie de Templi en Ecosse.”_

The immense multitude of Welsh collected by Edward, as being better
acquainted with mountain warfare, were dispersed among the different
divisions of the forces. Being mostly archers, and clothed in white
tunics, they were easily distinguished from the other troops.

Tradition asserts, that this grand army took a whole day to deploy
through the town of Linlithgow. This perhaps may be true respecting the
parties escorting the heavy war-engines, suttlers attending the camp,
and other stragglers; but the advanced guard of the English came in
sight of the Scottish outposts early in the day. The latter occupied
the ridge of a hill; and as the English marched up to attack them, a
thick mist intervened, and prevented the intended rencounter.

When the day cleared up, the Scottish army was discovered in the
distance, taking up their positions, and preparing for battle. Their
numbers did not exceed 30,000--not a third part of the force opposed to
them; and aware of the immense advantages which Edward possessed, and
extremely averse to risk the safety of the country on the issue of a
single battle, the Guardian would gladly have protracted the warfare,
by retiring farther to the north. Divisions, however, prevailed among
the leaders of the Scots; and, before they could agree on the measures
necessary to be adopted, the near approach of the English, and the
great superiority of the latter in cavalry, rendered retreat extremely

The Scottish army, which consisted principally of spearmen or lancers,
was arranged in four divisions or schiltrons. Those in the centre held
their long spears perpendicular, and stood ready to fill up a vacancy,
while each intervening rank gradually sloped their weapons till they
came to a level. The front rank kneeling, and the whole closely wedged
together, presented to the enemy the appearance of four enormous,
impenetrable porcupines, the space between each being filled up with

Edward, on seeing these dispositions for battle, hesitated to give
orders for the attack, and proposed that his followers should pitch
their tents, and allow the soldiers and horses time for rest and
refreshment. This was opposed by his officers, as being unsafe in
their present situation,--a small rivulet only intervening between
the two armies. “What, then, would you advise?” exclaimed Edward. “An
immediate advance!” was the reply; “the field and the victory will be
our’s.”--“In God’s name, then, let it be so!” said the King.

The Earls of Lincoln and Hereford, accordingly, led the first squadron
to the attack. Their progress, however, was retarded by an extensive
morass, which covered the front of the Scots, and obliged their enemies
to make a circuit to the west. While thus employed, the powerful
squadron under the Bishop of Durham managed to get in front of the
enemy. Bek, however, on observing the formidable appearance of his
opponents, wished to delay the charge till supported by the column
under the command of the King. “Stick to thy mass, Bishop,” said Ralf
Basset of Drayton, “and teach us not what to do in the face of an
enemy.”--“On, then,” said Bek, “Set on, in your own way; we are all
soldiers to-day, and bound to do our duty.” Instantly they rushed
forward, and soon became engaged with the first schiltron, which was
almost simultaneously attacked on the opposite quarter by the first
division which had cleared the morass. The cavalry of the Scots, and a
large body of the vassals of John Cumyn, immediately wheeled about, and
left the field without awaiting the attack. The schiltrons of spearmen,
however, stood firm, and repulsed all the efforts of their numerous and
heavy-armed assailants, who recoiled again and again from before the
mass of spears which their enemies presented. Baffled in their attack,
the cavalry of Edward charged upon the archers, who, less able to
stand their ground against the weight of their mail-clad adversaries,
gave way. In the confusion, Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, brother to
the Steward of Scotland, was thrown to the ground, while attempting
to rally his vassals, the archers of Selkirk; and though many of them
rushed forward to his assistance, their exertions were in vain:--their
gallant leader fell, surrounded by the bodies of his faithful tenantry.

Though heavy squadrons of cavalry were continually pushed forward
against the Scottish spearmen, still the latter maintained their ranks,
and displayed such admirable discipline and stubborn resolution, that
Edward, convinced of the inability of breaking their array, suspended
the charges of his horsemen, and ordered all his archers and slingers
to advance.[22]

Langtoft thus describes the conduct and appearance of the Scottish

    “Ther formast conrey, ther bakkis togidere sette,
    Ther speres poynt ouer poynt, so sare & o thikke
    & fast togidere joynt, to se it was ferlike.
    Als a castelle thei stode, that were walled with stone,
    Thei wende no man of blode thorgh tham suld haf gone
    Ther folk was so mykelle, so stalworth & so clene,
    Ther foyntes forward prikelle, nonhut wild thei wene,
    That if alle Inglond fro Berwik vnto Kent,
    The folk therin men fond had bien thider sent,
    Stength suld non haf had, to perte tham thorgh oute,
    So wer thei set sad with poyntes rounde aboute.”

            _Vol. ii. p. 304, 305._

The formation of these Scottish schiltrons was admirably adapted for
defence; and had they been supplied with a sufficient body of cavalry
to have protected them from the assaults of the archers, they might
have kept their ground, in defiance of every effort of the enemy. But,
deserted by their own cavalry, they now stood helplessly exposed to a
storm of missiles which assailed them in all directions; for though
those in the centre bravely pressed forward to fill up the chasms in
front, cloud after cloud of arrows, mingled with stones, continued to
descend among their ranks with increasing and deadly effect, till the
ground was encumbered around them; while their former assailants sat
with their horses on the rein, ready to burst in upon them at the first
opening that would offer. The Scots at last became unsteady, under the
incessant and murderous discharge of the English artillery. The cavalry
then dashed forward, and breaking in upon their ranks, completed the

Wallace now saw that retreat was the only expedient left by which he
could save the remnant of his countrymen; and having, with incredible
efforts, rallied a number of his most determined adherents, he attacked
the foremost of the pursuers, and by that means covered the retreat
of the fugitives. Amongst the slain, Brian le Jay[23] is particularly
mentioned. The death of this Templar, which took place in Callender
wood, damped the ardour of his companions, and enabled the Scots to
make good their retreat. In this sanguinary conflict, 15,000 Scots
are said to have been left on the field; the most distinguished of
whom were Sir John Graham of Dundalk, Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, and
MacDuff, grand-uncle to the Earl of Fife. The extent of the English
loss, from the stubborn opposition of their enemies, must also have
been considerable. After the battle, Wallace fell back on Stirling,
which he burnt, in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of
the English.

Respecting this battle, Scottish authors give a very different account
from the preceding, which is chiefly taken from the pages of English
historians. According to the former, the envy of the nobles towards
Wallace, and the dissensions incident thereto, were the chief, if
not the sole occasion of the disaster. The Scottish army, say they,
consisted of three divisions of ten thousand men each, under the
command of Sir John Cumyn, Lord of Badenoch, chief of the powerful clan
of that name; Sir John Stewart, brother to the Lord of Bute, who, in
addition to his own tenantry, headed those of his absent brother; and
Sir William Wallace,--three of the most powerful men in the country,
the two former from their birth and influence, the latter from the
great fame acquired by his military achievements. On the brink of the
engagement, an imprudent and unfortunate disagreement arose among the
leaders. Stewart insisted upon taking command of the army, being, as
he conceived, entitled to that honour, as the representative of his
brother, who was Lord High Steward of Scotland; Cumyn claiming it,
in his own right, on account of high birth, and near relationship to
the crown; and Wallace, as Guardian of the kingdom, refused to admit
the pretensions of either to a command which he, as representative of
their absent sovereign, conceived himself every way entitled to, even
though he had not earned that honour by former services. Stewart, in
the heat of the altercation, is said to have upbraided Wallace with
the lowness of his birth, and charged him with encroaching on the
rights of the nobility, which reminded him, he said, “of the owl in
the fable, who, having borrowed a feather from one bird, and a feather
from another, became vain of his plumage, and endeavoured to lord it
over his betters. The application is not difficult,” continued he;
“for, if every nobleman in Scotland were to claim his part of those
vassals which now follow your banners, your own personal retainers
would make but a sorry appearance in support of your high-flown
pretensions.” Wallace heard, with stern composure, those ill-timed
remarks of the haughty chieftain. “I am not ignorant,” said he, “of
the source whence this insulting language has proceeded; and since
you, my Lord, condescend to utter their sentiments, you may be also
induced to imitate their example: and even this,” glancing a look of
indignation at Cumyn, “I am not altogether unprepared for. Your fable
of the owl is not quite applicable; for I always showed myself in the
face of day, asserting the liberty and independence of my country,
while some others, like owls, courted concealment, and were too much
afraid of losing their _roosts_, to leave them for such a cause. As to
my followers, I wish no man to follow me who is not sound at the heart
in the cause of his country; and either at the head or in the ranks
of these, I will always consider it my glory to be found. In the mean
time, till it appear who are entitled to that character, I will make an
alteration in my position.” Having thus spoken, he removed those under
his command to a strong position on the face of a hill immediately

Edward, as if aware of the feud that thus existed in the Scottish camp,
and though suffering from the effects of his late accident, ordered
the Earl of Hereford, Constable of England, to advance with a body
of thirty thousand men, to attack the division under Cumyn; who, on
seeing them approach, turned his banners, and marched off the field,
leaving Stewart and his Brandanes (as the inhabitants of Bute were then
called), and the archers of Selkirk, his immediate vassals, exposed
to all the fury of the charge. They sustained it with the firmest
resolution; but the great mass of assailants against whom they were
engaged, left them little chance of success. Stewart, in the early
part of the battle, while giving orders to a body of archers, was
thrown from his horse and slain. His followers, however, far from being
discouraged by the loss of their chief, continued the conflict with
the greatest bravery. Macduff, with a great part of his retainers, were
cut off, in their endeavours to retrieve the fortunes of the day, yet
numbers forced their way through the ranks of the English, and joined
the division under Wallace. This was observed by Edward, who, impatient
at the resistance he had already met with, ordered Robert Bruce and
the Bishop of Durham to advance with the forces under their command.
While Wallace was engaged in securing the retreat of his unfortunate
countrymen, Bruce made a circuit round the hill which he occupied, and
gaining the ascent, obliged him to quit his position, and endeavour
to force his way through the enemy beneath. The charge of this fresh
body of Scots, composed of the stoutest and best disciplined warriors
in the country, was but ill sustained by the division they attacked,
which, giving way before their impetuous descent, was thrown into
confusion; and Wallace, availing himself of their disorder, directed
his troops to cross the Carron, and occupy a post which commanded the
ford. In the meantime, with a small but choice body of his friends, he
kept in the rear, and continued to charge and repulse those that were
most forward in the pursuit. In one of these efforts, Wallace advanced
alone from the midst of his little band, and, with a single blow,
slew Sir Brian le Jay, a knight templar[24] of high military renown,
who had shown himself most active in harassing the retreating Scots.
This action rendered the others more cautious in their approaches. Sir
John Graham, however, giving way to a gallant but imprudent ardour,
advanced too far amongst the enemy, where he was surrounded and slain;
and Wallace, after repeated endeavours to revenge the death of his
friend, rejoined his followers. This he effected with great difficulty,
from the influx of the tide, and the weakness of his horse, which is
said to have been so worn out with the fatigues of the day, and the
wounds it had received, that the noble animal expired as soon as it had
placed its master beyond the reach of his pursuers. By the attention
of his trusty follower Kerlé, who stood an anxious spectator on the
danger of his chief, Wallace was furnished with a fresh horse; and
the two friends, as they moved slowly along the banks of the river,
were gazing with silent and sorrowful interest on the scene of carnage
they had left, when Bruce, from the opposite bank, having recognised
the Guardian, raised his voice, and requested an interview. This was
readily granted, and the warriors approached each other from opposite
sides of the river, at a place narrow, deep and rocky. When on the
margin of the stream, Wallace waved his hand, to repress the curiosity
of his followers, while he eyed his misled countryman with stern, but
dignified composure. Bruce felt awed by the majestic appearance and
deportment of the patriot, and his voice, though loud, became tremulous
as he thus addressed him:--“I am surprised, Sir William, that you
should entertain thoughts, as it is believed you do, of attaining to
the crown of Scotland; and that, with this chimerical object in view,
you should thus continue to expose yourself to so many dangers. It
is not easy, you find, to resist the King of England, who is one of
the greatest princes in the world. And were you even successful in
your attempts, are you so vain as to imagine, that the Scots will
ever suffer you to be their King?” The Guardian did not allow him to
say more. “No,” replied he, “my thoughts never soared so high, nor
do I intend to usurp a crown I very well know my birth can give me
no right to, and my services can never merit. I only mean to deliver
my country from oppression and slavery, and to support a just cause,
which you have abandoned. You, my lord, whose right may entitle you
to be King, ought to protect the kingdom; ’tis because you do it not,
that I must, and will, while I breathe, endeavour the defence of that
country I was born to serve, and for which, if Providence will have
it so, to die. As for you, who, in place of exerting your talents to
turn the tide of battle in your country’s favour, choose rather to
live a slave, if with safety to your life and fortune, than free,
with the hazard of losing the latter, you may remain in possession of
what you so much value, while the hollow praises of our enemies may
blind you to the enormity of your conduct; but remember, my lord, they
whom you are thus aiding to bind the yoke of slavery on the necks of
your countrymen, will not long consider that conduct praise-worthy in
you, which they would condemn as infamous in themselves; and if they
are successful in rivetting our chains, you will find your reward in
the well-earned contempt of the oppressor, and the hearty execrations
of the oppressed. Pause, therefore, and reflect; if you have but the
heart to claim the crown, you may win it with glory, and wear it with
justice. I can do neither; but what I can I will--live and die a free
born man.” These generous sentiments, uttered in a clear, manly, and
determined tone of voice, came home to the heart of Bruce, with all
the sternness of deserved reproof; and he was about to reply, when the
ringing of harness, followed by the appearance of a number of helmets,
over-topping the ridge of a neighbouring hillock, made it prudent to
break off the conference.

Such are the particulars of this memorable battle, as related, with
some trifling variations, by most of, if not by all, our old Scottish
historians. As modern commentators, however, consider themselves
justified in denying some of the material points; particularly the
feud among the leaders--the presence of Bruce in the engagement--and,
consequently, his conference with Wallace, we shall in this place
devote a few pages to their consideration.

These objections are chiefly founded on the authority of Hemingford and
Trevit, two English monks, who are said to have had their information
from eye-witnesses. This may be all true; but when we find one of them
(Hemingford) asserting, that “_fifty thousand Scots were slain in the
battle, many drowned, three hundred thousand foot taken prisoners,
besides a thousand horse_,” we may reasonably suppose the possibility
of the _eye-witnesses_ being so much occupied in counting their killed
and captured enemies, that matters of such comparatively trifling
importance may not have had the requisite share of their attention.
Lord Hailes, however, lends the weight of his highly respectable name
in support of those who deny the truth of this portion of our national
annals, and thus expresses himself on the points in question: “It would
be tedious and unprofitable to recite all that has been said on this
subject by our own writers, from Fordun to Abercrombie, how Wallace,
Stewart, and Comyn quarrelled on the punctilio of leading the van of
an army, which stood on the defensive; how Stewart compared Wallace
to an owl, with borrowed feathers; how the Scottish leaders, busied
in this frivolous altercation, had no leisure to form their army; how
Comyn traitorously withdrew with ten thousand men; how Wallace, from
resentment, followed his example; how, by such disastrous incidents,
the Scottish army was enfeebled, and Stewart and his party abandoned
to destruction. Our histories abound in trash of this kind. There is
scarcely one of our writers who has not produced an invective against
Comyn, or an apology for Wallace, or a lamentation for the deserted
Stewart. What dissensions may have prevailed among the Scottish
commanders, it is impossible to know. It appears not to me, that their
dissensions had any influence on their conduct in the day of battle.
The truth seems to be this:--The English cavalry greatly exceeded the
Scotch in numbers--were infinitely better equipped, and more adroit.
The Scottish cavalry were intimidated and fled:--Had they remained in
the field, they might have preserved their honour, but never could have
turned the chance of that day. It was natural, however, for such of
their party as survived the engagement, to impute the disaster to the
defection of the cavalry:--National pride would ascribe their flight
to treachery rather than to pusillanimity. It is not improbable, that
Comyn commanded the cavalry; hence a report may have spread, that
Comyn betrayed his country: the report has been embellished by each
successive relation. When men are seized with a panic, their commander
_must_ of necessity, or _will_ from prudence, accompany them in their
flight. Earl Warren fled with his army from Stirling to Berwick, yet
Edward did not punish him as a traitor or a coward.

“The tale of Comyn’s treachery and Wallace’s ill-timed resentment, may
have gained credit, because it is a pretty tale, and not improbable
in itself; but it always amazes me that the story of the _congress_
of Bruce and Wallace, after the battle of Falkirk, should have gained
credit. I lay aside the full evidence which we now possess, ‘that
Bruce was not at that time of the English party, nor present at the
battle’--for it must be admitted, that our historians knew nothing
of those circumstances which demonstrate the impossibility of the
_congress_--but the wonder is, that men of sound judgment should not
have seen the absurdity of a long conversation between the commander of
a flying army, and one of the leaders of a victorious army. When Fordun
told the story, he placed ‘a narrow but inaccessible glen’ between the
speakers. Later historians have substituted the river Carron, in place
of an inaccessible glen; and they make Bruce and Wallace talk across
the river like two young declaimers from the pulpits in a school of

With all due deference to his Lordship, we conceive that the strength
of his first objection lies chiefly in adhering too literally to the
words “_leading the van_,” made use of by some of our old writers;
others, who mention the quarrel, do not so express themselves. Now,
we do not see any thing so improbable in a discussion arising among
these chiefs, who considered themselves independent of each other,
about who should have the supreme command in directing the operations
of the day, which, we presume, is all that is to be understood in this
instance by “_leading the van_.” The obvious advantage of having a
commander-in-chief in so momentous an occasion, could not have escaped
the merest tyro in military tactics; and that no person was appointed
to this office, even his Lordship does not deny. That Wallace, from
past services, as well as from being Guardian of the kingdom, had
reason to consider himself entitled to this distinction, cannot be
disputed; and it is not likely, from the talents and foresight he
had displayed on former occasions, that he would have come to the
field against so powerful and so experienced an adversary, without
having previously formed some plan for conducting the operations of
the day, so as to counteract the great superiority of force, which
the English monarch had brought into the field. The thwarting of his
plans, by the envy and hauteur of his colleagues, affords a plain
and obvious solution of his conduct; and his resignation of the
Guardianship after the battle, (which his Lordship does not deny,) very
strongly corroborates the account given by our Scottish historians,
of the treatment which he received on the field; and this treatment
must have been attended with circumstances which convinced him of
the utter hopelessness of his being able to direct the resources of
the country to advantage. Strong indeed must have been the reasons
which induced this brave, intrepid, and prudent pilot, to relinquish
the helm of affairs at so critical a juncture. That an unfortunate
animosity existed, we have the most ample testimony; and though his
Lordship conceives it to have been so very trifling in its nature,
as not to influence the parties in the discharge of their duty, yet
we have respectable and incontrovertible evidence that it not only
did so, but was the principal, if not the sole cause of the disasters
which overwhelmed the country. Wyntown thus expresses himself, on the

    “For dyspyt and gret inwy
    The Comynys Kyn all hályly
    Fyrst left the Feld; and, as behowyd,
    Syne Willame Walayis hym remowyd:
    For he persáwyd gret malys
    Agayne hym scharpyd mony wys.”

And again,

    “Before than couth ná man say,
    Ná nevyr wes sene befor that day,
    Sá hále wencust the Scottis men:
    Ná it had noucht fallyn then,
    Had noucht Falshed and Inwy
    Devysyd theme sá syndryly.”

Here there is no national pride interfering, to conceal the extent
of the discomfiture of the Scots; and it is surprising his Lordship
should conceive, that any one would think it necessary to invent what
he calls a “_pretty tale_,” for the purpose of soothing the national
feelings. Thirty thousand Scots, we presume, may be defeated by ninety
or a hundred thousand English, without being _very_ much disgraced by
the affair; whereas the English authorities may have been silent on
circumstances which tended to diminish the glory of their victory, even
had they come to their knowledge.

That Cumyn commanded the cavalry is merely a conjecture of his
Lordship; but allowing it to have been the case, we conceive there is
a material difference between a leader joining in the general flight
of his army, and one riding off with part of the forces, and leaving
the rest to stand the brunt of the engagement. If Warren had acted
so, we presume he would either have been punished as a traitor, or
cashiered as a coward. That Cumyn was afterwards elected one of the
regents of the kingdom, affords no satisfactory evidence of his having
acted correctly. He was at the head of the only entire body of troops
in the country, and his faction unbroken--of course, there could be no
opposition to his election. And the wonder is, considering the ambition
of the man, that under these circumstances he was not appointed sole
regent, in place of sharing a divided authority, as will be seen
in the sequel, with one who was his inferior in birth, talents, and

We cannot see any great improbability of the “_congress_” (as his
Lordship calls it) having taken place in the manner described, provided
that _Bruce was present_. Wallace had already secured his troops from
immediate pursuit. Bruce might think it a favourable opportunity to
palliate his conduct at Irvine; and Wallace, who was seldom afraid to
come in juxtaposition with any one, might have been easily induced to
stand when he hailed him. His Lordship’s objection is founded chiefly
on the length of the conversation. Now, if any one will peruse it, even
in the most verbose of our historians, he will find that it could not
have occupied more than five minutes, which certainly cannot be called
“a long conversation,” or at least so long as to afford any thing like
a plausible objection to its occurrence. As to Fordun having placed “a
narrow inaccessible glen” between the parties, it does not in the least
affect the credibility of the account. Few glens are to be found in
Scotland, without a river or stream of some description running through
them; and in speaking of any of these, it is no uncommon thing for one
person to allude to the glen, and another to the river or stream so
connected with it.

That all our ancient authors should agree in the circumstance of
Bruce being present at the battle, is very singular, provided he
was not there. How they should all be in this state of ignorance is
rather unaccountable, considering the facility they had of informing
themselves; as some of them must have written from authority, if not of
eye-witnesses, at least of those who derived their accounts from such.
It is not at all probable that Bruce, who is universally acknowledged
to have been a monarch of great political sagacity, would have allowed
a tale, so likely to injure him in the opinion of his subjects, to get
into general circulation, while the contrary statement, _if true_,
would have tended to exalt him in their estimation. There appear so
many irreconcilable circumstances involved in the belief of this
opinion, that we feel much inclined to suspect some little discrepancy
in the evidence to which his Lordship so confidently alludes,[25] more
particularly as Wyntowne, whose authority is highly appreciated by all
writers, is so very pointed in asserting the presence of Bruce in the
English army. The words are,

    “Bot yhit the lele Scottis men,
    That in that feld ware feychtand then,
    To-gyddyr stwd sá fermly
    Strykand before thame manlykly,
    Swá that náne thare thyrl thame mycht,
    Bot Robert the Brows than wyth a slycht,
    (_He thare wes wyth this King Edwart,
    Set he oure Kyng wes eftyrwart_)
    Wyth Schyre Anton the Bek a wyly man,
    Of Durame Byschape he wes than,
    A-bowt ane hill a well fere way
    Owt of that stowre than prikyd thay;
    Behynd bakkis alsá fast
    Thare thai come on, and layid on fast;
    Swá made thai the dyscumfytowre.”

Here our author, not satisfied with stating, that “Robert de Brows” was
with “_King Edwart_;” but, in order to establish the identity of the
person, and guard against his being confounded with the elder Robert
Bruce, or any other of the same name, he says expressly,

    “_Set he oure Kyng wes eftyrwart._”

If Bruce was at this time on the side of the patriots, as his
Lordship says, it is singular that he did not appear among them on
this eventful day, in a manner becoming his birth, talents, and great
territorial influence. When all the chiefs of the party had collected
their followers for a grand national struggle, Bruce is represented
as employed in guarding, what his Lordship, for the sake of _effect_,
calls the “important castle of Ayr,” which, it seems in those days,
“_kept the communication open with Galloway, Argyllshire, and the
Isles_.”[26] Had the possession of this “important castle” been of
any use to an army stationed between Linlithgow and Falkirk, it
certainly could have been defended by a person of less consequence than
Bruce, whose military talents and numerous vassals would have been of
infinitely greater service in the field. When Wallace was straining
every nerve to collect the strength of the country, to oppose the
formidable invaders, and with his utmost efforts could not muster more
than 30,000 soldiers, can it be supposed, that he would have failed
to summon to the standard of liberty a baron of such influence as the
Earl of Carrick, if he thought there were a chance of the summons being

Though his Lordship asserts that Bruce had deserted the cause of
Edward, yet he does not attempt to show that any communication took
place between him and the Scottish army; nor by what authority he
assumed the defence of the castle of Ayr, which was a fortress at that
time belonging to the Crown. If Hemingford, on whose authority his
Lordship chiefly relies, could have gone so egregiously astray from
every thing like probability in the account he gives of the casualties
of the battle, we may, without injustice, receive his testimony on
this, or on any other subject, with suspicion; particularly when
it goes to contradict historians of acknowledged veracity, who had
opportunities of being at least equally well informed on the subject as
himself. It has been advanced by the learned annalist, in evidence of
the truth of Hemingford’s statement, that lands and castles belonging
to Bruce were plundered and taken by the English army. By a parity
of reasoning, if these lands and castles had been exempt from the
general outrage, it would have proved that Bruce was in the interest
of England; and the Guardian and Barons of Scotland would thereby have
stood convicted of the unparalleled folly of allowing lands to be
occupied, and castles to be held, in the very centre of the country, by
the open and declared partisan of their enemy. That the title of Bruce
to his Scottish estates was in abeyance, and his castles garrisoned for
the safety of the commonwealth of Scotland, is the most probable state
of the affair. When the half-famished soldiers of Edward, therefore,
pillaged the lands, and attacked the castles of Bruce, they did what
their King, under such circumstances, neither could nor would restrain,
whether his vassal had renounced his allegiance or not. This conduct on
the part of the English, therefore, can afford no evidence whatever of
Bruce being at the time “in arms against England.”

These observations the writer has thought it expedient to make, in
support of the relation given of the battle of Falkirk by the ancient
historians of Scotland. As the talents, however, which Lord Hailes
has displayed in his researches into Scottish history, are held by
the public in high, and in many instances, deserved estimation; and
though it is with reluctance that we differ from one whose opinions in
general are entitled to credit; yet, as we find him in this instance
at variance with most of our ancient Scottish authorities, we have
thought it our duty to endeavour to lay both sides of the question
fairly before the reader, in order that he may be able to form his own
opinion of the matter.



The retreat of Wallace from the field of Falkirk, may justly be
considered as a masterpiece of generalship. The formidable bodies of
horse at the disposal of Edward, afforded him ample means of following
up and cutting off the retiring army of the Guardian. That so large a
body of the Scots, though deserted by their own cavalry, should however
have effected their escape in presence of a force so powerful, so well
appointed, and headed by one of the first generals of the age, is truly
astonishing; and can only be accounted for by supposing, either that
the English must have suffered severely in the action, or that the
conduct displayed by Wallace was such as awed them from the attempt.

According to the Minstrel, the Guardian, after withdrawing his troops
to a place of safety, returned to the field, accompanied by Malcolm
Earl of Lennox, Ramsay of Auchterhouse, Sir Richard Lundin, Wallace of
Riccarton, Sir Crytell Seton,[27] and a number of their followers, to
seek for the body of Sir John Graham--the English being by this time
removed to Linlithgow.

Considering the great affection our hero entertained for this gallant
and accomplished warrior, the circumstance is not improbable. The high
value he placed on his services was such, that, in speaking of Graham,
he used to designate him as his “right hand.” The regret which he felt
at his death, would no doubt have been embittered by the reflection,
that his friend might easily, from the state of the wounds which he had
received at the affair of Blackironside, have absented himself from the
battle of Falkirk, without the slightest injury to his reputation. The
distress of Wallace, on seeing the dead body, is thus finely depicted
by the forementioned author:--

    “Amang the ded men sekand the worthiast,
    The corss off Graym, for quham he murned mast.
    Quhen thai him fand, and gud Wallace him saw,
    He lychtyt down, and hynt him fra thaim aw
    In armyss vp; behaldand his paill face,
    He kyssyt him, and cryt full oft, ‘Allace!
    My best brothir in warld that euir I had!
    My afald freynd, quhen I was hardest stad!
    My hop, my heill, thow was in maist honour!
    My faith, my help, my strenthiast in stour!
    In the was wyt, fredom and hardines;
    In the was treuth, manheid, and nobilness;
    In the was rewll, in the was gouernans;
    In the was wertu with outyn warians;
    In the lawté, in the was gret largnas;
    In the gentrice, in the was stedfastnas.
    Thow was gret causs off wynnyng off Scotland;
    Thocht I began, and tuk the wer on hand,
    I wow to God, that has the warld in wauld,
    Thi dede sall be to Sotheroun full der sauld.
    Martyr thow art for Scotlandis rycht and me;
    I sall the wenge, or ellis tharfor de.’
    Was na man thar fra wepyng mycht hym rafreyn
    For loss off him, quhen thai hard Wallace pleyn.
    Thai caryit him with worschip and dolour,
    In the Fawkyrk graithit him in sepultour.”

In this monody, we have a highly finished portrait of a warrior and a
gentleman; and the assemblage of rare and shining virtues which are
thus said to have met in this illustrious individual, have never been
denied or depreciated by the most fastidious of our critics; while
all our historians bear uniform testimony to the correctness of the
character.[28] Having discharged this duty to his departed friend,
Wallace rejoined his followers in the Torwood; and, on the following
night, he is said to have broken into the English camp on Linlithgow
muir, and, after killing a number of the enemy, and spreading alarm
through the whole army, effected his retreat without loss.

Edward, incensed at the frequency with which these night attacks were
repeated, now determined on pursuing the Scots with his whole forces.
His nimble adversaries, however, retired before him, and, having burned
Stirling, continued to waste the country as they went along; so that
the enemy was put to the greatest inconvenience, from the want of
forage for his numerous cavalry.

While the Guardian and his little army of patriots were thus engaging
the attention of the invader, Cumyn and the partisans of Stewart were
loud in their expressions of disapprobation at the conduct of our hero.
The latter charged him with the loss of the battle, by his refraining
to assist Stewart till it was too late; and the former, conscious of
his own misconduct, in order to supply something like a pretext for
having treacherously deserted his countrymen, accused the Guardian with
an intention of usurping the sovereign authority; declaring, “that it
was more honourable for men of birth to serve a great and powerful
monarch, though a foreigner, than subject themselves to the tyranny of
an upstart of yesterday.”

While such sentiments were circulating among the adherents of these
two powerful families, to the manifest injury of the cause of liberty,
Cumyn was still increasing the number of his followers; and it appeared
uncertain, whether he intended to assist his countrymen, or take
part with the invader. Wallace now saw, that, without involving the
kingdom in all the horrors of civil war, he could not exercise his
authority so as to compel this factious chief to the discharge of his
duty; and as the views of Cumyn with regard to the crown, had, on many
occasions, been too palpably displayed, to have escaped the observation
of Wallace, his late unaccountable retreat had completely opened the
eyes of the Guardian to the line of policy he was pursuing. Indeed,
had both divisions of the Scottish army been destroyed, Cumyn would
have found little difficulty in obtaining the crown from Edward, on the
same terms as it had been awarded to Baliol: for being at the head of
a powerful body of men, with great family interest, and having already
made a favourable impression on the English king, by his conduct
at the battle of Falkirk, it is highly probable that any lingering
partiality which Edward might still entertain for Bruce--whom he had
long amused with hopes of the crown--would soon disappear before the
pretensions of a more useful claimant. But as Cumyn made the ambition
of Wallace the pretext for his refraining to co-operate against the
English, with a promptitude which showed his mind as decisive as his
sword, when the interest of his country was at stake, the latter called
the Estates together, and solemnly renounced the Guardianship of the
kingdom, reserving to himself no other privilege than that of fighting
against the enemies of Scotland, at the head of such friends as might
be inclined to adhere to him. This resignation was accordingly followed
by the election of a Regency, consisting of Cumyn, Soulis, and William
Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews;[29] and by this conduct on the part of
Wallace, Cumyn was left without the shadow of an excuse for withholding
his assistance against the common enemy; while the talents, prowess,
and patriotism of the late Guardian acted as a check in restraining
him from sacrificing the interest of the country to his own personal

Edward reached Stirling four days after the late battle, and took up
his quarters in the convent of the Dominicans. Here he remained fifteen
days, waiting his recovery from the wound inflicted on him by his
horse, and for the arrival of his long-expected fleet. The Castle of
Stirling having been partly demolished by Wallace, in his retreat,
Edward now applied himself to repair it; and therein, as a place of
safety, he deposited those unwieldy engines of war he had brought with
him for the purpose of battering the fortifications, and which he found
would be troublesome, while pursuing his enemies over the rugged and
mountainous country that lay before him.

The accession of strength which the cause of liberty acquired, by the
prudent measures of our patriot, enabled the Scots more effectually
to embarrass the movements of the enemy. While he, with his brave
followers, continued to surprise the foe, by breaking into their camp
where least expected, the other leaders were engaged in preventing
supplies from reaching the English; and Edward, at last, became
apprehensive of advancing too far into the sterile regions of the
North. A scarcity had already begun to be severely felt in his army,
and he now prudently directed his march towards the more fruitful
districts in the neighbourhood of Perth. But there also his unwearied
and restless enemy continued to assail those parts of the army that
appeared most vulnerable; and having at last cut off a part from the
main body of the English forces, by breaking down the bridge over
the Tay, in three successive engagements he defeated them with great
slaughter. The English army, however, was still too numerous for the
Scots to risk a general engagement; and Edward, finding no probability
of bringing the war to a satisfactory conclusion, after wreaking his
vengeance on the most fruitful parts of the country, returned home
through Ayrshire and Annandale, carrying with him all the spoil he
could collect. A body of troops under the command of Henry de Lacy,
made a similar inroad in Fife, destroying whatever came in their way,
in revenge, no doubt, for the gallant stand the inhabitants had made
under MacDuff, their late unfortunate chief. After destroying St
Andrew’s,[30] he laid siege to the castle of Cupar, which surrendered
about the end of July.[31]

Edward now led his army homewards, after leaving a force to protect
the southern part of Scotland, the reduction of which was all his
mighty efforts had been able to accomplish. To have defeated Wallace,
however, a name which had filled England with dismay, was considered
by his subjects an achievement deserving of the highest eulogium. The
disasters of the campaign were accordingly forgotten, and bands of
minstrels issued from the different towns on his route, to welcome the
conqueror at Falkirk. The Londoners decreed him a triumphal procession
in honour of his victory, and the different corporations vied with
each other in the richness of their banners and the splendour of
their emblematical representations. Stowe thus mentions the affair;
and if we may judge of the appearance of the other professions by the
display made by the fishmongers on this joyous occasion, the whole
must have exhibited a mass of barbaric magnificence not easily to
be surpassed:--“The citizens of London hearing of the great victory
obtained by the King of England against the Scottis, made great and
solemn rejoicings in their citie, every one according to their craft,
especially the fishmongers, which with solemn procession passed through
the citie, having, amongst other pageantes and shows, foure sturgeons
gilted, carried on four horses, then four salmons of silver on four
horses, and after five and fortie knights armed, riding on horses made
like luces of the sea, and then Saint Magnus with a thousand horsemen.
This they did on St Magnus’ day, in honour of the King’s great victory
and safe return.”

Before closing this chapter, it may not be amiss to take a retrospect
view of this most interesting campaign. At the commencement of it,
Scotland, by the wisdom and energy of her intrepid Guardian, had
again taken her place among the independent nations of Europe. His
noble achievements had not only become a theme for the Troubadours of
France, but also the subject of conversation and applause at all the
courts on the Continent. To Edward, who had not only distinguished
himself by his warlike exploits in Syria, but had also, in a
tournament held at Calais, baffled and disgraced the most renowned
of the chivalry of France, the plaudits bestowed upon a rival so far
beneath him in rank, was peculiarly mortifying, and excited in him
the most inveterate hostility toward the nation thus rescued from his
thraldom. Wallace, though making every effort for the safety of his
country, found no abatement of that feeling of jealous animosity which
existed in the minds of a great majority of the aristocracy. It was
in vain he endeavoured to ensure their confidence, by refusing all
participation in the fruits of their victories,--thus shewing that
_self-aggrandisement_ formed none of the objects of his ambition. Still
they yielded with reluctance that obedience which his rank as Guardian
entitled him to expect; and their language in private continued to be,
“We will not have this man to reign over us.”

Cumyn, whose conduct had hitherto been suspicious, had strengthened
his interest at the English court, by means of a marriage which he
contracted with the sister of Adomer de Vallance,[32] a cousin, and
one of the principal favourites of Edward; and the Steward, brother
to the knight of Bonkill, had made his peace with the invader, and
taken the oath of allegiance. In consequence of which, according to
the policy of the English monarch, though the tenantry of the Steward
were arrayed against him, yet the banners of the family floated among
those of the other vassals of the English crown, while the knight
of Bonkill himself (who had but recently joined the standard of his
country’s independence) had as yet given no proof of the sincerity
of his attachment to the cause. Under these circumstances, it became
Wallace to be particularly circumspect in his movements, having to
guard against the chance of treachery on the one hand, and a powerful
adversary on the other; while his country’s safety, and his own
well-earned laurels, depended alike on the prudence of his conduct.
We have already hinted at the great improbability of his appearing
before so formidable an enemy, without having formed a regular plan
of operation, and made provision for the contingencies that might
occur. That he had arranged such a plan, and was prevented, by the
jealousy of his colleagues, from putting it into execution, appears
sufficiently obvious, even from the meagre details of which we are
possessed. What this plan was, cannot now be fully ascertained; but if
we may judge from the circumstances on record, we may infer that it
was not his intention to risk a general engagement with the enemy at
Falkirk, but merely to retire as they advanced, and to lead them as
far as possible into the barren districts of the North, where their
numerous cavalry would be rendered in a great measure unavailing. But
the conduct of Cumyn, and the profitless display of valour on the
part of Stewart, brought him unavoidably into contact with the enemy;
respect for his own reputation prevented him from retiring, while part
of his countrymen were so seriously engaged; and by remaining, he not
only covered the retreat of the remains of Stewart’s division, but
also, by his commanding attitude, prevented the enemy from pursuing the
fugitives with that destructive celerity which their numerous cavalry
would have enabled them to do, had he acted otherwise. We have been
induced to make these remarks, as Wallace is too rashly blamed for
“remaining a passive spectator of the destruction of Stewart.” This,
according to the generality of writers, is the only stain upon his
character. However, from a careful review of all the circumstances
of the case, we can find no foundation whatever for the charge; on
the contrary, taking into consideration the peculiarly embarrassing
situation in which he was placed, we conceive that, during the whole of
his brilliant career, the wisdom, talents, and patriotism of Wallace,
never shone forth with more resplendent lustre than at the battle of



On retiring with his army, as stated in the last chapter, Edward left
behind him a considerable force to protect that part of Scotland
which lay contiguous to England, and which he seemed determined, if
possible, to annex to his own dominions. Although his invasion had
been productive of very disastrous consequences to the Scots, they did
not suffer so much on this, as they had done on former occasions. The
judicious orders issued by the Guardian, for driving the cattle--which
formed the principal part of their wealth--to inaccessible parts of
the country, contributed not only to their safety, but also to the
disappointment and distress of the enemy. On the retreat, therefore,
of the grand army of Edward, the inhabitants were far from being that
wretched and disspirited race, which they had appeared after the
battle of Dunbar. Several of the chieftains, it is true, had repeated
their oaths of fidelity to the invader, but the defection from the
cause of liberty was by no means general. The principal places of
strength, with the exception of Stirling, were in the hands of the
Scots; and the impregnable fortress of Dumbarton[33] had been given, by
Wallace, in consequence of his services in the cause of his country,
in charge to Sir John Stewart of Rusky, better known by the name of
Menteith. This man had been present with Wallace at the burning of
the barns of Ayr, as well as in many other situations of danger and
difficulty. According to Henry, when the Guardian bestowed this charge
upon him, he stipulated for the erection of a small house for himself
within the fortress, in the building of which considerable progress
had been made, when the English army entered Scotland. Some writers
allege, that the reason which induced Wallace to make choice of such
a situation, was the great friendship which existed between him and
Menteith, to whose society, they say, he was much attached, and which,
by this means, he would have a better opportunity of enjoying. With
this opinion, however, we cannot agree. That Menteith was high in the
confidence of Wallace, is sufficiently evident from his appointing him
to so important a trust--for, besides the governorship of the castle,
his situation naturally gave him the command of a considerable part of
the district of Lennox--yet we conceive that Wallace had other motives
for selecting such a place of retirement, than the mere pleasure of
enjoying the society of a friend, however valued that friend might
have been. The hostility which he had excited in the breast of Edward
by his conduct in Scotland, as well as by his invasion of England,
gave him every reason to dread the revenge of that haughty and crafty
potentate; while the vacillating character of a great proportion of
the nobility--joined to that inextinguishable jealousy which existed
against him in the minds of some of the most powerful families--made
it both desirable and prudent to look out for a place where, in the
decline of life, he might be secure from the attempts of his country’s
enemies, as well as the machinations of his own. The more immediate
cause, however, may have been the safety of his surviving relations.
The circumstance of so many of them having already suffered on his
account, would, no doubt, make him consider it as a duty incumbent
on him to provide for those that remained. His uncle, the parson of
Dunipace, he had but recently relieved from a dungeon, into which the
English had thrown him; and his mother had frequently been obliged to
fly from the fortalice of Elderslie, in order to preserve herself from
falling into the hands of the enemy. These, we presume, to have been
the motives which induced him to stipulate for this little sanctuary,
and not an overweening affection for the society of Menteith. His
selection of him, however, for this purpose, shows the entire
confidence he had in his fidelity.

With regard to the building itself,[34] we have it on record, that
the workmen on one occasion had to desist from their operations,
in consequence of the English having taken possession of the town:
they were, however, soon dislodged by Wallace, who surprised them
at midnight, and drove them out with great slaughter. This affair is
supposed to have taken place after the battle of Falkirk.[35]

Aware that the approach of winter would render the conveyance of
military stores almost impracticable, after his return to England,
Edward lost no time in despatching to the castles of Stirling,
Dumfries, Lochmaben, and the other fortressses in his possession, those
necessaries of which they were most likely to be in want.[36] But the
active and persevering character of the enemy he had to contend with,
made him apprehensive that they would avail themselves of his absence,
and the inclemency of the season, to recover the strengths they had
lost in the last campaign; and in this he was not mistaken, for winter
had scarcely commenced, before Wallace and the Scottish regents laid
siege to, and recaptured, several places of importance.

During 1299, while hostilities were still going on, Baliol appears
to have become an object of negociation between the Pope and the
English court, although the Pontiff had solemnly and repeatedly
declared his fixed determination never to interfere in the affairs of
Scotland; assuring Edward of his conviction “that the Scots were a
false and treacherous people,” and that he believed they had a design
against his life. Still his liege-lord held the King of Scotland in
unmitigated captivity,[37] till, at the urgent entreaty of the Pope,
he was delivered over to the Papal Nuncio, with liberty to dispose
of him and his English possessions as the Pontiff thought proper. It
is possible that the renunciation of the guardianship on the part of
Wallace, conduced as much as any thing else to Baliol’s release; and it
is likely that the crafty usurper conceived the measure might distract
the regency, by exciting anew the jealous competition among the former
claimants of the crown. If this were his intention he must have felt
grievously disappointed on learning that the regents, awed, no doubt,
by the watchfulness and influence of the late Guardian, continued
to act in concert, and had even laid siege to the strong castle of
Stirling, which he had been at such pains to repair and provision.[38]
The vigour with which the operations against this fortress were
carried on, soon compelled the besieged to despatch messengers to
Edward to acquaint him with their situation; and fully aware of the
importance of the place, and determined to relieve it, the latter
assembled his army at Berwick early in November. His barons, however,
he found intractable. Certain charters had not been confirmed, and
certain lands in Scotland had been gifted away to strangers without
their consent and contrary to his engagements; in consequence of which
they resolutely refused to proceed beyond Berwick, alleging, among
other causes, the impolicy of undertaking a campaign beset with so
many dangers, at such an advanced season of the year. Edward and his
barons were alike obstinate, and the latter retired in dudgeon; while
he, in the same humour, marched forward with the remains of his army
to the relief of Stirling. He had not, however, proceeded far, before
he became acquainted with the numbers and formidable position occupied
by the Scots. Thus circumstanced, he retraced his steps, and allowed
the garrison to negociate a surrender;[39] in consequence of which, the
castle was shortly after given up to Lord Soulis, one of the Regents,
who placed it under the charge of Sir William Olifant, a brave knight,
who proved himself in every respect deserving of the trust reposed in

John Cumyn, the other Regent, is said to have also gained advantages
over the enemy, and to have, in other respects, conducted himself so as
in a great measure to efface the remembrance of his former offences.
Indeed, so well pleased were the generality of his countrymen with
his proceedings on the commencement of the regency, that we find
some of the old historians applying to him the epithet of the “_Gude
Scottisman_.” From this circumstance, some have supposed, that John
Cumyn, the Regent here alluded to, was not the same who behaved with
such treachery at the battle of Falkirk. In this opinion they at first
sight appear to be countenanced by Wyntown, who styles him “_Jhon
Comyn, that was Jhon Comyn’s swn_;” but, it must be recollected that
there were three Cumyns of the name of John, father, son, and grandson.

The gleam of popularity which at this time shone out upon Cumyn, is not
to be wondered at. Placed in a situation desirable, on account of the
prospect it opened up to his ambition--and which he could only retain
by a line of policy in unison with the spirit of liberty which his
predecessor had infused into the people--he not only exerted himself
against the common enemy, but used every effort in his power to gain
the affections of his countrymen. His large possessions and great
wealth, which, it is said, were never equalled by those of any family
in Scotland, enabled him to relieve the people from various imposts
necessary for the support of the government; while the applications
which the Regency made to France, for troops to assist them in the
defence of their independence, were answered by supplies of grain and
wine, which, being a boon, were sold out to the people at half their
current value.

This procedure would no doubt ensure him the good opinion of that
class of his countrymen, who could not see the high price, which, in a
national point of view, was paid for the comforts thus procured them.
The more thinking party, however, saw through the policy of France, in
thus attempting to cajole the Scots with a few cargoes of wine, instead
of fulfilling the terms of the treaty, offensive and defensive, that
existed between them. From the dissatisfaction which this conduct,
on the part of their allies, occasioned among the Scottish nobility,
it was determined to send commissioners to France, to demand that
assistance which they were bound to afford; and, if unsuccessful,
they were instructed to proceed to Rome, and lay their grievances at
the feet of the Apostolic Father, and to solicit his interference to
restrain the English monarch from renewing his aggressions upon their



The accounts which Edward was daily receiving of the progress of the
Scots, determined him to renew hostilities, as soon as circumstances
would permit. Having regained the good will of his barons, by a
gracious compliance with their demands, by writs tested, on 29th
December 1299, he summoned all who owed him military service in England
and elsewhere, to attend at Carlisle on the feast of the nativity of
John the Baptist.

1300. “On the day appointed,” (1st July), says an eye-witness,[40] “the
whole host was ready, and the good King, with his household, then set
forward against the Scots, not in coats and surcoats, but on powerful
and costly chargers, and, that they might not be taken by surprise,
well and securely armed.

“There were many rich caparisons embroidered on silks and satins; many
a beautiful penon fixed to a lance; and many a banner displayed.

“And afar off was the noise heard of the neighing of horses; mountains
and vallies were every where covered with sumpter-horses and waggons
with provisions, and sacks of tents and pavilions.

“And the days were long and fine. They proceeded by easy journeys,
arranged in four squadrons.”

The first squadron was led by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln.[41]

The second was under John, Earl of Warren and Surrey.

King Edward conducted the third squadron himself, and, says the
fore-mentioned author, “brought up the rear so closely and ably, that
none of the others were left behind. In his banner were three leopards
courant of fine gold, set on red; fierce, haughty, and cruel; thus
placed, to signify, that, like them, the King is dreadful fierce, and
proud to his enemies, for his bite is slight to none who inflame his
anger; not but his kindness is soon rekindled towards such as seek his
friendship or submit to his power.” This part of his character, the
Scots would not call in question.

The fourth squadron was led by “Prince Edward, a youth of seventeen
years, and bearing arms for the first time. He was a well-proportioned
and handsome person, of a courteous disposition, and intelligent; and
desirous of finding an occasion to display his prowess. He managed his
steed wonderfully well, and bore with a blue label the arms of the good
King his father.” John de St John, an experienced warrior, was in close
attendance upon the Prince, ready to instruct him in what his duty

Eighty-seven of the most illustrious vassals of the Crown of England,
with their retainers, were in this array, including knights of
Bretagne, Lorraine, and renegades of Scotland, among whom we find
Alexander de Baliol, brother to the King of Scots, Patrick, Earl of
Dunbar, and his son, Sir Simon Frazer, Henry de Graham, and Richard
Siward. This formidable and splendid assemblage of feudal power,
which completely filled the road from Newcastle, halted about nine
miles south of Dumfries, for the purpose of besieging the Castle of
Carlaverock, a stronghold belonging to Herbert Maxwell, chief of a
powerful border clan of that name, and who had refused to surrender to
a summons which Edward had sent forward. The siege of this place has
been passed over, or very slightly noticed, by the historians of both
countries. Langtoft merely says--

    “A pouere hamlete toke,
    The Castelle Karelauerok,”--

passing over, in this brief manner, a siege which not only engaged the
attention of the King, but also interrupted the progress of his whole

The account which is given by Walter of Exeter, is not only valuable
from its being the only well-authenticated description extant, by an
eye-witness of the leaguer of any of the Scottish fastnesses during
this period, but also from its being extremely interesting, by the
minuteness of its details, and the graphic manner in which the author
has pourtrayed the appearance and demeanour of the combatants. It would
be doing the reader injustice to present it to him otherwise than in
the nervous, elegant, and appropriate language of the accomplished

“Carlaverock was so strong a castle, that it did not fear a siege,
therefore the King came himself, because it would not consent to
surrender. But it was always furnished for its defence, whenever it
was required, with men, engines, and provisions. Its shape was like
that of a shield; for it had only three sides all round, with a tower
in each angle; but one of them was a double one, so high, so long, and
so large, that under it was the gate, with a draw-bridge, well made
and strong, and a sufficiency of other defences. It had good walls,
and good ditches filled to the edge with water; and I believe there
never was seen a castle more beautifully situated; for at once could be
seen the Irish sea towards the west, and to the north a fine country,
surrounded by an arm of the sea, so that no creature born could
approach it on two sides, without putting himself in danger of the sea.

“Towards the south it was not easy, because there were numerous
dangerous defiles of wood, and marshes, and ditches, where the sea is
on each side of it, and where the river reaches it; and therefore it
was necessary for the host to approach it towards the east, where the
hill slopes.

“And in that place by the King’s commands, his battalions were formed
into three, as they were to be quartered; then were the banners
arranged, when one might observe many a warrior exercising his horse:
and there appeared three thousand brave men at arms; then might be seen
gold and silver, and the noblest and best of all rich colours, so as
entirely to illuminate the valley; consequently, those of the castle,
on seeing us arrive, might, as I well believe, deem that they were in
greater peril than they could ever before remember. And as soon as we
were thus drawn up, we were quartered by the Marshall, and then might
be seen houses built without carpenters or masons, of many different
fashions, and many a cord stretched, with white and coloured cloth,
with many pins, driven into the ground, many a large tree cut down to
make huts; and leaves, herbs and flowers gathered in the woods, which
were strewed within; and then our people took up their quarters.

“Soon afterwards, it fortunately happened, that the navy arrived with
the engines and provisions;[42] and then the footmen began to march
against the castle; then might be seen stones arrows, and quarreaux,
to fly among them; but so effectually did those within exchange their
tokens with those without, that in one short hour there were many
persons wounded and maimed, and I know not how many killed.

“When the men-at-arms saw that the footmen had sustained such losses
who had begun the attack, many ran there, many leaped here, and many
used such haste to go, that they did not deign to speak to any one.
Then might there be seen such kind of stones thrown as if they would
beat hats and helmets to powder, and break shields and targets in
pieces; for to kill and wound was the game at which they played. Great
shouts arose among them, when they perceived that any mischief occurred.

“There, first of all, I saw the good Baron Bertram de Montbouchier, on
whose shining silver shield were three red pitchers, with besants, in a
black border.

“With him Gerard de Gondronville, an active and handsome bachelor. He
had a shield neither more nor less than vaire. These were not resting
idle, for they threw up many a stone, and suffered many a heavy blow.

“The first body was composed of Bretons, and the second were of
Lorrain, of which none found the other tardy; so that they afforded
encouragement and emulation to others to resemble them. Then came to
assail the castle, Fitz-Marmaduke, with a banner and a great and full
troop of good and select bachelors.

“Robert de Willoughby I saw bore gold fretty azure.

“Robert de Hamsart I saw arrive, fully prepared, with five followers,
holding a red shield by the straps, containing three silver stars.

“Henry de Graham had his arms red as blood, with a white saltire and
chief, on which he had three red escalop shells.

“Thomas de Richmont, who a second time collected some lances, had red
armour, with a chief and two gemells of gold. These did not act like
discreet people, nor as persons enlightened by understanding; but as
if they had been inflamed and blinded with pride and despair, for they
made their way right forwards to the very brink of the ditch.

“And those of Richmont passed at this moment quite to the bridge, and
demanded entry; they were answered with ponderous stones and cornues.
Willoughby in his advances received a stone on the middle of his
breast, which ought to have been protected by his shield, if he had
deigned to use it.

“Fitz-Marmaduke had undertaken to endure as much in that affair as the
others could bear, for he was like a post; but his banner received many
stains, and many a rent difficult to mend.

“Hamsart bore himself so nobly, that from his shield fragments might
often be seen to fly in the air; for he, and those of Richmont, drove
the stones upwards, as if it were rotten, whilst those within defended
themselves by loading their heads and necks with the weight of heavy

“Those led by Graham did not escape, for there were not above two who
returned unhurt, or brought back their shields entire.

“Then you might hear the tumult begin. With them were intermixed a
great body of the King’s followers, all of whose names, if I were
to repeat, and recount their brave actions, the labour would be too
heavy, so many were there, and so well did they behave. Nor would this
suffice, without those of the retinue of the King’s son, great numbers
of whom came there in noble array; for many a shield, newly painted,
and splendidly adorned, many a helmet, and many a burnished hat, many
a rich gambezon, garnished with silk, tow and cotton, were there to be
seen, of divers forms and fashions.

“There I saw Ralph de Gorges, a newly dubbed knight, fall more than
once to the ground from stones and the crowd, for he was of so haughty
a spirit that he would not deign to retire. He had all his harness and
attire mascally of gold and azure.

“Those who were on the wall, Robert de Tony severely harassed; for he
had in his company the good Richard de Rokeley, who so well plied those
within, that he frequently obliged them to retreat. He had his shield
painted mascally of red and ermine.

“Adam de la Forde mined the walls as well as he could, for the stones
flew in and out as thick as rain, by which many were disabled. He bore,
in clear blue, three gold lioncels rampant crowned.

“The good Baron of Wigtown received such blows, that it was the
astonishment of all that he was not stunned; for, without excepting any
lord present, none shewed a more resolute or unembarrassed countenance.
He bore, within a bordure indented, three gold stars on sable.

“Many a heavy and crushing stone did he of Kirkbride receive, but
he placed before him a white shield with a green cross engrailed.
So stoutly was the gate of the castle assailed by him, that never
did smith with his hammer strike his iron as he and his did there.
Notwithstanding there were showered upon them such huge stones,
quarrels, and arrows, that with wounds and bruises they were so hurt
and exhausted, that it was with great difficulty they were able to

“But as soon as they had retreated, he of Clifford, being advised of
it, and like one who had no intention that those within should have
repose, sent his banner there, and as many as could properly escort
it, with Bartholomew de Badlesmere, and John de Cromwell, as those who
could best perform his wishes; for whilst their breath lasted, none of
them neglected to stoop and pick up the stones to throw them, and to

“But the people of the castle would not permit them to remain there
long. Badlesmere, who all that day behaved himself well and bravely,
bore on white, with a blue label a red fess between two gemelles.
Cromwell, the brave and handsome, who went gliding between the stones,
bore on blue, a white lion rampant, double-tailed, and crowned with
gold; but think not that he brought it away, or that it was not
bruised, so much was it battered and defaced by stones before he

“After these two, La Warde and John de Gray returned there, and renewed
the attack. Those within, who were fully expecting it, bent their bows
and cross-bows, and prepared their espringalls, and kept themselves
quite ready both to throw and to hurl.

“Then the followers of my Lord of Brittany recommenced the assault,
fierce and daring as lions of the mountains, and every day improving
in both the practice and use of arms. Their party soon covered the
entrance of the castle, for none could have attacked it more furiously;
not, however, that it was so subdued, that those who came after them
would not have a share in their labours; but they left more than enough
for them also.

“After these, the people of my Lord of Hastings assembled there, where
I saw John de Cretinques in danger of losing a horse. When upon it,
one came beneath pricking it with an arrow; but he did not seem to be
dissembling, he used such haste to strike him. On his white shield he
caused to be depicted a red chevron, with three mullets.

“He who bore a dancette and billets of gold on blue, John Deincourt by
name, rushed on to the assault, and there extremely well performed his

“It was also a fine sight to see the good brothers of Berkeley
receiving numerous blows; and the brothers Basset likewise, of whom
the eldest bore thus,--ermine, a red chief indented, charged with
three gold mullets; the other, with three shells; found the passages
straitened. Those within continually relieved one another; for always
as one became fatigued, another returned fresh and stout; and,
notwithstanding such assaults were made upon them, they would not
surrender, but so defended themselves, that they resisted those who
attacked, all that day and night, and the next day until tierce. But
their courage was considerably depressed during the attack, by the
brother Robert, who sent numerous stones from the robinet, without
cessation, from the dawn of the preceding day until the evening.
Moreover, on the other side, he was erecting three other engines, very
large, of great power, and very destructive, which cut down and cleave
whatever they strike. Fortified town, citadel, nor barrier--nothing
is protected from their strokes. Yet those within did not flinch,
until some of them were slain; but then each began to repent of his
obstinacy, and to be dismayed. The pieces fell in such manner, wherever
the stones entered, that when they struck either of them, neither iron
cap nor wooden target could save him from a wound.

“And when they saw that they could not hold out any longer, or endure
more, the companions begged for peace, and put out a pennon; but he
that displayed it was shot with an arrow, by some archer, through the
hand into the face; then he begged that they would do no more to him,
for they will give up the castle to the King, and throw themselves
upon his mercy. And the marshal and constable, who always remained on
the spot, at that notice forbad the assault, and these surrendered the
castle to them.”

The besieged, who had thus retarded the progress of this mighty host,
were now passed in review before Edward, and, _including all ranks_,
were found to amount to “_sixty men_,” “who were,” says our author,
“beheld with much astonishment.”--“They were all kept and guarded, till
the King commanded that life and limb should be given them, and ordered
to each of them a new garment:” “But this account of the treatment of
the prisoners,” says Mr Nicolas, “differs entirely from that in the
Chronicle of Lanercost, where it is said that many of them were hung.”

The banner of Edward now waved on the battlement of Carlaverock Castle,
along with those of St Edmond, St George, St Edward, Sir John Segrave,
the Earl of Hereford, and that of Lord Clifford, to whom Edward had
given it in charge. The army then proceeded on their march.[43]



While the English army were encamped before Carlaverock, Winchelsea,
Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived with a bull, directed to Edward, from
the Pope.

The application which, as has already been stated, the Scottish
commissioners were instructed to make to King Philip for the stipulated
assistance having at first been evaded, and afterwards finally
refused--the embarrassing situation of his own affairs affording him a
plausible pretext for withholding the aid necessary for the relief of
his allies--the Scots, according to their instructions, proceeded to
lay their complaints before the Court of Rome. Boniface listened with
complacency to their grievances, and readily undertook to interpose his
authority in their behalf. For this purpose, he addressed to Edward
a letter of admonition, exhorting him to desist from any further
attempts to subvert the liberties of a kingdom over which he had no
lawful claim. The groundless nature of the pretensions he had set up,
the Pontiff proceeded, at considerable length, to explain--being,
no doubt, enabled to do so, from the information furnished him by
the commissioners. Among other matters, he reminded him, that the
mere circumstance of his having negotiated with the Scots, for the
marriage of his son with the heiress of Scotland, must prove fatal to
any plea he might advance in favour of his being the feudal lord of
that kingdom, as he would find no one weak enough to believe that he
would have submitted to negociate, when he had a right to command. “He
also,” says a respectable historian, “mentioned several striking facts
which fell within the compass of Edward’s own knowledge, particularly
that Alexander, when he did homage to the King, openly and expressly
declared in his presence, that he swore fealty _not for his crown, but
for the lands which he held in England_; and the Pope’s letter might
have passed for a reasonable one, had he not subjoined his _own_ claim
to be _liege lord of Scotland_, a claim which had not once been heard
of, but which, with a singular confidence, he asserted to be full
and entire, and derived from the most remote antiquity.” This letter
Boniface concluded, by exhorting him, in his name, to set at liberty
all those ecclesiastics and others belonging to the country whom he had
imprisoned, and to remove all officers he had appointed to places of
trust in the kingdom, contrary to the wishes of the people; directing
him, if he conceived he had still any reasons to allege in support of
his pretensions, to send persons properly authorized to Rome, where
he, the Pope, would hear the case, and within six months give an
impartial decision. To these exhortations the Archbishop added his own,
urging, among other things, the propriety of his yielding obedience
to so sacred an authority, observing, that Jerusalem would not fail
to protect her citizens, and to cherish, like Mount Zion, those who
trusted in the Lord. At the conclusion of this address, which was made
in the presence of Prince Edward and the assembled nobles, the King
became furious, and with a great oath exclaimed, “I will not be silent
or at rest, either for Mount Zion or for Jerusalem, but, as long as
there is breath in my nostrils, I will defend what all the world knows
to be my right.” On calmer reflection, however, he saw the necessity of
returning a milder answer to the admonition of his adviser, in which
he promised to consult his parliament, and send messengers to Rome to
acquaint his Spiritual Father with the result of their deliberations.

In a parliament assembled some time after at Lincoln, the Pope’s bull
was submitted to the consideration of the English Barons; and in
his reply, Edward attempted to prove the superiority of England by
historical facts, deduced from the period of Brutus the Trojan, who,
he said, founded the British monarchy in the age of Eli and Samuel.
He then supports his position by all the events which passed in the
island before the arrival of the Romans: And, after laying great stress
on the extensive dominions and the heroic victories of King Arthur,
he vouchsafes at last to descend to the time of Edward the Elder,
from which period he has chosen to begin his claim of superiority.
He asserts it as a fact _notorious, and confirmed by the records of
antiquity_, that the English monarchs had often conferred the kingdom
of Scotland on their own subjects--had dethroned those vassal-kings
when unfaithful to them, and had substituted others in their stead.
He displays, with great pomp, the full and complete homage which
William had done to Henry II.--without mentioning the formal abolition
of that extorted deed by King Richard, and the renunciation of all
future claims of the same nature. Yet in this paper he begins with
a solemn appeal to the Almighty, the searcher of hearts, for his
own firm persuasion of the justice of his claim; and no less than a
hundred and four barons, assembled in parliament at Lincoln, concurred
in maintaining before the Pope, under their seals, the validity of
the pretensions. At the same time, they took care to inform Boniface,
that although they had justified their cause before him, they did not
acknowledge him as their judge: the crown of England was free and
sovereign: they had sworn to maintain all its prerogatives; and would
never permit the King himself, were he willing, to relinquish its

Edward, on leaving Carlaverock, now advanced into Galloway, and
took several castles in that province. He appears to have been at
Lochroieton on the 17th July, and at Kirkcudbright on the 22d of same
month. On 29th August he returned to Carlaverock. He was at Dumfries
on the 24th October, and again at Carlaverock on the 1st November.[44]
His own operations appear, on this occasion, to have been in a great
measure confined to the south of Scotland.[45] Detachments of his army,
however, extended themselves in different directions; and various
conflicts took place between them and the Scottish _guerilla_ parties
under Wallace. A strong division of the English army, commanded by the
Earl of Warren, advanced also as far as Irvine, and came in contact
with the Scottish forces, headed by the Regents. The field was keenly
contested for some time; but the Scots were at last compelled to fall
back before the repeated charges of their more numerous opponents.
Another portion of the English army laid waste Clydesdale; and after
destroying Bothwell, advanced to Lesmahago--to the Abbey church of
which, a number of the inhabitants had fled for safety. This sanctuary,
however, according to tradition, did not avail them. Their merciless
invaders set fire to the sacred edifice, and many of the Scots perished
miserably in the flames. During the perpetration of this tragic act,
Wallace, who followed the tract of the destroyers, was forced, it is
said, to conceal himself in a cave, four miles distant from the scene
of barbarity, carefully watching, by his scouts, the motions of the
enemy. This cave still goes by his name, and is pointed out by the
country people as an object of curiosity to strangers.

While this warfare was carrying on by his detached squadrons, Edward
was concerting measures for permanently annexing to his own dominions,
the district he had overrun. For this purpose, he employed numerous
bodies of his own subjects, in repairing and fortifying the different
places of strength which had surrendered to his arms; and the
reluctance of the Scots to assist in the subjugation of their country,
appears evident from his being compelled to bring labourers, at a
considerable expense, from the northern counties of England.[46]

A large portion of the provisions required for his troops he seems also
to have been under the necessity of bringing from Ireland. Between
Whitehaven and Carlaverock we find William de Torni, master of a vessel
belonging to the Isle of Man, employed in carrying flour for the supply
of the army. In the wardrobe account there is also an entry,[47] from
which it may be inferred, that the destruction of the mills formed part
of the system which the Scots resorted to for the annoyance of their

As the campaign had hitherto been productive of no result adequate
to the expense incurred, Edward now affected to listen to the
remonstrances of Philip and Boniface, and agreed to a truce with the
Scots in arms against him. The negociation took place at Paris between
the English envoys and the Scottish commissioners at the French court,
and was finally ratified by Edward at Dumfries on the 30th October
1300, when he expressed himself highly offended with the English envoys
for allowing Baliol’s name, as King of Scotland, to appear in the
treaty. This truce was to last from Hallowmas to Whitsunday;[49] and
in consequence of it, all the English troops except those in garrison
were withdrawn from Scotland and disbanded. Edward then summoned his
parliament at Lincoln, and returned the answer to Boniface to which we
have already alluded.

1301. After the conclusion of the treaty, Wallace is supposed to have
gone on a visit to France, in consequence of the repeated invitations
of Philip, who was no doubt anxious to behold a man whose name had
become familiar at every court in Europe, and whose exertions in his
own country had so often relieved himself from the hostile visits of
the King of England.

On his way, the vessel in which he had embarked along with a few select
friends, is said to have been attacked by a noted pirate of the name of
Longueville, at that time the terror of the seas, and the Paul Jones of
his day. After a desperate conflict, Wallace and his party succeeded
in boarding the enemy; and Longueville, being vanquished in a personal
combat with Wallace, surrendered at discretion. The gallant manner,
however, in which he acted during the fight, gained him the esteem of
our hero, who subsequently discovered that he was a French nobleman,
and, at one time, high in favour at court, but who had fallen under the
displeasure of the King, in consequence of having killed a knight in
the royal presence; for which offence his estates were forfeited, and
himself banished from the kingdom. Smarting under these indignities, he
had commenced a system of piracy, for which he was outlawed, and every
avenue to the royal clemency shut against him. Wallace, on arriving
at Paris, found himself so well received by the French monarch--who no
doubt expected his assistance against the English in Guienne--that he
ventured to solicit, and, after some difficulty, obtained a pardon for
Longueville, who had accompanied him to Paris in disguise.

Various stories are told of the adventures of Wallace in France; but
as the histories of that country are in general silent regarding
them, most of our authors have considered them fabulous; and some
even carry their incredulity so far as to doubt of his ever having
been there. But as he appears evidently, on one or more occasions,
to have withdrawn himself from Scotland, and as those writers who
doubt of his being in France have not accounted for the chasms that
his absence naturally makes in his history, nor appear to have any
thing to urge against his visits to that country but their _doubts_;
we cannot allow unsupported _misgivings_ to stand in opposition to
the recorded testimony of ancient writers, who ought to have known
more of transactions near their own days than authors who wrote many
ages after them--particularly as the circumstance in question could
serve no political or party purpose at the time; and of course,
could afford no temptation for mis-statement. We may also remark,
that the adventure with Longueville is corroborated by traditions
still existing in the country, as well as by the fact of a family in
Scotland, not long extinct, having derived their pedigree from that
brave man; who, according to the law of arms in those days, thought
himself bound to follow the fortunes of his conqueror. Longueville
is said to have accompanied Wallace to Scotland, where he had lands
assigned him; and the following notice in the Statistical Account of
the parish of Kinfauns, goes a considerable way to establish the truth
of what is here related:--“In the Castle of Kinfauns is kept a large
old sword, probably made about five hundred years ago, and to be used
by both hands. It is shaped like a broadsword, and is five feet nine
inches long, two and and a half inches broad at the hilt, and of a
proportionable thickness, with a round knob at the upper end, near
eight inches in circumference. This terrible weapon bears the name of
_Charteris’s Sword_, and probably belonged to Sir Thomas Charteris,
commonly called Thomas de Longueville, once proprietor of the estate
of Kinfauns. Sir Thomas Charteris, _alias_ Longueville, was a native
of France, and of an ancient family in that country. If credit can be
given to accounts of such remote dates, when he was at the court of
Philip le Bel, in the end of the thirteenth century, he had a dispute
with, and killed a French nobleman, in the King’s presence. He escaped,
but was refused pardon.

“Having for several years infested the seas as a pirate, known by the
name of the Red Reiver, from the colour of the flags he carried on
his ship, in May 1301 or 1302 (by Adamson’s chronology), Sir William
Wallace, in his way to France, encountered and took him prisoner. At
Wallace’s intercession, the French King conferred on him a pardon,
and the honour of knighthood. He accompanied Wallace on his return to
Scotland, and was ever after his faithful friend, and aiding in his
exploits. Upon that hero’s being betrayed and carried to England, Sir
Thomas Charteris retired to Lochmaben, where he remained till Robert
Bruce began to assert his right to the crown of Scotland. He joined
Bruce, and was, if we may believe Adamson, who refers to Barbour,[50]
the first who followed that King into the water, at the taking of
Perth, January 8, 1313.

“Bruce rewarded his bravery by giving him lands in the neighbourhood
of Perth, which appear to be those of Kinfauns, and which continued in
the family of Charteris for many years. It is to this ancient knight,
and to the antique sword above-mentioned, that Adamson refers in these
lines (Book VI.) of his ‘Muses Threnodie:’

    ----‘_Kinfauns_, which famous _Longoveil_
    Sometime did hold; whose auncient sword of steele
    Remaines unto this day, and of that land
    Is chiefest evident.’--p. 158.

“About forty years ago, upon opening the burying vault under the aisle
of the church of Kinfauns, erected by this family, there was found a
headpiece, or kind of helmet, made of several folds of linen, or some
strong stuff, painted over with broad stripes of blue and white, which
seems to have been part of the fictitious armour wherein the body of
Sir Thomas Longueville, or Charteris, had been disposed.[51]

“Some persons of the surname of Charteris,” says the editor of the
Perth edition of Wallace, “lairds of Kinfauns, and of Cuthilgourdy,
were provosts of Perth, and would make a distinguished figure in the
heroic annals of Perth, if the old writs of that city were properly

According to the same authority, there were families of the name of
Charteris in Scotland, long before the time assigned to Thomas de
Longueville. Andrew de Charteris, who swore fealty to Edward in 1296,
is said to have been the ancestor of the noble family of Wemyss.



The truce which circumstances had extorted from Edward, was no sooner
expired, than the campaign was opened by a fresh invasion of Scotland.
The English army again advanced as far as Linlithgow, where, fixing
their head-quarters, they commenced building a fortress for the same
object as had induced them to rear similar structures in the south. The
treaty of peace had not yet been concluded with the King of France; and
Edward anxiously endeavoured to detach him from the interests of the
Scots. In this he was successful; for, by giving up his allies, the
Flemings, to the chastisement of Philip, and sacrificing a lucrative
branch of trade, in order to gratify his enmity against the Scots, he
obtained the King of France’s consent to a separate peace, stipulating
only for a truce with Scotland, to endure till St Andrew’s day,
1302,--after which period, Edward was left at liberty to prosecute his
views against that country.

In the meantime, the cause of independence acquired a valuable
accession in the person of Sir Simon Frazer, who at last--awakened
to the injuries of his country, and a just sense of his own unnatural
conduct--deserted the standard of Edward, and enrolled himself among
the asserters of the liberty of Scotland.[52] The talents and bravery
of this leader more than counterbalanced the loss which the patriots
had sustained in the defection of the Bishop of Glasgow; who, on
the 7th October 1300, at Holmcoltrum, had renewed his former fealty
to Edward, swearing upon the consecrated host, and upon the _Croyz
Gneytz_[53] and _Black Rood_ of Scotland; in consequence, as is
supposed, of a remonstrance from Boniface, who now thought proper to
espouse the interest of Edward.

On hearing of the situation of Scotland, Wallace withdrew from the
French court, and returned home. What services he was enabled to render
his country during his absence, do not appear in any of our records.

1302. After the expiry of the truce, Edward sent John de Segrave with
an army of 20,000 men into Scotland, who, having advanced to the
neighbourhood of Roslin, divided his troops into three divisions,
for the purpose of procuring forage. In the meantime, John Cumyn
and Simon Frazer, having collected a body of eight thousand Scots,
suddenly fell upon the first division, which they defeated with great
slaughter. While engaged in collecting the spoil, the second division
came in sight, on which the Scots, elated with the success they had
already obtained, stood resolutely to their arms, charged, and, after
a desperate conflict, again drove their enemies from the field. After
this double victory, the Scots, exhausted with the fatigues of the
day, were preparing to refresh themselves, when their scouts brought
notice that the third division of their enemies was at hand. Their
leaders flew from rank to rank, beseeching them to make one effort
more to preserve the glory they had acquired; and having equipped the
followers of the camp in the arms of their slain enemies, they again
commenced the bloody strife, with that enthusiasm which the remembrance
of their former victories inspired. The fury of the Scottish charge
decided the third battle: the English were once more thrown into
confusion, and fled in the greatest terror, leaving behind them all
their camp-equipage a prey to the conquerors. The advantages resulting
from this day’s successes were not thrown away: the Scots every where
flocked to the assistance of their countrymen; and the fortresses which
Edward possessed in the south of Scotland, were quickly recovered, and
garrisoned by their lawful masters.

Respecting the events of this day of triumph for the Scottish arms,
the historians of the two countries are not exactly agreed. According
to Langtoft, Sir John de Segrave, with his son and brother, were
surprised in their beds by the Scots, who captured sixteen knights,
among whom were Sir Thomas Neville and Sir Ralf de Cofferer, the
treasurer of Edward, who, on interceding with Sir Simon Frazer for his
life, was sternly reminded by him of the defalcations he had committed
in his office, by defrauding himself and others of their wages. Having
upbraided him with his unpriestly conduct, he struck off his hands, as
being polluted with the wages of iniquity, and afterwards severed his
head from his body, by a blow with his sword.



There is no certain account of Wallace having been present at the
battle of Roslin:--if he was, it must have been only in a private
capacity, he not being mentioned by any author as holding a command
on that occasion. According to some, he was absent from the country
at the time; but this, however, seems to be contradicted by the
Scotichronicon, where it is said, that, _after_ the battle of Roslin,
he went on board of a merchant vessel, and, with a few companions,
again sailed for France. Henry, whose strong partiality would not
have omitted so excellent an opportunity for aggrandizing his hero,
had there been any authority in the narrative of Blair for so doing,
passes over the circumstance in silence. This conduct in an author so
strongly biassed in favour of the subject of his biography, is not
only a proof of the absence of Wallace from the field of Roslin, but a
strong argument in favour of the general accuracy of his own details.
The laurels, therefore, that were gathered at Roslin, will fall to be
divided between Sir Simon Frazer and the lord of Badenoch.

That Wallace returned a second time to the court of France, is
asserted in the most positive manner by the Minstrel, and is in part
corroborated by the Scotichronicon. The particular periods of his
history, however, which those visits occupied, it is rather difficult
to ascertain. That the first occurred after the battle of Falkirk is
without doubt; and the second immediately before, or soon after the
affair of Roslin, is almost equally certain. As, in the first voyage,
Wallace is said to have fallen in with and captured a French pirate,
in the second, he is represented as having a similar rencounter with
an Englishman of the same profession, who earned on his depredations
principally against the Scottish vessels. Had the Minstrel’s work been
one of pure fancy, this _sameness_ of incident, we presume, would
not have occurred;--for the judgment of the poet would no doubt have
suggested the propriety of a change of adventure. The English pirate,
who is called John of Lyn, is first seen by the Scots, making his way
out of the Humber, displaying a red sail, and a flag at his mast-head
bearing three leopards courant, the well-known insignia of Edward. The
Scottish merchants, who knew his ferocious disposition, were appalled
at first; but encouraged by Wallace and his companions, they prepared
themselves for action, by stuffing sheep-skins with wool, which appears
to have been their cargo; and thus making a kind of defensive armour,
to protect them against their better equipped assailants. On their
refusing to surrender, the battle commenced by a heavy discharge from
bows and cross-bows on the part of the English; and the Scots, who were
not so well supplied with missiles, kept themselves as much as possible
out of the way of the shot, till it was nearly expended;--when, laying
their vessel along side of the enemy, Wallace and his companions threw
themselves on board the pirate, and attacked the crew with the greatest
fury. The commander, seeing the desperation of the Scots, and the havoc
they were making amongst his men, would gladly have made off; but the
sword of Wallace was not to be evaded. The two leaders, therefore,
engaged, and after a short rencounter, John of Lyn was cut down by his
opponent, and his men submitted to the conqueror. In this conflict none
distinguished themselves more than Longueville, and John Blair, the
chaplain of Wallace--the latter of whom, with three successive arrows,
shot three of the enemy, and otherwise conducted himself with the
greatest heroism. As it would not have been becoming in Blair to have
narrated such deeds of himself, we are told by Henry, that the account
of them was inserted in the memoir of Wallace by Thomas Gray, who acted
as steersman on the occasion. In this there is consistency, as we are
elsewhere informed, that Gray occasionally assisted in writing the
achievements of the champion of the Scots.[54]

On arriving “in the Sloice-hawyn,” says Henry, Wallace made a division
of the spoil among his followers, and, presenting the merchants with
the ship, took his departure for Paris.

The reception he met with from Philip is reported to have been
highly flattering; and our hero soon became involved in a number of
adventures, all sufficiently romantic; but as the French historians
appear, from their silence, to have been ignorant of them, we must
refer the curious reader to the pages of the Minstrel. We shall only
remark, that it has been asserted by various writers, that the name of
Wallace was frequently found in the songs of the ancient Troubadours.
This, however, may have arisen as much from the fame he had acquired
in his own country, as from any chivalrous exploits he had performed
in France. But in whatever manner he was employed in the service of
Philip, the proceedings of Edward soon recalled him to his native land.

The mortification which the reverses at Roslin occasioned the King of
England, was greatly increased by the praises that were every where
bestowed upon the gallantry of the Scots; and the noise which their
triple victory made at the different courts of Europe, excited a deeper
and more determined inveteracy in his mind. It is probable, that, but
for the discomfiture at Roslin, the resolution which he had so long
displayed, of reducing Scotland to subjection, might have gradually
given way before the reflections occasioned by the immense losses
which he had sustained in his various expeditions;[55] and perhaps he
would have contented himself with retaining possession of that part of
Scotland which bounded his own kingdom. The defeat, however, of his
lieutenant, and the subsequent proceedings of the victors, awakened
afresh all the rancorous hostility of his ambitious and unprincipled
mind; and he resolved, by one mighty effort, to overwhelm the Scots,
and efface their name from the number of the nations. In order to
accomplish this project, all the ultramarine vassals of his crown were
summoned to his standard. In his own kingdom of England, large levies
of men and horses were raised, and the din of preparation was heard
from one extremity of the land to the other. A powerful fleet was also
equipped, to attend the motions of the land army, and prevent the
chance of scarcity from interfering with that work of destruction he
had in contemplation.

1303. Wallace heard with sorrow, of the mighty preparations that were
making for the annihilation of his country’s independence; and he
resolved again to join his old associates, and brave along with them
the fury of the storm that was about to burst upon their heads. To his
friends, who listened with increasing apprehension to the progress of
the coming war, the hope of his return came like a sunbeam through the
tempest that was blackening around them. Before, however, the French
monarch would permit his departure, the countless host of the invader
had crossed the Tweed, and spread its desolating squadrons over the
adjacent country;[56] and those places which manifested the slightest
disposition to defend their liberties, were consigned to indiscriminate
carnage. Among the few which made any resistance, the castle of Brechin
appeared eminently conspicuous. Under the command of the governor, Sir
Thomas Maule, this garrison maintained a most heroic defence, and did
not give in till the death of their commander obliged them to surrender.

Wherever the army of Edward now appeared, the chieftains were found
anxiously waiting to tender their submission, and again repeat their
oaths of allegiance. Some of the principal nobility, in order to
claim the merit of an early repentance, even met the invader on the
borders, and thus procured more advantageous terms than they otherwise
would have obtained. Among those who thus started for the goal of
slavery, few shared more largely in the wages of iniquity than Sir John
Menteith. Having met Sir Aymer de Valence at Annan, he found means
to acquire so much of his confidence, as to induce that favourite of
Edward to obtain for him, not only a confirmation of the governorship
of Dumbarton castle, but also an extension of his authority, over the
whole of the district of Lennox.

While affairs were in this situation, accounts were brought to the
English camp, that the bugle of Wallace had been heard at midnight
among the woods on the banks of the Tay; and a body of troops, under
the command of Sir John Butler, were despatched in pursuit of him.
This officer, two of whose relations had already fallen by the hand of
Wallace, set forward with alacrity to execute the service assigned to
him. But, after ranging the country in all directions, he was at last
obliged to return without having once seen the object of whom he was in
search, although the reports brought him by his scouts, as well as the
evasive answers of the inhabitants, convinced him of the certainty of
Wallace being in the country.

In the early part of our narrative, we alluded to the admirable
discipline which Wallace had introduced among his countrymen, and the
facility with which, by the sound of his horn, he could rally them
around him in cases of emergency. From the frequency with which these
calls had been made, there was scarcely a district in Scotland where
his war-note was not understood and obeyed with alacrity. Though this
was the case, we do not mean to say, that all who attended its summons
were animated by pure and disinterested patriotism. To the ears of
many, it probably sounded only as an invitation to divide the property
of their more wealthy enemies; whom--under so daring and fortunate a
leader--they never doubted of being able to conquer; and it is likely
that they would have obeyed the call with the same promptitude, had
it summoned them to a foray against some neighbouring clan: but the
generosity with which he divided his own share of the booty among
those who had suffered most, or had borne themselves with the greatest
gallantry in the conflict, gained him a complete ascendancy over
the discordant materials of which his little armies were frequently
composed; and rendered him more formidable to an invader, than all the
jarring aristocracy put together. It is therefore not surprising that
the report of his return should have caused alarm among the English.

On the night referred to, Wallace had landed in Scotland, accompanied
by Sir Thomas de Longueville, John Blair, Thomas Gray, and a few other
friends who had attended him in France; and being near one of his old
places of resort, he wished to gain some knowledge of the state of the
country, to enable him to regulate his further proceedings; for this
purpose he raised his bugle, and before the reverberations had died
away among the woodlands, a rustling was heard among the underwood, and
presently an unarmed Scot stood before him. From this ready adherent,
who had been watching the landing of the party, Wallace learned the
situation of the kingdom, the slaughters committed by Edward, the
submission of the regency, and the terror that pervaded the nobility.
Finding, from the number of the English that were in the neighbourhood,
the necessity of betaking himself to some place of concealment, he
and his party were conducted by their informer to a farm-house in a
secluded part of the country, occupied by a relation of Wallace, of the
name of Crawfurd. Here he was joyfully received, and a hiding-place
artfully constructed in the barn, for him and his companions, where
they lurked during the search made for them by Butler.

In this retreat they might have remained, till some favourable
occurrence had enabled them to appear more openly; but it seems the
unusual quantity of provisions which Crawfurd was obliged to purchase
for the maintenance of his guests, awakened the suspicions of the
English at Dundee; and on his return, having mentioned the examination
he was subjected to, Wallace and his party thought it prudent to
retire to a neighbouring thicket, and wait the result. They had not
long adopted this precaution, before a body of the English made their
appearance; and having surrounded the dwelling of Crawfurd, they
discovered, in the course of search, the lair of the fugitives.

The wife of Crawfurd having refused to answer their inquiries regarding
the route of her visitors, they were proceeding, by violent measures,
to compel her to disclose the place of their retreat, when Wallace,
ascertaining the danger to which she was exposed, advanced from the
thicket, and sounded a bold defiance to the enemy. The situation he had
chosen was such as could only be assailed from three narrow and rugged
paths. These he proposed to guard, by dividing his little party, which
consisted only of about twenty men, into three divisions;--with the
smallest of these he undertook to defend the path that was most exposed
to the enemy’s attacks. Butler was not long in commencing the assault,
which he did by a simultaneous movement on all those little parties of
the Scots. The resistance, however, which he met with, aided by the
rugged nature of the ascent, rendered all the ardour of his troops
unavailing. As the evening advanced, he called them off; and having
beat a chamade, he attempted to persuade Wallace to surrender, by
representing the folly of continuing a resistance which must at last
terminate in the ruin of himself and his friends. Our hero replied,
by advising him to stand to his arms; for in place of surrendering,
he intended, before morning, to become the assailant; and he gave him
this warning, in return for the care which he had shown for himself and
his companions. Irritated by this coolness, Butler determined to take
every precaution to prevent his escape; and for this purpose kept his
men under arms all night. Wallace, however, was as good as his word;
for at daybreak, under cover of a thick mist, he descended at the head
of his little band, and, before the enemy was aware of his approach,
broke into that quarter where Butler had his station. The surprise
occasioned by his sudden appearance, threw the English into confusion,
which their uncertainty as to the number of their assailants greatly
increased; and availing himself of the disorder into which they were
thrown, Wallace pressed forward, and came in contact with Butler, who,
after a slight resistance, fell beneath his arm. The Scots having
forced their way through the enemy, Wallace now discovered that their
faithful host Crawfurd had been left behind. Returning, therefore,
to the charge, he was fortunately in time to save him from the spear
of an English soldier, whom he slew; and grasping his wounded friend
in one of his arms, he carried him off in triumph to his companions.
Favoured, by the denseness of the fog, the gallant little band were
soon lost to their pursuers. Though thus relieved from their perilous
situation, they are said to have suffered the greatest privations in
the wild and unfrequented solitudes to which they were now obliged
to retire. However, their indefatigable chief, always fertile in
expedients, found means to preserve them from actual starvation, till
Edward withdrew his troops, for the purpose of resuming his march of
subjugation throughout the kingdom.

The time which the English monarch spent in the southern part
of Scotland, it appears had not altogether been employed in the
chastisement of those who were most active in the late insurrection.
With a policy worthy of himself, he endeavoured to obliterate the
remembrance of national independence, by ransacking the monasteries,
and carrying off, and committing to the flames, all the ancient
records they contained; so that the Scots in future, might have no
documents to produce which could falsify his claims to sovereignty over
them.[57] In this proceeding he might have been partly influenced, by
the discussion he had been engaged in with Boniface. Having, to his
spiritual father, so solemnly asserted the justice of his claim, it was
but natural that he should wish to possess or destroy every evidence
which might establish his asseverations; and this object being, as he
conceived, so far accomplished, he proceeded with his army, by slow
marches, towards the North, exercising the same Gothic barbarity as he
went along, and demolishing those fortresses which made any show of

According to Henry, a number of the old associates of Wallace, before
his return from France, had fled for shelter to the islands and other
places for security. Seton, Lauder and Lundy, retired to the Bass.
Malcolm Earl of Lennox, and Sir Niel Campbell, had sought concealment
along with Bishop Sinclair in Bute;[58] and these last mentioned
worthies, on hearing of the arrival of Wallace, despatched a messenger
to find him out, and explain the difficulties of their situation, and
their readiness to join him as soon as he approached their present
places of refuge. They had not to wait long, before our hero issued
forth with his little band, and collected those who were still inclined
to struggle for the liberties of Scotland. At the head of such he
followed the invading army, and appearing now in front, and now in
rear, made frequent and impressive attacks upon them as they struggled
through the deep and rugged defiles of the country. But all his efforts
could not retard the march of the invaders. They advanced to the
extremity of the kingdom, unmolested by any save the hardy followers of
our hero, who, however, as they had attended the motions of their foes
in their laborious progress through the rough and mountainous regions
of the North, now waited their return, and resumed the same harassing
system of warfare. Often, from an eminence, Edward could distinguish
the lofty plume of the Scottish leader, as he dashed forward to charge
some isolated corps of the English army; and while he beheld the
enthusiasm with which his conduct inspired his followers, and saw the
disorder of his own soldiers, hurrying to gain the protection of the
main body, his heart misgave him as to the stability of his conquest,
while Scotland contained a man whose appearance alone was capable of
inspiring his friends with so much confidence, and his enemies with so
much dread.



Edward having returned from the bleak regions of the North, took up
his quarters in Dunfermline,[59] judging that his presence in the
country, during the winter, would contribute much towards establishing
his authority, as he had formerly observed, that the places he had
conquered from the Scots in summer, were generally retaken when the
severe weather set in. He accordingly took every precaution for the
comfort of his troops; large supplies of provisions being ordered,
both by sea and land, that his army might not be placed in such
difficulties as had formerly compelled him to retreat into England.

In order, also, to secure his present conquest, he began to assimilate
the state of the country as much as possible to that of his other
dominions; and, for this purpose, he abrogated all the old laws and
customs--substituting those of England in their steed.[60] In the
prosecution of this object, he announced a parliament at St Andrew’s,
which was attended by all Scotsmen of any note, except Sir William
Wallace, Sir Simon Frazer, and Sir William Oliphant, governor of
Stirling Castle, the latter of whom refused either to appear or
surrender the trust, which had been committed to him by Lord Soulis,
who happened then to be in France. Of this fortress, which was now
the only one that held out against him, Edward determined to gain
possession as soon as the season would permit. As to Wallace, it is
said, that, at this time, among other great offers, he tendered him
the crown of Scotland, provided he would accept of it in fee of the
crown of England; to which, with his usual dignity, Wallace replied,
that as he had been born a free man, he was determined to die one; and
that he preferred rather to be the subject of his lawful sovereign,
than the crowned slave of one who had no right to his allegiance.[61]
That Edward was sincere in this offer, is a matter of considerable
doubt;--he had already cajoled others by similar proposals, and he
might naturally conceive, that although Wallace should not be caught by
the bait, the offer would have the effect of exciting the suspicions
of his countrymen, and thereby weakening his influence among them.
But whatever his motives may have been, Wallace sternly rejected all
compromise, and remained the only Scotsman who never acknowledged
his authority. On the present occasion, Sir Simon Frazer followed
his example, for which the tyrant passed sentence of banishment and
outlawry against him. This gallant gentleman, who now adhered to
the fortunes of Wallace, had given great offence to Edward, by the
conspicuous part he had acted at the battle of Roslin, as it was
generally believed to have been owing principally to him that the
English sustained the mortifying defeat.

1304. Early in the spring Edward discovered, that, through the
exertions of Wallace and Frazer, a body of troops had been got
together; in order to disperse which, before it became too formidable,
he took the field, and proceeded towards Stirling, in the neighbourhood
of which it had assembled. The force under the patriots, however, when
compared with the enemy, was so very insignificant, that they prudently
retreated to their former places of refuge. On the 21st April the siege
of Stirling commenced, and continued without intermission till the 24th
July; thus occupying Edward and his army for three months and three
days, during which time every artifice was put in practice, and every
piece of mechanism then known was directed against the besieged.

The stubbornness of the garrison, however, seemed to increase as the
means of annoyance multiplied around them; and the anxiety of Edward to
gain this last stronghold of the liberties of Scotland was displayed,
by his close and unremitting attendance on the details of the siege.
Though now advanced in years, he is represented as exposing himself
with all the imprudent gallantry of a youthful warrior; and on one or
two occasions he had nearly fallen a victim to his temerity. While
riding near the walls, a stone, from one of the engines at work on
the rampart, struck the ground before him with so much violence, that
his horse backed, and fell under him; and at another time, a javelin,
thrown by a soldier on the wall, struck him on the breast, and stuck
between the plates of his armour. The point of the missile, however,
had not pierced the skin. Pulling it out with his hand, he shook it in
defiance, and loudly proclaimed that he would hang the villain who had
hit him. In the mean time, the engines belonging to the castle were so
well managed, and the enormous stones which they threw, so skilfully
directed, that great numbers of the besiegers were destroyed.

Edward now saw, that, without still greater efforts, the place was
not likely soon to capitulate. He therefore wrote to London, and
other towns in England, ordering the most powerful engines to be sent
him, with supplies of javelins, quarrells, and other missiles; and
the lead was torn from the roof of the Cathedral of St Andrew’s to
furnish materials for the siege. Thirteen engines of the largest size
were at last brought to bear upon the castle, one of which, called by
Langtoft “the Ludgare,[62] or Lurdare of Strivelyn,” was of the most
formidable description. This “hidous engyn,” when put in operation,
made tremendous breaches in the walls, which the besieged in vain
attempted to repair; and after many destructive sallies, and “fulle
and hard affrays,” and a siege unparalleled in the history of the
war--their provisions exhausted, and their walls torn to pieces--Sir
William Oliphant and his brave little garrison were forced to surrender
at discretion. Every possible indignity which a tyrannical mind
destitute of generosity, and exasperated by opposition, could inflict,
was now heaped upon the gallant defenders. They were compelled to go in
procession to the tent of Edward, and--denuded of every garment save
their shirts, their heads and feet uncovered--on their bended knees,
with uplifted hands, had thus to implore his clemency; upon which
their _magnanimous_ conqueror condescended to spare their lives, and
sent them to expiate their offences in the dungeons of England. The
garrison, according to Langtoft, consisted of Sir William Oliphant, Sir
William Duplin, twenty gentlemen of inferior degree, a preaching friar,
a monk, and thirteen “maydens and ladies.” The common soldiers are said
to have amounted to 140, whose names, it is to be regretted, have not
been preserved. The following are all that remain on record:

  Domini Willielmus Olyfard.
    Willielmus de Dupplyn, milites.
    Fergus de Ardrossan.
    Robinus de Ardrossan, frater ejus.
    Willielmus de Ramseya.
    Hugo de Ramseya.
    Radulfus de Haleburton.
    Thomas de Knellhulle.
    Thomas Lellay.
    Patricius de Polleworche.
    Hugo Olyfard.
    Walterius Olyfard.
    Willielmus Gyffard.
    Alanus de Vypont.
  Domini Andreas Wychard.
    Godefridus le Botiller.
    Johannes le Naper.
    Willielmus le Scherere.
    Hugo le Botiller.
    Johannes de Kulgas.
    Willielmus de Anart.
    Robertus de Ranfru.
    Walterus Taylleu.
    Simon Larmerer.

  Frater Willielmus de Keth, ordinis Sancti Dominici Prædicatorum.

  Frater Petrus de Edereston de domo de Kelsou, ordinis Sancti

The proceedings of Edward at length gave umbrage to Cumyn and Bruce.
These chieftains, after Baliol, had the nearest pretensions to the
crown, and they had both been amused by Edward with hopes of the
kingdom. In the destruction, however, of the fortresses, and the
alterations he had made in the constitution of the country, they saw
little that tended towards the fulfilment of the promises he had made
them. Cumyn, therefore, having found an opportunity, broke the matter
to Bruce, by lamenting the state to which their country was reduced by
the power or policy of Edward, who endeavoured to sow discord among
those whose interest it was to be friends; and by taking advantage
of the animosities he thus excited, furthered his own ambitious and
tyrannical designs.

These remarks begat the confidence of his rival, who communicated
without reserve the promises that had been held out to him by Edward;
which drew from Cumyn a proposal for the delivery of their country,
in which he offered to give Bruce his estates, on condition that he
relinquished his claim, and assisted him to gain the crown; or to
accept of Bruce’s estates on the same terms. Bruce, who considered his
claim to be better founded than that of Cumyn, agreed to make over his
estates on attaining to the kingdom through the assistance of Cumyn;
and a private bond was entered into between them for this purpose.[63]
In order to cover their intentions, Bruce agreed to accompany Edward
to London, and leave his brother, Edward Bruce, to attend to his
interest in Scotland.

The English monarch having now, as he thought, completely depressed the
spirit of the Scots, and brought them effectually under his yoke, began
to make preparations for his return to England; and with this view, he
appointed Adomer de Valence regent or viceroy of the kingdom, filling
all places of trust with Englishmen, or such creatures among the Scots
as he found suitable to his purpose. Having made these, and such other
arrangements as his policy suggested, he returned home in triumph,
firmly persuaded that he had finally reduced the kingdom of Scotland to
the condition of a province of England.

Edward, however, had scarcely arrived in London, before accounts from
the North convinced him of the uncertain nature of his conquest, so
long as Wallace remained at large in the country; and as neither
threats nor promises could subdue his inflexible fidelity to the
liberties of his native land, large rewards were offered for securing
his person, dead or alive. Influenced by the great promises held out
to him, Ralph de Haliburton,[64] one of the prisoners whom Edward
had carried with him into England, undertook the perfidious office,
and for that purpose was allowed to return to Scotland. Of his after
proceedings, we have, however, but a very imperfect outline; and from
all that we can collect, his exertions in his villanous mission appear
to have been limited to one or two attempts; in the last of which,
from his knowledge of Wallace and his retreats, he contrived to have
him beset by a strong body of cavalry, in a situation where he had
no way of escape, but by springing his horse over a precipice. This
he effected; and his pursuers, drawing back with horror, left him to
pursue his retreat on foot, his gallant steed having perished in the
fearful enterprise.

After this, it is supposed that Haliburton, alarmed for the consequence
of his conduct, and dreading the vengeance of his countrymen, returned
with precipitation to England.



The situation of Scotland, after the departure of Edward, was such as
well warranted the representation that had been transmitted to England.
Though there had as yet been no open insurrection, still there was that
in the bearing of the people, which betokened any thing but good will
towards the existing state of things. The national sports and customs
of the English, which it had been attempted to introduce among them,
were shunned and disregarded by the oppressed and scowling population;
while those chiefs who had formerly shown the greatest attachment to
the cause of independence, were seldom heard of, except when discovered
holding their conferences in those sequestered retreats, where they
considered themselves secure from all, save the wandering spies
employed by the faithless part of their own countrymen.

Wallace now saw that the state of the country required a different
remedy from that which had hitherto been applied. Baliol, whom he had
acknowledged as his righteous sovereign, though detained a prisoner
in England, had, through the menaces of Edward, made over to that
monarch his right to the crown and kingdom of Scotland. This act, in
the opinion of Wallace, released him from his allegiance to one who
had all along acted a part unworthy of his attachment; for, though he
admitted his right to _resign_ the crown, yet he could not recognise a
right to _transfer_ it to a stranger, to the exclusion of the lawful
heir; and as Edward, the son of Baliol, was also the prisoner and tool
of the King of England, he naturally fixed his attention on Bruce, as
the person best fitted, from his birth and talents, to infuse that
confidence in the people which necessarily arises from the presence of
a person invested with lawful authority. Having found no difficulty in
impressing Sir Simon Frazer, and those other chiefs who adhered to him,
with the same sentiments, a negociation was entered into with Edward
Bruce, for inviting his brother from England to assume the crown;
and it is also said, that a special herald[65] from Wallace and his
confederates found his way to Bruce in disguise, who appointed to meet
with our hero on a certain night on the burrow-muir of Glasgow.

1305. In the meantime, Wallace and his friends were active in
organizing the insurrection, which was to burst forth as soon as
Bruce appeared among them, and who was at the same time to have been
proclaimed king. How far Cumyn was consulted on the occasion, by
Wallace and his associates, does not appear. From the very little
intercourse which seems to have subsisted between them since the fatal
battle of Falkirk, it is highly probable that the accession of our
patriot and his party, to the proposal for placing Bruce on the throne,
was communicated to Cumyn through the medium of Edward Bruce--the
fiery temperament of whose mind, was not always in unison with those
maxims of sound policy necessary for conducting affairs of such moment.
Whether Cumyn had ever been sincere in the agreement entered into
with the Earl of Carrick, or whether he afterwards repented of the
bargain he had made, is a point not easily to be ascertained; but with
a duplicity worthy of his conduct on a former occasion, he is said to
have despatched the bond between himself and Bruce to Edward; urging,
at the same time, the arrestment of his rival, as necessary to prevent
the disturbance that was on the eve of breaking out in Scotland.

It might be considered by our readers an omission, were we to bring our
labours to a close, without embodying in our pages a more particular
account of this subtile and talented baron, than what has hitherto
appeared in the course of the narrative. To obviate this objection,
perhaps the following brief outline, in addition to what has already
been stated, may suffice.

John Cumyn, or as he is called by the Gaël, _Ian Ruadh Mhac Ian
Ruadh Chiumein_ (Red John, the son of Red John Cumming), was Lord of
Badenoch, Lochaber, and other extensive districts, and the head of the
most potent clan that ever existed in Scotland. His power was more
formidable than any of his fellow-competitors for the crown. Upwards
of 60 belted knights and their vassals were bound to follow his banner;
and the influence of the family was such, that during the minority
of Alexander III., after driving from Scotland a strong faction,
formed and supported by the interest of England, the Cumyns and their
adherents negociated a treaty with Llewellyn, a prince of Wales. In
this instrument, John, the father of the subject of the present notice,
appears as Justiciary of Galloway. This document is preserved in
Rymer’s Fœdera, vol. i. p. 653. Those, however, who may not have access
to that work, may have their curiosity gratified, by referring to
Tytler’s History of Scotland, vol. i. p. 424.

It is uncertain at what time John Cumyn succeeded to his father. He
appears, however, in 1289, as joint agent along with James the Steward,
in the letter of the community of Scotland, directed to Edward I., from
Brigham. According to Henry, he was married to a cousin of the King of
England; and this, from all authorities, seems to have been the case,
for he espoused Joan, the sister of Aymer de Valence, whose father,
William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, was uterine brother to Henry
III. With this powerful connection, he no doubt expected a different
decision in the submission respecting the throne of Scotland. This
disappointment, in all probability, made him afterwards more ready
to join the insurrection under Wallace; and if it had not been for
the odium which he afterwards drew upon himself by his conduct at the
battle of Falkirk, he might have figured in the annals of his country
with a fair and honourable reputation. While regent of Scotland, his
behaviour was not only unexceptionable, but often praiseworthy. This,
however, may have been partly owing to the strict surveillance which
Wallace still exercised in the affairs of the country, or partly from
a wish to conciliate his countrymen in the event of a favourable
opportunity occurring for his obtaining the crown,--an object of
ambition of which it is pretty evident he never lost sight.

The treachery towards Bruce, which has been charged against him by all
authorities except Lord Hailes, also tended to deepen the stain on
his character. This charge, whether true or false, we have no means
of ascertaining. A number of the objections stated by his Lordship
against it are, however, of considerable weight. That a bond existed
between them of the tenor already described, there is little doubt;
and that the terms of this bond became afterwards matter of dispute,
there is some reason to believe, as the fulfilment of it would have
been dangerous to both. For had Bruce been placed on the throne by the
assistance of Cumyn, and the latter had received the estates of Bruce,
according to agreement, he would have been a subject far too powerful
for the crown; and _vice versa_ in the case of Bruce. The quarrel,
therefore, which subsequently took place in the chapel of Dumfries,
and which ended in the death of Cumyn, (the particulars of which are
known to every reader), might have arisen in an altercation respecting
the difficulties involved in the completion of the bond, without
either party having been guilty of a breach of faith. It was no doubt
the policy of Bruce and his confederates, that the stain of treachery
should be affixed on the name of Cumyn, as it afforded the only
plausible excuse for committing a murder in a place of such reputed
sanctity. Indeed the circumstance of the latter having requested an
interview within the precincts of a church, showed nothing like a
premeditated intention to quarrel; but since the deed was committed,
it seemed necessary to the future safety and views of Bruce and his
faction, that with the influence the character of the Cumyns should be
diminished. That they assisted in this last object themselves, is but
too apparent; otherwise it would be difficult to account for that odium
which afterwards became attached to them. For while the Scots, in the
Low country, cried out against the “fause Cumyn’s Kyn,” their vassals
in Badenoch and Lochaber re-echoed the charge, till the very name
became cognominal with deceit; so much so, that the following proverb
is at this day remembered in those parts of the Highlands to which
their influence extended:

    _“Fhad’s a bhios crann an cóille,
    Bi’dh fóill an Cuimeineach.”_

  “While there are trees in a wood, there will be deceit in a Cumyn.”

We will not however assert, that the enmity of the Gaël arose from
the conduct of the Cumyns in the Low country; for if we may credit
tradition still current in the West Highlands, this once powerful and
oppressive family gave sufficient cause, in their own territorial
bounds, for the antipathy of their neighbours and vassals. The
atrocities which they committed in their castles of Inverlochy,
Badenoch, and other strongholds which they polluted with their crimes,
at last roused the slumbering vengeance of the people; and tradition,
in her vague manner, dates the downfall of this potent clan, from the
time of “Cumyn’s flight from Onnich.” At what period this occurred,
cannot now be exactly ascertained; but with the particulars of the
story we shall close this imperfect notice:--

The Cumyns, it seems, in the plenitude of their power, paid little
attention, when it suited their wishes, to the abrogation of the
infamous law of Evenus, and the “_mercheta mulierum_” was generally
spurned, when the charms of the bride happened to please the eye of
the chief. It would seem that three marriages were about to take
place at Onnich, a little town on the borders of Lochaber. The women
were beautiful, and the men spirited and brave. The half-merk had
been tendered at the gates of Inverlochy, by the bridegrooms and
their friends, and the refusal of it by the chief gave them reason to
apprehend the fate that was intended for them. The case excited deep
interest. The day of marriage approached, and brought along with it
the Lord of Badenoch and his two sons, with their usual retinue. The
half-merk was again tendered, and refused. The men drew their swords,
determined to guard the purity of their fair ones. A conflict ensued;
friends gathered to the assistance of the injured; the two sons of
Cumyn were killed; while he, with the remains of his myrmidons, betook
himself to flight. The country arose and made after him, till the
affair swelled to a general insurrection. All his train were sacrificed
to the fury of the pursuers, many, no doubt, having more serious
grievances to revenge. The flight continued till their obnoxious
chief reached a hill near the present site of Fort Augustus;--where,
overcome with fatigue, he was seen to sit down apparently to rest
himself. On coming up to him, however, they found that the wretched
man had already paid the forfeit of his crimes. He was carried down and
buried on the spot where the fort now stands, which is still known to
old Highlanders by the name of “_Cill Chiumein_,” or the burial-place
of Cumyn; and the hill on which he died retains to this day the
appellation of “_Suidh Chiumein_,” or Cumyn’s Seat. Very few of the
clan are now to be found in these districts.

To return to our narrative: Wallace, who, as he conceived, among other
friends, had secured the co-operation of Sir John Menteith to the
measures then in agitation, for the purpose, it is supposed, of giving
as early notice as possible of the arrival of Bruce, had retained near
his person a young man related to Menteith,[66] who was to have been
despatched with the news to Dumbarton, as soon as their future monarch
should arrive, when that important fortress was to have declared in his

Confiding in the arrangements thus made, Wallace, as the time appointed
by Bruce drew near, collected his followers round Glasgow, and disposed
of them in such a manner, as to be able to bring them together on
the shortest notice,[67] For the better concealment of his design,
he retired to a small lonely house at Robroyston, about three miles
north-west of Glasgow. Here he waited with impatience for the night on
which Bruce had appointed to meet him, little dreaming of the danger to
which his intended sovereign was exposed, through the conduct of Cumyn,
nor of the treachery that was hatching against himself.

The means which were employed to accomplish the destruction of Bruce,
would have been of very little avail towards securing the objects
intended, so long as his brother and our hero--who had now identified
himself with the interest of the Brucian party--remained to head the
insurrection that was expected to break out; and as all the magnificent
promises of Edward had been unable to subdue the stern virtue of
the patriot, his emissaries now bethought themselves of assailing
the fidelity of those friends in whom he seemed chiefly to confide.
Unfortunately for the cause of liberty, their allurements were but too
successful; and the honour of his early friend, Sir John Menteith, gave
way to the arts of the tempter.

On the night of the 5th of August 1305, Sir William, and his faithful
friend Kerlé,[68] accompanied by the youth before mentioned, had
betaken themselves to their lonely retreat at Robroyston;[69] to which
place their steps had been watched by a spy, who, as soon as he had
observed them enter, returned to his employers.

At the dead hour of midnight, while the two friends lay fast asleep,
the youth, whose turn it was to watch, cautiously removed the bugie
from the neck of Wallace, and conveyed it, along with his arms,
through an aperture in the wall; then slowly opening the door, two
men-at-arms silently entered, and, seizing upon Kerlé, hurried him
from the apartment, and instantly put him to death. Wallace, awakened
by the noise, started to his feet, and, missing his weapons, became
sensible of his danger, but grasping a large piece of oak, which had
been used for a seat, he struck two of his assailants dead on the
spot, and drove the rest headlong before him. Seeing the fury to
which he was roused, and the difficulty they would have in taking him
alive, Menteith now advanced, to the aperture, and represented to
him the folly of resistance, as the English, he said, having heard
of his place of resort, and of the plans he had in contemplation,
were collected in too large a force to be withstood; that if he would
accompany him a prisoner to Dumbarton, he would undertake for the
safety of his person;--that all the English wished, was to secure the
peace of the country, and to be free from his molestation;--adding,
that if he consented to go with him, he should live in his own house
in the castle, and he, Menteith, alone should be his keeper;--that
even now, he would willingly sacrifice his life in his defence; but
that his attendants were too few, and too ill-appointed, to have any
chance of success in contending with the English. He concluded by
assuring Wallace, that he had followed in order to use his influence
with his enemies in his behalf, and that they had listened to him on
condition of an immediate surrender; but that if he did not instantly
comply, the house would soon be in flames about him. These, and other
arguments, were urged with all the seeming sincerity of friendship;
and our patriot, confiding in early recollections, and the private
understanding that subsisted between them, allowed himself to be
conducted to Dumbarton Castle.

On the morrow, however, no Monteith appeared to exert his _influence_,
in order to prevent the unfortunate hero from being carried from the
fortress; and strongly fettered, and guarded by a powerful escort,
under the command of Robert de Clifford and Aymer de Vallance, he was
hurried to the South, by the line of road least exposed to the chance
of a rescue.



As the capture of Wallace was an event wholly unexpected by the
English, the news of it, which spread with the rapidity of lightning,
produced, in every part of the kingdom, a deep and universal sensation.
Labour of every kind was abandoned, and people of all ranks flocked to
those points of the road where it was expected the illustrious captive
would pass. At Carlisle the escort halted for a night; and the tower
in which he was secured, long afterwards retained his name. As the
_cortège_ approached London, the crowds became more numerous; and, on
entering the capital, his conductors found their progress retarded
by the multitudes that were collected;--while every elevation or
projection, however perilous, from which he could be seen, was occupied
with, or clung to, by anxious spectators, eager to behold a man who
had filled England with terror, and the fame of whose achievements had
resounded through every country in Europe. After much exertion, the
cavalcade at length reached the house of William Delect, a citizen in
Fenchurch Street, where their prisoner was lodged for the night. From
the circumstance of his having been taken to a private house, rather
than to a place of greater security, it has been imagined by some,
that Edward intended to make a last effort to gain Wallace over to
his interest. This conjecture, however, is not sufficiently supported
by subsequent proceedings, to entitle it to any degree of credit; and
we are more inclined to believe, that the difficulty which the party
encountered in making their way through the dense multitudes who had
blocked up the streets and lanes leading to the Tower, may, with
greater probability, be assigned as the cause for taking him to the
house of Delect.

The thirst for revenge existed too keenly in the ruthless mind of
Edward, to admit of much delay in the sacrifice of his victim. Though a
consideration for the opinion of the more enlightened of his subjects,
and the manner in which his conduct might be viewed at foreign courts,
obliged him to have recourse at least to the formality of a trial--the
indecent haste with which it was brought on, made the mockery of
judicial procedure but too apparent. The day after his arrival, he
was conducted on horseback, from the house which his brief residence
had made the scene of universal attraction, to take his trial in
Westminster Hall. His progress from Fenchurch Street, according to
Stowe, appears to have been a sort of procession, Lord John de Segrave,
the fugitive of Roslin, acting as Grand Marshal of England, and armed
cap-à-pè, rode on one side, while Geoffrey de Hartlepool, Recorder of
London, equipped in a similar manner, rode on the other. The Mayor,
Sheriffs, and Aldermen followed, attended by a number of official
characters on horseback and on foot, arranged according to their
respective grades.[70]

On reaching the spot where the solemn farce was to be performed, he was
placed on the south bench of the great hall; and, in consequence of an
absurd report,[71] which had been circulated in England, of his having
said that he deserved to wear a crown in that place, a crown of laurel
was put upon his head. The noble appearance of the man, joined to his
calm and unruffled demeanour, entirely disarmed this silly attempt at
ridicule of its intended effect.[72]

Sir Peter Malory, the King’s Justice, then rose, and read the
indictment, wherein the prisoner was charged with treason against
the King of England, burning of towns, and slaying of the subjects
of his Majesty. To the first of these counts Wallace answered, that,
as he had never been the subject of the King of England, he owed him
no allegiance, and consequently could be no traitor. As to the other
offences, he frankly admitted, that, in the discharge of his duty to
his country, he had done all that was stated. On this admission, the
following atrocious sentence was pronounced:--

For treason, he was to be first dragged to the place of execution. For
murder and robbery, he was to be then hung a certain time by the neck;
and, because he had burned abbeys and religious houses, he was to be
taken down alive from the gibbet, his entrails torn out, and burnt
before him, his body to be quartered, and the parts afterwards to be
disposed of as the clemency of Majesty might suggest.[73]

When the necessary preparations were made for carrying this sentence
into execution, the late champion of Scottish independence was brought
forth from the place where he had been kept in confinement, heavily
ironed, and chained to a bench of oak. He was then placed on a hurdle,
and, surrounded by a strong guard of soldiers, ignominiously dragged to
the Elms, in Smithfield. That self-possession and undaunted demeanour
which he evinced during the trial, appeared equally conspicuous on the
scaffold. Looking round with undisturbed composure on the assembled
multitude, he addressed himself to a person near him, and asked for
a priest to whom he might make confession. This request, on being
made known to Edward, he is said to have sternly refused; and the
rancorous old man forbad _any clergyman to retard the execution_
for such a purpose. On hearing this undignified command of his
sovereign, Winchelsea, Archbishop of Canterbury, the same individual
who so faithfully discharged his duty at Carlaverock, stepped boldly
forward, and, after earnestly remonstrating with Edward, declared his
determination to officiate himself. When the ceremony usual on such
occasions was finished, Wallace rose from his knees, and the Archbishop
having taken leave of him, instantly departed for Westminster, thus
declining to witness the sequel of an act so revolting to humanity, and
which he no doubt considered as fixing a deep stain on the character of
his country.

The spectacle which was now exhibited to the gaze of the inhabitants
of the metropolis of England, was such as perhaps has never before
been presented to the populace of any land. The _LAST FREEMAN_ of an
ANCIENT PEOPLE, not less renowned for their bravery, than for their
love of independence, stood a calm and unshrinking victim, ready to be
immolated at the shrine of despotism. That powerful arm which had long
contended for liberty was now to be unstrung beneath the knife of the
executioner; and that heart, replete with every ennobling virtue, which
never quailed in the sternest hour of danger, was doomed to quiver in
the purifying flames of martyrdom.

During the pause which preceded the unhallowed operations, Wallace
turned to Lord Clifford, and requested that a Psalter,[74] which
had been taken from his person, might be returned. His desire being
complied with, he asked a priest to hold it open before him. This book
had been his constant companion from his early years, and was perhaps
the gift of his mother or his uncle, the parson of Dunipace.

After hanging for a certain time, the sufferer was taken down, while
yet in an evident state of sensibility. He was then disembowelled;
and the heart, wrung from its place, was committed to the flames in
his presence. During this dreadful process, his eyes still continued
to linger on the Psalter, till, overpowered by his sufferings, he
expired among their hands with all that passive heroism which may be
supposed to belong to so elevated a character. The body was afterwards
dismembered; the head fixed on London bridge, the right arm on the
bridge of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the left at Berwick, the right leg at
Perth, and the left at Aberdeen.

Thus fell this great and exemplary patriot, a martyr to the rights
and independence of his country, than whom, if we consider his
extraordinary personal and mental endowments,--joined to his
inextinguishable and disinterested love of liberty, a greater hero
is not to be found in the annals of any people. Born to a slender
inheritance, and unconnected by birth with the opulent families of his
country, he derived no advantage from those circumstances which often
assisted other distinguished characters in attaining that place in the
temple of fame to which their ambition was directed. To his own genius
he was indebted for a system of tactics eminently calculated for the
contest he had in view; and with his own arm he gave the first impulse
to the cause of freedom, which afterwards, on the field of Bannockburn,
was crowned with such glorious and decisive success under a kindred
spirit--on whom the inspiring mantle of our patriot descended, as he
winged his flight to the regions of immortality.

In person, Wallace was admirably fitted to grace that elevated station
among mankind, for which his genius and talents so eminently qualified
him. His visage was long, well proportioned, and exquisitely beautiful;
his eyes were bright and piercing; the hair of his head and beard
auburn, and inclined to curl: that on his brows and eye-lashes was of
a lighter shade; his lips were round and full. Under the chin, on the
left side, was a scar,[75] the only one visible, although many were
to be found on his person;[76] his stature was lofty and majestic,
rising the head and shoulders above the tallest men in the country.
Yet his form, though gigantic, possessed the most perfect symmetry;
and with a degree of strength almost incredible, there was combined
such an agility of body and fleetness in running, that no one, except
when mounted on horseback, could outstrip, or escape from him, when
he happened to pursue. All-powerful as a swordsman, and unrivalled
as an archer, his blows were fatal, and his shafts unerring: as an
equestrian, he was a model of dexterity and grace; while the hardships
he experienced in his youth, made him view with indifference the
severest privations incident to a military life. In common intercourse,
his accents were mild, and his manners grave and urbane. In the field,
when addressing his soldiers, his discourse was brief and animating,
and the sound of his voice thrilled through their hearts like the
spirit-stirring notes of the clarion.[77] Great and varied, however, as
were the accomplishments nature had lavished on his person, the graces
with which she had enriched his mind threw a radiance over all the
rest of her gifts. Untaught himself in the military art, he became the
instructor of his countrymen, and his first efforts were worthy of the
greatest captain of the age.

If we may judge from his regard to the sanctity of an oath, his ideas
of morality appear to have been much at variance with the corrupt
practice of the age. Uncontaminated by the pernicious example of the
great men of the country, he rather chose to bear hunger and every
other privation the unsheltered outlaw might be exposed to, than
purchase the advantage so much prized by others, at the expense of
taking an oath he had no intention of holding sacred:--still, this
inflexible rectitude of soul could not shame the aristocracy from
their convenient perjuries; for the bands by which he strove to
unite them together, became like ropes of sand in the hour of trial.
Notwithstanding, however, all the difficulties that were thrown in his
way, the vigour of his own character, and the wisdom of his measures,
enabled him to achieve the deliverance of his native land. To the
charges of ambition and usurpation that were brought against him, he
gave the noblest refutation, by resigning the bauble of power into the
hands of those little spirits, who would otherwise have betrayed the
cause of national independence, or involved their country in all the
horrors of civil war. Thus, his virtuous self-denial preserved the
people whom his valour had set free.

In the biographical notices that have been submitted, the reader will
perceive the formidable array of talent and power with which Wallace
had to contend. To an aristocracy, at that time perhaps unrivalled
in Europe, and headed by a monarch as distinguished for ambition,
sternness of purpose, and warlike propensities, as he was notorious
for the absence of those virtues which constitute the redeeming traits
in the character of a soldier--the magnanimous patriot had at first
little to oppose, save the innate energies of his own invincible heart,
and the resources of a genius which Heaven seems peculiarly to have
fitted for the task. That Scotland, distracted by faction, and deprived
of all foreign aid, should, under the guidance of one who ranked
among the humblest of her nobles, have again advanced herself to the
dignity of an independent state, in defiance of the power of England,
backed by the resources of Ireland and Wales, was considered by her
adversaries as too humiliating to their national character to admit of
their relinquishing the contest.[78] The renewal of every invasion
was, however, met by an increasing stubbornness of opposition; and the
chivalrous conqueror in Palestine, the “high-souled” Plantagenet, at
last condescended to _steal_ away the enemy he could neither bribe
nor subdue, and thus purchase the brief and delusive semblance of a
victory, at the price of everlasting dishonour.

The mind of Wallace was imbued with the most exalted ideas of
independence; and the stern and inflexible spirit with which he
guarded his own and his country’s honour, could only be equalled by
the scrupulous delicacy he exercised towards the feelings of others.
Loving freedom for her own sake, he considered her sanctuary, wherever
placed, as too sacred to be violated. Among the many proofs of this
elevation of mind, the following may be mentioned:--On the surrender
of de Longueville, the high-spirited Frenchman was anxious to know the
name and the character of his conqueror. On the name of Wallace being
announced to him, he fell on his knees, and thanked God that so worthy
an enemy had been his victor; and, according to the custom of the age,
he tendered his service, along with his sword. “Service from you, Sir
Thomas,” said the gallant Scot, with an accent of kind familiarity, “I
cannot accept; your friendship is what I desire.” On another occasion,
in the heat of an engagement, having, as he conceived, given orders
to Sir John Graham in a manner too peremptory--after the victory had
been secured, he came up to his brave friend, and surprised him with a
humble apology for any thing like harshness he might have displayed
in his manner of expressing himself. Graham, however, was quite
unconscious of hearing any thing that he had reason to take amiss; and
expressed a hope that he would always act towards him and others in the
same manner, when the interest of their country was at stake.

In the division of spoil, the portion that fell to the share of
Wallace he set apart as a fund from which those were rewarded who
had distinguished themselves by their valour or good conduct, while
contending for the liberty of their country--thus stimulating their
efforts in their own cause, by the sacrifice of his personal advantage.
The delicacy, also, which he evinced, in excluding his relations from
any participation in those grants and emoluments with which he rewarded
the services of others, showed him exempt from any selfish or mercenary
feeling, and decidedly averse to the aggrandizement of his family[79]
at the national expense. In those times, when driven to the woods
and natural fastnesses of the country, where his little party were
exposed, from the scarcity of provisions, to the greatest distress, the
expedients he had recourse to for their relief, and the self-denial
he exercised in order to husband the slender supplies for their use,
impressed his followers with sentiments of admiration and gratitude.
The system which he introduced, during the short period of his
regency, of disciplining and subdividing the nation, evinced the clear
and comprehensive views he entertained of the true interests of the
country; and had his successors in power followed up the same measure,
it would doubtless have been productive of incalculable benefit to
the kingdom; as, independent of the great force the Legislature might
thus have been enabled to bring into the field in cases of emergency,
it would have undermined, and eventually overthrown, the feudal
superiority of the barons, and those petty confederations among clans,
which have been for so many ages the bane and curse of Scotland.
His views, however, for the immediate and permanent prosperity of
the country, took even a more extensive range than what is embraced
by the above wise and salutary measure. Aware of the benefit which
Scotland had formerly derived from her commercial intercourse with
the Continent, we find his attention, within a month after the battle
of Stirling, seriously turned towards the re-establishment of this
important object; and while the nation was mustering at Roslin for the
invasion of England, her leader was actively engaged in despatching
intimation to the different Hanse-towns, that the ports of Scotland
were again open to the trade of all friendly powers.[80] The plan which
he pursued in his invasions, was the most efficient for exhausting the
enemy’s country, enriching his own, and encouraging his countrymen to
flock to his standard. Though often severe in his retaliations, yet,
towards women and children, he always exercised the greatest humanity.

During his Guardianship, the country was beginning to feel the return
of her former prosperity. With the spoil of the enemy he had diffused
plenty over the land; the poor were protected; thieves were promptly
and severely punished; cheats and liars were discouraged; and good men
met the reward of their virtues. The vigilance with which he watched
over the public weal was unremitting, and never for a moment gave place
to any object of personal consideration. Even those duties which are
often considered paramount to every other, were with him secondary
to the interest of his country; for, on the death of his mother, his
presence being required elsewhere, he intrusted the performance of her
obsequies to his friend John Blair and a confidential servant;--which
duty they discharged with becoming solemnity in the cathedral of
Dunfermline. To this cemetery, it is conjectured, the fragments of his
own body were secretly collated by his companions, after the barbarous
and impolitic exposure had taken place. At his execution, that
self-command and nobleness of soul, which formed such luminous traits
in his character, never for a moment forsook him. Without deigning to
breathe a murmur, either at the injustice of the tyrant who condemned,
or the unhappy man who betrayed him,[81] he submitted to his fate with
that becoming dignity which extorted even from his enemies expressions
of unqualified admiration.

A revulsion, the natural consequence of the inhuman cruelty of Edward,
and the undaunted demeanour of his victim, took place in the minds of
the people of England immediately after his execution; and the story
of an English[82] monk who pretended to have seen a vision of angels
conducting Wallace out of purgatory with much honour, was quickly
circulated, and received with pleasure, all over Britain.

The following lines, translated from the original Latin by Hume of
Godscroft, are understood to have been composed some time after the
execution of our illustrious patriot, by his afflicted friend and
chaplain John Blair; and with this elegant and pathetic tribute of
genius at the shrine of departed greatness, we shall close the present

    “Envious death, who ruins all,
    Hath wrought the sad lamented fall
    Of Wallace; and no more remains
    Of him--than what an urn contains!
    Ashes for our hero we have--
    He, for his armour, a cold grave.
    He left the earth--too low a state!
    And by his acts o’ercame his fate.
    His soul Death had not power to kill,
    His noble deeds the world do fill
    With lasting trophies of his name.
    O! hadst thou virtue loved, or fame,
    Thou could’st not have insulted so
    Over a brave, betrayed, dead foe,
    Edward, nor seen those limbs expos’d
    To public shame--fit to be clos’d
    As relics in an holy shrine.
    But now the infamy is thine.
    His end crowns him with glorious bays,
    And stains the brightest of thy praise.”



The wisdom of the ancient Egyptians has been much celebrated, but in
no respect does it appear more conspicuous than in the uses to which
they applied the historical records of their country. By their laws,
the hand which kept a faithful transcript of passing events, and
registered with strict impartiality the transactions and characters
of their kings, was removed from the knowledge and influence of those
whose deeds were thus related. On the accession of every new monarch,
it was part of the ceremonial to read in his presence the records of
his predecessor’s reign. By this means he was apprised of the faults
he ought to avoid, and admonished of the virtues it was incumbent on
him to emulate; while the reflection arising from the certainty that
after death his name also would be consigned over to posterity--either
to receive the meed of grateful remembrance, or the impress of merited
reprobation, according to his actions--operated on the royal mind as a
useful and salutary restraint.

Other nations aspired to imitate the Egyptians; but national imitation
is too often like that among individuals. The faults and blemishes of
the original are more readily caught than its beauties and perfections.
Thus, while the grossness of Egypt’s mythology was most servilely
copied, _one_ practice which gave dignity and utility to her history
was entirely overlooked, and the pen of the historian, in place of
being wielded by the impartial, fearless, and untrammelled friend of
public virtue, was more frequently found in the hand of the needy
parasite; employed in the base and degrading occupation of varnishing
the enormities of the ermined tyrant, whose ambitious progress to
distinction had been marked by the subversion of the rights, and the
carnage of his fellow-men. This prostitution of the historic muse is
not unknown among modern authors, and may be often attributed to an
unworthy desire of administering to the feelings of a favourite party,
or a wish to conciliate the national prejudices of their readers.
Though compelled, by the general increase of knowledge, to give a more
faithful narrative of facts than the writers of antiquity, when it may
suit any of the purposes that have been mentioned, the subject of their
biography is seldom dismissed without being made to undergo a sort of
purgation in the general estimate of his character, and which is often
found to be at antipodes to the actions with which it stands connected.
Perhaps the annals of England cannot afford a more striking instance of
this perversion of all that is valuable in historical literature, than
in the portraits which some historians have drawn of Edward I.

Without attempting to delineate the character of this ambitious
disturber of the peace of Britain, the writer will merely notice a few
of the leading circumstances of his history, and leave the reader to
discover by what curious process of literary chemistry those crudities
have been made to harmonize, in order to produce so fair a display of
political sagacity and kingly greatness.

The littleness which appears to have been inherent in the mind of
Edward was laid open to the Londoners in 1263, by his breaking into the
treasury of the Knights Templars, and carrying off 1000_l._ deposited
there by the citizens. This robbery was looked upon by the people as an
act so thoroughly base, that they instantly flew to arms, and assaulted
the houses of those among the nobility who were supposed accessary to
the theft. Edward was at this time in his 26th year; of course youthful
indiscretion cannot be advanced as an excuse for the crime.

His aggression upon Scotland has been indulgently placed to the account
of those enlightened and statesman-like views which he entertained of
the true interests and general welfare of Britain, and the advantages
he discovered would result from the resources of the two countries
being consolidated under one head. This “reason of state,” has been
held up in extenuation of the nefarious means which he resorted to
for the accomplishment of his purpose. But by the extracts which we
are about to make from the pages of an author every way inclined to
treat the faults of Edward with lenity, the reader will perceive, that
though the enlightened views “which he took of the solid interests
of his kingdom,” may have found a place in the imagination of the
historian, they do not appear to have occurred to the monarch. The
extinction of every thing like rational liberty, and the establishment
of an extensive and uncontrollable autocracy, seem to have been the
undisguised objects of his ambition. In proof of which, we have only
to refer to his demeanour towards his barons, and the unwarrantable
appropriation of the effects of his subjects, mentioned in the extracts
alluded to. His conduct in respect to Scotland being thus stripped of
the only palliation that can be offered, it stands forward on the page
of history in all its native deformity, unrelieved by one solitary
extenuating circumstance, while the following transaction gives it, if
possible, a darker and more disgusting complexion.

In 1267, Henry and Prince Edward, being driven to the greatest
extremity by the Earl of Gloucester and other Barons, whom their
oppressions and unlawful exactions had forced to take up arms, when
every hope failed them, and even the Tower of London was besieged by
a numerous army of enraged assailants, they were very opportunely
relieved from their perilous situation by the assistance of 30,000
Scots, whom Alexander sent to their relief; and with these auxiliaries
they were enabled to withstand, and afterwards to subdue, their
exasperated and refractory subjects. The debt of gratitude which was
thus incurred, Edward had not an opportunity of discharging, till after
the death of Alexander, when the Scots, with a generous confidence,
which their own conduct naturally inspired, applied to him to act as
umpire in settling the succession to the crown. How honourably he
acquitted himself in the discharge of the duties of the trust thus
reposed in him, and how generous was the return he made for their good
offices, the reader requires not to be told. Two nations, who had for
nearly a century regarded each other with feelings of mutual good-will,
and had lived in a state of friendly intercourse highly beneficial
to both, were suddenly transformed into the most inveterate enemies;
and an implacable spirit of animosity engendered between them, which
it required the slow revolution of ages to soften and obliterate. The
guilty ambition of this short-sighted tyrant entailed upon the British
states a quarrel the most bloody, the most expensive, and the most
insane that perhaps ever existed between two nations. By the ridiculous
pretensions of the one, the improvement of both countries was retarded,
and their frontier populations demoralized into cut-throats or
plunderers, who wandered in search of their prey over a land barren as
the desert, which might otherwise have been teeming with the fruits of
honest and profitable industry.

Edward’s ideas of honesty we have already seen in the affair of the
Templars, and his feelings of gratitude in his conduct towards the
Scots. His sense of justice may be gathered from his proceedings
against the Jews. The silver pennies of the realm having been clipped,
the offence was traced to some of that unfortunate people, and in one
day 280 of both sexes were executed in London, besides a great many
more in different parts of the kingdom, where it seems simultaneous
measures had been taken against them. That this crime was confined
entirely to the Jews, is not likely. The implements by which it could
be committed were certainly not beyond the reach of English intellect;
nor could the latter be supposed, in every instance, superior to
the temptation which the gains presented. That the guilt of all who
suffered was ascertained, is impossible; and a wholesale butchery
of this kind, authorized by law, as it could not answer the ends of
justice, can only be considered as gratuitously administering to the
worst of human passions.

The estimation in which Edward held those arts which are calculated to
instruct, refine, and elevate the human mind, may be learned from his
treatment of the Minstrels of Wales. The remorseless and sanguinary
policy which suggested that unhallowed act, could only have found
place in the breast where every virtuous and honourable feeling had
disappeared before the withering influence of a selfish and detestable
ambition. In an age when the Minstrel’s profession was a passport to
the presence and protection of the great, and the persons of those who
exercised the calling were held sacred even among tribes the least
removed from barbarism, the mind must have reached a fearful state
of depravity, that could break through those barriers with which the
gratitude and veneration of mankind had surrounded the children of
genius, and thus immolate at the shrine of an heartless despotism, the
innocent and meritorious depositories of a nation’s lore.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader may form some idea of the treasures squandered by Edward in
the Scottish wars, from the Statement of Receipts and Disbursements for
the year 1300, inserted in Appendix M, at the end of this volume. The
military operations of that year were not on a more expensive scale
than those connected with the preceding and subsequent invasions; and
by this statement, it will be found, that the disbursements for the
campaign of 1300, exceeded, “within one department of the national
expenditure,” _one fifth_ of the national income. That the expenses
of this campaign pressed equally hard on other departments of the
exchequer, is sufficiently obvious from the singular expedients which
were resorted to for the purpose of carrying it on. The year 1300
is remarkable for the first attempt to depreciate the currency of
the realm, it having been then ordered that 243 pennies should be
coined out of the pound of silver, in place of 240 as formerly. In
this year, also, as will be seen by the statements already alluded
to, the Wardrobe department was in arrears to the amount of 5949_l._
4s. 3d., which circumstance--taken in connexion with the fact, that
Sir Simon Fraser and other knights soon after deserted the English
service, because their pay and other allowances were withheld--proves
that the treasury of England at this time must have been in a very
depressed state. This profitless expenditure was continued with little
interruption, from 1296 till 1320, in pursuit of an object, which,
happily for the future prosperity of both countries, was unattainable.

We have already alluded to the treacherous designs of Edward, regarding
the liberties of his own subjects; and, in illustration of the opinion
then expressed, we shall now subjoin the account of his behaviour,
after his triumphant return from the north, as it appears in the
pages of Dr Lingard, an author who certainly cannot be considered as
a friend to Scotland:--we wish we were able to call him a _candid_

“Had Edward,” says this learned, though often disingenuous writer,
“confined his rapacity to the clergy, he might perhaps have continued
to despise their remonstrances; but the aids which he had annually
raised on the freeholders, the tallages which he so frequently demanded
of the cities and boroughs, and the additional duties which he extorted
from the merchants, had excited a general spirit of discontent. Wool
and hides were the two great articles of commerce; the exportation of
which was allowed only to foreign merchants, and confined, by law, to
eleven ports in England, and three in Ireland. In the beginning of his
reign, the duty had been raised to half a mark on each sack of wool;
but the royal wants perpetually increased; and, during his quarrel with
the King of France, he required five marks for every sack of fine,
three for every sack of coarse wool, and five for every last of hides.
On one occasion, he extorted from the merchants a loan of the value of
all the wool which they exported; on two others, he seized and sold
both wool and hides for his own profit. He even stretched his rapacious
hands to the produce of the soil, and the live-stock of his subjects;
and, to provision his army in Guienne, he issued precepts to each
sheriff to collect, by assessment on the landholders of his county, a
certain number of cattle, and two thousand quarters of wheat. Though
this requisition was accompanied with a promise of future payment, the
patience of the nation was exhausted: Consultations began to be held:
and preparations were made for resistance. Edward had assembled two
bodies of troops, with one of which he intended to sail for Flanders,
the other he destined to reinforce the army in Guienne, (1297, Feb.
24.) At Salisbury, he gave the command of the latter to Bohun Earl of
Hereford, the constable, and to Bigod Earl of Norfolk, the mareschal
of England; but both these noblemen refused the appointment, on the
alleged ground, that, by their office, they were bound only to attend
on the King’s person. Edward, in a paroxysm of rage, addressing himself
to the mareschal, exclaimed--‘By the everlasting God, Sir Earl, you
shall go or hang.’--‘By the everlasting God, Sir King,’ replied
Bigod, ‘I will neither go nor hang.’ Hereford and Norfolk immediately
departed: they were followed by thirty bannerets, and fifteen hundred
knights; and the royal officers, intimidated by their menaces, ceased
to levy the purveyance. Edward saw that it was necessary to dissemble,
and summoned some,--requested others, of his military tenants to meet
him in arms in London.

“The two Earls, in concert with the Archbishop of Canterbury, had
arranged their plan of resistance to the royal exactions. On the
appointed day the constable and John de Segrave, as deputy-mareschal,
(Bigod himself was detained at home by sickness) attended the King’s
court; but when they were required to perform their respective duties
(July 8th), they returned a refusal in writing, on the ground that
they had not received a legal summons, but only a general invitation.
Edward appointed a new constable and mareschal; and, to divide and
weaken his opponents, sought to appease the clergy, and to move the
commiseration of the people (July 11th). He received the primate
with kindness, ordered the restoration of his lands, and named him
one of the council to Prince Edward, whom he had appointed regent. On
a platform before the entrance of Westminster Hall, accompanied by
his son, the Archbishop, and the Earl of Warwick, he harangued the
people, (July 14.) He owned that the burdens which he had laid on them
were heavy; but protested that it had not been less painful to him to
impose, than it had been to them to bear them. Necessity was his only
apology. His object had been to preserve himself and his liege men from
the cruelty and rapacity of the Welsh, the Scots, and the French, who
not only sought _his_ crown, but also thirsted after _their_ blood. In
such case, it was better to sacrifice a part than to lose the whole.
‘Behold,’ he concluded, ‘I am going to expose myself to danger for
you. If I return, receive me again, and I will make you amends; if
I fall, here is my son; place him on the throne, and his gratitude
shall reward your fidelity.’ At these words the King burst into tears;
the Archbishop was equally affected; the contagion ran through the
multitude; and shouts of loyalty and approbation persuaded Edward that
he might still depend on the allegiance of his people. This exhibition
was followed by writs to the sheriffs, ordering them to protect the
clergy from injury, and to maintain them in the possession of their

“He now ventured to proceed as far as Winchelsey on his way to
Flanders. But here he was alarmed by reports of the designs of his
opponents, and ordered letters to be sent to every county, stating the
origin of his quarrel with the two earls, asserting that he had never
refused any petition for redress, and promising to confirm the charter
of liberties and charter of the forests, in return for the liberal
aid of an eighth which had been granted by the council in London.
Soon afterwards a paper was put into his hands, purporting to be the
remonstrance of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, and priors, the
earls, barons, and whole commonalty of England. In it they complained
that the last summons had been worded ambiguously; that it called on
them to accompany the King to Flanders, a country in which they were
not bound to serve by the custom of their tenures; that even if they
were, they had been so impoverished by aids, tallages, and unlawful
seizures, as to be unable to bear the expense; that the liberties
granted to them by the two charters had been repeatedly violated; that
the ‘evil toll’ (the duty) annually on wool amounted alone to one-fifth
of the whole income of the land; and that, to undertake an expedition
to Flanders in the existing circumstances, was imprudent, since it
would expose the kingdom without protection to the inroads of the Welsh
and Scots. Edward replied, that he could return no answer on matters
of such high importance, without the advice of his council, a part of
which had already sailed for Flanders; that if the remonstrants would
accompany him, he would accept it as a favour; if they refused, he
trusted they would raise no disturbance during his absence, (Aug. 19.)
Before his departure he appointed commissioners in each county with
powers to require security from all persons for the payment of aids
due to the crown, and to imprison the publishers of false reports,
the disturbers of the peace, and such of the clergy as might presume
to pronounce censures against the royal officers for the discharge of
their duty.

“At length the King set sail, accompanied by the barons and knights
who had espoused his cause; and two days later, Bohun and Bigod, with
a numerous retinue, proceeded to the exchequer. The constable, in
the presence of the treasurer and judges, complained of the King’s
extortions, of his illegal seizures of private property, and of the
enormous duty imposed upon wool; and forbade them, in the name of the
baronage of England, to levy the last eight which had been granted by
the great council, because it had been voted without his knowledge and
concurrence, and that of his friends. From the exchequer they rode
to the Guildhall, where they called upon the citizens to join in the
common cause, and to aid in wresting the confirmation of the national
liberties from a reluctant and despotic sovereign. The tears which
the Londoners had shed during Edward’s harangue, were now dried up;
considerations of interest suppressed the impulse of pity; and they
gave assurances of their co-operation to the barons, who immediately
retired to their respective counties. Both during their progress to the
capital, and their return from it, they had marched in military array.
But at the same time they had been careful to preserve the peace; and
had threatened, by proclamation, to punish every lawless aggressor with
immediate amputation of a hand, or the loss of the head, according to
the quality of the offence.

“The King was soon informed of these proceedings, and ordered the
barons of the exchequer to disregard the prohibition. But in a few
weeks his obstinacy was subdued by a succession of untoward events.
The people and clergy universally favoured the cause of the earls; the
Scots, after their victory at Stirling, had burst into the northern
counties; and Edward himself lay at Ghent in Flanders, unable to return
to the protection of the kingdom, and too weak to face the superior
force of the French king. In these circumstances, the lords who
composed the council of the young Prince, invited the archbishop, six
prelates, twenty-three abbots and priors, the constable and mareschal,
and eight barons, to treat with them on matters of the greatest moment,
and summoned a parliament to meet in London a week later (Sept. 30.),
and witness the confirmation of the two charters. In the conferences
which preceded, the two parties, though opposed in appearance, had the
same interests and the same views; a form of peace (so it was called)
was speedily arranged; and, to the ancient enactments of the charters,
were appended the following most important additions:--”No tallage
or aid shall henceforth be laid or levied by us or our heirs in this
our realm, without the goodwill and common assent of the archbishops,
bishops, and other prelates, the earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and
other free men in our realm. No officer of us or our heirs shall take
corn, wool, hides, or other goods, of any person whatsoever, without
the good will and assent of the owner of such goods. Nothing shall
henceforth be taken on the sack of wool, under the name or pretence of
the evil toll. We also will and grant for us and our heirs, that all
both clergy and laity of our realm shall have their laws, liberties,
and free customs, as freely and wholly as at any time when they had
them best; and if any statutes have been made or customs introduced by
us or our ancestors contrary to them, or to any article in the present
charter, we will and grant that such statutes and customs be null and
void for ever. We have, moreover, remitted to the Earl Constable, and
Earl Mareschal and all their associates, and to all those who have not
accompanied us to Flanders, all rancour and ill will, and all manner of
offences which they may have committed against us or ours before the
making of this present charter. And for the greater assurance of this
thing, we will and grant for us and our heirs, that all archbishops and
bishops in England for ever, shall, twice in the year after the reading
of this charter in their cathedral churches, excommunicate, and cause,
in their parochial churches, to be excommunicated, all those that
knowingly shall do or cause to be done, any thing against the tenor,
force and effect of any article contained in it.

“When the parliament assembled (Oct. 10.), these additions to the
charter were received with enthusiasm; and provided the King would
assent to them, the laity voted him an eighth, the clergy of Canterbury
a tenth, and the clergy of York a fifth. The prince, by a public
instrument, took the Earls and their associates under his protection;
and the Lords of the Council bound themselves to indemnify them against
the effects of the royal displeasure. A common letter was written to
the King, soliciting him to appease all differences by giving his
assent, and assuring him that his faithful barons were ready at his
command either to join him in Flanders, or to march against his
enemies in Scotland; but at the same time requiring, in a tone of
defiance, an answer against the sixth day of December. It cost the
haughty mind of Edward several struggles, before he could prevail
on himself to submit: three days were spent in useless deliberation
and complaints; but at last, with a reluctant hand, he signed the
confirmation of the two charters with the additional articles, and a
separate pardon for the Earls and their followers, (Nov. 5.)

“This was perhaps the most important victory which had hitherto been
gained over the Crown. By investing the people with the sole right of
raising the supplies, it armed them with the power of checking the
extravagance, and controlling the despotism of their monarchs. Whatever
jealousy might be entertained of Edward’s intentions, his conduct wore
at first the semblance of sincerity. As soon as an armistice had been
concluded between him and the King of France, he returned to England,
and appointed commissioners to inquire into the illegal seizures which
had been made previously to his departure. They were to be divided into
two classes. Where the officers acted without warrant, they were, at
their own cost, to indemnify the sufferers; where the goods had been
taken by the royal orders, their value was to be certified into the
exchequer, and prompt payment was to be made. Still it was suspected
that he only waited for a favourable moment to cancel the concessions
which had been wrung from him by necessity; and it was whispered that
among his confidential friends he had laughed at them as being of no
force, because they had been made in a foreign country, where he
possessed no authority. When he met his parliament at York, the Earls
of Hereford and Norfolk required that he should ratify his confirmation
of the charters. He objected from the necessity of hastening to oppose
the Scots, solemnly promised to comply with their request on his
return, and brought forward the Bishop of Durham and three Earls, who
swore ‘on his soul,’ that he should fulfil his engagements.” A. D.
1299. March. The victory of Falkirk and a long series of success gave
a lustre to his arms; but when the parliament assembled the next year,
the King was reminded of his promise. His reluctance employed every
artifice to deceive the vigilance, or exhaust the patience, of the
two Earls. He retired from the parliament in anger; he returned and
proposed modifications; at last he ratified his former concessions,
but with the addition of a clause, which, by saving the rights of the
Crown, virtually annulled every provision in favour of the subject.
Bohun and Bigod instantly departed with their adherents; and the King,
to ascertain the sentiments of the people, ordered the sheriffs to
assemble the citizens in the cemetery of St Paul’s, and to read to
them the new confirmation of the charters. The lecture was repeatedly
interrupted by shouts of approbation; but when the illusory clause
was recited, the air rung with expressions of discontent, and curses
were poured on the head of the prince, who had thus disappointed the
expectations of his people. Edward took the alarm; summoned a new
parliament to meet him within a fortnight; granted every demand; and
appointed a commission of three Bishops, three Earls, and three
Barons, to ascertain the real boundaries of the royal forests.”[83]

In the foregoing extract, we find Edward, on the 14th July, holding up
the Scots as a bugbear to terrify his subjects into an acquiescence
with his oppressive demands; and on the 30th September the English, in
turn, are found making the very same use of the Scots, for the purpose
of extorting from _their_ reluctant and unprincipled “Justinian,” the
confirmation of their national liberties. It did not, however, appear
to strike them that the subversion of freedom in Scotland was totally
inconsistent with its existence in the southern part of the island.

By the same author we are also told, that after the surrender of
Stirling Castle in 1304, Edward sent a secret deputation to the Pope,
craving that a dispensation might be granted him from the oaths he had
taken. This request appears to have been complied with; but the learned
author adds, “Whether the papal rescript did not fully meet the King’s
wishes, or that he was intimidated by the rebellion of the Scots, he
made no public use of its contents; but suffered the concessions,
galling as they were, to remain on the statute-roll at his death, and
descend to future sovereigns as the recognised law of the land. Thus,
after a long struggle, was won, from an able and powerful monarch,
the most valuable of the privileges enjoyed by the commons of England
at the present day. If we are indebted to the patriotism of Cardinal
Langton, and the Barons at Runnymead, the framers of the great charter,
we ought equally to revere the memory of Archbishop Winchelsey and
the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk. The former erected barriers against
the abuse of the sovereign authority; the latter fixed the liberties
of the subject on a sure and permanent foundation.”[84] In his list of
meritorious characters, the learned author ought certainly not to have
omitted the Knight of Elderslie and his patriotic followers, who, in
standing nobly forward for the independence of their own country, were
also instrumental in securing such invaluable and lasting privileges
for their neighbours.

From the evidence adduced in the quotations made, of the powerful
diversion effected in favour of English liberty by the stubborn
opposition of the Scots, it appears, that the success of the arms of
the latter was the palladium on which the most important of England’s
chartered rights depended. When the people of England, therefore,
think of erecting monuments to the characters the worthy Doctor has
enumerated, it is to be hoped that a tablet to the memory of the
Guardian of Scotland will not be forgotten, on which, with propriety,
may be inscribed

    “LIBERTÉ CHERIE, quand tu meurs _en Ecosse_,
    Certes, l’Anglais, _chez lui_, peut bien creuser TA fosse.”




Page 11.

It affords the writer no little pleasure, to be able to lay before
his readers the following authentic document, which establishes
beyond a doubt the early and deep interest which Wallace took in the
re-establishment of the commercial prosperity of Scotland. As this
important writing, however, has not hitherto appeared in the works
of either English or Scottish historians, nor even been alluded to
in any former account of Wallace, it will be necessary to give some
explanation respecting the source from which it has been obtained. In
the Foreign Quarterly Review for August 1829, the following notice
appeared:--“Our Scottish antiquarian friends will be gratified to hear,
that Dr Lappenberg of Hamburg, in his researches among the ancient
records of that city, has discovered a letter, of the date 1287,
addressed by _Robert Wallace_ and Andrew Murray to Hamburg and Lubec.”
An intimation of this kind could not fail to excite a considerable
degree of interest in the writer; and the possibility that a mistake
might have occurred respecting the date, as well as the name of one of
the parties, encouraged the hope, that a letter of William Wallace and
Andrew Murray, with which the public were unacquainted, might still
be in existence. Under this impression, the writer communicated with
an intelligent friend, through whose means application was made to Dr
Lappenberg on the subject, who, with that genuine politeness which
seldom fails to accompany distinguished merit, promptly communicated
a copy of the letter in question, taken from the _original_, which
still exists among the archives of the Hanseatic city of Lubec.[85] The
letter is to the following effect:--

“Andreas de Morauia et Willelmus Wallensis, duces exercitus regni
Scotie et communitas eiusdem Regni, prouidis viris et discretis ac
amicis dilectis, maioribus et communibus de Lubek et de Hamburg salutem
et sincere dilectionis semper incrementium. Nobis per fide dignos
mercatores dicti regni Scotie est intimatum, quod vos vestri gratiâ,
in omnibus causis et negociis, nos et ipsos mercatores tangentibus
consulentes, auxiliantes et favorabiles estis, licet nostra non
precesserent merita, et ideo magis vobis tenemur ad grates cum digna
remuneracione, ad que vobis volumus obligari; rogantes vos, quatinus
preconizari facere velitis inter mercatores vestros, quod securum
accessum ad omnes portus regni Scotie possint habere cum mercandiis
suis, quia regnum Scotie, Deo regraciato, ab Anglorum potestate bello
est recuperatum. Valete. Datum apud Badsingtonam in Scotia, undecimo
die Octobris, Anno gracie, millesimo ducentesimo nonagesimo septimo.
Rogamus vos in super vt negocia Johannis Burnet, et Johannis Frere,
mercatorum nostrorum promoueri dignemini, prout nos negocia mercatorum
vestrorum promovere velitis. Valete dat: ut prius.”


“Andrew Murray and William Wallace, commanders of the army of the
kingdom of Scotland, and the community of the same kingdom--To the
prudent and discreet men, and well-beloved friends, the Mayors and
Commonwealths of Lubeck and of Hamburg, greeting, and perpetual
increase of sincere friendship.

“To us it has been intimated, by trust-worthy merchants of the
said kingdom of Scotland, that, as a mark of your regard, you have
been favourable to, counselling and assisting in, all matters and
transactions relating to us and said merchants, though [such good
offices] may not have been preceded by our deserts, and on that
account we are the more bound to tender you our thanks, and a suitable
return. This we have willingly engaged ourselves to [perform towards]
you, requesting, that in so far you would cause your merchants to be
informed, that they will now have safe access to all the ports of
the kingdom of Scotland with their merchandise, as the kingdom of
Scotland, thanks to God, has during the war been recovered from the
power of the English. Farewell.--Given at Badsington [Haddington?[86]],
in Scotland, this eleventh day of October, in the year of grace one
thousand twelve hundred and ninety-seven.--We have moreover to request,
that you would condescend to forward the interests of our merchants
John Burnet and John Frere in their business, in like manner as you may
wish us to act towards your merchants in their commercial transactions.
Farewell.--Dated as above.”

Dr Lappenberg, in his valuable communication, remarks, that this letter
“appears to be the oldest document existing relative to the intercourse
of Hamburg and Lubec, or other Hanseatic cities, with Scotland.”[87] As
the reader will perceive,--a mistake had occurred in the date, and also
in the name of Wallace.

From the above interesting muniment, various important points in our
history may be established. In the first place, it seems evident,
that Wallace and Murray, _up to the 11th October 1297_, acted only as
“duces exercitus regni Scotie,” in behalf of the _community of said
kingdom_; and that _the commission from John Baliol_, authorizing
them to act under his sanction, must have been received by them _on
their march to England_, or _during the time the devastation of
that country was going forward_; that is to say, between the 11th
_October_ and 7th _November_, on which day the charter was granted to
the monks of Hexham,[88] where we find “the name of the illustrious
Prince John, by the Grace of God King of Scotland,” is added to the
authorities mentioned in the above letter. And again, that between the
7th _November_ 1297, and the 29th _March_ 1298, _another commision_
must have been forwarded from _Baliol_ to _Wallace_ constituting him
the _sole Regent of the Kingdom of Scotland_, as we find him on _that
day_ at Torphichen granting, in that capacity, a charter to Alexander
Scrimgeor, and affixing to it the _seal of Baliol_; which circumstance
is mentioned in the charter, while no mention is made of any seal being
used in that at Hexham.[89]

From the circumstance of Andrew Murray’s name having precedence in
the letter to the Hanse Towns, and in the charter of Hexham, it may
with great probability be inferred, that these two documents were
either written by Wallace himself, or under his direction. That he
was qualified for the task is evident, from the care which had been
bestowed on his education; first by his uncle, and afterwards at the
seminary of Dundee. If Murray had either written them, or ordered them
to be written, it is not likely that he would have placed his own
name before one whose merits were so generally acknowledged, as to
procure him the appointment of Regent in so short a time afterwards;
while Wallace, in placing, or causing the name of Murray to be
placed, before his own, appears acting in perfect consistency with
those amiable traits in his character which we have already noticed.
As these writings are also free from that monkish pedantry, and
mystification which pervades in the literature of that age, they may
with great probability be considered as the composition of the talented

It may be remarked, that the envy which a number of the magnates of
Scotland entertained towards the Guardian, seems to have arisen after
his appointment to the Regency. How Sir Andrew Murray demeaned himself
on the occasion, does not appear; but the conduct and feelings of
Cumyn, his near relation,[91] were too unequivocally expressed to be

The above letter, besides affording a good specimen of the diplomatic
talents of our hero, is at the same time highly complimentary to the
friendly feelings and mercantile integrity of the merchants of the two
Hanse cities, and exhibits a singular contrast to the policy of Philip,
who, though bound by treaties, allowed his allies to struggle on
against their powerful adversary, without affording them the slightest



Page 13.

This powerful and warlike baron was descended from Gospatrick, the
Governor of Northumberland, in the time of William the Norman, who
deprived him of that office in consequence of his joining the Danes in
1069, on their invasion of England. He afterwards retired to Scotland,
and sought the protection of Malcolm III., who conferred on him the
Castle of Dunbar and the lands adjoining. In virtue of this grant, his
descendants were styled Earls of March, and sometimes of Dunbar; the
former title being derived from the lands, the latter from the name of
the principal castle belonging to the family. They were also possessed
of the castle of Coldbrands-path, a fortress of almost equal importance.

Patrick, or (Corspatrick, as he is sometimes called), the subject of
the present notice, was the eighth Earl of Dunbar; he succeeded to his
father in 1289, being then about forty-seven years of age. He was one
of the nobles who consented to the projected marriage between prince
Edward and Margaret the young Queen of Scotland. In 1291, he put in
his claim to the crown, among the other competitors, founding his right
on being the great-grandson of Ilda or Ada, the daughter of William
king of Scots. On the commencement of hostilities between Edward and
Baliol, he adhered to the former; but his castle of Dunbar being left
in possession of his wife Margery, daughter of Alexander Comyn, Earl of
Buchan, she delivered it over to Baliol--conceiving the duties she owed
her country paramount to the injunctions of her husband.

Whatever blame may be attached to this Earl, for the active part he
took against the interest of Scotland, still the merit of consistency
must be awarded to him in the crooked line of policy he adopted; for,
having sworn fealty to Edward in 1291, he adhered to the interests of
his over-lord with zeal and fidelity. The answer[93] which he returned
to Wallace and the Scottish barons assembled at Perth, is quite in
accordance with that tone of independence assumed by the family, and
which, according to Lord Hailes, was so prejudicial to Scotland.

After being driven from Scotland, as has already been stated, he
continued to molest his countrymen as he found occasion. In 1298,
he was actively engaged in the Scottish wars, and in November was
appointed one of Edward’s Lieutenants in Scotland. In 1300, he and his
son,[94] a youth at that time about 15 years of age, were present at
the siege of Carlaverock castle, when he must have been at least 58
years old. In 33d Edward I., he was to have attended the parliament as
one of the representatives of the Commons of Scotland; but from some
reason or other, he did not appear. On the 30th September 1308, he was
commanded by Edward II. to assist in suppressing the insurrection of
Bruce, but what efforts he made, cannot well be ascertained. In the
following year he died, and was succeeded by Patrick, his son by the
daughter of the Earl of Buchan.



Page 19.

“Andreas de Moravia et Willelmus Wallensis, _Duces exercitûs Scotiæ,
nomine præclari Principis Domini Johannis, Dei gratiâ, Regis Scotiæ
illustris, de consensu communitatis regni ejusdem_, omnibus hominibus
dicti regni ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, salutem. Sciatis,
nos, _nomine dicti Regis_, Priorem et Conventum de Hexhildesham
in Northumbria, terras suas, homines suos, et universas eorum
possessiones, ac omnia bona sua, mobilia et immobilia, sub firma pace
et protectione ipsius Domini Regis, et nostra, justè suscepisse. Quare
firmiter prohibemus, ne quis eis in personis, terris, seu rebus, malum,
molestiam, injuriam, seu gravamen aliquod, inferre præsumat, super
plenaria forisfactura ipsius Domini Regis, aut mortem eis, vel alicui
eorum, inferat, sub pœna amissionis vitæ et membrorum; præsentibus
post annum minimè valeturis. Dat. apud Hexhildesham, vii. die
Novembris.”--_W. Hemingford_, t. i. p. 135.[95]


Page 21.

The intentions of Edward to curtail the power of his barons, and render
them more subservient to his will, were most unequivocally displayed
in his proceedings towards Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, immediately after
his return from the conquest of Scotland. The imperious language of
the tyrant, and the bold and determined conduct of the vassal, the
reader will find narrated in the extracts from Dr Lingard, inserted
in the concluding chapter of the narrative. The plans of Edward for
the extinction of British freedom, were such as have been generally
resorted to by other despots, who have encroached upon the rights of
their subjects or neighbours. While the Scots were summoned to fight
his battles in France, the Welsh were marched to Scotland to assist in
the subjugation of that country; and had the former remained passive
under the yoke, there is every reason to believe that they would soon,
in their turn, have been employed to enforce the arbitrary measures of
the ambitious monarch upon the subjects of his native kingdom. Thus
Scotland, England and Wales, would have mutually assisted in rivetting
the fetters of each other.



Page 26.

With respect to the fate of Christell of Seyton, some little inquiry
may be necessary. It is well known, that a person of his name appears
to great advantage in the history of the struggles of Bruce, and
afterwards became a martyr in his cause; of course, he could not have
been the individual mentioned in the text. It appears from various
sources, that there were three of the Seyton family, of the name of
Christell, grandfather, father, and son. If any of these were killed in
the above battle, it must have been the second, for the first, “a man
given more to devotion nor worldliness,” died in the reign of Alexander
III. As the other two were both engaged in the contest for independence
along with Wallace, the following account of them may be interesting
to the reader. It is taken from the History of the House of Seyton, by
Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington, and lately printed by the Maitland
Club, from the MS. in the Advocates’ Library.



“Christell the secund of that name succedit to Christell the first,
his father, in the tyme of Allexander the Thryd, and was ane nobill
man, and did mony gud actis aganis the Inglismen, quhen the Crowne
was desolat and in pley betuix the Bruce and the Balioll. Quhilk
Christell, quhen he micht nocht brouk the lawland of Lowthyane, quhair
was his duelling place, duelt and remainit wyth his kyn and freyndis in
Jedburgh forrest, ay awating his tyme contrare the Inglismen; and deit
in the tyme of William Wallace.”



“Christell the thryd succedit to Christell the secund, his father, in
the tyme of Williame Wallace; quhilk Christell was efter maid knycht
be King Robert Bruce, and for his monye gude actis done againis the
Inglismen, was callit Gud S^r Christell. Quha quhen King Robert Bruce
was tane presonare in handis be the Inglismen at ane feild besyde
Methven, and thay that tuke him cryit in scorne and derisioun, Quha
will help the new maid King? quhilk cry the said S^r Chrystell hard,
and come in all haist and straik at erd him that had the king in
handis; and thair he and his freindis reskewit the said King Robert,
and pat him to libertie. This Chrystell maryit the said King Robert
Bruce sister, and thairfor the said King Robert gaif to the said S^r
Chrystell the dowbil tresour of flour de lycis, to be worne about his
armes and the armes of his posterité, lyk as the King weris thame.
Efter mony grit and notabill actis done be the said S^r Chrystell
contrair Ingland, he was tane at the last, and had to Londoun, and
thair put to deid in maist cruell maner. In this mene tyme, King Robert
Bruce hapnit to be in the toun of Dunfreis, and passand furth till
ane lytill knoll besyd the said toun to tak the air, quhair the word
and tythingis come to him of the crewell slauchter of the said S^r
Chrystell, quhilk the king heirand maid grit lamentatioun wyth sum
teiris, saying, It is ane pieté that sa nobill ane knycht suld die
sa crewell ane deid. And incontinent, in the samin place quhair he
wes standand quhen the tythingis come to him, gart found ane chapell
in honour of the Virgene Marie; and in remembrance of the said S^r
Chrystell foundit ane preist to do devyne service thairin perpetuallie,
and pray for the said Schir Chrystell; and gaif to the said preist and
his successouris the sowme of fyve pundis Streviling, to be tane of the
baronie of Carlauerok, for thair sustentatioun. Quhilk fundatioun I
haue had oft in my handis, and red it sindrie tymes. The quhilk chapell
was standand haill and vndecayit in the yeir of God J^m v^c lii yeiris,
as I saw my self; and as I beleve standis yit in the samin maner, and
is callit be all the inhabitaris in that cuntre Christallis chapell.



“It is to wit that efter that I had wryttin the Historie of the Hous of
Setoun, I haue fund in the greit Cronicles of Ingland, set furth sen I
wret the historie of Setoun, quhilk ar as efter followis:

“Efter this was the castell of Lochdore taiken, and wythin it
Christopher Seitoun, that had maried the sister of Robert le Bruce;
[and bicause he was no Scot, but an Englishman borne,] the King of
Ingland commandit that he suld be led wnto Dunfreis, quhar he had
killit on of the Kingis knychtis, and thair to be hangit drawin and
quarterit: The wyf of this Christopher Seitoun he apoyntit to be keipit
in the monesterie of Thixell in Lyndsay.”--“Morouer, the manor of
Seitoun, in Quhytbestroud, he gaue wnto the Lord Edmonde de Mawlay, and
those wther landis that belongeth to the said Christopher Seitoun in
Northumberland he gaue wnto the Lord Williame Latemer.”

“And howbeit that I wret of before as I was informit for the tyme, That
the first tyme that King Robert the Bruce com to Dunfreis efter that
S^r Christopher Setoun was crewellie slane in Ingland, that in the sam
place quhar the King was quhen the thydingis com till him he garde bige
ane chapell, and dottit the samyng perpetuallie to pray for the said
S^r Christopher; bot now it apeiris be the Inglis Cronicles, That quhan
the said King com to Dunfreis, that quhan it was reportit till him be
the inhabeturis of the said toun the crewell marterdome of the said S^r
Christopher, that he garde bige the said chapell in the samyng place
quhar the said S^r Christopher was pute to deid and executtit. Of the
quhilk chapell I haue red the foundatioun and infythment of ane priest
onder the saidis kingis greit seill; and hes hard Mes in the samyng
chapell, quhilk standis as I beleif to this present day.”--P. 18-21.



Page 33.

“This stern soldier was the eldest son of Marmaduke Fitz-Geoffrey,
Lord of Hordene, in the bishoprick of Durham, who, in the 45th Henry
III., 1260-1, obtained the King’s license to embattle his mansion-house
there. In August 1282, John Fitz-Marmaduke, with nine other knights,
performed services due from the Bishop of Durham, who styled him,
on another occasion, “Nostre tres cher bachelier, Mons^r. Jehan le
Fitz-Marmaduk;” but from that time nothing is recorded of him, until
February 1301, when he was a party to the Letter from the Barons to
the Pontiff, in which he is called “Lord of Hordene,” excepting that
he was at the siege of Carlaverock in June 1300, where his bravery was
particularly conspicuous. He came, we are told, to assail the castle
with a great and full troop of good and select bachelors, and stood as
firm as a post, and his banner received many a rent difficult to mend.

“It is most extraordinary, that for nearly twenty years, no notice
can be found in the records of an individual who, at the end of that
period, was a party to an instrument from the Baronage of the realm;
and it was from this circumstance, the similarity of their arms, and
his surname, that he was confounded with Marmaduke de Thweng in the
“Synopsis of the Peerage.”

“In the 31st Edward I., Fitz-Marmaduke was commanded to appear
before the King on the first Sunday in Lent, with full powers from
the community of the Bishoprick of Durham, to accept his Majesty’s
mediation between them and the Bishop; and, in April in the same year,
he was appointed a Commissioner of Array. On the 30th September, 1st
Edward II. 1307, he was ordered, with others, to proceed to Galloway,
to repress the rebellion of Robert de Brus; and, in October following
he was commanded to serve with horse and arms against the Scots; after
which time his name does not occur among the writs of service. He
continued in the wars of Scotland, “comme une estache;” and, on the
21st June 1308, was again enjoined to oppose the attempts of Bruce.
On the 16th February, 3d Edward II., 1310, he was authorized, with
others, to treat with the Scots for a truce. Fitz-Marmaduke died in
1311, at which time he was governor of St John’s Town of Perth; and a
very curious fact is recorded respecting his funeral. He particularly
requested to be interred within the precincts of the cathedral of
Durham, but, as the state of the country prevented the removal of
his corpse in the usual manner, his domestics adopted the expedient
of dismembering the body, and then boiling the flesh from the bones;
by which means they preserved his reliques, until an opportunity
offered of transmitting them with safety across the border. For this
outrage against an ecclesiastical canon, which had been promulgated
in consequence of the frequency of the practice, Cardinal Berengarius,
Bishop of Jerusalem, imposed on the offenders the mild penance of
attending their master’s obsequies in the cemetery of the cathedral of
Durham, having first used the authority of the church to ensure the
quiet transportation of his remains.

“Fitz-Marmaduke was twice married; first, to Isabella, sister, and
heiress of Robert Brus of Stanton, by whom he had Richard, his son and
heir, and a daughter, Mary, who married ---- Lumley; and, secondly,
Ida, who survived him, and was living his widow in 1313. Richard
Fitz-Marmaduke was Seneschal of the Bishoprick of Durham, and was
slain, in 1318, by his kinsman Robert Neville, on the Old Bridge of
Durham, as he was riding to hold the county court, which event is
described as “a most strange and detestable action.” Though married to
Alianora ----, he died without children, when Mary, his sister, became
his heiress. She left issue Robert Lumley of Ravensholm, who married
Lucia, the daughter and co-heiress of Marmaduke de Thweng. They had
issue a son, Marmaduke Lumley, whose representative is the present Earl
of Scarborough.”

  _Siege of Carlaverock._



Page 38.

“Brian Fitz-Alan succeeded his father Brian before the 5th Edward I.,
and on the 6th April, 10th Edward I. 1282, and 14th June 1287, was
summoned to serve with horse and arms in Wales. In the 19th Edward I.,
he obtained permission to make a castle of his house at Kilwardeby
in Yorkshire; and in the following year, being one of King Edward’s
vicegerents in Scotland, he, with others, received that monarch’s
precept to give John de Balliol possession of the kingdom. He was a
witness to that personage’s surrender of his crown on the 10th July
1296, about which time he was constituted the King’s Lieutenant in
Scotland. Fitz-Alan was present at the siege of Carlaverock in June
1300; and in the ensuing February, was a party to the Letter from the
Barons to Pope Boniface, in which he is styled, “Lord of Bedale.” His
seal affixed to that document has been the subject of remark, for
instead of containing his arms, it presents a whimsical assemblage
of animals, apparently consisting of two birds, a rabbit, a stag,
and a pig or boar, all of which are looking to the dexter excepting
the latter, which is regarding the chief, and is inscribed with this
curious legend,


“The inference to be drawn from this singular seal tends to establish,
that its owner was eccentric or satirical; for it must either have been
used from unmeaning caprice, or with the intention of ridiculing the
devices in the signets of his contemporaries. The allusion in the poem
(The siege of Carleverock) to the arms of Fitz-Alan, is too important
to be allowed to pass unnoticed. It not only informs us of an event in
his life, by proving that he had been involved in a dispute with Hugh
Poyntz, but shows that it was always one of the fundamental laws of
arms, that no two persons should bear the same ensigns, and that there
was then sufficient pride felt on the point to resent its infringement.

“All that is farther known of Fitz-Alan is, that he was summoned to
Parliament from the 23d June 23d Edward I. 1295, to the 22d January,
33d Edward I. 1305, though he died in 1302. The name of his wife is not
stated, but it is almost certain that he married late in life; for,
according to a note of the inquisition held on his death, Maud his
daughter was his heir; though, at the death of his brother Theobald
Fitz-Alan, on the 1st Edward II. 1307-8, his heirs are said to have
been Maud and Katherine, the daughters of his brother Brian Fitz-Alan,
the former of whom was then aged seven years, and the latter five; so
that Katherine, who made proof of her age on the 12th Edward II., was
probably a posthumous child. A discrepancy, however, exists on the
subject; for, agreeable to a note of the inquisition on the death of
this baron, his daughter Maud was then eight years old, and Dugdale
says that Katherine was at the same time aged six, which, if the other
statement be correct, was impossible. Of these daughters, Maud married
Sir Gilbert Stapleton, and, according to a pedigree in Dodsworth’s
MSS., secondly Thomas Sheffield; and Katherine became the wife of John
Lord Grey of Rotherfield. Brian Fitz-Alan was buried in the south aisle
of Bedale church in Yorkshire, and a sumptuous monument was there
erected to his memory, a beautiful engraving and accurate description
of which are given in Blore’s “Monumental Remains.” Sir Brian is said
to have possessed a very elegant figure, and manners highly polished
for the age.”

  _Siege of Carlaverock._



Page 71.

“AYMER DE VALENCE was the third son of William de Valence, who was
created Earl of Pembroke by his uterine brother King Henry the Third.
He was born about 1280, and succeeded his father in his honours on
the 13th June 1296, both of his elder brothers having previously died
without issue. The earliest notice of him which is recorded, is,
that on the 26th January, 25th Edward I., 1297, he was summoned to
Parliament as a baron, though, according to modern opinions on the
subject, he was fully entitled to the earldom of Pembroke, nor was the
title ever attributed to him in public records, until the 6th November,
1st Edward II. 1307; and the first writ to Parliament addressed to him
as “Earl of Pembroke,” was tested on the 18th of the following January.
Upon this remarkable circumstance, some observations have been recently
made; but it is wholly impossible to explain the cause of the anomaly
in a satisfactory manner. Although never styled “Earl of Pembroke”
until the accession of Edward II., it is manifest, that from the death
of his father, he ranked above all barons excepting Henry of Lancaster,
who being of the blood royal, is uniformly mentioned next to Earls;
hence it appears, that notwithstanding his claim was not positively
acknowledged, he was considered to be entitled to a higher degree of
precedency than belonged to the baronial dignity. In the 25th Edward
I., he was in the expedition into Flanders, and, in the same year, was
appointed a commissioner to ratify an agreement between the King and
Florence, Count of Holland, relative to some auxiliaries from the Count
in that war; and was likewise one of the ambassadors sent by Edward
to treat for a truce between England and France. In the 26th and 27th
Edward I., he was in the Scottish wars, and in June 1300, in the 28th
Edward I., was present at the siege of Carlaverock, when he must have
been about twenty-one years of age; but the poet pays him no other
compliment than what a pun upon his name suggested.

  “Le Valence Aymars li Vaillans.”

“In the following year, he was a party to the Barons’ letter to the
Pope, in which, though his name occurs immediately after that of the
Earl of Arundel, and before Henry de Lancaster’s, he is only styled
‘Lord of Montiniac.’ Shortly afterwards, he was appointed to treat with
the ambassadors of the King of France on the subject of peace. In the
31st Edward I., he was again in the wars of Scotland; and, in the same
year, received permission to leave the realm upon his own affairs. He
obtained a grant, in 1305, of the Castles of Selkirk and Traquair,
and of the borough of Peebles in Scotland, to hold by the service of
one knight’s fee, together with other possessions in that kingdom;
and, in the 34th Edward I., was constituted Guardian of the Marches of
Scotland towards Berwick, when he was intrusted with the sole command
of the English forces which had been levied against Robert Bruce. In
the instrument by which he was appointed to that important duty, as
well as in most others, he is styled “Dilectum consanguineum et fidelum
nostrum.” The appellation of “Cousin” was not then a mere title of
honour, when addressed to a peer, but was used in its most literal
sense; and Aymer de Valence’s claim to it is shown by the following
slight pedigree.

  Hugh le Brun, == Isabel, daughter, and heiress == King John,
  Count of the   |  of Aymer, Count of            |   ob. 1216,
  Marches of the |  Angouleme.                    |   1st husband.
  Aquitaine, 2d  |                                |
  husband.       |                                |
                 |                                |
        +--------+                   +------------+
        |                            |
  William de Valence, created == K. Henry III. ob. 1272. ==
  Earl of Pembroke, ob. 1296.  |                          |
                               |                          |
        +----------------------+          +---------------+
        |                                 |
  AYMER DE VALENCE, Earl == KING EDWARD I. ob. 1307 ==
  of Pembroke, ob. 1323.                           |
                             KING EDWARD II.

“The successes which attended this nobleman against Robert Bruce, are
described by a contemporary chronicler; and it is said that Valence,
after a severe contest, pursued Bruce, and presuming that he would
take refuge in Kildrummie castle, he gained possession of that place,
but finding only Nigel de Bruce, brother of Robert, there, he caused
him and all who were with him, to be immediately hung. This action has
given rise to some pertinent remarks by the able biographer of the
Earl in the beautiful work before noticed,[96] who has satisfactorily
shown that Nigel was not put to death by him, but that at least the
forms of law were practised on the occasion. On the deathbed of Edward
I., Pembroke, with some other personages, received the King’s dying
injunctions to afford his son their counsel and support, and not to
permit Piers de Gaveston to return into England. His strict adherence
to this command, naturally excited the favourite’s displeasure; and
he is said, in derision of his tall stature and pallid complexion,
to have termed him “Joseph the Jew.” In the first year of the young
monarch’s reign, Valence was, as has been before observed, allowed and
summoned to Parliament by his proper title of Earl of Pembroke; and
at the coronation of that monarch, he carried the King’s left boot,
but the spur belonging to it was borne by the Earl of Cornwall. In the
same year, after performing homage upon the death of his mother for
her lands, he was joined with Otho de Grandison in an embassy to the
Pope; and in the 3d Edward II., was found heir to his sister Agnes, or
more probably Anne. It has been considered, from the circumstance of
the Earl being a witness to the instrument by which the King recalled
Gaveston, and bestowed the possessions of the Earl of Cornwall upon
him, that he approved of, or at least consented to, those acts; but
this idea rests upon far too uncertain evidence to be relied upon; and
if he ever changed his opinion it was of short duration, for in the
3d Edward II., he joined the Earl of Lancaster against Gaveston, and
when he was banished the realm in 1311, the Earl of Pembroke was one
of the persons deputed to petition the King that he should be rendered
incapable of ever holding any office.

“In the 6th Edward II., he was again sent on a mission to Rome, and
in the same year obtained a grant of lands in London, in which was
included the New Temple. In the 7th Edward II. he was appointed Custos
and Lieutenant of Scotland, untill the arrival of the King, and was
present at the fatal battle of Bannockburn. Two inedited MSS. cited
in the “Monumental Remains,” allude to the Earl’s conduct on that
occasion, in words fatal either to his loyalty or his courage: the
one stating that “Insuper Comes de Pembrok, Henricus de Bellomonte,
et multi magnates, _cordetenus Pharisei_, a certamine recesserunt;”
and the other, that “in pedibus suis evasit ex acie et cum Valensibus
fugientibus se salvavit.” In all probability, however, the language
was in both instances that of an enemy, and deserves but little
credit; though, even if it were true, “there is no great disgrace,” as
the learned biographer, from whose memoir these extracts are taken,
has truly remarked, “in seeking safety by flight when defeat was
inevitable, and the whole army pursued a similar course.”

“In the 9th Edward II., the Earl was a commissioner for holding a
Parliament in the King’s absence, and he took an active part in the
proceedings therein. Being sent to Rome on a mission to the Pontiff, a
singular misfortune befel him, as he was taken prisoner on his return
by a Burgundian called John de Moiller with his accomplices, and sent
to the Emperor, who obliged him to pay a ransom of 20,000 pounds of
silver, upon the absurd pretence that Moiller had served the King of
England without being paid his wages. Edward used every exertion to
procure the Earl’s liberty, and wrote to several sovereign princes,
soliciting them to interfere on the subject; but he did not immediately
succeed. In the 11th Edward II., Pembroke was once more in the Scottish
wars, and was appointed governor of Rockingham castle; and upon the
King’s purposed voyage in the 13th Edward II., to do homage to the King
of France for the Duchy of Acquitaine, he was constituted Guardian of
the realm during his absence, being then also Custos of Scotland. In
the 15th Edward II., he sat in judgment on the Earl of Lancaster at
Pontefract; and for his conduct on the occasion, was rewarded with the
grant of several manors.

“In March 1309, the Earl of Pembroke was one of the peers appointed to
regulate the royal household; in the 5th Edward II., he was commanded
not to approach the place where the Parliament was held with an armed
retinue, or in any other manner than was observed in the time of the
late King; in the 8th Edward II., he was a commissioner to open and
continue a parliament at York; in the 12th Edward II., he was sent to
Northampton with others to treat with the Earl of Lancaster, for the
better government of the realm, and was one of the peers then appointed
to be about the King’s person, at which time he signed the agreement
between the King and that Earl; he advised the reversal of the judgment
against Hugh le Despencer the younger; by writ tested on the 19th
January, 14 Edward II. 1321, he was appointed a commissioner to treat
for peace with Robert de Brus; and in the 18th Edward II., the Earl,
as Justice in Eyre of the Forest of Essex, claimed the appointment of
Marshal thereof.

“The Earl of Pembroke accompanied Isabel, Queen of England to France in
1323; and is said to have lost his life in that year, at a tournament
given by him, to celebrate his nuptials with his third wife, Mary,
daughter of Guy de Chastillon, Count of St Paul’s; though, from the
obscure manner in which his death is mentioned by some chroniclers,
and the attempt which they have made to consider it as a mark of the
vengeance of Heaven for his conduct relative to the Earl of Lancaster,
Dugdale asserts that he was murdered on the 23d June 1324, “by reason
he had a hand” in that affair. But the former statement his recent
biographer considers to be corroborated by the following lines in
a long MS. poem, containing a life of the Earl, in the Cottonian
collection, written by Jacobus Nicholaus de Dacia, who calls himself a
scholar of Mary de St Paul, Countess of Pembroke; by which he probably
meant that he belonged to Pembroke Hall, which she had founded.

    _Mors Comitem Comitum necuit, mors ipsa cruenta
    Ipsa cruore rubrum campum facit et rubicundum._

“From the annexed account of the Earl’s death, however, by another
contemporary writer, it would appear that he died of apoplexy:

“Ea vero tempestate primorum consultu direxit ad partes transmarinas
Rex Almaricum de Valencia Comitem de Penbrokia, virum siquidem ad
queque nepharia peragenda iuxta sue propinquitatis nequiciam continue
paratum, regis Francorum presencie nuncium super dictis negocüs
assistendum vt eiusdem regis Francorum animum ab inceptis, revocaret,
ut ipsius benevolenciam affectum regis Anglorum varijs blandiciis
inclinaret. Quo perveniente, ac iuxta proposita suorum verborum
responsis acceptis, per Pykardiam rediens, ad quoddam municipium mi.
villa, id est, _dimidia villa_, nuncupatum, tribus leucis a Compyne
distans, in vigilia Sancti Johannis, declinavit pransurus, ubi Christus
voluit virum sanguineum et dolosum non dimidiare dies suos. Sed finita
refectionis hora thalamum ingreditur, deambulando statim in atrio
corruit, ac sine confessione et viatico salutari infelicem animam
subito in solo sufflavit.”[97]

The following account of the Earl of Pembroke is from the pen of
Hutchinson. “This Earl” (Adomer de Valence) “seemed to have a divine
interdict depending over him, and the immediate vindictive hand of
Providence to be upon him and his posterity for his atrocious deeds. He
was a tool to his prince, and servilely submitted to the mandate of the
crown, contrary to the dictates of humanity, honour, and justice. He
sat in judgment on Thomas Earl of Lancaster, and impiously acquiesced
in his sentence. He was a chief instrument in apprehending the famous
Scottish patriot Wallace in 1305; accomplishing his capture by the
treachery of his most intimate associates, and those in whom he placed
his utmost confidence, Sir John Menteith and others of infamous memory.
_Adomer_, on his bridal day, was slain in a tournament, held in honour
of his nuptials; and left a wife at once a _maiden_, _bride_ and
_widow_. It is said that, for several generations of this family, _a
father was never happy enough to see his son_, the proscribed parent
being snatched off by the hand of death before the birth of his issue.”
(_Hutchinson’s History of Northumberland._)

It may be also remarked as a singular coincidence, the fatality which
attended the Stuarts after they came to the throne, not one of whom,
for many generations, died a natural death. John Menteith was the
son of Walter Stuart, Earl of Menteith, and of the same family which
afterwards swayed the Scottish sceptre.

Aymer, or Adomer de Valence, is likewise charged by the Minstrel,
as being the instrument made use of for corrupting the fidelity of
Menteith; and he mentions, that the infamous bargain was finally
concluded in “_Ruglyne Kirk_,” where the two met by appointment, and
that Menteith received from Valence three thousand crowns of gold
as the price of his friend. “_Ruglyne_” is situated nearly mid-way
between Bothwell and Dumbarton castles; the former being the place
where the Earl of Pembroke usually resided when in Scotland, and was
quite convenient for his keeping an appointment at “_Ruglyne_” with
the governor of Dumbarton Castle. When it is recollected, that John
Comyn, who, according to “_Douglas’s peerage_,” married a sister of
Valence, was hatching the treason which he afterwards put in practice
against Bruce, at the time when his brother-in-law was tampering with
the friend of Wallace, it will not be doing him great injustice, if we
suppose him _at least_ in the secret of the infamous transaction with
Menteith. In fact, both of these deeds of darkness appear to have been
part of the same plan for placing Comyn, and consequently the sister of
the Earl of Pembroke, on the Scottish throne.

The Earl was thrice married; first, to Beatrix, daughter of Ralph de
Noel, Constable of France; secondly, to a daughter of the Earl of
Barre; and thirdly, to Mary, daughter of Guy de Chastillon, Count of St
Paul; but he had no issue; and the descendants of his sisters, Isabel,
the wife of John Baron Hastings, and Joan, who married John Comyn of
Badenoch, are consequently his representatives. His eldest sister,
Anne, married, first, Maurice Fitz-Gerald; secondly, Hugh de Balliol;
and, lastly, John de Avennes; and probably died, S. P. in the 3d Edward

Mary, Countess of Pembroke, is chiefly known to the present age by an
action, which seldom fails to ensure immortality. She was the foundress
of a College for the purposes of learning and religion, which still
bears the name of Pembroke Hall; and was likewise a benefactress to
several religious houses. She died about 1376; and on the 13th March in
that year made her will at Braxted, in Essex, by which she ordered her
body to be buried in the church of the sisters of Denny, where she had
caused her tomb to be made; and bequeathed to the church of the Abbey
of Westminster, where her husband was interred, a cross, with a foot
of gold and emeralds, which Sir William de Valence, Knight, brought
from the Holy Land.

The body of the Earl of Pembroke was conveyed to England, and buried in
Westminster Abbey; but upon the beautiful tomb erected to his memory,
it is unnecessary to say a single word, ample justice having been done
to it by the artist and the author of a biographical notice, which
accompanies a recent engraving of his tomb.

            _Siege of Carlaverock._



Page 86.

“HENRY DE LACY was the eldest son of Edmund de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln,
by Alice, the daughter of the Marquess of Saluces in Italy. He
succeeded his father in the earldom in 1257, at which time he was
probably about nine years of age, his parents having been married
in May 1247. The first circumstance relating to the Earl after his
birth, of which we have any notice, was his marriage, in 1256, to
Margaret, the eldest daughter and co-heiress of William de Longespee,
the covenants of which are given by Dugdale. In 1269, the Earl became
involved in a dispute about some lands with John Earl Warren, and each
party prepared to establish his claim by force of arms; but their
intention becoming known to the King, he commanded his Justices to
hear and determine the cause, who decided it in favour of the Earl
of Lincoln. William de Longespee, his wife’s father, died in the 52d
Henry III.; and soon afterwards the Countess and her husband performed
homage for, and obtained livery of, all the lands which had in
consequence devolved upon her. In her right he is considered to have
become Earl of Salisbury, the said William de Longespee having been
entitled to that dignity, though he was never allowed it, as son and
heir of William de Longespee, the natural son of King Henry II., by the
well-known Rosamond Clifford, who obtained the Earldom of Salisbury
by his marriage with Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of William
d’Evereux. On the feast of St Edward, 18th March 1272, the Earl of
Lincoln received the honour of knighthood, and in the same year was
appointed Governor of Knaresborough Castle. In 5th Edward I. he had
livery of the fee which his ancestors had usually received ‘_nomine
comitatûs Lincoln_’ with all the arrears from the time he was invested
by King Henry III. with the sword of that earldom. Upon several
occasions, between the 6th and 10th Edward I., he obtained grants of
fairs, markets, and free-warrens in different parts of his domains; and
in the year last mentioned, he accompanied the expedition then sent
into Wales. Leland asserts that the Earl built the town of Denbigh, the
land of which had been granted to him “from his having married into the
blood of those princes, and that he walled it, and erected a castle,
on the front of which was a statue of him in long robes; and that
anciently prayers were offered in Saint Hillary’s chapel in that place,
for Lacy and Percy.”

“Dugdale considers, that his surrender of the castle and barony of
Pontefract to the King, with all the honours thereto belonging, in
the 20th Edward I., arose from his “having been long married, and
doubting whether he should ever have issue, but upon condition, as it
seems,” for the king, by his charter, dated at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 28th
December, 21. Edward I., re-granted the same to him and to the heirs
of his body, with remainder to Edmund Earl of Lancaster, the King’s
brother, and to the heirs of his body, failing which, to the king and
his heirs. In almost the next paragraph, however, that eminent writer
says, “that in the 22d Edward I., the Earl received a grant of several
manors from the King, with remainder to Thomas, the son of Edmund Earl
of Lancaster, and Alice his wife, sole daughter of the Earl, and to the
heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten, and failing such issue, to
the right heirs of the said Thomas” from which it would appear, that,
at the time of the surrender by the Earl of Lincoln to the King, the
said Alice was living; and which is further confirmed by his saying,
in a subsequent page, that she was 28 years of age at the death of her
father in 1312, in which case she must have been above seven at the
time in question. In the 20. Edward I., the Earl was sent as ambassador
to the King of France, to treat on the subject of the restraint of
those pirates who robbed some French merchants; and in the 22d year of
that monarch he again attended him into Wales, and was likewise in the
expedition sent into Gascony. He accompanied the Earl of Lancaster, in
the 24. Edward I., into Brittany, and was present at various successes
of the English forces. On the death of that nobleman, he succeeded him
in his command, and besieged the town of Aux with great vigour, though
without success, and was forced to retreat to Bayonne; from which place
he marched, with John de St John, towards Bellegard, which was then
besieged by the Count d’Artois. The engagement which took place in the
vicinity of that town, does not, from Dugdale’s relation of it, appear
to have added to the reputation of the Earl, as he informs us, upon the
authority of Walsingham, that “approaching a wood about three miles
from Bellegard, he divided his army into two parts, whereof the van
was led by John de St John, and the rear by himself; but having past
the wood where St John, meeting the enemy, began the fight, discerning
their strength, he retreated to Bayonne, leaving the rest to shift for
themselves, so that St John and many others were by reason thereof
taken prisoners.” Whatever stain this circumstance might have cast upon
his military character, seems to have been partially removed towards
the end of that year, by his having obliged the enemy to raise the
siege which they had laid to St Katherine’s, in Gascony; soon after
which he proceeded into Flanders, and thence returned to England. In
the ensuing year, 27. Edward I., he was summoned by writ, tested 17th
September, 27. Edward I., 1299, to be at York, with horse and arms,
on the morrow of the Feast of St Martin, to serve against the Scots;
and, in the next year, he is stated to have been sent to the Pope, with
Sir Hugh Spencer, to complain of injuries received from the Scots; and
about the same time he was appointed Lieutenant of Gascony. In the 29.
Edward I., he was made Governor of Corfe Castle, from which year until
the 31. Edward I., when he was joined in commission with the Bishop of
Winchester to treat of peace between England and France, Dugdale gives
no account of him.

“It was, however, on the 24th June, in the 29. Edward I., anno 1300,
when the Earl must have been above 50 years of age, that he commanded
the first division of the army which besieged Carlaverock Castle. The
only characteristic trait recorded of him by the poet, is that of
valour, which, we are told, was the principal feeling that animated his
heart, and in so rude an age, this attribute was perhaps the highest
and most gratifying praise that could be imagined. His name does not
afterwards occur in that production, from which we may conclude, that
his services at the siege and assault were not very conspicuous. In
1305, the Earl was again employed on a mission to the Pope, being
deputed with the Bishops of Lichfield and Worcester to attend the
inauguration of the Pontiff at Lyons, and to present him, in the name
of the King, with several vessels of pure gold. After having executed
this command, it appears that he was once more in the wars in Gascony,
and in the ensuing year was similarly employed in Scotland. Upon the
death of the King, at Burgh in Cumberland, the Earl was one of the
Peers who attended him in his last moments, and received his solemn
request to be faithful to his son, and not to allow Piers de Gaveston
to return into England. Immediately after Edward’s demise, he joined
some Earls and Barons in a solemn engagement to defend the young King,
his honour and authority; and at his coronation he is recorded to have
carried one of the swords borne at that ceremony; shortly after which
he was appointed Governor of Skipton Castle. His conduct seems to have
secured the confidence of the new monarch, for, upon his expedition
towards Scotland in the 3d and 4th years of his reign, the Earl of
Lincoln was constituted Governor of the realm during his absence.

“The preceding account of this personage has been almost entirely taken
from Sir William Dugdale’s Baronage. The only facts which have been
ascertained relating to him, not stated in that work, are, that he was
one of the Mainpernors for the Earl of Gloucester in 1292; that he was
a Receiver and Trier of Petitions in 1304; that he was present in the
parliament held at Carlisle in February, 35th Edward I., 1307; and that
he was one of the Peers appointed to regulate the King’s household in
May, 3d Edward II., 1309.

“His works of piety were proportionate to his extensive possessions,
and, adopting this criterion of his religious sentiments, we may
conclude that he was not behind his contemporaries in superstition or
devotion. Amongst his more substantial gifts to the church, was his
large contribution to the “new work” at St Paul’s Cathedral in London;
and three gilt crosses and a carbuncle, and a cup of silver gilt, which
was said to have belonged to the shrine of St Edmund, in the abbey of

“The Earl of Lincoln closed a long and active career in 1312, at
Lincoln’s Inn,[98] in the suburbs of London, being then about
sixty-three or sixty-four years of age, and he is reported to have
called his son-in-law, the Earl of Lancaster, to him, upon his
death-bed, and, after representing how highly “it had pleased God to
honor and enrich him above others,” he told him that “he was obliged to
love and honor God above all things;” and then added, “See’st thou the
Church of England, heretofore honourable and free, enslaved by Romish
oppressions, and the King’s wicked exactions? See’st thou the common
people, impoverished by tributes and taxes, and, from the condition
of freemen, reduced to servitude? See’st thou the nobility, formerly
venerable throughout Christendom, vilified by aliens, in their own
native country? I therefore charge thee, by the name of Christ to stand
up like a man for the honor of God and his church, and the redemption
of thy country, associating thyself to that valiant, noble, and prudent
person, Guy, Earl of Warwick, when it shall be most proper to discourse
of the public affairs of the kingdom, who is so judicious in counsel,
and mature in judgment. Fear not thy opposers who shall contest against
thee in the truth, and if thou pursuest this my advice, thou shalt gain
eternal honour!” This patriotic speech, which is attributed to him by
Walsingham, who wrote in the fifteenth century, is worthy of attention,
as conveying the view taken of the affairs of the period by a monk
about one hundred years afterwards; for it would require extraordinary
credulity to consider that it was really uttered by the dying Earl,
whose whole life does not appear to present a single action indicative
of the sentiments there attributed to him. His body was buried in the
eastern part of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, between the chapel of
our Lady and that of St Dunstan.

“The Earl of Lincoln was twice married, first to Margaret de Longespee
before-mentioned, by whom he had a son, Edmond de Lacy, who was drowned
in a well in a high tower, called the Red Tower, in Denbigh Castle,
in his father’s lifetime; and a daughter, Alice, the wife of Thomas
Earl of Lancaster, who was his sole heiress, and, at the Earl’s death,
was twenty-eight years of age. His second wife was Joan, sister and
heiress of William Baron Martin, who survived him, and was remarried to
Nicholas Baron Audley.

“Alice, Countess of Lancaster, whose romantic life has been made the
subject of a popular novel, styled herself, as sole inheritrix of the
extensive possessions of her father and mother, Countess of Lincoln
and Salisbury. She was thrice married; first to the Earl of Lancaster;
secondly, to Eubolo le Strange; and, thirdly, to Hugh le Frenes; but
died without issue on the Thursday next after the feast of St Michael,
22d Edward III., _i. e._ 2nd October 1348, when the representation of
the powerful house of Lacy became vested in the descendants of Maud,
the sister of Henry Earl of Lincoln, who married Richard de Clare, Earl
of Gloucester.”

            _Siege of Carlaverock._



Page 97.

We shall here insert some account of Richard Siward and Walter de
Huntercombe, two characters who appeared on this occasion. The latter,
besides being at the siege of Carlaverock, where he attracted the
notice of the poet, who mentions him as the handsome Huntercombe,
bearing “ermine with two red gemmells,” was also governor of Edinburgh
castle, and engaged in almost every campaign which Edward made in
Scotland. The following notice, therefore, abridged from Mr Nicolas,
will be useful in supplying that information respecting him which it
has been inconvenient to give in the course of the narrative. It is
also the more necessary, from the circumstance of the writer being
pledged, in the advertisement of the “Life of Wallace,” to furnish
“biographical notices of contemporary English and Scottish warriors”
who figured in the contest between the two countries.

RICHARD SIWARD.--“Though this individual is frequently spoken of in the
records of his day, yet very few particulars are known that can throw
much light on his family pedigree. It has been conjectured, that he
was descended from Syward, the great Saxon Earl of Northumberland; but
of this, however, there is little certainty. His importance appears to
have been considerable; for we find that, on 18th November 1292, he
was appointed by Edward I. (in his character of Umpire on the question
of the Succession) to act as Governor of the Castles of Dumfries,
Wigton, and Kirkcudbright. On the 22d April, 1294, he obtained a grant
of the marriage of the widow of Simon Fresel, or Frazer; and on the
15th October, in the same year, he was summoned to attend the English
monarch, with all his retainers, in the expedition to Wales. Towards
the end of 1295, he affected to unite with the Scottish Barons in
their attempt to restore their King to the dignity of an independent
sovereign, and, in consequence, had the defence of the Castle of Dunbar
assigned to him. How he conducted himself on that occasion, has already
been noticed. His subsequent confinement in the Tower, has been adduced
by some writers as a powerful argument against the charge of treason
brought against him by his countrymen. We cannot, however, see it in
that light. His treachery was of the most profligate description. By
negociating the surrender of a fortress, which, from its strength and
importance, was reckoned in those days the key of the kingdom, and also
using it, at the same time, as a trap to ensnare the greater part of
the nobility, was conduct that required the exercise of some _ruse_
in order to lessen the odium it was calculated to excite even in the
estimation of the English nobility, who must otherwise have looked with
disgust on a man who could have acted in so base a manner towards
his own countrymen. By the following lines of Peter Langtoft, Siward
appears to have had for some time a private understanding with the

    “A knycht was tham among, Sir Richard Seward,
    Tille our faith was he long, & with kyng Edward.
    Tille our men he com tite, & said, ‘the Scottis wilde
    Thre dayes haf respite, & than the castelle zelde.
    To the Baliol suld thei send, ther castelle to rescue,
    Bi that bot he vs mend with for zow to remue
    The castelle ze salle haue, without any delay.’”

            Vol. ii. p. 274-5.

“For the performance of this agreement, hostages were given to the
English, and a messenger despatched to acquaint Baliol that a truce had
been obtained; which he was instructed to say, was effected entirely by
the dexterity of Siward, and his personal influence with a number of
the English nobles. Baliol was also advised to advance and attack the
English army while “at meat,” and that, at the same time, Siward would
make a sally to assist him in destroying the enemy--which the messenger
spoke of as a matter of certainty, and moreover counselled Baliol to
proceed immediately afterwards and plunder Northumberland.

“On the third day, Siward, from the battlements of Dunbar, discovered
the Scottish army rapidly approaching towards him; he therefore hastily
sought the English head-quarters, and proffered to go personally and
retard the advance of the Scots till the expiry of the time stipulated
for by the agreement. The English, however, were not inclined to
believe that he would carry his treason quite so far, and refused him
permission to proceed to the Scottish lines.[99]

“Siward, on being relieved from his confinement in the Tower, rose
high in the confidence of Edward. On 26th September 1298, 7th May
and 16th June 1299, he was summoned, by the title “Baron,” to serve
in Scotland. His name appears on several occasions in the Wardrobe
Account of 28th Edward I. In that year he received 41_l._ 5s. for the
services of himself and his followers in the garrison of Lochmaben.
Also an allowance of 2_l._ 13s. 4d. for the value of a horse killed
at Kirkcudbright; eight merks for a winter dress (robe); and the like
sum appears to have been paid to him for a summer dress. In the same
year he was again summoned for the Scottish war, and also in 1301. He
was made sheriff of Dumfries-shire in 1305, and was also aiding in the
suppression of Robert Bruce in 1308; in which year he was appointed to
the charge of a district in Galloway, under Edward II. In 1309 he was
governor or constable of Dumfries, and is supposed to have died in 1310.

By his wife Mary he had two sons, Richard and John. They both attained
the age of manhood; and John, in particular, appears to have followed
the crooked anti-patriotic policy of his father. He accompanied
the Earl of Pembroke in his invasion of Fife, as has been already
mentioned, and was rewarded by Edward with an appointment as Governor
of Perth. Little appears to have been known of Richard. He was married
to Elizabeth ---- in 1296. The arms of Siward, as has been already
noticed, were sable, a cross fleury, argent.

“WALTER DE HUNTERCOMBE succeeded his father in his lands in the 55.
Henry III., at which time he was of full age; and shortly afterwards
married Alice, third daughter and co-heiress of Hugh de Bolebec, and
who, in the 2d Edward I., was found to be one of the co-heirs of
Richard de Muntfichet, in right of her grandmother Margery, his sister.
In the 5th Edward I. he paid 50_l._ for his relief of the barony of
Muschamp; and on the 12th December in that year, was summoned to serve
with horse and arms against the Welsh: he received similar writs tested
6th April and 24th May, 10th Edward I., and 14th June, 15th Edward I.
He was one of the peers who were present in parliament in the 18th
Edward I., when a grant was made to the King, for the marriage of
his eldest daughter, of the same aid as had been given to Henry III.
for the marriage of his daughter the Queen of Scotland; and shortly
afterwards the Isle of Man was intrusted to his charge, but which he
only held three years, as, in obedience to the King’s commands, he
surrendered his trust to John de Baillol in the 21st Edward I. In the
19th Edward I., by writ tested the 16th April at Darlington, he was
ordered to be at Norham, equipped for the field by the ensuing Easter;
and obtained a charter of free-warren in all his demesne lands in the
county of Northumberland before the end of that year. On the 26th June
1294, Huntercombe was ordered to join the expedition then made into
Gascony. His military services, during the remainder of the reign of
Edward I. were incessant, for he was in the Scottish wars in the
25th, 26th, 28th, 31st, and 34th years of that monarch; was Governor
of Edinburgh Castle in the 26th; Lieutenant of Northumberland in the
27th Edward I.; and afterwards Warden of the Marches there. In the
28th Edward I. we find that he was at the siege of Carlaverock; and
in the next year he was a party to the letter to Pope Boniface, in
which he is called “Walter Lord of Huntercombe.” It appears from the
Wardrobe accounts of the 28th Edward I., that he was allowed 10_l._ as
a compensation for a black nag which was killed by the Scots at Flete,
on the 6th August 1299. But the nature and extent of Huntercombe’s
services are best shown by his own statement of them in his petition
to the King in the 35th Edward I., praying a remission of his scutage
for the expeditions in which he had been engaged, with which prayer
the crown complied. He says, that he had been in all the wars of
Scotland up to that time; namely, in the first war at Berwick with
twenty horse; then at Stirling with thirty-two horse, in the retinue
of the Earl of Warren; then at Le Vaire Chapelle with thirty horse in
the retinue of the Bishop of Durham; afterwards at Gaway with sixteen
horse; and that he sent eighteen horse to the last battle, though he
was not present himself, being then Warden of the Marches of Scotland
and Northumberland. From that year nothing more is known of this Baron,
excepting that he was summoned to parliament from the 23d June, 23d
Edward I., 1295, to the 16th June, 14th Edward II., 1311, and died in
1312; but after the 25th Edward I. he was probably prevented by age
from taking an active part in public affairs, for even allowing him
to have been but twenty-one in the 55th Henry III., he must have been
above sixty in 1307; which calculation makes him to have been about
fifty when he was at Carlaverock, and sixty-four at his decease. Though
he was twice married he died without issue. His first wife was Alice de
Bolebec, before mentioned; but we only know that the Christian name of
his second was Ellen, and that she survived him. Nicholas Newbaud, his
nephew, son of his sister Gunnora, was found to be his heir.

“The arms of Huntercombe were ermine, two bars gemells, gules.”



Page 113.

This warrior appears to have been most actively engaged in the battle
of Roslin; and the renown which has in consequence attached itself to
his name, will perhaps render the following notice of him acceptable.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Simon de Fraser_ was the eldest son of Simon de Frazer, the ancestor
of the baronial houses of Saltoun and Lovat; and is supposed to have
been a near connexion of William Frazer, Bishop of St Andrew’s, whose
politics he appears in his early years to have adopted; for, when
he was taken prisoner on the surrender of the castle of Dunbar in
1296, he swore fealty to Edward, and remained faithful to the English
interest till 1302. He was repeatedly summoned to fight against his
countrymen, particularly on 26th September 1298, and 7th May 1299. He
also figured at the siege of Carlaverock in 1300 as a Baron;--in the
same year, he was appointed Warden of the Forest of Selkirk, and, by
that designation, the truce between the two countries was announced to
him on the 30th October. In the same year, the sum of 64_l._ 18s. is
charged in the Wardrobe Account, as having been paid him as the wages
of himself and a retinue of three knights and twelve esquires, from
13th July till 3d September, at which time his horses were valued, and
hire for 59 days allowed him. There is also an allowance of 17_l._
6s. 8d. for the maintenance of his wife Lady Mary, her daughters and
family, living in the castle of Jedworth, by the grant of the King,
from Christmas till St John Baptist’s day, 26 weeks, at a merk per
week, as per agreement with the Steward of Berwick-upon-Tweed.[100] On
his withdrawing from Edward, he joined Comyn, and gained the battle
of Roslin, as has already been observed. When the English afterwards
succeeded in subduing Scotland, a severe penalty was inflicted upon
him; he was banished from all the territories belonging to, or under
the influence of England, for three years, and his rents for that time
forfeited. In 1306 he joined Bruce; but having unfortunately fallen
into the hands of the enemy, he was conveyed to London and ordered by
Edward for execution;--after being drawn and quartered, his head was
fixed upon London Bridge. “But,” says Mr Nicholas, “a much more minute
and curious account is given of the tragical termination of Frazer’s
life in a fragment of an inedited chronicle in the British Museum of
the 15th century,[101] from which Mr Ritson printed the subjoined
extract in illustration of a poem which will be more fully noticed.

“The fryday next before assumpcioun of oure lady, King Edeward mette
Robert the Brus bisides seynt Johns toune in Scotland and with his
companye, of whiche companye King Edewarde quelde sevene thowsand. When
Robert the Brus saw this myschif, and gan to flee, and hovd hym that
men mygte nougt hym fynde, but S^r Simond Frisell pursuede hym socore,
so that he turnede ayen and abode bataille, for he was a worthy knyght
and a bolde of body, and the Englisshe men pursuede hym sore yn every
syde, and quelde the stede that S^r Symond Frisell rood uppon, and ther
toke hym and lad hym to the host. And S^r Symond began for to flater
and speke faire, and saide, Lordys, I shall yeve you iiij thousand
marke of sylver, and myne hors and harneys, and all my armure and
vicome. Tho answerd Theobaude of Pevenes, that was the Kinge’s archer,
Now God me so helpe hit is for nougt that thou spexte, for alle the
gold of Engelonde I wold the noght lete gone withoute commaundement of
King Edeward. And tho was he lad to the King. And the King wolde not
see hym, but commaunded to lede hym awey to his dome to London on our
Ladyes even nativite, and he was honge and drawe, & his heede smyten
of, and honged ayene with chynes of jren oppon the galwes, and his hede
was sette oppon London brug on a sper. And ayens Cristesmasse the body
was brent, for enchesoun that the men that kepte the body by nyghte
sawe menye devellis rampande with jren crokes, rennynge uppon the
gallews, and horribliche tormented the body; and meny that ham sawe,
anoon after thei deied for dred, or woxen mad, or sore sykenesse thei

In one of the Harleian manuscripts,[102] there is a ballad written on
the subject, a few years after the circumstance took place, and which
was published by Ritson.[103] The following stanzas are so extremely
interesting, from the manner in which Frazer is alluded to, that,
notwithstanding the length to which they extend, it is impossible to
avoid inserting them. After noticing the capture and the fate of his
unfortunate companions, the poet says:

    “Thenne saide the iustice that gentil is ant fre,
    Sire Simond Frysel, the Kynges traytour hast thou be,
    In water ant in londe that monie myhten se,
    What sayst thou thareto, how wolt thou quite the?

               Do say.
             Sa foul he him wiste,
             Nede waron truste
               Forto segge nay.

    Ther he was ydemed, so hit wes londes lawe,
    For that he wes lordswyk furst he wes to drawe,
    Upon a retheres hude forth he wes ytuht,
    Sum while in ys time he wes a modi knycht,
              In huerte.
            Wickednesse and sunne
            Hit is lutel wunne,
              That maketh the body smerte.

    For al is grete poer yet he wes ylaht,
    Falsnesse and swykedom al hit g’eth to nacht,
    Tho he wes in Scotlond lutel wes ys thoht,
    Of the harde iugement that him wes bysocht
               In stounde.
             He wes foursithe forswore
             To the King ther bifore,
               And that him brohte to grounde.

    With feteres and with gyves ichot he wes to drowe,
    From the tour of Londone, that monie myhte knowe,
    In a curtel of burel aselkethe wyse,
    Ant a gerland on ys heued of the newe gwyse,
               Thurh Cheepe
             Moni mon of Engelonde,
             For to se Symond,
               Thideward con lepe.

    Tho he come to galewes furst he wes an honge,
    Al quick byheueded, thah him thohte longe,
    Seth the he wes yopened, is boweles ybrend,
    The heued to Londone brugge wes send,
               To shonde:
             So ich ever mote the
             Sum while wende he
               Thes lutel to stonde.

    He rideth thourh the site as y telle may,
    With gomen and wyth solas, that wes here play,
    To Londone brugge hee nome the way,
    Moni wes the wyves chil that ther on laketh a day,
               Ant seide alas
             That he was ibore,
             And so villiche forlore,
               So feir mon ase he was.

    Now stont the heued above the tubrugge,
    Faste bi Waleis, soth forte sugge,
    After socour of Scotlond longe he mowe prye,
    Ant after help of Fraunce, met halt hit to lye,
                Ich wene.
              Betere him were in Scotlond,
              With is ar in ys hond,
                To pleyen othe grene.

    Ant the body hongeth at the galewes faste
    With yrnene claspes longe to laste,
    Forte wyte wel the body, and Scottysh to garste,
    Foure and twenti the beoth to sothe ate laste,
               By nychte,
             Yef eny were so hardi
             The body to remny,
               Also to dyhte.”

Fraser left two daughters, his co-heirs, one of whom married Sir
Patrick Fleming, ancestor of the Earls of Wigton; and the other named
Mary, was the wife of Sir Gilbert Hay, ancestor of the Marquess of
Tweedale. From Alexander Fraser his brother the Barons Saltoun and
Lovat descended.

The arms of Simon Frazer were, sable, semée of roses argent; but the
descendants of his brother bear, azure, three cinque foils argent.

After this notice of so distinguished a leader among the Scots, the
reader may reasonably be supposed to feel some curiosity respecting the
English general,


From the researches of Mr Nicolas, it appears that this eminent Baron
was the eldest son of Nicholas Baron Segrave; and at his father’s
death, in the 23d Edward I., was thirty-nine years of age. In the
54th Henry III., he married Christian, daughter of Hugh de Plessets,
knight, and at the same time, his sister Amabil became the wife of
his brother-in-law, Sir John de Plessets. Soon after the accession of
Edward I., he was engaged in the wars of Scotland, and in the 13th
Edward I. he attended the King in his expedition into Wales. In the
19th Edward I. he was with his father in the Scottish wars; and in the
24th Edward I. executed the office of Constable of the English army.

Dugdale asserts, that in the 25th Edward I., John de Segrave was, by
indenture, retained to serve Roger le Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, the Earl
Marshal, with six knights, including himself, as well in peace as war,
for the term of his whole life, in England, Wales, and Scotland, with
the following retinue:--In time of peace, with six horses, so long as
the Earl should think fit, taking _bouche of court_ for himself and six
knights; and for his esquires hay and oats, together with livery for
six more horses, and wages for six grooms and their horses. He was also
to receive two robes for himself, as for a banneret, yearly, as well
in peace as in war, with the same robes for each of his five knights,
and two robes annually for his other bachelors. In war, he was bound to
bring with him his five knights and twenty horses, in consideration of
which, he was to receive for himself and his company, with all the said
horses, xl s. per diem; but if he should bring no more than six horses,
then xxij s. per diem. It was further agreed, that the horses should be
valued, in order that proper allowance might be made, in case any of
them should happen to be lost in the service; and, for the performance
of this agreement, he had a grant from the Earl of the manor of Lodene
in Norfolk.

The preceding document has been cited nearly in Dugdale’s own words,
because at the same time that it affords much information with respect
to the retinue by which Segrave was attended to the field, it proves
that he was intimately connected with the Earl Marshal, which tends to
explain his having in the same year, namely, on the 12th August, 25th
Edward I. 1297, been appointed by the Earl to appear in his name before
the King, in obedience to a precept directed to him and the Constable,
commanding them to attend him on the subject of a body of armed men
which had assembled in London. The record states, that on the appointed
day, the Earl of Hereford as Constable, and “Mons^r John de Segrave,
qui excusa le Comte Mareschal par maladie,” came accordingly.[104] In
the 25th Edward I., this baron was also summoned to accompany the King
beyond the sea, and afterwards at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with horse and
arms; and, in the next year, was present when the English army gained
the victory of Falkirk. In the 28th Edward I., he was again summoned to
serve in the wars of Scotland, in which year, when he must have been
about forty-five years old, he was at the siege of Carlaverock. The
account given of him by the poet, that he performed the Earl Marshal’s
duties upon that occasion, because that nobleman was prevented from
attending, is not only strongly corroborated by the preceding statement
of his having acted as deputy of the Earl Marshal in the year 1297, but
also by the following extract from Peter de Langtoft’s chronicle (p.
309.), when speaking of the expedition into Scotland in 1300.

    “After Midesomers tide thorgh comon ordinance,
    No lenger suld thei bide, bot forth & stand to chance.
    Norreis & Surreis, that seruice auht the kyng,
    With hors & harneis at Carlele mad samnyng.
    The erle Marschalle Rogere no hele that tyme mot haue,
    He went with his banere Sir Jon the Segraue,
    To do alle tho service that longed the office tille,
    & mayntend alle the prise, ther he sauh lawe & skille.”

After Carlaverock castle surrendered, Segrave’s banner, from his having
acted as Marshal during the siege, was displayed on its battlements. In
the 30th of Edward I., he was a party to the Letter from the Barons to
the Pope, in which he is styled “John Lord of Segrave;” and about that
time was appointed Governor of Berwick, and Warden of Scotland. In the
same year, whilst riding out of Berwick with a small escort, he was
surprised by an ambuscade of the Scots, wounded, and taken prisoner;
which event is thus noticed by Langtoft (p. 319.)

    “Our men in Scotland with sautes sodeynly,
    The Segrave myght not stand, Sir Jon tok the gayn stie.
    His sonne & his brother of bedde als thei woke,
    & sextene knyghtes other, the Scottis alle them toke.”

His captivity was however, it appears, of short duration; for, on
Edward’s return to England, Segrave was left as his Lieutenant of
Scotland. At different periods during the reign of Edward I., he
obtained grants of free warren and other privileges in several of his
manors, and possessed that elevated place in his sovereign’s confidence
and esteem, which his long and zealous services so justly merited.
Nor was he less distinguished by his successor, for soon after the
accession of Edward II., he was constituted Governor of Nottingham
castle, which had belonged to Piers de Gaveston, and was likewise
appointed to his situation of Justice of the Forests beyond the Trent,
and Keeper of all the Rolls thereto belonging; but he resigned these
offices in the following year, when they were conferred upon Henry
de Percy. In the 2d Edward II., he was again appointed Warden of
Scotland; in the 6th Edward II. he was taken prisoner at the battle
of Bannockburn, and about twelve months afterwards Thomas de Moram
and several other Scots, then prisoners in the Tower of London, were
delivered to Stephen de Segrave, son and heir of the Baron, to be
exchanged for him. In the 8th Edward II., commissioners were appointed
to hear and determine all disputes relative to the taking up of
carriages by him or his agent, in consequence of his offices of Keeper
of the Forests beyond the Trent, and of the castles of Nottingham
and Derby. He was summoned upon several occasions to serve in the
Scottish wars during the early part of the reign of Edward II., and
to Parliament from the 26th August, 24th Edward I., 1296, to the 6th
May, 18th Edward II., 1325. In the 10th Edward II., in recompence of
his great services, and of his imprisonment in Scotland, he received a
grant of L.1000; but what was then due to the crown for money received
by him from the time of his appointment of Warden of the Forests beyond
the Trent and Governor of Nottingham Castle, was to be deducted from
that sum.

The tide of royal favour at last turned, and he accidentally fell a
victim to the displeasure of his sovereign. Having, in 1325, excited
Edward’s anger by the escape of Roger Lord Mortimer from the Tower,
he sent Segrave and the Earl of Kent into Gascony, under the pretence
of defending that province, where he was attacked with a disease then
prevalent there, of which he shortly afterwards died, aged about
seventy years, leaving John de Segrave, his grandson, son of his eldest
son Stephen, who died in his lifetime, his heir.

The preceding unadorned narrative of John de Segrave’s services
forms a splendid monument of his fame: for, whilst the impossibility
of colouring the biography of his contemporaries with meretricious
ornaments of language, is strongly felt when their actions are few or
obscure, the absence of such assistance tends to the advantage of those
who need no other eulogy than the simple record of the occasions upon
which they were present in the field, or were selected to execute high
and important duties.

John de Segrave, the next Baron, added to the honours of his ancestors
in an unprecedented manner, by marrying Margaret, the daughter and
heiress of Thomas de Brotherton, Marshal of England, younger son of
King Edward I. Through the marriage of Elizabeth, their daughter and
heiress, with John Lord Mowbray, that family attained the Marshalship
of England. The present representatives of John Baron Segrave, the
subject of this article, are the Lords Stourton and Petre and the Earl
of Berkley. The arms of John de Segrave were sable, a lion rampant,
argent, crowned or.



Page 120.

This, of course, is mere conjecture on the part of the author; but
that he has, at least, probability on his side, may be inferred from
the extraordinary outlay attending the Scottish expeditions, as proved
by the following extracts from the Wardrobe Accounts--exhibiting the
Revenue and Expenditure of Edward for the year 1300, and including the
disbursements occasioned by the invasion of Scotland during that year:--

  Total amount of receipts, p. Exchequer, for this
    present 28. year of Edward I. --                L.49,048 19 10

  Fines levied, and proceeds of stores, horses, &c.
    sold                                               9,106 16  2½
                 Per fo. 15.                        L.58,155 16  0½
              Charges on Scottish War.

  For royal garrisons and castles in Scotland,

      fo. 154.                                      L.18,638  1  8

  ... replacing horses killed or destroyed in King’s
      service, belonging to knights, and officers,
      and gratification to messengers, servants,
      &c. fo. 187.                                     4,386  4  5

  ... annual fees to knights of King’s household,
      wages of bannerets and simple knights, &c.
      fo. 210.                                         3,077 19  0

  ... wages of engineers, archers, sergeants-at-arms
      of King’s household, esquires, &c.
      fo. ix. Observ. on W. A.                         1,038 10  7

  ... wages of foot-soldiers, crossbow-men, archers,
      artificers and workmen, fo. 270.                 4,446  9 11½

  ... wages of seamen belonging to the fleet of the
      Cinque Ports and other towns, employed
      in the King’s service, fo. 279.                  1,233  9  8
             Amount of charges for the year         L.32,820 15  3½

         *       *       *       *       *

              Separate Disbursements.

  Alms and charitable donations of the King and
     his family, fo. 47.                             L.1,166 14  6

  Necessaries for the King’s household, travelling
     expenses, ambassadors, messengers to Court
      of Rome, wages of King’s servants _not_ on
      the Marshall’s roll, &c. (Observ. on W. A.
      fo. viii.)                                       3,338 19  3

  Expenses of messengers and others, despatched
      on King’s business, fo. 303.                        87 11  1

  Falconers, huntsmen, &c. fo. 309                        77  6 11½

  Allowance to bannerets, knights, clerks, and
      other servants of the King’s household for
      their winter and summer robes, fo. 331.            714  3  4

  Expenses of sundry furnishings for the Royal
    household, including separate expenses of the
    Queen and her household, amounting to
    L.3668, 2s. 9d., and Chancellor’s fee, amounting
    to L.581, 9s. 9d. fo. 360.                        15,575 18  5½

  “The account then states the payments contained
    in this book to amount to                       L.53,178 15  0

  “To which are added the expenses of the household
    contained in a separate account, amounting
    to                                              L.10,969 16  0½
  And “the whole of the national expenditure,
    within this department, during one entire
    year,” is stated at                             L.64,105  0  5
  It is added, “The account is corrected and
    approved by the comptroller in every page;
    but the balance is not struck. If we take,
    however, the sum told of the money received,
    which amounted to                               L.58,155 16  2

   And deduct it from the money paid, we shall
     find a balance due to the accountant, amounting
     to                                                5,949  4  3”

On data furnished by the ascertained difference in the value of silver
in 1300, which is stated to be “_thrice_ as much” as it was in 1700,
and the comparative value of certain provisions, estimated, as being
in 1300, “_five_ times as cheap” as in 1700. Bishop Fleetwood “makes
the difference of the value of a shilling between the two periods
to be fifteen;” and it is added, “supposing this calculation to be
well-founded, computations might be made, so as to form a judgment of
the difference between the latter of those periods and the present
time.”--(_Vide_ p. xii. Observations on Wardrobe Account, 1787.)

An estimate of the expense of the Scottish war, according to this mode
of computation, would therefore present the following result, for
(1700) the period alluded to by Bishop Fleetwood:--

  Charges on Scottish war for 1300                   L.32,820 15 3½
  For difference in the weight of silver                         3
                                                     L.98,462 5 10½
  For the variation in the value of money                        5
                                                     L.492,311 9 4½

being an increase of the sum of 32,820_l._ 15s. 3½d. of the year 1300,
to 492,311_l._ 9s. 4½d., or nearly _one-eighth_ of 3,895,205_l._, the
revenue of the kingdom in the reign of William III., according to
Sir John Sinclair:--while, from a statement by the same respectable
authority, the whole revenue of the kingdom under Edward I. is
estimated at 150,000_l_; the disbursements for the Scottish war will
therefore be found to exceed, within one department of the national
expenditure, _one-fifth_ of the national income.



Page 158.

“William Wallace, which had oft-times set Scotland in great trouble,
was taken and brought to London, with great numbers of men and women
wondering upon him. _He was lodged in the house of William Delect, a
citizen of London, in Fenchurch Street._ On the morrow, being the eve
of St Bartholomew, he was brought on horseback to Westminster-hall;
John Segrave and Geoffrey, knights, the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen
of London, _many, both on horseback and on foot_, accompanying him;
and in the great hall at Westminster, _he being placed on the south
bench_, crowned with laurel, for that he had said in times past that he
ought to wear a crown in that hall, as it was commonly reported; and
being appeached as a traitor by Sir Peter Malorie, the King’s Justice,
he answered _that he was no traitor to the King of England_; but for
other things whereof he was accused, he confessed them, and was, after,
headed and quartered.”--_Stow. Chron._ p. 209.



Page 159.

The following account is given by Langtoft of the capture, sentence,
and execution of Wallace:

    “A! Jhesu, when thou wille how rightwis is thi mede?
    That of the wrong has gilt, the endying may thei drede.
    William Waleis is nomen, that maister was of theues,
    Tething to the Kyng is comen, that robberie mischeues.
    Sir Jon of Menetest sewed William so nehi.
    He tok him whan he wend lest, on nyght his leman bi.
    That was thorght treson of Jak Schort his man,
    He was the encheson, that Sir Jon so him nam,
    Jak brother had he slayn, the Waleis that is said,
    The more Jak was fayn, to do William that braid.
    Selcouthly he endis the man that is fals,
    If he trest on his frendes, thei begile him als.
    Begiled is William, taken is & bondon,
    To Inglond with him thei cam, & led him vnto London,
    The first dome he fanged, for treson was he drawen.
    For robbrie was he hanged, & for he had men slawen,
    & for he had brent abbies, & men of religion,
    Eft fro the galweis quik thei lete him doun,
    & boweld him alle hote, & brent tham in the fire.
    His hede than of smote, suilk was William hire;
    & for he had mayntend the werre at his myght,
    On lordschip lended thore he had no right,
    & stroied those he knewe, in fele stede sers
    His body thai hewe on foure quarters,
    To hang in foure tounes, to mene of his maners
    In stede of Gonfaynounes, & of his baners.
    At London is his heued, his quarters ere leued, in Scotland spred,
    To wirschip her iles, & lere of his wiles, how wele that he sped.
    It is not to drede, traytour salle spede, als he is worthi,
    His lif salle he tyne, & die thorgh pyne, withouten merci.
    Thus may men here, a ladde for to lere, to biggen in pays;
    It fallis in his iye, that hewes ouer hie, with the Walays.”

            Vol. ii. p. 329. 330.

“The martyrdom of Wallace,” says the editor of Wyntoun’s Chronicle, “is
thus described, in a ballad written about a year after, when the head
of Sir Simon Frazer, one of the heroes of Roslin, was set up beside
those of Wallace and Lewellyn, the last sovereign of Wales.

    “To warny alle the gentilmen, that liueth in Scotlonde.}
    The Waleis wes to drawe seththe he wes anhonge,        } to abyde.
    Al quic biheueded, ys boweles ybrend,                  }
    The heued to Londone brugge wes send

           *       *       *       *       *

    Sire Edward oure Kyng, that ful ys of pietè,   }
    The Waleis quarters sende to is oune contre,   } Ant drede.”
    On four half to honge, huere myrour to be,     }
    Ther-apon to thenche, that manie myhten se,    }

            _MS. Harl. No. 2253, f. 59, b. Trivet._ p. 340.

“Thus did Edward glut his vengeance on the dead body of this worthy
man, whose living soul all his power never could subdue.

“Some of the English historians have stained their pages with low
invectives against Wallace. Carte, in particular [Hist. v. ii. p.
290.], labours hard to prove him a traitor to King Edward, whose
_mercy_ he praises. That he was a traitor, he proves from his being a
native of Galloway, _or_ the Cambrian territories, which, _he says_,
the kings of Scotland held in vassalage of the crown of England, and
because the subvassals were, in cases of rebellion, subject by the
feudal law to the same forfeitures and penalties as the immediate

“A man must feel himself very much pinched for arguments, when he
has recourse to such as are confessedly not founded on reason, and
to quibbles and perversion of facts. Clydesdale, the ancient kingdom
of Strathcluyd, one of the first independent kingdoms established
in Britain by the expulsion of the Romans, which for many centuries
withstood the attacks of the Angles, Pichts, Scots, and Norwegians,
and had the honour to produce STEWART, DOUGLAS, and WALAYS, was never
pretended to be any part of the territories of which the kings of
England claimed the superiority. So the pretence that Walays was a
traitor, in consequence of the place of his birth, falls to the ground;
and the pretence of rebellion is equally unfounded, unless the noble
exertions of a free people against the unjustifiable attempts of a
neighbouring prince to subject them to his dominion, are to be branded
with the name of rebellion. Well may the spirit of the noble Walays
forgive those writers for accusing him of inhumanity and rebellion,
who have extolled the clemency of Edward I.”--_Notes to Wyntoun’s
Chronicle_, vol. ii. p. 503.

The inclination to detract from the merits of Wallace, does not appear
to have become entirely extinct among the historians of England. Dr
Lingard thus expresses himself respecting our hero: “It may perhaps
offend the national partiality of some among my readers, but I greatly
suspect that Wallace owes his celebrity as much to his execution as
to his exploits. Of all the Scottish chieftains who deserved and
experienced the enmity of Edward, he alone perished on the gallows;
and on this account his fate called forth and monopolized the sympathy
of his countrymen.”--Vol. iii. p. 227.

On this Mr Tytler remarks, “It is not true, that of all the Scottish
chieftains who deserved Edward’s enmity, Wallace was the only one who
perished on the gallows. Sir Nigel Bruce, Sir Christopher Seton, John
Seton, the Earl of Athol, Sir Simon Fraser, Sir Herbert de Morham,
Thomas Boys, Sir David Inchmartin, Sir John de Somerville, Sir Thomas
and Sir Alexander Bruce, both brothers of the king, and Sir Reginald
Crawfurd, were all hanged by Edward’s orders in the course of the
year 1306, within a year of the execution of Wallace. So much for the
accuracy of the ground on which Lingard has founded his conjecture,
that Wallace owes his celebrity ‘to his execution.’”

Respecting the inaccuracies of Dr Lingard on this subject, we shall
give another extract from the same authority. “He,” Dr Lingard
“observes, that after the surprise of Ormesby the Justiciary, by
Wallace and Douglas, other independent chieftains arose in different
counties, who massacred the English, and compelled their own countrymen
to fight under their standards. These other independent chieftains are
brought in ‘for the nonce’ by Dr Lingard. They are utterly unknown
to the contemporary historians, English and Scottish. But they do
not appear upon the stage without a use. On the contrary, they first
multiply like Falstaff’s men in buckram, ‘into numerous parties,’ and
then act a principal part in the next sentence; for the historian
goes on to observe, ‘that the origin and progress of _these numerous
parties_ had been viewed with secret satisfaction by the Steward of
Scotland, and Wishart the Bishop of Glasgow, who determined to collect
them into one body, and to give their efforts one common direction.
Declaring themselves the assertors of Scottish independence, they
invited the different leaders to rally around them; and the summons was
obeyed by Wallace and Douglas, by Sir Alexander Lindsay, Sir Andrew
Moray, and Sir Richard Lundy,’ vol. iii. p. 305. This last sentence is
one of pure and gratuitous invention, without a shadow of historical
authority to support it. The numerous and independent parties and
chieftains who rose in different counties--the silent satisfaction with
which they were contemplated by the Bishop of Glasgow and the High
Steward--their determination to collect them into one body, and to give
them one common direction--their declaring themselves the assertors
of Scottish independence--their summons to the different leaders to
rally round them, and the prompt obedience of this summons by Wallace,
Douglas, and the rest--are facts created by the ingenuity of the
historian. They seem to be introduced for the purpose of diminishing
the reputation of Wallace; and the impression they leave on the mind
of the reader, appears to me to be one totally different from the
truth. The Steward and the Bishop of Glasgow are the patriot chiefs
under whom Douglas and Wallace, and many other independent chieftains
consent to act for the recovery of Scottish freedom; and Wallace sinks
down into the humble partisan, whose talents are directed by their
superior authority and wisdom. Now, the fact is exactly the reverse of
this. The Steward and Wishart, encouraged by the successes of Wallace
and Douglas, joined their party, and acted along with them in their
attempt to free Scotland; but neither Fordun, nor Wynton, nor Bower
gives us the slightest ground to think that they acted a principal
part, or any thing like a principal part, in organizing the first
rising against Edward. On the contrary, these historians, along with
Trivet and Walsingham, Tyrrel and Carte, ascribe the rising to Wallace
alone, whose early success first caused him to be joined by Douglas,
and afterwards by the Bishop and the Steward, along with Lindsay,
Moray, and Lundy. Indeed, instead of playing the part ascribed to him
by Lingard, the patriotism of the Steward and the Bishop, was of that
lukewarm and short-lived kind which little deserves the name. It did
not outlive eight weeks; and they seized the first opportunity to
desert Wallace and the cause of freedom. The attack upon Ormesby the
Justiciary took place some time in May 1297; and on the 9th of July of
the same year, did Bishop Wishart, this patriot assertor of Scottish
independence, negociate the treaty of Irvine, by which he and the
other Scottish barons, with the single exception of Wallace and Sir
Andrew Moray of Bothwell, submitted to Edward. Lingard’s other hero,
the High Steward, who is brought in to divide the glory with Wallace,
was actually in the English service at the battle of Stirling; and
although he secretly favoured the Scottish cause, he did not openly
join his countrymen till he saw the entire destruction of Surrey’s
army. I may remark, in concluding this note, that the idea of an attack
upon Wallace, and an eulogy on the clemency of Edward, has probably not
even the merit of originality. It appears to be borrowed from Carte,
vol. ii. p. 290; but it is only the idea which is taken. The clumsy
and absurd argument of Carte is discarded, and a far more ingenious
hypothesis, with a new set of facts, is substituted in its place. On
reading over Hemingford again, I find one expression which may perhaps
have suggested this theory of Lingard. Hemingford says, speaking of
Bruce, p. 120, that he joined the Bishop of Glasgow and the Steward,
‘qui tocius mali fabricatores exstiterant.’ Yet this is inconsistent
with his own account in p. 118, and is not corroborated, so far as I
know, by any other historian.”

Among other singular passages in the work of the learned Doctor, we
cannot omit taking notice of the following: “The only great battles
in which Wallace is known to have fought, are those of Stirling and
Falkirk. In the first he was victorious; but he must share the glory
of the action with Sir Andrew Murray, who was certainly his equal in
command, perhaps his superior. In the second he was defeated, and the
defeat was the most disastrous that Scotland ever experienced. In the
history of the next five years, his name is scarcely ever mentioned.”
Scottish historians never pretended that there was any battle of
equal importance to those of Stirling and Falkirk, in which Wallace
was engaged. But where Dr Lingard could get his information, that
Sir Andrew Murray held a superior, or even an _equal command_ with
him, it is not easy to conjecture. In Scottish authors, evidences to
the contrary are innumerable; and if Dr Lingard had not preferred
substituting his own “perhaps,” in place of historical record, he might
have proofs in direct opposition to the statement he has made, and
that even from English authors, with whom he appears to be familiar.

At the treaty of Irvine, for the submission of the Scottish barons,
when all deserted Wallace but Sir Andrew Murray, it is mentioned in the
instrument as having been notified to Wallace “Escrit à Sire Willaume,”
and the name of Sir Andrew is not even alluded to. This would certainly
not have been the case, had he held even an equal command, much less a
superior.--_Fœdera, T._ ii. p. 774.

In the Chronicle of Langtoft, page 297, we have an account of the
battle of Stirling, which is thus introduced:--

    “The rascail of ther route bigan to werre alle newe,
    Now Edward is oute, the barons be not treue.
    The suffred, as it sais, the Scottis eft to rise,
    & William the Walais _ther hed & ther justise_.
    Thorgh fals concelement William did his wille,
    Our castels has he brent, our men slayn fulle ille.”

The chronicler, after telling us that Wallace was the _head and
justice of the Scots_--expressions which embrace a pretty extensive
prerogative--proceeds to narrate the operations of the day, in which he
speaks of Wallace as the only commander opposed to Warren: nor does he
even hint of any individual who had a right to “divide the glory” of
the victory with him: on the contrary he says,

    “The Inglis were alle slayn, the Scottis bare them wele,
    The Waleis had the wayn, als maistere of that eschele.”

Sir Andrew Murray is not even mentioned by Langtoft. That he fought
bravely, and died nobly in defence of his country, is what no one
will attempt to deny, and the same might be said of many more who
were present on that occasion; but being the only man amongst a timid
and backsliding aristocracy, who acted with patriotism and spirit
in so trying a time, his name has been handed down to the grateful
remembrance of posterity.

“In the next five years,” adds Dr Lingard, the “name” of Wallace “is
scarcely ever mentioned.” When Scottish affairs are concerned, and
more particularly when the character of her deliverer is the subject
adverted to, a reference to authorities appears to be extremely
irksome, or attended with too much trouble to our learned author. In
the present instance, however, we shall not ask him to go farther
than the pages of his own work, where he will find matter that might
lead him to suspect the truth of the above assertion, as well as
the correctness of the view he has taken of the grounds on which
our patriot’s popularity is founded. We are informed (vol. iii. p.
227), “The only man whose enmity could give him” (Edward) a “moment’s
uneasiness, was Wallace, and in few months he was brought captive
to London.” And again, vol. iii. p. 329, “If the fate of Wallace
was different from all others, it proves that there was something
peculiar in his case which rendered him less deserving of mercy.” If
we are to credit our author’s statements, Edward must have been a more
nervous character than he has ever been supposed to be, if he could
feel “uneasiness” at “the enmity” of a man who had been thus buried
in obscurity, and whose “name had scarcely been heard of for five
years,”--one who, in the only great battle in which he was successful,
held but a subordinate command, and acted during the insurrection
in the humble character of a mere partisan, under the direction of
others. Surely there was nothing peculiarly aggravating in the case
of such a man, to have “rendered him less deserving of mercy” than
his more guilty superiors, particularly from _one_ whom our author
informs us “was _not_ a blood-thirsty tyrant.” It is strange that it
did not appear to Dr Lingard, as a very high degree of praise, that
after Wallace had been deprived, by the severe and sanguinary policy of
Edward, of all resources save what arose from his own dauntless heart
and irresistible arm, that he should still continue to be the only man
_whose_ “enmity” could give the oppressor of his country “a moment’s
uneasiness.” From this circumstance, and from this alone, arose that
“something peculiar” in his case which rendered him obnoxious to the
tender mercies of Edward. In conclusion, we cannot help remarking,
that the Doctor’s method of substituting, where his prejudices happen
to be interested, his own theoretical conjectures, in opposition to
the authentic records of the country, is rather an indirect way to the
confidence of his reader.



P. 162.

From the following passage in the Minstrel it would seem, that a
portrait of Wallace had been taken during his short stay in France,
and forwarded to his friends in Scotland. What afterwards became of
this precious relic, cannot now be discovered. Though there are many
likenesses of him to be met with in the country, yet the pretensions to
originality of all those we have yet seen, are extremely questionable.
It would be difficult for a blind man to give his ideas of a picture in
more appropriate language than the following.

    “The wyt off Frans thocht Wallace to commend;
    In to Scotland, with this harrold, thai send
    Part off his deid, and als the discriptioune
    Off him tane thar, be men off discretioun,
    Clerkis, knychtis, and harroldis, that him saw;
    Bot I hereoff can nocht reherss thaim aw.”

The description of Wallace, in the following lines, places the genius
of Henry in a very favourable light. It is evidently the effort of a
master, and might be studied to advantage by the artist who intended
to commit his ideas of the hero of Scotland to canvas:--

    “Wallace statur, off gretness, and off hycht,
    Was jugyt thus, be discretioun off rycht,
    That saw him bath dissembill and in weid;
    Nyne quartaris large he was in lenth indeid;
    Thryd part lenth in schuldrys braid was he,
    Rycht sembly, strang, and lusty for to se;
    Hys lymmys gret, with stalwart paiss and sound,
    Hys browys hard, his armes gret and round;
    His handis maid rycht lik till a pawmer,
    Off manlik mak, with naless gret and cler;
    Proportionyt lang and fayr was his wesage;
    Rycht sad off spech, and abill in curage;
    Braid breyst and heych, with sturdy crag and gret,
    His lyppys round, his noyss was squar and tret;
    Bowand bron haryt, on browis and breis lycht,
    Cler aspre eyn, lik dyamondis brycht.
    Wndir the chyn, on the left syd, was seyn,
    Be hurt, a wain; his colour was sangweyn.
    Woundis he had in mony diuerss place,
    Bot fayr and weill kepyt was his face.
    Off ryches he kepyt no propyr thing;
    Gaiff as he wan, lik Alexander the King.
    In tym off pes, mek as a maid was he;
    Quhar wer approchyt the rycht Ector was he.
    To Scottis men a gret credens he gaiff;
    Bot knawin enemyss thai couth him nocht disayff.
    Thir properteys was knawin in to Frans,
    Off him to be in gud remembrans.”

            Book ix. 1909-1942.

The subjoined extract, from Fordun, fully corroborates the statements
from the Minstrel:--

“Erat staturâ procerus, corpore giganteus, facie serenus, vultu
jocundus, humeris latus, ossibus grossus, ventre congruus, lateribus
protelus, aspectu gratus, sed visu ferus; renibus amplus, brachiis et
cruribus vigorosus; pugil acerrimus, et omnibus artubus fortissimus
et compactus. Insuper sic eum Altissimus et ipsius vultum varium
quâdam hilaritate favorabili insigniverat, ita dicta et facta
illius quodam cœlesti dono gratificaverat ut omnia fidorum corda
Scotorum solo aspectu sibi conciliaret in gratiam et favorem. Et nec
mirum: erat enim in donis liberalissimus, in judiciis æquissimus, in
consolatione tristium compatientissimus, in consilio peritissimus,
sufferentia patientissimus, in locutione luculentissimus,--super
omnia falsitatem et mendacia prosequens, ac proditionem detestans;
propter quod fuit Dominus cum eo, per quem erat vir incunctis prosperé
agens; ecclesiam venerans, ecclesiasticos reverens, pauperes et
viduas sustentans, pupillos et orphanos refovens, oppressos relevans,
furibus et raptoribus insidians, et sine pretio super eos, justitiam
exercens et rigorem. Cujuscemodi justis operibus, quia quam maximé Deum
gratificabót ipse propterea omnia ejus opera dirigebat.”--_Lib._ x.
cap. 28.



Page 163.

Among the few speeches of Wallace which we have on record, the
following is mentioned by English writers, as having been addressed
by him to the Scottish schiltrons, on the eve of the battle of
Falkirk:--“I haif brocht you to the ring, hap gif you cun.” Respecting
the meaning of these words, however, there is no agreement between
Scottish or English writers. Walsingham has it, “I haif brocht you
to the King, hop gif you cun;”--on which Lord Hailes very properly

“This speech of Wallace has generally been related and explained in
a sense very different. I must therefore give my reasons for having
departed so widely from the common opinion. _Walsingham_, p. 75,
says, ‘Dicens eis patriâ linguâ,--_I haif brocht you to the_ King,
_hop gif you cun_.’ This short speech has always appeared to me as
utterly inconsistent with the character of Wallace. It is commonly
understood to mean, ‘I have brought you to the King, hope if you
can hope.’ To say nothing of the impropriety of the appellation of
_King_, bestowed by Wallace on Edward, the sentiment, ‘hope, if you
can hope,’ seems only fit for the mouth of a coward or a traitor.
Abercrombie, perceiving this, has given a more plausible interpretation
of the word _hop_. He renders the phrase thus, ‘_Fly_ if you can;’ as
if Wallace had meant to say, ‘_Fight_, for you cannot fly.’ There is
nothing incongruous in this sentiment; but surely it did not merit
to be recorded: Neither was it strictly true; for the Scottish army
might have retired with unbroken forces into the forest which lay in
the rear. The only satisfactory interpretation of Wallace’s address
to his troops, is to be found in _W. Westm._ p. 451, ‘Ecce adduxi vos
ad _annulum_ charolate (chorolate) sive tripudiate vos, sicut melius
scitis.’ _King_, in Walsingham, ought to be _ring_. The words of
Wallace were, ‘I haif brocht you to the ring, hap gif you cun.’ _The
ring_ means the dance _à la ronde_. _Douglas_ translates ‘Exercet Diana
_choros_,’ Æneid ii., thus, ‘Ledand _ring-dances_,’ p. 28. l. 42. ‘Te
lustrare _choros_,’ Æneid vii., thus: ‘To the scho led _ring-sangis_ in
karoling,’ p. 220, l. 31. Elsewhere, in his own person, he says, ‘Sum
sang _ring-sangis_,’ Prologue, xii. B. p. 402, l. 33. That _hap_ or
_hop_ is understood of dancing, is also plain from _Douglas_. He thus
paraphrases ‘Hic exultantes Salios,’ Æneid, viii.

    ‘The dansand Preistis, clepit _Salii_,
    _Happand_ and singand.’ P. 267, l. 21.

“I need not prove, that ‘gif you cun’ implies ‘if you have skill,’
or, ‘according to your skill.’ The verb is obsolete; but the noun and
the adjective are still remembered. ‘Let my right hand forget its
_cunning_,’ ‘a _cunning_ artificer,’ ‘a _cunning_ man.’ _Langtoft_,
vol. ii. p. 305, as translated by Brunne, reports the words thus: “To
the renge ere ye brouht, hop now if ye wille.” But he does not seem to
have understood the import of the words.”

The above is all learned enough; but his lordship has stopped short in
his explanation, and left his readers as much in the dark, as any of
his predecessors, respecting the meaning or propriety of such a phrase
in the mouth of a general, on the commencement of a great battle. Some
of our readers perhaps require to be told that _schiltron_ means a body
of men drawn up in a circle.[105] The war-dance of the Scots and other
northern nations, as is well known, was performed round a large fire.
Each warrior’s hand was firmly clasped in that of his neighbour. Their
motion was at first slow, and gradually increased, till their rapidity
almost rivalled the velocity of the whirlwind. When arrived at this
state of fury, if any luckless wight slipped his hold, or otherwise
became unsteady, the impetus which he and his fellows had acquired,
pitched him headlong amid the flames, when his endeavours to extricate
himself from the blaze, and regain his place, formed the chief sport
of his companions. To render the schiltron the most formidable figure
for defensive operations, steadiness was all that was requisite. When
Wallace, therefore, on the rapid advance of the English, addressed his
soldiers in the manner alluded to, he gave utterance to the happiest
thought, in the fewest words, that perhaps ever presented itself to the
mind of genius in a case of emergency. The striking similarity between
their form of battle and their favourite dance, was apparent to all;
and the impending conflict became instantly stript of its terrors, by a
playful allusion to an amusement with which they were familiar, while
it flashed upon their minds with all the conviction of experience, that
on the preservation of their ranks their safety depended. The behaviour
of the schiltrons on that fatal day showed that they understood the
address of their leader better than any of its subsequent commentators.



Page 167.

Wallace appears to have left a daughter, whose legitimacy has been
called in question, but on very slender grounds. In Chalmers’s
Caledonia, vol. i. p. 579, we find the following passage:--“It has
been said that Wallace left no legitimate issue; but he had a natural
daughter, who married Sir William Baillie of Hoprig, the progenitor
of the Baillies of Lamington.” It has never been disputed, that the
lady by whom Wallace had this daughter was the heiress of Lamington,
in right of her father, Sir Hew de Bradfute; it would therefore have
been satisfactory, if the learned author above mentioned had explained
how the Baillies of Hoprig came to the possession of Lamington. If the
daughter of Wallace was legitimate their succession appears the natural
consequence of the marriage of Sir William Baillie; if not, the manner
in which they became possessed of that property requires elucidation.
That Wallace and the heiress of Lamington were lawfully married, is
asserted by Henry, who draws the following picture of their connubial

    “Quhat suld I say, Wallace was playnly set
    To luff hyr best in all this warld so wid;
    Thinkand he suld off his desyr to get;
    And so befell be concord in a tid,
    That sho [was] maid at his commaund to bid;
    And thus began the styntyn aff this stryff:
    Begynnyng band, with graith witnes besyd,
    _Myn auctor sais, sho was his rychtwyss wyff_.
      Now leiff in pees, now leiff in gud concord!
    Now leyff in blyss, now leiff in haill plesance!
    For scho be choss has bath hyr luff and lord.
    He thinkis als, luft did him hye awance,
    So ewynly held be favour the ballance,
    Sen he at will may lap hyr in his armyss.
    Scho thankit God off hir fre happy chance,
    For in his tyme he was the flour off armys.
      Fortoune him schawit hyr fygowrt doubill face,
    Feyll syss or than he had beyne set abuff:
    In presoune now, delyuerit now throw grace,
    Now at vness, now in to rest and ruff;
    Now weyll at wyll, weyldand his plesand luff,
    As thocht him selff out off aduersité;
    Desyring ay his manheid for to pruff,
    In cairage set apon the stagis hye.
      The werray treuth I can nocht graithly tell,
    In to this lyff how lang at thai had beyne:
    Throuch natural course of generacioune befell,
    A child was chewyt thir twa luffaris betuene,
    Quhilk gudly was, a maydyn brycht and schene.”

            _Buke Sext_, 41-69.

According to the above authority, the offspring of this marriage was
first united in the bands of wedlock to an Esquire of the name of Shaw.
Whether this was any connection of William de Shaw, mentioned at page
106, vol. i. of this work, as witnessing the charter of James, Lord
High Steward of Scotland, along with some other friends of Wallace, we
have no means of ascertaining. We are told, however, that

  “Rycht gudly men come off this lady ying.”

Whether these were the issue of the marriage with Shaw, or of that
afterwards contracted with Baillie of Hoprig, or of both, it is
difficult to determine. It is probable, as Sir William Baillie is
designated, of Hoprig, and his descendants as proprietors of Lamington,
that they may have succeeded to the inheritance, after the offspring
of the first marriage had become extinct. It has also been advanced,
as an argument against the legitimacy of the daughter of Wallace, that
she inherited none of the property of her father. Those, however,
who started this objection, would have done well to have shown, that
Wallace possessed property to which she could have succeeded. It does
not appear that he was ever personally invested in any of the lands
belonging to the family. And mention is made of his brother Malcolm
having left a son of the name of John, in whom the succession was
prolonged, till it merged in the family of Craigie. In Langtoft’s
Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 338, we have an account of the capture and
execution of a Sir John de Wallace, who is there called a brother of
Sir William. This is evidently a mistake, and might very easily arise
from the closeness of the connection between the two parties. Another
“John Walays of Elryslà” (Elderslie) is taken notice of as among the
witnesses to the charter of Robert, Duke of Albany; and, from the
family title being preserved, it is highly probable that the stock of
Sir Malcolm Wallace had not then become extinct.



Page 169.

In the account of the capture of Wallace, we have thought it advisable
to follow, in a great measure, the statement given by the Minstrel. It
is, we conceive, the only rational one we are possessed of; and as the
authority of the author has been supported by the Tower records, and
other incontrovertible muniments, in matters of comparatively trifling
importance, it would be unfair to doubt his veracity on so important a
part of the history of his hero, particularly when all the notices we
have in other writers, tend more or less to confirm the truth of what
he asserts. Lord Hailes, however, has attempted to remove the odium
which has for these five hundred years been attached to the memory of
Menteith; but his efforts to exculpate the Judas of Scotland, have been
viewed by the generality of his countrymen in rather an unfavourable
light. In the remarks his Lordship has made on the subject, we cannot
discover that acuteness which frequently appears in his other writings.
Dr Jamieson has thus replied to him:

“The account given of the treachery of Menteth, is one of those
points on which Sir D. Dalrymple shows his historical scepticism. He
introduces it in language calculated to inspire doubt into the mind
of the reader; observing, that ‘the popular tradition is, that his
_friend_, Sir John Menteth, betrayed him to the English.’--_Annals_,
i. 281. It is rather strange that he should express himself in this
manner, at the very moment that he quotes the Scotichronicon on the
margent; as if this venerable record, when a modern should be disposed
to adopt a theory irreconcileable with its testimony, were entitled to
no higher regard than is due to ‘popular tradition.’

“He adds,’Sir John Menteth was of high birth, a son of Walter Stewart,
Earl of Menteth.’ I can perceive no force in this remark, unless it
be meant to imply that there never has been an instance of a man of
noble blood acting the part of a traitor. On the same ground, we might
quarrel with all the evidence given of the conspiracies formed against
Robert Bruce; and even call in question the murder of that amiable and
accomplished prince, James I.

“But ‘at this time,’ we are told, ‘the important fortress of Dumbarton
was committed to his (Menteith’s) charge by Edward.’ Here, it would
seem, the learned writer fights the poor Minstrel with his own weapons.
For I find no evidence of this fact in the Fœdera, Hemingford, or
the Decem Scriptores; and Lord Hailes has referred to no authority;
so that there is reason to suspect, to use his own language, that he
here ‘copies’ what ‘is said by _Blind Harry_, whom no historian but
Sir Robert Sibbald will venture to _quote_.’ If Harry’s narrative be
received as authority, it is but justice to receive his testimony as
he gives it. Now, in the preceding part of his work, he represents
Menteth as holding the castle of Dunbarton at least with the consent of
Wallace, while acknowledged as governor of Scotland. It would appear,
indeed, that the whole district of the Lennox had been intrusted to him.

    “In the Leynhouss a quhill he maid repayr;
    Schyr Jhon Menteth that tym was captane thar.”

            B. viii. 1595.

“But even at this time there was something dubious in the conduct of
Menteth. While he retained the castle, the English held the town under

    “In peess thai duelt, in trubyll that had beyn,
    And trewbut payit till Ingliss capdanis keyn.
    Schyr Jhon Menteth the castell had in hand:
    Bot sum men said, thar was a prewa band
    Till Sotheroun maid, be menys off that knycht,
    In thar supplé to be in all his mycht.”

            B. ix. 1393.

“It is perfectly conceivable, that, although it was known to Wallace
that Menteth had some secret understanding with the English, this
artful man might persuade him that he only wished an opportunity
of wreaking the national vengeance on them, or at least of more
effectually serving the interest of Wallace when he saw the proper
time. Although Wallace had been assured that Menteith had taken an oath
of fealty to Edward, he would have had no more reason for distrusting
him than for distrusting by far the greatest part of the nobility and
landholders of Scotland, who, as they believed, from the necessity of
despair had submitted to the usurper.

“John de Menteth is designated by Arnold Blair, _immanis proditor_;
and the writer proceeds to curse him as if with bell, book, and
candle.--_Relations_, p. 8.

“Sir David aims another blow at this account, in the following
words;--‘That he had ever any intercourse of friendship or familiarity
with Wallace, I have yet to learn.’ But the truth is, the worthy Judge
does not seem disposed to _learn_ this. It is difficult to say what
evidence will satisfy him. The incidental hints, in the preceding
part of the poem, in regard to Wallace’s connection with Menteth, all
perfectly agree with the mournful termination. Such confidence had
he in him, according to the Minstrel, that he not only resided in
Dunbarton Castle for two months, while Menteth had the charge of it,
but gave orders for building ‘a house of stone’ there, apparently that
he might enjoy his society.

    “Twa monethis still he duelt in Dumbertane;
    A houss he foundyt apon the roch off stayne;
    Men left he thar till bygg it to the hycht.”

            B. viii. 1599.

“But, independently of the testimony of Blind Harry, Bower expressly
asserts the co-operation of Menteith with Wallace, Graham, and
Scrymgeour, in the suppression of the rebellious men of Galloway.
‘In hoc ipso anno (1298), viz. xxviii. die mensis Augusti, dominus
Wallas Scotiæ custos, cum Johanne Grhame et _Johanne de Menteth_,
militibus, necnon Alexandro Scrimzeour constabulario villæ de Dundee,
et vexillario Scotiæ, cum quinquagentis militibus armatis, rebelles
Gallovidienses punierunt, qui regis Angliæ et Cuminorum partibus sine
aliquo jure steterunt.’

“These words, which seem to be a quotation, in the Relationes of Blair,
from the Scotichronicon, are not found in the MSS. from which Goodall
gave his edition. They appear to have formed the commencement of the
xxxii. chapter of the eleventh book, one of the two chapters here
said to be wanting. Now this, whether it be the language of Bower,
or of Blair, could not have been borrowed from the Minstrel, for the
circumstance is overlooked by him. It seems to refer to that period
of the history of Wallace, in which he is said to have made a circuit
through Galloway and Carrick.

    “Fra Gamlis peth the land obeyt him haill,
    Till Ur wattir, baith strenth, forest, and daill.
    Agaynis him in _Galloway_ hous was nayne.”

            B. vi. 793-5.

“It is to be observed, that John Major expressly affirms the treachery
of Menteth, as acting in concert with Aymer de Valloins, Earl of
Pembroke. He says, that Menteth was considered as his most intimate
friend; ‘ipsi Vallacco putatus amicissimus.’ Hist. Fol. lxxiii. Now,
although he rejects many of the transactions recited by Blind Harry
‘as false,’ so far is he from insinuating the slightest hesitation
as to this business, that he formally starts an objection as to the
imprudence of Wallace in not being more careful of his person, and
answers it by remarking, that ‘no enemy is more dangerous than a
domestic one.’ He differs from the Minstrel in saying that Wallace was
‘captured _in_ the city of Glasgow.’

“It may be added, that Bower expressly asserts that Wallace,
‘suspecting no evil, was fraudulently and treacherously seized _at_
Glasgow by Lord John de Menteth.’ _Scotichron._ xii. 8. Bower again
refers to the treacherous conduct of Menteth towards Wallace when
afterwards relating a similar plan which he had laid for taking King
Robert Bruce prisoner, under pretence of delivering up to him the
Castle of Dunbarton, on condition of his receiving a hereditary right
to the lieutenancy of the Lennox; v. Lib. xii. c. 16, 17, Vol. ii.
243. These two chapters are not in all the MSS., but are found in
those of Cupar, Perth, and Dunblane. Now, Bower was born anno 1385;
_Ibid._ ii. 401. The date assigned to the Scotichronicon, as published
with his Continuation, is 1447, and that to the Minstrel’s Poem, 1470;
v. Pinkerton’s Maitland Poems, Intr. lxxxvi-lxxxix. It is therefore
impossible that Bower could have borrowed the account given of Menteth
from Blind Harry. Bower was born, indeed, only eighty or eighty-one
years after the fact referred to; and, considering the elevation of the
character of Wallace, and the great attachment of his countrymen even
to this day, as well as the multitude of his enemies, it is totally
inconceivable that a whole nation, learned and unlearned, should concur
in imputing this crime to one man, _without_ the most valid reasons.

“Wyntown finished his ‘_Cronykil_,’ anno 1418. He, it is generally
believed, was born little more than fifty years after the butchery
of our magnanimous patriot. Sir David Dalrymple could not, one would
suppose, reasonably object to his testimony. Let us hear it.

    A thousand thre hundyr and the fyft yhere
    Eftyr the byrth of oure Lord dere,
    Schyre John of Menteth in tha days
    Tuk in Glasgw Willame Walays,
    And send hym in-til Ingland swne.
    Thare wes he quartaryd and wndwne
    Be dyspyte and hat Inwy:
    Thare he tholyd this Martyry.

            _Cron._ viii. c. 20.

“I shall only add an important proof from the Lanercost MS., referred
to in the _Preliminary Remarks_.[106] ‘_Captus_ fuit Willelmus Waleis
per unum Scottum, scilicet per dominum Johannem de Mentiphe, et usque
London ad Regem adductus, et adjudicatum fuit quod traheretur, et
suspenderetur, et decollaretur, et membratim divideretur, et quod
viscera ejus comburentur, quod factum est; et suspensum est caput ejus
super pontem London, armus autem dexter super pontem Novi Castri super
Tynam, et armus sinister apud Berwicum, pes autem dexter apud villam
Sancti Johannis, et pes sinister apud Aberden.’ Fol. 211. _Mentiphe_ is
obviously an _erratum_ for _Menteith_.”

Mr Tytler, in the “Notes and Illustrations” to the first volume of his
History of Scotland, has also handled this subject with considerable
ability. We shall select the following, as affording additional
arguments to those already advanced by Dr Jamieson. In alluding to
the evidence afforded by the Lanercost MS., that intelligent writer
observes, “We cannot be surprised that Lord Hailes should have been
ignorant of this passage, as he tells us, Annals, vol. ii. p. 316, he
had not been able to discover where the MS. of Lanercost was preserved.

“The same excuse, however, will not avail him as to the next piece
of evidence, of Menteth’s having seized Wallace. It is contained in
Leland’s extract from an ancient MS. Chronicle, which Hailes has
elsewhere quoted; I mean the Scala Chronicle, preserved in Corpus
Christi Library, Cambridge. In Leland’s Collect., vol. i. p. 541, we
have this passage from the Chronicle. ‘_Wylliam Waleys was taken of the
Counte of Menteth about Glaskow_, and sent to King Edward, and after
was hangid, drawn, and quarterid at London.’ This is only Leland’s
abridgment of the passage, which in all probability is much more full
and satisfactory in the original. Yet it is quite satisfactory as to
Menteth’s guilt.

“The next English authority is Langtoft’s Chronicle, which Hailes has
himself quoted in his Notes and Corrections, vol. ii. p. 346. It is
curious, and as to Menteith’s guilt perfectly conclusive.

    ‘Sir Jon of Menetest serwed William so nehi,
    He tok him whan he wend lest, on nyght his leman bi.
    That was thorght treson of Jak Schort his man,
    He was the encheson, that Sir Jon so him nam.’ p. 329.

“We learn from this, that Sir John Menteth prevailed upon Wallace’s
servant, Jack Short, to betray his master, and came under cover of
night, and seized him in bed, ‘his leman bi,’ and when he had no
suspicion of what was to happen. How Hailes, after quoting this
passage, which was written more than two centuries before Blind Harry,
should have represented this poor minstrel as the only original
authority for the guilt of Menteth, is indeed difficult to determine.”

“Having given these authorities, all of them prior to Blind Harry,
it is unnecessary to give the testimony of the more modern writers.
The ancient writers prove incontestably, that Sir John de Menteth, a
Scottish baron, who had served along with and under Wallace against the
English, deserted his country, swore homage to Edward, and employed a
servant of Wallace to betray his master into his hands; that he seized
him in bed, and delivered him to Edward, by whom he was instantly
tried, condemned, and hanged. It was natural that the voice of popular
tradition should continue from century to century, to execrate the
memory of such a man. Whether Menteth was the intimate friend of
Wallace, or what precise degree of familiarity existed between them, it
is now not easy to determine, nor is it of any consequence as to his
guilt. Indeed it is impossible to regard, without a smile the weak and
inconclusive evidence, if it deserves so grave a name, on which Hailes
has founded what he calls his Apology for Menteth, which, after all,
seems to be borrowed from _Carte, vol. ii. p. 289_. Lord Hailes also
remarks, “It is most improbable, that Wallace should have put himself
in the power of a man whom he knew to be in an office of distinguished
trust under Edward;” and almost in the same breath paraphrases the
lines of Langtoft, in which it is stated that his capture was effected
through the treason of Jack Short, whose brother Wallace is said to
have slain. Surely the confidence was as imprudent in the one case as
it would have been in the other. It may be observed, however, that if
there had been a possibility of rescuing the name of Menteith from
the execrations of his country, the task would not have remained for
the learned annalist to perform. The great family interest which he
possessed, was sufficient to protect him from punishment, not only for
his treachery to Wallace, but also for his subsequent perfidy to Bruce.
Yet though that interest was powerfully exerted to screen him from the
consequences of his demerits, not a single effort was made to remove
the dishonourable stain from his character.

The following transaction, which has already been alluded to, is quite
consistent with the conduct ascribed to him by the Minstrel. It will
also account for the impunity which attended his crimes.

“About this time, there happened a passage not unworthy to be related,
in regard to the variety of providences, in a narrow compass of time.
John Menteith, who betrayed his friend Wallace to the English, and
was therefore deservedly hated by the Scots, received, amongst other
rewards, the government of Dumbarton castle from the English. When
other forts were recovered, that only, or but very few with it, held
out for the English. And because it was naturally impregnable, the
king dealt with the governor, by his friends and kindred, to surrender
it. He demanded the county or earldom of Lennox, as the price of his
treachery and surrender. Neither would he ever so much as hear of any
other terms. In this case the King wavered and fluctuated in his mind
what to do. On the one side, he earnestly desired to have the castle;
yet, on the other, he did not so much prize it, as for its sake to
disoblige the Earl of Lennox, who had been his fast and almost his
only friend in all his calamities. But the Earl of Lennox hearing of
it, and coming in, soon decided the controversy, and persuaded the
King, by all means to accept the condition. Accordingly the bargain
was made as John Monteith would have it, and solemnly confirmed. But
when the King was going to take possession of the castle, a carpenter,
one Roland, met him in the wood of Colquhoun, about a mile from it;
and having obtained liberty to speak with the King, concerning a
matter of great importance, he told him what treachery the governor
intended against him; nay, and had prepared to execute it. It was
this:--In a wine-cellar concealed, and underground, a sufficient number
of Englishmen were hid, who, when the rest of the castle should be
given up, and the King secure, were to issue forth upon him as he was
at dinner, and either to kill, or take him prisoner. This being thus
related, the King, upon the surrender of the other parts of the castle
by John, being kindly invited to a feast, refused to eat; till, as he
had searched all other parts of the castle; so, he had viewed that
wine-cellar also. The governor excused it, pretending that the smith,
who had the key, was out of the way, but that he would come again anon.
The King, not satisfied therewith, caused the door to be broke open,
and so the plot was discovered. The Englishmen were brought forth
in their armour, and being severally examined, confessed the whole
matter; and they added also another discovery, viz. that a ship rode
ready in the next bay to carry the King into England, The complices in
this wretched design were put to death; but John was kept in prison,
because the King was loth to offend his kindred, and especially his
sons-in-law, in so dangerous a time: for he had many daughters, all of
them very beautiful, and married to men rich enough, but factious.
Therefore, in a time of such imminent danger, the battle drawing near
wherein all was at stake, lest the mind of any powerful man might be
rendered averse from him, and thereby inclined to practise against
him, John was released out of prison, upon this condition, (for the
performance whereof his sons-in-law undertook), that he should be
placed in the front of the battle, and there, by his valour should wait
the decision of Providence. And indeed the man, otherwise fraudulent,
was in this faithful to the King; for he behaved himself so valiantly,
that that day’s work procured him not only pardon for what was past,
but large rewards for the future.”--_Buchanan’s Hist._ vol. i. p. 310.

It may here be mentioned, that, since the Note on page 152 was printed
off, we have learned from one, whose researches, and connection with
the name, entitle him to express an opinion, that the M’Kerlies of
Wigtonshire are descended from Kerlé, or Kerlie, who, with Sir William
Wallace and Stephen of Ireland, carried by assault the Fort of the
Black-Rock of Cree, or Cruggleton Castle, and who was the last friend
that clung to the fortunes of his master. Although the records of
the burgh of Witham furnish no information on the subject, being all
of a date subsequent to the Reformation, it is still handed down by
tradition, that the M’Kerlies were once proprietors of Cruggleton



Page 169.

This monkish legend Henry has carefully preserved; and as it affords a
specimen of the superstition of the age, we shall give it a place for
the gratification of the curious among our readers.

    “Wyss clerkyss yeit it kepis in remembrans,
    How that a monk off Bery abbay than,
    In to that tym a rycht religiouss man;
    A yong monk als with him in ordour stud,
    Quhilk knew his lyff was clene, perfyt, and gud.
    This fadyr monk was wesyd with seknace,
    Out off the warld as he suld pass on cace,
    His brothyr saw the spret lykly to pass;
    A band off him rycht ernystly he coud ass.
    To cum agayn and schaw him off the meid,
    At he suld haiff at God for his gud deid.
    He grantyt him, at his prayer to preiff,
    To cum agayn, gyff God wald geiff him leiff.
    The spreyt, changyt out off this warldly payn,
    In that sammyn hour cum to the monk agayn.
    Sic thing has beyn, and is be woice and sycht.
    Quhar he apperyt, thar schawyt sa mekill lycht,
    Lyk till lawntryns it illumynyt so cler,
    At warldly lycht thar to mycht be no peyr,
    A woice said thus:--‘God has me grantyt grace
    That I sall kep my promess in this place.’
    The monk was blyth off this cler fygur fayr;
    Bot a fyr brand in his forheid he bayr,
    And than him thocht it myslikyt all the lawe.
    ‘Quhar art thou spreyt? Ansuer, sa God the sawe.’
    ‘In purgatory.’--‘How lang sall thow be thair?’
    ‘Bot halff ane hour to com, and litill mair.
    Purgatory is, I do the weill to wit,
    In ony place quhar God will it admyt.
    Ane hour of space I was demed thar to be;
    And that passis, supposs I spek with the.
    Quhy has thow that, and all the layff so haill?’
    ‘For off science I thocht me maist awaill.
    Quha prydys tharin, that laubour is in waist,
    For science cummys bot off the haly Gaist.’
    ‘Eftir thi hour, quhar is thi passage ewyn?’
    ‘Quhen tym cummys,’ he said, ‘to lestand hewin.’
    ‘Quhat tym is that? I pray the now declar.’
    ‘Twa ar on lyff mon be befor me thar.’
    ‘Quhilk twa ar thai?’ The verité thow may ken,
    ‘The fyrst has bene a gret slaar of men.
    Now thai him kep to martyr in London toun
    On Wednyssday, befors king and commoun.
    Is nayn on lyff at has sa mony slayn.’
    ‘Brodyr,’ he said, ‘that taill is bot in wayn;
    For slauchtyr is to God abhominabill.’
    Than said the spreyt, ‘Forsuth this is no fabill.
    He is Wallace, defendour off Scotland,
    For rychtwyss war that he tok apon hand.
    Thar rychtwysnes is lowyt our the lawe;
    Tharfor in hewyn he sall that honour hawe.
    Syn a pure preyst, is mekill to commend;
    He tuk in thank quhat thing that God him send.
    For dayly mess, and heryng off confessioun,
    Hewin he sall haiff to lestand warysoun.
    I am the thrid, grantyt throw Goddis grace.’
    ‘Brothir,’ he said, ‘tell I this in our place,
    Thai wyll bot deym, I othir dreym or ráwe.’
    Than said the spreyt:--‘This wetnes thow sall hawe.
    Your bellys sall ryng, for ocht at ye do may,
    Quhen thai hym sla, halff ane hour off that day.’
    And so thai did, the monk wyst quhat thaim alyt
    Throuch braid Bretane, the woice tharoff was scaylyt,
    The spreyt tuk leyff at Goddis will to be,
    Off Wallace end to her it is peté;
    And I wald nocht put men in gret dolour,
    Bot lychtly pass atour his fatell hour.”

            Book xi. 1238-1304.



Page 170.

The verses on the death of Wallace, which have been attributed to John
Blair, stand thus in the original:--

    Invida mors tristi Gulielmum funere Vallam,
      Quæ cuncta tollit, sustulit:
    Et tanto pro cive cinis, pro finibus urna est,
      Frigusque pro lorica obit.
    Ille quidem terras, loca se inferiora reliquit:
      At fata factis supprimens,
    Parte sui meliore solum cœlumque pererrat;
      Hoc spiritu, illud gloria.
    At tibi si inscriptum generoso pectus honesto
      Fuisset, hostis proditi
    Artibus, Angle, tuis, in pœnas, parcior isses,
      Nec oppidatim spargeres
    Membra viri sacranda adytis. Sed scin quid in ista,
      Immanitate viceris?
    Ut Vallæ in cunctas oras sparguntur et horas
      Laudes, tuumque dedecus.

Abercrombie, who confounds John Blair with Arnold Blair, doubts of
the above lines being composed by him. Arnold, in his _Relationes_,
has certainly given nothing of his own, his brief details, as we have
already observed, being merely extracts from the Scotichronicon; and
it is more than probable, that as he borrowed from Fordun in the one
instance, he might also be inclined to take the same liberty with Blair
in the other. The verses are evidently the effusion of a superior
mind, brooding over a recent calamity. They are attached to the end of
Arnold Blair’s Relationes, to which the date of 1327 is affixed,--thus
bringing them to within 22 years of the execution of Wallace;--that
they were composed soon after that event becomes therefore a matter of

The writer entertained the hope of being able to gratify his readers
with some specimens of the chansonnettes, said to have been composed
in honour of Wallace by the Troubadours of France. He is sorry,
however, that his applications have not been followed by the success
anticipated. He will, therefore, conclude his labours with the
following lines from an unpublished manuscript:--


    May this day be blest, ‘mid the days of the year,
      May the sweet smile of heav’n ever brighten its dawn,
    And the music that wakes when its first rays appear,
      Swell joyously on till those rays are withdrawn.

    May the bee’s tiny bugle be heard ’round the brier--
      Or when in the midst of his favourite rose;
    May the breeze full of fragrance around him expire
      In sighings too soft to disturb his repose.

    While autumn in splendour o’er mountain and vale,
      Displays her refreshing enchantment to view;
    And each motionless ship, with her white hanging sail,
      Is seen to repose on a mirror of blue.

    To this sweet scene of peace, all so tranquil and bland,
      May the heart-stirring spirit of music be given;
    And the joy-song from each flow’ry nook of the land,
      Meet and rise in one grand halleluja to heav’n.

    For this was the day gave to Scotland a name,--
      A hero,--a patriot,--the boon was divine.
    The gleam of his sword led her back to her fame,
      And brighten’d her pathway to liberty’s shrine.

    Hail pattern of heroes! thy deeds they shall stand,
      Deep-engrav’d on the hearts of the brave and the free,
    Till the adamant mountains that girdle the land,
      Dissolve as their snows, and run down to the sea.

    Like a comet, he came irresistibly forth,
      Spreading woe ’mong the foes of his dear native land;
    He _set_--yet his _light_ lingers still in the _north_,
      To rouse and direct ev’ry patriot brand.




[1] Langtoft tells an improbable story of the Scots having induced him
to surrender, by a promise of returning to the allegiance of Edward.
Twenge must have been a noted simpleton indeed, if he could have been
so easily imposed upon.--See Langtoft, vol. ii. p. 300.

[2] Fordun à Goodall, vol. ii. p. 170.

[3] See Appendix, A.

[4] See Appendix, B.

[5] Of this army the Campbells and M’Gregors formed a part, and no
doubt a number of the Perthshire clans were included.

[6] Fordun states, that the Scots army remained in England from All
Saints day till Christmas, 31st October till 25th December. Wyntown
also agrees with him, and thus expresses himself on the subject.

    “And syne frá the Alhalowmes
    In Yngland till Yhule he bydand wes.
    All Allyrdáyle as man of Were
    That tyme he brynt wyth his Powere:
    And wyth gret Prayis owt of that Land,
    Come eftyr the Yhule in-til Scotland.”

            _Wyntown_, B. viii. c. 13. v. 177-182.

[7] In the invasion of England, one Grimesby acted as guide to the
Scottish army. This person we have alluded to at page 109, vol. i. as
carrying the banner of St John of Beverley, in the army of Edward.
He was afterwards rewarded by the Usurper with the promise of the
first benefice of twenty merks or pounds which should become vacant
in Scotland. This prospect of preferment, however, did not prevent
him from joining the liberator of his country. He appears to have
been long in the service of England, and was most probably one of
those 30,000 Scots who were sent by Alexander III. to the assistance
of Henry III., when opposed by his barons. Though it be uncertain if
he accompanied Edward to the Holy Land, it is however pretty evident
that he attended him in his various expeditions to France; and, in his
character of pursuivant, he obtained a very intimate acquaintance with
the localities of that country, as well as of England. His intimate
knowledge of the latter rendered his services of much importance to
his countrymen. Henry represents him as a steady and useful adherent
to Wallace, and describes him to be of great stature, and as having
acquired among the English the name of Grimesby, on account of his
grim or stern visage. This, however, is more fanciful than correct.
_Grimesby_ is of Danish origin, and though among the Scots he was
called Jop, his real name appears to have been Gilbert Grimesby. He
acted as herald, as well as guide; and often marshalled the Scottish
battalions on the eve of battle.

[8] Hexham.

[9] See Appendix, C.

[10] See Appendix, D.

[11] It is probable that some of our readers may be displeased with
our passing over the interview which Wallace is said to have had with
Queen Margaret, during the time his army was encamped in the north
of England; but we always wish to have some authority for what we
commit to our pages; and as we can find nothing in support of it,
either in English or Scottish records, we are inclined to look upon
it as a minstrel’s tale, introduced for the purpose of effect. The
subject excited the inquiries of the learned Dr Jamieson, who has been
at considerable pains to ascertain whether or not such an interview
actually took place; and all his researches tend rather to throw
discredit on the affair, in addition to the doubt which naturally
arises from the silence of history. Henry, in whose work the tale is
only to be found, represents Edward as being then in Britain, while it
is agreed on all hands that he was, at the time, prosecuting the war
in Flanders. Though the Minstrel be a favourite with us, still we like
to see his statements corroborated; and we conceive, that the English
Queen appearing in the Scottish camp in the manner he describes, was a
circumstance too flattering to the national pride of the Scots, to be
left to the pen of one solitary narrator.

[12] See Appendix, E.

[13] Respecting these two meritorious individuals, few particulars
appear to be known. Guthrie is said to have been the ancestor of the
Guthries of that Ilk, and was frequently employed as the confidential
agent of his countrymen.

Bisset is also mentioned as the progenitor of the Bissets of that Ilk;
and according to Henry, he was killed on this occasion by the hand of
Siward, who, in his turn, was cut down by Wallace. By the chamberlain’s
accounts it appears, that one John Bisset, a poor monk of Haddington,
received from King Robert Bruce a pension of 20s. per annum for
clothing. Whether this was given in consequence of any relationship to
the gallant patriot of that name, is not stated.

The battle of Blackironside appears to have been a protracted
forest-fight for the greater part of the day; and the heat of the
weather induced the combatants at times, as if by mutual consent, to
pause amid the deadly strife.

On one of those occasions, Wallace it is said unclasped the helmet
of a dead Englishman, and, repairing to a neighbouring fountain,
still unstained with the carnage of the day, he dipped it into the
stream, and continued to carry the water along the ranks of his
fainting soldiers. When he had in this manner allayed their thirst, he
afterwards partook himself; and declared, that the cooling beverage was
more grateful to his palate, than the richest wines he had ever tasted.
The effect which this mark of attention produced on the minds of his
followers, was evinced by the vigour they displayed in the charge which
they soon afterwards made on the enemy.

[14] For the satisfaction of the reader, we will here give the charter
referred to, as it is preserved in _Anderson’s_ Diplomata et Numismata
Scotiæ, (Edin. 1739)--from the original at that time in the possession
of Mr David Watson, writer, Edinburgh. An engraving from the seal of
Baliol, attached to this charter, forms the Frontispiece to our first


_Domini Gulielmi Wallace, Custodis Scotiæ, nomine Johannis Balliol
Regis, cum sigillo ejusdem Johannis._

“Willelmus Walays miles, Custos Regni Scocie, et Ductor exercituum
ejusdem, nomine preclari Principis Domini Johannis, Dei Gracia Regis
Scocie illustris, de consensu communitatis ejusdem Regni. Omnibus
probis hominibus dicti Regni ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit
eternam in Domino, salutem. Noverit universitas vestra, nos, nomine
predicti Domini nostris Regis Scocie, per consensum et assensum
magnatum dicti regni, dedisse et concessisse, ac ipsas donationem et
concessionem presenti carta confirmasse Alexandro dicto Skirmischur
sex marcatas terre in territorio de Dunde, scilicet, terram illam que
vocatur campus superior, prope villam de Dunde ex parte boreali, cum
acris illis in campo occidentali que ad partem regiam spectare solebant
prope villam de Dunde ex parte occidentali, et etiam pratum regium
in predicto territorio de Dunde, et etiam constabulariam castri de
Dunde, cum suis pertinenciis, libertatibus et asyamentis sine aliquo
retinemento, pro homagio predicto Domino Regi et heredibus suis vel
suis successoribus faciendo, et pro fideli servicio et succursu suo
predicto regno impenso portando vexillum regium in exercitu Scocie
tempore confectionis presentium, tenenda et habenda predicto Alexandro
et heredibus suis de predicto Domino nostro Rege et heredibus suis vel
suis successoribus, libere, quiete, integre, pacifice et honorifice
in perpetuum, cum omnibus pertinenciis, libertatibus et asyamentis
ad dictam terram et pratum prenominatum, et prefatum constabulariam
spectantibus vel quoquo modo spectare valentibus in futurum, faciendo
inde annuatim Domino Regi et heredibus suis vel suis successoribus,
scilicet pro predictis terra, prato, et constabularia cum suis
pertinenciis, libertatibus, et asyamentis, servicium quod pertinet
ad dictam constabulariam tantum pro omnibus que de predictus exigi
poterunt in futurum. In cujus rei testimonium, sigillum commune
predicti Regni Scocie presenti scripto est appositum. Datum apud
Torpheichyn vigesimo nono die Marcii, Anno Gracie millesimo ducentesimo
nonogesimo octavo.”

From the above document, it will appear that Wallace was sole Regent;
and that, when he associated the name of the younger Sir Andrew
Murray along with his own, it may be considered as only a respectful
compliment to the memory of the gallant and patriotic father, whose
example the young warrior was thereby excited to emulate.

[15] This deed Baliol could have no great difficulty in executing; for
though residing in the Tower, he enjoyed the full liberty of twenty
miles round, and a princely retinue to attend him. That he transmitted
a commission of Regency to Wallace, is not only highly probable,
but placed almost beyond a doubt, not merely from the suspicions
entertained by Edward, and the severe treatment which Baliol latterly
experienced in consequence of his supposed duplicity, but also from the
fact of Wallace _possessing_ and _using_, in his character of Regent
of the kingdom, _the seal_ of the dethroned _monarch_; and that in the
presence, and with the sanction of the assembled nobility. Evidence
to this effect is furnished by the charter granted to Alexander
Scrymgeour, given in the preceding note; and as the lands which were at
that time conferred are declared to have belonged to the _crown_, the
full and unrestricted authority with which Wallace was invested becomes
thereby the more apparent.

[16] Lord Hailes, on the authority of Hemingford, says ‘Temple-liston,’
and thus condescends to notice a respectable writer:--“_Sir Robert
Sibbald_, Comment. in Relat. et Blair, p. 31, says ‘at _Torphichen_,’
because _Blind Harry_ says so. It was an admirable fancy to correct
W. Hemingford by _Blind Harry_! Had Edward fixed his head-quarters at
Torphichen, his communication with Edinburgh and the Frith of Forth
would have been speedily cut off.”

This is scarcely doing Sir Robert justice. It is more reasonable to
suppose that he said so, after weighing the probabilities of the
case. That Torphichen was a place of some importance, and possessed
accommodation, appears certain, from the circumstance of Wallace
having, only a few months before, assembled the Scottish Barons to
a parliament there; and it was, as has been already mentioned, the
station of a preceptory of the Templars, within the precincts of which
Edward was more likely to fix his head-quarters, than in any part of
the desolated country around him. During his stay, we also find him
employed in conferring the honour of knighthood on a number of young
esquires;--an idea very naturally produced by his residence in such a
spot. That Edward’s communication with Edinburgh and the Frith of Forth
became thereby liable to any interruption, is a supposition more to be
admired for simplicity, than depth of reflection. The distance between
Torphichen and Temple-liston, is but a very few miles. Edward was at
the head of an army consisting of 7000 cavalry, and about 100,000 foot;
a multitude that could find little more than tent-room in the space
between the two places. Had the English monarch, therefore, been the
most imbecile general that ever led men to the field,--with such a
force he could have no difficulty in keeping open his communication to
a much greater extent than what was required in such a position. That
a portion of the English army was stationed at Temple-liston, is not
to be doubted; and it seems equally certain, that Edward made the more
convenient station of Torphichen his own head-quarters. Sir Robert,
therefore, had reason, as well as the authority of Blind Harry, in
support of his statement.

[17] See Appendix, F.

[18] These noblemen, it is said, were the Earls of Dunbar and Angus.
With respect to the first, there is certainly a mistake, as he does not
appear _ever_ to have joined the standard of Wallace, and the other,
with more propriety, may be called an Anglo-Scot. What share he may
have had in the treason, is uncertain. That the plans of Wallace were
betrayed by those in his confidence, is evident; but who the guilty
parties were, remains doubtful. The subsequent conduct of Comyn excites
a strong suspicion against him.

[19] The banner of the Earl of Lincoln was of yellow silk, with a
purple lion rampant. That of the Constable was of deep blue silk, with
a white bend between two _cotises_ of fine gold, on the outside of
which he had six lioncels rampant.--_Walter of Exeter._

[20] In an encampment, this ensign was placed near the royal tent, on
the right of the other standards. It was intended to be expressive of
destruction to the enemy, and of safety to the weary and wounded among
the English. _Vide Illustrations of British History._

[21] See Appendix, G.

[22] Langtoft says, the Welsh, amounting to 40,000, would not act
against the Scots at Falkirk.

    “The Walsch folk that tide did nouther ille no gode,
    Thei held tham alle bi side, opon a hille thei stode.
    Ther thei stode that while, tille the bataile was don.”

            _Vol. ii. p. 306._

[23] Langtoft, vol. ii. p. 305, 306.

[24] This warrior is thus described by Langtoft, who claims him as an

    “Was no man Inglis maynhed no dede that day,
    Bot a templer of pris, Sir Brian the geay
    Maister templere he was on this half the se,
    He folowed the Scottis pas, whan the bigan to fle
    Fer in tille a wod; men calle it Kalenters,
    Ther in a mire a mod, withouten help of pers,
    Slank thei Sir Brian alone withouten mo.”

            Vol. ii. p. 305, 6.

By Rymer, however, he is noticed as swearing fealty to Edward in
Edinburgh Castle, July 1291, after the convocation of Brigham, and
designated as _preceptor templi in Scotia_; and, by the same authority,
it appears his example was followed by _John de Sautre_, and those
under his control.

[25] Among the various documents which his Lordship appears to consider
authentic, is the following, which he thus introduces:--“I have seen
the title of a public instrument, which runs thus:--‘Acte contenant
les responses faites par Pierre Flotte, Seigneur de Revel, commis par
le Roy (de France) pour traitter et conferer avec les Ambassadeurs
Anglois, touchant l’execution du traité de treve, et reparation des
infractions d’icelle. Simon de Meleun l’arbitre nommé par le Roy,
offrit au Roy d’Angleterre de delivrer tous les prisonniers Anglois en
rendant par lui le Roy de Escosse et son fils, et les Escossois detenus
en Angleterre et ailleurs, ou les mettant en la garde d’un prelat
Francois qui les gardera soubs le nom du Pape pendant que le Pape
jugera de leur differend.’ The original, if extant, says Lord Hailes,
might serve to explain several circumstances respecting this treaty;
particularly, that Edward Baliol was in captivity, together with his
father, and that the Pope proposed himself as umpire between Edward I.
and his disobedient vassal.”

Now, the above is all good modern French, and the orthography exactly
as at present, with the exception of the following words, _responses_,
_traitter_, _Escosse_, _soubs_, which appear to have had their spelling
antiquated a little, to give the document a venerable air;--it has, on
the whole, a very clumsy appearance, and shows that it cannot be older
than the 17th century. If the “_full evidence_” referred to be liable
to similar objections, it will not appear very surprising, that our
early writers should have been so much in the dark respecting it.

[26] Vol. i. 311, 312.

[27] The son of Sir Chrytell, slain at Blackironside.

[28] “His Grace the Duke of Montrose (one of whose titles is Viscount
Dundaff), possesses an antique sword, on which is the following


“The Duke is also proprietor of Dundaff, where Sir John Graham of
Dundaff’s castle is seen in ruins.

“The grave-stone of Sir John de Graham is in the churchyard of Falkirk,
having the following Latin motto, with a translation:--


            XXII. JVLII ANNO 1298.’

    ‘_Heir lyes Sir John the Grame, baith wight and wise,
    Ane of the Cheefs who rescewit Scotland thrise,
    Ane better Knight, not to the world was lent,
    Nor was gude Grame, of truth and hardiment._’

“While some of Cromwell’s troops were stationed in Falkirk, an officer
desired the parochial schoolmaster to translate the Latin. This he did
as follows:--

    ‘Of mind and courage stout,
      Wallace’s true Achates;
    Here lies Sir John the Grame,
      Felled by the English Baties.’

“There are now three stones upon the grave. When the inscription on the
first had begun to wear out by the influence of the weather, a second
was put above it, with the same inscription; and a third was lately
added by William Graham of Airth, Esq. At a little distance, upon the
left, is an unpolished stone, said to cover the remains of the gallant
knight of Bonkill.”--_Nimmo’s History of Stirlingshire._

With regard to Stewart of Bonkill being buried in Falkirk, we are
inclined to be a little sceptical, not so much from the silence of the
Minstrel, as from the great probability of his having been conveyed
to Bute by the surviving tenantry of that island. In a small ruined
chapel, about half a mile west of Rothesay, there is still to be seen
all that remains of “_the auld Stewarts of Bute_,” where, amidst a
number of dilapidated monuments, well worth the attention of the
antiquary, appears a stone figure, said to represent the gallant knight
of Bonkill, in complete armour of the 13th century. In a recess in the
opposite wall, there is also to be seen another figure, representing
_Jean M’Rudrie, heiress of Bute_. This lady appears to have been
descended from a sea-officer, or pirate, named _Rudrie_, who is thus
noticed in the Norwegian account of the expedition of King Haco:--“The
wind was not favourable; King Haco, however, made Andreas Pott go
before him, south to Bute, with some small vessels, to join those he
had already sent thither. News was soon received, that they had won a
fortress, the garrison of which had capitulated, and accepted terms
of the Norwegians. There was with the Norwegians a sea-officer called
_Rudri_; he considered Bute as his birth-right; and because he had not
received the island of the Scots, he committed many ravages, and killed
many people, and for that he was outlawed by the Scottish King. He
came to Haco and took the oaths to him, and, with two of his brothers,
became his subjects. As soon as the garrison, after having delivered
up the stronghold, were gone away from the Norwegians, Rudri killed
nine of them, because he thought he owed them no good will.” After the
treaty between Alexander and the Norwegians, it would seem that Rudrie
had been allowed to hold the island of Bute as a vassal of the Scottish
crown; and there is every reason to believe that the _Janet M’Rudrie_
above mentioned was either his daughter or grand-daughter, who, by her
marrying Alexander Stewart, became the mother of Sir John Stewart of

The present noble proprietor, whose family came to the possession of
Bute in the reign of Robert II., has made some slight repairs about
the walls where these figures are reclining. It is, however, to be
regretted, that a little more attention is not paid to the preservation
of such valuable antiques.

[29] Lamberton appears to have succeeded Frazer in the Bishoprick of
St Andrew’s. This secret emissary of Edward died at Paris in 1297,
to which place he probably thought proper to retire on the success
of Wallace. According to his own request, his heart was brought
to Scotland, and “layed in halowyed sepultour” in the wall of the
cathedral over which he presided. His body was interred in the
cemetery of the Preaching Friars at Paris. Lamberton, his successor,
a man of learning and good reputation, had been Chancellor of
Glasgow.--_Wyntown, vol. ii. p. 99._

[30] Stowe.

[31] Observations on the Wardrobe Account of 28 Edward I. p. lx.
The monastery of Cupar was also plundered on this occasion. By the
inventory of Edward’s jewels taken in 1300, there appear 18 silver
cups, and one silk girdle richly ornamented, which are stated to have
been taken from the monastery of Cupar. This, no doubt, would form a
part of the King’s share of the booty.--Vide _Wardrobe Account, p. 353._

[32] See Appendix, H.

[33] The strength and importance of Dumbarton castle, is thus described
by an English spy who visited Scotland during the regency of the Duke
of Albany, and afterwards in the reign of James I. It would appear,
that in those days the rock was completely surrounded by water at every
influx of the tide.

    ----passe on forthwarde to Dumbertayne,
    A castell stronge and harde for to obteine.

    In whiche castell S. Patryke was borne,
    That afterwarde in Irelande dyd wynne,
    About the whyche floweth, euen and morne,
    The westerne seas without noyse or dynne,
    Twyse in xxiiii. houres without any fayle,
    That no man may that stronge castell assayle.

    Vpon a rocke so hye the same dothe stande,
    That yf the walles were beaten to the roche,
    Yet were it full harde to clymbe with foot or hand,
    And so to wynne, yf any to them approche,
    So strong it is to get without reproche;
    That without honger and cruell famyshemente,
    Yt cannot bee taken to my iudgemente.

            _John Hardyng’s Chronicle_, p. 426.

[34] On the summit of Dumbarton rock is to be seen the ruins of a
building, known by the name of Wallace’s house. Judging by what
remains, it appears to have been of very limited extent, and, though
well calculated for security, would afford but scanty accommodation to
the inmates. Its form is circular, and the site commands an extensive
view; it, however, could make but a precarious resistance to an enemy
possessed of the lower fortification. From the following lines in
Barbour, it appears very probable that this was the place in which Lord
William Soulis was detained a state prisoner for life, in consequence
of his conspiring against Robert Bruce:--

    The lord the Sowllis has grantyt thar
    The deid in to plane parleament,
    Tharefor sone eftre he was sent
    Till his pennance to Dunbertane;
    And deid thar in a tour off stane.

            _The Bruce_, Buke Threttene, 406-410.

[35] Henry states, that after Wallace had driven the English out of
Dumbarton, which he accomplished by an ingenious stratagem put in
execution at night, he proceeded towards the castle of Roseneath, which
was occupied by the enemy, and having learned that a marriage was to
take place among them on the ensuing day, he posted his men in ambush
on the road between the castle and a church, situated on the “Garlouch”
where the ceremony was to be performed. The cavalcade approached,
accompanied by most of the soldiers of the garrison. The Scots, at the
signal of their chief, burst from their concealment, and having with
little difficulty overpowered and put their astonished adversaries to
the sword, they took possession of the fortress, which they found amply
supplied with provisions of all kinds, intended, no doubt, for the
joyous occasion.

The above anecdote induces the writer again to remark on the accuracy
of Henry’s topography. If his work be not a faithful translation from
the narrative of an eye-witness, his knowledge of the localities of the
country is truly wonderful.

[36] For the gratification of the reader who may feel curious
respecting the nature of the supplies required for the support and
defence of an English garrison in the 13th century, we have made the
following extract from the Wardrobe Account of the munitions, sent
on this occasion to Stirling; viz. 1000 stockfish, 610 ling, 4 lasts
herrings, 104 cheeses, 6000 onions, 30 cwt. tallow, 1 barrel honey, 11
barrels pitch, 20 lb. wax, 20 lb. cummin, 2 lb. crocus, 6 lb. round
pepper, 10 bundles steel or iron, 4 large plates with handles, 100
dishes ditto, 100 cups, 100 salt-cellars, 2 large _baliste_, (_de
vicio_) 18 _balistæ_, (_ad unum pedam_) 18 doz. bow-strings, 50 bows,
2 furnace-stones, 22 cwt. hemp, 200 goose-wings for darts and arrows,
3 horse hides untanned, 6 bullocks do. ditto for the bottom of the
engines, twine, thread, needles, 1 doz. parchment, 2 lb. inkpowder, 18
pieces cloth, for clothing the men, 1 piece blue cloth, being clothing
for John Sampson, constable of the castle, 2 chaplains and 1 clerk,
1000 ells linen, 30 fur-skins for great-coats for the servants of the
King’s household, stationed in said garrison, 4 lamb skins for hoods
for the use of said constable, chaplains, and 1 clerk, 240 pair shoes,
and 500 ells canvas.[A]

    [A] The above goods were sent by John the son of Walter, master
        of the vessel called the Godale of Beverley.

[37] It is very probable that Edward had evidence in his possession
of the commission of regency he had granted to Wallace. The English
monarch had too many secret emissaries in Scotland, to remain long
ignorant of a matter of such importance. What Baliol might say to the
contrary would therefore meet with little credit; and his apparent
duplicity, no doubt, prompted the following remark, which, according to
Walsingham, Edward made use of, on delivering him to the Nuncio. “_I
send him to the Pope as a perjured man, and a seducer of the people._”

[38] Independent of all the difficulties which Wallace had to encounter
in the Low country, the turbulent state of the Highlands prevented
him from receiving any assistance of consequence from that quarter.
The chieftains there seemed to consider their interests as very
little connected with the safety or independence of the Lowlanders;
and they carried on their feuds with as much inveteracy, as if no
foreign enemy had been in the country. We find, that “about the year
1299, there was an insurrection made against the Earl of Ross, by
some of the people of that province, inhabiting the mountains called
Clan-Iver-Clan-Tall-wigh, and Clan-Leawe. The Earl of Ross made such
diligence, that he apprehended their captain, and imprisoned him at
Dingwall: which so incensed the Highlanders, that they pursued the Earl
of Ross’s second son, at Balnegowen, took him, and carried him along
prisoner with them, thinking thereby to get their captain relieved.
The Monroes and the Dingwalls, with some others of the Earl of Ross
his dependers, gathered their forces, and pursued the Highlanders
with all diligence; so, overtaking them at Beallogh-ne-broig, between
Ferrindonell and Lochbrime, there ensued a cruel battle, well foughten
on either side. The Clan-Iver, Clan-tall-wigh and Clan-Leaive, were
almost utterly extinguished. The Monroes had a sorrowful victory, with
a great loss of their men; and carried back again the Earl of Ross
his son. The Laird of Kildun was there slain with seven score of the
surname of Dingwall. Divers of the Monroes were slain in the conflict;
and among the rest, there were killed eleven of the house of Foulis,
that were to succeed one another; so that the succession of Foulis fell
unto a child then lying in his cradle. For which service the Earl of
Ross gave divers lands to the Monroes and Dingwalls.”--_Conflicts of
the clans._

[39] In the Wardrobe Account, 28th Edward I., there is an entry of 6s.
8d. paid to Ralph de Kyrkby, the messenger who brought to the King the
conditions and surrender of Stirling. The following notice respecting
this intended expedition appears in the same document. “To a monk of
Durham, to carry St Cuthbert’s banner into Scotland, when the King
intended to go in person to raise the siege of Stirling Castle, 20
days, at 1s. per day.” One of the vicars of Beverly College had 8d. per
day for carrying St John’s banner, and 1d. per day to carry it back.

[40] Walter of Exeter, an historical bard, who accompanied the
expedition, and of whose interesting work on the siege of Carlaverock
Castle, written in old Norman French, an admirable translation has been
given to the public, with notes and valuable biographical sketches, by
_Nicholas Harris Nicolas_, Esq. a name highly appreciated by all who
have any taste for the pleasures arising from antiquarian research.

[41] See Appendix, I.

[42] For the sake of illustration, we submit the following items, taken
from the wardrobe account of Edward I. for the year 1300, being part of
the expenses incurred in the siege of Carlaverock:--

_Extract from Wardrobe Account, Edward I._, 1299-1300.

Account of Ade de Glasham, Carpenter, (p. 267.)

  For hire of 7 carriages, for conveying a certain
  engine, belonging to the Castle of Lochmaben,
  from thence to the Castle of Carlaverock,
  for the use of the King’s army, employed
  in the siege of that castle; viz.

  5 carriages for 7 days, from }
  6th July                     }
                               } at 6d. a day
  2 carriages for 4 days, from }   for each
  9th July                     }   carriage                L.1  1  6

  4 days of a smith and his assistant, employed
  in the Castle of Lochmaben repairing
  said engine, at 6d. a day--wages
  of assistant, 4d.                   0 3  4

  Coals furnished for said repairs    0 1  0

  Hire of one artilleryman for one
  day, making a band or strap
  for said engine at Carlaverock      0 0  4
                                      ------                 0  4  8

  Paid for delivering said engine at Skynburness,
  and putting it on board a vessel
  for Lochmaben                                              0  4  0
                        Paid at Dumfries, 2d Nov.          L.1 10  2

  Account of Stephen Banyng, Shipmaster, (p. 272.)

  For freight of a certain engine, from Skynburness
  to Carlaverock--master’s wages for 2
  days, from July 10. at 6d. a day--10 seamen
  at 3d. a day                                             L.0  6  0

  Account of Richard de Geyton, Master of the Nicholas de
  Geyton, (p. 273.)

  For freight of 20 bullocks (_carcos’ boum_) to
  Carlaverock, for the use of the garrison of
  Dumfries Castle--wages of self and 5 seamen
  for 8 days, at the above rate                            L.0 14  0

  Pilotage between Kirkcudbright and Carlaverock,
  for that time                                              0  2  0
                                                           L.0 16  0

Account of William Boterel, Master of the Grace of God of Ross, (p.

  For freight of 5 tuns of wine (_dolia_) from
  Kirkcudbright to Carlaverock--wages of self
  and 7 seamen for 10 days, from 19th to 29th
  August, as above                                         L.1  2  6

  [_N. B._--The engagement with 30 vessels,
  during this expedition to Scotland, appears
  to have been at the rate of 6d. a
  day for the master, and 3d. for the seamen,
  from 23d July till 26th September
  1300.--Admiral of the fleet, 2s. a day.--Captains
  of ships, from the ports of
  Sandwich and Dover, 1s.--Chaplain of
  the fleet, to confess sailors, 6d. a day,
  p. 275-8.]

  Paid Robert de Wodehons, viz. (p. 259.)

  For Peter de Preston and his 9 companions,
  mounted on horses, with full harness, and
  charges of 660 bowmen, from Lancashire to
  Carlisle, and from Carlisle to Carlaverock,
  to join the King on 8th July, 2 days--horsemen
  at 1s.--bowmen 2d. a day                                L.12 11  0

[43] See Appendix, K.

[44] See account of the King’s progress, page 67 of Remarks on Wardrobe
Account of Edward I.

[45] The following items, which appear in the above Account for 1300,
as having reference to this campaign, and to the manner in which Edward
was employed, may be interesting to some of our readers.

Donation to Henry de Cornwall, wounded by the Scots near Columtach,
in Galloway. For his return and medicines, by the hands of William de
Toulose, who lent him the money, one half merk (_dimidium marce_).

To a stable-boy, hurt by one of the King’s horses at Kirkcudbright,
_five_ shillings.

_Alms and Offerings at Scottish Chapels._

7th July.--At the altar of St Nicholas, 7s., and St Thomas the
Archbishop, 7s.--in the parish church of Applegarth.

10th July--At the high altar of the Friars Minors, Dumfries, 7s. and
16th, 7s.

12th July.--Do. of his own chapel of Carlaverock, at St Thomas, 7s.

At the high altar, Kirkcudbright priory, and in his chapel there, July
19th, 7s.; 20th, 7s.; 22d, 7s.; 25th, 7s.; 27th, 7s.

29th August.--At his own chapel Carlaverock, 7s.

In his own chapel at Dumfries, October 24th, for good news about the
Scots, 7s.; 28th, 7s.; November 1st, 7s.; and November 3d, at his own
altar at Carlaverock, 7s.

14th Oct. At his own chapel (Holm), for the report he heard of the
success of the men-at-arms of the Castle of Roxburgh, 7s.

There is also, in the same year, an offering at the high altar of the
Royal Chapel of Westminster, for good news against the Scots; and 5_l._
10s. 10d. for 190 masses in honour of different saints, by the King’s
chaplains, both in England and Scotland, between November 20th, 1299,
and November 19th, 1300.

[46] The curious reader may perhaps take some interest in the following
notices of the workmen employed about these fortresses, and the rate of
wages they received for their labour. They are taken from the Wardrobe
Account. The authenticity of the document is unquestionable.

Repairs at Lochmaben, October 1300.

  Octr. 24. Hire of 44 ditchers (_fossatores_) from
             the neighbourhood of Lochmaben,
             (including one overseer at 6 _pennies_
             a day) for one day                            L.0 8   0

        25. Do. of 34 do. (including one overseer
             at 6 _pennies_ a day) for 3 days                0 19  0

        31. Do. of 50 do. (including 3 overseers
             at 6 _pennies_ each per day) for 4
             days                                            1 17  4

  Nov. 2.   Do. of one manager, at 6 pennies a
             day, and 178 ditchers including 9
             overseers from the county of Northumberland,
             for 3 days                                      4 15  0

            Paid William of Lochmaben, overseer,
             and 25 labourers from the
             neighbourhood of Lochmaben, for
             3 days (from 27th of Octr.)                     0 13  6

  Nov. 2.   Hire of 76 labourers from Cumberland,
             including 4 overseers as above,
             by the King’s order (_ad mandatum
             Regis_) for 1 day                               0 13  4

            Do. of 4 men inspecting the work of
             said ditchers, from 23d till 30th
             October, 8 days, at 4 _pennies_ a day
             each                                            0 10  8

            Do. of 7 women helping to clean the
             ditches for one day (Oct. 24) at 1½
             _pennies_                                       0  0 10½

            Do. for 9 women (Oct. 27) 3 days at 1½d.         0  3  4½

            Do. for 10      (Oct. 28.) } as above            0  3  4½
            Do. for 14      (Oct. 29.) }

            Do. for 25      (Oct. 30.)                       0  3  1½

            Extra gratification to said ditchers,
            being King’s bounty                              1  5  7

            Carriage of workmen’s tools from
            Northumberland, through Carlisle
            to Dumfries                                      0 10  0

            Hire of 2 smiths from said county,
            from 17th Oct. till Nov. 1st, 16
            days, at 4 _pennies_ a day                       1  1  4
                                                          L.13  4  1½

  Amount paid to Henry Braundeston, for Ade de St Edmunds.--See
    page 269 of Wardrobe Account.

  Hire of 2 men employed in Inglewood-forest, making charcoal for
    the smiths, 4 days, 2s.


  Paid Simon Kingesman, master of the Margaret of
  Kipavene, for freight of 30 quarters of wheat from Kirkcudbright
  to Dublin, to be ground there, and carriage of
  the same to Ayr, for the use of the King’s army in that
  place--Wages for self and 12 seamen, from 2. till 15. August,
  both included, 15 days                                   L.2  9  0

  To the same, for pilotage of said vessel                   0  6  8
                                                          L.2  15  8

  Paid Wewmund Gegge, of the Savoy of Tynemouth,
  freight of 143 quarters of wheat, from Kirkcudbright to
  Whitehaven, to be ground, and carriage of the same to
  Ayr, for the King’s army in that place--Wages for self
  and 9 seamen, 5. till 14. August, both included, 10
  days                                                     L.1  7  6

[N. B. Wages of master 6d. and seamen 3d. per day, during the
expedition to Scotland in 1300.]

Average wages per day. viz.

  Labourers               2d.
  Plasterers              3d.
  Miners                  3d.
  Masons                  4d.
  Carpenters              4d.
  Smiths                  4d.
  Boys, or Apprentices    2d.

Prices of Oats per quarter.

  1300. Jan.   At Holderness             2s. 2d.  p. 212
   --   July.  At Newcastle-upon-Tyne    2s. 6d.  p. 113

Price of Wheat per quarter.

  1300. June.  At Cawode, near York      4s.      p. 108

Prices in Scotland in 1285.

  Oats 4d., and Bear 8d. and 10d. per boll. Wheat 16d.
  and 20d.[B]

    [B] It has been already stated (page 39 of vol. I.), that the
        money of both countries was of equal value at this time.

[48] From the following entry in the Wardrobe Account, it would appear,
that in this expedition the English were provided with nets for
fishing in the rivers and lakes of Scotland “_Reginaldo Janetori pro 2
reth’empt, per ipsum ad piscandum in repariis et stagnis in partibus
Scocie ad opus Regis per manus proprias, apud Kirkudbright._” 4_s._

            _Vide Wardrobe Account for the year_ 1300. _p._ 65.

[49] Wyntown.


    “That tyme wes in his cumpany
    A knycht off France, wycht and hardy;
    And quhen he in the watyr swa
    Saw the king pass, and with him ta
    Hys leddyr wnabasytly,
    He saynyt him for the ferly,
    And said; ‘A Lord! quhatt sall we say
    Off our lordis off Fraunce, that thai
    With gud morsellis fayrcis thair pawnchis,
    And will bot ete, and drynk, and dawnsis;
    Quhen sic a knycht, and sa worthy
    As this, throw his chewalry,
    Into sic perill has him set,
    To wyn a wrechyt hamillet!’
    With that word to the dik he ran;
    And our eftre the king he wan.”

            The Bruce, _Buke Sext_, p. 177-8.

[51] This circumstance is thus corroborated by a note attached to the
Perth edition of Wallace. The editor, it would seem, had been present
on the occasion:

“About thirty years ago, when the burying vault of the parish church
of Kinfauns happened to be opened, I was shewed a helmet made of thick
leather, or of some such stuff, painted over with broad stripes of
blue and white, which I was told was part of the fictitious armour
in which the body of Thomas of Longueville had been deposited. Henry
says, he was of large stature, and the helmet, indeed, was a very large
one.”--P. 24 of Notes in 3d Volume.

[52] See Appendix, L.

[53] The _Croyz Gneytz_ was held in great veneration, in consequence
of its being supposed to contain part of the wood of the real cross.
_The Black Rood_ of Scotland was one of the national monuments carried
off by Edward. Its sanctity was considered equal to that of the _black
stones_ of Iona; and an oath made upon it, gave the same stability to
a contract. It was the favourite crucifix of Queen Margaret. The cross
was of gold, about the length of a palm--the figure of ebony, studded
and inlaid with gold. A piece of the true cross was also supposed to be
enclosed in it.

            _Aldred, p. 349 apud Twisden._--_Hailes_, vol. i. p. 41.

[54] In Dr Jamieson’s edition of Blind Harry, this circumstance is thus

    “Bot maister Blayr spak nothing off himsell,
    In deid off armes quhat awentur he fell.
    Schir Thomas Gray, was than preyst to Wallace,
    Put in the buk how than hapnyt this cace
    At Blayr was in, [and] mony worthi deid,
    Off quhilk him selff had no plesance to reid.”

            B. x. 893-898.

In the Perth edition of Wallace, the words in the third line stand
thus:--“_I Thomas Gray, yan preist to Wallace_,” &c. On this reading,
the Perth editor, with propriety, founds a very strong argument in
favour of the _existence_ of Blair’s work, and of the fidelity of
Henry’s translation. The difference in the two editions appeared so
very important, as to induce a friend of the writer to refer to the
original manuscript in the Advocates’ Library, when it was found
that the rendering of the Perth editor was strictly conformable to
the original text, “thus affording,” as the above mentioned friend
observes, “a triumphant argument in Henry’s favour; for it seems to
represent him as in the very act of versifying his “auctor.” What
authority Dr Jamieson has for the version he has given, must remain
with himself to explain.

[55] See Appendix, M.

[56] The havoc made, and the oppressions sustained by the inhabitants,
are thus described by Barbour, p. 9, vol. i. of _The Bruce_.

    “Fra Weik anent Orkenay,
    To Mullyrs nwk in Gallaway;
    And stuffyt all with Ingliss men.
    Schyrreffys and bailyheys maid he then;
    And alkyn othir officeris,
    That for to gowern land afferis,
    He maid off Ingliss nation;
    That worthyt than sa rych fellone,
    And sa wykkyt and cowatouss,
    And swa hawtane and dispitouss,
    That Scottis men mycht do na thing
    That euir mycht pleyss to thar liking.
    Thar wyffis wuld thai oft forly,
    And thar dochtrys dispitusly:
    And gyff ony of thaim thair at war wrath,
    Thai watyt hym wele with gret scaith;
    For thai suld fynd sone enchesone
    To put hym to destructione.
    And gyff that ony man thaim by
    Had ony thing that wes worthy,
    As horss, or hund, or othir thing,
    That war pleasand to thar liking;
    With rycht or wrang it wald have thai.
    And gyff ony wald them withsay;
    Thai suld swa do, that thai suld tyne
    Othir land or lyff, or leyff in pyne.
    For thai dempt thaim eftir thair will,
    Takand na kep to rycht na skill.
    A! quhat thai dempt thaim felonly!
    For gud knychtis that war worthy,
    For litill enchesoune, or than nane,
    Thai hangyt be the nekbane.”

[57] On the charge which has been made against Edward, for destroying
the records and monuments of Scotland, Lord Hailes thus expresses
himself:--“While the English were at Scone, they carried off some of
the charters belonging to the abbey, and tore the seals from others.
This is the only well-vouched example which I have found of any outrage
on private property committed by Edward’s army. It is mentioned in
a charter of Robert I.; and we may be assured that the outrage was
not diminished in the relating.” Had this escaped from any other pen
than that of a lawyer, it might have been considered as proceeding
from ignorance; but being from a Judge on the Bench, we are at a loss
what term to apply to it. The charter of Robert I. (Chart. Scone,
26.) was given in order to confirm former grants, and thus replace
those which either had been carried off, or had their seals torn from
them. To have inserted a narrative of _all_ spoliations of a similar
nature, which Edward and his army had committed in Scotland, would
have been _irrelevant_; and we conceive that the expense of engrossing
into a _private_ charter what belonged to the annals of the country,
would not have been relished by the brethren of Scone. Had a case
of expenses, incurred, in a manner so uncalled for, come under his
Lordship’s review, we presume he would have sustained the objections
of the defender. All that could appear with propriety in the charter,
was an account of the destruction of those prior grants, which rendered
a new charter necessary; and this document, if it proves any thing,
proves the wanton and destructive malice of the invaders, when they
would not permit even private property, the destruction of which could
be of no service to themselves, to escape their violence. It would
be of no avail, where Lord Hailes is concerned, to quote Scottish
authorities in support of the charge against Edward, as a destroyer
of public records; we shall therefore give the following extract,
from the works of a learned, intelligent, and candid Englishman--an
evidence which, we presume, few of his Lordship’s admirers will object
to:--“King Eugene VII., about the beginning of the eighth century, is
said to have ordered the depositing of all records, and books relating
to the history of Scotland, at Icolm-kill; where he caused their old
library (much neglected and decayed) to be pulled down and rebuilt
in a very splendid manner, for this sole use and purpose. How long
they continued there, and how well that excellent King’s design was
answered, I know not; but it is now too sad a truth, that most of these
venerable remains of antiquity are quite perished; and it is generally
agreed, that they were destroyed on three remarkable occasions. The
first of these was, when our King Edward the First, having claimed the
sovereignty of Scotland, made a most miserable havock of the histories
and laws of that kingdom; hoping that, in a short time, nothing should
be found in all that country, but what carried an English name and
face. To this end, he forbad, on severe penalties, the keeping of any
such books or records; and proceeded so far as even to abolish the very
name of Claudius Cæsar in his famous round temple, which he ordered to
be called, as it is to this day, Arthur’s Hoff, pulling away the stone
which preserved the memory of that great emperor and his conquests.
That a great deal of this story is true, appears from the scarcity of
Scotch records in our State-archives in England. Amongst the foreign
treaties in the Exchequer, there are about 70 original instruments,
bagged up, and inscribed, “Scotia ante Unionem:” And in the Tower,
about 100 Rolls, relating to the affairs of that kingdom, under the
title of Scotia. The former of these begin at the reign of Edward the
First, and end with that of Queen Elizabeth; and the latter commences
as before, but falls no lower than the reign of Edward the Fourth, the
rest being to be looked for in the Chapel of the Rolls. But these are
all the produce of our own country; and, instead of enriching us with
the spoils of our neighbours, seem rather to prove, that King Edward
had an equal spite at the ancient records of both kingdoms--so little
is there of apology to be made for so notorious a destroyer of the
public registers, together with the private monuments, evidences, and
conveyances of lands! I do not doubt but the reason of such barbarity
has been justly enough assigned, by those who represent him as “having
a jealous eye over any thing that might encourage his new vassals to
rebel, endeavouring to root out all memorials of the nobility, and
to embase their spirits, by concealing from them their descent and
qualities.” I have seen a manuscript list of such records as were
carried off by his order. It begins, _Ista monumenta subscripta capta
fuerunt in thesaurario de Edinburg in presentia Abbatum de Dunfermelyn
& de S. Cruce de Edinburg, & Johannis de Lythegranes, Guil-de Lincoln,
& Thos. de Fisseburn & Guil-de Dumfreys, custodis rotulorum regni
Scotiæ; et deposita sunt apud Berwick per præceptum Edwardi regis
Angliæ & superioris domini Scotiæ. Videlicet_, &c. After the recital of
them, the catalogue ends: _In quorum omnium testimonium tam predictus
dominus rex Edwardus Angliæ & superior dominus Scotiæ quam predictus
dominus Joh: de Balliolo rex Scotiæ, huic scripto, in modum chirographi
confecto, sigille sua alternatim fecerunt apponi. dat. apud Novum
Castrum super Tynam 30 die mensis Decembris anno dom. 1292, & regni
prædicti domini Edwardi regis Angliæ & superioris domini Scotiæ, 21mo._
The second great loss of the Scotch records, happened upon the mighty
turn of the Reformation; when the monks, flying to Rome, carried with
them the register-books, and other ancient treasure of their respective
monasteries. The third, and killing blow, was given them by Oliver
Cromwell; who brought most of the poor remains that were left into
England; and they likewise were mostly lost in their return by sea. See
_Nicolson’s Scottish Historical Library_, p. 71, 72, 4to Edition.

[58] It is possible that these noblemen may have been some way or other
connected with the depôt of silver, alluded to at page 159 of vol. I,
as having been found at Ascog in Bute.

[59] If we may credit Langtoft, Comyn, Frazer and Wallace, were
lurking in the neighbourhood of Dunfermline at the time, and supported
themselves by plunder. His words are,

    “The lord of Badenauh, Freselle & Waleis
    Lyued at theues lauh euer robband alle weis.
    Thei had no sustenance, the werre to mayntene,
    Bot skulked opon chance, & robbed ay betuene.”

[60] “He brint all the Chronicles of Scotland, with all maner of
bukis, als weill of devyne seruyce as of othir materis, to that fyne
that the memorye of Scottis suld peris. He gart the Scottis wryte
bukis efter the _vse of Sarum_, and constranit thaym to say efter that

    “Salysbery oyss our clerkis than has tane.”

            _Wallace_, B. x. 1006.

[61] Fordun relates, that when this offer was made to Wallace, and
on his being pressed by his friends to comply, he thus expressed
himself:--“O! desolated Scotland, too credulous of fair speeches, and
not aware of the calamities which are coming upon you! If you were to
judge as I do, you would not easily put your neck under a foreign yoke.
When I was a boy, the priest, my uncle, carefully inculcated upon me
this proverb, which I then learned, and have ever since kept in my

“_Dico tibi verum_, _Libertas_ optima rerum; Nunquam servili, sub nexu
vivito, fili.”

“I tell you a truth,--Liberty is the best of things, my son, never live
under any slavish bond.”

“Therefore, I shortly declare, that if all others, the natives of
Scotland, should obey the King of England, or were to part with the
liberty which belongs to them, I and those who may be willing to adhere
to me in this point, will stand for the liberty of the kingdom; and by
God’s assistance, will only obey the King, viz. John Baliol, or his

[62] This is evidently a corruption of _Loup de guerre_.

[63] The existence of the bond or covenant between Bruce and Cumyn,
though subjected to the doubts of Lord Hailes, is recorded by all our
respectable authorities. The objections of his Lordship arose from
the difficulty the parties would have experienced in effecting the
contract. “It must be held extraordinary,” says our learned annalist,
“that the two conspirators met together, should have committed such a
secret to writing, as if it had been a legal covenant to have force
in a court of justice; but more extraordinary still, that they should
have done this at the imminent hazard of intrusting their lives and
fortunes to the fidelity of a third party; for I presume, it will
be admitted, that two Scottish barons, in that age, could not have
framed such an indenture without assistance.” His Lordship, in his
zeal to diminish the authority of preceding historians, often forgets
the manners and customs of the age respecting which he writes, and
assimilates them too closely to those of his own times. Were it not
for this, he would have seen neither difficulty nor danger in two
barons of such extensive territorial possessions and feudal influence,
procuring a person properly qualified, and whose secrecy, had it been
doubted, they would have had no hesitation in _effectually securing_,
either by imprisonment or otherwise. Even if their power did not extend
to this, as the bond was not left in the possession of the drawer,
where was the danger? Would any person whose education enabled him to
frame such an instrument, have been so extremely foolish as attempt to
charge two of the most powerful noblemen of the kingdom with treason,
without the least shadow of proof to support the accusation? Bonds of
manrent were never intended to be brought into a court of law, and all
his Lordship’s experience would not have furnished him with a single
instance of an attempt to enforce the fulfilment of such a contract by
legal means. Bonds of this kind were entered into for the purpose of
strengthening the feudal connections of the parties; and infidelity
under such compacts carried its punishment along with it, by the want
of confidence it created among the other feudal proprietors. That such
bondsmen were looked upon with extreme jealousy by the Legislature,
is sufficiently evident from the conduct of James II. towards Lord
Douglas; “a court of justice,” therefore, was not the place to get
their penalties recognised.

The transaction is thus related by Wyntown, with whom Barbour agrees
in every particular, and by which it will be seen, that “the two
conspirators” did not “_meet_ together,” as his Lordship asserts, but
were riding together to Stirling; and the instrument was drawn and
sealed the same night in that place:--

    “Quhen all this sawe the Brws Robert,
    That bare the Crowne swne eftyrwart,
    Gret pytté of the folk he had,
    Set few wordis tharof he mád.
    A-pon á tyme Schyr Jhon Cwmyn,
    To-gydder rydand frá Strevylyn,
    Said til hym, ‘Schyr, will yhe noucht se,
    How that governyd is this cuntré?
    Thai sla oure Folk but enchesown,
    And haldis this Land agayne resown;
    And yhe thar-of full Lord suld be.
    For-thi gyve ye will trow to me,
    Yhe sall gere mak yhow thare-of Kyng;
    And I sall be in yhoure helpyng,
    Wyth-thi yhe gyve me all the Land,
    That yhe hawe now in-til yhoure hand,
    And gyve that yhe will noucht do swá,
    Na swilk a State a-pon yhowe tá,
    All hale my Landis sall yhowris be;
    And lat me tá the State on me,
    And bryng this Land owt of Thryllage.
    For thare is nother man ná page
    In all this Land na thayne sal be
    Fayne to mak thaime selfyn fre.’
      “The Lord the Brws hard his karpyng,
    And wend he spak bot faythful thyng:
    And for it lykyd til his will,
    He gave swne his Consent thare-til,
    And sayd, ‘Syne yhe will, it be swá,
    I will blythly a-pon me tá
    The State; for I wate, I have Rycht:
    And Rycht oft makis the febil wycht.’
      “Thus ther twa Lordis accordyt are.
    That ilke nycht than wryttyne ware
    Thare Indentwris, and Aithis made
    Til hald all, that thai spokyn had.”

            V. ii. p. 123

[64] It is with regret that we find this recreant’s name in the list
of the defenders of Stirling. Emancipation from a dungeon, and the
prospect of attaining to great riches, were no doubt powerful motives.
Whether the following relation in Henry has any subsequent connection
with this individual, we must leave our readers to determine. If
it does, he appears to have received from the hand of our hero the
recompence of his labours.

The small party of adherents which still clung to the fortunes of
Wallace and the cause of independence, were reduced to the greatest
distress for want of provisions. Our hero had left them, in order to
look out for a place where they might obtain supplies; and, while
wandering through the wilds of Lorn, overcome by hunger and fatigue,
he threw himself down in despair at the entrance of a forest, when the
following adventure occurred to him:--

    “Out off thair sycht, in till a forest syd,
    He sat him doun wndyr ane ayk to bid;
    His bow and suerd he lenyt till a tre,
    In angwyss greiff, on grouff so turned he.
    His petows mynd was for his men so wrocht,
    That off him selff litill as than he roucht.
    ‘O wrech!’ he said, ‘that neuir couth be content
    Off our gret mycht that the gret God the lent:
    Bot thi fers mynd, wylfull and wariable,
    With gret lordschip thow coud nocht so byd stable;
    And wylfull witt, for to mak Scotland fre;
    God likis nocht that I haiff tane on me.
    Fer worthyar of byrth than I was born,
    Throuch my desyr wyth hungyr ar forlorn:
    I ask at God thaim to restor agayn;
    I am the causs, I suld haiff all the pain.’
    Quhill studeand thus, whill flitand with him sell,
    Quhill at the last apon slepyng he fell.
    Thre days befor thar had him folowed fyve,
    The quhilk was bound, or ellis to loss thair lyff:
    The erl off York bad thaim so gret gardoun,
    At thai be thyft hecht to put Wallace doun.
    Thre off thaim was all born men off Ingland,
    And twa was Scottis, that tuk this deid on hand;
    And sum men said, thar thrid brothir betraissed
    Kyldromé eft, quhar gret sorow was raissed.
    A child thai had, qubilk helpyit to ber mett
    In wildernes amang thai montans grett.
    Thai had all seyn disseuyring off Wallace
    Fra his gud men, and quhar he baid on cace;
    Amang thyk wod in cowert held thaim law,
    Quhill thai persawyt he couth on sleping faw.
    And than thir fyve approchit Wallace neir;
    Quhat best to do, at othir can thai speir.
    A man said thus: ‘It war a hie renoun,
    And we mycht qwyk leid him to Sanct Jhonstoun,
    Lo, how he lyis; we may our grippis waill;
    Off his wapynnys he sal get nane awaill.
    We sall him bynd in contrar off hys will,
    And leid him thus on baksyd off yon hill,
    So that his men sall nothing off him knaw.’
    The tothir thre assentit till his saw;
    And than thir fyve thus maid thaim to Wallace,
    And thocht throw force to bynd him in that place.
    Quhat, trowit thir fyve for to hald Wallace doun?
    The manlyast man, the starkest off persoun,
    Leyffand he was; and als stud in sic rycht,
    We traist weill, God his dedis had in sycht.
    Thai grippyt him, than out off slepe he braid;
    ‘Quhat menys this? rycht sodandly he said,
    About he turnyt, and wp his armys thrang;
    On thai traytouris with knychtlik fer he dang.
    The starkast man in till his armys hynt he,
    And all his harnys he dang out on a tree.
    A sword he gat son efter at he rayss,
    Campiounlik amang the four he gais;
    Euyr a man he gert de at a dynt.
    Quhen twa was ded, the tothir wald nocht stynt;
    Maid thaim to fle; bot than it was na but,
    Was nane leyffand mycht pass fra him on fut.
    He folowed fast, and sone to ded thaim brocht;
    Than to the chyld sadly agayn he socht,
    ‘Quhat did thow her?’ The child with [ane] paill face,
    On kneis he fell, and askyt Wallace grace.
    ‘With thaim I was, and knew nothing thair thocht;
    In to seruice, as thai me bad, I wrocht.’
    ‘Quhat berys thow her?’ ‘Bot meit, the child can say.’
    Do, turss it wp, and pass with me away,
    Meit in this tym is fer bettyr than gold.”

[65] According to Henry, Gilbert Grymsby, or, as he is called by the
Scots, Jop, was employed in this mission.

[66] This young man is said by Henry to have been a son of Menteith’s
sister. Langtoft calls him a servant, and says his name was _Jock

[67] From Robroyston Wallace could easily make his way to the Clyde;
cross the river and keep his appointment with Bruce, who was to have
approached from the south, without coming in sight of any of the
English stationed at Glasgow. The burrow-muir was situated on the south
side of the Clyde.

[68] The circumstance of this person being the last friend whom our
hero was destined to behold, would, independent of his own personal
merits, have rendered him an object of curiosity to a great proportion
of our readers. The following account is taken from the notes of the
editor of the Perth edition of Blind Harrie; and, as any thing which
the writer has yet met with, rather tends to confirm than invalidate
the statement, he shall submit it to the reader in the words of the
learned and intelligent author:--

“William Ker, commonly called Kerlie, or Ker Little, was ancestor of
the Kers of Kersland. He, as well as many others, was compelled to
swear the unlawful oath of fealty to Edward, August 5. 1296.

“He joined Wallace at the castle of the Earl of Lennox, September 1296,
and went with him immediately on his first northern expedition. He and
Stephen of Ireland were the only two of Wallace’s men who survived the
battle along the north side of the River Erne, November 1296.

“He was the constant friend and companion of Wallace on all occasions,
and is sometimes called his steward: In 1305, when Wallace was taken
prisoner at Robrastoun, a solitary village near Glasgow, William Ker
only was with him. They were found both asleep, and Ker was killed in
the scuffle.

“Henry says, that William Ker had large inheritance in the district
of Carrick in Air-shire. That his ancestor was brought from Ireland
by King David I., and defeated, with the assistance of seven hundred
Scots, nine thousand Norwegians who had landed at Dunmoir. Some of the
Norwegians were drowned in Doun, and others slain upon the land. King
David gave him the lands of Dunmoir in reward of his bravery.

“It may be remarked, that Dun Hill, or, as it is commonly called,
Norman or Northman Law, a high hill on the estate of Dunmure, in the
north-east part of Fife, and parish of Abdie, has on the top of it the
remains of Danish intrenchments. The hill on the north side declines
all the way to the river or Frith of Tay, which has Dundee at the mouth
of it. The constant tradition is, that the Danes or Norwegians carried
the spoil of the country to the top of this hill, where the natives
could have no access to them; and after having collected it there,
carried it down on the other side to their ships in the river.”

[69] “At Robroystone Sir William Wallace was betrayed and apprehended
by Sir John Menteith, a favourite of Edward I. of England. After he was
overpowered, and before his hands were bound, it is said he threw his
sword into Robroyston loch. An oaken couple, or joist, which made part
of the barn in which the Scottish hero was taken, is still to be seen
in this neighbourhood, and may yet last for ages.”--_Stat. Acc. viii._
481, 482.

The latter part of the above quotation is perfectly correct. The
oaken joist was to be seen till within these ten years past; it
has now entirely disappeared, being carried off by that tribe of
pseudo-antiquarians, ycleped Relic-fanciers.

[70] See Appendix, N.

[71] This report may have originated in some facetious remark, which
probably escaped from him on hearing that one William Wallace had,
by the voice of his fellow-citizens, attained to the honour of being
Lord Mayor of London, when the success of the Scots compelled Edward
to grant an extension of the liberties of his people. His election is
stated, at p. 85, vol. i. of this work, to have taken place in 1296.
This mistake the author begs leave to correct; the election occurred in
April 1298. The coincidence is rather singular. See Lambert’s Survey of
London, vol. i. p. 167.

[72] That Edward was mean enough to subject Wallace to a piece of
mockery of this kind, appears evident, from the same contemptible
artifice, to excite derision, being again resorted to in the case
of Sir Simon Frazer, who was not only habited in an unbecoming and
ridiculous garb, but also had “a gerland on ys heued of the newe
_guyse_.” This expression is taken from the ancient ballad made on
the execution of Frazer, as may be seen in the account we have given
of that warrior; and which seemed evidently to allude to the recent
exhibition made of Wallace, on whose person “the newe guyse” was no
doubt first introduced;--and, as Sir Simon was executed only about
twelve months afterwards, the phrase would be perfectly applicable, as
the circumstance must have been fresh in the minds of the people.--See
_App._ L.

[73] See Appendix, O.

[74] This appears to have been the only article of property that
Wallace died possessed of.

[75] This, in all probability, was the mark of the wound inflicted by
the Lancaster bowman mentioned at page 162 of volume I.

[76] See Appendix, P.

[77] See Appendix, Q.

[78] This circumstance seems to have been keenly felt and lamented, as
a subject of national disgrace, by some of the historians of England.
In addition to the anathemas poured forth by Peter Langtoft, on account
of the obstinacy of their northern neighbours--the mortification
evinced by Hardyng in the following lines, is highly complimentary to
the independent spirit of Scotland. This acknowledged spy, and detected
forger, was sent down by his government, in the reign of Henry V., for
the _mean_ purpose of stealing away the treaty with Robert Bruce, in
which the independence of Scotland was recognised.

    “Englande and Wales as to their soueraygne
    To you obey, whiche shuld thinke shame of ryght,
    To se Scotlande thus proudly disobeyne,
    Agayne them two that bene of greate myght,
    It is a shame to euery mannes syght,
    Sith Iohn Baylioll his ryght of it resygned
    To kyng Edward, why is it thus repugned?”

            _Hardyng’s Chronicle_, p. 413-414.

In the two last lines, the writer of the Chronicle founds the
pretensions of England to the superiority over Scotland, on the
resignation of Baliol. This title he no doubt considered as
_preferable_ to any claims previously got up; and we would recommend Dr
Lingard to follow his example; for, bad as it is, the supporters of it
are not liable to meet with those stubborn historical facts which stand
in the way of the advocates for a more venerable antiquity. To show
the sincerity which dictates this advice, we shall revert once more to
pages 443 and 444, vol. iii. of the Doctor’s work, where we are told,
on the authority of Rymer, that the words “libertates, dignitates,
honores debiti,” &c. “mean the allowances to be made, and the honours
to be shown, to the King of Scots, as often as he came to the English
court, by the command of his lord the King of England, _from the moment
that he crossed the Borders till his return into his own territories_.”
Had the vassalage of the King of Scotland been of that unqualified
nature which the Doctor labours to establish, how comes it that his
“allowances” only commence _from the moment he crossed the Border_,
and _ceased_ as soon as he _returned to his own territories_--merely,
we presume, because _he was in his own territories_. Had it been
otherwise, he would doubtless have been found entitled to those
expenses or allowances, _from the time_ he left _his own domicile_, in
whatever part of Scotland _that domicile_ may have been situated.

[79] See Appendix, R.

[80] However singular this statement may appear to some, the author is
happy in having it in his power to produce the most incontrovertible
evidence of the fact--See _App._ A.

[81] Appendix, S.

[82] See Appendix, T.

[83] Vol. iii. 8vo ed. p. 343-355.; and vol. ii. of 4to ed. p. 459-468,

[84] Lingard, vol. iii. p. 356. 3d Edition.

[85] In the recovery of a document connected with the hero of
Scotland, which had thus lain in obscurity for so long a period, the
writer feels himself particularly called upon to express his grateful
acknowledgments to T. G. Repp, Esq. of the Advocates’ Library, and his
friend E. K. Sieveking, Esq., Syndic of the city of Hamburgh.

[86] The writer is inclined to believe, that, in copying the antiquated
original, Badsington has been put down by the transcriber in a mistake
for Haddington. He has left it, however, in charge of a note of
interrogation, for the purpose of inviting his readers to the exercise
of their critical acumen.

[87] Our readers will be gratified to learn, that Dr Lappenberg has
been for some time engaged on a highly interesting work relating to
the origin of the Hanseatic League, in the course of which there
will appear upwards of 400 documents which have escaped the research
of former writers, illustrative of the state of commerce among the
nations of Europe between 1170 and 1370. A considerable number of these
documents, we understand, relate to the mercantile transactions of
England and Scotland; and a publication of this kind cannot fail to be
anxiously looked for, by all who set a value upon well-authenticated
historical information.

[88] See p. 203.

[89] By the above letter, the writer is also enabled to correct a
mis-statement at page 29 of the present volume. The election of Wallace
to the _Regency_ did not (as is there mentioned) take place before his
advance into England. The authority by which he and Sir Andrew Murray
made the preparations for the invasion, appear to have been derived
from the community of Scotland, and “_duces exercitus regni Scotie_”
the highest title they considered themselves invested with at the time.

[90] Under the impression that the letter and charters alluded to above
are the composition of Wallace, we conceive some of our readers may
not be displeased with the following attempt at a translation of the
charter in favour of Scrymgeour, as they will then have in this volume
English versions of every known document that can with any probability
be considered as emanating from the pen of Wallace.

“Charter of Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland, in the name of
King John Baliol, with the seal of the same John.

“William Walays, Knight, Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland, and
Leader of the Armies of the same, in the name of the excellent Prince
Lord John, by the Grace of God, the illustrious King of Scotland,--with
the consent of the community of the same kingdom.--To all trusty men
of the said kingdom, to whom the present writing may come, Eternal
Salvation in the Lord.--Be it known to You all, that We, in the
name of our foresaid Lord the King of Scotland, by the consent and
approbation of the Grandees of said kingdom, Give and Concede, and that
self same donation and concession by the present charter, Do confirm,
to Alexander, named Skirmischur, six merks of land in the territory
of Dundee, namely, that land which is called the Upper Field near
the town of Dundee, on the north side, with those acres in the west
field, commonly fronting the Royal Grounds, near the town of Dundee,
on the west side, and also the Royal Meadow in the foresaid territory
of Dundee, and also the Constabulary of the Castle of Dundee, with
the rights, liberties, and privileges belonging thereto, without any
reservation whatsoever, on performing homage to the foresaid Lord and
King, and his heirs or his successors; and for the faithful service
and assistance rendered to his foresaid kingdom, in bearing the Royal
Standard in the Army of Scotland, at the time the present writing has
been drawn up.--Securing and preserving to the foresaid Alexander
and his heirs, from our said Lord the King, and his heirs or his
successors, free, quiet, entire, peaceable, and honourable possession,
in perpetuity, with all the rights, liberties, and privileges belonging
to said land, meadow above named, and forementioned Constabulary,
fronting as at present, or in what manner soever in future, on
performing annually therefore to the Lord the King, and his heirs or
successors, namely, for the foresaid land, meadow and Constabulary,
with their rights, liberties and privileges, the service attached to
said Constabulary, as well as for all that in future may be required
on account of the foresaids. In testimony of which, the common seal[C]
of the foresaid kingdom of Scotland has been affixed to the present
writing. Given at Torphichen, on the 29th day of March, in the year of
Grace 1298.”

    [C] An engraving from this seal forms the frontispiece to the
        first volume of this work.

[91] Sir Andrew Murray, who was killed at the battle of Stirling,
was married to a sister of Cumyn, Lord of Badenoch.--Vide _Scottish

[92] The arms of the Earl of Dunbar, were gules, a lion rampant,
argent, within a bordure of the second, charged with a rose of the
first. The banner of the son, at the siege of Carlaverock, was the same
as that of the father, with the addition of a blue label.


    “Lychtly he lowch, in scorn as it had beyn,
    And said; ‘He had sic message seyldyn seyne,
    That Wallace now as gouernowr sall ryng:
    Her is gret faute off a gud prince or kyng.
    That king off Kyll I can nocht wndirstand;
    Off him I held neuir a fur off land.
    That bachiller trowis, for fortoun schawis her quhell,
    Thar with to lest; it sall nocht lang be weill.
    Bot to yow, lordis, and ye will wndirstand,
    I mak yow wyss, I aw to mak na band.
    Als fre I am in this regioun to ryng,
    Lord off myn awne, as euyr was prince or king.
    In Ingland als gret part off land I haiff;
    Manreut tharoff thar will no man me craiff.
    Quhat will ye mar? I warne yow, I am fre;
    For your somoundis ye get no mar off me.’”

In corroboration of an insolent answer having been returned by the
Earl of Dunbar, Dr Jamieson quotes the following authority: “When
summoned by the guardian of Scotland to attend a convention at Perth,
he contemptuously refused. Blind Harrie is supported by the Tower
Records.” Caledonia, ii. p. 246.

Also on the following lines of the answer,

    “That King off Kyll I can nocht wndirstand;
    Off him I held neuir a fur off land,”

the Doctor remarks “I need scarcely say, that the earl had given
Wallace this contemptuous designation, as being a native of the
district of Kyle in Ayrshire.” It is with much reluctance we hazard
an opinion at variance with so learned and respectable an authority
as Dr Jamieson, more particularly, where the subject is one connected
with a study, in the pursuit of which, he has acquired a lasting and
well-merited reputation. That the scoffing Earl intended any allusion
to the birth-place of Wallace, by styling him “King of Kyle,” we would
feel inclined to question, even if it had been established that he was
a native of that district. Kyle, as well as Carrick, (two neighbouring
districts of Ayrshire), are derived from the Celtic words, _Cóille_,
and _Carraig_; the former signifying a forest, or woody district,
and the latter the rocky portion of the country, two terms perfectly
descriptive of the localities of both districts. Wallace had always
been spoken of, by the English and their emissaries, as a leader
of a banditti. Langtoft calls him “William Waleis that maister was
of theves;” and they represented him as a sort of Robin Hood, who
had established his authority in the woods of Scotland, in the same
manner as the “King of merry Sherwood” had done in the forest of that
name. When Gospatrick, therefore, called Wallace “King of Kyll,” we
presume he meant to call him “King of the Forest,” which implied a
king of robbers and outlaws; and that this was the sense in which it
was understood by him and the Scottish nobles, is evident from the
indignation it excited, and the instant determination of the Guardian
to revenge the insult which had been thus offered to himself and those
under his authority. To have called him the king of the place in which
he was born, could not be considered by Wallace as a very grievous
insult, considering the situation he occupied. That _Cóille_ was at one
time generally used all over Scotland to designate a wood, or forest,
is evident from the names of many places in which the word can still be
traced. It is, however, sometimes improperly confounded with _Cill_,
(a place of interment). We are afraid that the above etymology will
not meet the approbation of the favourers of the pretensions of Old
King Coilus, but this we cannot help; and have only to regret that the
ancient language of the country has been so little consulted by those
who engage to write its history.

[94] This youth succeeded to his father’s honours in 1309, being then
24 years of age. The foreign predilections of the old baron, for a
long time regulated the conduct of the son; and it was owing to him
that Edward II. escaped the pursuit of Bruce, after the battle of

[95] A translation of the above document has been given by some writers
nearly to the following effect:--“Andrew Murray and William Wallace,
commanders of the army of Scotland, in the name of the excellent Prince
Lord John, by the Grace of God, the illustrious King of Scotland, with
the consent of the community of the same kingdom, to all men of the
said kingdom, greeting. Know ye, that we, in the name of the said King,
have taken the Prior and Convent of Hexhildesham in Northumberland,
their lands, men, possessions, and all their goods, moveable and
immoveable, under the firm peace and protection of the said Lord
the King and ours. Wherefore we strictly forbid you to do any hurt,
mischief, or injury whatsoever, to them, in persons, lands or goods,
under penalty of forfeiture of your own goods and estates to the said
Lord the King, or to kill them, or any of them, under pain of death.
These presents to remain in force for one year, and no longer. Given at
Hexhildesham the 7th day of November.”

[96] Blore’s “Monumental Remains.”

[97] “Siege of Carlaverock.”

[98] This celebrated Inn of Court is recorded to have been the town
residence of the Bishops of Chichester, from the reign of Henry III.
till that of Henry VIII. It seems, however, to have been for a short
time possessed by the subject of this memoir, who, although the only
Earl of Lincoln who resided there, left it the name, which it has
permanently retained during the five subsequent centuries. The arms of
Lacy, on the gatehouse in Chancery-Lane, were erected by Sir Thomas
Lovel, together with his own, 1518.

[99] _Vide_ Langtoft, vol. ii. 275-6. This author does not say a word
of Baliol and his barons having been made acquainted with the agreement
to surrender the castle on the third day.

[100] From the following reproof, which he gave the Treasurer at
Roslin, it would appear that these, or similar monies due to him, had
not been justly settled for; and perhaps the chagrin he felt on that
account may have partly occasioned his defection from Edward.

    “Symon was austere, to Rauf spak fulle grim:
    ‘That mad the Tresorere thou has desceyued him,
    & me & many mo, fro our wages zede quite.
    Sir Rauf thou resceyued tho, bi taile & bi scrite,
    Thou did vs more trauaile, ilk man thou reft his wage.
    Now salle I wite the taile, & put the in the Arerage,
    Of preste thou has no merke, albe ne non amite,
    Bot laced in a hauberke, thai is no clerkis abite.
    For alle tho clerkes of Rome, that sing in kirk or rede,
    Thou salle haf thi dome, als thou serued in dede.’”

            _Langtoft_, vol. ii. p. 319.

[101] Harl. MSS. 266.

[102] Harl. MSS. No. 2253.

[103] Ancient Songs.

[104] Fœdera, N. E. vol. i. 872

[105] In this explanation of the term, the writer finds himself at
variance with the opinion of Mr Tytler, who says, “schiltron” seems
to denote nothing more than a compact body of men. As this restricted
meaning of the expression appears to have been adopted on the authority
of Hemingford, who says, “qui quidem circuli Schiltronis vocabantur,”
it is to be inferred that he has not examined the term with his
accustomed accuracy. _Schiltron_ is, without doubt, compounded of the
two Saxon words “scheld” and “roun.” When a general, in giving the
word of command, called out “Scheltron” to any portion of his army,
they would have as little difficulty in understanding him, as a modern
battalion would if ordered to “form square.” It may also be observed,
that by placing their shields together, they derived considerable
advantage, being thereby enabled to form with greater celerity; and
when once in order, a more impenetrable figure could not be presented
to the attack of an enemy. That this is the ancient meaning of the
word, is evident from the manner it is used by old chroniclers.
Hearne, in his Glossary to Peter Langtoft, thus explains “Schelde,”
_shield_, _target_, _buckler_, _protection_, _government_. “Sheltron,”
_shelter_, _covering_, or rather _shiltrons_, or _round battailes_. The
expression, therefore, in Hemingford, of “_circuli schiltronis_,” only
shows that a man, even in a learned language, may utter an absurdity.

In order to render the schiltron formidable in offensive warfare, it
was necessary to have the centre occupied with archers, who, enclosed
within the barrier of the spearmen, could ply their deadly shafts in
comparative security. That this was part of the plan of Wallace to
supply his deficiency in cavalry at the battle of Falkirk, is highly
probable. By this measure, neither the superiority of the enemy in this
formidable description of force, nor the desertion of the Scottish
cavalry, would have been so severely felt. That this arrangement did
not take place, was very likely owing to the pertinacity of Steward,
who commanded the archers, and rashly exposed himself and those under
him to the overwhelming charges of the heavy armed squadrons of the
English. This obstinacy on the part of the knight of Bonkill, affords
a very natural solution of the feud between him and Wallace. Had the
archers been in the centre of the schiltrons, they could have returned
the murderous discharge of their enemies’ missiles with corresponding
effect, and have eventually produced a more favourable termination to
the operations of the day.

[106] To _The Bruce and The Wallace_, vol. ii. Edin. 1820, 4to.

Transcribers’ Notes

Variations in punctuation, spelling, and hyphenation have been retained
except as noted below.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks have been retained except as noted below.

Some poems were preceded by a double-quotation mark and followed by a
single-quotation mark. Those closing single marks have been changed to

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines have been retained.

Primary footnotes have been placed into a single ascending sequence and
are identified by number. Footnotes to footnotes have been placed into
a single ascending sequence and are identified by letter.

Text used “Fitz-Alan” more than twice as often as “Fitz-Allan”, so all
occurrences have been regularized as “Fitz-Alan”.

Text used “Valence” more often than “Vallence”, so all occurrences have
been regularized to “Valence.”

There is no “Appendix J”.

Page 20: “chanons” may be a misprint for “canons”.

Page 21: “iron road” was printed that way.

Page 90: “might be seen stones arrows, and quarreaux,” was printed with
that punctuation.

Footnote 42, referenced on page 91: The ledger used carry-over lines
from one printed page to the next. Those lines have been deleted in
this eBook.

Page 104: Paragraph break added before “A large portion”, as the
previous sentence ended on a very short line and was followed by a

Page 208: “THRID” was printed that way.

Page 210: A closing quotation mark was added just before the end of
Appendix E.

Page 247: Closing quotation mark added after “Also to dyhte.”

Page 260: Opening quotation mark added before “The martyrdom of

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