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liberty which no virtuous man will survive. Wherefore we most earnestly request your holiness as His vicegerent who gives equal measure to all and with whom there is no distinction of persons or nations, that you would behold with a fatherly eye the tribulations and distresses brought upon us by the English, and that you would admonish Edward to content himself with his own dominions, esteemed in former times sufficient for seven kings, and allow us Scotsmen who dwell in a poor and remote corner, and who seek for nought but our own to remain in peace.' A duplicate of the letter in the Register House is printed in the 'National MSS. of Scotland,' vol i. Moved by this appeal, fearing to lose a province of the church and knowing probably the weakness of Edward, the pope issued a bull recommending him to make peace with Scotland.

A conspiracy against Bruce headed by Sir William Soulis, grandson of one of the competitors for the crown at which he probably aimed, and taken part in by some of the landed gentry but none of the nobility, was betrayed by the Countess of Strathearn and easily put down, though the parliament of Scone, at which some of the offenders were condemned and executed for treason, got the name of the Black Parliament to mark its difference from the other parliaments of the reign. This, the only rising against Bruce, proves his firm hold of all classes. It was different with Edward. The party amongst his nobles who opposed him formed not a casual conspiracy but a chronic rebellion. Headed at first by Lancaster, and after his death by the queen mother and Mortimer, it made his whole reign a period of dissension which would have weakened a more powerful monarch, and told largely in favour of Scotland and Bruce. In December 1321 Lancaster entered into a correspondence with the Scotch leader Douglas, who invaded Northumberland and Durham simultaneously with the rising of Lancaster; but his defeat by Sir Andrew Hartcla at Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322, followed by his execution, put down for a time the English rebellion. Edward in premature confidence wrote to the pope that he would no longer make terms with the Scots except by force, and invaded Scotland in August, penetrating as far as Edinburgh and wasting the country with fire and sword. The prudence of Bruce, by which everything of value on the line of the invasion was removed, his own camp being fixed at Culross, north of the Forth, baffled as completely as a victory the last attempt of Edward II to subdue Scotland. The opposite evils of want of food and intemperance forced him to withdraw, and the sarcasm of Earl Warenne on a bull taken at Tranent, 'Caro cara fuit,' indicates at once the disaffection of his barons and his own contemptible generalship. In the autumn Bruce at the head of a very large force estimated at 80,000, retaliated by invading Yorkshire, defeating Edward near Biland Abbey, where John de Bretagne, earl of Richmond and Henry de Sully, Butler of France, and many other prisoners were taken. The English king narrowly escaped being himself captured at York. The commencement of 1323 afforded still stronger evidence of Edward's incapacity to rule his own subjects. Sir Andrew Hartcla, although created Earl of Carlisle and rewarded with a large pension and the wardenship of the marches, met Bruce and entered into a secret treaty to maintain him and his heirs in possession of Scotland. On the discovery of this, Hartcla was tried and executed on 2 March 1323, and the Earl of Kent appointed warden in his place. But though able so far to assert his authority the defeat at Biland had taught Edward that he could not cope with Bruce, and in March 1323 a truce gave time for negotiations at Newcastle and Thorpe, where on 30 May, a peace for thirteen years was concluded which was ratified by Bruce as king of Scotland at Berwick on 7 June. The continued favour shown by Edward to the Despensers, which had been the cause of Lancaster's rebellion, led to a new conspiracy in the family of the ill fated king. His queen Isabella, and Roger Mortimer her paramour, carried it on in the name of his son and in 1325 his brother, the Earl of Kent, joined it. Edward deserted by almost all his barons was taken prisoner in 1326, deposed early in the following year, and murdered on 21 Sept.

Bruce naturally took advantage of the distracted state of England to strengthen his title to the Scottish crown. In 1323 the skilful diplomacy of Randolph obtained from the pope the recognition of the title of king of Scotland by a promise to aid in a crusade, and three years later by the treaty of Corbeil, the French king made a similar acknowledgment. At a parliament held at Cambuskenneth in 1326 the young prince David, born two years before, was solemnly recognised as heir to the crown, which in case of his death was to go to Robert the son of Marjory and the Steward. This is the first Scottish parliament in which there is clear evidence of representatives of the burghs, and the grant made by it to Bruce for his life of a tenth of the rents of the lands as