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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/98

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Bruce
Bruce
92

invade England. Seizing the opportunity of Edward's absence at Calais, David mustered his forces at Perth, where the defection of the Earl of Ross, who slew Ronald of the Isles at the monastery of Elcho, showed how little he was able to command his vassals. Advancing to the borders, he took the castle of Liddel, put to death Selby, its governor, and, in spite of the counsels of the Knight of Liddesdale not to proceed further with a force consisting of only 2,000 men-at-arms and some 13,000 light-armed troops, crossed the Tyne above Newcastle, and ravaged the bishopric of Durham. He was met near that town on 17 Oct. at Neville's Cross by the Archbishop of York and the northern barons, and totally routed. David himself was taken prisoner by a squire, John Copland, after a brave resistance, in which it is recorded he struck out two of his captor's teeth. The earls of Fife, Menteith, and Wigtown, the Knight of Liddesdale, and many barons shared his fate. The earls of Moray and Strathearn, the chancellor, chamberlain, and marshal of Scotland were slain; the Earl of March and Robert the Steward alone of the principal nobles effected their escape. So great was the disaster, that 'the time of the battle of Durham' is used in the accounts and chronicles as a point of time.

David, with the other captives, was led in triumph through the streets of London to the Tower, placed on a tall black charger to make him conspicuous, as John of France was after Poictiers on a white charger. The next eleven years of his life were spent in England, chiefly in or near London, and at Oldham in Hampshire, varied with visits to the border or to Scotland. He was forced to bear his own charges, but the rigour of his imprisonment was soon relaxed in the hope that he would negotiate his ransom and even ally himself to England. Of David's captivity the records are almost as scanty as of his exile in France. In 1347, after taking Calais, Edward concluded a truce with France, which continued by various prorogations till 1 April 1354. Scotland was to be admitted to the truce, and in the next year the negotiations for David's ransom commenced. In October Joanna joined her husband in England. It was, however, Edward's policy to have two strings to his bow, and Baliol, whom he addressed as 'our dear cousin Edward,' while his brother-in-law was only styled Lord David de Bruce, remained nominal ruler of Scotland. In spite of his protest in March 1357 a treaty was concluded with the Scots commissioners for the ransom of David, and he was permitted on 4 Sept. to return to Scotland to procure the sanction of the estates. Secret compacts were entered into in 1352 between Edward, David, and Lord Douglas, and between Edward and the Knight of Liddesdale. The terms of the former were purposely obscure, but indicate that in the event of David failing to persuade the estates to make peace, he engaged to act on his own account so that 'the work might be accomplished in another way.' The English commissioners were empowered to allow him to remain at Newcastle or Berwick, or even to set him at large if it would 'promote the business.' Knyghton, the English chronicler, reports that David had consented to acknowledge Edward as his feudal superior. There was no ambiguity in the agreement with the Knight of Liddesdale, who entered into a close alliance as a condition of his own release. In 1353 David had returned to England, having failed to obtain the consent of the Scotch estates to Edward's conditions, and at Newcastle conferences were renewed between the commissioners of the two countries, which resulted in a treaty on 13 July 1354, by which the ransom was fixed at 90,000 merks, payable in nine yearly instalments. Twenty hostages of noble birth were to be given for the fulfilment of the treaty, and the king himself, the nobles and bishops, as well as the principal towns, were to undertake personal obligations for its payment.

In 1355 the French king, alarmed at the project of a nine years' truce between England and Scotland, sent Eugène de Garancières with men and money to revive the war, and several border engagements followed; but early in 1356 Edward took Berwick, and obtained an absolute renunciation of the Scotch crown and kingdom from his puppet, Edward Baliol, on 21 Jan. Though he devastated the Lothians in the raid which received the name of the Burnt Candlemas, and issued a proclamation with regard to the government of Scotland, he failed to reduce even the southern district to subjection. In the north Robert the Steward maintained an independent power as regent, even during the period of the nominal reign of Baliol. At last the tedious negotiations for David's release drew near their close. At a parliament at Perth on 17 Jan. 1356-7 commissioners were appointed, and having settled the preliminaries at Berwick in August, a parliament at Edinburgh on 26 Sept. agreed to Edward's terms. The ransom was raised to 100,000 merks in ten instalments, for which the nobles, clergy, and burghs bound themselves, and commissioners from the three estates concluded the treaty at Berwick on 3 Oct. 1357.