receiving at the same time grants of estates corresponding to his dignities. As a consequence, however, of his alliance with Bruce, the estates which he held from the king of England were forfeited in March 1308–9 (vol. iii. No. 76), and in 1314 they were bestowed on Hugh le Despenser (ib. No. 362).
One of the most remarkable feats of Randolph was the capture, on 14 March 1313–1314, of the castle of Edinburgh, which had been in the possession of the English since its surrender to Edward I in 1296. After investing it in vain for six weeks, in the hope of reducing it by famine, Randolph was informed by a soldier, William Frank or Francis, at one time one of the English garrison of the castle, that the castle rock might be scaled by a secret path, which he himself had been accustomed to use while courting a girl of the town. Randolph resolved to accept his offer to lead the ascent, and with thirty followers succeeded, without mishap, in reaching the castle wall, which they scaled with a rope ladder. The sentinels gave the alarm, but were immediately overpowered, and the garrison, panic-stricken and ignorant of the number of their assailants, after a short conflict, in which the governor was killed, either fled or surrendered at discretion. In accordance with the policy of Bruce, the castle was immediately demolished, lest it should again fall into the hands of the English. It was probably this brilliant achievement of Randolph that led Bruce to confer on him the command of one of the main divisions of the Scottish army at Bannockburn in the following June. He was posted by Bruce on high ground at St. Ninian's, with special instructions to guard the approach to Stirling Castle, then held by the English; but on the 23rd, the day before the battle, Sir Robert Clifford, with eight hundred English horse, was seen by Bruce to be making a circuit by the low carse ground to the east so as to outflank the Scottish army, and get between them and the castle. Observing that Randolph made no movement to intercept him, Bruce rode up to him, and pointing to the English force to his left, exclaimed: ‘A rose has fallen from your chaplet.’ Deeply chagrined at his oversight, Randolph, taking with him only five hundred spearmen, hurried if possible to retrieve his error, and succeeded in placing them so as to bar Clifford's approach to the castle. He was immediately charged by Clifford, and a desperate conflict ensued. It seemed impossible that the Scottish square, surrounded on all sides by the English cavalry, could long resist their onset. Sir James Douglas therefore obtained, though with great difficulty, permission from Bruce to go to his assistance; but, by the time he reached the scene of the encounter, the English had begun to waver and fall back; and Douglas, confident that Randolph would now put them to rout, with chivalrous delicacy restrained his men from taking part in the fight, lest by his interference he should diminish the glory of so redoubtable a feat. In the great battle of the following day Randolph commanded in the centre, which bore the main brunt of the English attack.
The high esteem in which Randolph was now held by Bruce was shown by the fact that at the parliament held at Ayr on 26 April 1315 it was provided that if, after the death of Robert Bruce, or of Bruce's brother Edward, or Bruce's daughter Marjory, the heir to the crown should be a minor, Randolph should be guardian of the heir and regent of the kingdom. Shortly after the meeting of parliament, Randolph set out for Ireland along with Edward Bruce, to whom the Irish of Ulster had offered the crown of Ireland. Randolph had the chief command of six thousand troops, sent by King Robert the Bruce to support his brother's claims; and, landing at Carrickfergus on 15 May, stormed Dundalk and other towns, and defeated large combined forces of the English and Irish at Coleraine and Arscoll. Finally, however, the difficulty of obtaining provisions compelled the Scots to retire into Ulster; and in April 1316 Randolph passed over into Scotland for reinforcements. On learning how matters stood, King Robert the Bruce resolved to go in person to his brother's assistance, taking Randolph along with him. During the following campaign Randolph specially distinguished himself, and on its conclusion returned in the end of the year to Scotland with the king. The defeat and death of Edward Bruce in October 1318 put an end to the efforts to wrest Ireland from the English. His death, as well as that of Bruce's daughter, Marjory, also necessitated some new enactments in regard to the succession to the crown; and at a parliament held at Scone in December 1318 it was agreed that, in the event of the succession taking place during the minority of the heir to the kingdom, Randolph should be appointed tutor and guardian of the young prince, and failing him, Sir James Douglas.
In April 1318 Randolph and Sir James Douglas, aided by the secret co-operation of the governor, captured the town of Berwick-on-Tweed by escalade, and with a comparatively small force held it against the governor of the castle until the arrival of Bruce next day with large reinforcements, soon