after which the castle also surrendered. When, in the following year, Edward II with a large army was investing Berwick, Randolph and Sir James Douglas, at the head of fifteen thousand men, entered England with the design of achieving the coup of capturing the queen of England, who had taken up her residence at York. Their design was, however, betrayed to the English by a Scottish prisoner, and, on their arrival before the city, they found that the queen and court had fled south. They were thus baffled in their main purpose, but took advantage of the opportunity to devastate all the neighbouring country; and a force of twenty thousand men, consisting largely of monks and their vassals, which had been hastily assembled to oppose them, they completely routed at Milton, near the Swale, no fewer than four thousand of the English being slain, including three hundred ecclesiastics. The news of the disaster so exasperated the English before Berwick that Edward was constrained to raise the siege, and endeavour to intercept the Scots on their return. This, however, he failed to accomplish, the rapid movements of the Scots, and their knowledge of the passes, enabling them to elude pursuit, and they arrived in Scotland laden with booty, having pillaged no fewer than eighty-four towns and villages. In November Randolph and Douglas again invaded England, and devastated Gillesland. Discouraged by his inability to cope with them and their countrymen, Edward came to terms with them, and agreed to a truce for two years. Meanwhile, emboldened by their success, the Scots resolved in 1320 to send a memorial to the pope, asserting—in the face of previous papal denunciations—the independence of Scotland. Randolph's name appeared second in the list of signatures.
It was mainly through the private diplomacy of Randolph that the Earl of Lancaster was induced in 1321 to take up arms against Edward II, it being agreed that the Scots should make a diversion in his favour by an invasion of England; but before the Scots could come to his assistance, Lancaster was defeated and taken prisoner near Pontefract. After an abortive invasion of Scotland in 1322, Edward, having collected the remains of his army, which had been weakened by famine and sorely distressed during its retreat by the attacks of Randolph and Douglas, encamped them at Byland Abbey, Yorkshire. The Scots had, however, been watching their opportunity for revenge, and, suddenly appearing in strong force, succeeded, mainly by the valour of Randolph and Douglas in forcing a narrow pass which permitted access to the enemy's position, in inflicting on the English an overwhelming defeat, Edward with the utmost difficulty making his escape to Bridlington. Thereafter the Scots continued to pursue their ravages in Yorkshire without molestation, and Edward, disheartened by their successes and by the internal dissensions with which he was threatened, agreed to negotiations for peace. Randolph was one of the three ambassadors on the Scottish side, and on 5 May 1323 a truce was concluded with England for fifteen years. Shortly afterwards, Randolph was sent on a special embassy to the pope at Avignon, and was so successful in neutralising the previous representations of the English as to obtain from the pope the acknowledgment of Bruce's independent dignity as king of Scotland. On his return journey he also visited the court of France, and arranged for the renewal of the ancient league between France and Scotland. Subsequently he took part in negotiations for a permanent peace between England and Scotland, but on the renewal of Edward's intrigues at the papal court they were broken off. In 1326 Randolph concluded at Corbeil an alliance offensive and defensive between France and Scotland, which bound each party to help the other against England; Scotland, however, not being required to carry out the engagement until the truce with England expired or was broken by England. After the deposition of Edward II, proposals were made to Scotland for a renewal of the truce, but as in the proposals Bruce's title of king was ostentatiously ignored, Bruce deemed himself absolved from the former agreement with England. Accordingly, in June 1327, Randolph and Sir James Douglas—Bruce being then incapacitated by sickness—entered the northern counties of England by Carlisle, and passed through Northumberland, burning and devastating. With the determination to overwhelm them, Edward III collected a finely equipped force of sixty thousand men; but the elaborate character of his preparations defeated his purpose. Slow and unwieldy in its movements, his formidable army was completely outmanœuvred by the lightly armed Scots, who, according to Froissart, carried no baggage but the iron girdle and bag of oatmeal trussed behind their saddle. If Edward several times succeeded in bringing them to bay, it was always in a position too formidable for attack; and at last, when almost surrounded at a wood near the Wear, called Stanhope Park, the Scots made good their escape at midnight over a morass by means of hurdles, and arrived in Scotland scatheless. So disheartened were the Eng-