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434
[HISTORY
SCOTLAND

at York, wedded a child bride, Margaret, daughter of Henry III. His boyhood was distracted by vague party strifes, but Henry did not attempt to administer his country. In 1261 his queen bore, at Windsor, a daughter, Margaret, who later, marrying Eric, king of Norway, became the mother of “The Maid of Norway,” heiress of Alexander III.; the girl whose early death left the succession disputed, and opened the flood-gates of strife. Alexander (1260) won the western isles and the Isle of Man from Norway, paying 4000 merks, and promising a yearly rent of 100 merks. In 1279 Alexander did homage to Edward I. at Westminster, salvo jure sua, and through the lips of Bruce, earl of Carrick. The homage was vague, “for the lands which he holds of the king of England,” or according to the Scottish version, “saving my own kingdom.” On the death of Alexander's daughter, Margaret of Norway (1283), and of his son, the prince of Scotland, without issue, the estates, at Scone, recognized Margaret's infant daughter as rightful successor. At this assembly were Bruce, earl of Annandale; Robert de Brus, earl of Carrick (later king), his son; Comyn, earl of Buchan; John Baliol; and James the Steward of Scotland, of the house of FitzAlan. On the 19th of March 1286 Alexander died, in consequence of a slip made by his horse on a cliff near Kinghorn during a night ride. His death was the great calamity of Scotland, and is lamented in a famous fragment of early Scottish verse. The golden age of “The Kings of Peace” was ended.

The first step of the Scottish noblesse (mainly men of Norman names), after Alexander's death, was to send a secret verbal Bruce and Baliol parties. message to Edward of England. Six custodians of the realm were then appointed, including the bishop of Glasgow (Wishart) and the bishop of St Andrews (Frazer). Presently the nobles formed two hostile parties, that of the Bruces and that of Baliol. The Bruce party took up arms, and from the terms of their “band,” or agreement, obviously contemplated resistance to the rights of the Maid of Norway, while declaring their fealty to Edward. In 1286-1289 Scotland was on the verge of civil war. Edward procured a papal dispensation for the marriage of the Maid of Norway to his son Edward; the Scots were glad to consent, and preliminaries were adjusted by the Treaty of Birgham (18th of July 1290). All possible care was taken by the Scots to guard their national independence, but Edward succeeded in inserting his favourite clause, “saving always the rights of the King of England, which belonged, or ought to belong, to him.” As the Bruce faction had asserted their fealty to Edward, the carefully patriotic attitude of the Scots may be ascribed to the two bishops, who did not consistently live on this level. In August Edward ventured a claim to the castles of Scotland, which was not admitted. By the 19th of August it was known that the child queen had arrived in the Orkneys. An assembly was being held at Scone; the Bruces did not appear, but, by the 7th of October, they arrived in arms, on a rumour of the queen's death. The bishop of St Andrews tells Edward of these events, and urges him to come to the border, to preserve peace. The bishop of St Andrews was for Baliol, he of Glasgow was for Bruce; and the Baliol party, the seven earls complain, was ravaging Moray. These seven earls appear to represent the old rulers of the seven provinces of Pictland, and asserted ancient claims to elect a king. The Bruces placed themselves under Edward's protection. In March 1291 he ordered search to be made for documents bearing on his claims in the English clerical libraries, and summoned his northern feudal levies to meet him at Norham on Tweed, fully armed, in June. Hither he called the representatives of Scotland for the 10th of May; on the 2nd of June the eight claimants of the crown acknowledged him as Lord Paramount, despite a written protest of the communitas of Scotland; obscurely mentioned, and not easily to be understood. Edward took homage from all, including burgesses even, at Perth; his decision on the claims was deferred to the 2nd of June 1292 at Berwick.

The choice lay between descendants in the female line of David of Huntingdon, younger brother of William the Lion. John Baliol was great-grandson of this David, through his eldest daughter; Bruce the old was grandson of David through his John Baliol crowned. second daughter, and pleaded that, by Scottish custom, he was David's heir. He also pleaded a selection of himself as successor by Alexander II., before the birth of Alexander III., but of this he had no documentary evidence. On the 17th of November 1292 Edward decided, against Scottish custom (if such custom really existed), in favour of Baliol, who did fealty, and, amidst cries of dissent, was crowned at Scone on the 26th of December.

Edward instantly began to summon John to his courts, even on such puny matters as a wine-merchant's disputed bill. He Intervention by England. appeared to aim at driving Baliol into rebellion and annexing his kingdom. In 1293 Edward refused to obey a similar summons from the king of France, and in 1294 was fighting in Gascony. Baliol declined to follow his standard and negotiated for a French alliance. Edward ordered Baliol's English property to be confiscated; Baliol renounced his fealty, and English merchants were massacred at Berwick. The Comyns failed in an attack on Carlisle, and (30th of March 1296) Edward took Berwick, seized William Douglas (father of the Good Lord James), and massacred the male populace. A disorderly levy of Scots, appearing on the hills above Dunbar, left their strong position (like Leslie later) and were defeated with heavy loss. Robert Bruce was now of Edward's party; the nobles in a mass surrendered and Edward was unopposed. He seized the Black Rood, the coronation stone of Scone, St Margaret's fragment of the True Cross, and many documents; then he marched north as far as Elgin. The Ragman's Roll contains sworn submissions of all probi homines outside of the western thoroughly Celtic region; and, in October 1296, Edward returned to England, with Baliol his prisoner, leaving Scotland in the hands of the earl of Surrey as guardian, Cressingham as treasurer, and Ormsby as justiciary.,

Agitation at once broke out, and, when Edward went abroad in June 1297, he left orders for suppression of assemblies (conventiculae). Wallace. Now Sir William Wallace came to the front, a younger son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie, near Paisley. The family probably came from England with the FitzAlans, the hereditary Stewards of Scotland. The English chroniclers call Wallace latro, “a brigand,” and he probably was a leader of broken men, discontented with English rule. Sir Thomas Gray, son of an English gentleman wounded in a rising at Lanark in May 1297, says that Wallace was chosen leader “by the commune of Scotland,” and began operations by slaying Heselrig, sheriff of Clydesdale, at Lanark. The Lanercost contemporary chronicler writes that the bishop of Glasgow and the Steward began the broil, and called in Wallace as the leading brigand in the country-side. Wallace, in fact, was a gentleman of good education. Percy and Clifford led the English forces to suppress him, and (7th July) made terms with the bishop, the Steward and Robert Bruce, who submitted; but Wallace held out in Ettrick Forest. Sir William Douglas was kept a prisoner for life, but Andrew Murray was out in Moray, with a large following. The nobles who had submitted made delays in providing hostages, and Warenne marched from Berwick against Wallace, who, by September 1297, was north of Tay.

On hearing of Warenne's advance, Wallace occupied the Abbey Craig at Stirling, commanding the narrow bridge over the Forth; the Steward and Lennox; attempted pacific negotiations; a brawl occurred; and next day (11th of September) the English crossed Stirling bridge, marched back again, recrossed, and were attacked in deploying from the bridge. The general, Warenne, was old and feeble, Cressingham was hasty and confident; counsels were confused, the manner of attack was rash, and the rout was sanguinary. Cressingham was slain, and Warenne fied to Berwick. Pursuing his victory, Wallace ravaged Cumberland, most English writers say with savage ferocity; but Hemingburgh represents Wallace as courteous on one occasion, and as confessing that his men were out of hand.

By the 29th of March 1298 Wallace appears, in a charter granted by himself, as guardian of the kingdom, and, with