Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/107

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1296 A.D.]
The Reign of John de Balliol.

stowed de Brus's lordship of Annandale upon Comyn, Earl of Buchan, who is believed actually to have entered on possesssion of Lochmaben Castle.

The fact is, this Robert de Brus "le viel" does, not seem to have been a very strong character in any respect. There was a more promising instrument for Edward's purpose in Robert de Brus "le jovene" or "le jeune," and upon him the English monarch laid the duty of receiving back to his peace the people of Annandale and Carrick. This young knight, grandson of the Competitor and, in right of his mother who died in 1292, Earl of Carrick, was now in his twenty-second year.

Thus the first appearance in history of the restorer of Scottish monarchy, was in the pay of the King of England, resisting the national party.

De Balliol's abdication has generally been dated July 2, 1296, the date of certain letters patent, in which he confessed his offences against his liege lord Edward, and delivered to him the Scottish kingdom and people.[1] But this instrument was alleged by Fordun, on the authority of Baldred Bissett, the Scottish envoy at Rome, to be a forgery; and the fact that it is not recorded in the Ragman Roll seems to confirm this. But no suspicion attaches to another document executed at Stracathro on July 7th, attesting the renunciation by de Balliol of his treaty with the King of France; or to another done at Brechin on the 10th, whereby he made resignation of his kingdom and people, and of his royal seal. The

  1. Fœdera.