Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/110

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[1291 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

coffers, filled with documents, no doubt the records of the kingdom.[1]

Of King Edward's tour in the north, many interesting details have been preserved in the Placita Roll of his army. But there is one that transcends them all, as being, in all probability, the first public mention of an individual whose name was soon to be written large in the annals of his country. At the gaol delivery of Perth on August 8th, Matthew of York was accused of entering the house of a woman, in company with a thief, one William le Waleys (Wallace), and robbing her of 3s. worth of beer.[2] Matthew was a priest and claimed benefit of clergy. Wallace seems to have escaped arrest, for he was not in the gaol. It is not possible to affirm the identity of this le Waleys with the patriot, but it is not improbable, and this escapade at Perth may account for the known fact that William Wallace was an outlaw when he made his appearance in the national cause.

King Edward held a Parliament at Berwick in this year, which has become famous from having produced the document known as the Ragman Roll. This was a submission to Edward as King of Scotland, and it was signed by nearly two thousand Scottish landowners and ecclesiastics, among whom were practically all those who afterwards fought on the Scottish side in the war of independence. Robert de Brus "le viel" and Robert de Brus "le

  1. Bain, ii., 221.
  2. Ibid., ii., 191.