Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/120

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[1296 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

August, taking with him many of the Scottish knights captured at Dunbar, who were now released on condition of serving the King against France. Among these were five of the family of Comyn, including John "the Red," besides old Sir William de Moray, Sir Simon Fraser, Sir Richard de Siward, and the Earl of Athol. These gentlemen would be much too ready to exchange prison walls for active service, to feel any scruples about the justice of Edward's quarrel with the King of France.

In the north of Scotland the insurrection still went on, keeping the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Earls of Buchan, Mar, and Strathearn, the Countess of Ross, and others actively engaged in the King's service. The constable of Urquhart Castle reported to Edward on July 25th that young Andrew de Moray had besieged him; but that after a night assault, in which several of the garrison were killed and wounded, the besiegers had drawn off. While de Moray was thus engaged in the north, "with a very great body of rogues (mut grant hoste de felons)," as the Bishop of Aberdeen expressed it in his report to Edward, Wallace was laying siege to Dundee Castle. On hearing, however, that the English army under the Earl of Surrey was approaching, he drew off his troops to guard the fords and bridge of Forth, and encamped near Cambuskenneth Abbey. Surrey had been recalled on August 18th, in order to accompany the King to Flanders, and Sir Brian fitz Alan appointed Governor of Scotland in his place. But Sir Brian had raised a difficulty about his salary (£1128 8s), which he declared was wholly insufficient