Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/143

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1305 A.D.]
The Death of Wallace.

spoilt, and some were killed. But King Edward had brought with him a strong siege train. Battering-rams of the newest design, and robinets and catapults throwing huge stones made such havoc of the defences that at the end of the second day a white flag was displayed from the gate tower in token of surrender. An English arrow, as is said, pierced the hand of him who held it, pinning it to his face. When the garrison marched out, the besiegers were astonished to find how few men composed it.

Of the gallant sixty, many, says the chronicler of Lanercost, were hanged on the trees near the castle as rebels, by order of the King. The author of the Siege of Caerlaverock, however, states that their lives were spared by the King's clemency.

From Caerlaverock the English advanced into eastern Galloway, where, although it was the peculiar territory of the Balliols, Edward had some reason to expect support, for the Celtic chiefs of that province had never ceased to resent its partition, under feudal law, among the three daughters of Alan, their last lord. Besides, in 1296, when Balliol first revolted, Edward had conciliated the people of Galloway by releasing from the prison where he had lain for more than fifty years, Thomas, the natural son of Alan, whom they had desired to make their lord. He had, at the same time, restored by proclamation all their ancient liberties and customs, and, at the request of the said Thomas, promised a revision of rents and other favours. In effect, King Edward met with no resistance in Galloway, and his accounts