Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/146

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[1299 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

the capture of Bothwell Castle, the King had no prize to show when he went into winter quarters at Linlithgow in the autumn of 1301; while the Prince, after traversing Galloway without resistance, found his flank threatened by a force in the hills about Loch Dee, and persevered no further.

All this time the Earl of Carrick continued to act a double part. He was still, in name, one of the Guardians of Scotland, and, as such, was bound to hostility with England. Nevertheless, on February 16, 1302, King Edward, being then at Roxburgh, granted, at the instance of the Earl of Carrick, pardon to one Hector Askeloc for the slaughter of Cuthbert of Galloway;[1] and before the end of April following, the Earl and his Carrick tenants had been received to the King's peace.[2] Simultaneously, on April 6th, King Philip was writing a letter to the Earl of Carrick and John Comyn, "Guardians of Scotland in the name of King John," to say that he had received their envoys, the Abbot of Jedburgh and Sir John Wishart, and fully understood the letters and messages; that he was moved to his very marrow by the evils brought on their country, praised them for their constancy to their King (John), and urged them to persevere. As for the assistance they asked for, he was carefully considering how he could help them, but, bearing in mind the dangers of the road, he had given his mind to the Bishop of St. Andrews (Lamberton), for whom he desired full credence. Philip's precaution was

  1. Bain, ii., 328.
  2. Ibid., 331.