Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/147

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1305 A.D.]
The Death of Wallace.

not superfluous. This letter[1] fell into the hands of King Edward, though perhaps not till the bishop was taken some years afterwards. Later in the same year the Earl of Carrick attended Edward's Parliament held in October.[2] The fact is, it behoved him to have a keen eye to his own interests at this time. His father, the old Lord of Annandale, was approaching his end, and the son's rights as heir to the valuable English estates were in jeopardy.

Edward was now straitened for means to pay his troops. A serious mutiny broke out at Berwick in the autumn of 1301, because of arrears of pay;[3] the commanders of other garrisons were clamouring for money; [4] so on January 26, 1302, another truce was brought about by French intervention, to endure till St. Andrew's Day, November 3Oth. Five days before the expiry of this truce, that between England and France was extended till Easter, 1302; but King Edward would not yield to Philip's desire that the Scots should be included in it.

In the summer of 1302 the national party received an important recruit in the person of Sir Simon Fraser, hitherto a trusted official in the English service, who had served in the Earl of March's company at the siege of Caerlaverock. He deserted from Wark Castle, and carried off the armour and horses of his comrade Sir William de Dunolm.[5] He joined Comyn the Guardian, and the first we hear of him under his new colours is at the battle of

  1. Bain, ii., 330.
  2. Ibid., 343.
  3. Ibid., 310.
  4. Ibid., 314.
  5. Ibid., 334.