Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/161

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1306 A.D.]
125
The Revolt of Robert de Brus.

Scotland: to reveal loyally any hindrance they might know to the good government of Scotland; to suggest amendments in any law and usage dangerous to the peace of that country; neither for hatred, affinity, or other matter, oath, or alliance heretofore made, to withhold counsel to their utmost knowledge and power; to preserve absolute secrecy as to proceedings in council; to declare the names of any persons in Scotland whose residence there might be dangerous to peace; and in all things to advise what was best for the King's honour and the welfare of his lieges.

With this oath fresh on his lips, the Bishop of St. Andrews, one of the Scottish commissioners, accompanied by the Earl of Carrick, who was one of those charged to administer the oath,[1] went to Scotland to discharge his sworn duty.

The constitution secured by the convention of Westminster must be considered exceedingly liberal according to the doctrines of that time, and as conferred on a conquered country. It must be regarded as an earnest desire of Edward's to govern Scotland as generously as England, with which he so ardently desired to see it incorporated. It is true that the term "community" was restricted to mean owners of land, but that was the extreme sense it ever could bear under a feudal monarchy. Scotland, in spite of the enormous sums it had cost to subdue her, in spite too of the provocation her conqueror had endured by reason of the repeated perjury of her barons, was to receive equal rights with loyal Eng-

  1. Bain, ii., 457.