Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/165

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1306 A.D.]

The Revolt of Robert de Brus.


succeeding to his father's English estates, should be remitted.[1]

Notice must be taken here of a strangely circumstantial story told by Sir Thomas Gray, differing from all other accounts of what led up to the dark tragedy about to be enacted—a story which seems to have been overlooked or intentionally suppressed by all other biographers of Robert de Brus. Gray, writing in his prison in Edinburgh in 1355, states that the said Robert sent his two brothers, Thomas and Nigel, from Lochmaben to Dalswinton, where John Comyn was living, to invite him to meet Robert at the Grey Friars church in Dumfries. Thomas and Nigel had instructions from their brother to ride with Comyn, and to set upon him by the way and kill him; but they were so hospitably and courteously received by Comyn that they had not the heart to do him any violence. They induced him, however, to ride with them to Dumfries, where they found Robert waiting.

"John Comyn," they explained, "made us so welcome and gave us such handsome gifts, and showed us such an open countenance, that we could by no means do him any injury."

"Indeed!" replied Robert, "then let me meet him."

Then, affirms this writer, Comyn and Bruce met before the altar, and Bruce made the proposal referred to by Fordun, that one of them should surrender his lands to the other, receiving in return his support in seizing the crown of Scotland.

  1. Bain, ii., 471.