Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/169

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1306 A.D.]

The Revolt of Robert de Brus.


as Barbour has it), uncle of the Red Comyn, was also slain in trying to defend his nephew.[1]

Bruce, it is believed, returned to Lochmaben, but not to linger in such a perilous neighbourhood. The Comyns were much more puissant than he in the southwest; so, having sent out letters to summon his friends, he rode straight to Glasgow, where he was received with open arms by Bishop Wishart. This good prelate, notwithstanding that he had on six different occasions solemnly sworn fealty to Edward,[2] not only pronounced absolution on Bruce for the murder, but caused coronation robes to be prepared for him in the episcopal wardrobe. These robes, together with a banner of the King of Scotland, which he had long kept concealed in his treasury, he sent to the abbey of Scone, in preparation for an event on which he had set his heart.

This event, the coronation of Robert de Brus, took place on March 29, 1306. It was the hereditary privilege of the Macduffs, Earls of Fife, to place the crown on a new King's head; but Duncan, the earl of that day, was in the English interest. Whereupon there befell something strange and least ex-

  1. Barbour says that many others were slain at the same time—

    "Schir Edmund Cumyn als was slane,
    And othir mony of mekill mane,"

    but of this confirmation is lacking. Of the church of Greyfriars, where this tragedy was enacted, a fragment remained till after 1867, built into the premises of a public house in Friar's Vennel; but this has since been pulled down, and no trace of the church now remains, except in the name of the street.

  2. Palgrave, clxxx. and 346.