Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/173

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1306 A.D.]

The Revolt of Robert de Brus.


and three other knights. It was pronounced in St. Paul's Cathedral by the Archdeacons of Middlesex and Colchester—candelis accensis et extinctis—with candles first lighted, and then solemnly extinguished.[1]

Edward was suffering from severe dysentery, which prevented his intended journey north. Aymer de Valence, however, succeeded in dealing what seemed a final blow to King Robert's cause. Having his headquarters at Perth, de Valence lay waiting attack by the King of Scots. Bruce, with such force as he had been able to collect, was in the woods near Methven. Hither came de Valence in search of him, on Sunday, June 26th, with a force, says Barbour, outnumbering Bruce's by 1500, chiefly composed of Scotsmen, and far better equipped and trained than their opponents. Bruce was taken by surprise, but the roughness of the ground favoured him, and his men stood briskly to arms. A fierce hand-to-hand fight took place, in which the King of Scots was unhorsed by Sir Philip de Moubray, and rescued by de Seton. His men fell into confusion and dispersed through the wood. Hugh de la Haye, Barclay, Fraser, Inchmartin, de Somerville, and Thomas Randolph were taken prisoners; the King himself, narrowly escaping, galloped from the field with his brother Edward, Athol, James Douglas, Gilbert de la Haye, and Nigel Campbell.

As Robert Wischard or Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, disappeared from public life after his capture at Cupar in 1306, this seems a fitting place to mention his subsequent fate, and to estimate his merits and the value of the part he played in active politics.

  1. Annales Londinenses, i., 147.