Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/233

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1313 A.D.]
185
Campaigns of Edward II.

men before him along the shores of Loch Awe to the pass of Brander, where the river Awe flows deep and dark from the great lake. The rest of the autumn and winter was employed in reducing the stronghold of Dunstaffnage, which must have fallen before March, 1309, for on the 16th of that month King Robert held his first Parliament at St. Andrews. On March 11th, John of Lorn wrote to inform King Edward that Robert de Brus had invaded his country with 10,000 or 15,000 men (assuredly an exaggeration), and that he had only 800 with which to resist him, for the barons of Argyll would afford him no help. Yet he says that Bruce had asked for a truce, which he had granted for a short time, in order to allow English reinforcements to arrive. This alleged truce, the truce for which Lorn represents the King of Scots as suing, was, in fact, part of the terms granted to Alexander of Argyll when he surrendered Dunstaffnage; but John took to his galleys and escaped to England. His father must have followed him thither later, for both were in council at Westminster, with other "loyal Scots," on June 16th. Thus Barbour's statement that Alexander submitted, while his son John took shipping and fled to England, may be reconciled with the apparently contradictory one by Fordun, that Alexander refused homage and fled to England. Neither of these chiefs ever returned to Scotland. Alexander died in Ireland in 1309, but John continued in the service of England till his death in 1317.[1]

  1. Bain, iii., 37.