Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/234

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186
[1307 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

King Edward's diplomacy had now won over the Pope to his interest. Clement V. issued a mandate of excommunication against Robert, Earl of Carrick, recalling his broken vows of fealty to Edward I., his murder of Comyn, and reciting how, not content with these crimes, but "damnably persevering in iniquity," he had treated with contempt the letters of excommunication issued against him by the Bishop of London. Milder measures were tried also, for Edward was in no condition to wage war at the time, and, on the mediation of the King of France, a truce was agreed on. It was of no long duration, however, each side accusing the other of breaking it. But such was the disorder of King Edward's realm, that in August he was forced to reopen negotiations for peace.[1] It is evident, from the appointment of Sir John de Menteith as one of King Robert's commissioners, that one of the staunchest of King Edward's Scottish barons had deserted his cause.

The confusion of affairs in England was reflected in the frequent changes made by Edward in the Wardenship of Scotland. The Earl of Angus and Sir William de Ros of Hamelake having succeeded the Earl of Richmond as joint Wardens on June 21, 1308, Henry de Beaumont was added as a third on August 16, 1309; but four days later separate patents were made out in favour of Angus and Sir Robert de Clifford, constituting each of them sole Guardian, "because the King was uncertain which of them would accept that office."[2] Pending their

  1. Bain, iii., 19.
  2. Hailes, ii., 57.