Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/237

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1313 A.D.]
189
Campaigns of Edward II.

excommunication all who henceforth should receive or support him.[1]

Hardly had King Edward turned his back on the Border before his vigilant foe assumed the offensive. Crossing the Solway on August 12, 1311, Bruce burnt all Gilsland, Haltwistle, and a great part of Tynedale, and returned in eight days with great spoil of cattle. But even the chronicler of Lanercost, a friar of Carlisle, with plenty of cause to detest the Scots, admits that Bruce allowed few men to be slain, except those who resisted. On September 8th, King Robert was over the Border again, raiding Reedsdale, Harbottle, Corbridge, and all that country for the space of fifteen days; but refraining from slaying men, or burning houses.[2] Northumberland lay at his mercy, and the inhabitants bought a truce, to last till February 2d following, at the price of £2000.

During the winter of 1311-12 King Edward held his Court at York;[3] nevertheless, Bruce raided the Borders on the expiry of the truce, and exacted fresh tribute from them, taking advantage of the events which, in June, culminated in the execution of the Earl of Cornwall, who had unwisely returned from exile.

King Robert held a Parliament at Ayr at midsummer, and then sent his brother to harry the English Border. Edward de Brus succeeded well in

  1. Lanercost, 216.
  2. Ibid., 217.
  3. Not Berwick, as Hailes read it, mistaking Everwick, the old form of the name York, for that of the Border town.