Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/264

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212
1314 A.D.
Robert the Bruce.

fore, made an attack upon the Scottish commissariat at Cambuskenneth, slaying Sir John of Airth and some of the guards. Lord Hailes assumes that this was a deed of treachery, but it is doubtful if Athol ever was in the service of King Robert. Hailes, without quoting authority, states that he joined the Scottish cause in 1313; but he was under English command at Dundee in 1311,[1] attended Parliament at Westminster in December, 1312,[2] and in October, 1314, received lands in England to recoup him for those he had lost in Scotland.[3] So if he ever joined Bruce, it could only have been for a few months previous to Bannockburn, and, on the appearance of King Edward north of the Border, he attached himself to what seemed the stronger side.

An English chronicler is chiefly responsible for the statement that King Edward's troops passed the night of Sunday 23d in revelry. "You might have seen," says Sir Thomas de la More, "the English in the fore part of the night drunk with wine in manner most unlike the English, belching forth their debauch, and shouting wassail and drinkhail with extraordinary noise. The Scots on the other hand, kept the sacred vigil in fasting and silence, burning with the love of their country and of freedom." This is confirmed by the following doggerel couplet from the poem of one Baston, a Carmelite friar, who accompanied the English army in order to celebrate its triumph. But having fallen prisoner into the hands

  1. Bain, iii., 404.
  2. Ibid., 59.
  3. Ibid., 75.