Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/286

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[1314 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

guardian of the realm, till the prelates and magnates of Scotland should determine the succession.

The choice made by King Robert of a husband for his daughter was a momentous one, affecting, as it afterwards turned out, the dynasties of both the Scottish and English thrones to a very remote posterity. Walter, High Steward of Scotland, was the knight selected as a consort for the Princess; but their married life was brief indeed, for Marjorie died in her first confinement, on March 2, 1316, leaving a son, afterwards Robert II. of Scotland.

On the return of the ships which conveyed the army to Ireland, King Robert fitted them out for a fresh expedition to the western islands, which he visited in company with his son-in-law the Steward. As Barbour is the only authority for this excursion, and as his statement that John of Lorn was made prisoner in the course of it is now known to be contrary to fact, importance need not be attached to his account of the events of these early summer months. But it is probably true that about this time the King received the submission of the islanders without much difficulty. While passing through Dunbarton in April, he granted the privilege of garth or sanctuary to Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, in reward for his timely help in bygone days of adversity.[1]

The various truces purchased by the English bishopricks expired on the first anniversary of Bannockburn—St. John's Day, June 24, 1315. The Archbishop of York had held a council of war at Doncaster on the Monday after Ascension Day, to devise means

  1. The Lennox, by William Fraser, i., 236.