Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/287

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1317 A.D.]

England and Ireland Invaded.


to put the Border in a state of defence[1]; but it does not seem that it profited much, for on June 29th Douglas led a raid through the county of Durham, and occupied the town of Hartlepool, the inhabitants seeking safety in their shipping. There was no burning,[2] but such booty as had escaped former forays was secured.

On July 22d, the King of Scots in person began the siege of Carlisle, a town against which he cherished a stern purpose of revenge, as the scene of the ignominious death of his brothers Thomas and Alexander, in 1306. The castle was held by a knight of great renown, Sir Andrew de Harcla. The Franciscan chronicler of Lanercost has left a minute account of the siege, of which he must have been an involuntary witness. It lasted eleven days, on each of which assaults were made on one of the three gates, or all three simultaneously. But the citizens worked gallantly with the garrison in defence, keeping the assailants at bay with showers of stones and flights of arrows. The Scots made a huge machine wherewith to hurl stones against the gates; the defenders made seven or eight similar ones. The garrison had also springalds for firing darts, and with these and other devices they wrought great mischief among the besiegers. Then the Scots built a great wooden tower on wheels, tall enough to overtop the walls; whereupon the English built a taller one. But the Scottish engine never came into play, sticking fast in the mud of the moat. Wheeled bridges, too,

  1. Raine, 246.
  2. Lanercost, 230.