Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/289

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1317 A.D.]
England and Ireland Invaded.

Sir Andrew received a guerdon of 1000 marks from his King, but it will be seen presently that this was not the last move in the game.

The only satisfaction gained by the Scots in this campaign was such as they might derive from having thoroughly burnt and wasted Allerdale, Coupland, and Westmorland, and plundered the churches of Egremont and St. Bees.

On January 10, 1316, the King of Scots and Douglas, made a night attack on Berwick.[1] There was at that time no wall between the Brighouse and the castle, and the Scots, attacking simultaneously by land and sea, came very near capturing the town. But the moon was bright that night; the assailants were detected and repulsed, with the loss of Sir John de Landells, Douglas himself escaping with difficulty in a small boat.

Nevertheless, the position of Berwick was becoming desperate. The successful defence of Carlisle had been owing as much to the foresight and activity of the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Durham in providing supplies, as to the gallantry of its commander and garrison. Without stores the bravest soldiers must succumb, and the indifference shown by Edward to reiterated complaints of the shocking scarcity in Berwick, can only be accounted for by the increasing confusion of his own affairs. For Berwick was not only a fortress of the first importance, but it was one into which supplies could easily be thrown from the sea. Perhaps the blame should rest chiefly with Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pem-

  1. Lanercost.