Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/295

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1317 A.D.]
England and Ireland Invaded.

end, some time during the summer, he was compelled to surrender, after the garrison had suffered indescribable hardships through famine.

The chief object of the Earl of Moray's second voyage to Scotland was to convey an earnest entreaty from the new King of Ireland for the personal assistance of the King of Scots, with Edward de Brus's assurance that they would prove irresistible if united in the field. King Robert, therefore, leaving his realm under the guardianship of Douglas and Walter the Steward, sailed from Loch Ryan early in the autumn of 1316, and joined Edward at Carrickfergus. It was probably before this date that the national party in Scotland received a very important accession in the person of Patrick, Earl of March, the same who had given shelter to King Edward in his flight from Bannockburn.[1] Of course this greatly lightened the King's anxiety about the security of the East Marches, though Berwick was still held by the English.

King Robert's first encounter on Irish soil was unfortunate. He met the enemy on October 25th,[2] under Lord Bisset of Antrim and an Irish chief called Cogan or Logan, who defeated him, and took Alan the Steward prisoner. During the winter the King of Scots remained in Ulster: then he and his brother pushed southward through Louth, arriving at Slane on February 16, 1317. Everything connected with this extraordinary expedition is vague

  1. Bain., iii, 103.
  2. Barbour says it was in May, but this cannot be reconciled with the dates given by Irish annalists.