Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/303

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1319 A.D.]
247
Continued Success.

tered Scotland near Jedburgh. It will be remembered that Roxburgh Castle had been dismantled after its capture from the English in February, 1314; but probably it was in their possession again at this time, for there is documentary evidence to show that they had reoccupied it before the spring of 1317. Arundel's purpose, according to Barbour, was to level Jedworth Forest, because it gave convenient harbour to the Scots when preparing to raid Northumberland, and to that end his men were armed with felling axes.[1] Douglas was employing his leisure in building himself a house at Lintalee, on the banks of the Jed, having with him about fifty men-at-arms and a company of bowmen. Hearing of Arundel's approach, he prepared an ambuscade at a place where the Jed flows through a narrow glen-wooded gorge. He made the passage more difficult by bending down the tops of young birch-trees and weaving them together across the paths. The English entered the defile without suspicion, and suddenly the banks echoed to the dreaded war-cry: "Douglas! Douglas!" The archers opened a heavy fire on the flanks, while Douglas charged the column from the rear. The English commander could neither deploy nor form square, owing to the narrowness of the ground; his men fell into confusion, and were routed with heavy loss, Sir Thomas de Richmond himself being slain by Douglas.[2]

  1. Barbour puts Arundel's strength at the improbable figure of 10,000, besides erroneously giving the command of the whole to Thomas de Richmond without mentioning Arundel.
  2. Not, as Hailes follows Barbour in believing, one of the house of Brittany, but a Yorkshire knight, owner of Burton-Constable. He