Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/304

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[1315 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

Meanwhile, another band of English, finding the new house of Lintalee defenceless, had taken possession of it, and were making free with such good cheer as they could lay their hands on; until Douglas, returning from the affair in the glen, surprised them carousing, and put most of them to the sword.

Still more to the liking of the King of Scots must have been the next feat of arms by the Black Douglas, when he encountered Sir Robert de Neville, the "Peacock of the North," near Berwick. Neville, weary of perpetually listening to the renown of Douglas, had pledged his knightly word to assail him whensoever he should see his banner displayed; and Douglas, having been told of this vaunt, was not slow to take up the challenge. He marched all night to Berwick, where Neville was stationed, and displayed his banner the well-known azure field with three silver stars.[1]

To ensure Neville's attention he fired some of the neighbouring villages. The Peacock showed no delay in response, but marched out of the town at once with a party of picked men-at-arms, and took up a position on a hill. Douglas challenged him to single combat; Neville accepted, of course, but few men

    was at the siege of Caerlaverock in 1300, constable of Norham in 1310, and warden of Cockermouth in 1314.

  1. The old arms of Douglas were: Azure, three stars or mullets, argent. After King Robert's death, the stars were placed on an azure chief, while below, on a field argent, was shown a human heart, gules. It was not till long afterwards that the heart was surmounted by an imperial crown, as borne at the present time—William, 11th Earl of Angus and 1st Marquis of Douglas (1611-1660) having been the first to assume that addition.