Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/314

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258
[1316 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

Mitford was taken by stratagem.[1] A still more destructive raid was made in May, in which Yorkshire suffered most; Northallerton, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, and Skipton being burnt, and the town of Ripon escaping on the payment of 1000 marks. The tower of Knaresborough church retains to this day the marks of flames, kindled, it is supposed, to burn out the people who had taken refuge there.[2]

William de Melton, the new Archbishop of York, bestirred aimself too late to resist this infanda invasio Scotorum, as he termed it. It was not till June 4th, after the mischief had been wrought, that he summoned the Abbot and Convent of St. Mary's, York, to array their tenants and servants, and bring them to the army then assembling in the archiepiscopal city.[3] The Scots got home safe, carrying with them many prisoners and a vast number of cattle, and caring little, it may be supposed, for the anathema of excommunication, wholesale and individual—omnes et singulos—which the infuriated Primate hurled after them.[4]

The good people of Hartlepool fell into great trepidation at this time, because King Robert, in selling a truce to the bishopric of Durham, had expressly excepted their town, which he vowed he meant to burn in reprisal for the taking of a ship laden with his "armeours" and victual. They sent in hot haste to King Edward, begging his help to build a city wall. He forwarded the somewhat meagre subscrip-

  1. Lanercost, 235.
  2. Raine, Introduction, xxvii.
  3. Raine, 275.
  4. Ibid., 277.