Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/315

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1319 A.D.]
259
Continued Success.

tion of 100 marks (about £60) and told them to hurry on the works.[1]

By this time the two Cardinals had reported to the Pope the failure of their mission and the refusal of Robert de Brus to receive the papal letters, unless addressed to him as King of Scots. The Pope declared such a result completely dazed him—nec sine stupore miramur. Being very impatient for the undertaking of a new crusade, he commanded the prayers of all the faithful to be made to Him "to whom nothing is impossible," for the restoration of peace; and, inasmuch as curses, even on the most magnificent scale, cost no more than the price of a sheet of parchment and a wax candle, the Cardinals were directed to excommunicate Robert de Brus and all his abettors.

The English army assembled at York early in June, 1318, in order to recapture the town of Berwick; but the troops had no sooner come together than they had to be disbanded, because of the disagreements and mutual distrust of their commanders.[2]

On October 5, 1318, Edward de Brus, titular King of Ireland, died on the fatal field of Dundalk.[3] This

  1. Bain, iii., 114.
  2. Suborto tumultu pariter et simultate cum aliis impedimentis.—Walsingham.
  3. Barbour relates a curious story about Edward de Brus's death. He says that Edward exchanged armour that morning with one Gib Harper; that Gib was slain and that the conquerors cut off his head, believing it to be the King of Ireland's, and sent it to King Edward. It should be remembered that a knight, in exchanging armour with one of inferior degree, incurred the greater risk of death; for the