Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/339

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1322 A.D.]
283
Invasion and Counter-Invasion.

Eden, turned eastward into Durham. Another party of Scots besieged Bamborough Castle in Northumberland. Sir Roger de Horsley, the former governor of Berwick, bought off the besiegers, for which he was severely reprimanded by King Edward. This was, said the King, to Sir Roger's "dishonour and shame, seeing that he had the stronger force,"[1] a condition of success which King Edward himself had found, on more occasions than one, to be not altogether infallible.

Norham Castle was also beset at this time, not, as Lord Hailes says, with "a numerous army," but, as the governor, Sir Thomas Gray, wrote to King Edward, by 100 men-at-arms and 100 hobelars.[2]

But King Robert abandoned all attempts for these minor prizes in favour of a far richer one that seemed almost within his grasp. King Edward lay at Biland Abbey in Yorkshire, and thither the Bruce, concentrating all available force, marched at high speed. On October 14th he found the English, under the Earl of Richmond, strongly posted on a ridge between Biland and Rievaulx, commanding a narrow pass which led to King Edward's quarters. A council of war was held by the Scottish leaders. Douglas undertook to carry the entrance to the pass, which was held by Sir Thomas Uchtred and Sir Ralph de Cobham, and the King consented to his attacking at once. The Earl of Moray, ever a friendly rival of the Douglas in feats of chivalry, and jealous of the distinction thus afforded to him, left his own division

  1. Bain, iii., 145.
  2. Ibid.