Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/343

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Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - Sir John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond.png Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - Sir Hugh le Despenser.png
Sir John of Brittany,
Earl of Richmond.
Sir Hugh le Despenser.


CHAPTER XIII.

NEGOTIATIONS FOR PEACE.

A.D. 1322-1326.

THERE falls to be recorded at this point the mournful story of the disgrace and death of one of the bravest and most experienced knights in the English service.

King Edward's incapacity alike as a civil ruler and a soldier, his tarnished private fame, and, perhaps most of all, his besotted partiality for the detested le Despensers, had bred deep disgust among his ablest commanders. Among these was Sir Andrew de Harcla, whom the King had made Earl of Carlisle in 1322, appointing him at the same time Warden of the West Marches. Early in 1323 it came to the knowledge of King Edward that de Harcla (for he enjoyed his new dignity for such a short time that it may be permitted to continue to call him by the name under which he won his renown) was engaged in treasonable correspondence with the King of Scots. De Harcla met King Robert at Lochmaben on January 3d, where, during a private interview, an agreement

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