Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/345

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1326 A.D.]

Meanwhile, de Harcla made no secret of what he had done. The news went forth from Carlisle that at length this wretched warfare was to have an end, whereat there was great rejoicing among the farmers and shepherds of the Border lands.[1] But there were plenty of persons in the confidence of King Edward, ready to put de Harcla's action in the worst light, for they were jealous of the knight's rapid promotion. Instant measures were taken for his punishment. Sir Anthony de Lucy was ordered to arrest him at Carlisle, but this had to be accomplished by stratagem. Coming to the citadel on February 25th, and choosing an hour when the garrison was dispersed on various duties, de Lucy entered the hall where de Harcla was sitting dictating his correspondence. De Lucy was at this time the King's sheriff of Carlisle, as well as de Harcla's intimate friend, so there was no difficulty in obtaining access to the culprit. But the sheriff was accompanied by Sir Hugh de Lowther, Sir Richard de Denton, Sir Hugh de Moriceby, and four men-at-arms, besides an armed party which he left outside. This aroused the suspicions of the household, one of whom raised the cry of "Treason!" On this the porter tried to shut the inner gate, but was immediately cut down by Sir Richard de Denton, and de Harcla was made the King's prisoner.

His trial followed on March 3d; he was found guilty of high treason, and sentenced to be degraded from the rank of earl by being stripped of his belt; from knighthood, by having his gilt spurs hacked

  1. Lanercost, 249.