Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/346

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290
[1322 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

off; from citizenship, by forfeiture of all his possessions; then to be drawn to the gallows at Henriby and hanged, his head to be cut off and sent to London for exposure on the tower, his entrails to be taken out and burnt, and his four quarters to be fixed up at Carlisle, Newcastle, Bristol, and Dover. All of which was carried out the same day of the trial, probably under the eyes of the friar who so sympathetically describes the scene.[1] Under the gallows, in a clear and spirited address to the people, he explained the considerations which had induced him to enter into negotiations with the Scots.

Although it may not be possible to clear the memory of this brave and skilful soldier from all the guilt for which he suffered, yet the clearer light which has fallen on the affair since it was examined by Lord Hailes, would probably have led that writer to a more lenient judgment than he passed on de Harcla. Founding on Tyrrel's imperfect translation of the Lanercost chronicle, Hailes denounced him as the betrayer of his King and benefactor. But de Harcla had proved his loyalty by many years of splendid service, far more effectively than many who continued to stand high in King Edward's favour. At last, however, he seems to have lost all hope for his country under such rulers as controlled her course. As the chronicler of Lanercost mournfully observes—

"Perceiving that the King of England neither knew how to rule his kingdom nor was able to defend it against the Scots, who were each year doing more and more damage to it, and fearing lest in the
  1. ↑ Lanercost, 250.