Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/349

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1326 A.D.]



Robert and his people to procure absolution from the Court of Rome. Of this clause the Pope now reminded Edward, explaining that as he—King Edward—had consented to the Scots obtaining absolution if they could, it would be most improper to renew and publish the excommunication. Further, whereas Edward had besought the Pope not to sanction the election of any Scotsmen to bishoprics in their own country, the Holy Father thought that would be to deprive the flock of shepherds altogether, inasmuch as, during the truce, no English subject might pass to or abide in Scotland, nor any Scot in England.

The King of Scots desired greatly to regain the Pope's favour, with which, indeed, no reigning monarch could afford to dispense for long. So the Earl of Moray went on a mission to Avignon to sound his Holiness as to his willingness to receive Scottish ambassadors. He met with much more favour than was agreeable to Edward, and the Pope, in excusing himself to the English King, has left a pretty full account of what took place at the interview, at which de Sully was present also.

Moray explained that he was under a vow to visit the Holy Land and that he had sought the audience to obtain the necessary indulgences. The Pope delicately reminded him that, lying as he did under sentence of excommunication, he could not expect to do his soul any good by such a journey, and, being without an effective military force, he could not perform any useful service in Palestine for the Church. So he refused Moray's request, adding