Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/350

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[1322 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

that he would consider it favourably hereafter, provided the Earl exerted himself to establish a lasting peace.

To Moray's next request, for a passport in favour of the ambassadors who were coming to negotiate for reconciliation with the Church, the Pope on technical grounds declined to comply, though he consented to direct all the Princes, through whose dominions the ambassadors might pass, to grant them safe-conduct. Next Moray handed his Holiness King Robert's offer to join the French King in his intended crusade, or, if that should fall through, his undertaking to go to the Holy Land himself or send his nephew, the bearer of the said offer, instead. The Pope replied that King Robert could not be received as a crusader until he had made peace with England and become reconciled to the Church. Upon which Moray respectfully represented that these objects were precisely those for which he and his royal uncle were most sincerely impatient, but that to secure them, it was indispensable that his Holiness should recognise the position of Robert de Brus by addressing him as King of Scotland. He assured him that any bull he might issue containing that title would be reverently obeyed, but otherwise it would be returned unopened, as the former one was.

The Pope found much difficulty in explaining away to Edward the significance of his consent to this proposal.

"We remember to have told you," he wrote, "that our bestowing the title of King on Robert de Brus would neither strengthen his