Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/351

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1326 A.D.]



claim nor impair yours. Our earnest desires are for reconciliation and peace, and you well know that our bull, issued for attaining these objects, will never be received in Scotland, if we address it to Robert de Brus under any other appellation but that of King. We therefore exhort your royal wisdom that you will prudently tolerate that we write to the said Robert under the royal title. We hear that reproaches have reached you, as if the Earl of Moray had made other proposals, prejudicial to you and your kingdom. You may assure yourself that we would not have permitted any proposals of that nature to have been so much as mentioned in the absence of those to whom you have committed the superintendance of your affairs. Besides, Henry de Sully, a person of known zeal for your honour and interest, was present at the audience we gave to the Earl of Moray. He heard all that passed, and he would not have suffered us, even had we been so inclined, to receive any proposals prejudicial to you or your kingdom."

Notwithstanding all the attempts of the Pope to minimise this concession to the excommunicated King of Scots, it remained of enormous importance. In fact Moray, who had borne a large share of the dangers and hardships by which the English had been overcome in warfare, had now achieved a signal success in the more delicate province of diplomacy. King Edward was not slow to perceive this. He replied to the Pope that, in addressing de Brus as King of Scotland, he had done a thing dishonourable to the Church and highly prejudicial to the claims of the English crown, for, said he, the Scottish nation will naturally believe that the Pope meant to acknowledge the right where he had bestowed the title. He begged him in language almost less than conciliatory, to refrain from mentioning the objectionable title in future correspondence.

An event of the greatest moment to the kingdom