Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/363

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1326 A.D.]

Aylebot, and the royal patient had ever increasing need for his services.

While King Robert was enjoying the unfamiliar ease and leisure of his first season at Cardross, he was visited by a great sorrow, in the death of his son-in-law, Walter the Steward, who expired at Bathgate on April 9, 1326, and was buried at Paisley Abbey. In him Scotland lost one of her bravest knights and most successful commanders, and none did more than he towards securing that throne for King Robert, which his own descendants, though he little suspected it, were to occupy for nearly four centuries.

Early in the same year, the King's sister Christian, widow of Sir Christopher de Seton, was married to Andrew Moray of Bothwell.

The Earl of Moray went to France in the spring, and concluded an alliance, offensive and defensive, with King Charles of France.

The Parliament of 1326, which met at Cambuskenneth, is memorable as the first in which the representatives of the burghs of Scotland sat with the earls and barons. Hitherto they had possessed no representation in the General Council, but maintained, in addition to the separate town councils, an indefinite convention of their own. It is true that in some respects the proceedings at Cambuskenneth were of the nature of a special assembly, rather than of a Parliament, for there were no prelates summoned to it, and some of its acts seem to have required, or at least received, confirmation by the Parliament held in Edinburgh the following year. Moreover, there can be little doubt that the burgesses were admitted for the special purpose of voting a grant to the King