Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/371

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1328 A.D.]
311
Campaign of Weardale.

move fast enough to be effective. So the English army lay at Haydon Bridge on the Tyne till after July 26th, suffering severely from want of supplies and showing serious signs of mutiny. Moreover, the weather had broken; the Tyne was swollen by heavy rains, and the army, lying part on one bank, part on the other, could not be united.

The Scots were faring well, in spite of the storm. A letter, indeed, addressed to King Edward on July 26th, expresses the anonoymous writer's satisfaction because the invaders have been "forclos," by the aid of God, from re-entering their own land; but, so far from being in difficulties, or desiring to return to Scotland, Douglas and Moray, after raiding Coquetdale, were securely encamped on the banks of the Wear.

The King of England offered the reward of knighthood and a landed estate worth one hundred pounds to any one who should bring him within sight of the enemy, where they could be approached on hard ground.[1] Many knights and esquires, therefore, swam the river and rode over the country, seeking to earn the guerdon.

As soon as the Tyne was fordable, Edward crossed the river at Haltwhistle, and the whole English army marched through the hills in a southerly direction. On the fourth day Thomas de Rokeby, an esquire who had set out in quest of the Scots, rode into camp with the desired information. He had fallen in with the enemy and been taken prisoner; but so soon as he frankly told them his errand, he

  1. En lieu dur et secke.—Fædera.