Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/380

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Robert the Bruce.

[1327 A.D.-

English seneschal of Ulster, and his people, on condition of their delivering 100 "cendres" of wheat and the like quantity of barley in the haven of Wlringfirth.[1] Second, a letter written about the year 1335 by John le fitz William Jordan, and addressed to Edward III., wherein the writer claims reward for good service done in 1327, when Sir Robert de Bruys was baulked of his design on arriving in Ireland, by treachery—par faux covine—on the part of the Irish, as shown in a return laid before the King and Council in 1332, when £50 a year had been granted to him for life.[2] From this it may be inferred that King Robert was disappointed in the expectation he had been led to form of a fresh rising of the Ulstermen against their English rulers, and that fitz William in thwarting his purpose, had rendered service sufficiently valuable to deserve such a large pension.

Robert, however, returned to Scotland in time to take an active part in operations on the Border. He divided the Scottish army into three corps, one of which laid siege to that object of envy, Norham Castle, where Sir Robert de Manners made a good defence. Moray and Douglas marched through Northumberland to Alnwick Castle, which they besieged ineffectively; though the occasion was one, says Sir Thomas Gray, of many formal combats according to the strict rules of chivalry—par couenant taille. The third corps was led by King Robert in

  1. The Norse name for Larne Lough. Bain, iii., 167.
  2. Ibid., 216.