Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/387

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1328 A.D.]
Campaign of Weardale.

standing that his own soul had already received absolution for that deed from Bishop Wishart, what evils might not be entailed on the Scottish people whom he loved, and on his son in whom so many hopes had their centre, unless they too were reconciled with the spiritual powers. No, the Church was still, and was to remain for two centuries more, the strongest political force in Europe, and no treaty could be satisfactory unless it were drawn to secure her favour.

Finally, the Papal Court was duly alive to its own interest, and, forasmuch as instances were not unknown where "perpetual peace" had been swallowed up in war, almost before the ink of the signatures had dried, it was common prudence to insert the tenth and last article, which secured a solid advantage to God's Vicegerent in the event of anything going wrong.

Notice may be made of the exceptions to the stipulations that the subjects of either King should not re-possess the lands which they had held of the other King before the war, for in the end these proved fatal to the maintenance of peace. These exceptions were all made in favour of English barons. It is true that a year later, May 12, 1329, Sir James Douglas received back his ancient possession of Fawdon in Northumberland, and all the other lands in England forfeited by his father William de Douglas, but this was a special act of favour (de gratia nostra speciali) by King Edward.[1] The reason for exempting Percy, Wake, Beaumont and de la Touche

  1. Fœdera.