Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/395

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1328 A.D.]
333
Marriage of the Prince.

his wedding, he paid a visit to Coldingham Priory, apparently with a very large party, for they consumed six bullocks—de quibus nemo respondet—"for which nobody answers."[1]

The boy bridegroom was only four years old, and the bride but six,—Princess Johanna of the Tower, as she was called, from having been born in that place of gloomy memories. Moray and Douglas acted for the absent King of Scots and received the Princess from the hands of the Queen Dowager of England and the English commissioners, for King Edward was not present in person.

It must have been a strange sight, such as had scarcely been witnessed since the days when the first Edward held his court at Berwick to adjudge the claims to the Scottish crown, to see the people of both countries merrymaking together beneath the walls of that grim old town, for the possession of which they had often fought so fiercely. The knights, too, the paladins of chivalry, must have been glad to fraternise; for, after all, most of them were of a common race, whose nationality had been decided by the accident of whether their most valuable possessions lay to the north or south of the Border. The bonds of kinsmanship or marriage, which had been so sorely strained by the war, were easily resumed, and the freemasonry of the knightly code was as powerful in peace as in war.

The style of the letters passing between the two courts offers a curious contrast to the tone which had long prevailed. There is no more mention of "the

  1. Exchequer Rolls, i., 191.