Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/429

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1332 A.D.]
359
Expedition of Douglas.

were not forgotten. Douglas commended himself to her prayers, and especially to the protection of his patron saint, St. Bride, on whose commemoration day, February 1, 1330, he bestowed lands on the Abbey of Newbottle. The intention of this gift is made clear in the Register of Newbottle, where it is recorded. It was made in the personal interest of Douglas, to secure the special intercession of St. Bride with the Almighty for himself, and by her merits and prayers purchase what was needful for his body and soul. A choral mass was to be performed at the altar of St. Bride within the monastery on each anniversary of the saint, and thirteen poor people were to be entertained on the same day. On September 1, 1329, Edward III. issued letters of protection to James Lord of Douglas, on his way to the Holy Land with the heart of the late King of Scots in aid of the Christians against the Saracens.[1]

The difficulty and magnitude of the enterprise were not under-estimated, for the protection was made to cover seven years. On the same day King Edward wrote a letter commending Douglas to Alfonso, King of Castile and Leon.

In the spring of 1330 the Lord of Douglas embarked, at Berwick according to Barbour, but more probably at Montrose as Froissart states, having in charge the King's heart in

"——ane cas of silver fyn
Enamalit throu subtilite,"

and accompanied by a knight banneret, seven other knights, twenty-six esquires, and a very large retinue.

  1. Bain, iii., 179.