Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/76

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Robert the Bruce.

[1286 A.D.-

out at Yarmouth to bring the Maid of Norway over to England. The victualling and decoration were entrusted to the King's chief butler, Matthew de Columbariis—Matthew of the dovecotes—and the accounts testify that this was done on a scale of profusion befitting the rank of the Queen of Scots. Besides such items as 31 hogsheads and one pipe of wine, 12 barrels of beer, 15 carcases of oxen, 72 hams, 400 dried fish, 200 stockfish, one barrel of sturgeon, 5 dozen of lampreys, 50 pounds of whale-flesh, and condiments in proportion, there was provided a little store of dainties for the special delectation of the Maid; such as sugar, walnuts, figs and raisins, and 28 pounds of ginger-bread.

The Abbot of Welbeck, Henry de Rye, and other messengers, sailed in this ship from Hartlepool on May 9th, arriving in Norway on the 25th. What happened afterwards is involved in mystery. It is certain that the vessel which Edward had prepared with so much care for his future daughter-in-law, returned without her. Probably King Eric, rather than expose his daughter to the long voyage to the English coast, preferred to send her to his own dominion of Orkney. That, at all events, was the course pursued. But it is part of the irony of history that, though we know all about the sweetmeats provided for the little Maid, and may even learn how much of them was eaten by the messengers, and wasted by the crew, of the manner of the end of the Maid herself we must remain in doubt. King Edward's ship returned on June 17th, bringing news that the Queen of Scots would land