Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/82

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Robert the Bruce.

[1286 A.D.-

Fordun, Hemingburgh, and others that the invitation sent to Edward I. to arbitrate in the disputed succession was one of a national character. He was not aware of the appeal made on behalf of the Seven Earls of Scotland, claiming to represent the pre-feudal, and therefore the true constitution of the realm.[1] This is an instrument containing the minutes of proceedings instituted by the Seven Earls, and conducted for them by procurators appearing before the Bishop of St. Andrews and John Comyn, the operative Guardians. Herein it is set forth that, according to the ancient laws and immemorial usage of the kingdom of Scotland, it appertained to the rights and liberties of the Seven Earls and the "Communitas" of the realm, whensoever the throne should become vacant, to constitute the King and invest him with all the functions of government. And now, the throne being vacant by the death of Alexander III., and lest the Bishop of St. Andrews and John Comyn, acting as Regents of Scotland, together with the small portion of the "Communitas" adhering to them, should of their own authority appoint any King to the prejudice of the rights of the Seven Earls, and lest also John de Balliol should intermeddle in the kingdom or government of Scotland, appeal was hereby made to Edward King of England, on account of the injury thus received.

After further protest is lodged on behalf of Donald Earl of Mar against the damage and ravages committed in the district of Moray by certain deputies

  1. The document is printed in full in Palgrave, 14-23.