Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/86

This page has been validated.


Robert the Bruce.

[1286 A.D.-

Religious houses were considered then the only authentic repositories of such material, and orders had been sent to all of them to extract and cite every recorded instance of homage done by the Kings of Scotland to those of England. These reports had been read at the preliminary conference on May 10th, and they remain to this day an interesting medley of historical fact and monkish legend. All the instances of partial conquest of Scottish territory by Saxon, Danish, and Norman kings, followed by homage done by the vanquished, were herein recited, down to the treaty of Falaise, by which William the Lion, in order to regain his freedom, surrendered the independence of his kingdom. But no mention was made of the treaty of Canterbury whereby it was restored by Richard Cœur de Lion; of the clause in Magna Charta defining the rights of the Scottish kings; nor of the recent obligation entered into by Edward himself at Birgham, to respect the independence of Scotland. The last, at any rate, must have been fresh in the recollection of all present.

The conference re-assembled on June 2d, this time on Scottish soil, at Upsettlington, on the north bank of the Tweed. Eight of the claimants to the throne were present, but not John de Balliol, who said he had mistaken the day.

The others were:

1. Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale.
2. Florence, Count of Holland.
3. John de Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny.
4. Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March.