Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/89

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1291 A.D.]

The Disputed Succession.


ters of Scottish kings (except King Eric, who founded on being the heir of his own daughter), only one, Patrick Galythly, was indeed a native Scot.

The claims of eleven of the thirteen competitors require no consideration here. From the first, those of John de Balliol and Robert de Brus were recognised as the most important, and were taken into consideration at once.

Each of these two was called on to nominate forty commissioners, who, with twenty-four appointed by the King, were to deliberate on the pleadings and make their report to him. The claims of the other competitors, though not withdrawn, were suspended until after the decision between de Brus and de Balliol.

On June 4th all the competitors consented to the surrender of the kingdom of Scotland and its fortresses into Edward's hands, on the pretext (for it could have been nothing but a quibble) that, inasmuch as the bestowal of the kingdom had been placed in his hands, he could not bestow that which he did not possess. Restitution was to be made within two months from the delivery of his award. This surrender was carried into effect on June 11th, whereupon Edward immediately restored the custody of the kingdom to the four Guardians, and the castles to the keepers. The only Scottish official who made the slightest difficulty over this manœuvre was Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus, who demanded and received an indemnity from King Edward before he would consent to deliver up his castles of Dundee and Forfar.