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daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. David II. and his little Queen, Joan Makepeace, as she was called from the circumstances of her betrothal, were crowned and anointed at Scone, by the Bishop of St. Andrews, on the 24th of November 1331. As David was only eight years old, Randolph, the Earl of Moray, became Regent. In this capacity he acted admirably, but he died in July 1332, and after sharp disagreement among the nobility, Donald, Earl of Mar, was appointed his successor. It is disappointing to look forward to years of weary warfare, instead of seeing the young King sit down peaceably on the throne that his father had bought so dearly. The disinherited barons, that is, those barons who having estates in both countries, had taken part with England, and who had now lost their lands, engaged in a conspiracy for dethroning David, and placing on the throne Edward, the eldest son of John Baliol, and, at the same time, for making good their own claims, they entered Scotland by sea, and defeated and slew the Earl of Mar at Dupplin, near Perth, on the 12th of August 1332. Baliol then established himself at Perth, and on the 24th of September he was actually crowned as Edward, King of the Scots. A true Baliol, Edward lost no time in making a formal acknowledgment of the paramount superiority of the King of England over Scotland, and, moreover, he made an entire cession to England of a large portion of the country. Edward III. declared war with Scotland, and defeated the Scots at the battle of Halidon Hill, near Berwick. Till the year 1339 a civil war raged between the disinherited barons headed by Baliol, and the adherents of the house of Bruce, who were strongly represented by Sir Andrew Murray of Bothwell, who had become the Regent on the death of Mar in 133S, and who gained the battle of Culbleen in Aberdeenshire, John Randolph, second son of the Regent Murray, and Archibald Douglas, a younger brother of the good Lord
James. Among those who figured in the wild exploits of this period were Sir William Douglas, the Knight of Liddesdale, an illegitimate son of Lord James, called the Flower of Chivalry, although his performances mocked that fair-sounding denomination, and Black Agnes of Dunbar, the gallant Countess of March, who, in her husband's absence, defended the fortress of Dunbar, when it was attacked by the Earl of Salisbury, and compelled him to retire baffled. 'She kept a stir in tower and trench,' and stood with her maids on the battlements, carefully dusting them when the monster stones fell from the battering-rams. With marvellous rapidity the national party turned the English out of their fortresses and recovered all that had been lost. Baliol returned to his immeasureably more comfortable position of a hanger-on at the English Court, and David, who had been living safely in friendly France since 1332, came home, in May 1341, with his Queen, to take possession of his kingdom. On the 17th of October 1346, the battle of Neville's Cross1 was fought with the English near Durham; the Scots were beaten with great slaughter; the Black Rood of Scotland, which had been stolen by Edward I., and then recovered and kept in Durham Abbey, was now lost for ever, and the King was taken prisoner to the Tower of London. Tedious negotiations ensued, and for the enormous ransom of a hundred thousand merks, to be laid on as a national debt, David was released. Among the slain at Neville's Cross are included ' that mystical body,' ' seven Earls of Scotland.'2 There are writers who maintain that there existed in the ancient kingdom of Scotland 'a constitutional body denominated the Seven Earls of Scotland, possessing privileges
1 So called because a cross was erected near the place of the battle by Sir Ralph Neville. a See Burton, vol. iii. p. 26.
... as a distinct Estate of the Realm, severed equally from the other Earls, and from the body of the Baronage.'l
Queen Joan died childless in 1362, and in certain transactions regarding the succession the son of Robert I. proved himself far from faithful to the independence of his country. He entered into a treaty with King Edward III., the purport of which was that the King of England should succeed to the sovereignty of Scotland on his own death. Fortunately for David's life the document witnessing to this arrangement lay hidden among the English State Papers. The year after Queen Joan's death, he married the beautiful Margaret Logie, a woman of obscure birth. This unsuitable alliance, protracted disappearances from his kingdom, and the weight of his ransom, made David very unpopular for the rest of his life. He died in Edinburgh Castle, 'after,' says one of our historians, 'casting many a lingering look to England,' (and what greater crime could a King of Scots be guilty of now?) in the forty-seventh year of his age and the fortysecond of his reign.
In looking back to these ages it is a relief to turn from the history of man striving with man to any part of the country where there was peace, and we enter thankfully the dismal baronial castles, half fortresses, half dwelling-houses, appearing here and there in the dense forests, or hanging half way up the mist-covered hills. When the lords and their grown-up sons were off on a long campaign, we can see the noble matrons and their daughters employing the changeless hours on that matchless needle-work, which speaks of very long days, and of very patient skilful fingers, and of the absence of light literature. Now and then, thanks to the ancient League, the dull routine and rude household may have been varied and cheered by some gift
1 See Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. ii. App. S, p. 502.
from that mysterious far-away France, of which every Scottish lady heard a great deal, and whose glories and chivalric knights formed the day-dreams of many a baron's daughter. A wonderful MS. in the shape of a French romance or a song was brought from Cherbourg to Leith, and led to an endeavour to find some favoured monk who could impart a little knowledge of the unfamiliar tongue; a choice recipe was translated; and hence arose some ineffable confection, or the pattern of a costume worn at a French tournament, produced in Scotland in the fourteenth century, a dress of something of Parisian grace, more likely to please the wearer and her lord than the grandest fashions from the Court of England. We can imagine the baby sons of a noble house learning their first prayers and lessons at their mother's knee, in the few home years that preceded the battle-field or the altar. This is the cheerful home association of those dreadful years; and there is a rest in the remembrance that at this very time of murder and vengeance, of sacrilege and broken oaths, of fighting to the death for the kingdoms of this world, there were hundreds and perhaps thousands of our countrymen and countrywomen the rule of whose life was 'whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also,' and whose daily strife was ' to walk in the divine presence, in a holy fear of God and His judgments; to renounce their own will; to be patient under sufferings and injuries; to be content, and to rejoice, in all humiliations; to be pleased with mean employments and poor clothes; to be readily obedient; to love simplicity and poverty; sincerely to esteem themselves more unworthy than any one; to avoid the love of singularity in all their actions; to be modest in their words; to be humble in all their exterior actions, by keeping their eyes cast down with the publican and the penitent Manasses.'1
1 Rule of St. Benedict.
ROBEKT II. AND ROBERT III.
10 turn, and be thou turn'd I the selfish tear,
The turbid waters brightening as they run.
The Christian Year.
Dav1d Ii., the only son of Robert I., died without issue; and in consequence of an Act of Parliament passed in the year 1318, Robert, the High Steward of Scotland, the only child of Marjory Bruce, the eldest daughter of Robert I., and of Walter, the High Steward of Scotland, was crowned at Scone on the 25th of March 1371, as Robert II. 'Truth has sighed,' says a national writer, as he begins the sad history of the dynasty of Steward, 'when she beheld all the weeds of obloquy, and all the flowers of praise, heaped upon the same monument.'1 Robert was already in his fifty-fifth year. He had not the energy for a first-rate warrior, and an inflammation in his eyes induced him to shun society. This reign was peaceful, although the skirmishing with England continued as a matter of course. The League with France was renewed, and John de Vienne, the Admiral of France, arrived in Scotland with a splendid retinue of a thousand knights and esquires, and a handsome present of
1 Pinkerton's Hist. oj Scotland, vol. L p. 2.