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Full text of "The history of Scotland from the accession of Alexander III. to the union"

Columbia ^inibersitp 2. 













F.R.S.E. AND F.A.is. 










Situation of Scotland on the death of King Robert Bruce . 1 

Character of Edward III ib. 

Dangers from the ambition of Edward Baliol ... 2 

Regency of Randolph 3 

Expedition of Sir James Douglas to the Holy Land, with the 

heart of Bruce 4 

Coronation of David II 6 

Threatening aspect of affairs in Scotland .... 7 
Conspiracy of Henry Beaumont, and the disinherited barons, 

against the government ...... 8 

They combine with Edward Baliol ib. 

Death of the Regent Randolph 9 

The Earl of Mar chosen Regent 10 

Invasion of Scotland by the disinherited barons . . ib. 

They land at Kinghorn, and advance to Perth ... ib. 

Perilous situation of Baliol and Beaumont . . . . 11 

Treacherous conduct of Murray of Tullibardine ... 12 

Surprise of the Scots at Dupplin Moor . . . . 13 
Brave conduct and death of young Randolph earl of Moray — 

Military incapacity of the Earl of Mar — and great loss of 

the Scots ib. 

Baliol occupies Perth 14 

Treacherous conduct of the Earl of March, and accession of 

this baron to the English party 15 

Coronation of Baliol 16 

Causes of this revolution 17 






Tlie friends of David Bruce resume hostilities, and storm 

Perth 18 

Baliol acknowledges Edward as his feudal lord, and resigns 

the liberties of the kingdom ib. 

The Earl of Moray suddenly attacks him at Annan, and drives 

him out of the kingdom 20 

The English King accuses the Scots of having broken the treaty 

of Northampton 21 

The Border inroads recommence with great fury ... ib. 
Capture of the Knight of Liddesdale, and of the Regent, Sir 

Andrew Moray 22 

Election of Archibald Douglas to the Regency ... 23 
Edward III. invades Scotland in person, and commences the 

siege of Berwick ib. 

Its brave defence by Sir Alexander Seton ... 24 

Thomas Seton, the son of the Scottish governor, is hanged . 25 

The citizens compel Seton to negotiate with the English King ib. 

Sir William Keith chosen governor, and Seton deposed . ib. 
Interview between Keith and Archibald Douglas, the Scottish 

regent 26 

He persuades him to hazard a battle for the relief of Berwick ib. 

Imprudence of this resolution 27 

The Scots cross the Tweed, and encamp at Dunse Park — the 

English occupy the eminence of Halidon Hill — order of 

battle ib. 

Battle of Halidon Hill 28 

Great defeat sustained by the Scots 29 

Conduct of Edward III 31 

Impolicy of his measures ....... ib. 

Baliol dismembers the kingdom of Scotland ... 32 

Surrenders its liberties, and swears homage to Edward . 33 

Disputes break out between Baliol and the disinherited barons ib. 
Sir Andrew Moray returns from captivity — he is joined by 

Alexander de Mowbray, and resumes warlike operations 

against Baliol — Talbot is taken prisoner ... 34 
Henry de Beaumont besieged in Dundarg castle by Moray and 

Mowbray .."... ... 35 

Capitulates, and retires to England ib. 

Robert, the Steward of Scotland, escapes from Bute, where he 

had concealed himself, to Dumbarton .... 36 
He is joined by Colin Campbell of Lochow, and storms the castle 

of Dunoon ib. 

The castle of Bute is taken by the Brandanes of Bute . ib. 



William de Carrutliers, who had taken refuge in Annandale, 

joins the Steward 37 

Randolph earl of Moray returns from France, and begins to 

act against the English ib. 

The Steward and the Earl of Moray are chosen Regents . ib. 

They attack the Earl of Athole, and compel him to surrender 38 

Edward III. invades Scotland in the middle of winter . ib. 

Baliol again accompanies him ib. 

Siege of Lochleven castle by the English .... 39 

Parliament held at Dairsay by the friends of David Bruce ib. 
Breaks up in confusion, owing to the ambition of the Earl of 

Athole 40 

The English king invades Scotland at the head of a large army ib. 

His fleet anchors in the Firth of Forth . . . . 41 
Encounter between the Earls of Moray and March, and the 

Earl of Namur 42 

Capture of the Earl of Moray 43 

The English king and Edward Baliol march from Perth through 

the northern provinces ...... ib.. 

The Earl of Athole joins the English ib. 

Is made governor 44 

Attacked by Sir Andrew Moray, and slain at Kilblene . 45 

Sir Andrew Moray chosen Regent ib. 

Edward III. again invades Scotland 46 

Finds it impossible to bring Moray to a battle ... ib. 

Edward raises the siege of the castle of Lochendorb . . 48 

Wastes the province of Moray ib. 

Repairs the fortresses of the kingdom, and returns to England ib. 
Sir Andrew Moray recovers the castles of Dunotter, Kinclevin, 

and Laurieston ib. 

Recovers the greater part of the kingdom .... 49 

Famine in Scotland ib. 

Exertions of the French king in favour of the Scots . . ib. 
Edward is occupied by his schemes of French conquest . 50 
His exertions in the Scottish war grow languid ... ib. 
Makes overtures of peace, which are refused by the Scots . ib. 
Edward makes his public claim to the crown of France . 51 
Leaves an army in Scotland under Baliol and the Earl of Salis- 
bury ib. 

Salisbury lays siege to the castle of Dunbar ... ib. 

Famous defence of this fortress by Black Agnes of Dunbar ib. 

Salisbury is compelled to raise the siege .... 52 

Jousts between the English and Scottish knights . . 53 

VI 11 


War is resumed 

Sir Alexander Ramsay's exploits against the English 
Death of the Regent, Sir Andrew Moray 
Mission of the Knight of Liddesdale to France 
Siege of Perth, and arrival of the French auxiliaries 

Defection of Bullock 

Surrender of Perth to the Steward 

Dreadful state of the country .... 

Siege of Stirling 

Edinburgh castle taken by the Scots under the Knight of Lid 


Return of David II. to his kingdom 
Character of the king, and state of the country . 
Roxburgh castle taken by Sir Alexander Ramsay 
Ramsay assassinated by the Knight of Liddesdale 
Miserable death of William Bullock the Chancellor 
Two years' truce ...... 

Treachery of the Knight of Liddesdale 

Hostilities recommence with great fury 

David assembles his army at Perth 

Invades England in person 

Storms the castle of Liddel 

Advances to Hexham, and encamps at 

Disposition of his army 

Battle of Durham 

Disastrous defeat of the Scots 

The Scottish king is taken prisoner 

Carried to the Tower . 

Consequences of the battle of Durham 

Edward Baliol invades and ravages Scotland 

Mysterious interference of Prince Lionel in the affairs of Scot 


The High Steward is elected Regent 







Policy of Edward III. with regard to Scotland 
William earl of Douglas returns from France 





Execution of the Earl of Menteith 78 

Continued truces between Scotland and England . . 79 

David revisits his dominions upon his parole ... ib. 

Pestilence in Scotland ib. 

David's mysterious intrigues with Edward III. ... ib. 
Consents to recognise the King of England as his Lord Para- 
mount 80 

Treachery of the Knight of Liddesdale .... ib. 

David is forced to return to his captivity . . . . 81 

Murder of the Knight of Liddesdale 82 

Negotiations for David's ransom 83 

Arrival of the Sieur de Garencieres from France . . 84 

The negotiations for the king's ransom unsuccessful . . ib. 

The English break the truce 85 

Action of Nesbit Moor 86 

Berwick taken by the Scots ib. 

Edward III. invades Scotland at the head of a great army 87 

Berwick is taken 88 

Baliol, at Roxburgh, surrenders the kingdom to Edward . ib. 

Measures adopted by the Scots .90 

Splendour and strength of the English army ... ib. 

The Earl of Douglas's able conduct 91 

Edward advances through Scotland, and destroys the country 

by fire and sword ib. 

His fleet is dispersed, and he is compelled to retreat . . 92 

Resumes negotiations for peace 94 

David's ransom is settled ib. 

The Steward calls a parliament 95 

Final negotiation with regard to the king's liberty . . 96 

Reflections on the state of the country . . . . 97 

David returns to Scotland ....... ib. 

Calls a parliament 98 

Its important provisions 99 

Edward III. changes his policy with respect to Scotland . 101 

His intrigues with the Scottish nobles . . . . 102 

He favours the Scottish merchants 103 

Passion amongst the Scots for foreign adventure . . 104 

David pays the first instalment of his ransom . . . 105 

Opens a negotiation with France 106 

Edward prevails on some of the Scottish barons to accompany 

him in his invasion of France ib. 

Treaty of Bretigny 107 

France renounces her alliance with the Scots ... ib. 


Scotland visited by great inundations and the pestilence 
Murder of Catherine Mortimer, the king's mistress 
Secret negotiations with England 
Commercial prosperity of Scotland 
Scottish students flock to England 
Death of Joanna the Scottish queen 
Scottish parliament at Scone — David proposes to the Scottish 
Estates, that Prince Lionel should succeed him in the 
throne ....... 

Indignant refusal of the parliament 

Negotiation for a peace 

The Steward and his party rise against David 

Unusual energy of the king .... 

The two parties compose their differences 

The Steward renews his fealty .... 

David's marriage with Margaret Logy 

He throws the Steward into prison 

David again engages in a secret treaty with England 

Its terms and conditions 

Sir Henry Picard's feast 

Parliament at Perth . 

Its deliberations 

Same subject continued 

Negotiation between the English and Scottish commissioners 

Heads of a new treaty of peace .... 

Truce prorogued for four years .... 

Parliament at Perth 

Its resolutions 

State of the country 

Edward's artful policy 

His success in neutralising the spirit of opposition 

His actual possessions in Scotland 

He increases in his demands .... 

Great exertions made by the Scots 

Parliament convoked at Scone .... 

Its deliberations and resolutions 

Same subject continued 

Rebellion in the north 

Sumptuary laws ...... 

Feuds amongst the Scottish nobles 

Their contempt for the laws .... 

Desert their country to engage in foreign wars 
Serious defalcation in the revenue of the crown ■ 





Attempt of the parliament to re-establish it ... 145 
Regulations regarding the Scottish estates in the hands of the 

English . 146 

Renewed attempt at negotiation 147 

It proves abortive ib. 

David and his queen visit England ib. 

Extraordinary state of the relations between the two countries 148 

Power of Edward over Scotland 149 

Parliament held at Scone ib. 

Account of its proceedings 150 

Provisions for the defence of the country .... 151 

The truce is within a year of its expiry . . . . 152 

Miserable state of Scotland ib. 

Parliament make a last effort to pay the ransom . . . 153 

Edward again breaks with France ib. 

He is compelled to relax in his efforts against Scotland . ib. 

The truce is renewed for fourteen years .... ib. 
David undertakes an expedition in person against the northern 

rebels 154 

Submission of John of the Isles ib. 

Parliament at Scone 155 

State of the kingdom ib. 

Innovation in the constitution of parliament . . . 156 

Extraordinary and unjust measures as to the king's debts . ib. 

Attempt to equalise the taxation 157 

Regulations as to the administration of justice . . . 158 

Divorce of the queen 159 

She carries her cause before the pope ib. 

Death of David II 160 

Character of this prince ib. 


from the accession of alexander the third 
to the death of david the second. 

Introductory Remarks 165 


General Appearance of the Country . . . . 166 
Covered by extensive forests and marshes . . . . 168 



Royal castles 

Baronial castles 

Their number and extent .... 
Cottages of the lower vassals around them 
Villages situated on the large feudal estates 
Condition of these early villages 
Monasteries and religious houses 
Their great number and extensive possessions 

Early agriculture 

Royal manors ....*. 
Feudal estates belonging to the nobles and clergy 
System of agriculture .... 

Crops raised at this period 
Farm stocking, animals .... 

Breeding of horses 

Flocks of sheep, cattle, swine, goats 
Attention to the dairy .... 

Poultry not neglected .... 

Fish in great abundance .... 
Attention paid to the fislieries 





Distinct Races in Scotland, 
Animosities between them 
Their marked differences under David I. 
Same subject continued .... 

Normans, Galwegians, Saxons 

Norwegians ...... 

Blending of the Normans and Saxons 

Ranks under the feudal government in Scotland 

Power and consequence of the king 

Wealth of the royal revenue 

Sources of the royal revenue 

Personal state of the Scottish King 

Under Malcolm Canmore and Alexander I. 

Under Alexander III. 

Great officers of the crown 

Justiciar .... 

His authority pre-eminent 
Of Norman origin 
Chancellor .... 

Early introduction of sheriffs 







Greater barons had their sheriffs and other officers 

Power of holding their own court 

The clergy the first who obtain this 

A superior baron a king in miniature 

An inquest the common mode of determining disputes 

Office of constable 

Of marshal 

Seneschal and chamberlain .... 

Feudal system a barrier to improvement in Scotland 
State of the lower orders ..... 
Liberi firmarii, or free farmers .... 

Their rights 

Villeyns, or bondmen 

Situation of this class of men .... 

Subject continued 

The undoubted property of their master 
Genealogies of slaves kept .... 

Mark of freemen 

Manumission of slaves 

Continuance of slavery 










Ancient Parliament of Scotland 217 

National council 218 

No parliament under David I. ib. 

Nor under Malcolm IV 219 

Or William the Lion ib. 

Traces of a parliament under this prince fallacious . . 220 

No parliament under Alexander II. .... 221 

Proofs of this assertion 222 

Subject continued 223 

No parliament under Alexander III 224 

First appearances of a parliament after the death of this prince 225 

Appearance of the Scottish burgesses .... ib. 

State of the parliament under John Baliol .... 226 

Same subject continued 227 

Community of burghs appear by their representatives in 1305 228 

No record of a parliament during the war of liberty . 229 

Parliament in 1315 ib. 

Heads of the community of burghs sit in it . . , . ib. 

Parliament in 1326 230 

Burghs certainly sent their representatives ... ib. 



Succeeded by a period of great confusion .... 
Clear light as to the constitution of the Scottish parliament in 


Unquestionable evidence of the representation of the burghs 

Subject continued 

Earliest appearance of committees of parliament 
Conclusion of the subject 




Early Commerce and Navigation .... 236 

Symptoms of commercial wealth at an early period . . 237 

Commerce under David I ib. 

Introduction of the Flemings into Scotland . . . 238 

Early attention to ship-building and navigation . . 239 

Flourishing state of the arts and manufactures in the Hebrides 240 

Riches of the Lords of Galloway ib. 

Ship-builders at Inverness in 1249 241 

Clergy led the way in commercial enterprise ... ib. 

Exports of Scotland at this period 242 

"Wealth of the country derived from trade . . ib. 

Same subject continued 243 

Rise of the towns and burghs 244 

Collections of houses round the castles .... 245 

These villae become mercantile communities . . . 246 

Protected by the sovereign 247 

Settlement of the English in these infant towns . . ib. 

Earliest burghs in Scotland 248 

The king their exclusive proprietor .... ib. 

Court of the Four Burghs 249 

Burghs belonging to religious houses .... 250 

And to the greater barons ib. 

Same subject continued 251 

Increase in the trade and manufactures of Scotland . ib. 

Great commercial wealth of Berwick .... 252 

Same subject 253 

Constitution and magistracy of the burghs ... ib. 
Commerce of Scotland previous to the competition for the 

crown ......... 254 

Exports 255 

Imports 256 

Foreign trade under the reign of Bruce .... 257 

Sources of national wealth at this period . . . 258 




Naval force of Scotland 259 

Same subject continued 260 

Mode of fitting out a fleet the same in both countries . . ib. 

Scottish privateers larger than the English . . . . 261 

They greatly annoy the English commerce .... 262 

Scottish commerce in 1348 263 

Money of Scotland 264 

Silver money of Alexander I. and David I ib. 

Frequency of clipping in England and Scotland . . . 265 

Depreciation of the money by Robert Bruce . . . 266 

Same depreciation in England by Edward III. . . . 267 

Depreciation of the Scottish money in 1354 ... ib. 

Proclamation against it by Edward III ib. 

Further depreciation of the Scottish money in 1366 . . 268 

Effects of this depreciation 269 

Early prices of labour and of the necessaries of life . . 270 

Price of grain . . . 271 

Price of provisions 272 

Wages of labour . . 273 

Same subject 274 

Same subject continued 275 

Wages of labour continued 276 

Price of luxuries 277 

Rent and value of land 278 

Same subject continued 279 

In 1281 land valued at ten years' purchase . . . 280 


State of the Early Scottish Church . . . 281 

Religious instruction of the people neglected ... ib. 

Early relations with Rome ib. 

Struggles against the encroachments of the sees of York and 

Canterbury 282 

These are successful 283 

Contention with the Popedom ib. 

Firm character of William the Lion 284 

His opposition to Pope Alexander is successful ... ib. 
High privileges conferred by Pope Lucius on the Scottish 

Church 285 

Struggles of Alexander II. with the Popedom . . . 286 

This monarch excommunicated ib. 

Pope Honorius permits the Scottish clergy to hold a general 

council of their own authority 287 




They take advantage of this temporary permission to establis 
a general right 

The king refuses to admit a papal legate into his dominions 

State of the church under Alexander III. 

Learning of the church .... 

Same subject continued .... 

Character of the scholastic learning of the time 

Scholastic theology 

Scottish scholars of those times . 

Richard St Victor, Sacrobosco 

Michael Scott 

The nobles and the people completely ignorant 

Schools in the principal towns 

In the monasteries and convents 

Scottish college at Paris founded in 1325 

Scholars educated abroad .... 

IMonkish annalists 

Barbour, the metrical historian 

Thomas the Rymer 

Romance of Sir Tristrem .... 

Language of this period .... 

Formation of the Scoto-Saxon 

Norman-French understood by the Scottish nobles 

Style and language of Sir Tristrem 

Other early Scottish poets and romances 

Hucheon of the Awle Ryall 

Wandering minstrels 

Probably also poets 

Harp, tabor, and the horn, used in Scotland 

Minstrels in the time of Alexander III. 

Robert Bruce kept his minstrels 

Scottish ballad on the battle of Bannockbum 

Enmity between the minstrels and the clergy 

Music of this period, and musical instruments 

A very dark subject 

Organs under Alexander III. 

Church music of the period 

The clergy great encouragers of the useful and ornamental 

Practised these arts themselves 

Clergy the principal architects of the age 

State of architecture 

Early Saxon fortresses 




Scoto-Nonuan castles 818 

A description of their general construction . . . 319 

Caerlaverock in 1300 ....... ib. 

Most other castles similar to it . . c . . . 320 

Great skill of the Norman architects ib. 

Disposition of the apartments in the castles . . . 321 

Randolph's hall at Darnaway 322 

Outer fortifications of the castle ..... 324 

Apartments of wood ib. 

Bedford castle, as described by Camden . . . 325 

Houses within burgh built of wood 326 

Monasteries, Gothic architecture 327 

Ingenious hypothesis of Sir James Hall .... 328 

Our earliest Norman architects instructed by Italians . 329 

Ancient wooden churches ib. 

First introduction of the ribbed ceiling in stone . . ib. 

Teutonic style 330 

Travelling corporations of Roman architects . . . 331 

Sir Christopher Wren's description of them . . . 332 

Introduction of the Gothic architecture into Scotland . ib. 

Took place in the beginning of the twelfth century . . ib. 


Sports and Amusements of ancient Scotland . . . 333 

Hunting 334 

Its ancient laws in Scotland 335 

State of, under David 1 336 

And Alexander III 337 

Hawking ib. 

Light thrown on hunting by the Romance of Sir Tristrem . 338 

Robert Bruce fond of hunting ib. 

Scottish stag-hounds 339 

Hawks imported from Norway ib. 

Amusements within doors 340 

Banquets • . 341 

Their great splendour 342 

Early appearance of chivalry in Scotland .... 343 

Faint traces of it under Duncan 344 

And Alexander I. ib. 

Its subsequent progress ib. 

Under William the Lion 345 

Crusades • . . . . ib. 

Tournaments « ....... . 346 






Chivalry under Robert Bruce 347 

Contrast between the chivalrous character of Bruce and Ed- 
ward III. 348 

Sternness of Bruce in enforcing military discipline . . 349 

Arms and dress of this period 360 

Dress and arms of the Celtic tribes under David I. . . ib. 

Same subject continued 351 

Arms and dress of the Scoto-Saxons .... 352 

Same subject 353 

Clianges introduced by the Normans .... 354 

Same subject 355 

Arms of the Scoto-Normans ib. 

Subject continued 356 

Body-armour 357 

Horse-armour 358 

Arms of the lower classes 359 

Battle-axe, iron mace, short daggers, used by the Scottish 

knights ib. 

Armour of David earl of Huntingdon .... 360 
Shield used by the Scottish knights . . . .361 

Friendship between William the Lion and Richard I. . ib. 

Its effects 362 

Armour of Alexander I ib. 

Similarity in the arms and military costume of both countries, 

under subsequent kings 363 

Science of war the same in both ..... ib. 

Same subject continued 364 

Attack and defence of fortified places .... 365 

Inferiority of the Scots in the use of the bow . . . 366 

It never became a national weapon as in England . . ib. 

Assize of arms by Robert Bruce in 1319 . . . . 367 

Civil dress of the times ib. 

Dress of kings and nobles ib. 

Female costume, its great elegance 368 

Same subject continued ....... ib. 

Dress of the ladies in France, England, and Scotland, the same 369 

Description of female dresses in the Romance of The Rose 370 

Picturesque effect of the dress of the times ... ib. 

Useful and ornamental arts 371 

Notes and Illustrations 








King of England. 

King of France. 


Edward ni. 

Philip of Valois. 

John XXIL 
Benedict XIL 
Clement VI. 
Innocent VI. 

Urban V. 

On the death of Bruce, Scotland, delivered from a 
long war by a treaty equally honourable and advan- 
tageous, was yet placed in perilous circumstances. The 
character of Edward the Third had already begun to 
develop those great qualities, amongst which a talent 
for war, and a thirst for conquest and military renown 
were the most conspicuous. Compelled to observe the 
letter of the recent treaty of Northampton, this prince 
soon showed that he meant to infringe its spirit and 
disregard its sanctions, by every method of private 
intrigue and concealed hostility. With a greater 
regard for public opinion than his grandfather Edward 
the First, he was yet as thoroughly bent upon the 


asfirrandiseinent of his dominions. Unwillins: to brins: 
upon himself the odium of an open breach of so recent 
and solemn a treaty, cemented as it was by a marriage 
between King David and his sister, Edward'*s policy 
was to induce the Scots themselves to infringe the 
peace by the private encouragement which he gave to 
their enemies, and then to come down with an over- 
whelminc: force and reduce the kin^rdom.* Ao^ainst 
these designs there Avere many circumstances which 
prevented Scotland from making an effectual resist- 
ance. Randolph was indeed nominated regent, and 
the talents of this great man in the arts of civil go- 
vernment appear to have been as conspicuous as in 
war ; but he was now aged, and could not reasonably 
look to many more years of life. Douglas, whose genius 
for military affairs was, perhaps, higher than even that 
of Randolph, was soon to leave the kingdom on his 
expedition to the Holy Land; and the powerful fac- 
tion of the Comyns still viewed the line of Bruce with 
persevering enmity, and showed themselves ready 
to rise upon the first opportunity against the govern- 
ment of his son. Nor was it long before this oppor- 
tunity presented itself. Edward, the eldest son of 
John Baliol, had chiefly resided in France since his 
father'*s death ; but he now came to England, and with 
the private connivance of Edward the Third, began to 
organize a scheme for the recovery of the Scottish 
crown. Dornagilla, the mother of Baliol, was sister- 
in-law to the Red Comyn, whom King Robert Bruce 
had stabbed at Dumfries, so that the rights of the new 
claimant were immediately supported by the whole 

* It is unfortunate that the Rotuli Scotise, from -which some of the most 
authentic and valuable materials for Scottish history are to be draAvn, are 
wanting from the first year to the seventh of the reign of Edward the 
Third. Rotuli Scotia, p. 224. From 22d January 1327-8, to 1st April, 1333. 

1329. DAVID II. 5 

weight of tlie Comyns; and, no longer awed by the 
commanding mind of Bruce, disputes and heart-burn- 
ings arose amongst the Scottish nobility, at a time 
when a concentration of the whole strength of the na- 
tion was imperiously required. 

To return to the course of our narrative, Randolph, 
upon the death of Bruce, immediately assumed the 
office of regent, and discharged its duties with a wise 
and judicious severity. He was indefatigable in his 
application to business, and his justice was as bold and 
speedy as it was impartial. An instance of it has been 
preserved by Bower.* A priest was slain; and the 
murderer, having gone to Rome and obtained the 
papal absolution, had the audacity to return openly to 
Scotland. He was seized and brought before Ran- 
dolph, who was then holding his court at Inverness, 
during a progress through the country. He pleaded 
the absolution; but was tried, condemned, and in- 
stantly executed. The pope, it was remarked by 
the Regent Randolph, might absolve him from the 
spiritual consequences of the sin, but it was neverthe- 
less right that he should suiFer for the crime committed 
against the law. Aware of the important influence of 
the local magistrates and judges, he made every sheriff 
responsible for the thefts committed within his juris- 
diction ; so that, according to the simple illustrations 
of the chronicles of those times, the traveller mio^ht tie 
his horse to the inn-door, and the ploughman leave his 
ploughshare and harness in the field, without fear; 
for if carried away, the price of the stolen article came 
out of the pocket of the sheriff. Anxious for the con- 
tinuance of peace, Randolph sent Roger of Fawside on 
an amicable mission to the English king, whilst he 

* Forduni Scotichron. a Goodal, chap, xviii. book xiii. vol. ii. p. 297. 


took care at the same time to strengthen the borders, 
to repair the fortifications of the important town of 
Berwick, and commanded John Crab, the experienced 
Flemish mercenary, whom he retained in the pay of 
Scotland, to remain in that city, and keep a watch 
upon the motions of England.* 

In the meantime, as soon as the season of the year 
permitted, Douglas, having the heart of his beloved 
master under his charge, set sail from Scotland, accom- 
panied by a splendid retinue, and anchored off Sluys 
in Flanders, at this time the great seaport of the 
Netherlands. "f* His object was to find out companions 
with whom he might travel to Jerusalem ; but he de- 
clined landing, and for twelve days received all visiters 
on board his ship with a state almost kingly. He had 
with him seven noble Scottish knights, and was served 
at table by twenty-eight squires of the first families in 
the country. " He kept court," says Froissart, " in 
a royal manner, with the sound of trumpets and cym- 
bals; all the vessels for his table were of gold and 
silver; and whatever persons of good estate went to 
pay their respects to him were entertained with the 
richest kinds of wine and spiced bread. J At Sluys he 
heard that Alonzo, the King of Leon and Castile, was 
carrying on war with Osmyn, the Moorish governor 
of Granada. The religious mission which he had em- 
braced, and the vows he had taken before leaving 
Scotland, induced Douglas to consider Alonzo"'s cause 
as a holy warfare ; and before proceeding to Jerusalem, 
he first determined to visit Spain, and to signalize his 
prowess against the Saracens. But his first field 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 297. Winton, vol. ii. p. 139. Chamber- 
lain's Accounts, pp. 171, 227, 228. See Illustrations, A. 
+ Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 400. 
X Froissart, p. 117, vol. i. Ed. de Bucbon. 

1330. DAVID II. 5 

against the infidels proved fatal to him, who, in the 
long English war, had seen seventy battles. * The 
circumstances of his death were striking and charac- 
teristic. In an action near Theba, on the borders of 
Andalusia, the Moorish cavalry were defeated; and 
after their camp had been taken, Douglas, with his 
companions, engaged too eagerly in the pursuit, and 
being separated from the main body of the Spanish 
army, a strong division of the Moors rallied and sur- 
rounded them. The Scottish knio^ht endeavoured to 
cut his way through the infidels ; and in all probability 
would have succeeded, had he not a^rain turned to 
rescue Sir William Saint Clair of Roslin, whom he 
saw in jeopardy. In attempting this, he was inex- 
tricably involved with the enemy. Taking from his 
neck the casket which contained the heart of Bruce, 
he cast it before him, and exclaimed with a loud voice, 
" Now pass onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas 
will follow thee or die ! "-f* The action and the senti- 
ment were heroic ; and they were the last words and 
deed of a heroic life, for Douglas fell, overpowered by 
his enemies; and three of his knights, and many of 
his companions, were slain along with their master. J 
On the succeeding day, the body and the casket were 
both found on the field, and by his surviving friends 

* Fordun a Goodal, vof. ii. p. 302, 

*j* Barbour a Pinkerton, vol. iii. p. 171. 

X The three knights were Sir William Sinclair of Roslin, Sir Robert 
and Sir Walter Logan. Boece, who might have consulted Bower in his 
continuation of Fordun, or Barbour, prefers his , own absurd inventions, 
which he substitutes at all times in the place of authentic history. Buchanan, 
B. viii. c, 58, erroneously states that Douglas went to assist the King of 
Arragon, and that he was slain "post aliquot prosperas pugnas." In 
Buchon's Notes to Froissart, vol. i. p. 118, we find "that the object of the 
Moors was to raise the siege of Gibraltar, then straitly invested by the 
Spaniards. On their approach, Alonzo raised the siege, and marched against 
the enemy." Hume of Godscroft, in his Hist, of Douglas and Angus, vol. i. 
p. 96, adopts Boece's fable as to Douglas having been thirteen times victo- 
rious over the Saracens. 


conveyed to Scotland. The heart of Bruce was de- 
posited at Melrose, and the body of the " Good Sir 
James," the name by which he is affectionately remem- 
bered ])y his countrymen, was consigned to the ceme- 
tery of his fathers in the parish church of Douglas. 

Douglas was the model of a noble and accomplished 
knight, in an age when chivalry was in its highest 
splendour. He was gentle and amiable in society, and 
had an open and delightful expression in his counte- 
nance, which could hardly be believed by those who 
had only seen him in battle. His hair was black and 
a little grizzled; he was broad-shouldered, and some- 
what large boned; but his limbs were cast in the 
mould of fair and just proportion. He lisped a little 
in his speech; but this defect, far from giving the idea 
of effeminacy, became him well, when contrasted with 
his high and warlike bearing.* These minute touches, 
descriptive of so great a man, were communicated by 
eye-witnesses to Barbour, the historian of Bruce. 

The Good Sir James was never married ; but he left 
a natural son, William Douglas, who inherited the 
military talents of his father, and with whom we shall 
soon meet, under the title of the Knight of Liddesdale. 

Soon after this disaster, which deprived Scotland of 
one of its best defenders, David, then in his eighth 
year, and his youthful queen, were crowned with the 
usual solemnities at Scone,-|- on which occasion the 
royal boy, after having been himself knighted by 
Randolph the regent, surrounded by his barons and 
nobles, conferred knighthood on the Earl of Angus, 
Thomas earl of Moray, Randolph's eldest son, and 
others of his nobles. His father Robert, in conse- 
quence of his disagreement with the court of Rome, 

* Barbour, p. 1 5. + Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 302. 

1331. DAVID II. 7 

had never been anointed King;* but in virtue of a 
special bull from the pope, the Bishop of St Andrews 
poured the holy oil on the head of his successor.-J* 

Notwithstanding the wise administration of Ran- 
dolph, the aspect of public affairs in Scotland began to 
be alarming, and the probability of a rupture with 
England became every day more apparent. The de- 
signs of Edward Baliol, and the dissembling conduct 
of Edward the Third, have been already alluded to ; 
and it unfortunately happened that there were circum- 
stances in the present state of Scotland which gave en- 
couragement to these schemes of ambition. During the 
wars of King Robert, many English barons who had 
been possessed of estates in that country, and not a 
few Scottish nobles who had treacherously leagued with 
England, were disinherited by Bruce, and the lands 
seized by the crown. By the treaty of Northampton, 
it was expressly provided that the Scottish estates of 
three of those English barons, Henry Percy, Thomas 
Lord Wake, and Henry Beaumont, should be restored. 
Percy was accordingly restored, but, notwithstanding 
the repeated requisitions of the English king, the 
Scottish regent delayed performance of the stipula- 
tions in favour of Wake and Beaumont, and there 
were strong reasons both in justice and expediency for 
this delay. J Wake claimed the lordship of Liddel, 
which would have given him an entrance into Scotland 
by the Western Marches, while Beaumont, one of the 
most powerful barons in England, who, in right of his 

* Winton, book viii. chap. 24, p. 137, vol. ii. 

'f The coronation oath, in its full extent, is not given by any ancient 
historian ; but in one part of it the king solemnly swore that he would not 
alienate the crown lands, or any of the rents of the same ; and that whatever 
lands or revenues fell to the crown, should not be bestowed upon subjects 
without mature advice. — Robertson's Pari. Records of Scotland, p. 97. 

X Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 461. 


wife, claimed the lands and earldom of Buclian, miirlit 
have excited disturbances, and facilitated the descent 
of an enemy upon the coast. These were not the only 
considerations which induced Randolph to suspend 
performance of this part of the engagement. Henry 
de Beaumont and Lord Wake had violently opposed 
the whole treaty of Northampton, and declared them- 
selves enemies to the peace with Scotland ; they had 
leagued with the disinherited Scottish barons, and had 
instigated Baliol to an inv:i5ion of that country, and 
an assertion of his claim to the crown. The English 
king, on the other hand, although speciously declaring 
his intention to respect that treaty,* extended his 
protection to Edward Baliol ; and when he was per- 
fectly aware that a secret conspiracy for the invasion 
of Scotland was fostered in his court, of which Baliol, 
Wake, and Beaumont, were the principal movers, he 
yet preposterously demanded of Randolph to restore 
Beaumont and Wake to their estates in that country.-|" 
The power and opulence of Beaumont induced the 
whole body of the disinherited barons :|: to combine 
their strength ; and, aware that no effectual measures 
for suppressing their attempt would be used by Ed- 
ward, § they openly put themselves at the head of three 
hundred armed horse and a small bodv of infantrv, 
and declared their desiirn of subverting the govern- 
ment of Bruce, and placing Baliol on the throne. It 
was their first intention to invade Scotland by the 
marches, but to this the King of England would not 
consent : he allowed them, however, without any offer 

♦ Rymer, vol. iv. p. 470. f Ibid. vol. iv. pp. 445, 452, 511, and 518. 

X Their names and titles are given by Leland, Collect, vol. i. pp. 552, 
553. Tbe ancestors of Lord Ferrers, one of these disinherited loriis, were 
senled in Scotland as far back as 1288. See Excerptaei Rotulis Compot, 
Temp. Alex, III. p. 56. Chamberlain's Accounts. 

§ Rapin's Acta Regia, vol. i. p. 20L Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 590, 

1332. DAVID II. 9 

of opposition, to embark at llavenshire, near the mouth 
of the Humber, with the design of making a descent 
on the coast, while, to preserve the appearance of the 
good faith which he had broken, he published a pro- 
clamation, enjoining his subjects strictly to observe 
the treaty of Northampton.* In the meantime, Ran- 
dolph the regent, who, with his wonted activity, had 
put himself at the head of an army to resist these hostile 
designs, died suddenly, without any apparent cause,-f- 
and not without the strongest suspicion of his having 
been poisoned. Winton and Barbour, both historians 
of high credit, and the last almost a contemporary, 
assert that he came by his death in this foul manner, 
and that the poison was administered to him at a feast 
held at his palace of the Wemyss, by a friar who was 
suborned by the faction of Beaumont.;]: It is certain, 
at least, that the friar took guilt to himself, by a 
precipitate flight to England. 

In the Earl of Moray Scotland lost the only man 
whose genius was equal to manage the affairs of the 
nation, under circumstances of peculiar peril and 
difficulty. In his mind we can discern the rare 
combination of a cool judgment with the utmost 
rapidity and energy of action ; and his high and un- 
corrupted character, together with his great military 
abilities, kept down the discordant factions which 
began to show themselves among the nobility, and 
intimidated the conspirators who meditated the over- 
throw of the government. Upon his death, a parlia- 

* Rymer, vol. iv. pp. 518, 529. 

+ He died at Musselburgh, and was buried at Dunfermline, Bower's 
Continuat. Fordun, vol. ii. p. 300. Hailes seems to have borrowed hia 
scepticism on Randolph's death from Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 372, who gives no 
ground for his opinion. See Remarks on this subject. Illustrations, letter B. 

X Winton, vol. ii. p. 146. Barbour a Pinkerton, vol. iii. p. 179. Fordun 
a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 299. 


ment assembled at Perth for the election of his suc- 
cessor, and the spirit of civil disunion broke out with 
fatal violence. After great contention amongst the 
nobility, Donald earl of Mar, nephew to the late king, 
was chosen regent.* This nobleman was in every 
way unfitted for so arduous a situation. When a 
child, he had been carried into England by Edward 
the First, and on being released from captivity, had 
continued to reside in that country, and had even 
carried arms in the English army against Scotland. 
Although he was afterwards restored to his country, 
and employed by Bruce, it was in a subordinate mili- 
tary command. The king appears to have considered 
his talent for war as of an inferior order, and the re- 
sult showed how well Bruce had judged. i* In the 
meantime, on the very day that the reins of the state 
fell into this feeble hand, word was brought that the 
fleet of Edward Baliol, and the disinherited barons, 
had appeared in the Forth. They landed soon after 
with their army at Wester-Kinghorn, where the 
ground was so unfavourable for the disembarking of 
cavalry, that a small force, led by any of the old cap- 
tains of Bruce, would have destroyed the daring 
enterprise in its commencement. But Mar, who was 
at the head of a Scottish army more than ten times 
the strength of the English, lingered at a distance, 
and lost the opportunity ; whilst Alexander Seton 
threw himself, with a handful of soldiers, upon the 
English, and was instantly overpowered and cut to 
pieces. J Baliol immediately advanced to Dunferm- 
line, where he found a seasonable supply for his small 

* Winton, vol. ii, p. 147. Fordun a Hearne, p. 1018. 

t Barbour, pp. 387, 389. Rotuli Scotiae, 13 Ed. II. m. 3. 

J Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. pp. 1018, 1019. Scala Chronicle, p. 159. 

1332. DAVID II. 11 

army in five hundred spears, and a quantity of pro- 
visions, laid up there by the orders of Randolph, 
then recently dead.* When he first efiected a land- 
ing, he had with him only four hundred men ; but by 
this time he had collected a force of about two thou- 
sand foot soldiers ;•[* and feeling more confident, he 
commanded his fleet to sail round the coast and anchor 
in the mouth of the Tay, while he himself pushed 
on to Perth, and encamped near Forteviot, having 
his front defended by the river Earn. On the oppo- 
site bank lay the extensive tract called Dupplin Moor, 
upon which the Earl of Mar drew up his army, con- 
sisting of thirty thousand men, excellently equipped, 
and commanded by the principal nobility of Scotland. 
Eight miles to the west of Forteviot, at Auchterarder, 
was the Earl of March, at the head of an army nearly 
as numerous, with which he had advanced through 
the Lothians and Stirlingshire, and threatened to at- 
tack the English in flank. 

Nothing could be imagined more perilous than the 
situation of Baliol ; but he had friends in the Scot- 
tish camps. I Some of the nobility, whose relatives 
had suffered in the Black Parliament, were decided 
enemies to the line of Bruce, and secretly favoured 
the faction of the disinherited barons ; so that, by 
means of the information which they afibrded him, he 
was enabled, with a force not exceeding three thousand 
men, to overwhelm the army of Mar at the moment 
that his own destruction appeared inevitable. § 

* Leland, Collect, vol. i. p. 553. Randolph had died twelve days before. 
Knighton, p, 2560. 

t Knighton, p. 2560. Leland, Col. vol. i. p. 553. Walsingham, p. 131. 
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307, says, " six hundred was the original 

X Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 304. 

§ Bower's Continuat. Fordun, vol. ii. p. 301. "Annon audivisti de 


It is asserted by an English historian, on the au- 
thority of an ancient manuscript chronicle, that the 
newlv elected refjent had entered into a secret corre- 
epondence with Baliol ; but the conduct of that ill- 
fated nobleman appears to have been rather that of 
weakness and presumption than of treachery.t Aware 
of the near presence of the enemy, he kept no watch, 
and permitted his soldiers to abandon themselves to 
riot and intemperance. Andrew Murray of Tullibar- 
dine, a Scottish baron, who served in the army of 
March, basely conducted the English to a ford in the 
river, which he had marked by a large stake driven 
into its channel. :J: Setting off silently at midnight, 
Baliol passed the river, and marching by Gask and 
Dupplin, suddenly broke in upon the outposts of the 
Scottish camp, and commenced a dreadful slaughter 
of their enemies, whom they mostly found drunken 
and heavy with sleep. 55 The surprise, although un- 
fortunate, was not at first completely fatal. Young 
Randolph earl of Moray, Murdoch earl of Menteith, 
Robert Bruce, a natural son of King Robert, and 
Alexander Eraser, hastily collected three hundred 
troops, and with the desperate courage of men who 
felt that all hung upon gaining a few moments, checked 
the first onset, and drove back the English soldiers. 
This gave time for the main body of the Scots to arm, 
and as the morning had now broke, the small num- 
bers of the assailants became apparent. But the 
military incapacity of the regent destroyed the ad- 
vantage which might have been improved, to the total 

intemecione nobilium in Nigro Parliamento ? Generatio eorum tibi adsta- 
bit." Winton, vol. ii. p. 151. The place where the disinherited lorda 
encamped, was called " Miller's Acre." 

t Barnes' Hist, of Ed. III. p. 60. 

J Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307. § Ibid. p. 305. 

1332. DAVID II. 13 

discomfiture of Baliol. Rushing down at the head of 
his army, without order or discipline, the immense 
mass of soldiers became huddled and pressed together; 
spearmen, bowmen, horses, and infantry, were con- 
founded in a heap, which bore down headlong upon 
the English, and in an instant overwhelmed Randolph 
and his little phalanx.* The confusion soon became 
inextricable : multitudes of the Scottish soldiers 
were suffocated and trodden down by their own men ; 
and the English, preserving their discipline, and 
under brave and experienced leaders, made a pitiless 

The rout now became total, and the carnage, for it 
could not be called a battle, continued from early dawn 
till nine in the morning, by which time the whole of 
the Scottish army was slain, dispersed, or taken pri- 
soners. So rapid and easy had been the victory, that 
the English ascribed it to a miraculous interference for 
their preservation, and the Scots to a sudden infliction 
of divine vengeance. But the military incapacity of 
Mar, and the treachery of Murray, sufficiently account 
for the disaster. 

On examining the field, it was found that multi- 
tudes had perished without stroke of weapon, over- 
ridden by their own cavalry, suffocated by the pressure 
and weight of their armour, or trod under foot by the 
fury with which the rear ranks had pressed upon the 
front. -[• On one part of the ground the dead bodies 
lay so thick, that the mass of the slain was a spear''s 
length in depth. J It is difficult to estimate the num- 
ber of those who fell ; but amongst them were some of 
the bravest of the Scottish nobility. The young 

* Winton, vol. ii. pp. 152, 153, + Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 305, 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 155. Lanercost Chron. p. 268. 


Randolph earl of Moray, whose conduct that day had 
been worthy of his great father; Robert earl of Carrick, 
a natural son of King Edward Bruce ; Alexander 
Fraser, Chamberlain of Scotland, who had married 
the sister of the late king; Murdoch earl of Menteith, 
and the Regent Mar himself, were amongst the slain. 
In addition to these, there fell many Scottish knights, 
and men-at-arms, and probably not less than thirteen 
thousand infantry and camp followers.* Duncan earl 
of Fife was made prisoner, after a brave resistance, in 
which three hundred and sixty men-at-arms, who 
fought under his banner, were slain. Of the English 
the loss was inconsiderable : besides those of less note, 
it included only two knights and thirty- three esquires, 
a disparity in the numbers, which, although very 
great, is not without parallel in history.-|- There does 
not occur in our Scottish annals a greater or more 
calamitous defeat than the rout at Dupplin, even 
when stripped of the additions of some English histo- 
rians. J It was disgraceful, too, as its cause is to be 
found in the military incapacity of !Mar the leader, 
and in the acknowledged treachery of one, and pro- 
bably of more than one, of the Scottish barons. The 
principal of these, Murray of Tullibardine, was speedily 
overtaken by the punishment which he deserved: he 
was made prisoner at Perth, tried, condemned, and 
executed. § 

After the battle of Dupplin, Baliol instantly pressed 
forward and took possession of Perth, which he forti- 
fied by palisades, with the intention of abiding there 

* "Walsingham, p. 131. Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1019. 

+ At Cressy, the English lost only three knights and one esquire. 

'X Echard, p. 145. Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 372. 

§ Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1020. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307. 

1332. DAVID II. 15 

the assault of the enemy, for the Earl of March was 
still at the head of a powerful army of thirty thousand 
men. March was a baron of great landed power, but 
lightly esteemed by all parties ; * timid, and intent 
upon his own interest, unwilling to peril his great 
estates by an adherence to the losing side, and pos- 
sessed of no military talents. Upon hearing the 
account of the defeat at Dupplin, he passed with his 
army over the field of battle, which presented a ghastly 
confirmation of the tale ; and on reaching Lammerkin 
Wood, commanded the soldiers to cut fagots and 
branches to be used in filling up the fosse, should they 
assault Perth, against wdiich town he now advanced. 
The near approach ot so great an army alarmed the 
citizens, who began to barricade the streets and the 
approach to their houses. But on reaching the high 
ground immediately above the town, March com- 
manded his men to halt. Beaumont, who intently 
watched his operations, observing this, called out " to 
take courage, for he knew they had friends in that 
army, and need fear no assault .''-|- It is probable 
that, in the halt made by March, Beaumont recog- 
nised a sign of his friendly intentions, which had been 
previously agreed on. It is probable, at least, that 
this powerful baron himself, and certain that some of 
his leaders, had engaged in a correspondence with 
Baliol ; as the intended assault was delayed, and the 
protracted measure of a blockade preferred; a change 
which, in the mutual situation of the two parties, can 
be accounted for on no ground but that of a friendly 
feeling to Baliol. At this moment. Crab, the Flemish 
mercenary, appeared with his fleet in the Tay, and 

* Scala Chron. p. 161. Hailes, rol. ii. p. 189, 8vo edition. 
+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 156. Forduu a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 306. 


attacked tlie English ships. He was at first success- 
ful, and made a prize of the Beaumondscogge, Henry 
de Beaumont's vessel; but the rest of the squadron 
defended themselves with such resolution, that in the 
end Crab was defeated, and compelled to fly to Ber- 
wick.* This disaster gave March a plausible pretext 
for deserting:. The blockade was changred into a 
retrograde movement, which soon after ended in the 
total dispersion of the Scottish army, and, after a 
decent interval, in the accession of the Earl of March 
to the English interest. *|- 

Baliol, secure from all opposition for the present, 
now repaired to Scone; and in the presence of many 
of the sentrv from Fife, Gowrv, and Strathern, was 
croT^Tied King of Scotland. ;|: Duncan earl of Fife, 
who had joined the English party, and Sinclair bishop 
of Dunkeld, officiated at the solemnity. 

The chief causes which led to this remarkable revo- 

* "Walsingham, p. 130. The Cogga de Benmond, or Beaumondscogge, was 
purchased by the state in 1 337. It had become the property of Reginald 
More, Chamberlain of Scotland, who sold it to the king for two hundred 
pounds. Chamberlain's Accounts, p. 256. 

+ Lord Hailes, Ann. vol. ii. p. 155, in a note, exculpates March, and 
softens his accession to the English lords. He tries to show that March 
raised the leaguer of Perth, not from treachery but necessity. It is evident 
that much of the question, as to March's treachery, and that of the " noble 
persons" who acted along with him, hangs on Beaumont's speech. Now, 
Hailes has curtailed it. Beaumont really said, '• Take courage, for that 
armv, as I conjecture, will not hurt us, because I perceive, tcitJiout doubt, our 
friends and well-wishers amongst them.'''' The author of the Annals makes 
him sav, " Take courage, these men will not hurt us ;" and he then observes, 
"W^hether he said this merely to animate the English, or whether he formed 
his conjecture from the disordered motions of the enemy, or whether he 
indeed discerned the banners of some noble persons, who secretly favoured 
Baliol, is uncertain." Now there is reallv no uncertainty about the speech. 
Beaumont, in the part of the passage whicli Hailes has overlooked, expressly 
affirmed thai he perceived friends in ^Iarch''s army. Had he consulted Win- 
ton, he would have found that this old and authentic chronicler, vol. ii. p. 
156, makes Beaumont say, 

" Look that ye be 
Merry and glad, and have no doubt, 
For we have friends in yon rout." 

X Winton, vol. ii. p. 157. 

1332. DAVID II. 17 

lution, destined for a short time to overthrow the 
dynasty of Bruce, are not difficult of discovery. The 
concluding part of the late king's reign, owing to the 
severity with which he punished the conspiracy of 
Brechin, had been unpopular ; and part of the discon- 
tented nobility were not slow in turning their eyes 
from the line of Bruce, which his great energy and 
military talents had compelled them to respect, to the 
claims of Baliol, weak in personal power, but, as they 
imagined, better supported in right and justice. A 
party of English barons, headed by Henry Beaumont, 
one of the most influential subjects in England, having 
been dispossessed by Bruce of their estates in Scotland, 
determined to recover them by the sword, and united 
themselves with Baliol, concealing their private ambi- 
tion under the cloak of re-establishing the rightful heir 
upon the throne. They were mostly men of great 
power, and were all of them more or less connected 
with the numerous sept of the Comyns, the inveterate 
enemies of Bruce. They received private encourage- 
ment and support from the King of England, and 
they began their enterprise when the civil government 
in Scotland, and the leading of its armies, was in the 
hands of Mar and March : the first a person of no 
talents or energy, and suspected of being inclined to 
betray his trust; the second undoubtedly a favourer 
of the English party. 

There was nothing, therefore, extraordinary in the 
temporary recovery of the crown by Baliol ; but a short 
time showed him how little dependence was to be 
placed on such a possession. The friends of the line 
of Bruce were still numerous in the country: amongst 
them were the oldest and most experienced soldiers in 
Scotland; and the feelings of the nation were entirely 


on their side. Their first step was a decided one. 
Anxious for the safety of the young king, then a boy 
in his ninth year, they sent him and his youthful 
queen with speed to the court of France, where they 
were honourably and affectionately received by Philip 
the Sixth.* 

Perth had been fortified by the disinherited lords ; 
after which Baliol made a progress to the southern 
parts of Scotland, and committed the custody of the 
town to the Earl of Fife. It was soon after attacked 
and stormed by Sir Simon Fraser and Sir Robert 
Keith, who destroyed the fortifications, and took the 
constable Fife and his daughter prisoners. Upon this 
first gleam of success, Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, 
who had married Christian, the sister of the late king, 
was chosen regent. Meanwhile Baliol, with ready 
pusillanimity, hastened to surrender to Edward the 
liberties of Scotland; and the English king moved on 
to the borders with the declared purpose of attending 
to the safety of that divided country. The transac- 
tions which followed at Roxburgh throw a strong light 
upon the characters of both sovereigns. 

After his many hypocritical declarations as to the 
observation of the treaty of Northampton, the English 
king now dropt the mask, and declared, that the suc- 
cesses of Baliol, in Scotland, were procured by the 
assistance of his good subjects, and with his express 
permission or sufferance.*!- In return for this assis- 
tance, Baliol acknowledged Edward as his feudal lord, 
and promised that he would be true and loyal to the 
English king and to his heirs, the rightful sovereigns 

* "W^inton, vol. ii. p, 158. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 307. 
f RjTner's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 538. The deed is dated Roxburgh, 23d 
November, 1332. 

1332. DAVID II. 19 

of the kingdom of Scotland. In addition to this, he 
agreed to put Edward in possession of the town, castle, 
and territory of Berwick, and of other lands upon the 
marches, extending to the value of two thousand 
pounds ; and, affecting to consider the Princess Joanna 
of England as only betrothed to King David Bruce, 
he proposed himself as a more convenient match, and 
ofiered to provide for David Bruce in whatever way 
Edward should think fit. He lastly promised to assist 
the English king, in all his w^ars, with two hundred 
men-at-arms, maintained at his own charges ; and he 
engaged that his successors should furnish a hundred 
men-at-arms, for the same service. The penalty 
affixed to the breach of this agreement, was a fatal 
part of the treaty. If Baliol, or his successors, ne- 
glected to appear in the field, they became obliged to 
pay to England the enormous sum of two hundred 
thousand pounds sterling ; and if this money could 
not be raised, it was agreed that Edward should take 
possession of the "remainder of Scotland and the isles." 
This last obligation, which was to be perpetually in 
force, evidently gave Edward the power of draining 
Scotland of its best soldiers, and in the event of resis- 
tance, of at once seizing and appropriating the king- 

Thus, in a moment of sordid selfishness, were the 
chains, which had cost Robert Bruce thirty years'" 
war to break, again attempted to be fixed upon a free 
country, and this by the degenerate hands of one of 
her own children. But BalioFs hour of prosperity was 
exceeding brief. Strong, as he imagined, in the pro- 
tection of the King of England, and encouraged in his 
security by the readiness with which many of the 

* Foedera, vol. iv. pp. 536 and 548. 


Scottish barons had consented to reco^fnise his title,* 
the new king lay carelessly encamped at Annan, not 
aware of the approach of a body of armed horse, under 
the command of the Earl of Moray, the second son of 
the great Randolph, along with Sir Simon Fraser and 
Archibald Douglas, brother to Bruce's old companion 
in arms, the good Sir James. These barons, informed 
of the new king"'s remissness in his discipline, made a 
sudden and rapid march from Moffat, in the twilight 
of a December evening, and broke in upon him at mid- 
night. Taken completely by surprise, the nobles who 
were with him, and their vassals and retainers, were put 
to the sword without mercy. Henry Baliol, his brother, 
after a gallant resistance, was slain ; and Walter 
Comyn, Sir John de Mowbray, and Sir Richard Kirby, 
met their deaths along with him. Alexander earl of 
Carrick was made prisoner ; and Baliol, in fear of his 
life, and almost naked, threw himself upon a horse, and 
with difficulty escaped into England. -f Carrick, the 
natural son of King Edward Bruce, would have been 
executed as a traitor, but young Randolph interfered 
and saved his life. With the assistance of strangers 
and mercenary troops, it had cost Baliol only seven 
weeks to gain a crown : in less than three months it 
was torn from his brow, he himself chased from Scot- 
land, and cast once more a fugitive and an exile upon 
the charity of England.^ 

Encouraged by this success, and incensed at the 
assistance given by Edward to Baliol and the disin- 
herited lords, the Scottish leaders began to retaliate 
by breaking in upon the English borders. It is a 

* Fordun a Hearne, pp. 1020, 1021. Winton, vol. ii. p. 159. 
+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 161. Lanercost Chron. p. 2/1. 
X He landed 31st July, and was crowned 24th Sept. He was surprised 
aud chased into England on IGth December. 

1332-3. DAVID II. 21 

singular instance of diplomatic effrontery, that the 
English king, on hearing of this invasion, accused the 
Scots of having violated the treaty of Northampton ;* 
in his correspondence with the king of France and the 
court of Rome, he does not hesitate to cast upon that 
nation the whole blame of the recommencement of the 
war;-(- and as if this was not enough, the English 
historians accuse them, in broad terms, of having 
attacked Baliol at Annan during the existence of a 
truce. Both the one and the other assertion appear 
to be unfounded.! 

Hostilities having again broke out between the two 
nations, the border inroads recommenced with their 
accustomed fury ; but at first were attended with cir- 
cumstances disastrous for Scotland. It happened that 
Baliol, after his flight from Annan, had experienced 
the Christmas hospitality of Lord Dacres ; in return 
for which kindness, Archibald Douglas, at the head of 
a small army of three thousand men, broke in upon 
Gillsland, and wasted the country belonging to Dacres 
with fire and sword, spreading desolation for a distance 
of thirty miles, and carrying off much booty. To 
revenge this. Sir Anthony Lucy of Cockermouth, and 
William of Lochmaben, with eight hundred men, 
penetrated into Scotland ; but on their return were 
encountered by Sir William Douglas, commonly called 
the Knight of Liddesdale, and at that time keeper of 

* Rjmier's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 552, 

*j* During the whole period of his intrigues and alliance with Baliol, hoth 
before and after his successes in Scotland, Edward had taken especial care, 
in his correspondence with Rome, to keep the pope ignorant of the real state 
of Scottish affairs ; and the cause of this sedulous concealment was the dread 
of being subjected in the pajrment of two thousand pounds, the stipulated 
fine in case he infringed the treaty. — Knighton, p. 2560. 

X Lingard's Hist, of England, vol. iv. p. 23. The passage in Knighton, 
p. 2562, does not seem to me conclusive ; for neither March nor Douglas were 
at the head of affiairs, but Sir Andrew Moray. 


Lochmaben castle. After a conflict, in which Lucy 
was grievously wounded, Douglas was totally defeated. 
Of the Scots, a hundred and sixty men-at-arms, in- 
cluding Sir Humphrey Jardine, Sir Humphrey Boys, 
and William Carlisle, were left on the field, and the 
best of the chivalry of Annandale were either slain or 
made captive.* Amongst the prisoners were Douglas 
himself, Sir William Baird, and a hundred other 
kni^rhts and frentlemen. 

So anxious was Edward to secure the prize he had 
won in the Knight of Liddesdale, a natural son of the 
Good Sir James, who inherited his father''s remarkable 
talents for war, that he issued orders for his strict con- 
finement in iron fetters ;-|* and Baliol having, a short 
time before this success, again entered Scotland, and 
established himself in the castle of Roxburgh, endea- 
voured to confirm his authority in Annandale, by 
bestowing the lands of the knights who were slain upon 
his English followers. J 

Another disaster followed hard upon the defeat of 
Douglas at Lochmaben. The Regent Sir Andrew 
Moray, with a strong body of soldiers, attacked and 
attempted to storm the castle of Roxburgh, where 
Baliol then lay. A severe conflict took place on the 
bridge; and in the onset, Ralph Golding, an esquire 
in the regent's service, pushing on far before the rest, 
was overpowered by the English. Moray, in the ardour 
of the moment, more mindful of his duty as a knight 
than a leader, attempted singly to rescue him, and 
instantly shared his fate.§ Disdaining to surrender 
to any inferior knight, he demanded to be led to the 

* Walsingham, p. 1 32. 

+ RjTner''s Foedera, vol, iv. p. 552. 

It Rotuli Scotia;, 8 Ed. III. 18 Nov. vol. i. p. 294. 

I Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 309, 310. 

1S33. DAVID II. 23 

King of England; and being brought to Edward, was 
thrown into prison, where he remained for two years. 
The Scots, who at their greatest need had lost in Dou- 
glas and Moray two of their best soldiers, endeavoured 
to supply their place by conferring the office of regent 
upon Archibald Douglas lord of Galloway, the bro- 
ther of the Good Sir James.* 

In consequence of these advantages, Edward deter- 
mined to carry on the war with renewed spirit. He 
assembled a powerful army, besought the prayers of 
the church for his success, and wrote to the Earl of 
Flanders, and to the magistrates of Bruges, Ghent, 
and Ypres, requesting them to abstain from rendering 
assistance to the Scots. "f* He informed the King of 
France, who had interposed his good offices in behalf 
of his ancient allies, that, as they had repeatedly 
broken the peace, by invading and despoiling his coun- 
try, he was necessitated to repel such outrages by force 
of arms; J and having taken these preliminary steps, 
he put himself at the head of his army, and sat down 
before Berwick. 

The Scots, on their side, were not unprepared to re- 
ceive him. Although Crab'*s disaster, in the former 
year, had weakened their strength by sea, they still 
possessed a fleet of ships of war, which committed 
great havoc on the English coasts, and plundered their 
sea-ports ;§ and Douglas the Regent exerted himself 
to raise an army equal to the emergency. The defence 
of the castle of Berwick was imprudently committed 
to the Earl of March, whose conduct, after the battle 
of Dupplin, had evinced already the strongest leaning 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 310. 

t Rotuli Scotia, 7 Ed. III. vol. i. pp. 233, 234. Foedera, vol. iv. p. 556. 

X Foedera, vol. iv. p. 557. 

§ Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 233, 249, and 252. 


to the Endish interest; the command of the town was 
intrusted to Sir Alexander Seton.* The garrison 
appears neither to have been numerous nor well sup- 
plied; but for some time they made a gallant defence, 
and succeeded in sinking and destroying by fire a great 
part of the English fleet. Edward at first attempted to 
fill up the ditch with hurdles, and to carry the town 
by assault; but having been repulsed, he converted 
the attack into a blockade; and as the strength and 
extent of his lines enabled him to cut off all supplies, 
it became apparent, that if not relieved, Berwick even- 
tually must fall. After a protracted blockade, a ne- 
gotiation took place, by which the besieged agreed to 
capitulate by a certain day, unless succours were 
thrown into the town before that time; and for the 
performance of the stipulations, the Scots delivered 
hostages to Edward, amongst whom was a son of Seton 
the governor.-t" The period had nearly expired, when, 
one morning at the break of day, the citizens, to their 
great joy, saw the army of Scotland, led by the regent 
in person, approach the Tweed, and cross the river at 
the Yare ford. They approached Berwick on the 
south side of the river, and although the English en- 
deavoured to defend every passage. Sir William Keith, 
Sir William Prendergest, and Sir Alexander Gray, 
with a body of Scottish soldiers, succeeded in throw- 
ing themselves into the town. The main body of the 
Scots, after having remained drawn up in order of 
battle, and in sight of the English army for a day and a 
half, struck their tents at noon of the second day, and, 
with the hope of producing a diversion, entered North- 
umberland, and wasted the country. But although 

* Scala Chron. pp. 162, 163, and Rotuli ScotisB, vol. i. p. 272. Compot, 
Camerarii Scotiae, p. 255. f Ibid. 

1333. DAVID II. 25 

they menaced Bamborough castle, where Edward had 
placed his young queen, that monarch, intent upon 
his object, continued before Berwick; and on the de- 
parture of the Scottish army, peremptorily required 
the town to be given up, as the term stipulated for 
their being succoured had expired. With this demand 
the besieged refused to comply: they asserted that 
they had received succours, both of men and of provi- 
sions; the knights, they said, who had led these suc- 
cours, were now with them ; out of their number thev 
had chosen new governors, of whom Sir William Keith 
was one ; and they declared their intention of defend- 
ing the city to the last extremity.* Edward upbraided 
the citizens, accused them of duplicity, and requested 
the advice of his council with regard to the treatment 
of the hostages. It was their opinion that the Scots 
had broken the stipulations of the treaty, and that 
their lives were forfeited. The king then commanded 
the son of the late governor to prepare for death, ex- 
pecting that the threatened severity of the example, 
and the rank and influence of his father, would induce 
the townsmen to surrender. But he was disappointed; 
and Thomas Seton, a comely and noble-looking youth, 
was hanged before the gate of the town,-f* so near, it 
is said, that the unhappy father could witness the 
execution from the walls. J Immediately after this, the 
citizens became alarmed for the lives of the rest of the 
hostages, and from affection for their children, renewed 
the negotiations for surrender, unless succoured before 
a certain day. To this resolution Keith their gover- 
nor encouraged them, by holding out the sure hope of 
the siege being raised by the Scottish army, which he 

* Scala Chron. pp. 163, 164. •)• Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1022. 
X See Illustrations, letter C. 


represented as superior to that of England.* Unhap- 
pily they embraced his advice. It was stipulated, in a 
solemn instrument yet preserved, and with a minute- 
ness which should leave no room for a second mis- 
understanding, that Berwick was to be given up to the 
English, unless the Scots, before or on the 19th of 
July, should succeed in throwing two hundred men- 
at-arms into the town by dry land, or should overcome 
the English army in a pitched field.-|* 

Keith, the governor of the town, was permitted, by 
the treaty of capitulation, to have an interview with 
the regent, Archibald Douglas. He represented the 
desperate situation of the citizens ; magnified the im- 
portance of the town, which must be lost, he said, un- 
less immediately relieved; and persuaded the regent 
to risk a battle. The resolution was the most impru- 
dent that could have been adopted. It was contrary 
to the dying injunctions of Bruce, who had recom- 
mended his captains never to hazard a battle if they 
could protract the war, and lay waste the country; 
and especially so at this moment, as desertion and 
mutiny now began to show themselves in the English 
army, which all the endeaVours of Edward had not 
been able to suppress. J Notice, too, had reached the 
camp, of illegal meetings and confederations having 
taken place in London during the king''s absence, and 
the people of the northern shires had peremptorily 

* Scala Chron. in Hailes, pp. 163, 164. Ad Murimuth, p. 80. Hailes says, 
and quotesFordun, book xiii. chap, xxvii. , as his authority, that during a general 
assault, the town was set on fire, and in a great measure consumed ; and that 
the inhabitants, dreading a storm, implored Sir William Keith and the Earl 
of March to seek terms of capitulation. Neither Fordun, nor his continuator 
Bower, nor Winton, say anything of the town having been set on fire. The 
English historians,"Walsingham and Hemingford, indeed assert it ; but it is 
not to be found in the narrative of the Scala Chronicle, which appears to be 
the most authentic ; I have therefore omitted it. 

+ Foedera, vol. iv. pp. 566, 567. 

t Rotuli Scot. 7 Ed. III. m. 26, dorso, vol. i. p. 235. 

1383. DAVID II. 27 

refused to join the army; so that there was every pro- 
bability that it must soon have been disbanded.* 

It was in expectation of this result, Seton, the for- 
mer governor, had determined to hold out the town to 
the last extremity, and sternly refused to capitulate, 
although the life of his son hung upon the issue. But his 
resolution was counteracted by the rashness of Keith, 
the new governor of the town, as well as by the excus- 
able affection of the citizens for their sons, who were 
hostages. The regent suffered himself to be overruled ; 
and on the day before the festival of the Virgin, being 
the 18th of July, the Scottish army crossed the Tweed, 
and encamped at a place called Dunsepark. Upon 
this, Edward Baliol and the King of England drew up 
their forces on the eminence of Halidon Hill, situated 
to the west of the town of Berwick. Nothing could 
be more advantageous than the position of the Eng- 
lish. They were divided into four great battles, each 
of which was flanked by choice bodies of archers. A 
marsh separated the hill on which they stood from the 
opposite eminence, and on this rising ground the Scot- 
tish commanders halted and arranged their army.-|- 
It consisted also of four divisions, led respectively by 
the regent Douglas; the Steward of Scotland, then a 
youth of seventeen, under the direction of his uncle 
Sir James Stewart ; the Earl of Moray, son of Ran- 
dolph, assisted by two veteran leaders of approved 
valour, James and Simon Eraser; and the Earl of 
Ross. The nature of the ground rendered it impos- 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 234, 244. 

+ I take this from an interesting and curious manuscript preserved in the 
British Museum, Bib. Harleiana, No. 4690, of which I find a transcript by 
Macpherson, the editor of Winton, and an accurate investigator into Scottish 
history, in his MS. Notes on Lord Hailes' Annals. As it has never been 
printed, I have given it in the Illustrations, letter D. Winton, vol. ii. p. 169. 


sible for the Englisli position to be attacked by cavalry. 
Their adversaries accordingly fouglit on foot, and the 
leaders and heavy-armed knights having dismounted, 
delivered their horses to be kept by the camp-boys in 
the rear. Before reaching their enemy, it was neces- 
sary for the Scottish army to march through the soft 
and unequal ground of the marsh; an enterprise which 
required much time, and was full of danger, as it ine- 
vitably exposed the whole host to the discharge of the 
English archers, the fatal effects of which they had 
experienced in many a bloody field. Yet, contrary to 
the advice of the elder officers, who had been trained 
under Bruce and Randolph, this desperate attempt 
was made ; and the Scots, with their characteristic im- 
petuosity, eagerly advanced through the marsh. The 
consequence was what might have been expected: their 
ranks, crowded together, soon fell into confusion; their 
advance was retarded; and the English archers, who 
had time for a steady aim, plied their bows with such 
deadly effect, that great numbers were every instant 
slain or disabled. An ancient manuscript says, that 
the arrows flew as thick as motes in the sunbeam, and 
that their enemies fell to the ground by thousands.* It 
could not indeed be otherwise ; for from the nature of 
the ground, it was impossible to come to close fighting ; 
and having no archers, they were slaughtered without 
resistance — the English remaining in the meantime 
uninjured, with their trumpets and nakers sounding 
amid the groans of their dying opponents. Upon this 
dreadful carnage many of the Scots began to fly; but 
the better part of the army, led on by the nobility, at 
last extricated themselves from the marsh, and, press- 
ing up the hill, attacked the enemy with great fury. 

* MS. Harleian, Illustrations, letter D. Ad Murimuth, p. 80. 

1333. DAVID II. 29 

It was difficult, however, for men, breathless oy climb- 
ing the acclivity, and dispirited by the loss sustained 
in the marsh, to contend against fresh troops admir- 
ably posted, and under excellent discipline; so that, 
although they for a little time j&ercely sustained the 
battle, their efforts being unconnected, the day, in 
spite of all their exertions, went against them. 

The Earl of Ross, in leading the reserve to attack 
the wing where Baliol commanded, was driven back 
and slain. Soon after the Regent Douglas was mor- 
tally wounded and made prisoner. The Earls of 
Lennox, Athole, Carrick, and Sutherland, along with 
James and Simon Eraser, were struck down and killed; 
while the English, advancing in firm array with their 
long spears, entirely broke and drove off the field the 
remains of the Scottish army. In the pursuit which 
succeeded, the carnage was great. Besides the nobles 
and barons already mentioned, John Stewart and James 
Stewart, uncles of the Steward of Scotland, were mor- 
tally wounded. Malise earl of Strathern, John de 
Graham, Alexander de Lindesay, and other barons, 
were also slain ; and with them fell, on the lowest 
calculation, fourteen thousand men. Such was the 
disastrous defeat of the Scots at Halidon Hill.* The 
battle was fought on the twentieth day of July, and 
the English monarch immediately addressed letters to 
the archbishops and bishops of his dominions, directing 
them to return thanks to God for so signal a victory. -f* 

* "Winton, vol. ii. p. 170. Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1021. Fcrdun 
a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 311. 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 166, says the Scots had an army fully sixty thousand 
strong. It is observed by Edward, in his letters ordaining a public thanks- 
giving, that the victory was obtained without great loss upon his side ; an 
expression proving the inaccuracy of the assertion of the English historians, 
that of their army only thirteen foot soldiers, with one knight and one esquire, 
were slain. Nor is it unworthy of remark, that the king makes no allusion 


In the conflicting accounts of the various annalists, 
the exact number of the two armies, and the extent of 
the loss on either side, cannot be easily ascertained. 
It seems probable, that nearly the whole of the men- 
at-arms in the Scottish ranks were put to the sword 
either in the battle or in the pursuit ; and that of the 
confused multitude which escaped, the greater part 
were pages, sutlers, and camp follow^ers. So great was 
the slaughter of the nobility, that, after the battle, it 
was currently said amongst the English, that the Scot- 
tish wars were at last ended, since not a man was left 
of that nation who had either skill or power to assem- 
ble an army or direct its operations.* 

The consequences of the battle of Halidon were the 
immediate delivery of the town and castle of Berwick 
into the hands of the English, and the subsequent 
submission of almost the whole kingdom to Baliol, who 
traversed it with an army which found no enemy to 
oppose it.-f* Five strong castles, however, still re- 
mained in possession of the adherents of David, and 
these eventually served as so many rallying points to 
the friends of liberty. These fortresses were Dumbar- 
ton, which was held by Malcolm Fleming ; Urquhart, 
in Inverness-shire, commanded by Thomas Lauder; 
Lochleven, by Alan de Vipont ; Kildrummie, by 
Christian Bruce, the sister of Robert the First ; and 
Lochmaben, by Patrick de Chartres.J A stronghold 
in Lochdon, on the borders of Carrick, was also re- 
tained for David Bruce by John Thomson, a brave 

to any inferiority of force upon the English side ; which, had such heen the 
case, he could scarcely have failed to do, if we consider the subject of his 
letter. When the English historians inform us that the Scots were five times 
more numerous than their opponents, we must consider it as exaggeration. 

* Murimuth, p. 81. t Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 311. 

t Rotuli Scotiae, 8 Ed. III. vol. i. p. 274. 

1333. DAVID II. 31 

soldier of fortune, and probably the same person who, 
after the fatal battle of Dundalk, led home from Ire- 
land the broken remains of the army of King Edward 

Patrick earl of March, who had long been suspected 
of a secret leaning to the English, now made his peace 
with them, and swore fealty to Edward ; and along 
with him many persons of rank and authority were 
compelled to pay a temporary homage ; but the mea- 
sures which this monarch adopted, on making himself 
master of Berwick, were little calculated to conciliate 
the minds of those whom he somewhat prematurely 
considered as a conquered people. He seized and for- 
feited the estates of all the barons in the county of 
Berwick, who held their property by charter from 
King Robert ; in giving leases of houses within the 
town, or of lands within the shire, he prohibited his 
tenants and vassals from subleasing them to any except 
Englishmen ;-f he directed the warden of the town to 
transport into England all the Scottish monks whom 
he suspected of instilling rebellious principles into their 
countrymen, to be there dispersed amongst the monas- 
teries of their respective orders on the south side of 
the Trent ; and he commanded the chiefs of the dif- 
ferent monastic orders in that country to depute to 
Scotland some of their most talented brethren, who 
were capable of preaching pacific and salutary doctrines 
to the people, and of turning their hostility into friend- 
ship. Orders were also transmitted to the magistrates 
of London, and other principal towns in the kingdom, 
directing them to invite merchants and traders to settle 
in Berwick, under promise of ample privileges and 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 311. 
t Rotuli Scotiae, 8 Ed. III. vol. i. pp. 272, 275. 


immunities ; and, in the anticipation that these mea- 
sures might still be inadequate to keep down the spirit 
of resistance, he emptied the prisons throughout his 
dominions of several thousands of criminals condemned 
for murder and other heinous offences, and presented 
them with a free pardon, on the condition of their 
servin": him in his Scottish wars.* 

Baliol having thus possessed himself of the cro^vn by- 
foreign assistance, seemed determined to complete the 
humiliation of his country. An assembly of his party 
was held at Edinburgh on the 10th of February. Lord 
Geoffrey Scrope, High Justiciar of England, attended 
as commissioner from Edward, along with Sir Edward 
Bohun, Lord William Montague, Sir Henry Percy, 
and Ralph Neville seneschal of England. As was to 
be expected, everything was managed by English influ- 
ence. Lord Henry Beaumont, the Earl of Athole, 
and Lord Richard Talbot, were rewarded with the 
extensive possessions of the Comyns in Buchan and 
Badenoch. The vale of Annandale and Moffatdale, 
with the fortress of Lochmaben, were bestowed upon 
Lord Henry Percy ; and the Earl of Surrey, Ralph 
Lord Neville of Raby, Lord John Mowbray, and Sir 
Edward Bohun, were remunerated for their labours in 
the Scottish war by grants of the estates of those who 
had fallen at Halidon, or who were forfeited for their 
adherence to David Bruce. To his royal patron, more 
extensive sacrifices were due. Not only was the town, 
castle, and extensive county of Berwick surrendered 
to the King of England, but the forests of Jedburgh, 
Selkirk, and Ettrick, the wealthy counties of Rox- 
burgh, Peebles, Dumfries, and Edinburgh, the consta- 
bularies of Linlithgow and Haddington, with the towns 

* Rotuli Scotis, 7 Ed. III. vol. i. p. 254. 

1334. DAVID II. 83 

and castles situated within these extensive districts, 
were, bj a solemn instrument, annexed for ever to the 
kingdom of England.* 

To complete the dismemberment of the kingdom, 
there was only wanting a surrender of the national 
liberties. Baliol accordingly appeared before Edward 
at Newcastle, acknowledged him for his liege lord, and 
swore fealty for the kingdom of Scotland and the Isles. 
Edward, thus rendered master of the fairest and most 
populous part of Scotland, hastened to send English 
governors to his new dominions ;-[- while the friends of 
the young king once more retired into the mountains 
and fastnesses, and waited for a favourable opportunity 
of rising against their oppressors. Nor was it long 
ere an occasion presented itself. Dissensions broke 
out amongst those English barons to whose valour 
Baliol owed his restoration ; and a petty family quarrel 
gave rise to an important counter-revolution. 

The brother of Alexander de Mowbray died, leaving 
daughters, but no male heirs ; upon which Mowbray 
claimed the estate, in exclusion of the heirs-female, 
and, by a decision of Baliol, was put in possession: J an 
award the more extraordinary, as it went to destroy 
his own title to the crown. The cause of the disin- 
herited daughters was warmly espoused by Henry de 
Beaumont, Richard Talbot, and the Earl of Athole, 
all of them connected by marriage with the powerful 
family of the Comyns ; and, upon the denial of their 
suit by Baliol, these fierce barons retired in disgust 
from court. Beaumont, taking the law into his own 
hands, retreated to his strong castle of Dundarg in 

* Rymer, Foedera, vol. iv. pp. 614, 616. Rotuli Scotlae, vol. i. pp. 261,262. 

+ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 263. 

X Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 312. Winton, vol. ii. p. 175. 


Buchan, and seized a large portion of the disputed 
lands which lay in that earldom. Athole removed to 
his strongholds in the country of Athole ; and Talbot, 
who had married the daughter of the Red Comyn slain 
by Bruce,* collected his vassals, and prepared for war. 

Encouraged by this disunion amongst their enemies, 
the old friends of the dynasty of Bruce began again to 
reappear from their concealment ; and, at this favour- 
able conjuncture. Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwellt was 
released from his captivity, and returned to Scotland. 
At the same time, some Scottish ships of war, assisted 
by a fleet of their allies, laden with provisions and arms, 
and well manned with soldiers, hovered on the coast, 
and threatened to intercept the English vessels which 
had been sent by Edward with supplies for his adhe- 
rents. J Baliol in the meantime, irresolute and alarmed, 
retreated to Berwick, and reversed his decision in favour 
of Mowbray. But this step came too late to conciliate 
Beaumont ; and it entirely alienated Mowbray, who, 
eager to embrace any method of humbling his rivals, 
went over with his friends and vassals to the party of 
David Bruce, and cordiallyco-operated with Moray, the 
late regent. 

And now the kingdom which Edward so lately be- 
lieved his own, on the first gleam of returning hope, 
was up in arms, and ready again to become the theatre 
of mortal debate. Talbot, in an attempt to pass with 
a body of soldiers into England, was attacked and taken 
prisoner by Sir William Keith of Galston ; six of the 
knights who accompanied him, and many of his armed 

* Macplierson''s Notes on Winton, vol. ii. pp. 506, 509. Scala Chron. 
p. 165. 

t Erroneously called by Maitland, vol. i. p. 520, the Earl of Bothwell. 
Z Rotuli Scot. vol. i. p. 279. 20th Sept. 1334. 

1334. DAVID II. 35 

vassals, being put to the sword.* He was instantly 
shut up in the strong fortress of Dumbarton ; and one 
of their most powerful opponents being disposed of, 
Moray and Mowbray hastened to besiege Beaumont 
in the castle of Dundarg. This, however, was no easy 
enterprise. Situated on a precipitous rock overhang- 
ing the Moray Firth, the strong retreat which the 
English baron had chosen was connected with the 
mainland by a neck of land so narrow, that a few re- 
solute men could defend it against a multitude. To 
attempt to storm it would have been certain defeat ; 
and Moray chose rather, by a strict blockade, to com- 
pel a surrender. An unexpected circumstance acce- 
lerated his success. Havino; discovered the situation 
of the pipes which supplied the garrison with water, 
he mined the ground, cut them through, and reduced 
the besieged to extremity. Beaumont capitulated; 
and, upon payment of a high ransom, was permitted 
to retire into England.-]- 

Amongst the numerous confiscations which followed 
his brief possession of power, Baliol had conferred the 
extensive possessions of Robert the Steward of Scot- 
land, upon the Earl of Athole ; while this young baron, 
stript of his lands, and compelled to be a wanderer, 
had lain concealed in Bute, since the defeat at Halidon 
Hill, and escaped the search of his enemies. With a 
prudence and determination superior to his years, he 
now organized a plan for escaping to the castle of Dum- 
barton, in which he happily succeeded. Two old vassals 
of the family, named Gibson and Heriot, brought a 
boat to Rothesay late in the evening, and the Steward, 

* Walsingham, p. 1 34. Leland, Collect, vol. i. p. 554. Fordun a Goodal, 
vol. ii. p. 325. 

t Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 312. Stat. Ace. of Scotland, vol. xii. p. 578. 


aeoompanlod only by a chamber-boy and two servants, 
throw himsolf into it, and rowed that nii^ht to Over- 
tunnock, from wliioh thoy crossed to Dumbarton, where 
tliey wore joyfully woloomod by Malcolm Flomini^, the 
governor.* Here ho did not long remain inactive ; 
but assembling his scattered vassals, with the assis- 
tance of Colin Campbell of Lochow, attacked and 
stormed the castle of Dunoon in Cowal. 

The news of this success soon Hew to Bute ; and 
there the hereditary vassals of the young patriot in- 
stantly rose upon the English governor, Alan de Lyle, 
put him to death, and proceodod, carrying his head in 
savage triumph along with them, to join thoir master. 
The cji^tlo of Bute soon after fell into the hands of the 
insurgents. i* 

The count rv of Annandale, as we have already 
stated, w;\s presented by Baliol to Henry Percy; but 
its mountains and fastnesses had given refuge to many 
bravo mon who obstinately refused to submit to the 
English king. On the first intelligence that the 
Steward had displayed open banner against the Eng- 
lish, these fugitives, says an ancient historian, came 
suddenly, like a swarm of hornets, from the rocks and 
woods, and warred against the common enemy. The 
chief amongst them was ^^'illiam de Carruthers, who, 
since the success of Baliol, had preferred a life of ex- 
tremity and hardship, as a fugitive in the woods, to 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 178. Fordun a Goodal, rol. ii. ?• 313. 

•f" Winton calls the vassals of the young Stevrani "The Braniinvs of 
Bute ;" aiul in descrihinij the battle in which Lyle was slain, tells us, thej 
overwhelmed him with showers of stones, hence 

" Ani.inc the Brandanis all 

The Batayle Doruiang Uiey it call." 

"The battle Dormang is evidently," Macpherson remarks, "a corruption 
of the Biitail nan domaig ;'' IXmieag being a round stone : a proof that, in 
Bute, the Gaelic was tlien the common language, Winton, vol. ii. p. 18dw 
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 316. 

1334. DAVID II. 37 

the ignominy of acknowledging a yoke he detested. 
He now left his strongholds, and with a considerable 
force united himself to the Steward.* Thomas Bruce, 
with the men of Kyle, next joined the confederacy; 
and soon after Randolph earl of Moray, who had 
escaped to France after the defeat at Ilalidon Hill, 
returned to his native country, and, with the heredi- 
tary valour of his house, began instantly to act against 
the English. Strengthened by such accessions, the 
Steward in a short time reduced the lower division of 
Clydesdale; compelled the English governor of Ayr 
to acknowledge King David Bruce; and expelled the 
adherents of Baliol and Edward from the districts of 
Renfrew, Carrick, and Cunningham. 

The Scottish nobles of his party now assembled, and 
preferred this young patriot and the Earl of Moray 
to the office of joint regents under their exiled king. 
The choice was in every respect judicious. The Stew- 
ard, although now only in his nineteenth year, had 
early shown great talents for war; he w^as the grand- 
son of Robert the First, and had been already declared 
by parliament the next heir to the crown : Moray, on 
the other hand, was the son of the great Randolph; 
so that the names of the new governors were associated 
with the most heroic period of Scottish history : a cir- 
cumstance of no trivial importance at a period when 
the liberties of the country were threatened with an 
utter overthrow. About the same time, the friends 
of liberty were cheered by the arrival of a large vessel 
laden with arms, besides wines and merchandise, in 
the port of Dumbarton ; a circumstance which Edward 
considered of so much importance, that he directed his 
writs to the magistrates of Bristol and Liverpool, com- 

* Fordun a Goodal, voL ii. p. 316. 


manding them to fit out some ships of war to intercept 
her on her return.* 

The first enterprise of the regents was against the 
Earl of Athole, who now lorded it over the hereditary 
estates of the Steward, and whose immense possessions, 
both in Scotland and England, rendered him the most 
formidable of their enemies.-[- Moray, by a rapid 
march into the north, attacked the earl before he had 
time to assemble any considerable force, drove him into 
the wild district of Lochaber, and compelled him to 
surrender. Thus, by the overthrow of Beaumont, 
Talbot, and Athole, the most powerful branch in the 
confederacy of the disinherited barons was entirely 
destroyed; and Baliol, once more a fugitive, passed 
into England, and implored the protection and assist- 
ance of Edward. 

On beino: informed of the revolution in Scotland, 
this monarch, although it was now the middle of No- 
vember, determined upon a winter campaign, and 
issued writs for the attendance of his military vassals. 
The expedition, however, proved so unpopular, that 
fifty-seven of the barons who owed suit and service, 
absented themselves ; J and, with an army enfeebled 
by desertion, Edward made his progress into Lothian, 
where, without meeting an enemy, if we except some 
obscure malefactors who were taken and executed, he 
ruled over a country which the Scots, following the 
advice of Bruce, abandoned for the time to his undis- 
turbed dominion. § Baliol, as usual, accompanied 
Edward, and with a portion of his army ravaged Avon- 
dale, and laid waste the districts of Carrick and Cun- 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 320. + Douglas* Peerage, vol. i. p, 133, 
X Rotuli Scotia, 8 Ed. III., vol. i. p. 293. 
§ Hemingford, vol. ii. p. 277. 

1334-5. DAVID II. 3d 

ningham. The vassal king then passed to Renfrew, 
and affected a royal state in his Christmas festivities, 
distributing lands and castles to his retainers, and 
committing the chief management of his affairs to 
William Bullock, a warlike ecclesiastic, whom he 
created chamberlain of Scotland, and governor of the 
important fortresses of St Andrews and Cupar.* Such 
castles as he possessed were garrisoned with English 
soldiers; and John de Strivelin, with a large force, 
commenced the siege of Lochleven, which was then in 
the hands of the friends of David Bruce. From its 
insular situation this proved a matter of difficulty. 
A fort, however, was built in the churchyard of Kin- 
ross, on a neck of land nearest to the castle ; and from 
this point frequent boat attacks were made, in all of 
which the besiegers were repulsed. At last Alan 
Vipont, the Scottish governor, seizing the opportunity 
when Strivelin was absent on a religious pilgrimage to 
the shrine of St Margaret at Dunfermline, attacked 
and carried the fort, put part of the English garrison 
to the sword, and raised the siege. He then returned 
to the castle with his boats laden with arblasts, bows, 
and other instruments of war,-|* besides other booty, 
and many prisoners. 

Encouraged by this success, and anxious to engage 
in a systematic plan of military operations, the Scottish 
regents summoned a parliament to meet at Dairsay. 
It was attended by Sir Andrew Moray, the Earl of 
Athole, the Knight of Liddesdale lately returned 
from captivity, the Earl of March, who had embraced 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 177. 

+ Winton, book viii. chap. xxix. vol. ii. p. 183. I have rejected the story 
of the attempt to droym the garrison by damming up the lake, as physically 
improbable, and unnoticed by Winton. See Macpherson's Notes on Winton, 
vol. ii. p. 507. 


the party of David Bruce and renounced his allegi- 
ance to Edward, Alexander de Mowbray, and other 
Scottish barons. But at a moment when unanimity 
was of infinite importance in the national councils, the 
ambition and overweening pride of Athole embroiled 
the deliberations, and kindled animosities amongst the 
leaders. His motives cannot easily be discovered. It 
is probable that, as he became convinced that Baliol 
would never be suffered to reign in Scotland, his own 
claims to the crown became uppermost in his mind, 
and that he was induced to renounce the allegiance 
which he had sworn to Edward, in the hope that, if 
Baliol were set aside, he might have a chance, amid 
the confusions of war, to find his way to the throne. 
He appeared accordingly at the parliament, with a 
state and train of attendants almost kingly; and, 
having gained an ascendancy over the young Steward, 
treated Moray and Douglas with such haughtiness, 
that the assembly became disturbed by mutual animo- 
sities and heart-burnings, and at length broke up in 
confusion.* Ambassadors soon after this arrived in 
England from Philip of France, earnestly recommend- 
ing a cessation of hostilities between his ancient allies 
the Scots and the King of England ; but Edward, in- 
tent upon his scheme of conquest, although he con- 
sented to a short truce, continued his warlike prepara- 
tions, and, despising all mediation, determined again 
to invade his enemies, and dictate the terms not of 
peace, but of absolute submission. 

About midsummer, the English king, accompanied 
by Baliol, joined his army at Newcastle, having along 
with him the Earl of Juliers, with Henry count of 
Montbellegarde, and a large band of foreign mercena- 

* Fordun a Goodal, book xiii. chap. xxiv. vol. ii. p. 317. 

1335. DAVID II. 41 

ries.* Meanwhile, his fleet, anticipating the move- 
ments of the land forces, entered the Firth of Forth ; 
and while Edward, with one part of his army, advanced 
by Carlisle into Scotland, Baliol, having along with 
him those English barons upon whom he had bestowed 
estates, and assisted by a numerous body of Welsh 
soldiers, remarkable for their ferocious manners, pro- 
ceeded from Berwick. 

But, notwithstanding the great preparations, the 
campaign was one of little interest. Having penetrated 
to Glasgow, the two kings united their forces, and 
advanced to Perth without meeting an enemy. By 
an order of the regents, the Scots drove their cattle 
and removed their goods from the plain country, to 
inaccessible fastnesses among the mountains, so that 
the English only wasted a country already deserted 
by its inhabitants. -|- They did not, however, entirely 
escape molestation; for the Scottish barons, although 
too prudent to oppose them in a pitched field, hovered 
round their line of march, and more than once caught 
them at a disadvantage, suddenly assaulting them from 
some concealed glen or ambush, and cutting off large 
bodies who had separated themselves from the main 
army. In this way, a party of five hundred archers 
were attacked and cut to pieces by Moray the regent, 
and Sir William Douglas. | On another occasion, the 
Earls of March and Moray fell upon the Earl of Namur, 
as he was leading his band of foreign knights to join 
Edward at Perth. The two parties met on the Borough 
Muir ; for the foreign troops, imagining that the coun- 
try was wholly in possession of the English, had 
advanced fearlessly towards Edinburgh. The merce- 

* Leland, Collect, vol. i. p. 555. 

+ Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1025. J Knighton, p. 2567. 


naries, however, clad in complete steel, and strongly 
mounted, made a desperate defence ; nor was it till the 
appearance of the Knight of Liddesdale, with a rein- 
forcement, that they found themselves compelled to 
retreat into the town. Confined within the streets 
and lanes, the conflict now changed into a series of 
single combats; and it is interesting to remark the 
warm spirit of chivalry which diffuses itself into the 
details of our ancient historians, in their descriptions 
of this event. They dwell with much complacency on 
a famous stroke made by Sir David de Annand, a 
Scottish knight, who, enraged by a wound from one 
of the mercenaries, raised himself in his stirrups, and 
wielding a ponderous battle-axe with both hands, hewed 
down his opponent with such force, that the weapon 
cut sheer through man and horse, and was only arrested 
by the stone pavement, where the mark of the blow 
was shown in the time of the historian.* The foreign 
soldiers were at last driven up the High Street to the 
castle. This fortress had been dismantled; but Namur 
and his knights took their stand on the rock, and hav- 
ing killed their horses, piled their bodies into a mound, 
behind which they, for a while, kept the Scots in check. 
They were at last compelled to surrender; and Moray 
and Douglas treated their noble prisoner, who was 
near kinsman to their ally the King of France, with 
much generosity.-}- He and his brother knights and 
soldiers were set at liberty without ransom, and their 
captors accompanied them with an escort across the 
English border. But this act of courtesy cost Moray 
dear; for, on his return, his little party was attacked 

* Extracta ex Chronicis Scotise, folio 197. Fordun, vol. ii. p. 319. 
Scala Chron. p. 165. 

f Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1026, 

1335. DAVID II. 43 

by the English, under William de Pressen, warden 
of Jedburgh Forest, and entirely routed. The regent 
was taken prisoner and instantly ironed, and shut up 
in the strong castle of Bamborough; Douglas, how- 
ever, had the" good fortune to escape a second captivity 
in England, but his brother James Douglas was slain.* 

From Perth, Edward and Baliol made a destructive 
progress through the north of Scotland ; and soon after 
the Earl of Cornwall, brother to the Kino^ of Eno^land, 
along with Sir Anthony Lucy, ravaged the western 
district of the kingdom, not even sparing the religious 
houses, but razing the churches to the ground, and 
burning along with them the unhappy wretches who 
had there taken sanctuary. After this he marched to 
Perth, and joined his forces to those of the king, who 
had returned from his northern expedition. -[• 

At this melancholy crisis, when, to use an expres- 
sion of an ancient historian, none but children in their 
games dared to call David Bruce their king,| the 
Earl of Athole showed his versatile and selfish char- 
acter. The captivity of Moray the regent had 
delivered him from a formidable opponent, and his 
ambition now prompted him to aspire to the vacant 
office of regent, for the purpose, as was sho^^Ti by the 
result, of gratifying his rapacity and his revenge. He 
accordingly informed Edward, that he and his friends 
were willing to make their final submission ; and he 
despatched five deputies, who concluded a treaty at 
Perth, in which the English monarch agreed, that 
" the Earl of Athole, and all other Scottish barons 
who came under his peace, should receive a free pardon, 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 194. 

t Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 323. Scala Chron. pp. 165, 166. 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 184. 


and have their estates in Scotland secured."* By 
another article, the large English estates of this power- 
ful baron were restored to him; and to give a colour 
of public zeal to an agreement essentially selfish, it 
was stipulated that the franchises of the Scottish 
church, and the ancient laws of Scotland, should be 
preserved as they existed in the reign of Alexander 
the Third. -f* As the price of this pacification, Athole 
was immediately appointed governor in Scotland under 
Baliol ; Edward, having repaired the fortifications of 
Perth, returned to England, and the new governor, 
anxious to distino^uish himself in the service of his 
master, began to slay or imprison the friends of Bruce, 
and to confiscate their estates, with a rapacity which 
filled the hearts of the people with an eager desire of 
vengeance. J 

Nor was it long before this feeling was gratified. 
The handful of brave men, who still obstinately sup- 
ported their independence, chose for their leader Sir 
Andrew Moray of Bothwell, in early life the pupil of 
Wallace, a soldier of great experience, and of un- 
doubted integrity. This hardy veteran did not long re- 
main inactive, and his first enterprise was eminently 
successful. It happened, that within Kildrummie, a 
strong castle in the north, his wife, a noble matron, 
sister of Robert Bruce, had taken refuge during the 
insolent administration of Athole, who, eager to make 
himself master of so valuable a captive, instantly 
attacked it. Moray hastily collected a small army, 
and burning with a resentment which was kindled by 
a sense both of public and private wrongs, flew to raise 

* Knighton, p. 2566, This indemnity was declared not to extend to those 
who, by common assent, should be hereafter excepted from it. 

f Tyrrel, vol. iii. p. 387. + Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1026. 

1335. DAVID II. 45 

the siege: he was accompanied by the Knight of Lid- 
desdale and the Earl of March. Their troops encoun- 
tered those of Athole in the Forest of Kilblene, and, 
after a short resistance, entirely dispersed them : 
Athole himself, with five knights who attended him, 
was slain in the wood.* He died young in years, but 
old in political intrigue and ambition, and successively 
the friend of every party which promised him most 
personal advantage. Insolent and unsteady, he yet 
possessed, from his immense estates and noble birth, 
a great capacity of doing mischief; and not only his 
last agreement with Edward, but the indiscriminate 
cruelty with which he was at that moment hunting 
down the few remaining friends of liberty, rendered 
his death, at this crisis, little less than a public benefit. 
It was followed by the election of Sir Andrew Moray 
to the regency of the kingdom, in a parliament held 
at Dunfermline.t 

It might have been evident to Edward, long before 
this, that although it was easy for him to overrun 
Scotland, and destroy the country by the immense 
military power which he possessed, yet the nation 
itself was farther than ever from being subdued. The 
people were strong in their love of liberty, and in their 
detestation of Baliol, whom they now regarded with 
the bitterest feelings of contempt. It was true, indeed, 
that many of their highest nobles, swayed by private 
ambition, did not hesitate to sacrifice their patriotism 
to the lust of power; yet, amongst the barons and 
gentry, there was a remnant left, animated by better 
feelings, and kept up the spirit of resistance against 
the power of England. 

* "Winton, book viii. chap. xxxi. vol. ii.p. 201. Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. 
p. 1027. t Fordun a Hearne, p. 1028. 


This was remarkably shown in the history of the 
present period. The death of Athole was followed by 
the reappearance of Edward in Scotland, at the head 
of a formidable army, strengthened by the accession 
of the Anglicized Scottish barons and their numerous 
vassals. Alarmed at the declaration, now openly 
made by the French king, of his intention to assist 
his ancient allies,* and prompted by the restless desire, 
so often formed, and so constantly defeated, of com- 
pleting the subjugation of the country, the English 
monarch penetrated first to Perth, and afterwards 
into the more northern parts of the kingdom. His 
march was, as usual, marked by the utter destruction 
of the districts through which it lay. The counties 
of Aberdeen, Nairn, and Inverness, with their towns 
and villages, were wasted by fire and sword ; but he in 
vain endeavoured to bring the regent. Sir Andrew 
Moray, to a battle, "f* Under the command of this 
leader, the Scots, intimately acquainted with the coun- 
try, were ever near their enemy, and yet always 
invisible to them ; and an anecdote of a masterly retreat, 
made during this northern campaign, has been pre- 
served, which is characteristic of the cool discipline of 
Moray. On one occasion, word being brought to 
Edward that the regent was encamped in the wood of 
Stronkaltere, J he instantly marched against him. The 
intelligence was found to be true; the English and 
Scottish outposts came in sight of each other, in a 
winding road leading through the wood, and after 
some skirmishing, the Scots fell back to inform Moray 
of the near approach of the English army. The gene- 

* Rymer, vol. iv. pp. 704, 705, 706. 
+ Fordun a Hearne, p. 1028. 

Ij: The exact position of this ancient wood cannot new be discovered. I 
conjecture it was in Perthshire, somewhere between Dunkeld and Blair. 

13S5-6. DAVID II. 47 

ral was then at mass, and, although the danger was 
imminent, none dared to interrupt him till the service 
was concluded. On beins: told that Edward and his 
army were at hand in the forest, he observed there 
was no need of haste ; and, when the squires brought 
him his horse, began quietly to adjust its furniture, 
and to see that the girths were tight and secure. 
When this was going on, the English every moment 
came nearer, and the Scottish knights around Moray 
showed many signs of impatience. This, it may be 
imagined, was not lessened when one of the straps 
which braced his thigh armour snapt as he buckled 
it ; and the regent, turning to an attendant, bade him 
bring a coffer from his baggage, from which he took a 
skin of leather, and, sitting down leisurely on the 
bank, cut off a broad strip, with which he mended 
the fracture. He then returned the box to its place, 
mounted his horse, arrayed his men in close column, 
and commenced his retreat in such order, that the 
English did not think it safe to attack him ; and hav- 
ing at last gained a narrow defile, he disappeared from 
their view without losing a man. " I have heard," 
says Winton, " from knights who were then present, 
that in all their life they never found time to go so 
slow, as when their old commander sat cutting his 
leather skin in the wood of Stronkaltere."*' * 

The widow of Athole was, soon after this, shut up 
by the army of Moray in the castle of Lochendorb : she 
was the daughter of Henry Beaumont, who, forgetful 
of the conditions under which he had obtained his 
freedom at Dundarg, had accompanied Edward into 
Scotland, and she now earnestly implored the king 
and her father to have compassion on her infant and 

* Winton, vol. ii. pp. 204, 205. 

VOL. n. E 


herself, and to raise the siesre. It was an ao^e in which 
the ordinary events of the day assumed a chivalrous 
and romantic character. A noble matron in sorrow 
for the slaughter of her husband, beleaguered in a wild 
mountain fortress, and sending for succour to the 
King of England and his barons, is an incident simi- 
lar to what we look for in Amadis or Palmerin. The 
monarch obeyed the call, and hastened to her rescue. 
On his approach, the regent again retired into the 
woods and morasses ; and the king, having freed the 
countess from her threatened captivity, wasted with 
fire and sword the rich province of Moray. Unable, 
however, to dislodge the Scottish commander from his 
strengths, he was at last compelled to leave the country, 
with the conviction that every forest or mountain-hold 
which he passed afforded a shelter for his enemies, who 
would reappear the instant he retreated. He endeavour- 
ed, however, more effectually to overawe the spirit of 
resistance, by having a powerful fleet in the Firth of 
Forth, and on the eastern and western coasts of the king- 
dom;* and before he retired, he repaired and garrisoned 
anew the most important fortresses in the kingdom. He 
then left a reinforcement of troops with his army at 
Perth, intrusted the command to his brother, the Earl 
of Cornwall, and returned to England, 

On his departure. Sir Andrew Moray instantly 
appeared from his fastnesses. Sir William Douglas, 
the Knight of Liddesdale, Sir William Keith, and 
other patriot barons, assembled their vassals : and the 
castles of Dunotter, Kinclevin, and Laurieston, were 
wrested from the English, after which, according to 
Bruce''s old practice, they were broken up and dis- 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 318, 322. 

1336. DAVID II. 49 

mantled.* Soon after, the regent made himself master 
of the tower of Falkland and the castles of St Andrews, 
Leuchars,andBothwell,w^hiclihe razed and destroyed. -f* 

A grievous famine, occasioned by the continued 
ravages of war, and the cessation of all regular agri- 
cultural labour, had for some time desolated Scotland ; 
and the regent, anxious to obtain subsistence for his 
army in the enemy's country, made various predatory 
expeditions into England.^ On his return, he reduced 
the whole of the Lothians, and laid siege to the castle 
of Edinburgh. The lords marchers of England has- 
tened with a strong body of troops to relieve it. They 
were encountered by William Douglas, the Knight of 
Liddesdale, near Crichton castle, and, after much hard 
fighting, were compelled to retire across the Tweed. 
But Douglas was grievously wounded, and his little 
army so crippled with the loss which he sustained, that 
Moray deemed it expedient to abandon the siege. § 

During the whole of this obstinate war, the French 
king had never ceased to take a deep interest in the 
affairs of his allies. Before David had been compelled 
to take refuge in his kingdom, he had sent him a 
seasonable present of a thousand pounds. || By his 
earnest remonstrances he had succeeded in procuring 

* Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1030. Leland, Coll. vol. i. p. 556. Win- 
ton, vol. ii, p. 214. 

'f Fordun a Heame, vol. iv. p. 1031. It is stated by this historian, that 
after this Moray commenced the siege of Stirling ; but that the English 
monarch, advertised of these disasters, again flew to his army in Scotland ; 
while his wary antagonist, as was his custom, retired before a superior force, 
and awaited the return of Edward to his own dominions. This event, how- 
ever, belongs, I suspect, to a later year, 

X Fordun aGoodal, voh ii. p. 324. Rotuli Scotise, 2 Edward III., vol. i. 
p. 507. 

§ Fordun aGoodal, vol. ii. p. 332. ScalaChron. p. 167. Leland's Coll. 
vol. i. p. 556. 

II Chamberlain Accounts, Compot. Camerarii Scotise, p. 253. Et de 56 
lb. 13 sh. 4d. recept. de Dno Com. Moravie de illis mille libris, concess. Dno 
nostro regi per regem Francise ante adventum suam in Franciam. Ibid, 
p. 261. 


many truces in favour of the Scots ; and, as the breach 
between France and England gradually grew wider, 
the French ships had occasionally assisted the Scottish 
privateers in infesting the English coast, and had sup- 
plied them with stores, arms, and warlike engines.* 
Against these maritime attacks, it was the policy of 
Edward to arm the vessels of the petty sea-kings, who 
w^ere lords of the numerous islands with which the 
western sea is studded ; and for this purpose he had 
entered into an alliance with John of the Isles,*!* ^^® 
of the most powerful of these island chiefs. But his 
efforts in the Scottish war began at length to languish; 
occupied with his schemes of continental ambition, he 
found himself unable to continue hostilities with his 
usual energy ; and, after four successive campaigns in 
Scotland, w^hich he had conducted in person, at the 
head of armies, infinitely more numerous than any 
which could be brought against them, he had the mor- 
tification to discover, that the final conquest of that 
country w^as as remote a^ ever. He now endeavoured 
to gain time, by amusing the Scots with the hopes of 
a general peace ; but the barons who led the opposition 
against England were well informed of the approaching 
rupture with France, and, aware that the opportunity 
was favourable for the entire expulsion of the English, 
they rejected all overtures for a pacification, and pushed 
on the war with vigour. 

The event showed the wdsdom of such conduct ; for 
the English monarch had advanced too far in his 
quarrel with Philip to withdraw, or even postpone, his 
pretensions, and to the great joy of the Scots, war 
between the two countries was declared, by Edward 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 513, 

•f* Rymer, Foedera, vol. iv. p. 711 Rotuli Scotise, 11 Edward III., p. 516, 

1337-8. DAVID ir. 61 

making his public claim to tlie crown of France on the 
7th of October 1337.* 

The Earls of Arundel, Salisbury, and Norfolk, with 
Edward Baliol, were now left in command of the army 
in Scotland ; and, on th^ failure of the negotiations 
for peace, Salisbury laid siege to the castle of Dunbar, 
a place of great importance, as the key to Scotland on 
the south-east border.-f* 

The Earl of March, to whom this fortress belonged, 
was not then on the spot ; but his wife, a daughter of 
the famous Randolph earl of Moray, with the heroic 
spirit of herfamily, undertook the defence of the castle. J 
For five months, in the absence of her lord. Black 
Agnes of Dunbar, as she was called hy the vulgar from 
her dark complexion, maintained an intrepid stand 
against the assault of the English army, and with many 
fierce witticisms derided them from the walls. When 
the stones from the engines of the besiegers struck 
upon the battlements, she directed one of her maidens 
to wipe off the dust with a white napkin, a species of 
female defiance which greatly annoyed the English 
soldiers. Perpetually on the ramparts, or at the gate, 
she exposed her person in every situation of danger, 
directing the men-at-arms and the archers, and ex- 
torting even the praise of her enemies by her deter- 
mined and warlike bearing. It happened that an arrow 
from one of the Scottish archers struck an English 
knight, who stood beside the Earl of Salisbury, through 
his surcoat, and, piercing the habergeon, or chained 
mail-coat, which was below it, made its way through 
three plicatures of the acton which he wore next his 
body, and killed him on the spot. " There,'' cried 
Salisbury, " comes one of my lady's tire-pins : Agnes's 

* Rapin's Acta Regia, vol. i p. 239. Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p, 8J8. 
+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 325. + Winton, vol. ii. p. 208. 


love-sliafts go straight to the heart." At length the 
EngHsh, foiled in every assault, and finding that the 
strenjith of the walls defied the efforts of their batter- 
ing engines, judged it necessary to convert the siege 
into a blockade. This had nearly succeeded. A 
fleet, amongst which were two large Genoese ships, 
entirely obstructed all communication by sea; and the 
garrison began to suffer dreadfully from want of pro- 
visions, when Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie sailed 
at midnio'ht with a li^ht vessel, from the Bass. Fa- 
voured by the darkness, he passed unobserved through 
the line of the enemy'^s fleet, and ran his ship, laden 
with provisions, and with forty stout soldiers on board, 
close under the wall of the castle. This last success 
deprived Arundel and Salisbury of their only hope of 
making themselves masters of this important fortress ; 
and, mortified by repeated failure, they withdrew the 
army, and retired with the disgrace of having been 
foiled for five months, and at last entirely defeated, by 
a woman.* 

Edward now began to experience the distress which 
the expense of a double war, and the necessity of 
maintaining an army both in France and Scotland, 
necessarily entailed upon him. Animated by the 
fiercest resentment, the Scots, under the guidance of 
such able soldiers as the regent, the Knight of Lid- 
desdale, and Ramsay of Dalhousie, were now strong 
enough to keep the open country, which they cleared 
of their enemies, compelling the English to confine 
themselves within the walls -of their castles. Edin- 
burgh, Perth, Stirling, Cupar, and Roxburgh, were 
still in their hands, and the king commanded large 
supplies of provisions to be levied upon his English 

* Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1032. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 325, 
MS. Extracta ex Chronicis Scotiae, folio, p. 201. 

18.38. DAVID II. 53 

subjects, and transported into Scotland ; but this 
occasioned grievous discontent, and in some cases the 
commissaries were attacked and plundered.* Nor even 
when the supplies were procured, was it an easy mat- 
ter to carry them to their destination; for the enemy 
watched their opportunity, and became expert in 
cutting off convoys, and assaulting foraging parties ; 
so that the war, without any action of great conse- 
quence, was occupied by perpetual skirmishes, con- 
cluding with various success, but chiefly on the side 
of the Scots. Sir William Doudas the Knioht of 
Liddesdale, whose bravery procured him the title of 
the Flower of Chivalry, expelled the English from 
Teviotdale; overpowered and took prisoner Sir John 
Stirling at the head of five hundred men-at-arms ; 
intercepted a convoy near Melrose as it proceeded to 
the castle of Hermitage, which he soon after reduced; 
attacked and defeated Sir Roland de Vaux ; and routed 
Sir Laurence Abernethy, after a conflict repeatedly 
renewed, and obstinately contested. t 

Meanwhile, in the spirit of the age, these desperate 
encounters w^ere sometimes abandoned for the more 
pacific entertainments of jousts between the English 
and Scottish knights, the result of which sometimes 
proved little less fatal than in the conflicts of actual 
war ; whilst to a modern reader they throw a strong 
light on the manners of the times. Henry de Lan- 
caster earl of Derby, with great courtesy, sent a 
herald to request the Knight of Liddesdale to run 
with him three courses; but in the first Douglas, was 
wounded, by a splinter of his own lance, in the hand, 
and compelled to give up the contest. The English 

* Rotuli Scotiffi, 12 Ed. III. Oct. 12th, vol. i. p. 546. See also pp. 438, 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 329. 


earl then entreated Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dal- 
housie to hold a solemn jousting for three days at 
Berwick, twenty against twenty; a proposition which 
was instantly accepted, but it turned out a sanguinary 
pastime. Tw^o English knights were slain; and Sir 
William Ramsay was struck through the bars of his 
aventaile by a spear, which penetrated so deep, that 
it was deemed certain he would expire the moment it 
was extracted. He was confessed, therefore, in his 
armour ; and as the knights crowded round, " So help 
me. Heaven," said Derby, who stood hard by, " I 
would desire to see no fairer sight than this brave 
baron thus shrived with his helmet on; happy man 
should I be, could I ensure myself such an ending." 
Upon this, Sir Alexander Ramsay placed his foot 
upon his kinsman"'s helmet, and by main force pulled 
out the broken truncheon, when the wounded knight 
started on his feet, and declared he should soon ail 
nothing. He died, however, immediately in the lists.* 
" What stout hearts these men have ! " was Derby's 
observation; and with this laconic remark the jousting 
concluded. On another occasion, Sir Patrick de 
Graham, a Scottish knight, having arrived from 
France, Lord Richard Talbot begged to have a joust 
with him, and was borne out of his saddle and wound- 
ed, though not dangerously, through his habergeon. 
Graham was then invited to supper; and in the midst 
of the feast, an English knight, turning to him, cour- 
teously asked him to run with him three courses. 
" Sir knight," replied Graham, " if you would joust 
with me, I advise you to rise early and confess, aftei' 
which you will soon be delivered." This was said in 
mirth, but it proved true; for in the first course, 
which took place next morning, Graham struck the 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 329. Winton, vol. ii. p. 220, 223. 

1338. DAVID II. 55 

English kni2:ht tliroush the harness with a mortal 
wound, so that he died on the spot.* 

Such were the fierce pastimes of those days of danger 
and blood. On resuming the war, the tide of success 
still continued with the Scots, and Sir Alexander 
Ramsay rivalled the fame of the Knight of Liddes- 
dale. At the head of a strong band of soldiers, he 
infested the rocky and wooded banks of the Esk ; and 
concealing himself, his followers, and his booty, in the 
caves of Hawthornden, sallied from their recesses, and 
carried his depredations to the English borders, cruelly 
ravaging the land, and leading away from the smoking 
hamlets and villages many bands of captives. In these 
expeditions his fame became so great, that there was 
not a noble youth in the land who considered his mili- 
tary education complete, unless he had served in the 
school of this brave captain. -f- On one occasion he 
was pursued and intercepted by the lords marchers in 
a plain near Werk Castle ; but Ramsay attacked and 
routed the enemy, took Lord Robert Manners pri- 
soner, and put many to the sword. J 

About this time Scotland lost one of its ablest sup- 
porters. Sir Andrew Moray the regent, sinking under 
the weight of age, and worn out by the constant 
fatigues of war, retired to his castle at Avoch, in Ross, 
where he soon after died; upon which the High Stew- 
ard was chosen sole governor of Scotland. Moray, 
in early life, had been chosen by Wallace as his part- 
ner in command; and his subsequent military career 
was not unworthy of that great leader. H>^ character, 
as it is given by Winton, possesses the high merit of 
having been taken from the lips of those who had 
served under him, and knew him best. He was, says 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 224. f Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 333. 

:;: Ibid. Scala Chron. p. 1G8. 


he, a lord of great bounty; of sober and chaste life; 
wise and upright in council; liberal and generous; 
devout and charitable; stout, hardy, and of great 
courage.* He was endowed with that cool, and some- 
what stern and inflexible character of mind, which pe- 
culiarly fitted him to control the fierce temper of the 
feudal nobility, at a period when the task was espe- 
cially difficult ; and it may be added, that, when the 
bravest, despairing for their country, had, by the 
sacrifice of its independence, saved their estates, Moray 
scorned to follow such examples ; and, imitating his 
old master in arms Wallace, appears never to have 
sworn fealty to any king of England. He was buried 
in the little chapel of Rosmartin ; but his body was 
afterwards raised and carried to Dunfermline, where 
it now mingles with the heroic dust of Bruce and 

The first act of the Steward was to despatch the 
Knight of Liddesdale upon a mission to the court of 
France, to communicate with King Philip, and to 
procure assistance. He then assembled his army, and 
commenced the siege of Perth, upon the fortifications 
of which the English, considering it a station of the 
first importance, had expended vast sums of money. 
Meanwhile Baliol, universally hated by his country- 
men, became an object of suspicion to the English;* 
andleaving Perth, in obedience to the orders of Edward, 
retired, a pensioned dependant, into England. Ught- 
red, a baron who had long served in the Scottish war, 
undertook its defence, and for ten weeks the town re- 
sisted every eS'ort of the besiegers ; so that the army 
of the Steward began to meditate a retreat, when there 
suddenly appeared in the Tay five French ships of war. 

This squadron was commanded by Hugh Hautpile, 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 217. + Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 1032. 

1SS9. DAVID II. 57 

a skilful naval officer, and had on board a strong party 
of men-at-arms, under the leading of Arnold Audine- 
ham, afterwards a mareschal of France;* the Lord of 
Garencieres, who had formerly been engaged in the 
Scottish wars; and two esquires, Giles de la Huse, and 
John de Bracy. Along wdth them came the Knight 
of Liddesdale ; and immediately, all idea of relinquish- 
ing the siege being abandoned, hostilities recommenced, 
by the French ships seizing the English victualling 
vessels, and ejffectually cutting off every supply from 
the garrison. 

At this time William Bullock, Baliol's chancellor, 
wdio commanded in the castle of Cupar, which had 
baffled the attack of the late regent, betrayed his 
master, and joined the army before Perth. This mili- 
tary ecclesiastic was one of those extraordinary indi- 
viduals, whom the troubled times of civil disorder so 
frequently call out from the quiet path to which more 
ordinarv life would have confined them. His talents 
for state affairs and for political intrigue w^ere great; 
vet we are told by the historians of the time, that his 
ability in these matters was exceeded by his uncom- 
mon genius for war: and we cannot wonder that these 
qualities made him to be dreaded and courted by all 
parties. In addition to this, he was ambitious, selfish, 
and fond of money : passions which could not be gra- 
tified if he continued attached to a fallino: cause. Ac- 
cordingly, the arrival of the French auxiliaries, the 
desertion of Scotland by Baliol, with the bribe of an 
ample grant of lands, -[- induced him to renounce the 
English alliance, and deliver up the castle where he 

* Froissart par Buchon, vol. i. p. 211. Compot. Camerarii Scotiae, pp. 
255, 277. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 330. 

+ It must have been ample, for Bullock renounced a considerable property 
conferred on bim by Edward. See Rotuli Scotiae, 28th July, 13 Edw. III., 
vol. i. p 


commanded. He then joined the army besieging 
Perth; and his military experience was soon shown, 
by the success of the operations which he directed. 
Althoui^h the Knis^ht of Liddcsdale was c^rievouslv 
wounded by a javelin, thrown from one of the spring- 
aids, and the two captains of the Scottish archers 
slain; yet Bullock insisted in continuing and pressing 
the siege;* and the Earl of Ross, with a body of 
miners, having contrived to make a subterranean ex- 
cavation under the walls, drew off the water from the 
fosse surrounding the town, and rendered an assault 
more practicable. The minuteness of one of our ancient 
chronicles has preserved a striking circumstance which 
occurred during the siege. In the midst of the mili- 
tary operations the sun became suddenly eclipsed, and, 
as the darkness gradually spread over all, the soldiers of 
both armies forgot their duties, and, sinking under the 
influence of superstitious terror, gazed fearfully on the 
sky.-|* Bullock, however, unintimidated by what was 
then considered an omen of wrath, gave orders for the 
tents to be struck and pitched nearer the town, previ- 
ous to his attempt to storm ; but the English governor 
had now lost resolution; and, seeing his provisions 
exhausted, his hope of supplies cut off, and his fosse 
dry and ready to be filled by the fagots of the be- 
siegers, capitulated upon honourable terms. The sol- 
diers of the garrison and the governor Ughtred were 
instantly shipped for England, where his conduct be- 
came the subject of parliamentary inquiry. J Thus 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 330. Winton, vol. ii. p. 234. 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 234. I find, by the result of a computation, politely 
and kindly communicated to me by its distinguished author, Professor Hen- 
derson, that the eclipse took place on the 7th July, commencing at twelve 
minutes after noon, the greatest observation being at twenty-eight minutes 
after one, when eleven one-third digits of the sun's disc were eclipsed, leav- 
ing only two-thirds of a digit uneclipsed. The eclipse ended at forty-two 
minutes after two. 

4: Foedera, vol. v, p. 131. 

133.9. DAVID II. 59 

master of Perth, the Steward, according to the wise 
policy of Bruce, cast down the fortifications,* and pro- 
ceeded to the siege of Stirling. 

It is difficult to imagine a more lamentable picture 
than that presented by the utter desolation of Scotland 
at this period. The famine, which had been felt for 
some years, now raged in the land. Many had quitted 
their country in despair, and taken refuge in Flanders ; 
others, of the poorer sort, were driven into the woods, 
and, in the extremities of hunger, feeding upon the 
raw nuts and acorns which they gathered, were seized 
wdth diseases which carried them ofi" in great agony .t 
The continued miseries of war reduced the district 
round Perth to the state of a desert, where there was 
neither house for man, nor harbour for cattle ; and the 
wild deer coming down from the mountains, resumed 
possession of the desolate region, and ranged in herds 
within a short distance of the town. It is even said, 
that some unhappy wretches were driven to such ex- 
tremities of want and misery, as to prey upon human 
flesh ; and that a horrid being, vulgarly called Cristi- 
cleik^ from the iron hook with which he seized his 
victims, took up his abode in the mountains, and, 
assisted by a ferocious female, with whom he lived, 
lay in ambush for the travellers who passed near his 
den, and methodically exercised the trade of a canni- 
bal. | The story is perhaps too dreadful for belief; 
yet Winton, who relates it, is in no respect given to 
the marvellous ; and a similar circumstance is recorded 
as late as the reign of James the Second. 

In the midst of this complicated national distress, 
the Steward continued to prosecute the siege of Stir- 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 235. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 324. Winton, vol. ii. p. 236. 

X Winton, vol. ii. p. 23G. Fordun a Cxoodal, vol. ii. p. 331. 


ling with much vigour and abihty; and Rokesbury 
the governor, after a long and gallant defence, was at 
last compelled by famine to give up the castle, which, 
being found too strong in its mason work and bastions 
to be easily dismantled, was intrusted to the keeping 
of Maurice of Moray.* In this siege, the Scots had 
to lament the loss of Sir William Keith, a brave and 
experienced soldier, who had done good service in these 
wars. As he mounted the ladder in complete armour, 
he was struck down by a stone thrown from the ram- 
parts, and, falling heavily and awkwardly, was thrust 
through by his own spear.-j* It is related by Frois- 
sart, that cannon were employed at the siege of Stir- 
ling ; but the fact is not corroborated by contemporary 

Scotland had of late years suffered severely from 
famine, and had owed its support more to provisions 
surreptitiously imported from England, than to the 
fruits of native industr3\J But the exertions of 
the High Steward, and his fellow soldiers Douglas and 
Ramsay, had now expelled the English from nearly 
the whole country; the castles of Edinburgh, Jed- 
burgh, Lochmaben, and Roxburgh, with some inferior 
strengths in their vicinity, were all that remained in 
the hands of Edward ; and the regent seized a short 
interval of peace to make a progress through the coun- 
try, for the re-establishment of order, and the distri- 
bution of justice.§ The good effects of this were soon 

* Lord Hailes seems to have antedated the siege of Stirling, when he 
places it in the year 1339, We find, from the Rotuli Scotite, vol, i, p. 600, 
14 Edw. IIL, m, 15, that Stirling was in possession of the English as late 
as 1340 ; and that in June 1341, the Scots were employed in the second 
siege of Stirling. What was the exact date of the first siege is uncertain, 
but it seems to have been interrupted by an armistice, Fordun a Hearne, 
p. 1(13 1, asserts, that Sir W^illiam Keith was slain at the siege of Stirling in 
1337 : but the date is an error, 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p. 237, J Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 541. 

§ Fcirdun a Goodal, vol, ii. pp, 331, 332. 

1341. DAVID II. 61 

observable in the gradual revival of regular industry: 
to use the strong language of Bower, the kingdom began 
to breathe anew ; husbandmen once more were seen at 
the plough, and priests at the altar; but the time 
which was allowed proved too short to give permanency 
to these changes. War suddenly recommenced with 
great fury; and the castle of Edinburgh, commanded 
by Limosin, an English knight, fell into the hands of 
the enemy. The Scots owed the possession of this 
fortress to a stratagem of Bullock, the late Governor 
of Cupar, executed with address and boldness by the 
Knight of Liddesdale. 

The castle was strongly fortified both by art and 
nature; and, as its garrison scoured and commanded 
the country round, they gave great annoyance to the 
Scots. Douglas, who lurked in the neighbourhood 
with two hundred soldiers, procured Walter Curry, a 
merchantman of Dundee,* to run his ship into the 
Forth, under pretence of its being an English victual- 
ling vessel, and to make an offer to supply the garri- 
son with wine and corn. The device succeeded; and 
the porter, without suspicion, opened the outer gate 
and lowered the drawbridge to the wagons and hampers 
of the pretended merchant and his drivers, who, throw- 
ing off the grey frocks which covered their armour, 
stabbed the warder in an instant, and sounded a horn, 
which called up Douglas and his men from their am- 
bush at the foot of the hill. All this could not be so 
rapidly executed, but that the cry of treason alarmed 
the governor ; and the soldiers arming in haste, and 
crowding to the gates, began a desperate conflict. The 
wagons, however, had been so dexterously placed, that 

* Curry seems to have been assisted by another person, named William 
Fairley. Chamberlain Accounts. — Compotum Camerarii Scotise, p. 278. 
They received a grant of lOO lbs. reward from a parliament held at Scone. 


it became impossible to let down the portcullis ; and 
Doufjlas rusliins: in with his men, soon decided the 
affair. Of the garrison, only the governor, Limosin, 
and six esquires, escaped;* the rest were put to the 
sword, and the command of the castle was intrusted 
to a natural brother of the Knight of Liddesdale, 

There are two particulars regarding this spirited 
enterprise, which are worthy of remark. Curry was 
a Scotsman, yet it seems he found no difficulty in in- 
troducing himself as an English merchant, from which 
there arises a strong presumption, that the languages 
spoken in both countries were nearly the same ; and 
both he and his followers, before they engaged in the 
enterprise, took the precaution of shaving their beards, 
a proof that the Norman fashion of wearing no beard, 
had not been adopted in Scotland in the fourteenth 
century.-f- Soon after this success, the regent and the 
estates of Scotland, considering the kingdom to be 
almost cleared of their enemies, sent an embassy to 
France, requesting that their youthful sovereign would 
return to his dominions. David accordingly, who had 
now for nine years been an exile in a foreign land, 
embarked with his queen ; and, although the English 
ships had already greatly annoyed the Scots, and still 
infested the seas, he had the good fortune to escape all 
interruption, and to land in safety at Innerbervie on 
the 4th of June, where he was received with the utmost 
joy by all classes of his subjects.} 

The young king was now in his eighteenth year, and 
began to betray a character violent in its passions and 
resentments, and of considerable personal intrepidity ; 
but his education at the French court had smitten him 

* Froissart, vol. i. p. 359. Edition de Buclion. 

+ Winton, vol, ii. pp. 240, 243. Fordun a Cfoodal, vol. ii. p. 332. 

i Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 334. Winton, vol. ii. p. 250. 

1341. DAVID II. 63 

with an immoderate love of pleasure : he possessed few 
of the great qualities necessary for the government of 
a kingdom so perilously circumstanced as Scotland; 
and he appears to have been totally unacquainted with 
the dispositions of the fierce and independent nobility 
over whom he ruled. This was the more to be re- 
gretted, as the circumstances in which he found the 
country upon his arrival, were such as, to manage suc- 
cessfully, required a union of great prudence and firm- 
ness. In the minority which had taken place since the 
death of Bruce, and in the absence of the name and 
power of a king, a race of fierce and independent barons 
had grown up, who ruled at will over their own vast 
estates, and despised the authority of the laws. Be- 
tween the king and the Steward of Scotland, who now 
laid down his office of regent, there does not appear to 
have been any cordial feelings ; and it is probable that 
David never forgot the conspiracy of Athole in 1334, 
by which this fickle and ambitious baron, and the 
Steward, then a young man, acknowledged Baliol, and 
made their peace with Edward. Athole indeed was 
slain, and the subsequent conduct of the Steward had 
been consistent and patriotic ; but the king could not 
fail to regard him with that jealousy, which a monarch, 
without children, is apt to feel towards the person 
whom the parliament had declared his successor, and 
who had already, on one occasion, shown so little re- 
gard for his allegiance. 

As for the other powerful barons, the Knight of 
Liddesdale, his kinsman Lord William Douglas, the 
Earl of Moray, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, 
and Bullock, who soon after became chamberlain, they 
were indeed unanimous in their opposition to England; 
but a long possession of military power made them 
impatient of the control of a superior, and it was almost 



impossible for a sovereign to confer his favours upon 
them, without exciting jealousy and dissension. All 
this, in a short time, became apparent ; and a thought- 
less measure, which the monarch adopted soon after 
his arrival, evinced his ignorance and want 'of judg- 
ment in a fatal manner. Sir Alexander Ramsay of 
Dalhousie had distinguished himself in the Scottish 
wars, and was universally beloved in the country for 
his brave and patriotic qualities. Scarcely had the 
young king arrived in his dominions, when word was 
brought him, that Roxburgh castle, a fortress of great 
strength and importance, had been taken in a night 
escalade by this baron, upon whom, in the first ardour 
of his gratitude, David conferred the government of 
the place, and along with it the sheriffship of Teviot- 
dale.* This was a generous but thoughtless act, and 
certainly unjust, for the Knight of Liddesdale then 
held the office of sheriff; and a fierce and deadly enmity 
arose in the breast of Douglas against Ramsay, his old 
companion in arms. His way of revenging himself, 
afibrds a melancholy proof of the lawless independence 
of these feudal nobles, as well as of the treachery of 
his disposition. He first pretended to be reconciled 
to Ramsay ; and, having silenced suspicion by treating 
him with his usual friendship, led a band of soldiers 
to Hawick, where he knew that the new sheriff held 
his court in the open church. It is said that Ramsay 
was warned of his intention, but, trusting to the recon- 
ciliation which had taken place, discredited the story. 
On Douo'las enterino: the church, Ramsav invited him 
to take his place beside him ; on which that fierce 
baron drew his sword, seized his victim, who was 
wounded in attempting a vain resistance, and throw- 
inp' him bleedins: across a horse, carried him off to his 

* "Winton, vol. ii. p. 252. 

1342. DAVID II. 65 

castle of Hermitage, where he thrust him into a dun- 
geon. It happened that there was a granary above 
his prison, and some particles of corn fell through the 
chinks and crevices of the floor, upon which he sup- 
ported a miserable existence for seventeen days, and 
at last died of hunger.* 

It is a melancholy reflection, that a fate so horrid 
befell one of the bravest and most popular leaders of 
the Scottish nation ; and that the deed did not only 
pass unrevenged, but that its perpetrator received a 
speedy pardon, and was rewarded by the office which 
had led to the murder. Douglas became governor of 
Roxburgh castle, sheriff of Teviotdale, and protector 
of the middle marches, and owed his pardon and pre- 
ferment to the intercession of the High Steward of 
Scotland. In attempting to form an estimate of the 
manners of the age, it ought not to be forgotten, that 
this savage murder was perpetrated by a person, who, 
for his knightly qualities, was styled the " Flower of 
Chivalry.'' It was an invariable effect of the principle 
of vassalage in the feudal system, that the slaughter 
of any of the greater barons rendered it an imperative 
duty, in every one who followed his banner, to revenge 
his death upon all who were in the most remote degree 
connected with it ; so that we are not to wonder that 
the assassination of Ramsay w^as followed by intermi- 
nable feuds, dissensions, and conspiracies, not only 
amongst the higher nobility, but amongst the lesser 
barons. It was probably one of these plots, of which 
it is impossible now to detect the ramifications, that 
accelerated the fate of Bullock, the able and intriguing 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 254. !RIore than four hundred years after this, a 
countr}Tnan, in excavating round the foundation of Hennitage castle, laid 
open a stone vault, in Avhich, amid a heap of chaff and dust, lay several hu- 
man bones, along with a large and powerful bridle-bit, and an ancient 
sword. These were conjectured, and with great probability, to have be- 
longed to the unfortunate victim of Douglas., 


ecclesiastic renegade, who had deserted BaHol to join 
the king. Having become suspected by his master, 
he was suddenly stript of his honours, deprived of the 
high offices in which he had amassed immense wealth, 
and cast amongst the meanest criminals, into a dun- 
geon of the castle of Lochendorb, in Moray, where he 
was starved to death. The probable truth seems to 
be, that Bullock, a man of high talents, but the slave 
of ambition and the love of intrigue, had been tam- 
pering with the English, and that his fate, though 
cruel, was not unmerited.* 

The period immediately following the arrival ot 
David in his dominions till we reach the battle of Dur- 
ham,*!* is undistinguished by any events ol importance. 
The Scots, with various success, invaded and ravaged 
the border counties of England ; but a revolt of the 
Island chief John of Argyle, and other northern barons, J 
recalled the king'*s attention to the unsettled state of 
his affairs at home, and made him willing to accede tc 
a two-years' truce with England. This interval was em- 
ployed by Edward in an attempt to seduce the Knight 
of Liddesdale from his allegiance, and there seems 
reason to think that a conspiracy, at the head of which 
was this brave, but fickle, soldier, and which had for 
its object the restoration of Baliol to the crown, was 
organizing throughout Scotland, and that Bullock, 
W'hose fate w^e have just recounted, was connected with 
the plot.§ It is certain, at least, that Douglas had 
repeated private meetings with Baliol and the English 
commissioners ; that he had agreed to embrace the 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 336. f From 1342 to 1346. 

+ Knighton, p. 2581. 

§ This may be inferred, I think, from the circumstance, that Bullock 
■was seized by David de Berklay ; and Berklay himself was, not long 
after, waylaid and assassinated by John de Saint Michael, at the instigation 
of the Knight of Liddesdale. Fordun a Hearne, p. \0oO and 1940. See 
also Himie's Douglas and Angus, vol. i. pp. 142, 143. 

1843-6. DAVID II. 67 

friendship of the King of England, and to receive a 
reward for his services.* These treacherous desio;ns 
however came to nothing. It may be that the stipu- 
lated reward was not duly paid ; or, perhaps, the fate 
of Bullock was a timely warning to Douglas ; and, 
anxious to wipe away all suspicion of treachery, the 
Knight of Liddesdale, regardless of the truce, broke 
across the Borders at the head of a numerous army, 
burnt Carlisle and Penrith, and after a skirmish in 
which the Bishop of Carlisle was unhorsed, retreated 
precipitately into Scotland. 

After this recommencement of hostilities, the mortal 
antipathy between the two countries broke out with 
greater violence than before; and the young king, 
believing Edward to be entirely occupied with his war 
on the continent, and anxious to produce a diversion 
in favour of his ally, Philip of France, gave orders for 
assembling an army, and resolved to invade England 
in person. -p The muster took place at Perth, and was 
greater than any kno-svn for a long period; troops were 
drawn from the islands of Scotland, as well as the 
mainland ; but the Highland chiefs brought their 
deadly feuds along with them, and these soon broke 
out into bloodshed. The Earl of Ross assassinated 
Ranald of the Isles in the monastery of Elcho, and 
dreading the royal vengeance, led his men back to their 
mountains; a circumstance which, in those days of 
superstition, was considered by the rest of the army a 
bad omen of success. In one respect it was worse than 
ominous ; for not only Ross's men left the army, but 
the soldiers of the Isles, deprived of their leader, dis- 
persed in confusion ; whilst many of the inferior High- 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 637, 640. April 10th, 1343. Foedera, vol. v. 
p. 379. 
t Walsingham, pp. 165, 516. 


land lords, anxious for the preservation of their lands, 
privately deserted, and returned home ; so that the 
king found his forces greatly reduced in number. 

Inheriting, however, the bravery of his father, but, 
as the event showed, little of his admirable judgment 
and military skill, David pressed forward from Perth; 
and, after rapidly traversing the intervening country, 
on reaching the Border, sat down before the castle of 
Liddel, then commanded by Walter Selby. Selby 
was that fierce freebooting chief, whose services we 
have seen successfully employed by King Robert 
Bruce, to w^aylay and plunder the Roman Cardinals 
in their ill-fated attempt to carry the bulls of excom- 
munication into Scotland. Since that time, he had 
lent himself to every party which could purchase his 
sword at the highest rate, and had lately espoused the 
quarrel of Edward Baliol, from whom he received a 
grant of lands in Roxburghshire.* David brought 
his milita^-y engines to bear upon the w^alls, which, 
after six days"* resistance, were demolished.*!* He then 
stormed the castle, put the garrison to the sword, and 
ordered Selby to instant execution. 

After this success, the veteran experience of the 
Kni2:ht of Liddesdale advised a retreat. Dous^las 
was, no doubt, aware of the strength of the northern 
English barons, and the overv/helming force which 
soon would be mustered against them ; but his salutary 
counsel was rejected by the youthful ardour of the 
king, and the jealousy of the Scottish nobles. " You 
have filled," said they, " your own coffers with Eng- 
lish gold, and secured your own lands by our valour ; 
and now you would restrain us from our share in the 
plunder, although the country is bare of fighting men, 

♦ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 820. 

+ Robert of Avesbury, a Heame, p. 145. 

1S46. DAVID 11. 69 

and none but cowardly clerks and mean meclianics 
stand between us and a march to London." * 

This, however, was a fatal mistake ; for, although 
Edward, with the army which had been victors at 
Cressy, lay now before Calais, yet Ralph Neville of 
Raby, Lord Henry Percy, Edward Baliol the ex-king 
of Scotland, the Earl of Angus, and the Border Lords 
Musgrave, Scrope, and Hastings, with many other 
barons, instantly summoned their strength to repel 
the invasion ; and a body of ten thousand men, who 
were ready to embark for Calais, received counter 
orders, and soon joined the muster. Besides this, the 
Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Prelates 
of Durham, Carlisle, and Lincoln, assumed their tem- 
poral arms, and with such of their church troops and 
vassals as had not accompanied the king, assembled to 
defend the country, so that an army of thirty thou- 
sand men, including a large body of men-at-arms, and 
twenty thousand English archers,+ w^ere speedily on 
their march against the Scots. 

David, meanwhile, advanced to Hexham, and for 
fourteen days plundered and laid waste the country, 
leaving his route to be traced through the bishoprick 
of Durham by the flames of villages and hamlets. It 
seems to have excited unwonted resentment and horror, 
that he did not spare even the sacred territory of St 
Cuthbert, although, if we may believe a monkish his- 
torian, the venerable saint visited the slumbers of the 
king, and implored him to desist from the profanation. 
Satiated at length with plunder, the Scottish army 
encamped at a place called Beaurepair, now Bear 
Park, within a short distance of Durham. By this 
time, the English army had taken up their ground in 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 340. 

i WintoD, vol. ii. pp. 260, 261. Fordun a Goedal, vol. ii. p. 341, 


the park of Bishop Auckland, not six miles distant 
from Beaurepair. The Scots' position was ill chosen. 
It was a plain or common, much intersected with 
ditches and hedges, which separated the divisions, and 
hindered them from supporting each other ; and the 
country round was of that undulated kind, that, unless 
the scouts were active, an enemy might approach 
within a few miles without being discovered. This 
was, in truth, the very event which happened ; and it 
gave melancholy proof that there were no longer such 
leaders as Bruce, or the Good Sir James, in the Scot- 
tish army. 

At daybreak, the Knight of Liddesdale pushed on 
before the rest of the Scots. He led a strong squadron 
of heavy-armed cavalry, and, advancing for the pur- 
pose of forage through the grounds near Sunderland, 
suddenly found himself in presence of the whole Eng- 
lish army. The proximity of the enemy rendered 
a retreat as hazardous as a conflict; yet Douglas 
attempted to retire; but his squadron was overtaken, 
and driven back, with the loss of five hundred men, 
upon the main body of the Scots. David instantly 
drew up his army in three divisions. He himself led 
the centre; the right wing was intrusted to the Earl 
of Moray, while the Knight of Liddesdale, and the 
Steward, with the Earl of Dunbar, commanded the 
left. These dispositions were made in great haste and 
alarm, and scarcely completed, when the English 
archers had advanced almost within bowshot.* Sir 
John de Graham, an experienced soldier, at this 
moment rode up to the king, and earnestly besought 
him to command the cavalry to charge the archers in 
flank. It was the same manoeuvre which had been 
successful at Bannockburn, but from ignorance or 

* Winton, vol. ii. pp. 261, 262. 

1346. DAVID II. 71 

youthful obstinacy, David was deaf to his advice. 
" Give me," cried Graham, in an agony of impatience, 
as the fatal phalanx of the archers advanced nearer 
and nearer; " give me but a hundred horse, and I 
engage to disperse them all."* Yet even this was 
unaccountably denied him, and the brave baron, 
seconded by none but his own followers, threw himself 
upon the bowmen; but it was too late; time had been 
given them to fix their arrows, and the deadly shower 
was sped. Graham's horse was shot under him, and 
he himself with difficulty escaped back to the army. 

It was now nine in the morning, (17th Oct. 1346,) 
and the whole English force had come up. A large 
crucifix was carried in the front of the line, around it 
waved innumerable banners and pennons, gorgeously 
embroidered, belonging chiefly to the church, and the 
close battle immediately began, under circumstances 
discouraoino; to the Scots. The discharo^e of the archers 
had already greatly galled and distressed them, the 
division commanded by the Earl of Moray was fiercely 
attacked by the English men-at-arms, the ditches and 
hedges which intersected the ground broke his array 
and impeded his movements, and the English cavalry 
charged through the gaps in the line, making a dread- 
ful havoc. At last Moray fell, and his division was 
entirely routed. The English then attacked the main 
centre of the Scots, where David commanded in per- 
son : and as it also was drawn up in the same broken 
and enclosed ground, the various leaders and their 
vassals were separated, and fought at a serious disad- 
vantage.f Their flank, too, was exposed to the dis- 
charge of a body of ten thousand English bowmen; 
and, as the distance diminished, the arrows, flying 

* "Winton,bookviii.cliap.xl.vol.ii. p.262, FordunaGoodal,voI. ii.p.342. 
t Winton, vol. ii. p. 263. 


with a truer aim and more fatal strength, told fearfully 
against the Scots. Yet the battle raged for three 
hours with great slaughter;* and the young king, 
although he had evinced little military judgment in 
the disposition of his army, fought with obstinate and 
hereditary valour. He was defended by a circle of 
his nobility, who fell fast around him. The Constable 
David de la Haye, Keith the Marshal, Chartres the 
High Chancellor, and Peebles the Lord Chamberlain, 
with the Earls of Moray and Strathern, and thirty 
barons belonging to the principal families in Scotland, 
were slain. The king himself, although grievously 
wounded by two arrows, one of which pierced deep, 
and could not be extracted without great agony, long 
continued to resist and encouraio^e the few that were 
left around him. An English knight named Copland, 
at last broke in upon him, and after a hard struggle, 
in which two of his teeth were knocked out by the 
king^s dagger,-|- succeeded in overpowering and disarm- 
ino^ him. 

On the capture of the king, the High Steward and 
the Earl of March, whose division had not suffered so 
severely, judging, probably, that any attempt to re- 
store the day would be hopeless, drew off their troops, 
and escaped from the field; J for the English were for- 
tunately too much occupied in plunder and making 
prisoners, to engage in a pursuit which might have 
been so fatal. Amongst the prisoners, besides the king, 
were the Knight of Liddesdale, the Earls of Fife. Men- 
teith, Sutherland, and Wigton, and fifty other barons 
and knights. It is not too high a computation, if we 
estimate the loss of the Scots in this fatal battle at 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 2G3. 

f Ibid. p. 264. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 342. 

:|I Fordun a Hearne, p. 1038. See observations on Lord Hailes' account 
of tiie battleof Durham, Illustrations, E. Chronicle of Lanercost, pp. 343,351. 

1S46. DAVID II. 73 

fifteen thousand men.* That of the English was ex- 
ceedingly small, if we consider how long the conflict 
lasted. Froissart has asserted, that the English 
Queen Philippa was in the field, and harangued the 
troops, mounted on a white charger. The story is 
contradicted by all the contemporary historians, both 
Eno-lish and Scottish. 

A defeat so calamitous had not been sustained by 
Scotland since the days of Edward the First. Their 
best officers were slain or taken, and their king a cap- 
tive. David, with the rest of the prisoners, was, after 
a short time, conveyed to London, and led in great 
state to the Tower, amid a guard of twenty thousand 
men-at-arms. The captive prince was mounted on a 
tall black courser, so that he could be seen by the 
whole people ; and the mayor and aldermen, wdth the 
various crafts of the city, preceded by their officers, 
and clothed in their appropriate dresses, attended on 
the occasion, and increased the efi'ect of the pageant.^f* 
On being lodged in the Tower, however, all expense 
and splendour were at an end; and Edward, with an 
ungenerous economy, compelled his royal prisoner to 
sustain the expense of his establishment, J and im- 
posed the same heavy tax upon his brother captives. § 

Thus was David, after his tedious exile in France, 
and having enjoyed his kingly power but for six years, 
compelled to sufier the bitter penalty of his rashness, 
and condemned to a long captivity in England. The 
conduct of the Steward, in preferring the dictates 
of prudence, perhaps of ambition, to the feelings 
which would have led him to have sacrificed his life 
in an attempt to rescue the king, cannot be easily 

* Knighton, p. 2591. Leland, p. 561, from the Scala Chronicle. 

t Knighton, p. 2592. 

X Rotuli Scotise, 21 Ed. III., vol. i. pp. 690, 696, 

§ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 705, 706. 


exculpated. He and the Earl of March, with the 
third division of the army under their command, made 
good their retreat; and their escape was ultimately 
fortunate for the country. But it excited a feeling of 
lasting personal resentment in the bosom of the king : 
it was probably the cause of that determined opposi- 
tion which he ever afterwards manifested to the Stew- 
ard; and it is this unforgiving hostility, embittered 
by the conviction that he owed his eleven years'* cap- 
tivity to the desertion at Durham, which can alone 
explain those extraordinary intrigues for substituting 
an English prince upon the throne, in which David, 
at a subsequent period, basely permitted himself to be 
involved. Meanwhile, the consequences of the battle 
of Durham were brilliant to England, but not lasting 
or important. 

Roxburgh castle, the key of the kingdom on the 
Borders, surrendered to Henry Percy and Ralph 
Neville, and the English overran the districts of 
Tweeddale, the Merse, Ettrick, Annandale, and Gal- 
loway.* Availing themselves of the panic and con- 
fusion which ensued upon the captivity of the king, 
they pushed forward into Lothian, and boasted that 
the marches of the kingdom were from Coldbrandspath 
to Soutra, and from thence to Carlops and Cross- 

Baliol, who had acted a principal part in these inva- 
sions, now believed that the entire subjugation of Scot- 
land, so long delayed, was at length to be accomplished, 
and the sceptre to be for ever wrested from the line of 
Bruce. He took up his residence at the castle of 
Caerlaverock, on the shores of the Solway ;| and hav- 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 265. Scala Chron. quoted in Leland's Collection, 
vol. i. p. 562. 
+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. S46. X Knighton, p. 2592. 

1846. DAVID II. 75 

ing collected a strong force of the savage freebooters 
of Galloway, was joined by Percy and Neville, with 
a large body of men-at-arms and mounted archers. 
At the head of this army he overran the Lothians, 
scoured the country as far as Glasgow, wasted Cun- 
ningham and Niddesdale, and rendered himself uni- 
versally odious by the ferocity which marked his 

At this time, Lionel duke of Ulster, the son of 
Edward the Third, became engaged in a mysterious 
transaction relative to the affairs in Scotland, upon 
which, unfortunately, no contemporary documents 
throw any satisfactory light. By an agreement, en- 
tered into between this English prince and the Lords 
Henry Percy and Ralph Neville, these barons under- 
took to assist Baliol with a certain force of men-at-arms. 
Only the name of the treaty remains;* but, if a con- 
jecture may be hazarded on so dark a subject, it seems 
probable that the ambition of Lionel began already to 
aspire to the crown of Scotland. Baliol was childless ; 
and the English prince may have proffered him his 
assistance, under some implied condition that he should 
adopt him as his successor. We know for certain, 
that on Baliol being for ever expelled from Scotland, 
Lionel engaged in the same political intrigue with 
David the Second. But, although the precise nature 
of this transaction is not easily discoverable, it soon 
became apparent that the English king had no serious 
design of assisting Baliol in his recovery of the crown. 
At this conjuncture, the nobles who had escaped from 
Durham conferred the guardianship of the kingdom 

* Ayloffe's Ancient Charters, p. 299. " Indentura tractatus inter Leo- 
nellum filium Edwardi tertii primogenitum, Comitem de Ulster, ex una 
parte, et Monsieur Henry Percy et Ranf. Neville, ex altera parte, per quam 
ipsi Henricus et Radulphus conveniunt se servituros in Scotia pro auxilio 
prestando Edwardo de Baliol Regi Scotiie, cum 360 soldariis." 112 Ed. III. 


upon the High Steward ;| and whatever imputations 
his conduct at Durham might have cast upon his per- 
sonal ambition, it is certain that, as the enemy of the 
ambitious designs of England, and the strenuous 
assertor of the Hberty of his country, the grandson of 
Bruce did not show himself unworthy of his high 
descent. During a season of unequalled panic and 
confusion he maintained the authority of the laws; 
the command of the castles, and the government of 
the counties, were intrusted to men of tried fidelity; 
and to procure a breathing time, negotiations were set 
on foot for a truce. 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 103S. 

1346. DAVID n. 77 




King 0/ England. I King of France. 
Edward III. I Philip of Valois. 

Clement VI. 
Innocent VI. 
Urban V. 

Upon the part of England, the policy of Edward the 
Third towards Scotland was different from that of his 
predecessor. There was now no talk of conferring the 
crown upon Baliol. The persuasion in England seems 
to have been, that the battle of Durham, and the ac- 
quisition of the Border provinces, had decided its fate 
as a conquered country. A conference upon the sub- 
ject was appointed to be held at Westminster, to which 
were summoned the prelates and barons of the northern 
provinces ; an English justiciary was appointed for the 
new kingdom; and the Barons Lucy, Dacre, and 
Umfraville, were directed to accept the fealty of a 
people whom, with premature triumph, they believed 
ready to submit to the yoke of England.* 

Whilst such was the course of events in Scotland, 
the English king endeavoured to strike a panic into 
the few barons who remained to defend their country, 

* Rotuli Scotiffi, 10th Dec. 20 Ed. III., vol, i. p. 679. Ibid. vol. i. p. 684. 
21 Ed. III., 14th Feb. 1346. Ibid. vol. i. p. 687. 


by the trial of the Earls of Menteith and Fife, made 
prisoners at the battle of Durham. Both were found 
guilty of treason, on the ground of their having risen 
in arms against their liege lord, Edward the Third. 
Menteith was executed, and his quarters, in the savage 
spirit of the times, parcelled over the kingdom.* The 
Earl of Fife, after condemnation, had his life spared, 
from his relationship to Edward the First. These 
trials were followed by the seizure of all ecclesiastical 
lands belonfi^ino: to churchmen who were unfavour- 
ably disposed to England, by the resumption into the 
hands of the crown of all the estates in that country 
which had been given to English subjects, and by the 
imposition of additional duties on the commodities 
exported from Berwick. Edward''s object in all this 
was, in the impoverished state of his exchequer, to 
collect funds for payment of the army which it was 
intended to lead against Scotland. But, fortunately 
for that country, a new war proved, at this conjunc- 
ture, highly unpopular amongst the English barons. ■[• 
Their sovereign, notwithstanding all his efforts, was 
distressed for money, and engrossed with his ambitious 
schemes in France. It was at this time, when all 
looked so dark and hopeless, that William lord Doug- 
las, nephew of the Good Sir James, who had been bred 
to arms in the wars of France, returned to Scotland. 
In him the Steward soon found an able assistant. 
Possessing the military talents which seem to have 
been then hereditary in the family, he soon expelled 
the English from Douglasdale, took possession of 
Ettrick Forest, and, raising the men of Teviotdale, 
cleared that district from the invaders. if 

Edward's desire of recruiting his coffers, by the high 

* Rotuli Scotiffi, vol. i. p. 689. 6th March, 1346-7 ; Ayloffe, p. 203. 
t Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 687. t Winton, vol. ii. pp. 2G9, 270. 

1348-52. DAVID II. 79 

ransom wliich he knew must be paid for the Scottish 
king, and the many noble prisoners, taken at Durham, 
induced him to postpone his projected invasion of 
Scotland,* and to enter into negotiations, which con- 
cluded in a truce.*!* This cessation of hostilities con- 
tinued, by means of successive prolongations, for six 
years. But the liberty of the king was a matter of 
more difficult arrangement. After many conferences, 
which were protracted from year to year, the condi- 
tions demanded by Edward were refused; and David 
revisited his dominions only upon his parole, having 
left seven youths, of the noblest families in the coun- 
try, as hostages for his return. J 

During his captivity, a dreadful visitant had ap- 
peared in his dominions, in the shape of a pestilence, 
more rapidly destructive than any hitherto known in 
modern times. This scourge had already, for many 
years, been carrying its ravages through Europe, and 
it now at last reached Scotland. § It is a remarkable 
fact, that when the great European pestilence of the 
seventh century was at its height, the Picts and Scots 
of Britain were the only nations who did not suffer 
from its ravages. But the exemption was now at an 
end ; and, owing to whatever causes, the calamity fell 
with as deadly force on Scotland as on any other part 
of Europe. II 

Not long after David's return, a commissioner arrived 
from Edward, who appears to have been intrusted 
with a secret and important communication to the 
King of Scotland and Lord William Douglas. IF Al- 
though, from the brief and unsatisfactory document 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. v. pp. 646, 647. 
+ Rotuli Scotise, 15th April, 21 Edward III., p. 694. 
X Rymer, vol. v. pp. 724, 727. § Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 347. 

II Macpherson's Notes on Winton, vol. ii. p. 512. Fordun a Heame, p. 1039. 
^ RjTner's Fcedera, vol. v. p. 737, 738. 


which notices this transaction, much mystery hangs 
over it; yet enough is discoverable to throw a deep 
shade upon the character of the Scottish king. Worn 
out by tlie prospect of a long captivity, rendered 
doubly bitter by his recent taste of the sweets of 
liberty, he had agreed to sacrifice the independence of 
his kingdom to his desire of freedom; and there yet 
remain in the chapter-house at Westminster two in- 
struments, in which David recoo-nises the Kins: of 
England as his Lord Paramount, and consents to take 
the oaths of homage.* 

When the country was thus betrayed by its king, 
we can scarcely wonder that the fidelity of some of the 
nobles began to waver. Many of the inferior barons 
and prisoners who were taken at the battle of Durham, 
by this time had paid their ransom and returned to 
Scotland, where they joined the Steward and his friends 
in their opposition to Edward. But the prisoners of 
highest rank and importance were kept in durance, 
and amongst these the Knight of Liddesdale. This 
leader, deservedly illustrious by his military talents 
and success, but cruel, selfish, and ambitious, was a 
second time seduced from his allegiance, and agreed to 
purchase his liberty, at the expense of becoming a 
retainer of Edward. He consented to allow the Eng- 
lish to pass unmolested through his lands, and neither 
openly nor secretly to give assistance to his own coun- 
try, or to any other nation, against the King of 
England ; from whom, in return for this desertion, 
he received a grant of the territory of Liddesdale, be- 
sides other lands in the interior of Annandale.t There 
seems to be strong presumptive ground to conclude, 

* Ayloffe's Calendars of Charters, p. 299. 

+ Rymer's Foedera,vol. v. p. 739. Rotuli Scotise, 18th July, 26 Ed. III., 
vol, i. p. 753. 

1352. DAVID II. 81 

that the secret intercourse, lately carried on with Eng- 
land, related to these base transactions, and that David 
had expected to procure the consent of his people to 
his humiliating acknowledgment of fealty to Edward. 
But the nation would not listen to the proposal for a 
moment. They longed, indeed, for the presence of 
their king, and were willing to make every sacrifice 
for the payment of his ransom ; but they declared, with 
one voice, that no consideration whatever should in- 
duce them to renounce their independence, and David 
was reluctantly compelled to return to his captivity in 

The Scottish kinoj and the Knio^ht of Liddesdale had 
expected to find in Lord William Douglas a willing 
assistant in their secret intrigues and negotiations ; 
but they were disappointed. Douglas proved the 
steady enemy of England, and aware of the base game 
which had been played by Liddesdale, he defeated it by 
breaking into Galloway at the head of a powerful force, 
and compelling the wavering barons of that wild and 
unsettled district to renounce the English alliance, and 
to swear fealty to the Scottish king.f At the same 
time, Roger Kirkpatrick wrested from the English the 
important castles of Caerlaverock and Dalswinton, and 
preserved in its allegiance the territory of Niddesdale ; 
whilst the regent of the kingdom, assisted by his son, 
afterwards king, collected an army, and making his 
head-quarters in Annandale, where disafi'ection had 
chiefly spread, contrived to keep that district in tran- 
quillity. The intrigues of the Knight of Liddesdale 
were thus entirely defeated. He had hoped to make 
Annandale the central point from which he was to 
commence his attack, and to reduce the country under 
his new master Edward ; but, on his return from 

* Knighton, p. 2603. + Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 356, 


captivity, lie found his treachery discovered, and his 
schemes entirely defeated. 

Since the death of the Good Sir James, the Dou- 
glases had looked to the Knight of Liddesdale as their 
head, and the chief power of that family had centred 
in this haron. But the murder of Ramsay, his loose 
and fierce habits, and the stain thrown upon him by 
consenting to become the vassal of England, all con- 
tributed to render him odious to his countrymen, and 
to raise, in bright opposition to his, the character of 
William earl of Douglas, his near kinsman. This 
seems to have excited a deadly enmity between them, 
and other circumstances contributed to increase the 
feeling. The Earl of Douglas had expelled the Eng- 
lish from Liddesdale and Annandale, and was in pos- 
session of the large feudal estates of the family. On 
the other hand, the Knight of Liddesdale, during his 
treasonable intercourse with England, obtained a grant 
of Hermita^re castle and the whole of Liddesdale from 
Edward ; nor was he of a temper to consent tamely to 
their occupation. These causes, increased, it is said, 
by a jealousy on the part of the earl, who suspected 
his countess of a partiality for his rival, led to an 
atrocious murder. As Liddesdale was hunting in 
Ettrick Forest, he was beset and cruelly slain by his 
kinsman, at a spot called Galford.* The body was 
carried to Lindin Kirk, a chapel in the Forest, not 
far from Selkirk, where it lay for some time. It was 
then transported to Melrose, and buried in that an- 
cient abbey.t The deed was a dark and atrocious one, 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 1041. 

+ Hume's Douglas and Angus, vol. i. p. 143. Hume has quoted a single 
stanza of an old ballad, made on this mournful occasion. 

" The Countess of Douglas out of her bower she came. 
And loudly there did she call. 
It is for the Lord of Liddesdale 
That 1 let the tears down fall." 

1353. DAVID II. 83 

and conveys a melancholy picture of the fierce and 
lawless state of Scotland. But Liddesdale met with 
little sympathy : to gratify his own private revenge, 
he had been guilty of repeated murders ; and his late 
treaty with Edward had cancelled all his former ser- 
vices to his country. 

Since the commencement of his captivity, David had 
now made three unsuccessful attempts to negotiate for 
his liberty;* but many circumstances stood between 
him and freedom. The English king continued to 
confer on Baliol, who lived under his protection, the 
style of King of Scotland, and refused to David his 
royal titles ;-f* and although it was evident that Edward's 
real intentions were to subdue Scotland for himself, 
while this nominal monarch was merely employed as 
a tool to be thrown aside at pleasure, yet so long as 
his avowed purpose was the restoration of Baliol, there 
was a consistency in keeping his rival in durance. On 
the other hand, whatever disposition there might be 
on the part of the Scots to shut their eyes to the fail- 
ings of the son of Bruce, his character had sunk in 
their estimation, and he had deservedly become an 
object of suspicion and distrust. The brilliant and 
commanding talents of Edward the Third had acquired 
a strong influence over his mind ; he had become at- 
tached to the country and manners of his enemies, and, 
in the absence of his queen, had formed an unworthy 
connexion with a lady of the name of Mortimer. The 
return, therefore, of David, was an event rather to be 
deprecated, than desired, by the country. The Ste- 
ward, with the barons of his party, dreaded not only 
the loss of his own personal consequence, and the esta- 
blishment on the throne of a sovereign whom he knew 
to be his enemy ; but, what was still more intolerable, 

* In 1348, 1350, and 1353. f Rymer, vol. v. pp. 788, 791. 


they saw in it the establishment of the superiority of 
England, and the vassalage of their own land. It is 
to this cause, assuredly, that we are to attribute the 
coldness and reluctance with which the no2:otiations 
proceeded. They were, however, at length concluded 
at Newcastle, in the month of July, 1354, by a treaty, 
in which David's ransom was fixed at ninety thousand 
marks, — an enormous sum for that period ; and it was 
stipulated, that this money was to be paid in nine 
years, at the rate of ten thousand marks annually.* 

The commissioners who conducted the nes-otiations 
for this treaty, were, the Bishops of St Andrews and 
Brechin, along with Patrick Dunbar earl of March, 
one of the few Scottish earls who had escaped capti- 
vity at the battle of Durham; but, previous to its 
ratification, Eugene de Garencieres, who had already 
served in the Scottish wars, arrived upon a mission 
from the court of France, at the head of a body of sixty 
knights, and bringing with him a seasonable subsidy 
of French gold, in the shape of forty thousand moutons 
cVoi\ which were distributed by him amongst the Scot- 
tish nobles."!* 

The coming of this ambassador produced a great 
change. The treaty of ransom had been especially 
unpopular with the patriotic party in Scotland, as the 
sum stipulated was far too heavy a drain upon the 
country. It had not yet received the consent of the 
regent, or the final ratification of the states of the 
realm; and Garencieres found little difficulty in per- 
suading them to give up all thoughts of peace, and to 
seize the earliest opportunity of recommencing hostili- 
ties. For the present, therefore, the King of Scot- 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. v. p, 791. 

+ Winton, vol. ii. p.271. Macplierson'sNotes,p. 512. Leland's Collect, 
vol. i. p. 564. 

1354. DAVID II. 85 

land, who had seen himself on the point of regaining 
his liberty, was remanded to the Tower; and an in- 
vasion of England resolved on as soon as the truce 
expired.* Yet the English themselves were the first 
aggressors in a Border inroad, in which they laid waste 
the extensive possessions of the Earl of March.-|- 

To revenge the insult, this nobleman, along with 
the Earl of Douglas, and a large body of men-at-arms, 
who were reinforced by the French knights and sol- 
diers, under the command of Garencieres, marched 
towards the Borders, and occupied a strong pass near 
Nesbit Moor; where the hilly country, and the tor- 
tuous nature of the road, allowed them to form an 
ambuscade. They then despatched Sir William Ram- 
say of Dalhousie, having four hundred men under his 
banner, to cross the Tweed, and plunder the village of 
Norham, and the adjacent country. It was the con- 
stant policy of Edward to keep a strong garrison in 
Norham castle. Its vicinity to the Borders made it 
one of the keys to England on the East Marches; it 
was exposed to perpetual attacks, and, in consequence, 
became the general rendezvous of the bravest and 
most stirring spirits in the English service. Ramsay 
executed his task of destruction with unsparing fide- 
lity; and, in his retreat, took care to drive his booty 
past under the walls of the castle. The insult, as 
was expected, brought out the whole English garrison 
upon them, led by the constable. Sir Thomas Grey, 
and Sir James Dacre. After a short resistance, Ram- 
say fled to where the Scottisharmy lay concealed; and 
the English pursuing, suddenly found themselves, on 
turning round the shoulder of a mountain, in presence 
of the well-known banners of Douglas. Retreat was 
now impossible, and resistance almost equally fruit- 

♦ Eotuli Scotiae, voU i. p. 779. + Fordun a Heame, p. 1043, 


less, for Douglas greatly outnumbered the English; 
but it was the age of chivalry, and the constable of 
Norham was a true disciple of the order.* Forming 
his little band around him, he called for his son, and 
made him a knight on the field; he then commanded 
his men-at-arms to dismount, and fight on foot with 
the archers; after which, he and his brother knights 
attacked the Scots with the greatest courage, and per- 
formed what, in the language of those times, were 
denominated " many fair passes of arms." In the 
end, however, he was compelled to surrender to Dou- 
glas, along with his son Dacre, and the whole garrison. 
After the fight, there occurred a fierce trait of feudal 
vengeance. One of the French knights purchased 
from the Scots some of their prisoners, and, leading 
them to a remote spot on the mountain, murdered 
them in cold blood, declaring that he did this to revenge 
the death of his father, who had been slain by the 
English in their wars in France.-f^ 

The city of Berwick, at this time in the hands of 
Edward, and which had long been the emporium of 
the commerce of both kingdoms, became the next 
object of attack. It was too well fortified, however, 
to hold out the least chance of success to an open 
assault; but the Earls of Angus and March having 
collected a strong naval force, and favoured by a dark 
November night, ran their ships up the river as far 
as the tide permitted, where disembarking, they pro- 
ceeded silently to the foot of the walls; and, in the 
first dawn of the morning, stormed the town by esca 
lade ; slew the captain, Sir Alexander Ogle, with some 
English knights; and drove before them multitudes 
of the defenceless citizens, who, on the first alarm, 

• Winton, vol. ii. p. 276. 

•f Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 350. Fordun a Hearne, pp. 1043, 1044, 

1355. DAVID II. 87 

had fled from their beds and escaped, half naked and 
in crowds, over the ramparts.* 

The city, of which the Scots were thus masters, 
communicated with the castle of Berwick, through a 
strong fortalice, called the Douglas Tower; and, by 
a desperate sally from this outwork, Copland, the 
governor of Northumberland, attempted to wrest their 
conquest from the Scots ; but he was repulsed, and with 
such gallantry, that the tower itself was carried and 
garrisoned. Flushed with their success, and enriched 
with an immense booty, the Scots next attacked the 
castle ; its strength, however, resisted all their efforts ; 
and the Steward arriving to inspect his conquest, found 
that it would be impossible to keep the town, if, as 
was to be anticipated, the garrison should be supported 
by an English army. In such circumstances, to have 
dismantled the fortifications, and abandoned the city, 
would have been the most politic course; but, unwil- 
ling at once to renounce so high a prize, he left in 
Berwick what troops he could spare, and retired. 
Little time, indeed, was given for the execution of 
any plan ; for Edward, hearing of the successes of the 
Scots, hastened from Calais, staid only three days in 
his capital, and, attended by those veteran and expe- 
rienced officers who had so well served him in his 
French wars, laid siege to Berwick at the head of a 
great army.-J* At the same time, the English fleet 
entered the river, and the town was strictly invested 
on all sides. Edward and his guards immediately 
took possession of the castle; and, while Sir Walter 
Manny, a name which the siege of Calais has made 
famous, began a mine below the walls, the king deter- 

* Fordun a Heame, pp. 1044, 1045. Scala Chron. in Leland's Coll. p. 565. 
+ Rymer's Foedera, vol. v. p. 828. Robert of Avesbury, p. 210, Fordun 
a Heame, p. 1046. 


mined to storm the town over the drawbridge, which 
was thrown from the castle to the Douglas Tower. 
Against these formidable preparations, the small force 
left by the Steward could not possibly contend; and 
the garrison having capitulated, with safety of life 
and limb, abandoned the town to the enemy, and 
returned to Scotland.* 

That fated country now lay open to an army of 
eighty thousand men, commanded by the victor of 
Cressy. The English fleet was ordered, without delay, 
to sail round the coast, and await him in the Forth; 
and the king, breathing threats and vengeance against 
his enemies, and irritated that his career in France 
was perpetually checked by his dangers at home, 
invaded Scotland, with a determination to subdue or 
utterly destroy the country.*f At first everything 
seemed to favour his project. Fatal and virulent dis- 
sensions again broke out amongst the Scottish nobles, 
excited, no doubt, by the terror of confiscation and 
imprisonment, to which an unsuccessful resistance to 
England necessarily subjected them; and in addition 
to this, an extraordinary event, which seemed ominous 
of success, occurred upon the arrival of Edward and 
his army at Roxburgh. It had undoubtedly been 
long in preparation; and one branch of those secret 
negotiations which led to it, is probably to be seen in 
the mysterious treaty, already noticed, between Prince 
Lionel and Henry Percy, for the assistance of Edward 
Baliol. That weak and unfortunate person now pre- 
sented himself before Edward ; and, with all the feudal 
ceremonies becoming so grave a transaction, for ever 
resigned his kingdom of Scotland into the hands of 

* Dr Lingard, vol. iv. p, 97, says, " Berwick was recovered by the sole 
terror of his approach." This expression seems to me unsupported either 
by the English or Scottish historians. See Robert of Avesbury, p. 228. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, p. 354. 

1.355-6c DAVID II. 89 

the English king, divesting himself of his regalia, and 
laying his crown at the feet of the monarch.* His 
declared motives for this pusillanimous conduct are 
enumerated in the various deeds and instruments 
which passed upon the occasion ; but the real causes 
of the transaction are not difficult to be discovered. 
It needed little penetration to discern, that the reten- 
tion of the royal name and title by Baliol stood in the 
way of the pacification of Scotland and the negotiations 
for the ransom of the king, and gave to the regent and 
the barons of his party a power of working upon the 
popular feelings of the nation ; while the total resig- 
nation of the kingdom into the hands of Edward, 
afi'orded this prince some appearance of justice in his 
present war; and, in case of a failure, a fairer prospect 
of concluding a peace. Baliol himself was a mere de- 
pendent of Edward"'s : for the last sixteen years he had 
been supported by the money, and had lived under the 
protection, of England ;*[* he was now an old man; and 
he could not entertain the slightest hope of subduing 
the country, which he still affected to consider as his 
own. In return for this surrender of his crown, Edward 
now agreed to settle upon him an annuity of two thou- 
sand pounds; and, when commanded to strip himself 
of his unsubstantial honours, he at once obeyed his 
master, and sunk into the rank of a private baron. 
During one part of his life, when he fought at Dup- 
plin, and took part with the disinherited barons, he 
had shown a considerable talent for war; but this last 
base act proved that he was unworthy of the throne, 
from which he had almost expelled the descendants of 
Bruce. He died, not many years after this event, in 

* The English historian Knighton asserts that Baliol delivered all right 
■which he possessed in the cro\\Ti of Scotland to Lionel, the king's son. 
Knighton, p. 2611. Rj-mer, vol. v. pp. 832, 843, inclusive. 

t Rotuli Scotise, vol. i, pp. 544, 54b". 


obscurity, and, fortunately for Scotland, without chil- 

Meanwhile Edward, who had thus procured the 
donation of the kingdom from Baliol, and extorted the 
acknowledgment of homage from David, persuading 
himself that he had a just quarrel, hastened his war- 
like preparations, and determined to invade the coun- 
try with a force, against which all resistance would be 
unavailing. The present leaders of the Scots had not 
forgotten the lessons taught them by the rashness of 
David; and they wisely resolved to meet this invasion 
in the manner pointed out by the wisdom of Wallace, 
and the dying directions of Bruce. 

Orders were accordingly issued for the inhabitants 
to drive away their flocks and herds, and to convey 
all their valuable property beyond the Firth of Forth, 
into the castles, caverns, and strongholds frequently 
used for such purposes; to destroy and burn the hay 
and forage which was not readily transportable; and 
to retreat themselves, fully armed and equipped and 
ready for immediate action, into the various well- 
known fastnesses, wooded valleys, and mountain-passes, 
from which they could watch the operations of the 
invading army.* It was indispensable, however, to 
procure time to carry these measures into execution; 
and, for this purpose, the Earl of Douglas sought the 
army of Edward, which he found on its march from 
Roxburgh, and making a splendid appearance. It was 
led by the king in person. Before him, pre-eminently 
amid other banners and pennons, was borne the royal 
standard of Scotland. -f- The king's sons, John and 
Lionel, Dukes of Richmond and Ulster, accompanied 
their father ; and, on the arrival of Douglas, when the 
army halted and encamped, it covered an extent of 

* Robert de Avesbury, p. 236. t Ibid. p. 236. 

1355-6. DAVID IL 91 

twenty leagues.* Douglas fortunately succeeded in 
procuring a ten-days"* truce; during which time he 
pretended to communicate with the Steward and the 
nobles; and amused Edward with hopes, that his title 
to the throne would be universally recognised. The 
messages, however, which passed between Douglas and 
his friends related to designs the very opposite of sub- 
mission ; and, when the truce was almost expired, the 
Scottish earl, who had completely gained his object, 
withdrew, and joined his countrymen. 

Enraged at being the dupe of so able a negotiator, 
Edward, in extreme fury, advanced through Berwick- 
shire into Lothian ; and, with a cruel and short-sighted 
policy, gave orders for the total devastation of the 
country.-f- Every town, village, or hamlet, which lay 
within the reach of his soldiers, was given to the 
flames; and the march of this prince, who has com- 
monly been reputed the model of a generous and chi- 
valrous conqueror, was to be traced by the thick clouds 
of smoke which hung over his army, and the black 
desert which he left behind him. In this indiscrimi- 
nate vengeance, even the churches and religious houses 
w^ere sacrilegiously plundered and cast down. A noble 
abbey-church at Haddington, whose choir, lighted by 
the long-shaped lantern windows, of graceful propor- 
tion, went by the name of the Lamp of the Lothians, 
was entirely destroyed; and the adjoining monastery 
of the Minorites, with the town itself, razed to the 

The severity which Edward had exercised upon his 
march began now to recoil upon himself; no forage 
was to be had for the horses; and the moment a fo- 

* Robert of Avesbury, p, 236. Leland's Coll. vol. i. p. 566. 

+ " Velut ursa raptis foetibus in saltu soeviens." Fordun a Hearne, p. 1047. 

X Fordun a Hearne, p. 1048. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p, 354. 


raging party attempted to leave the main army, it was 
cut off by the Scots, who rushed from their conceal- 
ment in the mountains and woods, and gave no quarter. 
It was now the month of January, and the winter 
storms increased the distress of the troops. Bread 
began to fail; for fifteen days the soldiers had drunk 
nothing but water;* and, instead of being able to sup- 
ply their wants by plunder, the English found nothing 
but empty stalls and deserted houses ; not a hoof was 
to be seen, so well had the orders of Douglas been 
obeyed. It may be imagined how dreadfully these 
privations were felt by an army which included three 
thousand men-at-arms, splendidly accoutred, both man 
and horse, besides ten thousand light-armed horse. ■[* 
The king, who saw famine nearer every hour, now 
looked impatiently for his fleet. It was known that 
it had sailed from Berwick; but no farther intelligence 
had arrived ; and, after an anxious halt of ten days at 
Haddington, Edward pushed on to Edinburgh, with 
the hope of meeting his victualling ships at Leith. 
Instead, however, of the long expected supplies, certain 
news arrived, that the whole of the English fleet, in 
its attempt to make the Firth, had been dispersed and 
destroyed ;| so that it was judged absolutely necessary 
to retreat as speedily as possible, in order to save the 
army from absolute destruction. This order for retreat 
became, as was to be expected, the signal for discipline 

* Knighton, p. 2611. 

+ According to Robert of Avesbury, pp. 235, 236, the numbers of Edward's 
army were as follows: — 

3000 homines armati, or men-at-arms, that is, fully armed in steel, both 

man and horse ; 
10,000 light-armed horse; 
10,000 mounted archers; 
10,000 on foot; 

The Scottish historians make the numbers eighty thousand. 
4: For dun a Heame, p. 1048. Robert of Avesbury, p. 237. 

1S55-6. DAVID II. 93 

to cease, and disorder to begin. Every wood or moun- 
tain-pass swarmed with Scottish soldiers, who harassed 
the rear with perpetual attacks ; and, in passing through 
the Forest of Melrose, the king himself was nearly 
taken or slain in an ambuscade which had been laid for 
him.* He at length, however, reached Carlisle in 
safety, dismissed his barons, and returned to his capi- 
tal ; from which he issued a pompous proclamation, 
declaring it to be his will to preserve, untouched and 
inviolate, the ancient laws of Scotland : a singular 
declaration with regard to a country in which he could 
scarcely call a single foot of ground his own.-|- So 
cruel in its execution, and so inglorious in its result, 
was an expedition, in which Edward, at the head of an 
army far greater than that which fought at Cressy, 
had, for the fifth time, invaded Scotland, declaring it 
to be his determined resolution to reduce it for ever 
under his dominion. The expedition of Edward, from 
the season in which it took place, and the wasting of 
the country by fire, was long afterwards remembered 
by the name of the " Burnt Candlemas." 

So long as Scotland remained unconquered, it was 
evident that the English monarch must be content to 
have his ambitious efibrts against France perpetually 
crippled and impeded. He felt, accordingly, the pa- 
ramount importance of concluding the war in that 
country; and seems to have imagined, that, by an 
overwhelming invasion, he could at once efi'ect this 
object, and be enabled to concentrate his whole force 
against Philip. But the result convinced him that 
the Scots were farther than ever from being subdued ; 
and that policy and intrigue were at the present con- 
juncture more likely to be successful. He willingly, 

* Knighton, p. 2611. Fordun a Heame, p. 1048. 
t Rotuli Scotia, p. 790. 


therefore, consented to a truce, and resumed the nego- 
tiations for the ransom of the king, and the conclusion 
of a lasting peace between the two countries.* 

The Earl of Douglas, to whose exertions the success 
of the last campaign was mainly to be ascribed, seems 
to have been one of those restless and ardent spirits 
who languish unless in actual service; and, accordingly, 
instead of employing the breathing time which was 
afforded him, in healing the wounds and recruiting the 
exhausted strength of his country, he concluded a 
Border truce with the English warden,"!* and, accom- 
panied by a numerous body of knights and squires, 
passed over to France, and fought in the memorable 
battle of Poictiers. Douglas was received with high 
honour, and knighted on the field by the King of 
France. Amid the carnage of that dreadful day, he 
had the good fortune to escape death or captivity ; and, 
cooled in his passion for foreign distinction, returned 
to Scotland,;}: where he resumed, along with the Stew- 
ard and the rest of the nobility, his more useful labours 
for his country 

Hitherto the negotiations for the ransom and delivery 
of David had been entirely abortive: they were now 
renewed, and proved successful. After some prelimi- 
nary conferences at London, between the council of the 
King of England and the Scottish commissioners, the 
final settlement of the treaty was appointed to take 
place at Berwick-upon-Tweed. § In the meantime, a 

* Rotuli Scotiae, p. 791. t Rj-mer, vol. v. p. 809. 

X Fordun a Hearne, p. 1052. 

§ Rj-roer, vol. v. p. 831. These conferences for the ransom and liberation 
of David extend through a period of ten years. They began in January 
1347-8, and were resumed almost every year without success till the final 
treaty in 1357. There are only three treaties noticed by our historians; 
but the reader, by referring to the following pages of the Rotuli Scotiae, 
vol. i., will find all the attempts at negotiation minutely described in the 
original instruments, pp. 709, 721, 722, 727, 740, 741, /45, 759, 766, 768, 
773, 791, and 809, 811. 

1357. DAVID II. 95 

parliament was held by the Steward, as Governor of 
Scotland, at Edinburgh, on the 26th of September. 
Its constitution and proceedings, as shown in authentic 
instruments preserved in the Fosdera, are important. 
It appears that, before the meeting of the three Estates, 
the prelates of Scotland assembled their chapters, and 
appointed delegates to represent them in parliament, 
with full powers to deliberate upon the ransom of the 
king, and to bind them as fully as if they themselves 
had attended.* Afterwards, however, it was judged 
more expedient that the prelates should attend in per- 
son; and, accordingly, we find that, on the 26th of 
September, all the bishops of Scotland assembled at 
Edinburgh, and there met in parliament the lords and 
barons of the realm, and the representatives of the 
royal burghs. Each of the Estates then proceeded to 
elect certain commissioners of their own body, to ap- 
pear at Berwick, and deliberate, with the delegates of 
the King of England, upon the ransom and liberation 
of their sovereign. For this purpose, the clergy chose 
the Bishops of St Andrews, Caithness, and Brechin.-h 
To these ecclesiastical delegates were added the Earls 
of March, Angus, and Sutherland, Sir Thomas de 
Moravia, Sir William Livingston, j,nd Sir Robert 
Erskine, appointed by the regent and the barons ; and, 
lastly, the seventeen royal burghs chose eleven dele- 
gates of their own number, and intrusted them with 
the most ample powers. J Such elecii'iis having taken 
place, the commissioners of both countries repaired to 
Berwick-upon-Tweed on the day appointed with great 
state. Upon the part of England, there came the 
Primate of England, with the Bishops of Durham and 
Carlisle, and the Lords Percy, Neville, Scrope, and 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. vi. pp, 39, 40. "f Ibid. vol. vi. pp. 42, 43, 

Z Ibid. vol. vi. pp. 44, 45. 



Musgrave. The Scottish delegates brought with them 
a numerous suite of attendants. The train of the 
Bishop of St Andrews alone consisted of thirty knights, 
with their squires ; that of the other bishops and barons 
was scarcely less splendid;* and the arrival of the 
captive monarch himself, escorted by the whole mili- 
tary army of Northumberland, gave additional solem- 
nity to the scene of negotiation. -f 

The result of these conferences at Berwick was, the 
restoration of David to his kingdom, after a captivity 
of eleven years. The ransom finally agreed on was a 
hundred thousand pounds, equivalent to the sum of 
twelve hundred thousand pounds of modern money, to 
be paid by annual instalments of four thousand pounds ; 
and, in security of this, twenty Scottish youths, heirs 
of the first families in the country, were delivered as 
hostages into the hands of the English monarch.]: It 
was stipulated besides, that, from the principal nobles 
of the kingdom, three should resort by turns to Eng- 
land, there to remain until the whole ransom was dis- 
charged; and, in the event of failure at any of the 
terms, the King of Scotland became bound to return 
to his captivity. It was also declared, that, until 
payment of the ransom, there should be a ten-years' 
truce between the kingdoms, during which, free com- 
mercial intercourse by land and by sea was to take 
place between both countries ; no hostile attempt of 
any nature was to be made against the possessions of 
either; and no subject of the one to be received into 
the allegiance of the other: a condition which Edward, 
when it suited his own interests, made no scruple of 

* Rjmer's Foedera, vol. vi. pp. 32, 33. 

+ Rotuli ScotijE, vol. i. p. 810. 

X Rymer, vol. vi. pp. 47, 48. The sum of the ransom originally agreed 
on was 100,000 marks. Rotuli Scotiaj, vol. i. p. 812 ; but this was altered 
hy subseriuent treaties. Macpherson's Notes to Winton, vol. ii. p. 512. 

1357. DAVID II. 97 

infringing.* The stipulations of this famous treaty 
were uncommonly favourable to England, and reflect 
little credit on the diplomatic talents of the Scottish 
commissioners. The sum agreed on was oppressively 
high ; and it fell upon the country at a period when it 
was in a low and exhausted condition. 

But the ransom itself was not the only drain on the 
resources of the country. The numerous unsuccessful 
attempts at negotiation which preceded this final settle- 
ment, had occasioned many journeys of the Scottish 
nobility to England, and such expeditions brought 
along with them a heavy expenditure. Besides this, 
the ransom of the Scottish prisoners, taken in the 
battle of Durham ; their support, and that of the king 
their master, for many years in England ; with the 
expense occasioned by the residence of three great 
nobles, and twenty young men of the first rank, for so 
long a time in another country, occasioned an exces- 
sive expenditure. The possession, too, of the hostages 
by England tended greatly to cripple the power, and 
neutralise the independent efi'orts of her enemy; and 
the frequent intercourse between the nobles of the 
poorer and those of the richer country, gave Edward 
opportunities of intrigue, which he by no means ne- 

Meanwhile, the representatives of the nobility, the 
bishops, and the burghs of Scotland, ratified the 
treaty ;t and David, released from captivity, returned 
to Scotland, to receive the enthusiastic welcome of his 

* Rotuli Scotiffi, 3d March, 1362-3. 37 Ed. III., vol. i. p. 871. Bower, 
in his additions to Fordun, has asserted, that David agreed to dismantle 
certain castles in Niddesdale, which greatly annoyed the English ; and that, 
on his return to his dominions, he accordingly destroyed the castles of Dal- 
swinton, Dumfries, Morton, and Durisdeer, with nine others. No such 
stipulation is to be found in the treaty (Rjoner, vol. vi. p. 46,) and Fordun 
himself makes no mention of it. 

"Y Rymer, vol. vi. pp. 52 to 56, inclusive. 


people. But it was soon discovered, that the character 
and manners of the king had been deteriorated by his 
residence in England. His first public act was to 
summon a parliament, to meet at Scone, regarding 
which there is a little anecdote preserved by a contem- 
porary historian, which throws a strong and painful 
light upon his harsh disposition. In the progress to 
the hall where the Estates were to meet, crowds of his 
people, who had not beheld their king for eleven years, 
pressed upon him, with rude, but flattering ardour. 
The monarch, whose march was thus affectionately 
interrupted, became incensed, instead of being grati- 
fied ; and, wresting a mace from one of his attendants, 
threatened to beat to the ground any who dared to 
annoy him : a churlish action, which shows how little 
cordiality could subsist between such a prince and his 
subjects, and prepares us for the unhappy transactions 
that afterwards made so deadly a breach between him 
and his people.* 

The proceedings of the parliament itself may be im- 
perfectly gathered from a fragment which has been 
preserved ; but the record of the names of the clergy, 
nobility, and other members who were present, which 
might have thrown some light upon the state of parties 
at the return of the king, is unfortunately lost. The 
enormous sum of the ransom, and the mode in which 
the annual instalment should be collected, appears to 
have been the first subject which occupied the atten- 
tion of the great council. The provisions upon this 
were important, and illustrated the state of commerce 
in the country. It was resolved, that all the wool and 
wooi-fells of the kingdom should be given to the king, 
at the rate of four marks for the sack of wool, and the 
same sura for every parcel of two hundred fleeces ; and, 

* Winton, vol. ii. p. 283. 

1357. DAVID II. 99 

it is probable, that the king afterwards exported these 
sacks and fleeces, at a high profit, to foreign parts, or 
disposed of them to foreign merchants who resorted to 
Scotland.* In the next place, a minute and accurate 
account of the rents and produce of the lands of the 
realm, and a list of the names of the proprietors, was 
appointed to be taken by certain sworn commissioners 
appointed for the purpose. From this account were 
specially excepted white sheep, domestic horses, oxen, 
.and household furniture ; but, so minute was the scru- 
tiny, that the names of all mechanics, tradesmen, and 
artificers, were directed to be taken, with the purpose 
of ascertaining what tax should be paid on the real 
value of their property, and what sum each person, of 
his own free will, might be expected to contribute 
towards the ransom of the king. Proclamation was 
directed to be made throughout the kingdom, that, 
during the term within which such an account w^as to 
be taken, no one should sell or export any sheep or 
lambs. Ofiicers were to be stationed on the marches 
to prevent such an occurrence ; every hoof or fleece 
which was carried off was to be seized and forfeited to 
the king ; while the sherifis of the counties, and the 
barons and gentry, were directed to use their utmost 
endeavour, that none should dare to refuse such taxa- 
tion, or fraudulently attempt to escape, by transferring 
themselves from one part of the country to another. 
If any of the sheriffs, tax-gatherers, or their ofiicers, 
were found guilty of any fraud, or unfaithful conduct ; 
or, if any individuals were discovered concealing their 
property ; all such delinquents were ordered to stand 
their trial at the next Justice Ayre ; which, it was 
appointed, should be held by the king in person, that 
the royal presence might ensure a more solemn distri- 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records of Scotland, pp. 96, 97. 


bution of justice, and strike terror into offenders. A 
provision was next made, that in each county there 
should be good and sufficient sheriffs, coroners, bailies, 
and inferior officers ; it was ordered, that all lands, 
rents, or customs, belonging originally to the king, 
should be resumed, to whatever persons they might 
have been granted, in order that the whole royal lands 
should continue untouched ; and that the kingdom, 
already burdened by the king's ransom, might be freed 
from any additional tax for the maintenance of the 
throne. The king w^as required to renew that part of 
his coronation oath, by which he had promised, that 
he should not alienate the crown-lands, or dispose, 
without mature advice, of any rents, wards, or escheats 
belonging to the crown, and there was a prohibition 
against exporting the sterling money out of the realm, 
by any person whatever, unless upon the payment to 
the exchequer of half a mark for each pound.* 

During the captivity of the sovereign, it appears 
that they who, at various times, were at the head of 
affairs, had either appropriated to themselves, or made 
donations to their dependants, of various portions of 
the crown-lands ; and it was, therefore, enacted, that 
all who had thus rashly and presumptuously entered 
into possession of any lands or wardships belonging to 
the crown, should, under pain of imprisonment, be 
compelled to restore them to the king. The next 
article in the provisions of this parliament is extremely 
obscure. It was resolved, " that all the lands, pos- 
sessions, and goods of the homicides, after the battle 
of Durham, who have not yet bound themselves to 
obey the law of the land, should be placed in the hands 
of the king, until they come under sufficient security 
to obey the law ; and that all pardons or remissions 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 96, 97. 

1.358. DAVID II. 101 

granted to persons of this description, by the governors 
of the kingdom, during the absence of the king, should 
not be ratified, unless at the royal pleasure. And it 
was also provided that, if any person, after the cap- 
tivity of the sovereign, had resigned to the regent any 
tenement which he held of the crown in capite^ which 
property had been bestowed upon another who had 
alienated it in whole or in part without the royal per- 
mission, all such tenements should again revert to the 

The names of the nobles and barons who sat in this 
parliament being lost, we can only conjecture that some 
individuals had absented themselves, from the idea that 
the disturbances which they had excited during the 
captivity of the king would be visited with punish- 
ment. It is stated in the Scala Chronicle, that soon 
after the conflict at Durham, the private feuds amongst 
the nobility were carried to a grievous height ; and 
that the kingdom was torn by homicides, rapine, and 
private war, for which Fordun does not hesitate in- 
directly to criminate the Steward.* It is certain, at 
least, from the record of this parliament, that the 
remissions or pardons granted to these defaulters by 
the Steward, and those in office under him, were 
recalled ; and that the king resented his conduct, in 
interfering with the royal prerogative, and bestowing 
lands, held of the crown, upon his own creatures and 

For the present, however, there was the appearance 
of tranquillity. The treaty which had settled the 
ransom received the approbation of the parliament; and 
Edward not only gave orders for its strict fulfilment, 
but sought by every method to ingratiate himself with 
the prelates and the nobility of Scotland. His object 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 1039. Leland's Coll. vol. i. p. 562. 


in all this became soon apparent. Aware, from repeated 
experience, of the difficulty of reducing this country 
by open force, a deeper policy was adopted. He had 
already gained an extraordinary influence over the weak 
character of the king, and had secretly prevailed upon 
him to acknowledge the feudal superiority of England. 
David being without children, there existed a jealousy 
between him and the Steward, who had been nomi- 
nated next heir to the crown ; and we may date, from 
this period, the rise of a dark faction, to which the 
Scottish king meanly lent himself a party, and the 
object of which was to intrude a son of Edward the 
Third into the Scottish throne. For some time, how- 
ever, this conspiracy against the independence of the 
nation was concealed, so that it is difficult to discover 
the details or the principal agents ; but from the fre- 
quent journeys of some of the Scottish prelates and 
barons to the court of England, from the secret and 
mysterious instructions under which they acted, and 
the readiness with which they were welcomed,* there 
arises a strong presumption that this monarch had 
gained them over to his interest. The Earl of Angus, 
one of David's hostages, had private meetings with the 
King of England, and was despatched to Scotland that 
he might confer with his own sovereign upon matters 
which shunned the light, and did not appear as usual 
in the instruments and passports.^- Within a short 
period the Scottish queen, a sister of Edward, made 
two visits to London, for the purpose of treating with 
her brother on certain matters which are not specified 
in her safe conduct. The King of Scotland next sought 
the English court in his own person ; and after his 
return, the Bishop of St Andrews, the Earl of March, 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 814, 815, 31 Ed. III., m. 4. 
t Ibid. 31 Ed. III., m. 2, 25 Dec. 1357, vol. i. p. 818. 

1358. DAVID II. 103 

along with the Earl of Douglas. Sir Robert Erskine, 
and Sir William Livingstone, were repeatedly em- 
ployed in these secret missions, which at this period 
took place between the two monarchs.* These barons 
generally travelled with a numerous suite of knights 
or squires ;■[* and while their masters were engaged in 
negotiation, the young knights enjoyed their residence 
at a court then the most chivalrous in Europe, and 
were welcome guests in the fetes and amusements which 
occupied its warlike leisure. Large sums of money 
were required for such embassies ; and the probability 
is, that they were chiefly defrayed by the English 
monarch, who looked for a return in the feelings of 
gratitude and obligation, which he thus hoped to create 
in the breasts of the Scottish nobility. Nor were other 
methods of conciliation neglected by this politic prince. 
He encouraged the merchants of Scotland to trade 
with England by grants of protection and immunity, 
which formed a striking contrast to the spirit of jea- 
lousy and exclusion with which they had lately been 

From the moment of David''s return, a complete 
change took place in the commercial policy of England, 
and the Scottish merchants were welcomed with a 
liberality, which, could we forget its probable object, 
was as generous as it was beneficial to both countries. 
At the same time, the youth of Scotland were induced 
to frequent the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 
by the ready kindness with which the king gave them 
letters of protection ; § and the religious, who wished 

* Rotuli Scotia, 32 Ed. III., pp. 819, 821, 822. 

+ Ibid. 32 Ed, III., p. 821. Willelmus de Levyngeston. " Cum octo 
Equitibus de Comitiva sua." Sir Robert Erskine, -with the same number, 
p. 822. The Earl of March travels to England, " Cum viginti Equitibus 
et eonim garcionibus," p. 823. 

X Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. 32 Ed. III., pp. 822, 823. 

§ Rotuli Scotia, 32 Ed. III., vol. i. pp. 822, 825, 828. 


to make pilgrimages to the most celebrated shrines in 
England, found none of those impediments to their 
pious expeditions which had lately existed. 

At this moment, when designs existed against the 
independence of Scotland, so dangerous in their nature, 
and so artfully pursued, it was unfortunate that a spirit 
of military adventure carried many of its best soldiers 
to the continental wars. Sir Thomas Bisset and Sir 
Walter Moigne, with Norman and Walter Lesley, 
previous to David's return, had left the country on an 
expedition to Prussia,* in all probability to join the 
Teutonic knights, who were engaged in a species of 
crusade against the infidel Prussians. *[* Not long 
after, Sir William Keith marshal of Scotland, Sir 
William Sinclair lord of Roslin, Sir Alexander de 
Lindesay, Sir Robert Gifi"ord, and Sir Alexander 
IMontgomery, each with a train of sixty horse, and a 
strong body of foot soldiers, passed through England 
to the continent, eager for distinction in foreign wars, 
with which they had no concern, and foolishly desert- 
ing their country when it most required their serVices. J 
Yet this conduct was more pardonable than that of 
the Earl of Mar, who entered into the service of 
England, and with a retinue of twenty-four knights 
and their squires, passed over to France in company 
with the English monarch and his army.§ The 
example was infectious; and the love of enterprise, 
the renown of fighting under so illustrious a leader, 
and the hopes of plunder, induced other soldiers to 
imitate his example. Edward, therefore, whose attempts 
to conquer Scotland by force of arms had utterly failed, 
seemed now to have fallen upon a more fatal and suc- 

* Rymer, vol. v, p. 866. + Barnes' Edward III., p. 669^ 

t Rotuli Scotiffi, vol. i. 32 Ed. Ill,, p. 830. 

§ Ibid. 33 Ed. III., p. 842. Rymer, vol. vi. p. 119. 

1358. DAVID II. 105 

cessful mode of attack. Many of the barons were 
secretly in his interest; some had actually embraced 
his service; the king himself was wholly at his devotion ; 
the constant intercourse which he had encouraged, 
had softened, as he hoped, and diluted, the bitterness 
of national animosity; and the possession of his twenty 
hostages had tied up the hands of the principal barons 
of the land, who, in other circumstances, would have 
been at liberty to have acted strenuously against him. 
Nothing now remained but to develop the great plan 
which all this artful preparation was intended to foster 
and facilitate ; but for this, matters were not yet con- 
sidered far enough advanced. 

Meanwhile, David anxiously adopted every method 
to collect the sums necessary for his ransom ; nor can 
we wonder at his activity, when we remember that his 
liberty or his return to the Tower depended on his 
success. He had already paid the first ten thousand 
marks;* and the pope, at his earnest request, con- 
sented that, for the term of three years, he should 
levy a tenth of all the ecclesiastical benefices in Scot- 
land, under the express condition that the clergy were, 
after this, to be exempted from all further contribu- 
tion. Yet this stipulated immunity was soon forgotten 
or disregarded by the king; and in addition to the 
tenth, the lands and temporalities of all ecclesiastics, 
whether they held of the king or of a subject, were 
compelled to contribute in the same proportion as the 
barons and free tenants of the crown; a measure 
violently opposed by the church, and which must have 
lost to the king much of his popularity with this 
important body.-|* 

The period for the payment of the second instal- 

* Rotuli Scotiae, 32 Ed. III., p. 827. 2dd June, 1358. 
"t Fordun a Heame, p. 1054. 


raent of the ransom-money to England now rapidly 
approached. In Scotland, the difficulty of raising 
money, owing to the exhausted and disorganized state 
of the kingdom, was excessive; and the king in despair, 
and compelled by the influence of the party of the 
Steward, which supported the independence of the 
country, forgot for a moment the intimate relations 
which now bound him to Edward, and opened a nego- 
tiation with the Regent of France, in which he agreed 
to renew the war with England, provided that prince 
and his kingdom would assist him with the money 
which he now imperiously required. To these demands 
the French plenipotentiaries replied,* that in the 
present conjunction of affairs, when France was ex- 
hausted with war, and the king and many of the 
highest nobility in captivity, it was impossible to assist 
her ancient ally so speedily or so efi'ectually as could 
be desired. They agreed, however, to contribute the 
sum of fifty thousand marks -f towards defraying the 
ransom, under the condition that the Scots should 
renew the war with England, and that there should 
be a ratification of the former treaty of alliance between 
France and Scotland. 

These stipulations upon the part of the French were 
never fulfilled. An army of a hundred thousand men, 
led by Edward in person, passed over to Calais a few 
months after the negotiation, J and France saw in the 
ranks of her invaders many of the Scottish barons, 
who had become the tools of England. Amongst 
those whom the English king had seduced, was Thomas 
earl of Angus, one of the hostages for David, a daring 

* Traittez entreles Roys de France et les Roys D'Escosse. MS. in Ad. 
Library, A. 3. 9. 

+ " Cinquante mil marcs d'Esterlins, ou la valleur en or si comme il 
vault en Angleterre." 

X Rotuli Scotige, 34 Ed. III., m. 4, pp. 840, 847. 

1358, DAVID II. 107 

adventurer, who had commissioned from the Flemings 
four ships of war, with which he promised to meet 
Edward at Calais. But on procuring his liberty, 
Angus forgot his engagement; and, remaining in Scot- 
land, acted a principal part in the commotions which 
then distracted the country.* Sir Thomas Bisset, 
Sir William of Tours, and Sir John Borondon, and 
probably many other Scottish knights, accompanied 
Edward,"}- but had little opportunity of signalizing 
themselves; and after an inglorious campaign, hos- 
tilities were concluded by the celebrated treaty of 
Bretigny, in which the two belligerent powers con- 
sented to a mutual sacrifice of allies. The French, 
naturally irritated, agreed to renounce all alliances 
which they had already formed with Scotland, and 
engaged, for the time to come, to enter into no treaties 
with that nation against the realm of England; and 
England, on her part, was equally accommodating in 
her renunciation of her Flemish allies. J Such conduct 
upon the part of the French regent must have been 
highly mortifying to the Steward and his friends, 
who considered the continuance of a war with Eng- 
land as the only certain pledge for the preservation of 
the national liberty. On the other hand, the con- 
federacy, which had been gradually gaining ground 
in favour of England, and now included amongst its 
supporters the Scottish king himself and many of his 
nobles, could not fail to be gratified by a result which 
rendered a complete reconciliation with Edward more 
likely to occur, and thus paved the way for the nearer 
development of their secret designs, by which the 
Steward would ultimately be prevented from ascending 
the throne. 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 365. + Rotuli Scotiae, p. 840. 

t Rymer, Foedera, vol. vi. p. 192, Art. 31, 32, 33. 


Whilst such was the course of events in France, 
Scotland at home presented a scene of complicated 
distress and suffering. A dreadful inundation laid the 
whole of the rich country of Lothian under water. 
The clouds poured down torrents such as had never 
before been seen by the oldest inhabitants; and the 
rivers, breaking over their banks with irresistible 
violence, destroyed ramparts and bridges, tore up the 
strongest oaks and forest trees by the roots, and car- 
ried houses, barns, and implements of husbandry, in. 
one undistinguished mass to the sea shore. The lighter 
wooden habitations of the working classes were swept 
from their foundations; and the castles, churches, and 
monasteries entirely surrounded by water.* At length, 
it is said, a nun, terror-struck by the anger of the ele- 
ments, snatched a small image of the Virgin from a 
shrine in the church of her monastery, and threatened 
aloud to cast her into the stream, unless she averted the 
impending calamity. The flood had already touched 
the threshold of the building, when it was suddenly 
checked; and Bower assures us, that from that moment 
the obedient waters returned within their accustomed 
boundaries. •[* 

Not long after this inundation, the country was 
visited by another dreadful guest : the great pesti- 
lence, which had carried away such multitudes in 
1349,+ again broke out in Scotland, with symptoms 
of equal virulence and fatality. In one respect the 
present calamity was different from the former. That 
of 1349 had fallen with most severity upon the poorer 
classes, but in this the rich and noble in the land, 
equally with the meanest labourers, were seized by 
the disease, and in most instances fell victims to its 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 1 053. + Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 362. 

J Winton, book viii. chap. xlv. vol. ii. p. 292, 

1360-1. DAVID II. 109 

ravages. The deaths at last became so numerous, and 
the crowds of the dead and the dying so appalling, 
that David with his court retreated to the north, and 
at Kinross in Moray, sought a purer air and less 
lugubrious exhibitions.* 

On his return, a domestic tragedy of a shocking 
nature awaited him. His favourite mistress, Catherine 
Mortimer, whom he had loved during his captivity, 
had afterwards accompanied him into Scotland, and 
from some causes not now discoverable, became an 
object of jealousy and hatred to the Earl of Angus 
and others of the Scottish nobles. At their instiga- 
tion, two villains, named Hulle and Dewar, under- 
took to murder her ; and having sought her residence 
under a pretence that they came from the king with 
instructions to bring her to court, prevailed upon the 
unsuspecting victim to intrust herself to their guidance. 
They travelled on horseback ; and on the desolate 
moor between Melrose and Soutra, where her cries 
could bring none to her assistance, Hulle stabbed her 
with his dagger and despatched her in an instant. -f* 
David instantly imprisoned the Earl of Angus in 
Dumbarton castle, where he fell a victim to the 
plague, and commanded his unfortunate favourite to 
be buried with all honour in the Abbey of Newbattle. 

Towards the conclusion of the year which was 
marked by this base murder, a secret negotiation, 
regarding the subject of which the public records give 
us no certain information, took place between Edward 
and the Scottish king. The Bishops of St Andrews 
and Brechin, with the Archdeacon of Lothian, the 
Earls of March and Douglas, Sir Robert Erskine, and 
Sir John Preston, repaired, with a numerous retinue, 

* Fordun a Goodal, p. 365. 

t Scala Chronicle, p. 196. Fordun a Goodal. vol. ii. p. 365, 


to the English court ; but the object of their mission 
is studiously concealed. It is indeed, exceedingly 
difficult to understand or to unravel the complicated 
intrigues, and the various factions, which divided the 
country at this period. The king himself was wholly 
in the interest and under the government of Edward. 
The Steward, on the other hand, to whom the people 
affectionately looked as his successor, and whose title 
to the throne had been recognised by a solemn act of 
the three Estates of the kingdom, was at the head of 
the party which opposed the designs of England, and 
strenuously defended the independence of the country. 
Many of the nobles, seduced by the example of their 
sovereign, and by the wealth of England, had deserted 
to Edward ; many others, indignant at such treachery, 
leagued themselves in the strictest ties with the 
Steward : and between these two parties there existed, 
we may believe, the most deadly animosity. But we 
may, I think, trace in the records of the times — for 
our ancient historians give us no light on the subject 
— another and more moderate party, to whom Edward 
and David did not discover their ultimate intentions 
for the destruction of the independence of Scotland as 
a separate kingdom, but who hailed with joy, and en- 
couraged with patriotic eagerness, those pacific mea- 
sures which were employed to pave the way for their 
darker designs. Nor is it difficult to understand the 
feelings which gave rise to such a party. A war of 
almost unexampled length and animosity had weak- 
ened and desolated the country. Every branch of 
national prosperity had been withered or destroyed by 
its endurance ; and it is easy to conceive how welcome 
must have been the breathing time of peace, and how 
grateful those measures of free trade and unfettered 
intercourse between the two countries, which Edward 

1S61-2. DAVID II. Ill 

adopted, from the moment of David''s liberation till 
the period of his death.* It is quite possible to believe 
that such men as the Earl of Douglas and Sir Robert 
Erskine, the Bishops of St Andrews and Brechin, 
with other prelates and nobles, who were engaged in 
perpetual secret negotiations with Edward, should have 
been amused with propositions for a complete union 
and a perpetual peace between the two countries ; while 
David himself, and those traitors who were admitted 
into the deeper parts of the plot, assisted at their ne- 
gotiations, sheltered themselves under their upright 
character, and thus disarmed suspicion. 

Meanwhile, under this change of measures, Scot- 
land gradually improved; and the people, unconscious 
of the designs which threatened to bring her down to 
the level cf a province of England, enjoyed the benefits 
and blessings of peace. The country presented a stir- 
ring and busy scene. Merchants from Perth, Aber- 
deen, Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh, and the various towns 
and royal burghs, commenced a lucrative trade with 
England, and through that country with Flanders, 
Zealand, France, and other parts of the continent; 
wool, hides, sheep, and lamb skins, cargoes of fish, 
herds of cattle, horses, dogs of the chase, and falcons, 
were exported; and in return, grain, wine, salt, and 
spices of all kinds ; mustard, peas, potashes, earthen- 
ware, woollen cloth; silver and gold in bars, cups, 
vases, and spoons of the same precious metals; swords, 
helmets, cuirasses, bows and arrows, horse furniture, 
and all sorts of warlike accoutrements, were imported 
from England, and from the French and Flemish 
ports, into Scotland.-f* 

Frequent and numerous parties of rich merchants, 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 859, 862. 

+ Ibid. pp. 760, 881, 891, 911 925. Rymer, vol. vi. p. 575. 



with caravans laden with their goods, and attended by- 
companies of horsemen and squires, for the purposes 
of defence and security, travelled from all parts of 
Scotland into England and the continent.* Edward 
furnished them with passports, or safe conducts ; and 
the preservation of these instruments, amongst the 
Scottish rolls in the Tower, furnishes us with an 
authentic and curious picture of the commerce of the 
times. We find these passports granted to bodies of 
fifty and sixty at a time ; each of the merchants being 
men of such wealth and substance, as to be accom- 
panied by a suite of four, five, or six horsemen. In 
the year 1363, passports were granted to forty-nine 
Scottish merchants, who are accompanied by a body 
of eighty-seven horsemen, and eighteen squires or 
garcons ; and the following year was crowded with 
expeditions of the same nature. On one memorable 
occasion, in the space of a single month, a party of 
sixty-five merchants obtained safe-conducts to travel 
through England, for the purposes of trade ; and their 
warlike suite amounted to no less than two hundred 
and thirty horsemen.-|- 

Besides this, the Scottish youth, and many scholars 
of more advanced years, crowded to the colleges of 
England ; | numerous parties of pilgrims travelled to 
the various shrines of saints and martyrs, and were 
liberally welcomed and protected ;§ whilst, in those 
Scottish districts which were still in the hands of the 
English, Edward, by preserving to the inhabitants 
their ancient customs and privileges, endeavoured to 
overcome the national antipathy, and conciliate the 
afiections of the people. Commissions were granted 
to his various officers in Scotland, empowering them to 

* Rotuli Scotiae, p. 876. t Ibid. vol. i. pp. 885, 886. 

X Ibid. pp. 886, 891. § Ibid. pp. 878. 879, 880. 

1362. DAVID II. 113 

receive the homage and adherence of the Scots, who 
had hitherto refused to acknowledge his authority ; 
passports, and all other means of indulgence and 
protection, were withdrawn from such as resisted, or 
became objects of suspicion; and every means was taken 
to strengthen the few castles which he possessed, and 
to give security to the inhabitants of the extensive 
district of Annandale, with other parts of the country, 
which were in the hands of English subjects.* 

During the course of the year 1362, the Bishops of 
St Andrews and of Brechin, Wardlaw archdeacon of 
Lothian, with Sir Robert Erskine, and Sir Norman 
Lesley, were engaged in a secret mission to the court 
of England; and a public negotiation was commenced, 
for a final peace between the two countries, which ap- 
pears not to have led to any satisfactory result.f The 
truce, however, was still strictly preserved; the fears 
of an invasion of England, by the party opposed to 
Edward, had entirely subsided; and the pacific inter- 
course between both countries, by the constant resort 
of those whom the purposes of trade, or devotion, or 
pleasure, or business, carried from their homes, con- 
tinued as constant and uninterrupted as before. J 
Meanwhile Joanna queen of Scotland, who had resided 
for some time past at her brother's court, was seized 
with a mortal illness, and died in Hertford castle. § 
In the course of the former year, the only son of the 
Earl of Sutherland, who was nephew to the Scottish 
king, had been cut off by the plague at Lincoln. || 
Edward Baliol lay also on his deathbed; and these 
events were seized upon as a proper opportunity to 

* Rotuli Scotiae, pp. 861, 872, 873, 875, 894. 

t Ibid. vol. i. pp. 862, 864. J Ibid. pp. 859, 860, 865. 

§ Walsingham, p. 179. 

11 Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 366. Edward Baliol also died in 1363 at 
Doncaster. Knighton, p. 2627* 


bring forward that great plan which had been so long 
maturing, and by which Edward the Third persuaded 
himself that, in return for his flattering and indulgent 
policy, he was to gain a kingdom. 

Although the ramifications of the conspiracy, by 
which Edward and David attempted to destroy the 
independence of Scotland, are exceedingly obscure, 
enough, I think, has been pointed out to prove that 
it had been going on for many years. We have seen 
that the English king purchased from Baliol the whole 
kingdom ; that David had completely thrown himself 
into the arms of England, and even actually acknow- 
ledged the superiority of the one crown over the other; 
and now when, as w^as imagined, all obstacles were 
removed, w^e are to witness the open development, and 
the utter discomfiture, of this extraordinary plot. A 
parliament was summoned at Scone in the month of 
March 1368 ;* and the king, after alluding to the late 
negotiation for a final peace, which had taken place 
between the commissioners of both countries, proceeded 
to explain, to the three Estates, the conditions upon 
which Edward had agreed to concede this inestimable 
blessing to the country. He proposed, in the event 
of his death, that the states of the realm should choose 
one of the sons of the King of England to fill the 
Scottish throne ; and he recommended, in the strongest 
manner, that such choice should fall upon Lionel, the 
third son of that monarch, — a prince in every respect 
well qualified, he affirmed, to defend the liberty of the 
kingdom. If this election was agreed to, he was em- 
powered, he said, to disclaim, upon the part of the 
King of England, and his heirs, all future attempts 
to establish a right to the kingdom of Scotland, under 
any pretence whatever ; that grievous load of ransom, 

* 4th March, 1363-4. Rohertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 100. 

1363. DAVID II. 115 

which pressed so heavily upon all classes of the coun- 
try, would be from that moment discharged ;* and he 
concluded, by expressing hia conviction, that in no 
other way could a safe and permanent peace be esta- 
blished between the two nations. "f* 

The Estates of parliament stood aghast at this base 
proposal, which was received by an instantaneous burst 
of deep and undissembled indignation. It required, 
indeed, no little personal intrepidity to name such 
terms to an assembly of armed Scottish barons. Their 
fathers and themselves had, for more than sixty years, 
been engaged in almost uninterrupted war against the 
intolerable aggressions of England. It was for the 
stability of the kingdom, whose liberties were now 
attempted to be so wantonly sacrificed, that Wallace, 
and Douglas, and Randolph, and Bruce, had laboured 
and bled. By the most solemn acts of the legislature, 
and the oaths of the three Estates, taken with their 
hands on the holy gospels, they were bound to keep 
the throne for the descendants of their deliverer ; and 
it is not difficult to imagine, with what bitter feelings 
of sorrow and mortification they must have reflected, 
that the first proposal for the alteration of the succes- 
sion came from the only son of Robert Bruce. In 
such circumstances, it required neither time nor deli- 
beration to give their answer. It was brief, and 
perfectly unanimous, on the part of the three Estates, 
clergy, nobles, and burgesses : " We never,'''' said they, 
" zvill allow an Englishman to rule over us ; the proposi- 
tion of the king is foolish and improvident, for he ought 
to have recollected that there exist heirs to the throne, 

* Although this is not mentioned by Fordun or Winton, I have inferred, 
that the discharge of the ransom was stipulated, from the terms of the Par- 
liamentary Record, and from the sixth article of the subsequent secret treaty 
at Westminster. Rymer, vol. vi. p. 42b'. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 'dQG. 


whose age and virtues render them worthy of that high 
station ; and to whom the three Estates are bound to 
adhere, by the deeds of settlement, which have been 
ratified by their own solemn oath. — Yet,"" they added, 
" they earnestly desired peace ; and, provided the royal 
state, liberty, and separate independence of the king- 
dom were not infringed upon, would willingly make 
every sacrifice to attain it.""* 

With this resolute answer the kingwas deeply moved. 
His eyes flashed with rage, and his gestures for a mo- 
ment betrayed the conflict of anger and disappointment 
which was passing in his mind ; but he repressed his 
feelings, and, afi'ecting to be satisfied, passed on to 
other matters. It was determined to open an imme- 
diate negotiation with England, preparatory to a final 
treaty of peace ; and for this purpose. Sir Robert 
Erskine, along with Walter Wardlaw the Archdeacon 
of Lothian, and Gilbert Armstrong, were appointed 
commissioners by the parliament. With regard to the 
ransom, the nobles declared, that they were ready 
cheerfully to suff'er every privation, for the payment 
of the whole sum ; and that they would use their 
utmost exertion to prevent the truce from being 
broken, as well as to answer for the penalties already 
due for its infringement, by that party which was 
adverse to England."!* These expressions alluded, 

* " Cui breviter, et sine ulteriori deliberatione aut retractatione respon- 
sum fuit per universaliter singnlos, et singulariter universes de tribus statibus, 


Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 366", 'SH7. Winton, vol. ii. p. 294. Robert- 
son's Parliamentary Records, p. 100. 

•f* In the record of this important parliament, which is unfortunately in 
an extremely mutilated state, there is some obscurity as to the meaning of 
the words " Si que per partem adversam pro commissis hacteuus possent 
infligi vel obiici." I understand the " pars adversa" to be the party of the 
Steward, which was decidedly hostile to England, and eager to break the 
truce. The whole " Record " of this famous parliament has been printed, 
by the late Mr Robertson, in that first and interesting volume of the Records 
of the Scottish Parliament, which, on account of some defects in its arrange- 
ment, was cancelled and withdrawn. A copy of this rare work, which has 

1S63. DAVID II. 117 

no doubt, to the Steward and his friends, who, for 
some time before this, must have been aware of the 
practices of David against the independence of the 
country, and his secret intrigues with Edward. 

The object of this daring plan, which, there is reason 
to believe, had been maturing during the whole course 
of David's captivity, was now avowed in open parlia- 
ment ; and if carried into execution, it would have 
excluded for ever from the throne of Scotland, the 
Steward, and all descendants of Robert the Bruce. 
We are not, therefore, to wonder that the bare pro- 
posal of such a scheme alarmed and agitated the whole 
kingdom. It was instantly indeed, repelled and put 
down by the strong hand of parliament, and apparently 
given up by the king; but all confidence between 
David and his nobles was destroyed from this moment, 
and the effects of this mutual suspicion became soon 

The Steward, who had good reason to suspect the 
sincerity of the king, assembled his friends, to deli- 
berate upon the course of proceedings which it was 
deemed necessary to adopt; and a very formidable 
league or conspiracy was soon formed, which included 
amongst its supporters a great majority of the nobility. 
According to a common practice in that age, the lords 
and barons who stood forward to support the succes- 
sion, entered into bonds or agreements of mutual de- 
fence, which were ratified by their oath and seal.* 
The Steward himself, with the Earl of March, the 
Earl of Douglas, the Steward''s two sons, John Stew- 
ard of Kyle, Robert Steward of Menteith, and others 

been already quoted frequently in the course of this volume, was, many 
years ago, presented by Mr Thomson, the present Deputy-Clerk-Register, 
to my late father, Lord Woodhouselee ; and to this unpublished record I am 
indebted for valuable assistance, in an attempt to explain one of the darkest 
periods of Scottish history. 
* Fordun a Hearne, p. 1057. 


of the most powerful nobility in the country, openly 
proclaimed, that they would either compel the king to 
renounce for ever his designs, and adhere to the suc- 
cession, or would at once banish him from the throne.* 
To show that these were not empty menaces, they in- 
stantly assembled their retainers, and in great force 
traversed the country. The nobles who supported 
David were cast into prison, their lands ravaged, their 
wealth, or rather the wealth of their unfortunate vassals 
and labourers, seized as legitimate spoil; and the towns 
and tradino: burdis, where those industrious mercan- 
tile classes resided, who had no wish to engage in poli- 
tical revolution, were cruelly invaded and plundered. 

The violence of these proceedings gave to the cause 
of the king a temporary colour of justice; and of this 
his personal courage, the only quality which he inhe- 
rited from his great father, enabled him to take advan- 
tage. He instantly issued a proclamation, in which 
he commanded the rebels to lay down their arms and 
return to their allegiance as peaceable and faithful 
subjects; and summoned his barons to arm themselves 
and their vassals in defence of the insulted majesty of 
the throne. i* To the body of the disinherited barons 
in England, whose strength had, not long before, 
achieved so rapid a revolution, in placing Baliol on the 
throne, David confidently looked for assistance. This 
party included the Earl of Athole, the Lords Percy, 
Beaumont, Talbot and Ferrers, with Godfrey de Ross, 
and a few other powerful nobles. From them, and 
from Edward himself, there is reason to believe that 
the king received prompt support both in men and 
money; for it is certain that he was able to collect a 
numerous army, and to distribute amongst the soldiers 

* Fordun a Hearne, p. 1057. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 367. 

1363. DAVID II. 119 

far larger sums for their pay and equipment than the 
exhausted state of the country and of his own coffers 
could have afforded.* The strong castles of Rox- 
burgh, Jedburgh, and Lochmaben, with the Border 
districts around them, comprehending Annandale, part 
of Teviotdale, and the Merse,*]* were in the hands of 
the English, who compelled their warlike population 
to serve against the Steward; so that David was en- 
abled to advance instantly against his enemies, with a 
force which it would have been folly in them to attempt 
to resist. It was fortunate that the two parties thus 
ranged in deadly opposition against each other, were 
yet mutually afraid of pushing matters into the extre- 
mities of a war. The kino^ knew that he was o:ener- 
ally unpopular, and that his attempt to change the 
succession was regarded with bitter hostility, not only 
by the nobles, but by the whole body of the nation ; 
and he naturally dreaded to call these feelings into 
more prominent action. J On the other hand, the 
Steward was anxious, under such threatening circum- 
stances, when his title to the crown was proposed to 
be set aside, to conciliate the affections of the people 
by a pacific settlement of the differences between him- 
self and the sovereio^n. These mutual feelino^s led to 
a treaty which saved the country from a civil war. 
On the approach of the royal army, the Steward, and 
the barons who supported him, agreed to lay down 
their arms and submit to the clemency of the king. 
The bonds and engagements by which their party was 
cemented, were renounced and cancelled in an assem- 
bly of the whole nobility of Scotland, which was con- 
voked on the 14th of May, at Inchmurdach, a palace 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 1058. Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 101, 
+ Rymer's Foedera, vol. vi. p. 426, 
J Fordun a Heame, p. 1 058. 


of the Bishop of St Andrews,* where the Steward 
again renewed his oath to David. He swore upon the 
holy gospels that he would henceforth continue faith- 
ful to the kins: as his sovereisfn and licfre lord: that 
to the utmost of his power he would defend him from 
his enemies, and support his servants and ministers 
against every opposition ; and this he promised, under 
the penalty of losing all title to the throne of Scot- 
land, of forfeiting his lands and possessions for ever, 
and of being accounted a perjured and dishonoured 
knight. ■(- 

In return for this prompt submission, the Steward's 
title in the succession was distinctly recognised, and 
the earldom of Carrick conferred upon his eldest son, 
afterwards Robert the Third. The Earls of March 
and Douglas, the sons of the Steward, and the rest of 
the barons who had joined his party, renewed their 
fealty at the same time; and David had the satisfac- 
tion to see a dangerous civil commotion extinguished 
by his energetic promptitude and decision. But this 
was only a temporary ebullition of activity; and, as 
if worn out by the exertion, the king relapsed into his 
usual indolence and love of pleasure. 

It was at this critical time that he met with Mar- 
garet Logy,:J: — a woman of inferior birth, but extra- 
ordinary beauty. She was the daughter of one of 
the lower barons, and related, in all probability, to 
that John de Logy, who had been executed for treason 
during the latter part of the reign of Robert Bruce. 
Of this lady, David, ever the slave of his passions, 
became deeply enamoured; and, heedless of the con- 

* Macpherson's Geographical Illustrations of Scottish History, voce Inch- 

•f* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 369. 

X Fordun a Heame, pp. 1059, 1010. Bower (Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. 
p. 370) says she was the daughter of John Logy. 

1363. DAVID II. 121 

sequences, determined to possess himself of the object 
of his affection. Overlooking, accordingly, in the 
ardour of his pursuit, all difference of rank, and de- 
spising the resentment of his proud nobility, the king 
married this fair unknown, and raised her to the 
throne, which had been filled by the sister of Edward 
the Third. No step could be more imprudent. The 
Steward, who, in the event of a son being born of 
this alliance, would be excluded from the throne by a 
boy of almost plebeian origin, — the powerful Earl of 
March, — the haughty Douglas, and the other grandees 
of the realm, whose feudal power and territories were 
almost kingly, felt themselves aggrieved by this rash 
and unequal alliance. Disgust and jealousy soon arose 
between the queen and the nobility; and such was the 
influence which she at first possessed over the fickle 
and impetuous monarch, that he cast the Steward, 
with his son, Alexander lord of Badenoch, into prison ; 
and soon after, weary of his own kingdom, and aware 
of his unpopularity, obtained a safe-conduct to travel 
into England, on a pilgrimage to the shrine of the 
Virgin at Walsingham.* His fair queen, at the same 
time on the like errand, accompanied by a train of 
thirty knights, sought the shrine of St Thomas of 
Canterbury ; and Scotland, deserted by her sovereign, 
and with the nearest heir to the crown in a dungeon, 
regarded with deep apprehension a state of things, 
which, to the most superficial eye, was full of danger. 
It was not to be expected that a prince, of the 
talents and ambition of Edward the Third, should fail 
to take advantage of these complicated difficulties. A 
large part of the ransom due by the King of Scotland 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 380. This author asserts that the Steward 
and his three sons were kept in separate prisons. From the Chamberlain's 
Accounts, pp. 498, 524, the fact seems to be as stated in the text. 


was still unpaid; and, as the regular terras of settle- 
ment had long been neglected, the penalties incurred 
by such a failure increased the principal sum to an 
overwhelming amount. The king's increasing unpo- 
pularity in Scotland rendered it impossible for him to 
collect the money which was required. It was only 
by the kindness and suflferance of Edward that he had 
not been repeatedly remanded to his prison in the 
Tower; and, in a few years, if this state of things 
continued, he felt that he must lay down his royal 
pomp, and, deserted by a people who bore him neither 
love nor respect, return to the condition of a captive.* 
These reflections embittered his repose; he determined 
to consent to every sacrifice, to get rid of a ransom 
which made him a slave to Edward, and an abject 
suitor to his subjects; and, under the influence of such 
feelings, again engaged in a secret treaty with Eng- 
land, against the independence of his country."f- 

It will be recollected, that the Estates of Scotland 
had already despatched the Bishops of St Andrews 
and Brechin, along with Sir Robert Erskine the Cham- 
berlain of Scotland, to negotiate a peace between the 
two countries ; J and to the result of this public em- 
bassy we shall soon advert. In the meantime, whilst 
these deliberations proceeded, a secret conference was 
held between the privy councillors of David and 
Edward, and in presence of both monarchs, at West- 
minster, on the 26th of November, 1363. The names 
of the privy councillors are studiously concealed, but 
the real object of this meeting was an attempt, upon 
the part of Edward, to renew his designs for the entire 
subjugation of Scotland; but this was done with a 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. vi, p. 48. + Ibid. p. 426, 

X Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 100. Rotuli Scotiae, 38 Ed. III., 
m. 6. 18th July. vol. i. p. 884. 

1363. DAVID II. 123 

caution strongly indicating his sense of the flame 
which the bare suspicion of such a renewal would kindle 
in that country. It was premised, in the first passage 
of the record of this conference, that everything now 
done was to be regarded solely in the light of an 
experiment ; and that the various stipulations and con- 
ditions which it contained, were not to be considered 
as finally agreed to, either by one party or the other, 
but simply as attempts to bring about, under the 
blessing of God, a lasting peace between the two 
nations. The King of Scotland, who, along with 
Edward, was personally present whilst the various 
articles were made the subject of debate, consented 
that, in the event of his death without heirs-male of 
his body, the King of England, and his heirs, should 
succeed to the throne of Scotland; upon which event, 
the town and castle of Berwick, with the castles of 
Roxburgh, Jedburgh, and Lochmaben, and all the 
lands occupied by Robert the First at the time of his 
death, and now in the hands of the King of England, 
were to be delivered up to Scotland; whilst the arrears 
of the ransom, as well as all penalties and obligations 
incurred by its non-payment, were to be cancelled for 

These were the two principal articles in the confer- 
ence ; but a variety of inferior stipulations were added, 
the object of which was evidently to induce the people 
of Scotland to sacrifice the independent throne of their 
country, by the solemn manner in which Edward 
agreed to preserve unimpaired its ancient constitution, 
and the laws and usages of the kino^dom. It was 
agreed that the name and title of the kingdom of 
Scotland should be preserved distinct and entire, and 
should never be sunk in a union with England ; whilst, 
at the same time, it was to remain, not in name only 


but in reality, entire, without injury by gift, aliena- 
tion, or division to any mortal, such as it was in the 
days of Robert the First. The kings of England were 
henceforth to be crowned kings of Scotland at Scone, 
upon the regal and sacred stone-seat, which was to be 
immediately conveyed thither from England; and the 
ceremony was to be performed by those Scottish pre- 
lates who were deputed by the Church of Rome to 
that office. All parliaments regarding Scottish affairs 
were to be held within that kingdom ; and a solemn 
oath was to be taken by the English monarch, that, 
as King of Scotland, he would preserve inviolate the 
rights and immunities of the holy Scottish church, and 
consent that she should be subject neither to bishop 
nor archbishop, but solely to the pope. In addition 
to all this, Edward engaged faithfully that the sub- 
jects of Scotland should never be called upon to answer 
to any suit, except within the courts of their own 
kingdom, and according to their own laws. He pro- 
mised that no ecclesiastical benefices or dignities, and 
no civil or military office, such as that of chancellor, 
chamberlain, justice, sheriff, provost, bailie, governor 
of town or castle, or other officer, should be conferred 
on any, except the true subjects of the kingdom of 
Scotland; and that, in affairs touching the weal of 
that realm, he would select his councillors from the 
peers and lords of Scotland alone. He engaged, also, 
to maintain the prelates, earls, barons, and free tenants 
of that country, in their franchises and seignories, in 
their estates, rents, possessions, and offices, according 
to the terms of their charter; and pledged his royal 
word to make no revocation of any of the grants made 
or confirmed by Robert Bruce, or his son the present 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. vi. p. i27. 

1363. DAVID II. 125 

With regard to an important brancli in the national 
prosperity, — the commerce of Scotland, it was declared, 
that the merchants of that realm should fully and freely 
enjoy their own privileges, without being compelled to 
repair, for the sale of their commodities, to Calais, or 
any other staple, except at their own option ; and that 
they should pay half a mark to the great custom upon 
each sack of wool which they exported. The duty on 
the exportation of English wool was higher ; and this 
article formed one of those many devices by which 
Edward, in his present projects, artfully endeavoured 
to secure the good-will of the rich burghers of Scot- 
land, — a class of men now rising into influence and 
consideration. Nor were other baits for popularity 
neglected by those who framed this insidious treaty. 
To the powerful Earl of Douglas it was held out, that 
he should be restored to the estates in England which 
had been possessed by his father and his uncle ; — to 
the disinherited lords, the Earl of Athole, the Barons 
Percy, Beaumont, and Ferrers, with the heirs of Talbot, 
and all who claimed lands in Scotland, either by the 
gift of David when a prisoner, or on any other ground, 
there was promised a full restoration to their estates, 
without further trouble or challenge. The clergy were 
attempted to be propitiated by an article, which pro- 
mised to every religious house or abbey, the restoration 
of the lands which had been torn from them during 
the excesses and calamities of war ; and to the numer- 
ous and powerful body of vassals, or military tenants, 
who formed the strength of the nation, it was dis- 
tinctly announced that, under the change which was 
to give them a new king, they were only to be bound 
by the ancient and acknowledged laws of military ser- 
vice, which compelled them to serve, under the banner 
of their lord, for forty days at their own expense ; but 


that afterwards, any farther continuance with the host 
should entitle them to receive pay according to their 
state and quality. A general indemnity was offered 
to all Scottish subjects, in the declaration that no 
challenge or action whatever should be used against 
those who had departed from the oaths of homage 
which they had formerly sworn to England ; and, as to 
any additional conditions or articles which the three 
Estates of Scotland might judge it right to demand, 
for the profit or good of their kingdom, the King of 
England declared, that these points should be duly 
weighed by his council, and determined according to 
their advice. 

This extraordinary conference, which was not known 
to the ancient Scottish historians Fordun or Winton, 
concluded by a promise upon the part of David, that 
he would immediately sound the inclinations of his 
people, and inform the King of England and his privy 
council of their feelings regarding the propositions it 
involved, fifteen days after Easter.* 

There remains no record by which we can discover 
whether this treaty was ever made the subject of deli- 
beration in the Scottish parliament, or even in the privy 
council ; but, fortunately for the peace of the country, 
it was unknown to the people for many hundred years 
after. Meanwhile David and his queen remained at 
the court of Edward, rendered at this time especially 
brilliant, by the presence of the Kings of France, 
Cyprus, and Denmark. f Amid the splendid enter- 
tainments, in which this weak prince endeavoured to 
forget his kingdom, and to silence and drown reflec- 
tion, one is worthy of notice. Sir Henry Picard, a 
wine-merchant, gave a feast, in his mansion, to his 

* Foedera, vol. vi. p. 427. 

+ Barneses Ed. III., p. 633. Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 884, 38 Ed. III. 

1364. DAVID II. 127 

roval master, Edward the Third. He invited, at the 
same time, the Kings of France, Scotland, Cyprus, 
and Denmark, with the personal suites of these mon- 
archs, the sons of Edward, and the principal barons 
of England, who were all welcomed with princely mao-- 
nificence. Whilst these guests were feasting in the 
hall, his wife,' the Lady Margaret, received, in her 
apartments, the princesses and ladies of the court. A 
simple citizen of London, entertaining five kings in 
his own house, afibrds a remarkable picture of the 
wealth of the capital. 

Amid such secret treachery and public rejoicings, 
the Scottish commissioners continued their negotiations 
for peace ; and, after long debate and delay, returned 
to Scotland. David also repaired to his kingdom ; and 
a parliament was summoned to meet at Perth, for the 
purpose of reporting to the three Estates the result 
of the conferences on the projected treaty between the 
two countries.* This great council met accordingly 
on the 13th of January, 1364, and nothing could be 
more wise and independent than their conduct. The 
embarrassment of the nation, from the immense expen- 
diture of public money, and the increasing anxiety 
caused by the great portion of the king's ransom which 
was yet unpaid, were uppermost in their thoughts ; 
and they were willing to make every sacrifice to extri- 
cate the country from its difficulties, to be freed from 
the payment of the ransom, and to obtain an honour- 
ble peace. For the accomplishment of this end, they 
declared themselves ready to restore the disinherited 
lords, meaning by this the Earl of Athole, the Lords 
Percy, Beaumont, Talbot, Ferrers, Godfrey de Ross, 
and a few others of inferior note, to the estates which 
they claimed in Scotland;-}- and to settle upon the 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 101. f Ibid. 



youngest son of the King of England, the lands in 
Galloway which were the inheritance of Edward Baliol, 
and the Isle of Man. The annual income of this 
island was rated at a thousand marks ; and it was 
stipulated, that if the Earl of Salisbury should claim 
the property of the island, an annuity of one thousand 
marks sterling should be paid to the prilice, until lands 
of the same value were settled upon him, provided 
always that he held the same as the sworn vassal of 
the King of Scotland. In the event of such condi- 
tions being accepted by England as an equivalent for 
the ransom, they declared themselves ready to show 
their sincerity as allies by an invasion of Ireland, con- 
ducted by the king in person, and directed against that 
part of the coast where the landing was likely to be 
most successful. 

The anxiety of the parliament for peace was strongly 
marked in the next article in their deliberations. If, 
said they, these conditions, w^hich we are ready to make 
the basis of our negotiation, are not accepted by Eng- 
land, still, rather than renounce all hopes of a just and 
lasting peace, w^e have unanimously agreed that the 
ransom shall be paid, provided that moderate intervals 
between each term of payment are allowed ; and in the 
understanding that a perpetual union and alliance 
shall take place between the two nations, if not on terms 
of a perfect equality of power, at least on such condi- 
tions as shall in no degree compromise the freedom 
and independence of Scotland.* In these conditions 
the Estates declared themselves willing to include the 
articles regarding the disinherited lords ; the provision 
to the son of the King of England ; and the invasion 
of Ireland, provided the talents and industry of those 
to whom the negotiation had been intrusted were un- 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 101. 

1364. DAVID II. 129 

successful in obtaining a mitigation of the same. A 
proportional deduction from the large sum of the ran- 
som was of course to be made, if such conditions were 
accepted by England. 

It became, in the next place, a subject of grave con- 
sideration with the parliament, what conduct ought to 
be pursued, if, by such sacrifices, they were yet unable 
to procure the blessing of peace ; and in their deliber- 
ations upon this subject, a view is given of the great 
efforts which the country was ready to make, and of the 
mode in which the three Estates proposed to raise 
money for the payment of the ransom, which is impor- 
tant and instructive. 

Of the original sum stipulated, namely, one hundred 
thousand pounds sterling, twenty thousand marks had 
been already paid; although, owing to the instalments 
not having been regularly transmitted at the appointed 
periods, there had been an accumulation to a consider- 
able amount in the form of penalty for non-payment. 
It was accordingly proposed by the parliament, that 
England should agree to a truce for twenty-four years, 
upon which they were ready to pay down annually, 
during the continuance of that period, five thousand 
marks sterling, till the sum of a hundred and twenty 
thousand marks was completed, being the whole accu- 
mulated ransom and penalty. Should the English 
council refuse a cessation on such terms, two other 
schemes were suggested. The first was the payment 
of a hundred thousand pounds, at the rate of five 
thousand marks yearly, exclusive of the twenty thou- 
sand marks already received by England; and if this 
should not be accepted, they declared their readiness, 
rather than renounce the hopes of a truce, to pay doAvn 
in ten years, at the rate of ten thousand marks an- 
nually, the full sum of a hundred thousand marks, as 


stipulated in the first treaty regarding the ransom of 
the kin<r. 

The manner in which this enormous sum was to be 
raised became next the subject of consideration. It 
was determined that an annual tax, or custom, of eight 
thousand marks, was to be levied upon the whole wool 
of the kingdom, and that certain faithful burgesses 
should be appointed to receive it in Flanders in Eng- 
lish money; but the precaution was added, that some 
experienced person should attend in the weighing-house 
upon the part of the king, to superintend the annual 
payments, and watch over the interests of his master. 
In this manner, eight thousand marks were to be paid 
annually, according to the conditions of the first treaty. 

In addition to this, it was enacted in the same par- 
liament, that a general annual tax should be levied, 
throughout the kingdom, of six pennies in the pound, 
upon every person, without exception. Out of this 
sum, two thousand marks were to be yearly appro- 
priated to make up the ten thousand marks of the 
redemption money ; and the residue was to remain in 
the hands of the chamberlain for the necessary expenses 
of the king. 

The lords and barons assembled in parliament so- 
lemnly engaged to ratify and approve of any treaty 
of peace or truce, which the plenipotentiaries who 
manasred the negotiation mi^ht conclude with the Kino^ 
of England and his council, and to adhere to, and 
carry into effect, the above-mentioned ordinance for 
the payment of the ransom. They agreed, also, that 
they would not, secretly or openly, for themselves or 
for their dependents, demand the restoration of any 
lands, which, during the time stipulated for the pay- 
ment of the ransom, should happen to fall in the king's 
hands by ward, relief, marriage, fine, or escheat, but 

1364. DAVID II. 131 

allow the same to remain entire, in the custody of the 
chamberlain, for the use of the king ; and it was added, 
that they adopted this resolution, because the non- 
fulfilment of these conditions might lead to an utter 
abrogation of the treaty already in the course of nego- 
tiation; an event which could not fail to bring both 
disgrace and loss upon the king, the prelates, and the 
nobility, and destruction upon the rest of the kingdom. 

The proceedings of this important parliament con- 
cluded by an oath, taken by the prelates, lords, and 
commons who composed it, with their hands upon the 
holy gospels, that they would, with their whole power, 
pursue and put down any person whatsoever who should 
infringe any of the resolutions above-mentioned; that 
they would regard such person as a public enemy, and 
a rebel against the crown; and, under the penalty of 
being themselves accounted perjured and traitorous 
persons, would compel him or them to the due observ- 
ance of the stipulated agreement.* The Steward of 
Scotland, with his eldest son, John lord of Kyle, 
afterwards Robert the Third, the Earl of Ross, and 
Keith lord Mareschal, were the chief of the higher 
barons who sat in this parliament. A pilgrimage to 
the shrine of St Thomas a Becket-f* detained the 
powerful Earls of March and Douglas in England; 
but the attendance of the bishops and abbots, of the 
minor barons and the representatives of the royal 
burghs, was full, and the resolutions may be regarded 
as a fair criterion of the feelings and wishes of the 

In consequence of these deliberations, a farther 
negotiation took place at London between the English 

* Robertson'sParliamentary Records, pp. 101,102. The original record, 
•which has never been published, wiU be found in the Illustrations, letter F. 
It is dated LSth January, 1364. 

t Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 878, 879. 


and Scottish commissioners, in which the heads of a 
new treaty of peace were debated and drawn out.* Of 
this treaty, the principal articles consisted in a pro- 
posed truce, for twenty-five years, between the two 
kingdoms, and an engagement, upon the part of Scot- 
land, to pay into the English treasury a hundred 
thousand pounds sterling, in full of all demand for 
ransom, and of all penalties for non-payment at the 
stated period. In the meantime, until this long truce 
should be finally settled, a short one of four years was 
certainly to take place, during which the negotiations 
for a final peace were to proceed, and if, after the 
lapse of this probationary period, either country pre- 
ferred war to peace, in that event, half a year's warn- 
ing was to be given, previous to the commencement of 
hostilities, by letters under the great seal.-J* It was 
stipulated, also, upon the part of the King of Scot- 
land, that, in the event of a declaration of war by 
Edward after the four-years' truce, all the sums already 
paid, during this interval of peace, were to be deducted 
from the sum of eighty thousand marks of ransom- 
money, which the king had bound himself to pay by 
letters under his great seal. On these conditions, 
Edward prorogued the truce from the 20th of May, 
1365, for the space of four years, | — anxious to employ 
this interval of peace in renewed intrigues for the sub- 
jugation of the country. 

In less than a month after this prorogation, a par- 
liament was held at Perth, in the hall of the Domi- 
nican convent, in presence of the king, where the 
result of the latest conferences between the Scottish 
and English commissioners, regarding an ultimate 

* Rymer's Fcedera, vol. vi. p. 464. 

•)- Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 102. The letter of David upon 
this projected treaty, is dated at the castle of Edinhurgh, r2th June, 1365. 
J Ibid. p. 103. 20th June, 1365. 

1365. DAVID II. 133 

peace, was anxiously debated.* It was attended by 
the Bishops of St Andrews, Dunkeld, Moray, Brechin, 
and Whithern, the Steward of Scotland, the Earls 
of Dunbar, Moray, and Douglas, John de Yle, Keith 
the Marshal, Sir Robert Erskine, Sir Henry de 
Eglinton, Sir William de Haliburton, Sir Roger Mor- 
timer, Sir David Fleming, John of Argyle lord of 
Lorn, and Gillespie Campbell. In this parliament 
many of the nobility and lesser barons do not appear 
to have sat ; and the circumstance of sixty-five of the 
principal Scottish merchants having received safe-con- 
ducts for travelling into England during the course 
of the preceding year,*]* may probably account for the 
absence of the representatives of the burghs from the 
same assembly. It would appear, from the fragment 
of an ancient record of its proceedings, which is all 
now left us, that Edward, as one of the basis of a final 
peace between the two countries, had insisted that 
Scotland, in the event of England being invaded, 
should assist him with a subsidy of forty men-at-arms 
and sixty archers, to serve within England, and to be 
paid by that country. This obligation was to be bind- 
ing upon Scotland for ever; or, in the event of its not 
being accepted by England, it was proposed, as an 
alternative, that David should assist Edward in his 
Irish war with a body of Scottish troops, who were to 
serve in Ireland for five years, but only for the space 
of three months each year. If, on the other hand, 
Scotland should be invaded by foreigners, an English 
auxiliary force of two hundred men-at-arms, and three 
hundred archers, was promised by Edward for the 
assistance of his ally, to be supported by Scotland. A 

* Robertson^'s Parliamentary Records, p. 104. 24tli July, 1365. 
t Rotuli Scotiae, p. 885. The safe-conducts are dated the 4th November, 
1364, and lasted for a year. 


reference was finally made to the resolutions drawn up 
in the parliament, which was held at Perth in the pre- 
ceding year; and it was unanimously determined, that 
rather than renounce the hope of a lasting peace, every 
article contained in these resolutions should be con- 
ceded to England, provided their commissioners did not 
succeed in obtaining some mitigation of the condi- 

The extraordinary sacrifices which the Scottish par- 
liament were ready to consent to for the sake of peace, 
encouraged Edward in the hope that the country was 
at length exhausted by its long struggle for freedom, 
and that its ultimate reduction under the power of 
England was not far distant; and the political mea- 
sures which he adopted to secure this great end of his 
ambition, were far more likely to succeed than open 
force or invasion. The nation had been reduced to 
the lowest pitch of impoverishment in every branch of 
public wealth: and in this condition, by the encou- 
ragement which he extended to its merchants ;-f- the 
security and protection which were given to the vassals 
and labourers, who lived upon the lands in Scotland 
subject to himself or to his nobles; and the privileges 
bestowed on the religious houses which had come under 
his peace, J he contrived to make them feel, in the most 
lively manner, the blessings of repose as contrasted 
with the complicated miseries of war. The minutest 
methods of ens^asfino: the affections and f^^ood wishes of 
the people were not neglected; and the conqueror at 
Cressy did not disdain to grant his royal letters to a 
Scottish tile-maker, that he might improve himself in 
his mystery by a residence in London. § 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 1 04. 

+ Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 897. 1 6"th Oct. 1 365. Ibid. vol. i. p. 891. 

t Ibid. vol. i. p. 894. 26'th May, 1365. Ibid. p. 887, 906. 

§ Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 905. 

1365. DAVID II. 135 

It is impossible now to discover the secret practices 
by which he succeeded in corrupting or neutralizing 
the patriotic principles of the higher classes of the no- 
bility ; but the fact is certain, that not only an almost 
uninterrupted but secret correspondence took place 
between the English and Scottish kings, * but that 
several of the greater barons embraced his interests ; 
and that numbers of the kniohts and o-entrv of Scot- 
land were detached from their country, either by enter- 
ing into the service of foreign powers, by engaging in 
pilgrimages to England, or by permitting themselves 
to be seduced from their severer duties at home by the 
chivalrous attractions of the splendid court of Edward. 

David and his queen paid repeated visits to the 
shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury; the powerful 
Earl of March repaired to England upon the same 
pretence ;•(* John Barbour archdeacon of Aberdeen, 
a name famous as the metrical historian of Bruce, ob- 
tained a safe conduct to proceed with six knights upon 
a foreign pilgrimage;}: and we may form some idea of 
the extent to which these religious expeditions w^ere 
carried, and the important advantage they gave to 
Edward in crippling the power of Scotland, from the 
fact that, in the end of the year 1365, a band of twenty- 
two Scottish pilgrims, most of them knights and sol- 
diers, having in their company a body of a hundred 
horsemen, left their own country upon pilgrimages to 
different shrines in England, Europe, and Asia.§ 
Another hold of Edward over the Scottish barons, was 

* Rotuli Scotia, vol. i. p. 896. 1 5th Aug. 1 365. Dillon's History of Peter 
the Cruel, vol. ii. p. 50. 

"t" From the extreme frequency of these pilgrimages, and the ahruptness 
■writh which the rage for them seems to have seized the Scots, I suspect they 
sometimes were political missions under the cloak of religion. The first of 
them is in 1357, 12th March. Rotuli Scotiae, p. 882. In the year 1363, the 
Earls of March, Douglas, and Mar, successively visited the shrine of St Tho- 
mas a Becket, 

4: Rotuli Scotiae, p. 897. 16th Oct. 1365. § Ibid. vol. i. p. 901. 


their needy circumstances, and their debts in England. 
David himself and his queen did not venture to come 
into that country without a special protection from 
arrest for his person and his whole establishment ; and 
from the sums expended during their captivity, or in 
their ransom, and in support of the hostages, many of 
his barons were undoubtedly in the same situation:* 
exposed to the annoyance of an arrest if they thwarted 
the views of Edward, or treated with indulgence and 
lenity if they promoted the objects of his ambition. 

At this time, the English king carried his arrogance 
so far, as to designate Robert Bruce as the person who 
had pretended to be King of Scotland; nor did he 
deign, in his various letters of protection, to give David 
the royal title, calling him his dear brother and pri- 
soner, and affecting to consider Scotland as part of 
his own dominions. -[* This was not altogether a vain 
boast: various parts of that country, and some of its 
strongest castles, were in his hands, or in the occupa- 
tion of his subjects ; he possessed large tracts on the 
Marches, in Annandale, Tynedale, Teviotdale, and 
Liddesdale; whilst the religious houses of Kelso and 
Melrose, and in all probability other abbeys or monas- 
teries, whose names do not appear, had submitted to 
his authority, and enjoyed his protection. J Yet 
although the secret neg^otiations between the two coun- 
tries continued, and David and his queen, from the 
frequency of their visits, seemed almost to have taken 
up their residence in England, the spirit of the coun- 
try was in no degree subdued; and about this time 
Edward found himself compelled to issue orders to 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 900. 18th March, 1365-6, Salvi conductus, cum 

f)rotectione ab arresto, pro Rege et Regina Scotiae, et pro comite Marchiae 
imina Sancti Thomae visitaturis. See also Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 882. 
t Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 901. 18th March, 1365-6. 
X Ibid. vol. i. pp. 794, 875, 877, 880, 887, 896, 902, 908. Rymer's Feed- 
vol. vi. p. 594. 

1866. DAVID II. 137 

Henry Percy, with the barons Lucy, Clifford, Dacres, 
and Musgrave, to keep themselves in readiness to repel 
a meditated invasion of the Scots.* 

The Scottish parliament, which met at Perth in the 
summer of the preceding year, had expressed a hope 
that the commissioners, to whom they intrusted the 
negotiation of a peace, might succeed in obtaining 
some mitigation of the rigorous conditions proposed by 
Edward. In this expectation they were disappointed. 
That monarch, as was to be expected, increased in the 
insolence of his demands ; and in an assembly of the 
Scottish council, which took place at the monastery of 
Holyrood on the 8th of May, when David was, as 
usual, absent in Engiand,-[" the spirit of the nobles 
who remained true to their country seems to have 
gathered courage from despair. They announced, in 
the strongest possible language, that the propositions 
of Edward with regard to the homage, the succession, 
and the demembration of the kingdom, could not for 
a moment be entertained ; that they involved a sub- 
mission which was altogether intolerable ; and that, in 
the event of the probable rejection of all overtures of 
peace, the Scottish people, rather than consent to such 
degrading terms, were willing to make still greater 
sacrifices in order to pay off the ransom of their king. 
For this purpose, they declared themselves ready to 
submit to an additional tax upon all the lands in the 
kingdom, both lay and ecclesiastical. It was directed 
that the sheriff of each county should appoint certain 
days for the appearance of the richest proprietors within 
his jurisdiction; at which time they were to mark the 
precise sum which each was willing to contribute within 

* Rotuli Scotia, p. 896. 20th Aug. 1365. 

+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 104. Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 
900, 901. 


three years, towards defraying the ransom, and after- 
wards to collect the amount. If this were done, it was 
calculated that, at the end of the four-years'* truce, the 
whole ransom money would be ready to be delivered 
to England.* 

The Order of Council, from which these facts are 
extracted, is a mutilated document, and unfortunately 
contains no further information ; but enoufrh of it re- 
mains to evince the temper of the Scottish people ; and 
any further attempts at negotiation only served to 
show the vanity of all expectations of a final peace, 
and to widen the breach between England and the 
well affected part of the nation. In that country pre- 
parations for war; orders to the lords marchers to put 
the Borders in a state of defence ; to command an array 
of all fighting men between sixteen and sixty ; and to 
strengthen and victual the castles on the marches,t 
succeeded to these abortive attempts at negotiation: 
and it seems to have been confidently expected in Eng- 
land that the Scots would break or renounce the truce, 
and attack the Border counties. Meanwhile a parlia- 
ment was convoked at Scone on the 20th of July,]: 
which was fully attended by the bishops, abbots, and 
priors ; by the high lords and lesser barons, as well as 
by the representatives of the royal burghs. The ex- 
penses which had been contracted by the incessant and 
wasteful visits of David and his queen to the court of 
Edward; the heavy sums due by the Scottish com- 
missioners, who had been so long and so fruitlessly 
engaged in negotiations for peace; and the large balance 
of the ransom which still remained unpaid, formed 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 104. The fragment of the Order 
of Council •will be found in the Illustrations, letter G. Its date is the 8th 
of May, 1366. 

t Rotuli Scotise, 906, 908, 909, vol. i. The castles of Berwick, Lochma- 
ben, and Roxburgh, -were then in the hands of Edward. 

ij: Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 105. 20th July, 1366. 

1366. DAVID II. 130 

altogether a load of debt, the payment of which became 
to this assembly a subject of ceaseless anxiety, and 
called for new sacrifices. 

Three years of the short truce had expired; yet 
peace appeared now even more distant than before, and 
war and bankruptcy were fast approaching. In these 
circumstances, it was resolved to make a last attempt 
at negotiation; and to intrust its management to the 
same commissioners, the Bishop of St Andrews, Sir 
Robert Erskine, Wardlaw archdeacon of Lothian, and 
Gilbert Armstrong ; with directions that the articles, 
already draw^n up in the former parliament at Perth,* 
should be the basis of their negotiation. If their efforts 
failed to procure a final peace, they were directed by 
the parliament to obtain, if possible, a prolongation of 
the truce for twenty-five years, on condition that Scot- 
land should pay annually four thousand pounds in 
extinction of the remainder of the ransom. An exact 
estimate of the actual value of all the lands in the 
kingdom, as distinguished from that denominated the 
ancient extent, was appointed to be taken. In this 
census were included the lands belonging to the church ; 
the estates of the nobles and lesser barons; the pro- 
perty of the burghers and merchants ; and even the 
goods of the husbandmen or labourers. From this 
estimate of property, a special exception is made as 
before in favour of the " white sheep," which*-\vere to 
pay nothing to the general contribution ; and it was 
directed that, on a certain day,"[* the returns should 
be given in at Edinburgh to the council; after which, 
on summing up the whole, a contribution of eight 
thousand marks was to be levied upon the gross rental 

* Held on the 13th January, 1364. 

+ " Infra festum nativitatis beatse virginis, proximo futurum apud Edin- 
tjorgh," viz. 8th September. Robertson 's Parliamentary Records, p. 105. 


of the kingdom, to defray the expenses ot the king''3 
visits; to pay off the debts which he had contracted 
in his own kingdom; and to cover the charges of the 
commissioners. As to the «£'^4000 annually due as 
ransom money, it was agreed that, until the return of 
the commissioners, this should be paid out of the great 
custom which had been set apart for that purpose in 
a former parliament. After their return, it was deemed 
advisable by the parliament that this sum of .£'4000 
should be taken out of the produce of the general tax 
upon the property of the kingdom ; and that <^2000 
out of the same fund should be employed to relieve 
the king from debt, to pay his expenses, and the charges 
of the commissioners. This last sum was required 
without delay. It was, therefore, borrowed from the 
barons, clergy, and burgesses, in the proportions of one 
thousand from the first, six hundred from the second, 
and four hundred marks from the last order; Sir 
Robert Erskine, and Walter Biggar the chamberlain, 
becoming surety to the burgesses that the debt should 
be duly paid as soon as the general tax was levied upon 
the property of the kingdom. 

Such being the unexampled sacrifices which were 
cheerfully made by the nation, for the relief of the 
king, and the support of the crown, it was natural and 
just that some reciprocal favours should be granted for 
the protection of the people. Accordingly, at the 
request of the three Estates, it was expressly pro- 
claimed, that justice should be administered to every 
subject of the realm without favour or partiality; and 
that whatever writs or letters had been directed from 
the Chancellary or other court, in the course of the 
prosecution of any cause, should not be liable to be 
recalled by the sealed writ of any other officer ; but 
that the ministers to whom such were addressed be 

1866. DAVID II. 141 

bound to give them full effect, and to return them 
endorsed to the parties. It was also solemnly stipu- 
lated, that no part of the sums collected for the ran- 
som and the expenses of the king, or of his commis- 
sioners, should be applied to any other use ; that the 
church should be protected in the full enjoyment of 
her immunities ; and that all opponents to the regular 
levying of the tithes should be compelled to submit 
peaceably to their exaction, under the penalty of ex- 
communication, and a fine of ten pounds to the king. 
Nothing was to be taken from the lieges for the use 
of the king, unless upon prompt payment ; and, even 
when paid for, the royal officers and purveyors were 
directed to exact only what was due by use and custom, 
and not to make the necessity of the king or their own 
will the rule of their proceeding. The parliament 
resolved in the next place, that the rebels in Argyle, 
Athole, Badenoch, Lochaber, and Ross, and all who 
had defied the royal authority in the northern parts of 
the kingdom, should be seized, and compelled to sub- 
mit to the laws, and to pay their share in the general 
contribution ; besides being otherwise punished, as 
appeared best for securing the peace of the community. 
This brief notice in the Parliamentary Record is the 
only account which remains of what appears to have 
been a serious rebellion of the northern lords, who, 
encouraged by the present calamities, had thrown off 
their allegiance, at all times precarious, and refused to 
pay their proportion of the contribution for the relief 
of the kingdom. The principal leaders in this com- 
motion were the Earl of Ross, Hugh de Ross, John 
of the Isles, John of Lorn, and John de Haye, who 
declined to attend the parliament, and remained in 
stern independence upon their own estates.* 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 105. 


All sheriffs and inferior magistrates, as well within as 
without burgh, were commanded to obey the chamber- 
lain and other superior authorities, under the penalty 
of a removal from their offices. It was directed that 
no barons or knights, travelling through the country 
with horse or attendants, should permit their followers 
to insist upon quarters with the inferior clergy, or the 
farmers and husbandmen, so as to destroy the crops 
and meadows and consume the grain ; that they should 
duly pay their expenses to the inns where they baited 
or took up their residence ; and that the chamberlain 
should take care that, in every burgh, such inns be 
erected and maintained according to the wealth of the 
place. No prelate, earl, baron, knight, or other per- 
son, lay, or clerical, was to be permitted to ride through 
the country with a greater suite than became their 
rank ; and, under pain of imprisonment, such persons 
were enjoined to dismiss their bodies of spearmen 
and archers, unless cause for the attendance of such a 
force was shown to the king's officers. All remissions 
for offences granted by the king were declared can- 
celled, unless the fine was paid within the year from 
the date of the pardon ; and it was finally directed, 
that these regulations for the good of the state should 
be reduced to writing under the royal seal, and pub- 
licly proclaimed by the sheriffs in their respective 

In consequence of the resolutions in this Parliament, 
an attempt appears to have been made to procure a 
peace, which, as usual, concluded in disappointment, 
and only entailed additional expense upon the country. t 
It was followed by warlike indications upon the part of 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 105, 106. The whole record of 
this parliament, which has never been published, will be found in the Illustra- 
tions, letter H. 

t Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 909. 8th February, 1366. 

1366. DAVID II. 143 

England. Orders were issued to the Bishop of Dur- 
ham to fortify Norham, and hold himself in readiness 
to resist an invasion of the Scots ; Gilbert Umfraville 
was commanded to reside upon his lands in Northum- 
berland ; an array was ordered of all fighting men 
between the ages of sixteen and sixty ;* and Henry 
Percy was enjoined to inspect the state of the castles 
upon the Marches, and in the Anglicised part of Scot- 

It happened, unfortunately for that country, at a 
time when a combination of their utmost strength was 
absolutely necessary, that petty feuds and jealousies 
again broke out amongst the Scottish nobles. During 
the long captivity of David, and the consequent dis- 
organized state of his dominions, the pride and power 
of these feudal barons had risen to a pitch, destructive 
of all regular subordination : they travelled through 
the country with the pomp and military array of 
sovereigns ; affected the style and title of princes ; and, 
at their pleasure, refused to attend the parliament,t 
or to contribute their share to the relief of the king 
and the people. If offended, they retired to their own 
estates and castles, where, surrounded by their vassals, 
they could easily bid defiance to the authority of the 
laws ; or they retreated into England, to occupy their 
time in tournaments, visiting holy shrines, or travelling, 
with an array of knights and squires, to various parts 
of Europe ; where they lavishly wasted, in the service 
of foreign powers, the blood and treasures which ought 
to have been spent in securing the independence of 
their country.^ Of this idle and unworthy conduct 
of the Scottish nobility, the rolls of the Tower furnish 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 909, 910, 911. 

"t" Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 106. 

t Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 9'24. I6th October, 1368. 



US with repeated examples. The Earl of Douglas, one 
of the most powerful subjects in Scotland, along with 
the Earl of March, who held the keys of the kingdom 
on the Borders, and the Earl of Ross, a baron of for- 
midable strength in the north, proudly absented them- 
selves from parliament ; and soon after, Douglas, with 
a retinue of four-and-twenty horse, obtained a safe- 
conduct from Edward to travel into England, and 
beyond seas ; whilst his example in deserting his 
country was imitated by a body of thirteen Scottish 
clerks and barons, attended by a body of seventy-five 
horse.* In the battle of Nagera in Spain, fought, a 
short time before this, between Edward the Black 
Prince and Peter the Cruel, against Henry of Trans- 
tamarre, many Scots were in the army of Henry ; and 
we have already seen that, some time before the same 
period, there appear to have been frequent emigrations 
of Scottish adventurers to join the Teutonic knights 
in Prussia.-f- 

These, however, were not the only distressing con- 
sequences attendant on the long captivity of the king. 
The patrimony of the crown had been seriously dila- 
pidated during the period of confusion which, not- 
withstanding all the efforts of the Steward, succeeded 
the battle of Durham. It was no longer what it had 
once been. Its rents and customs ; its duties and its 
fines ; its perquisites and privileges, had been gradu- 
ally disused, or silently encroached upon ; and in some 
instances, its lands had probably been seized, or made 
the subject of sale or gift : so that, from the actual 
want of funds, the king found it difficult to live in 
Scotland, or to support, as it became him, the expenses 
of his royal establishment, without a constant and 

* Rotuli Scotiffi, vol. i. pp. 915, 916. 16th and 26th October, 1367. 
+ Dillon's History of Peter the Cruel, vol. ii. p. 50. 

1366. DAVID II. 145 

oppressive taxation ; and this, perhaps, is the best 
excuse, although an insufficient one, for his frequent 
visits to England, and long residences in that country. 
As far back as 1362, we find that David's first queen 
had been under the necessity of pawning her jewels for 
debt ; and, only four years after, her royal consort 
was compelled to adopt the same painful expedient.* 
This defalcation in the royal revenue amounted at 
length to a serious grievance ; and a parliament was 
summoned at Scone, on the 27th of September, 1367, i* 
for the purpose of taking the subject into considera- 
tion. It was determined that, to defray the expenses 
of the royal establishment, and to enable the king to 
live without oppressing the people, the patrimony of 
the crown must be restored to the condition in which 
it stood in the time of Robert Bruce and Alexander 
the Third ; and that all the rents, duties, customs, 
perquisites and emoluments which, having accrued to 
it in the interval between the death of these monarchs 
and the present day, had been grievously dilapidat- 
ed, should be reclaimed. It was declared, with that 
short-sighted and sweeping spirit of legislation which 
marked a rude age, and a contempt of the rights of 
third parties : that if these rents or duties belonging 
to the crown had been disposed of ; or, under certain 
conditions, entirely abolished ; or, if the crown-lands 
had been let, either by the king or his chamberlain ; 
still, such was the urgency of the case, that every- 
thing was, by the speediest possible process, to be 
restored to it, as if no such transaction had ever taken 
place : all such leases, gifts, or private contracts, were 
pronounced null and void, and the whole patrimony 

* Compotum Camerarii Scotise, pp. 395, 464. 

+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 108. 27th Sept. 1367. The record 
of this parliament will be found printed in the Illustrations, letter I. 


was to be restored, with its ancient privile<^es, into the 
hands of the king. All lands in ward, all the feudal 
casualties, due upon the marriage of crown vassals, 
Tnth the fines or perquisites of courts, were to remain 
in the hands of the chamberlain for the king's use ; 
and if the sovereign was anxious to promote or reward 
any individual, this was directed to be done out of 
the moveable property of the crown, and with the 
advice of the privy council. All deeds or charters, 
by which such dilapidations of the property of the 
crown had been made, either in the time of Robert 
Bruce, or of the present king, were ordered by the 
parliament to be delivered into the exchequer at Perth, 
to remain in the hands of the chancellor and the 
chamberlain ; and any such deeds not so delivered 
upon the appointed day, were abrogated, and declared 
to be of no force or effect in all time coming.* 

In the same parliament, a wise regulation was intro- 
duced with regard to those lands, which, as has been 
already mentioned, were at this time in the hands of 
the enemy. It was declared, that, as several large 
districts in the different counties of the kingdom had 
long been, and still were, "under the peace"" of the 
King of England, in which there were estates holding 
of the king, and whose heirs had remained in Scotland 
his faithful subjects, it was deemed expedient by the 
parliament, as soon as all regular forms had been com- 
plied with, and such persons found by a jury to be 
the true heirs, that they should receive letters of sasine 
addressed to the sheriffs of the counties where the 
lands lay, which officers were commanded to give 
sasine to the true proprietors in their respective courts. 
This legal ceremony was pronounced to be as valid as 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 108. 

1367. DAVID II. 147 

if the feudal solemnity had taken place upon the lands 
themselves ; nor was their possession by the enemy, 
for however long a period, to operate to the prejudice 
of their true proprietors.* 

Still clinging eagerly to the hopes of peace, and well 
aware, from experience, of the evils of a protracted 
war, the parliament recommended a renewal of the 
negotiations on this subject, and empowered the king 
and his privy council to choose commissioners, and to 
impose a tax for the payment of their expenses, with- 
out the necessity of calling a new parliament, and 
obtaining its sanction to their proceedings. t The 
greater the anxiety, however, which was manifested 
by the Scots, the less likely was Edward to listen to 
their representations, or to indulge them, so long as 
they asserted their independence, with any hopes of a 
permanent peace. Two attempts at negotiation, which 
were made within the space of a few months, by the 
same commissioners who had hitherto been so unsuc- 
cessful in all their diplomatic undertakings, ended in 
new and more intolerable demands upon the part of 
Edward, and a determined refusal by the Scottish par- 
liament to entertain them. J This, however, did not 
prevent the king and his consort from setting out on 
their usual visit to England. With a retinue of a 
hundred knights, and a numerous body of attendants, 
they travelled to the shrine of St Thomas of Canter- 
bury ; and, in this foolish parade of pleasure and devo- 
tion, incurred a deeper load of debt, at the very time 
that their poverty had become the subject of parlia- 
mentary inquiry, and when they could not venture to 
visit the English court without a royal protection from 

* Robertson'sParliamentary Records, p. 109. i* Ibid. 

X Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 916, 28tli Oct. 1367 ; and p. 917, 22^ Jan. 1367-8. 
Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 112. 


arrest. The sums thus idly thrown away, on their 
return had to be wrung out of the hard-earned profits 
of the conimercial and labouring classes of the com- 
munity, in a country already impoverished by a long 
war ; and it is difficult to find terms sufficiently 
strong to reprobate such unworthy conduct upon the 
part of a sovereign, who already owed so much to his 

The state of Scotland, and the relations between that 
country and England, at the present period, were of a 
sinsrular kind. There was a constant amicable corre- 
spondence between the merchants of both countries ; 
and a commercial intercourse of unexampled activity, 
especially upon the part of Scotland, encouraged and 
protected by Edward; pilgrimages to holy shrines, 
emigrations of Scottish students, with almost perpetual 
negotiations regarding a final peace, appeared to indi- 
cate the utmost anxiety to preserve the truce, and an 
earnest desire that the amity should continue. But 
much of this was hollow. Orders to the English war- 
dens to strengthen the castles on the marches ; to 
summon the vassals who were bound to give suit and 
service ; to call out the array of all able to bear arms ; 
and repeated commands to the lords marchers to be 
ready to repel the enemy at a moment's warning; 
occurred in the midst of these pacific and commercial 
regulations, and gave ample proof that a spirit of 
determined hostility still lurked under the fairest 
appearances. Yet Edward, from the calamitous cir- 
cumstances in which the country was placed, had a 
strong hold over Scotland. The king's extreme un- 
popularity with the people, the load of personal debt 
contracted by himself and his queen, and the constant 
irritation and jealousy with which he continued to 
regard thd High Steward, whom he had imprison- 

1367-8. DAVID II. 149 

ed,* rendered any lengthened residence in his own 
dominions unpleasant; and in this manner not only did 
the breach between the sovereign, and the barons who 
supported the cause of independence, become every day 
wider, but David's anxiety to reside in England, and 
his unnatural desire to favour the intrigues of Edward, 
grew into a confirmed passion, which threatened the 
most fatal effects. 

The nation had already been weighed down by a load 
of taxation which it was little able to bear ; some of 
the strongest castles and most extensive districts on the 
marches were possessed by English soldiers ; the nor- 
thern parts of the kingdom were in actual rebellion ; 
many of the islands in the western seas were occupied 
and garrisoned by the English ;-(- and Edward pos- 
sessed the power of cutting off the only source of 
Scottish wealth, by prohibiting the commercial inter- 
course between the two countries. We are not to 
wonder, then, at the sanguine hopes which this able 
monarch appears to have entertained, of finally com- 
pleting the reduction of Scotland, but rather to admire 
the unshaken perseverance with which, under every 
disadvantage, this country continued to resist, and 
finally to defeat, his efforts. 

In a parliament held at Scone in the summer of the 
year 1368, J whose spirited rejection of the conditions 
of subjection and dependence proposed by Edward, has 
been already alluded to, the rebellion of the northern 
parts of the kingdom, and the most effectual methods 
of reducing these wild districts to obedience, were 
anxiously considered. John of the Isles, one of the 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 380. Chamberlains' Accounts, vol. i. p. 498. 
From these curious and authentic documents we learn, that the expenses of 
the Steward's maintenance in prison for three weeks, were 5 lb. 13 sh., and 
of his son Alexander, 21 sh. Ibid. p. 524. 

t Kobertson'sParliamentaryRecords, p. 116. + Ibid. p. 112. 


most powerful of the refractory chiefs, had married a 
daughter of the Steward of Scotland,* who was con- 
sidered, therefore, as in some measure responsible for 
his son-in-law ; and David, probably not unwilling to 
implicate this high officer as a disturber of the peace 
of the kingdom, addressed him in person, and charged 
him, with his sons the Lords of Kyle and Menteith, 
to defend his subjects within the territories over which 
their authority extended. It was his duty, he said, 
to put down the rebellion which had arisen, that in 
the event of war, the estates of the kingdom might 
there have a safe place of retreat ; an allusion strongly 
descriptive of the desperate conjuncture to which the 
affairs of the country were reduced. *!* John of the 
Isles, Gillespie Campbell, and John of Lorn, were 
at the same time commanded to present themselves 
before the king, and to give security for their future 
pacific conduct, so that they and their vassals should 
no longer alarm and plunder the land; but, with their 
equals and neighbours, submit to the labours and the 
burdens imposed upon them by the laws. 

There is something striking and melancholy in the 
tone of this parliament, where mention is made of the 
feuds amongst the nobility; and a hopelessness of relief 
appears in the expressions employed, evincing how far 
above the reach of parliamentary remonstrance or com- 
mand these petty sovereigns had raised themselves. 
They were addressed in the language of advice and 
entreaty, not of command ; the absolute necessity of 
providing for the defence of the kingdom was insisted 
on ; and they were earnestly and somewhat quaintly 
admonished to compose their feuds and dissensions, or 
at least to satisfy themselves by disquieting each other 
in the common way of a process at law. The king 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 115. + Ibid. p. 112. 

1368. DAVID II. 151 

was recommended to hold a council with the Earls of 
March and Douglas, the wardens of the east marches; 
although, it was added, these barons seemed little dis- 
posed to labour for the common weal. The chamber- 
lain, assisted by a committee of four knights of soldierly 
talent and experience, was directed to visit, in the first 
place, the royal castles of Lochleven, Edinburgh, Stir- 
ling, and Dumbarton, and to give orders for their being 
completely repaired, garrisoned, victualled, and pro- 
vided with warlike engines and other necessaries for 
defence ; after which, the remaining castles in the 
kingdom were to be carefully surveyed, and put into 
a state of efi'ectual resistance.* 

But the strength and activity in the royal autho- 
rity, which was requisite to carry these wise regulations 
into efi"ect, were at this time pre-eminently wanting in 
Scotland; and, nine months after this, when the great 
council of the nation again assembled,t the rebellion 
in the north was still only partially extinguished. 
John of Lorn and Gillespie Campbell had indeed sub- 
mitted, and again made their appearance among the 
higher nobility; whilst the Earls of Maraud of Ross, 
with other northern barons, alarmed at last by a sense 
of the public danger, joined in the deliberations for the 
national security, and engaged, within their territories, 
to administer justice, put down oppression, and assist 
the royal officers to the utmost of their power and 
ability. The Steward of Scotland, also, who attended 
the parliament in person with his two sons, came under 
the same obligation for the divisions of Athole, Strath- 
em, Menteith, and other lands in the northern parts 
of the kingdom; but John of the Isles haughtily re- 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 112, 113 The record of this 
parliament, which met at Scone on the 12th June, 1368, will be found m the 
Illustrations, letter L. 

t Ibid. p. 113. Gth March, 1368. 


fused to submit; and, in the wild and inaccessible 
domains over which his authority extended, defied the 
royal power, and insisted that his islanders were not 
bound to contribute their portion to the public burdens. 

The truce was now within a single year of its expiry ; 
and many districts of the country, by the ravages of 
Border war, and long neglect of culture, were unable 
to pay the contributions, upon which its continuance 
could alone be secured. To prevent the misery of a 
famine in some places, Edward permitted the distress- 
ed inhabitants to purchase the common necessaries of 
life in England; and, to such a height had the dearth 
proceeded, that it was found necessary to import from 
that country, under a royal license, the most ordinary 
supplies which were required for the use of David"*s 
household.* Yet, in the midst of this unexampled 
distress, it was resolved by parliament to make a last 
effort to discharge the remaining sum of the ransom, 
by imposing a tax of three pennies in the pound, to be 
levied generally over the kingdom ; and, at the same 
time, the Bishop of Glasgow and Sir Robert Erskine 
were despatched upon a mission to England, for the 
purpose of negotiating a prorogation of the truce."|* 

It was at this moment, when Scotland seemed to be 
rapidly sinking under her accumulated distresses, that 
one of those events which are sent by God to alter the 
destiny of nations, again inspired life and hope into the 
country. Edward, irritated at the contempt evinced 
by Charles the Fifth for the treaty of Bretigny, again 
plunged into a war with France, in which the successes 
of Du Guesclin soon convinced him, that a concentra- 
tion of his whole strength would be absolutely required 

* Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. pp. 924, 930. 

t Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 1 14. Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 928, 
eth April, 13(i9. 

1369. DAVID II. 153 

to restore his affairs on the continent to anything like 
their former prosperity. Peace to him became now 
as necessary as to the Scots ; and the imperiousness 
of his demands experienced an immediate relaxation. 
There was now no longer any mention of those degrad- 
ing terms of subjection and dismemberment, which had 
been so indignantly repelled by the Scottish parlia- 
ment ; and the English monarch at last consented to 
a treaty, by which the truce between the kingdoms 
was renewed for the space of fourteen years.* Fifty- 
six thousand marks of the king's ransom remained still 
unpaid; and it was agreed that the country should 
annually transmit to England the sum of four thou- 
sand marks till the whole was defrayed. As to the 
estates in the county of Roxburgh, then in possession 
of English subjects, and whose inhabitants had come 
under the peace of the English kirg, it was agreed 
that one-half of their rents should be received by the 
Scottish proprietors, who had been dispossessed by the 
superior power of England; while the lands, with their 
tenantry, were to remain in the same state of fealty to 
Edward and his heirs in which they now were, and to 
be governed by the advice and consent of a council of 
English and Scottish subjects.*!* 

Some time before affairs took this favourable turn, 
the condition of the northern districts, and the conduct 
of John of the Isles, again called for the interference 
of government. The Steward had engaged to reduce 
the disaffected districts ; but, either from want of 
power or inclination, had failed in his attempt ; and 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 116. From 2d February to the 
24th August, or Purification of the Virgin, 1369 ; and from that date for four- 
teen years. 

+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 116. The letter of the prelates and 
barons of Scotland, containing the conditions of the truce, is not dated ; but it 
seems to have been written a few days before the 1st of August, 1369. See 
Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 934. 


David, Incensed at the continued refusal of the Islands 
to contribute their .share in the general taxation, and 
assuming an unwonted energy, commanded the atten- 
dance of the Steward, with the prelates and barons of 
the realm ; and, surrounded by a formidable force, pro- 
ceeded against the rebels in person. The expedition 
was completely successful. The rebel prince, John of 
the Isles, with a numerous train of those wild High- 
land chieftains who followed his banner, and had sup- 
ported him in his attempt to throw off his dependence, 
met the king at Inverness, and submitted to his autho- 
rity. He engaged for himself and his vassals, that 
they should become faithful subjects to David, their 
liege lord ; and not only give obedience to the ministers 
and officers of the king in suit and service, as well as 
in the payment of taxes and public burdens, but that 
they would put down all others, of whatever rank, who 
dared to resist the royal authority, and would either 
compel them to submit, or would pursue and banish 
them from their territories. For the fulfilment of 
this obligation, the Lord of the Isles not only gave his 
oath, under the penalty of forfeiting his whole princi- 
pality if it was broken, but offered the High Steward, 
his father-in-law, as his security ; and delivered his 
son Donald, his grandson Angus, and his natural son, 
also named Donald, as hostages for the performance of 
the articles of the treaty.* 

It is stated, by an ancient historian, that in reduc- 
ing, within the pale of regular government, the wild 
Scots and the islanders, who had long resisted all 
authority, David employed artifice, as well as force 
by holding out high premiums to all those who sue 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 1 1 5. The submission of John of 
the Isles, dated the 15th of November, 1369, will be found printed in the 
Illustrations, letter M. 

1.369. DAVID II. 155 

ceeded, either in slaying, or making captive, their 
brother chiefs. In a short time, the expectation of 
reward, and the thirst for power, implanted the seeds 
of disunion amongst these rebel chiefs, and they gra- 
dually wrought out their own destruction ; so that, 
the leaders of the rebellion being cut off, their domi- 
nions were easily reduced into a state of quiet and 

Soon after the king's return from an expedition 
which he had undertaken in the depth of winter, and 
conducted with great ability and success, a parliament 
was assembled at Perth, for the purpose of taking into 
consideration the state of the kingdom, the expenses 
of the royal household, and the administration of jus- 
tice. In the parliament which had been held at Scone 
in the preceding year,"}* an expedient had been adopted, 
apparently for the first time, by which part of the 
community of Estates were allowed to absent them- 
selves, after they had chosen certain persons amongst 
the prelates and barons, who might deliver judgment 
in the pleas of law, and consult upon the general busi- 
ness of the nation. In this parliament, the same 
measure was repeated, with greater formality and dis- 
tinctness. A committee, consisting of six of the clergy, 
amongst whom were the Bishop of Brechin, the Chan- 
cellor, and the Chamberlain John de Carrie, fourteen 
of the barons, and seven of the burgesses, was appointed 
to deliberate, and give their judgment, upon all such 
judicial questions and complaints as necessarily came 
before the parliament. To a second committee, in- 
cluding in its numbers the clergy and the barons alone, 
was intrusted the management of some special and 
secret matters regarding the king and the nation, which 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 380. 

*t* Robertsou^s Parliamentary Records, p. 113. 


it was not deemed expedient, in the first instance, to 
communicate to the parliament at large. This was a 
dangerous and somewhat despotic innovation upon the 
freedom of the great council of the nation ; and had 
the change been introduced earlier in the present reign, 
it would have placed an instrument in the hands of 
the king, and the corrupted part of the nobility, which 
niio-ht have been directed with fatal success airainst 
the independence of the country. This second com- 
mittee consisted of six of the clergy and eleven of the 
barons, with such other members as the king chose to 
select; and it was ordained, that no person whatever, 
however high his rank, should be permitted to intro- 
duce into the council of parliament, or the privy 
council, any member as his adviser or assessor, unless 
such as had been chosen by the general vote of the 

The necessity of this secrecy as to the affairs which 
came before the committee intrusted with the consi- 
deration of the king's debts, was soon apparent ; and 
the object of excluding the representatives of the royal 
burghs could not be mistaken. It was declared, that 
all the debts of the king, throughout the realm, which 
had been contracted up to the period of the Exchequer 
Court, held at Perth, at the Epiphany, in the year 
1368, were remitted and cancelled; that from this 
date, whatever was borrowed for the ransom, or the 
royal expenses, should be promptly paid; and that no 
customs should be levied by the king's officers for the 
aid of the crown, but according to the ancient and 
established practice of the realm. In this manner, by 
the very first public act of this partial and unconsti- 
tutional committee, were the great principles of good 
faith wantonly sacrificed ; and the rights of the mer- 
cantile classes, who had advanced their money, or sold 

1369. DAVID II. 157 

their goods, for the royal use, trampled upon and out- 
raged, by an act which was as mean as it was unjust. 

In the next place, an attempt was made, in conse- 
quence of the northern parts of the kingdom having 
been reduced, under the king''s authority, to equalise 
the taxation over the whole country. To pacify the 
dangerous murmurs of the Lowland districts, which 
produced wool, and paid on every sack a heavy tax to 
the crown, it was determined, that in those upper 
counties where this tax was not collected, sheep not 
having been introduced,* but which abounded in agri- 
cultural produce, the chamberlain should either levy 
an annual tax upon the crops and farm-stocking, for 
support of the king's household, or that the king, at 
certain seasons, should remove his court to these High- 
land districts, and, during his residence there, assess 
them for his support. The extensive estates, or rather 
dominions, of John of Lorn, John of the Isles, and 
Gillespie Campbell, with the territories of Kentire, 
Knapdale, and Arran, were the lands where the new 
regulation was enforced. 

It was ordained in the same parliament, that no 
native subject or foreigner, of whatever rank he might 
be, should export money, either of gold or silver, out 
of the country, always excepting such sums as were 
necessary for the travelling expenses of those who had 
been permitted to leave the realm, unless he paid forty 
pennies upon every pound to the exchequer; and with 
regard to those who made a trade of purchasing horses, 
cows, or other animals, for exportation, they were 
commanded to pay a duty of forty pence upon every 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 109, 113. The exemption in fa- 
vour of " white sheep " in the taxation by the parliament of 20th July, 1366, 
(Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 105,) was intended, probably, as an 
encouragement to the introduction of a new breed. 


pound of the price of the horse, and twelve pence upon 
the price of all other animals. In the event of any 
contravention of the regulations as to the export of 
the coin, the delinquent was to be fined twenty shil- 
lings upon every penny of the duty which he had 
eluded ; a strict investigation was ordained to be made 
of all such offenders, in order that the quantity of 
coin carried out of the kingdom might be accurately 
determined; and they were directed to be tried by 
indictment before the Justiciar. 

As grievous complaints had proceeded, from every 
countv in the kingdom, aeiainst the extortion of the 
mairs, sergeants, and other officers of the crown, and 
such accusations had even been made to the king in 
person, it was judged expedient to adopt some decided 
measures against this evil. Accordingly, orders were 
given to the justiciars and chamberlains, in their seve- 
ral counties, to cause all persons who, since the period 
of the king's captivity, had enjoyed these offices, to 
appear before them on a certain day, previous to the 
conclusion of the present parliament, when an inves- 
tigation was to be made, before the three Estates, of 
the exact amount of the loss which the king had 
sustained by their malversation. All who were in this 
manner detected, were ordered to be imprisoned, and 
to lose their offices for the whole period of their lives.* 
The justiciars, sheriffs, and other inferior judges, were 
strictly commanded not to give execution to any man- 
date under any seal whatever, not excepting the great 
or the privy seal, if such mandate were contrary to 
the law of the realm; and the merchants and bur- 
gesses were enjoined not to leave the kingdom without 
license from the king or the chamberlain. 

♦ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 1 1 7, 1 18. 

1369. DAVID II. 159 

Such were tlie only important regulations which were 
passed in this parliament, the last held by David the 
Second.* The same year was rendered remarkable 
by the divorce of the queen ; an incident, of which the 
private history is involved in much obscurity. She 
was beautiful, and apparently fond of admiration. The 
little we know of her private life proves her to have been 
expensive, and addicted to costly pilgrimages, in which 
she was accompanied with a retinue of knights and 
attendants ; expeditions, in those times, sometimes 
undertaken for the purposes of pleasure rather than 
devotion. She appears, also, to have been ambitious 
to interfere in the public affairs of the kingdom ; and 
we have seen that, not long before this, her influence 
persuaded the king to cast the Steward and his sons 
into prison. Nothing, however, can be more dark or 
unsatisfactory than the only notice of this singular 
event which remains to us ; and, unfortunately, the 
public records throw no light upon the transaction. 
The sentence of divorce was pronounced in Lent ; but 
the queen, collecting all her wealth, found means to 
convey herself and her treasure, with great privacy, 
on board a vessel in the Forth, in which she sailed for 
France ; and carried her appeal in person to the papal 
court then at Avignon. She there obtained a favour- 
able hearing; nor was the king, who sent his envoys 
for the purpose to the court of the pope, able to coun- 
teract the impression in her favour. The cause dis- 
turbed the kingdom ; and was so bitterly contested, that 
an interdict began to be threatened ; when the fair 
appellant died herself, on her journey to Rome.-|- What 
became of the process, or what judgment was ulti- 
mately pronounced, cannot now be discovered ; but, 

* 18th February, 1 309. + Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii . p. .'^80. 


160 HISTORY OF SCOTLAND. 1369-70. 

SO late as the year 1374, Robert the Second considered 
the cause of such moment, that he despatched an em- 
bassy to Charles the Fifth of France, soliciting that 
prince to use his influence, with the pope and cardi- 
nals, to obtain a judgment.* 

Immediately after the divorce, the High Steward 
and his sons were liberated from prison, and restored 
to favour ; while the king, whose life had been devoted 
to pleasure, began to think of his sins, and, in the 
spirit of the age, to meditate an expedition to the Holy 
Land. For this purpose, he assembled at his court 
the bravest knights of his time, declaring it to be his 
intention to appoint a regency, and depart for Pales- 
tine, with the purpose of spending the remainder of his 
life in war against the Infidels. But, in the midst of 
these dreams of chivalrous devotion, a mortal illness 
seized upon him, which baffled all human skill ; and he 
died in the castle of Edinburgh, on the 22d of February, 
1370, in the forty-seventh year of his age, and the 
forty-first of his reign. 

It is painful to dwell on the character of this prince ; 
who was, in every respect, unworthy of his illustrious 
father. It happened, indeed, unfortunately for him, 
that he was promoted to the throne when almost an 
infant ; and not only lost the advantage of paternal 
instruction and example, but, by the early death of 
Douglas and Randolph, was deprived of the only per- 
sons who might have supplied the want ; whilst his 
long exile in France, and a captivity of eleven years, 
rendered him almost a stranger to his people. Had 

* Robertson's Index to the Charters, p. 100, No. 4. WTien at Avignon, 
Margaret Logy borrowed 500 marks from three English merchants, one of 
whom was William of Walworth : in all probability the same person who 
afterwards became Mayor of London, and stabbed Wat Tyler. Foedera, vol. 
vi. p, 727. She is mentioned as the quondam Queen of Scotland in the 
Chamberlains' Accounts, vol. i. p. 521. 

1370. DAVID II. 161 

there, however, been anything great or excellent in 
David Bruce, he would have surmounted these dis- 
advantages : yet we look in vain for a noble, or even 
a commendable, quality ; whilst the darker parts of his 
disposition are prominently marked. He was uni- 
formly actuated by a regard to his own selfish plea- 
sures, and a reckless forgetfulness of all those sacred 
and important duties which a king owes to his people. 
His understanding was one of limited and moderate 
power ; and, while he formed his opinions upon hasty 
and superficial views, he was both obstinate in adher- 
ing to them when evidently erroneous, and capricious 
in abandoning them before they were proved to be ill- 
founded. The battle of Durham, his captivity, and 
the long train of calamities which it entailed upon the 
nation till the conclusion of his reign, were the fruits 
of his obstinacy : the inconsistent wavering and con- 
tradictory line of policy, which is so strikingly dis- 
cernible in his mode of government after his return, 
was the efiect of his passion and caprice. Personal 
courage he undoubtedly possessed. It was the solitary 
quality which he inherited from his father; and of 
this he gave a memorable proof, in his proposal to alter 
the order of succession in favour of an English prince, 
— a measure of singular baseness and audacity. 

It is this that forms the darkest blot upon his me- 
mory. His love of pleasure, and devotion to beauty, 
will find an excuse in many hearts ; his extravagance 
some may call kingly, even when supported by bor- 
rowed money : but it can never be palliated or for- 
gotten, that he was ready to sacrifice the independence 
of the kingdom to the love of his personal liberty, and 
his animosity against the Steward ; that the most 
solemn oaths, by which he was bound to his people, 
were lightly regarded, when brought in competition 


Avitli these selfish and sordid passions. Such a monarch 
as this, who, at the mature age of forty-seven, evinced 
no real symptoms of amendment, was little likely to 
improve in his latter years ; and it is humiliating to 
think, that the early death of the only son of Robert 
the Bruce must have been regarded as a blessing, rather 
than a calamity, by his country. 







Having brought this work do\vn to the great era 
of the accession of the house of Stewart, in the occu- 
pation of the throne by Robert the Second, I propose 
to pause for a short time, in order to cast our eye 
over the wide field through which we have travelled, 
and to mark, as fully as our imperfect materials will 
permit, the progress of the nation in some of those 
great subjects which form the body of its civil history. 
The general features and appearance of the country; 
its agriculture, commerce, and manufactures; the man- 
ners and amusements, the superstitions and character, 
of the people ; the system of feudal government under 
which they lived; their progress in the arts which 
add comfort, or security, or ornament to life ; the char- 
acter of their literature; are subjects upon which our 
curiosity is naturally active and eager for information; 
but it is unfortunate that the writers, who can alone 
be considered as authentic, have regarded such inves- 
tigations as either uninteresting, or beneath the dig- 
nity of the works in which they had engaged. Some 
lights, however, are to be found scattered through their 


works, or reflected from the public muniments and re- 
cords of the times ; and it is to the guidance of these 
alone, however feeble and imperfect, that the historian 
can commit himself. 

It must necessarily happen that, in an attempt of 
this kind, owing to the paucity of materials, and to the 
extreme remoteness of the period, anything like a full 
account of the country is unattainable; and that it is 
exceedingly difficult to throw together, under any sys- 
tem of lucid arrangement, the insulated facts which 
have been collected : I have adopted that order which 
appears the most natural. 



We must be careful not to permit the ideas which are 
derived from the condition of Scotland in the present 
day, to influence our conclusions as to its appearance in 
those rude and early ages of which we have been writ- 
ing. No two pictures could be more dissimilar than 
Scotland in the thirteenth and fourteenth, and Scotland 
in the nineteenth century. The mountains, indeed, and 
the rivers, are stern and indomitable features of nature, 
upon which the hand of man can work but feeble 
alterations; yet, with this exception, everything was 
diff'erent. The face of the country was covered by 
immense forests, chiefly of oak, in the midst of which, 
upon the precipitous banks of rivers, or on rocks which 
formed a natural fortification, and were deemed im- 
pregnable to the military art of that period, were placed 


the castles of the feudal barons. One principal source 
of the wealth of the proprietors of these extensive 
forests consisted in the timber which they contained, 
and the deer and other animals of the chase with which 
they abounded. When Edward I. subdued and over- 
ran the country, we find him in the practice of repaying 
the services of those who submitted to his authority, 
by presents of so many stags and oaks from the forests 
which he found in possession of the crown. Thus, on 
the 18th of August, 1291, the king directed the keeper 
of the Forest of Selkirk to deliver thirty stags to the 
Archbishop of St Andrews; twenty stags and sixty 
oaks to the Bishop of Glasgow ; ten to the High Stew- 
ard; and six to Brother Bryan, Preceptor of the Order 
of Knights Templars in Scotland.* 

To mark the names, or define the exact limits of 
these huge woods, is now impossible; yet, from the 
public records, and the incidental notices of authentic 
historians, a few scattered facts may be collected. 

In the north, we find the forest of Spey,"|" extending 
along the banks of that majestic river; the forests of 
Alnete, and of Tarnaway, of Awne, Kilblene, Lang- 
morgan, and of Elgin, Forres, Lochendorb, and Inver- 
ness, f The extensive county of Aberdeen appears to 
have been covered with wood. We meet there with 
the forests of Kintore, of Cardenache, Drum or Drome, 
Stocket, Killanell, Sanquhar, Tulloch, Gasgow, Dar- 
rus, Collyn, and what is called the New Forest of 
InnerpefFer.§ In Banff was the forest of Boyne; in 
Kincardine and Forfar the forests of Alyth, Drymie, 

* Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 4, 5. ISth August, 1291. 

+ Ibid. vol. i. p. 5. Anno 1291. m. 11. 

J Ibid. p. 9. Robertson's Index to the Charters, pp. 32, 35, 42. Rolls of 
Parliament, ii. 469, quoted in Caledonia, vol. i. p. 792. Fordun a Hearne, 
p. 1027. 

§ Robertson, pp. 23, 33, 38, 58, 71, 72 ; also Rotuli Scotiae, in anno 1292, 
p. 10. Chamberlain's Accounts. Corapot. Vicecomitatis Aberdein, p. 298. 


and Plater;* in Fife, those of Cardenie and Uwetli;-f- 
in Ayrshire, the forest of Seuecastre;J in the Low- 
lands, those of Drumselch,§ near Edinburgh; of Jed- 
burgh and Selkirk, Cottenshope, Maldesley,|| Ettrick, 
and Peebles; of Dolar, Traquhair, and Melrose. II 

The counties of Stirling and Clackmannan contained 
extensive royal forests, in which, by a grant from David 
I., the monks of Holyrood had the right of cutting 
wood for building and other purposes, and of pasture 
for their swine.** In the reign of the same king, a 
forest covered the district between the Leader and the 
Gala; and in Perthshire, occupied the lands between 
Scone and Cargil.-f*-}- Tracts which, in the present day, 
are stretched out into an interminable extent of deso- 
late moor, or occupied by endless miles of barren peat- 
hags, were, in those early ages, covered by forests of 
oak, ash, beech, and other hard timber. Huge knotted 
trunks of black oak, the remains of these primitive 
w^oods, have been, and are still, discovered in almost 
every moor in Scotland. Such, indeed, was, at an 
early period, the extent and impervious nature of these 
woods, that the English, in their invasions, endea- 
voured to clear the country by fire and by the hatchet; 
and Knighton relates, that in an expedition of the 
Duke of Lancaster into this country, in the reign of 
Richard the Second, this prince, having recourse to 

* Robertson's Index, pp. 39, 55, 67, and Rotuli Scotise, p. 8. 

+ Robertson, p. 47. Cartulary Dunferm. f. 12 and 20. 

J Cartulary of Paisley, p. 46, in Caledonia, vol. i. 793. 

§ Caledonia, vol. i. p. 793. 

II Chamberlain's Accounts. Rotuli Comp. Temp. Custod. Regni, p. 62. 

^ Rotuli Scotia}, in anno 1296, vol. i. p. 33. Ibid. pp. 5, 278, 380. Ibid, 
p. 748. Cartulary of Dunferm. p. 10, Rotuli Scotise, p. 7 ; and Fordun, p. 
1048. Robertson, p. 81. Chron. Melrose, ad anno 1184, quoted in Dalzel's 
Fragments, p. 32. Cartulary of Kelso, p. 323. Caledonia, p. 798. 

** Caledonia, vol. i. p. 792. 

"H* Cart. Melrose, p. 104. Cart, of Scone, p. 16. Where I quote manuscript 
Cartularies, the reader will find the originals in the Library of the Faculty 
of Advocates, Edinburgh, unless some other collection is mentioned. 


these methods, employed in the work of destruction so 
immense a multitude, that the stroke of eighty thou- 
sand hatchets mi^■ht be heard resoundins: throus^h the 
forests, whilst the fire was blazins: and consumino^ them 
at the same moment.* So erroneous is the opinion of 
a conjectural historian, who pronounces that there is 
little reason to think that in any age, of which an ac- 
curate remembrance is preserved, this kingdom was 
ever more woody than it is now.-f- 

In the times of which we write, however, many dis- 
tricts in the midst of these forests had been cleared of 
the wood, and brought under cultivation. Thus, in 
the Forest of Plater, in the county of Forfar, David 
the Second, in 1366, made a grant of four oxgangs of 
arable land for a reddendo of a pair of white gloves, or 
two silver pennies, to Murdoch del Rhynd.J In the 
same forest, the monks of Restennet, at the death of 
Alexander the Third, enjoyed the tenth of the hay 
made in its meadows ;§ and in 1362, the king per- 
mitted John Hay of Tullyboll to bring into cultiva- 
tion, and appropriate, the whole district lying between 
the river Spey and the burn of Tynot, in the Forest 
of Awne.|| From these facts it may be inferred, that 
the same process of clearing away the wood, and re- 
ducino; laro-e districts of the forests into fields and 
meadow lands, had been generally pursued throughout 
the country.lF It was a work, in some measure, both 
of peril and necessity; for savage animals abounded as 
much in Scotland as in the other uncleared and wooded 
regions of northern Europe; and the bear, the wolf, 
the wild boar, and the bison, to the husbandmen and 

* Knigliton apud Twysden, vol. ii. p. 2674. Barbour's Bruce, p. 323. 

+ Wallace on the Nature and Descent of Peerages, p. 35. 

J Robertson's Index, p. 81. 

§ MS. Monast. Scotiae, p. 31, quoted in Caledonia, vol. i. p. 798. 

II Robertson's Index, p. 71. 

il Chamberlain's Accounts. Rotuli Compot. Temp. Cust. Regni, p. 63, 


cultivators of those rude ages, must have been enemies 
of a destructive and formidable nature.* 

Another striking feature in the aspect of the coun- 
try during those early ages was formed by the marshes 
or fens. Where the mountains sunk down into the 
plain, and the country stretched itself into a level, 
mossy fens of great extent occupied those fertile and 
beautiful districts which are now drained and brought 
under cultivation.-[* Within the inaccessible windings 
of these morasses, which were intersected by roads 
known only to the inhabitants, Wallace and Bruce, 
during the long war of liberty, frequently defended 
themselves, and defied the heavy-armed English ca- 
valry ; and it is said, that from lying out amidst these 
damp and unhealthy exhalations, Bruce caught the 
disease of which he died. J 

The royal castles must have presented an additional 
and imposing feature in the external appearance of the 
country at this period. Built chiefly for strength and 
resistance during a time of war, these fortresses were 
the great garrisons of the country, and reared their 
immense walls and formidable towers and buttresses 
in those situations which nature had herself fortified, 
and where little was to be done by man but to avail 
himself of the power already placed in his hand. In 
the year 1292, when Edward, after his judgment in 
favour of Baliol, gave directions to his English cap- 
tains to deliver the royal castles into the hands of the 
new king, we find these to have been twenty-three in 
number. On the Borders were the castles of Jed- 
burgh, Roxburgh, and Berwick; those of Dumfries, 

* DalyePs Desultory Reflections on the State of Ancient Scotland, pp. 32, 

+ Triveti Annales, p. 31 G. 

J Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, Chronological Abstract, p. 76. Wal- 
siugham, p. 78. Barbour, pp. 110, 151. Trivet, 346. 


Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Ayr, Tarbet,* Dumbarton, 
and Stirling, formed a semicircle of fortresses which 
commanded the important districts of Annandale, Gal- 
loway, Carrick, Kyle, Lanark, and the country round 
Stirling, containing the passes into the Highlands. 
Between Stirling, Perth, and the Tay, there was no 
royal castle, till we reach Dundee, where Brian Fitz- 
Alan commanded ; after which the castles of Forfar, 
Kincardine, and Aberdeen, protected and kept under 
the counties of Perth, Angus, Kincardine, and Aber- 
deen ; and travelling still farther north, we find the 
castles of Cromarty or Crumbarthyn, Dingwall, In- 
verness, Nairn, Forres, Elgin, and Banff, which, when 
well garrisoned, were deemed sufficient to maintain the 
royal authority in those remote and unsettled districts. + 
Such were the royal castles of Scotland previous to 
the war of liberty; but it was the policy of Bruce, as 
we have seen, to raze the fortresses of the kingdom, 
wherever they fell under his power; whilst on the 
other hand, Edward, in his various campaigns, found 
it necessary to follow the same plan which had been so 
successful in Wales, and either to construct additional 
fortresses, for the purpose of overawing the country, 
or to strengthen, by new fortifications, such baronial 
castles as he imagined best situated for his design. In 
this manner the architecture of the strong Norman 
castles, which had already been partially introduced 
by the Scoto-Norman barons, was more effectually 
taught by their formidable enemy to the Scots, who 
profited by the lesson, and turned it against himself. 
It not unfrequently happened that the siege of a baro- 
nial castle detained the whole English army for weeks, 
and even months, before it ; and although feebly gar- 

* Chamberlains* Accounts, p, 9. 
+ Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. pp. 11, 12. 


risoned, the single strength of its walls sometimes 
resisted and defied the eflforts of Edward's strongest 
machines, and most skilful engineers. To enumerate 
or to point out the situation of the baronial castles 
which at this early period formed the residences of the 
feudal nobility and their vassals, would be almost 
impossible. They raised their formidable towers in 
every part of the kingdom, on its coasts and in its 
islands, on its peninsulas and in its lakes, upon the 
banks of its rivers, and on the crests of its mountains ; 
and many of those inhabited by the higher nobility 
rivalled, and in their strength and extent sometimes 
surpassed, the fortresses belonging to the king.* 

In the year 1309, when the military talents of Bruce 
had wrested from England nearly the whole of the 
ro^^al castles, we find Edward the Second writing 
earnestly to his principal officers in Scotland, directing 
them to maintain their ground to the last extremity 
against the enemy ; and it is singular ^that, with the 
exception of Edinburgh, Stirling, Dumfries, and Jed- 
burgh, the posts which they held, and which are 
enumerated in his order, are all of them private baronial 
castles, whose proprietors had either been compelled 
by superior force, or induced by selfish considerations 
to embrace the English interest. In his letters are 
mentioned the castle of Kirkintulloch, between Dum- 
barton and Stirling; Dalswinton in Galloway, a prin- 
cipal seat of the Comyns ; Caerlaverock, belonging to 
the Maxwells ; Thrieve castle, also in Galloway; 
Lochmaben in Annandale, the seat of the Bruces; 
Butel, the property of the Steward; Dunbar, a castle 
of great strength and extent, one of the keys of the 

* Fordun, in speaking of the death of Edward the First, asserts, that 
■within six years of that event, Bruce had taken and cast down a hundred 
and thirty-seven castles, fortalices, and towers. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. 
p. 240. 


kingdom, by which the Earls of March commanded so 
much influence in an age of war and invasion ; Dirleton, 
also of great extent, and possessed by the Norman race 
of the De Vaux; Selkirk, at that time in the hands of 
Aymer de Valence earl of Pembroke; and Bothwell, 
a castle at various times the property of the Olifards, 
Morays, and Douglasses.* Innumerable other castles 
and smaller strengths, from the seats of the highest 
earls, whose power was almost kingly, down to the 
single towers of the retainer or vassal, w^th their low 
iron-ribbed door, and loop-holed windows, were scat- 
tered over every district in Scotland; and even in the 
present day, the traveller cannot explore the most 
unfrequented scenes, and the remotest glens of the 
country, without meeting some grey relic of other days, 
reminding him that the chain of feudal despotism had 
there planted one of its thousand links, and around 
which there often linger those fine traditions, where 
fiction has lent her romantic colours to history. 

In the vicinity of these strongholds, in which the 
Scottish barons of the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies held their residence, there w^as cleared from wood 
as much ground as was necessary for the support of 
that numerous train of vassals and retainers, which 
formed what was termed the "following" of their lord, 
and who were supported in a style of rude and abun- 
dant hospitality. The produce of his fields and forests, 
his huge herds of swine, his flocks and cattle, his gra- 
naries and breweries, his mills and malting-houses, 
his dovecots, gardens, orchards, and " infield and out- 
field'''* wealth, all lent their riches to maintain those 
formidable bands of warlike knights and vassals, who 
were ready on every summons to surround the banner 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 80. Olifard, the same name, I conjecture, as 



of their lord. Around these castles, also, were placed 
the rude habitations and cottasfes belono'ino: to the 
servants and inferior dependants of the baron, to his 
armourers, tailors, wrights, masons, falconers, forest- 
keepers, and many others, who ministered to his 
necessities, his comforts, or his pleasures. It hap- 
pened, too, not unfrequently, that, ambitious of the 
security which the vicinity of a feudal castle ensured, 
the free farmers or opulent tradesmen of those remote 
times requested permission to build their habitations 
and booths near its walls, which, for payment of a 
small rent, was willingly allowed; and we shall after- 
wards have occasion to remark, that to this practice 
we perhaps owe the origin of our towns and royal burghs 
in Scotland. It appears, also, from the authentic evi- 
dence of the Cartularies, that at this period, upon the 
large feudal estates belonging to the nobles or to the 
church, were to be found small villages, or collections 
of hamlets and cottages, termed Villw in the charters 
of the times, annexed to which was a district of land 
called a Territorium.^ This was cultivated in various 
proportions by the higher ranks of the husbandmen, 
who possessed it, either in part or in whole, as their 
own property, which they held by lease, and for which 
they paid a rent,-]- or by the villeyns and cottars, who 
wxre themselves, in frequent instances, as we shall 
immediately see, the property of the lord of the soil. 
Thus, by a similar process, which we find took place 
in England under the Normans, and which is clearly 
to be traced in Domesday Book, the greater feudal 
barons were possessed not only of immense estates, 
embracing within them field and forest, river, lake, 
and mountain, but of numerous and flourishing vil- 

* MS. Cartulary of Melrose, pp. 21 , 22. Cartulary of Kelso, pp. 254, 255. 
+ Cartulary of Kelso, p. 257, in 1258. Ibid. pp. 312, 317. 


lages,* for wliicli they received a regular rent, and of 
whose wealth and gains they always held a share, 
because they were frequently the masters of the per- 
sons and property of the tradesmen and villeyns, by 
whom such early communities were inhabited. In 
these villages the larger divisions, under the names of 
carucafes, bo'eates, or oxgates^ were cultivated by the 
husbandmen, and the cottars under them; while, for 
their own maintenance, each of these poor labourers 
was the master of a cottage, with a small piece of 
ground, for which he paid a trifling rent to the lord 
of the soil.-[- 

It happened not unfrequently, that the high eccle- 
siastics, or the convents and religious houses, were the 
proprietors of villages, from whose population there 
was not exacted the same strict routine of military 
service, which was due by the vassals of the temporal 
barons; and the consequences of this exemption were 
seen in the happier and more improved condition of 
their husbandmen and villeyns, and in the richer cul- 
tivation of their ample territories. A great portion 
of the district attached to these villages was divided 
into pasture-land and woodland, in which a right of 
pasturage, for a certain number of animals, belonged 
to each of the villa2:ers or husbandmen in common. 
It is from the information conveyed in the Cartularies 
that the condition of these early villages is principally 
to be discovered.^ 

* HenshalPs Specimens and Parts of a History of South Britain, p. 64. 
In the small part of this valuable work which has been published, and which 
it is much to be regretted was discontinued by the author from want of en- 
couragement, a clear and authentic view is given of the state of England 
under the Normans, founded on an accurate examination of the original re- 
cord of Domesday Book. 

+ Cartulary of Kelso, p. 477. In the same MS. there is a Donation, in 
1307, by Nicholas dictus Moyses de Bondington, " Cotagii cum orto quod 
Tyock Uxor Andree quondam tenerit de me in villa de Bondington." 

X Rotulus Reddituum Monasterii de Kalchow. Cartulary of Kelso, p. 475. 



Thus, for example, in the village of Bolden, in Rox- 
burghshire, which belonged to the monks of Kelso, in 
the latter part of the reign of Alexander the Third, 
there were twenty-eight husbandmen, who possessed 
each a husbandland, with common pasture ; for which 
he paid a rent of half a mark, or six shillings and eight- 
pence, besides various services which were due to the 
landlord. There were, in the same village, thirty-six 
cottagers each of whom held nearly half-an-acre of 
arable land, wdth a right of common pasture. The 
united rent paid by the whole cottagers amounted to 
fifty-five shillings ; in addition to which, they were 
bound to perform certain services in labour. To the 
village there was attached a mill, which gave a rent of 
eight marks ; and four brew-houses, each of them let 
for ten shillings, with an obligation to sell their ale to 
the abbot at the rate of a lagen and a half for a penny.* 
These villages, of course, varied much in extent, in the 
number of their mansions, and the fertility of their 
lands ; whilst the greater security, resulting from the 
increasing numbers, and the w^ealth of the inhabitants, 
became an inducement for many new settlers, from 
difierent parts, to join the community, and plant them- 
selves under the protection of the lord of the soil. This 
emigration, however, of the cottars or villeyns from 
one part of the country, or from one village to another, 
could not be legally effected, without the express con- 
sent of the master to whom they belonged. A fact, 
of which we shall be convinced, when we come to con- 
sider the condition of the great body of the people in 
those early ages. 

To one casting his eye over Scotland, as it existed 
during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the 
numerous religious establishments, the cathedrals, con- 

* Cartulary of Kelso, pp. 478, 479. See Illustrations, letter N. 


vents, monasteries, and episcopal palaces, must have 
formed another striking feature in the external aspect 
of the country. Situated always in the richest, and 
not unfrequently in the most picturesque spots, and 
huilt in that imposing style of architecture, which is 
one of the greatest triumphs of the Middle Ages, these 
structures reared their holy spires, and towers, in almost 
every district through which you travelled ; and your 
approach to them could commonly be traced by the 
high agricultural improvements which they spread 
around them. The woods, enclosed and protected, 
were of loftier growth ; the meadows and cornfields 
richer, and better cultivated ; the population inhabit- 
ing the church-lands more active, thriving, and indus- 
trious than in the lands belonging to the crown, or to 
the feudal nobility. 

To give any correct idea of the number, or the opu- 
lence, of the various episcopal and conventual establish- 
ments which were to be found in Scotland at this 
remote era, would require a more lengthened discussion 
than our present limits will allow. Besides the bishop- 
ricks, with their cathedral churches, their episcopal 
palaces, and the residences of the minor clergy, which 
were attached to them, our early monarchs, and higher 
nobility, in the devotional spirit of the age, encouraged 
those various orders of regular and secular churchmen, 
which then existed in Europe. The Canons Regular 
of St Augustine, who were invited into Scotland by 
Alexander the First, and highly favoured by David, 
had not less than twenty-eight monasteries ; the Cis- 
tertians or Bernardino monks, who were also warmly 
patronised by David, possessed thirteen ; and the 
Dominican or Black Friars fifteen monasteries, in 
various parts of the country. Although these orders 
were the most frequent ; yet numerous other divisions 


of canons, monks, and friars, obtained an early settle- 
ment in Scotland; and erected for themselves, in many 
places, those noble abbacies, priories or convents, whose 
ruins, at the present day, are so full of picturesque 
beauty, and interesting associations. The Red Friars, 
an order originally instituted by St John of Matha 
and Felix de Valois for the redemption of Christian 
slaves from the Infidels, possessed nine monasteries ; 
the Prsemonstratensian Monks, who boasted, that the 
rule which they followed was delivered to them in a 
vision by St Augustine, and written in golden letters, 
were highly favoured by David the First, Alexander 
the Second, and Fergus lord of Galloway. The Ty- 
ronensian and Clunacensian Monks, the Templars, 
the Franciscans, and the Carmelites, had all of them 
establishments in Scotland ; whilst the Augustinian, the 
Benedictine, and the Cistertian Nuns, were possessed 
of numerous rich and noble convents ; which, along 
with the hospitals, erected by the wide-spread charity 
of the Catholic church, for the entertainment of pil- 
grims and strangers, and the cure and support of the 
sick and infirm, complete the catalogue of the religious 
establishments of Scotland during the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries.* 

Although covered, in many places, with vast and 
impenetrable woods and marshes, the country, around 
the monasteries and religious houses, adjoining to the 
castles of the nobles, and to the great towns, royal 
burghs, and villages, appears in the reign of Alexan- 
der the Third to have been in a state of considerable 
cultivation. Even durinsr the wars of the three 


Edwards, when we take into view the dreadful dis- 

* Account of the Religious Houses in Scotland. Keith's Catalogue of the 
Scottish Bishops, p. 235. 


advantages against which it had to struggle, the agri- 
culture of Scotland was respectable. 

The Scottish kings possessed royal manors in almost 
every shire, which were cultivated by their own free 
tenants and their villeyns ; and to which, for the pur- 
pose of gathering the rents, and consuming the agri- 
cultural produce, they were in the custom of repairing, 
in their progresses through the kingdom. This fact 
is established, by the evidence of the Cartularies, which 
contain frequent grants, by David the First, William 
the Lion, and the two Alexanders, to the convents and 
religious houses, of various kinds of agricultural pro- 
duce to be drawn from the royal manors ; and the same 
truth is as conclusively made out by the original 
accounts of the Great Chamberlains of Scotland.* 
David, for example, granted, to the monks of Scone, 
the half of the skins, and the fat of all the beasts, 
which were killed for the king's use, on his lands to 
the north of the Tay ; and the half of the skins and 
hides of all the beasts slain, upon festival days, at 
Stirling, and on his manors between the Forth and the 
Tay.-f* Innumerable charters, by his successors, to 
the various monasteries and religious houses in the 
kingdom, evince the generosity or superstition of our 
monarchs, and the extent of their royal demesnes. 
Scarcely less numerous, and upon a scale not greatly 
inferior to those of the king, were the extensive feudal 
estates belonging to the religious houses, to dignified 
clergy, and to the magnates, or higher barons of Scot- 
land ; who granted charters of lands to their own mili- 
tary vassals and retainers, or by leases, to other more 
pacific tenants, upon whom they devolved the agri- 

* Of ttese accounts, which contain a body of information upon the civil 
history of Scotland, unrivalled in authenticity, and of high interest, a short 
notice will be found in the Illustrations, letter A. 

f Cartulary of Scone, pp. 2, 6, 8. 


cultural improvement of their domains. Thus, for 
example, we find, in the Cartulary of Kelso, that the 
monks of this rich religious house granted to the men 
of Innerwick, in the year 1190, a thirty-three years' 
lease of certain woods and lands, for the annual rent 
of twenty shillings ; which was approved of by Alan, 
the son of Walter the Steward, to whom the men of 
Innerwick belonged.* 

The clergy, whose domains, chiefly from the liberal 
and frequent endowments of David the First, and his 
successors, were, at this period, amazingly rich and 
extensive, repaid this profusion, by becoming the great 
agricultural improvers of the country. From them 
those leases principally proceeded, which had the most 
beneficial ejffect in clearing it from wood, and bringing 
it under tillage. In 1326, the Abbot of Scone granted 
a lease, for life, of his lands of Girsmerland to Andrew 
de Strivelyn. Henry Whitwell received from the 
Abbot of Kelso a lease, for life, of all the lands be- 
longing to this monastery in the parish of Dumfries, 
for which the yearly rent was twelve shillings ; and 
numerous other instances might be brought forward. 
It was in this manner that there was gradually intro- 
duced, and encouraged in the country, a body of useful 
improvers, who were permitted, from the pacific char- 
acter of their landlords, to devote their time more 
exclusively to agricultural improvement than the vas- 
sals or tenants of the barons. -f* 

The system of agriculture pursued at this early 
period must have been exceedingly rude, and simple in 
its details ; and although it is difficult to point out the 
exact mode of cultivation, yet some information with 

* Cartulary of Kelso, p. 247. Caledonia, vol. i. p. 794. 
+ Cartulary of Scone, p. 32, Cartulary of Kelso, p. 329. Chamberlains' 
Accounts, vol. i. pp. 5, 12, 22. Cartularj- of Inchcolra, p. 31. 


regard to its general character, and the crops then 
raised in the country, may be found in the scattered 
notices of contemporary historians, and in the records 
and muniments of the times. Oats, wheat, barley, 
pease and beans, were all raised in tolerable abundance. 
Of these by far the most prevalent crop was oats. It 
furnished the bread of the lower classes ; and the ale 
which they drank was brewed from malt made of this 
<rrain. In the innumerable mills which are mentioned 
in the Cartularies, great quantities of oats were ground 
into meal ; and at the various malt-kilns and breweries, 
which we find attached throughout the same records 
to the hamlets and villages, equally large proportions 
of oats were reduced into malt and brewed into ale. In 
the Wardrobe Accounts of Edward the First for the 
years 1299 and 1300, large quantities of oat malt, 
furnished to his difi'erent garrisons in Scotland, form 
some of the principal items of expenditure. In the 
same interesting and authentic record we find that 
Edward's cavalry, in their return from Galloway, in 
September 1300, destroyed, in their march through 
the fields, eighty acres of oats upon the property of 
William de Carlisle, at Dornock, in compensation for 
which the king allowed him two butts of wine.* It 
appears in the same series of accounts that Edward 
bought his oats, and oat malt to be brewed for the 
army, at various rates, extending from twentypence to 
three shillings per quarter. From the multitudes of 
brew-houses with which every division of the kingdom 
appears to have been studded, from the royal manu- 
factories of ale down to those in the towns, burghs, 
baronies, and villages, it is evident that this beverage 
must have been consumed in great quantities. 

Although oats was the principal grain raised in 

* Liber Cotidianus Garderobae Edwardi I., p. 126. 


ScotLand, yet wheat was also cultivated to a consider- 
able extent, chiefly by the higher orders : throughout 
the south and east districts of the country, wheaten 
bread was principally used at their tables; and the 
quantities of this grain which the Cartularies show to 
have been ground in the mills, evince the consumption 
to have been considerable. When Edward, in the 
year 1300, invaded Galloway, we find, by the Wardrobe 
Account of that period, that he purchased large quan- 
tities of wheat, which was exported from Kirkcudbright 
to Whitehaven, and other ports in Cumberland. It 
was there ground, and the flour sent back to supply 
the English garrisons in Galloway and Ayr. In the 
Wardrobe Account of the same monarch, for the year 
1299, it is stated that unground pease, for the use of 
the English garrisons, were furnished at the rate of 
two shillings and ninepence, and beans for the horses 
at four shillings and sixpence, the quarter. In addi- 
tion to these crops, extensive districts of rich natural 
meadow, with the green sward which clothed the forest 
glades, furnished grass, which was made into hay, and, 
with all other agricultural produce, paid its tithe to 
the clergy. The fields, the mountain grazings, and 
the forests, were amply stocked with cows, sheep, and 
large herds of swine,* which fed on the beech mast. 
These last formed the staple animal food of the lower 
classes ; for even the poor bondman or cottager seems 
to have generally possessed, in the territorium of the 
village where he lived, a right of common pasture for 
a sow and her pigs. 

Another important part of the stocking of the farms 
and the forests of those times, consisted in the numer- 
ous horses which were reared by their baronial pro- 
prietors. We learn from the Cartularies, that great 

* Excerpt.'^ex Rotulo Compot. Temp. Alex. III., pp. 12, 15. 


care was bestowed upon tliis interesting branch of 
rural economy. Many of the nobles had breeding 
studs upon their estates ;* and, in the forests, large 
herds of brood mares, surrounded by their grown-up 
progeny, and with their young foals at their feet, ran 
wild, and produced a hardy and excellent stock of little 
horses, upon which the hohelers, or light-armed Scot- 
tish cavalry, were mounted, which, in the numerous 
raids or invasions of England, under Bruce, Randolph, 
and Douglas, so cruelly ravaged and destroyed the 
country. Distinguished from these were the domestic 
horses and mares employed in the purposes of agri- 
culture,-f" in war, or in the chase. Both the wild 
horses, and those which had been domesticated, were 
of a small hardy breed, excellently fitted for light 
cavalry, but too diminutive to be employed as the 
great war-horse of the knight, which had not only to 
bear its master armed from head to foot in steel, but 
to carry likewise its own coat of mail. It is on this 
account that we find the Scottish barons importing a 
breed of larger horses from abroad. J Some idea may 
be formed of the extent of the stud possessed by the 
higher barons and the rich ecclesiastical houses, by an 
inventory which is preserved in the Cartulary of 
Newbottle. It states that the monks of Melrose pos- 
sessed in old times three hundred and twenty-five 
forest mares and horses, fifty-four domestic mares, a 
hundred and four domestic horses, two hundred and 

* Cartulary of Melrose, p. 105. Cartulary of Kelso, pp. 283, 284. 

']' In the farming operations of ploughing and harrowing, in the leading of 
hay, the carting of peats, or taking in the corn during the harvest, the wain 
driven by oxen appears to have been principally employed, while the con- 
veyance of the agricultural produce to any great distance was performed by 
horse-labour. This appears from the minute details of the services due by 
the tenants of the Abbey of Kelso, in the Cartulary of that rich religious 
house. Cartulary of Kelso, p. 475. 

X Lord Douglas brings ten " great horses " into Scotland, 1st July, 1352. 
Rotuli Scotige, p. 752, vol, i. 


seven stags or young liorses, thirty-nine tlu'ce-year 
colts, and a hundred and seventy two-year-old colts. 

But that branch of rural economy upon which the 
Scottish proprietors of this period bestowed most at- 
tention, was the rearing of large flocks of sheep and 
herds of cattle.* Sheep, indeed, chiefly abounded in 
the Lowlands; and, during the latter part of the reign 
of David the Second, we have seen the parliament 
interposing in order to equalize the taxation of the 
districts where sheep-farming was unknown, and the 
Lowland counties, where the wool-tax fell heavily 
upon the inhabitants; w^hile, on another occasion, 
"white sheep"*' are exempted, probably meaning those 
sheep which, for the sake of producing a finer quality 
of wool, had not been smeared with tar.-f- In a short 
time, however, the northern, as well as the southern 
districts, abounded in sheep, which became a principal 
branch of the wealth of the country. Their flesh was 
consumed at the barons'* table ; their wool formed the 
chief article of export, or was manufactured within the 
kingdom into the coarser kind of cloth for the farm 
servants ; J their skins were tanned and converted into 
articles for home consumption, or exported to England 
and Flanders. In like manner, the carcasses of the 
beeves were consumed by the troops of retainers, or 
exposed for sale in the market of the burgh ; the skins 
were exported in great quantities, both with and with- 
out the hair, or manufactured into shoes, leather 
jackets, buff coats, caps, saddles, bridles, and other 

* Excerpta ex Rotulo Compotonim, Temp. Regis Alex. III., p. 11. 

+ ""White sheep" is the technical phrase for sheep which are not smeared 
with tar in the winter time. The smearing injures the wool ; and it is not 
improbable the exemption from tax may have been with a view to the pro- 
duction of wool better fitted to the purposes of the manufacturer. Robertson 
Index to the Records, p. 117. 

X Charter of "William the Lion to the burgh of Inverness, printed in "Wight 
on Elections, p. 411. 


articles of individual comfort or utility. In the more 
cultivated districts, cows were kept in the proportion 
of ten to every plough ; but, in the wilder parts of the 
country, the number was infinitely greater.* Goats 
also were to be found in some districts, chiefly in the 
wilder and more mountainous parts of the country.-f 
From the quantity of cheese which appears to have 
been manufactured on the royal demesnes throughout 
Scotland, it is clear that the dairy formed a principal 
object of attention ; J and if such was the case upon the 
lands of the crown, it is equally certain that its proper 
management and economy was not neglected by the 
clergy or the barons. In the Cartulary of Kelso, we 
find that David the First conferred on the monks of 
that house the tenth of the cheese which he received 
from Tweeddale ; the same prince gave to the monks 
of Scone the tenth of the can of his cheese brought in 
from his manors of Gowrie, Scone, Cupar, and For- 
grund ; and to the monks of Rendalgross, the tenth of 
the cheese and corn collected from the district round 
Perth. § From the same valuable class of records, 
which contain the most interesting materials for the 
civil history of the country, we learn that, in addition 
to the more important branches already mentioned, 
poultry was carefully attended to in the farm estab- 
lishment ; and it is through the monks, the constant 
friends of national comfort and good cheer, that the 
fact is transmitted. As early as under Malcolm the 
Fourth, the monks of Scone, upon the Feast of All 
Saints, received from every ploughland within their 
demesnes ten hens, along with other farm produce ; 

* Caledonia, vol, i. p. 798. 
+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 3. 
X Excerpta ex Rotulo Compot. Temp. Alex. III., p. 11. 
§ Cartulary of Kelso, p. 1. Cartulary of Scone, p. 16. Cartulary of May, 
p. 10. 


and from each house of every hamlet or village on the 
lands belonging to the Abbey of Kelso, the abbot at 
Christmas received a hen, for which he paid a half- 

It will be seen, from these facts, that the state of 
Scotland, with regard to these necessaries, and even 
comforts of life, which depend upon agricultural im- 
provement, was respectable. Whcaten loaves, beef, 
mutton, and bacon, besides venison and game of all 
descriptions, in rude abundance, were to be found at 
the table of the greater and lesser barons,, while the 
lower orders, who could look to a certain supply of 
pork, and eggs, cheese, butter, ale, and oaten cakes, 
were undoubtedly, so far as respects these comforts, 
in a prosperous condition. Besides this, both for rich 
and poor, there was an inexhaustible supply of fish, 
which abounded in the seas that washed their coasts, 
and in the rivers and lakes of the country. Herring 
and salmon, cod and ling, haddocks, whiting, oysters, 
trout, eels, and almost every other species of fresh- 
water fish, were caught in great quantities, and formed 
an article of constant home consumption. ■[- The pages 
of the various Cartularies abound with proofs of the 
assiduity and skill with which the fisheries were pur- 
sued, and of the value attached to them by their pro- 
prietors. In the Wardrobe Accounts of Edward the 
First, large quantities of herring were purchased for the 
provisioning of his Scottish garrisons ; and during his 
campaigns of 1300 in that country, he carried with him 
his nets and fishers for the supply of the royal table. J 
Here, as in all other branches of national wealth, the 
monks were the great improvers, and by their skill 

* Cartulary of Scone, p. 16. Cartulary of Kelso. 

+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 3. 

t Wardrobe Accounts of Edward I. pp. 121, 122, 143, 151. 


and enterprise, taught the great barons, and the smaller 
landed proprietors, with their vassals and bondsmen, 
how much wealth and comfort might be extracted out 
of the seas, the lakes, and the rivers of their country. 
Stell fishings, a word which appears to mean a station- 
ary establishment for the taking of fish, were frequent 
on the coast of Ayrshire, on the shores of the Solway, 
and generally at the confluence of the larger rivers 
with the sea. Besides this, we find in the Cartularies, 
innumerable grants of retes^ or the right of using a 
single net within certain limits, upon the river or lake 
where it was established ; and of yairs^ a mode of fish- 
ing by the construction of a w^attled machine within 
the stream of the river, which was inserted between 
two walls, and of very ancient use in Scotland. In 
the Cartulary of Paisley, the Earl of Lennox, some 
time before 1224, gave to the monks of that religious 
house a yair fishing in the river Leven near Dum- 
barton.* A contemporary manuscript in the British 
Museum informs us, that in the reign of David the 
First, the Firth of Forth was frequently covered with 
boats, manned by Scottish, English, and Belgic fisher- 
men, who were attracted by the great abundance of 
fish in the vicinity of the Isle of May;-|- and AA'eknow 
from the accounts of the Chamberlain of Scotland, that 
for the use of the king's household not only large 
quantities of every kind of fish were purchased by the 
clerk of the kitchen, but that David the Second, like 
Edward the First, kept his own fishermen for supply- 
ing the royal table. 

* Cartufary of Paisley, pp. 359, 360. 

t MS. Bibl. Cotton. Tit. A. XIX. f. 78, C. The MS. is a life of St Kenti- 
gern, -written about the end of the reign of David the First. " Ab illo quippe 
tempore in hunc diem tanta piscium fertilitas ibi abundat, ut de omni littore 
maris Anglici, Scotici, et a Belgicse Galliae littoribys veniunt gratia piscandi 
piscatores plurimi, quos omnes Insula May in suis rite suscipit portibus." 
Macpherson's Notes on Winton, vol. ii. p. 479. 




We come now to the consideration of an important 
subject ; to make a few remarks upon the different 
races of men which appear originally to have settled 
in Scotland, and the division of orders and ranks in 
society into which they came to be separated during 
this remote era of our history. At the death of 
Malcolm Canmore, in 1093, four distinct races were 
discernible in Scotland. There was first the Gaelic 
or Celtic people, speaking the Erse language, and in- 
habiting Argyle, Galloway, Inverness, and nearly the 
whole of Scotland to the north of the Firth of Forth. 
Beyond them the hardy and warlike Norwegians had 
seized upon the Western Isles, and colonized the ex- 
treme districts of Ross and Caithness. In the richer 
lowland counties were the Saxons, a Gothic race, from 
whom Malcolm Canmore had chosen his queen, and 
whom he highly favoured and encouraged, while the 
convulsion in the sister country at the great era of the 
conquest had driven many opulent Normans to desert 
the service of the conqueror, and to carry their arms 
and their allegiance to a foreign prince, by whom they 
were warmly welcomed. During the long interval of a 
century and a half, which elapsed between the death of 
Malcolm Canmore and the accession of Alexander the 
Third, these materials became insensibly blended and 
mixed into each other ; but the process was extremely 
gradual, and during the whole period we can discern 
distinct marks of the different races.* At the death of 

* Fordun a Goodal, book viii, chap. iL iv. and vi. book ix, chap, xxxiv. and 
chap. xlviL xlviiL chap. IziiL 


Malcolm Canmore, an event took place which exhi- 
bited in strong colours the animosity of the Gaelic 
people to the Saxons and Normans. Donald Bane, 
who had taken refuge in the Hebrides upon the usur- 
pation of Macbeth, having emerged from his northern 
asylum, seized the throne ; and his first exertion of 
power was to expel from the country all the foreigners 
who had intruded into his dominions.* The frequent 
residence of David the First, previous to his accession 
to the Scottish throne, at the court of England, and 
his possession of the extensive district of Cumberland, 
which was exclusively occupied by a Saxon and Nor- 
man population, must have contributed to soften the 
lines of distinction between the different classes of his 
subjects when he became king. Yet his anxious efforts 
could not altogether extinguish their jealous animo- 
sities, or prevent them from breaking out on most 
occasions when they were compelled to act together.-|- 
For example, at the battle of the Standard, Malise 
earl of Strathern, a Gaelic chief, remonstrated with 
the Scottish king against his design of placing his 
squadrons of Norman soldiers, who were clothed from 
head to foot in steel, in the front of the battle. 
" Why," said he to the king, "will you commit your- 
self so confidently to these Normans ? I wear no 
armour, yet none of them this day will go before me 
in the battle." Upon which, David, to prevent a 
rupture between the two divisions of his army, found 
himself compelled to give the post of honour to the 
Galwegians, whom the Norman historians represent as 
a nation of absolute savages. J An attention to the 
arrangement of the Scottish army in this memorable 

* Chron. Johan. Brompton, p. 990, Chron. Melrose, p. 174. 
+ Rich. Hagulstad. pp. 318, 323. Johan. Hagulstad. p. 262. 
t Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, pp. 341, 342. Ricardus Hagulstad. Hist, 
p. 31b. 


battle, and to the circumstances under which it was 
fought, will throw some light upon the various tribes 
which at this time composed the body of the nation. 
After the Galwe2:ians, who insisted on formins: the 
first line, and were led by their chiefs Ulric and Don- 
ald, came the second body, composed of the Norman 
men-at-arms, the knights and the archers, commanded 
by Prince Henry, whilst the soldiers of Cumberland 
and Teviotdale fought in the same line, and beneath 
the same banner. In the third division were drawn 
up the men of Lothian, along with the Islanders and 
Ketherans ; and the king himself commanded a reserve 
in which he had placed the Scots and the natives of 
Moray, with a select body of Saxon and Norman 
knights, which he kept near him as a body guard.* 
There were at this time in the English army two Nor- 
man barons, Robert de Bruce and Bernard Baliol, who 
possessed estates in Galloway, which they held of David 
as their liege lord. Before the battle, Bruce, who had 
been an old and dear friend of the Scottish king during 
his residence in England, requested an interview, and 
anxiously advised him to desist from further hostilities, 
and to consent to a peace. In the arguments which 
he employed, as given by a contemporary historian,-|- 
the enmity between the Scottish and the Norman race 
is strongly insisted upon. He paints the Scots as re- 
joicing at the opportunity of avenging themselves upon 
a nation which was odious to them, and accuses the 
king of extreme folly in making war on that people by 
whom he had supported his power against the attacks 
of his Scottish subjects. " Think not," says he, " that 
one part of these savage tribes will be a sufficient de- 
fence against the rest ; that the Scots will be barrier 
enough against the Scots ; and raise not your banner 

* Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, p. 342. f Ibid. p. 343. 


for the destruction of those whose faithfulness in your 
defence has made them to be hated by the Scottish race." 
The two races in David*'s army, thus strikingly de- 
scribed, seem to have been the Galwegians, the Isles- 
men, and the Ketherans, on one hand ; the Normans 
and Saxons, the men of Lothian, of Teviotdale, and 
of Cumberland, on the other. Nor is it difficult to 
discover the cause of their animosity. The fact just 
mentioned, that Bruce and Baliol, two Norman barons, 
possessed lands in Galloway, will guide us to it. It 
was the policy of this monarch to encourage the influx 
of Normans into his dominions, by conferring upon 
them estates in the districts which his Gaelic subjects 
considered exclusively their own ; and out of this policy 
arose a mutual jealousy and hatred, which it required 
centuries entirely to eradicate. The arms, the appear- 
ance, and the manners of these Galwegians, are marked 
by the same author as essentially different from the 
rest of the Scottish army. When compared with the 
Norman men-at-arms, they were little else than naked 
savages. Their swords and a buckler of cow hide were 
their only weapons of defence against the steel casques, 
the chained-mail shirts, the cuirass, vantbrace, greaves, 
and iron gloves of the English army; but their first 
attack, in spite of these disadvantages, was so fierce as 
to be frequently successful. On the other hand, the 
Saxons and the men of Teviotdale, Cumberland, and 
Lothian, appear to have been a civilized race, in com- 
parison with the Galwegians, the Islesmen, and the 

* Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, p. 345. In Thierry's Histoire de la 
Conquete de TAngleterre par les Normans, a work of talent, the author falls 
into an error (vol. iii. p. 24) in describing the Scottish army as having for 
its ensign or standard a simple lance. ^Ired expressly tells us that they had 
" Regale vexillum, ad similitudinem Draconis figuratum." De Bello Stan- 
dardi, p. 346. 



The distinction, indeed, between the Saxon and the 
Gaelic people was as strongly marked as that between 
the Normans and the Galwegians. Malcolm's queen 
was a Saxon princess, and the sister of Edgar Atheling, 
the heir of the Saxon line in England. She spoke 
only her own language; and when she communicated 
with the Gaelic chiefs or clergy, employed as her in- 
terpreter the king her husband, who was acquainted 
both with his own lano:ua2:e and that of the Eno:lish 

At the coronation of Alexander the Third, we have 
seen that the Gaelic portion of his subjects claimed a 
part in the ceremony, by the appearance of the High- 
land bard or sennachy, who repeated the genealogy of 
the king;-]- and, during the long wars of the three 
Edwards, the animosity of the same people to the new 
race of the Saxons and the Normans, is manifested by 
the constant rebellions of the Galwesrians and northern 
Scots; and the apparent facility with which the Eng- 
lish monarchs, on all occasions, separated the lords of 
the isles and the northern chiefs from the common 
cause of liberty. Bruce's expedition against the Wes- 
tern Isles in 1315, which was followed by a temporary 
reduction of the chiefs, evinces the continued feelings 
of hostility; and almost the only occasion on which 
David the Second evinced a spirit worthy of his father, 
was in the suppression of a serious rebellion of the 
northern provinces of his dominions. J As to the traces 
of the Norwegian or Scandinavian race in the body of 
the Scottish people, they were, although perceptible, 
partial and evanescent. Their settlements upon the 
mainland in Caithness and Ross were destroyed, and 
the Western Isles wrested from them by Alexander; 

* Turgot, Vita Margaretse Reginae. Pinkerton's Vitae Sanctorum, No. 5. 
+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 82. J History, supra, vol. ii. p. 154. 


BO that, were it not for the impression which they have 
left in the Scandinavian names and superstitions which 
are prevalent in those remote regions, and the instruc- 
tion communicated to the Islesmen in the art of navi- 
gation, we should not be able to discover that the 
children of Odin had ever penetrated into our country. 

In the period of a hundred and twenty years, between 
the accession of Alexander the Third and the death of 
David the Second, the Norman and Saxon population 
became so intimately blended together, as to appear 
one and the same people ; and their superior power 
and civilisation had gradually gained, from their fierce 
competitors, the Gaels, the greater and the fairer por- 
tion of Scotland. Even in those northern provinces, 
which had long exclusively belonged to them, barons 
of Norman and Saxon extraction were settled in pos- 
session of immense estates ; and the constitution of 
the government, which, there is little doubt, had been 
under Malcolm Canmore essentially Celtic, was now 
as decidedly feudal, including certain orders and ranks 
in society which were clearly and strongly marked. 

The king, under the feudal form of government, 
appears to have been superior to the highest nobility, 
in three great characters. He was the leader of the 
army in war, and possessed of the supreme military 
command;* he was the great judge or administrator 
of justice to his people, either in person or by deputy; 
and the fountain of honour, from whose will and autho- 
rity all distinction and pre-eminence were considered 
as primarily derived. It would be a great mistake, 
however, to suppose that his power was anything ap- 
proaching to despotic ; for it was controlled by that of 
the higher nobles, whose estates and numerous vassals 
enabled them almost singly to compete with the sove- 

* Simeon Dunelm. pp. 200, 210. 


reign. At the same time, there is decided proof that 
ample provision was made for the due maintenance of 
the royal dignity, both in the person of the king him- 
self and his eldest son, who, at a very early period, we 
find was considered as entitled to the crown by here- 
ditary right.* 

Edgar in 1106, being then on his deathbed, bestowed 
upon his younger brother David, afterwards David the 
First, a large portion of his dominions, which included 
the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde, and nearly the 
whole of the country to the south of the Firths, with 
the exception of the earldom of Dunbar ;■[* a proof that 
the personal estate of the Scottish king was at that 
time great. Many other incidental notices, which are 
scattered in the pages of our early historians, may be 
brought to corroborate the same fact. 

In the year 1152, the prospects of the kingdom 
were clouded by the death of Prince Henry, the only 
son of David the First; upon which that monarch, 
anxious for the stability of the throne in his own fa- 
mily, commanded his grandson Malcolm, the eldest son 
of Henry, to be proclaimed heir to the crown ; whilst 
on the second son William, afterwards William the 
Lion, he bestowed his territories in Northumberland 
as the appanage of the heir apparent. J We know, also, 
that David Earl of Huntingdon, brother of William 

* Simeon Dunelm. p. 223. 

t Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, p. 344. Macpherson's MS. Notes on 
Hailes' Annals, vol. i. p. 48. Hailes appears to be in an error, when he 
imagines that the "portio regni," spoken of by Ethelred, was the part of 
Cumberland possessed by the Scottish kings, as it was after this that David 
acquired Cumberland from King Stephen. David, before he was king, erected 
Glasgow into a bishoprick, from which arises a strong presumption that it 
lay within his principality ; and we find, that on his newlj'-erected Abbey 
of Selkirk, afterw^ards Kelso, he bestowed the tithes of his can of cheeses from 
Galloway, from which it is evident that he was the feudal superior of that 
district. Dalrymple's Collect, p. 404. 

X Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 296. Johan. Hagulstad. p. 2G0. Gulielm. 
Neubrigen. p. 70". 


the Lion, held at the time of his death, which happened 
in the year 1219, the earldoms of Garioch and Lennox, 
the lordship of Strathbogie, the town of Dundee, with 
the lands of Innerbervie, Lindores, Longforgrund, and 
Inchmartin, in consequence of a grant from the king 
his brother.* 

In addition to these facts, which prove the power 
and personal estate of the king, under the feudal go- 
vernment in Scotland, the riches of the royal revenue 
are evinced by various pecuniary transactions of Wil- 
liam the Lion. It is well known that this monarch 
paid to Richard the First the sum of ten thousand 
marks, for resigning the homage extorted by Henry 
the Second.-f- Upon another occasion, he gave Richard 
two thousand marks to make up the heavy ransom 
which was exacted from the English monarch by the 
emperor.J Upon John king of England he bestowed 
the marriage of two of his daughters, with fifteen thou- 
sand marks ;§ and, if we may believe Hoveden, the 
same king ofi'ered fifteen thousand marks for Northum- 
berland. || Allowing ten pounds of modern money for 
every mark of ancient, we find from these insulated 
instances of the sums paid by this monarch, that he 
disbursed, out of the royal revenue, two hundred and 
seventy thousand pounds ; and was ready, in addition 
to this, to have paid a hundred and fifty thousand for 

Upon the marriage of Alexander the Second with 
the daughter of Lord Ingelram de Couci, the portion 
of the youthful bride amounted to seven thousand 
marks, which was given her as a third of the royal 
revenue ; so that in 1239, the date of this marriage, 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 33, 42. 

t Fordun a Hearne, p. 724. ^ Chron. Melross, a Stevenson, p. 100. 

§ Foedera, vol. i. p. 155. || Hoveden, fol. 420. 


the annual revenue of the King of Scotland, proceed- 
ing from the crown lands and other sources, amounted 
to twenty-one thousand marks,* somewhat more than 
two hundred thousand pounds. The same monarch, 
notwithstanding the drain of the royal treasury, in 
his father''s time, gave ten thousand marks, besides 
lands, as a marriage portion with his second sister; 
and, on one memorable occasion, when the Scottish 
sovereign paid a Christmas visit to Henry the Third 
at York, in the mutual interchans-e of jrifts between 
the two kings, Alexander, for the purpose of fitting 
out his royal host for the continent, made him a pre- 
sent of two thousand marks, or twenty thousand pounds 
of our present money, taking from him, at the same 
time, an acknowledgment, that the gift was never to 
be drawn into a precedent, but proceeded solely from 
his liberality. -[- 

Under Alexander the Third, the riches of the royal 
revenue appear to have kept pace with the general 
prosperity of the kingdom. We have seen that mo- 
narch obtain the kingdom of Man and the Western 
Isles by purchase from the King of Norway, paying 
down for them the sum of four thousand marks, with 
an annual payment of a hundred marks for ever; and, 
not long after this transaction, the same monarch, at 
the marriage of his daughter to Eric king of Norway, 
assigned as her dower the sum of seven thousand 
marks, in addition to lands worth seven hundred marks 
a year. J To give an exact account of the various 
sources of the royal revenue in those early times, 
would require a careful and lengthened investigation. 
The rents and produce of the royal lands and manors 

* Math. Paris, p. 411, Macpherson's Notes on Winton, vol. ii. p. 481. 
+ Chron. de Dunstaple, MS. Bib. Cotton, quoted in Macpherson's Notes 
to Winton, vol. ii. p. 480. Rotuli Pat. 14 Hen. III. m. 5. and 15. m. 7. 
X Fordun a Hearne, p. 1358. Fcedera, vol. ii. p. 1079. 


throughout the country ; the dues payable under the 
name of can on the products of agriculture, hunting, 
and fishing ; the customs on the exports of wool, wool- 
fels, and hides ; on articles of domestic manufacture, 
on foreign trade and shipping ; the fees and fines which 
arose at this period in all countries where the feudal 
system was established, from the administration of 
justice, upon the wardship and marriage of heirs, and 
in the escheats of estates to the crown ; the temporary 
aids which the tenants and vassals of every feudal 
sovereign were bound to pay on great occasions, such 
as making the king's son a knight, the marriage of 
his daughters, his own coronation or marriage, or his 
ransom from captivity: these, amongst others, formed 
some of the principal sources of the revenue of the 

If we make allowance for the rudeness of the period, 
the personal state kept up by the Scottish sovereign 
was little inferior to that of his brother monarch of 
England. The various officers of the royal household 
were the same; and when encircled by these digni- 
taries, and surrounded by his prelates, barons, and 
vassals, the Scottish court, previous to the long war 
of liberty, and the disastrous reign of David the 
Second, was rich in feudal pomp. This is proved by 
what has already been observed as to the condition of 
the royal revenue, when compared with the inferior 
command of money which we find at the same era in 
England ;-[* and some interesting and striking cir- 
cumstances, which are incidentally mentioned by our 
ancient historians, confirm this opinion. As early as 
the age of Malcolm Canmore, an unusual splendour 

* Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i. p. 747. Ctamberlain's Accounts, passim. 
+ Gulielmus Neubrig. p. 98. Macpherson's Notes on Winton, vol. ii. 
p. 481. 


was introduced into the Scottish court by his Saxon 
queen. This princess, as we learn from her life by 
Turgot, her confessor, brought in the use of rich and 
precious foreign stuffs, of which slie encouraged the 
importation from distant countries. In her own dress, 
she was unusually magnificent ; whilst she increased 
the parade attendant on the public appearance of the 
sovereign, by augmenting the number of his personal 
officers, and employing vessels of gold and silver in the 
service of his table.* Under the reign of Alexander 
the First, the intercourse of Scotland with the East, 
and the splendid appearance of the sovereign, are shown 
by a singular ceremony which took place in the High 
Church at St Andrews. This monarch, anxious to 
show his devotion to the blessed apostle of that name, 
not only endowed the religious house with numerous 
lands, and conferred upon it various immunities, but, 
as an additional evidence of his piety, he commanded 
his favourite Arabian horse to be led up to the high 
altar, whose saddle and bridle were splendidly orna- 
mented, and his housings of a rich cloth of velvet. 
A squire at the same time brought the king's body 
armour, which were of Turkish manufacture, and 
studded with jewels, with his spear and his shield of 
silver; and these, along with the horse and his furni- 
ture, the king, in the presence of his prelates and 
barons, solemnly devoted and presented to the church. 
The housings and arms were shown in the days of the 
historian who has recorded the event.i* 

On another occasion, the riches of the Scottish court, 
and, we must add, the foolish vanity of the Scottish 
monarch and his nobles, were evinced in a remarkable 

* Turgot, Vita Sanct. Marg. apud Pinkerton, Vitas Sanctorum. 
+ Extract from the Register ot the Prior)' of St Andrews, in Pinkerton's 
PisBertation, Appendix, vol. i. p. 464. Winton, vol. i. p. 286. 


manner. Alexander the Third, and a party of a hun- 
dred knights, were present at the coronation of Edward 
the First; and in the midst of the festival, when the 
king sat at table, and the wells and fountains were 
running the choicest wines, he and his attendants dis- 
mounted, and turned their horses, with their embroi- 
dered housings, loose amongst the populace, to become 
the property of the first person who caught them, — a 
piece of magnificent extravagance, which was imitated 
by Prince Edmund, the king's brother, and others of 
the English nobles.* 

From these facts some idea may be formed of the 
wealth of the royal court of Scotland. Like the other 
contemporary feudal monarchs of Europe, the sovereign 
was surrounded by certain great ministers of state, 
under the names of the justiciar, the chancellor, the 
constable, the marshal, the seneschal, the chamber- 
lain, and the hostiarius or doorward. These offices 
were held by the richest and most powerful nobles, 
whose wealth enabled them to keep up a train of 
vassals, which almost rivalled the circle round the 
sovereign; and who, in their own court and castle, 
mimicked the royal pomp, and were surrounded by 
their own cupbearers, constables, seneschals, and cham- 
berlains. -f- Next to the king, therefore, such great 
officers held the highest rank in the nation; and no 
correct picture of the feudal government of Scotland, 
during this early period, can be given, without briefly 
considering the respective duties which devolved upon 

In the history of our legal administration, during 
that long period which occupies the interval between 
the accession of the First Alexander and the First 
James, the office of great Justiciar holds a conspicuous 

* Knighton, 2461. + Robertson's Index, p. 82. 


place; altlioiigli, from the few authentic records of 
tliose tunes, it is difficult to speak with precision as to 
its exact province. 

It has already been remarked, that, in this early 
age, the king was the fountain of justice, and the su- 
preme judge of his people. We are indebted to a 
contemporary historian for a fine picture of David the 
First in this great character. " It was his custom,"" 
says Ethelred, " to sit, on certain days, at the gate of 
his palace, and to listen in person to the complaints 
of the poorest suitors who chose to bring their cause 
before him. In this employment he spared no labour 
to satisfy those who appealed to him of the justice of 
his decision ; encouraging them to enter into argument, 
whilst he kindly replied, and endeavoured to convince 
them of the justice of his reasons, — Yet," adds the 
historian, with great simplicity, " they often showed 
an unwillingness to acquiesce in his mode of argu- 
ment." * 

The progresses which were annually made by the 
king, for the purpose of redressing grievances, and 
inquiring into the conduct of his officers throughout 
the realm, have been already noticed under the reign 
of Alexander the Third ; but the general administra- 
tion of justice, at an early period, seems to have been 
intrusted to two great judges, — the one embracing, 
within his jurisdiction, the northern, and the other 
the southern part of the kingdom. Under these su- 
preme officers, a variety of inferior judges appear to 
have enjoyed a delegated and subordinate jurisdiction, 
who borrowed their designations from the district in 
which they officiated, and were denominated the Judge 
of Gowry, the Judge of Buchan, the Judge of Strathern, 

* Fordun a Heame, p. 940, 


the Judge of Perth; but of whose exact authority and 
jurisdiction no authentic record remains.* The ex- 
istence, both of the supreme and of the inferior judges, 
can be traced in authentic muniments, preserved chiefly 
in the Cartularies, throughout the reigns of Alexander 
the First, David the First, and Malcolm the Fourth, 
during a period of nearly sixty years, from 1106 to 
1165. William the Lion, who assumed the crown 
immediately after Malcolm IV., appears to have 
changed or new-modelled these ojSices, by the creation 
of two great judges named Justiciars; the one the 
Justiciarius Laudonise, whose authority extended over 
the whole of the country south of the two Firths ; and 
the other the Justiciarius Scotise, embracing within 
his jurisdiction the whole of Scotland beyond the Forth. 
The series of justiciars of Scotland from the reign of 
this prince, during a period of nearly a century, has 
been traced through documents of unquestionable au- 
thenticity ;*|* but that of the justiciaries of Lothian 
cannot be so accurately ascertained, j: while there is a 
third officer of the same high dignity, the Justiciarius 
ex parte boreali aquae de Forth, whom we find inci- 
dentally mentioned at the same period; upon whose 
authority and jurisdiction the utmost research of our 
antiquaries has not succeeded in throwing any distinct 
light. § There can be little doubt, I think, that the 
judicial authority of these officers was pre-eminent, 
and that it embraced a civil and criminal jurisdiction, 

* Chalmers' Caledonia, p. 703, vol. i. note D. Crawford's Officers of 
State, p. 431. Robertson's Index to the Charters, Postscript, p, 53. 

•f" IDalyel's Desultory Reilections on the Ancient State of Scotland, p. 43. 
See Chamberlain's Accounts, Excerpta ex Rotulo Compotorum Tempore 
Regis Alex. III. vol. i. p. 8. 

J The Justiciarius Laudonise appears in the year 1263, under Alexander 
the Third. Chamberlain's Accounts, Excerpta ex Rotulo Compot. Temp. 
Alexandri III, p. 15. 

§ In the Excerpta ex Rotulo Compot. Temp. Custodum Regni, p. 58, there 
appears " William St Clair, Justiciarius Galwythie." 


which was next to that of the sovereign. At the 
period of the temporary subjugation of Scotland by 
Edward the First, this monarch, in his new-modelling 
of the machine of government, introduced a change by 
appointing two justices in Lothian, two others in the 
country lying between the Forth and the Grampian 
range, called the Mounth, and, lastly, by separating 
the great northern district, extending from the Gram- 
pians to Caithness, into two divisions, over which he 
placed two supreme justiciars.* 

Scotland, however, soon recovered her independence; 
and it seems probable, that the ancient institution of 
a single Justiciar of Lothian was restored, along with 
her other native dignities, by Robert Bruce. It is 
certain, at least, that the existence of a single judge 
under that title can be traced through authentic docu- 
ments, down to the period of James the Fifth. The 
latter institution of Edward, regarding the four justi- 
ciaries of Scotland, who presided over the regions to 
the north of the Forth, as it was sanctioned by ancient 
usage, was preserved by him who was the restorer of 
ancient right. -f* It would thus appear that, during 
the reign of Robert Bruce, the civil and criminal juris- 
diction of the country was, with the exceptions to be 
immediately noticed, divided between five different 
justiciars; and it is probable, although it cannot be 
stated with historical certainty, that these supreme 
judges acted by deputies, who officiated in their absence, 
or presided in minor cases; and that they continued 
to be the supreme judges in Scotland down to the time 
of James the Fifth. 

The office of great justice or justiciar was undoubtedly 

* Ryley's Placita, p. 504. 

■f Cartulary of Lindores, p. 10. MS. Monast. Scotise, p. 26, quoted in 
Caledonia, p. 707. Robertson's Index, pp. 67, 74. 


of Norman origin ; * and, reasoning from the analogy 
between the office in England and in Scotland, it may 
be conjectured, that the principal duties which it em- 
braced, at this period, regarded those suits which 
affected the revenue or emolument of the king. 

The office of Chancellor, next in dignity to that of 
the justiciar, is certainly as ancient as the reign of 
Alexander the First; but the precise nature of the 
authority committed to this great officer at this remote 
era of our history cannot be easily ascertained; and 
where authentic records do not demonstrate its limits, 
speculation is idle and unsatisfactory. It existed at 
a very early period in France, under the reign of 
Charlemagne; it is found in England in the Saxon 
times ; but it was not till a much later period in Scot- 
land, when the traces of a Celtic government became 
faint and almost imperceptible, and the Gothic race of 
the Saxons and the Scoto-Normans drove back the 
Celtic people into the remoter regions of the country, 
that Herbert the chancellor appears amongst the offi- 
cers of the crown. -j* From this period, down to the 
coronation of Bruce, the industry of Chalmers has 
given a series of these great officers; and without 
entering into any antiquarian or etymological discus- 
sion, we have an authentic muniment in the contract 
of marriage between the son of Edward the First and 
the Maiden of Norway, by which it appears that the 
custody of the king'*s seal, the examination of all writs 
which received the royal signature, and the cancelling 
or refusing the royal sanction to such deeds as appeared 
irregular, were then the chief duties of this officer. In 
addition to this, the Chancellor was the most intimate 

* Spelman's Glossarium, p. 399. Chamberlain's Accounts, Excerpta ex 
Rotul. Compot, Tempore Alex. III. pp. 29, 42. 
f Crawford's Officers of State, p. 4. 


councillor of the king: he was always lodged near the 
royal person; he attended the sovereign wherever he 
went, both in peace and war; and was generally witness 
to his charters, letters, and proclamations.* This great 
office continued, as is well known, down to the period 
of the union of the kingdoms; an existence, if we com- 
pute from its appearance under Alexander the First, 
of nearly six centuries. 

It has been already observed, that the supremacy 
of the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the great jus- 
ticiars was limited by some exceptions; and the first 
of these is to be found in the existence of the ancient 
office of sheriff, the earliest appearance of which is to 
be found in the beginning of the twelfth century, under 
the reign of Alexander the First. -[• This, however, is 
the very dawn of the institution; and the division of 
Scotland into re^jular and certain sheriffdoms must be 
referred to a much later era. It seems to be a sound 
opinion of the author of Caledonia, that " sheriffdoms 
were gradually laid out, as the Scoto-Saxon people 
gained upon the Gaelic inhabitants, and as the modern 
law, introduced by the Saxons, prevailed over the 
ruder institutions of our Celtic forefathers. "J Previ- 
ous to the conclusion of that division of our national 
history, which this author has termed the Scoto-Saxon 
period, extending from 1097 to 1306, the whole of 
Scotland, with the exception of Argyle, Galloway, and 
the western coast, had been progressively divided into 

Many of these offices, theappointment to which was 
originally in the crown, had, at this early period, be- 
come hereditary in certain families; and, in imitation 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii. p. 483. Balfour's Practicks, p. 15. 
+ Dalrymple's Collections, p. 405. Charta Fundacionis Abbacie apud 
Schelechyrch, nunc Selkrig. 
+ Caledonia, p. 715 


of the regal state, every greater baron appears to have 
appointed his sheriff,* in the same manner as we find 
many of these petty feudal and ecclesiastical princes, 
surrounded by their chamberlains, chancellors, mar- 
shals, and seneschals. It is certain, from the evidence 
of authentic records, that the term schire was anciently 
given to districts of much smaller extent than the 
sheriffships of the present day. In the foundation 
charter of William the Lion to the Abbey of Aberbro- 
thoc, we find the shires of Aberbrothoc, of Denechyn, 
of Kingoldrum, and of Athyn ; and in the Cartulary 
of the Abbey of Dunfermline, Dumfermelineschire, 
Dolorshire, Newburnshire, Musselburghshire, with the 
shires of Gelland and Gaitmilk. Over these minute 
divisions we do not discover any presiding judge en- 
joying the title of sheriff. Previous, however, to the 
memorable year 1296, these smaller divisions had dis- 
appeared; and the different enactments of Edward the 
First, preserved in the volumes of Prynne and Rymer, 
present us with an exact enumeration of thirty-four 
sheriffdoms, over most of which a separate sheriff pre- 
sided."!* The jurisdiction of this judge, both in civil 
and in criminal cases, appears to have been extensive, 
and within his own district nearly as unlimited as that 
of the great justiciars throughout the kingdom. 

Under that savage state of feudal liberty, which 
lasted for many centuries in Scotland, all the higher 
nobles, both civil and ecclesiastical, enjoyed the power 
of holding their own court, and deciding causes where 
the parties were their vassals. The origin of this is 
curious. At a very early period, probably about the 
middle of the twelfth century, in the reign of Malcolm 

* Cart, of Glasgoiir, 103-5, quoted in Caledonia, p. 716. Cart. Newbottle, 
p. 89. 

+ Robertson's Index to the Charters. Notes, to the Introduction, p. ad. 


the Fourth, the land of Scotland began to be partially 
divided into royalty and regality. Those parts which 
were distinguished by the term royalty, were subjected 
to the jurisdiction of the king and his judges; the dis- 
tricts, on the other hand, which were comprehended 
under the name of regalities, acknowledged the juris- 
diction of those ecclesiastics or nobles, who had received 
a grant of lands from the crown, with the rights of 
regality annexed to it. 

The clergy appear to have been the first who, in the 
charters of lands which they often procured from the 
crown, prevailed upon the sovereign to convey to them 
the right of holding their own courts, and to grant 
them an immunity from the jurisdiction of all superior 
judges. As early as the reign of Alexander the First, 
a royal charter conferred upon the monks of the Abbey 
of Scone the right of holding their own court in the 
fullest manner, and of giving judgment either by com- 
bat, by iron, or by water; together with all privileges 
pertaining to their court ; including the right in all 
persons resident within their territory, of refusing to 
answer except in their own proper court.* This right 
of exclusive jurisdiction was confirmed by four succes- 
sive monarchs. The same grants were enjoyed, as we 
know from authentic documents, by the Bishop of St 
Andrews, and the Abbots of Holyrood, Dunfermline, 
Kelso, and Aberbrothoc ; and we may presume, on 
strong grounds, by every religious house in the king- 
dom. These powers of jurisdiction excluded the autho- 
rity or interference 'X every other judge, of which we 
have decided proof m the Cartulary of Aberbrothoc.*!- 
It appears, that in the year 1299, the abbot of that 
house repledged from the court of the king^s justiciar, 
which was held at Aberdeen, one of his own men, upon 

* Cartulary of Scone, p. 16. f Cartulary of Aberbrothoc, p. 19. 


pleading the privilege of the regality of Aberbrothoc; 
and in imitation of the clergy, the higher barons soon 
procured from the royal fear or munificence, the same 
judicial rights and exemptions, which they in their 
turn conveyed to their vassals. 

A superior baron in those ancient times was thus in 
every respect a king in miniature. Surrounded by 
the officers of his little feudal court, he possessed the 
privilege of dispensing justice, or what he chose to term 
justice, amongst his numerous vassals; he was the 
supreme criminal judge within his far-extended terri- 
tories, and enjoyed the power of life and death, of im- 
prisonment within his own dungeon, and of reclaiming 
from the court, even of the high justiciar, any subject 
or vassal who lived upon his lands. Can we wonder 
that, in the course of years, men, possessed of such 
high and independent privileges, became too powerful 
for the crown itself I It was in consequence of this 
that Bruce, in the disposition of many immense estates, 
wdiich were forfeited for their determined opposition to 
his claim to the crown, bestowed them in smaller divi- 
sions upon new proprietors, who rose upon the ruins 
of these ancient houses.* The frequent grants of these 
estates by Bruce diminished the strength of the ancient 
aristocracy; but it is evident, at the same time, that, 
as the new charters frequently conveyed along with the 
lands the rights of holding their own court, the power 
which had controlled the crown durino; the struo^o'le of 
this great prince for his kingdom, was rather divided 
than diminished; so that the new barons, under the 
weak reign and long captivity of his successor, became 
as independent and tyrannical as before. When we 
come to consider the origin of the royal burghs, and 
the privileges conferred upon them by the sovereign, 

* Robertson's Index. Charters of Robert the First. 


we shall discover a different and inferior judicial power, 
which extended to the determination of all causes aris- 
ing within the limits of their jurisdiction. 

In this brief sketch of our civil history it is impos- 
sible to enter into details upon the great subject of the 
law of the kingdom, as it existed during this remote 
period; but it may be generally remarked, that in the 
courts of the great justiciaries, as well as in those held 
by inferior officers of justice throughout the realm, 
most causes of importance appear to have been deter- 
mined by the opinion of an assize, or an inquest; a 
mode of legal decision which we can discern as early 
as the reign of William the Lion. In the year 1184, 
we find an inquest appointed to decide a dispute re- 
garding the pasturage of the king's forest, which had 
arisen between the monks of Melrose and the men of 
Wedale. The inquest, which consisted of twelve 
" Good Men," Jideles homines^ and Richard ^loreville 
the constable, were sworn on the relics of the church, 
and sat in presence of the king, his brother David earl 
of Huntingdon, and the prelates and nobles of the 
court. It is probable, although it cannot be affirmed 
with certainty, that, even'at this early age, the opinion 
of the majority of this jury of thirteen decided the 
case, and that unanimity was not required.* 

In an inferior dispute, which seems to have arisen 
between the monastery of Soltre and the inhabitants 
of the manor of Crailing, in the year 1271, regarding 
the right of the monks to a thrave of corn every har- 
vest out of the manor, the cause was determined by a 
jury summoned from the three contiguous manors of 
Eckford, Upper Crailing, and of Hetun, who, under 

* Chron. Melrose, p. 176. Cartul. of Melrose, p. 64. Chalmers' Cale- 
donia., pp. 752, 753. 


the title of Antiquiores patriw^ decided it in favour of 
the monks of Soltre.* 

The office of constable, which appears in Scotland 
as early as the reign of Alexander the First, was ex- 
clusively military, and undoubtedly of Norman origin. 
This great officer was the leader of the military power 
of the kingdom. In England, we find him, in 1163, 
denominated indiscriminately constabularius and prin- 
ceps militi8e;-|- and there is every reason to believe 
that the province of the constable, as head of the army, 
was the same in both countries. What was the exact 
distinction in our own country between the office of the 
mareschal and the constable, it is not easy to deter- 
mine. That they were different, appears certain from 
the fact, that we find a mareschal and a constable under 
the same monarch, and held by different persons ; but 
we have no authentic record which describes the nature 
of the duties which devolved upon the mareschal, al- 
though there is no doubt that both offices, at an early 
period, became hereditary in certain great families. :J: 
The offices of the seneschal, or high-steward, and of 
the chamberlain, belonged to the personal estate of the 
sovereign ; and those who held them enjoyed the 
supreme authority in the management of the king's 
household, and in the regulation of the royal revenue. 
Both are as ancient as the reign of David the First ; 
and the rolls of the royal expenditure, and receipts of 
the various items and articles of revenue, which were 
kept by the chamberlain, in his capacity of treasurer, 
still fortunately remain to us, — a most curious and 
instructive monument of the state of the times. The 
offices of inferior interest, though of equal antiquity — 

* Cartul. of Soltre, No, 17. 

+ Math. Paris, p. 1028, 1. 63, 1. 11. Twysden, x. scrip, vol. ii. Glossary. 

X Chalmers' Caledonia, pp. 709, 710. 


the panetarius, or royal butler ; the hostlarius, or 
keeper of the king's door ; the pincerna, or cup-bearer; 
to which we may add, the keepers of the king'*s hounds, 
the royal falconers, the keeper of the wardrobe, the 
clerk of the kitchen, and various other inferior digni- 
taries — sufficiently explain themselves, and indicate a 
considerable degree of personal state and splendour. 

To whatever spot the king moved his court, he was 
commonly attended by the great officers of the crown, 
who were cjenerally the richest and most powerful nobles 
of the realm. It will be recollected, also, that such 
high barons were, in their turn, encircled by their own 
seneschals, chamberlains, constables, and personal at- 
tendants, and brought in their train an assemblage 
of knights, squires, and inferior barons, who regarded 
their feudal lord as a master to whom they owed a more 
paramount allegiance, than even to their king. To these 
officers, knights, andvassals, who, with their own soldiers 
and martial dependants, constituted what was termed 
the "following"" of every great baron, hivsoice was, in 
the most strict and literal meaning, a supreme law, his 
service, their only road to distinction. This has been 
sometimes called the principle of honour ; but as their 
neglect was sure to be visited with punishment, if not 
with utter ruin and degradation, it was, in truth, a 
lower principle — of selfishness and necessity, which 
limited their duties to the single business of support- 
infr their lie^e lord a^-ainst those whom he chose to 
esteem his enemies. None, indeed, can attentively 
read the history of those dark times, without being 
aware that the immense body of the feudal vassals and 
military retainers, throughout Scotland, regarded the 
desertion of their king, or their leaguing themselves 
against the liberty of their country, as a crime of in- 
finitely lighter dye, than a single act of disobedience 


to the commands of their liege lord; and, considered 
in this light, we must view the feudal system, notwith- 
standino; all the noble and romantic associations with 
which it has invested itself, as having been undoubtedly, 
in our own country, a principal obstruction to the 
progress of liberty and improvement. We shall con- 
clude our remarks upon the distinction of ranks in 
Scotland, by some observations upon the state of the 
lower classes of the people during this important period 
of our history. 

These classes seem to have been divided into two 
distinct orders. They were, first, the free farmers, or 
tenants of the crown, of the church, and of the greater 
or lesser barons, who held their lands under lease for 
a certain rent, were possessed of considerable wealth, 
and enjoyed the full power of settlement in any part 
of the country which they chose to select, or under 
any landlord whom they preferred. This class is ge- 
nerally known in the books of the Chamberlains'* 
Accounts by the title of " liberi jirmariiC'' and a con- 
vincing proof of their personal freedom at an early 
period is to be found in the fact, which we learn from 
the same curious and instructive records, that the 
farmers of the king possessed the full power of removing 
from the property of the crown to a more eligible 
situation. During the minority of the Maiden of 
Norway, a sum of money was advanced to the farmers 
of the king, in order to prevail upon them to remain 
on the crown lands of Liberton and Laurencetown, 
which they were about to desert on account of a mor- 
tality amongst their cattle.* It was, I conjecture, 

* " Item firmariis regis terre de Liberton et Laurancyston quorum ani- 
malia anno predicto moriebantur ad valorem x librarum iii. c. de gracia ad 
presens, et ne exeant terram regis in paupertate, et ne terra regis jaceat in- 
culta." Chamberlain's Accounts, Temp. Custodum Regni, p. ^b. 


this free body of feudal tenants who were liable to be 
called out on military service, and formed the great 
proportion of the Scottish infantry, or spearmen, in 
the composition of the army. 

Very different from the condition of this first order 
was the second class of cottars, bondsmen, or villeyns. 
Their condition forms a marked and extraordinary 
feature in the history of the times. They were slaves 
who were sold with the land; and their master and 
purchaser possessed over their persons the same right 
of property which he exercised over the cattle upon 
his estate. They could not remove without his per- 
mission ; wherever they settled, his right of property 
attached to them; and, whenever he pleased, he could 
reclaim them, with their whole chattels and effects, as 
efiectually as he could seize on any animal which had 
strayed from his domain. Of this state of slavery 
innumerable examples are to be found in the cartu- 
laries, establishing, beyond controversy, that a consi- 
derable portion of the labouring classes of the commu- 
nity was in a state of absolute servitude. 

We find, for example, in the Cartulary of Dunferm- 
line, that three bondsmen, Allan the son of Constan- 
tine, with his two sons, had in 1340 transferred 
themselves from the lands of the abbot of this religious 
house to some other habitation, under pretence that 
they were the villeyns of Duncan earl of Fife. On 
being ordered to come back to their own master, they 
had refused; upon which an inquest was summoned, 
for the purpose of determining to whom Allan, the son 
of Constantine, and his sons, belonged; when it was 
found that they were the property of the abbot.* 

So early as the year 1178, William the Lion made 

* Cartulary of Dunfermline, p. 654. M'Farlane's Transcript. The folio 
in the original 98. 


a donation of Gillandrean M'Suthen and his children 
to the monks of Dunfermline for ever.* We j&nd 
that David the First, in 1144, granted, to the Abbot 
of Kelso, the church of Lesmahago, along with the 
lands of the same name, and their men ; and still 
later, in 1222, the Prior and the Convent of St An- 
drews, by an express charter, which is still preserved, 
permit a bondsman and his children to change his 
master, and to carry his property along with him.-f- 
In the year 1258, Malise earl of Strathern gave to 
the monks of Inchaffray, for the safety of his own 
soul, and the souls of his ancestors and successors, 
John, surnamed Starnes, the son of Thomas, and 
grandson of There, with his whole property, and the 
children which he had begotten, or might beget ; J and 
this for ever. 

When a grant of land was made by the king, or by 
any of his nobility, either for military service, or to 
be held hlencli for the payment of a nominal feu-duty, 
it carried along with it, to the vassal, the power of 
removing the tenants, with their cattle, provided they 
were not native bondsmen. The right to these, and 
the power of reclaiming them, remained in the person 
of the lord of the soil, or feudal superior. Thus, in a 
valuable collection of ancient papers, we find a charter, 
by which one of the Roberts confers upon Maria 
Comyn certain lands, " cum licentia abducendi tenen- 
tes, cum bovis suis, a terris, si non sint nativi et ligii 
homines." § 

* Cartulary of Dunfermline, folio 13. 

+ MS. Monasticon Scotiae, p. 33 ; quoted in Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i. 
p. 720, and MS. Original Charters in Advocates' Library, No. 27. See 
Dalzel's Fragments of Scottish History, p. 26. See also Cartulary of Kelso, 
p. 9, as to the bondage of the labourers in the time of Alexander the First, 
and the Cartulary of Dunfermline, M'Farlane's Transcript, pp. 592, 593. 

X Cartulary of Inchaffray, p. 36 ; quoted in Annals of Scotland, vol. i. 
p. 304. 

§ Haddington's Collections, quoted by Dalzel, Fragments, p. 27. 


In consequence of this certain and acknowledged 
right, in the feudal landlord or baron, to the property 
of his bondsmen, with their children and children'*s 
children for ever, it became a matter of great conse- 
quence to ascertain with exactness, and to preserve, the 
genealogy of this unfortunate class of men, in order 
that, upon any desertion or removal, the power of 
reclaiming them might be exerted with certainty and 
success. Accordingly, the cartularies present us with 
frequent examples of genealogies of this sort.* The 
names of these bondsmen are essentially different from 
the free-born vassals and tenants, who commonly took 
their names from their lands. In an ancient deed, 
entitled a perambulation to determine the boundaries 
between the lands of the Abbot of Dunfermline and 
those of David Doorward, which took place in the year 
1231, under Alexander the Second, the names of the 
landholders and minor barons, and of the bondsmen 
"who attended upon this occasion, are easily distin- 
guishable from each other. We meet with Constantino 
de Lochor, and Philip de Loch, and many others, 
after which occur such uncouth appellatives as the 
following : — Gillecostentin, Bredinlamb, Gilleserfmac 
Rolf, Gillecolmmacmelg, John Trodi, Riscoloc, Beth 
MacLeod, Gillepatric Macmanethin; and it may be 
noticed as a singular circumstance, W'hich proves how 
different were the habits and customs of this degraded 
class from the freemen of the same country, that the 
father does not seem to have transmitted his name or 
surname to his children, or, at least, that this did not 
necessarily happen. In the genealogy of John Scoloc, 
which is preserved in the Cartulary of Dunfermline, 
the son of Patrick Stursarauch was Allan Gilgrewer, 

* Cartul. of Dunfenn. pp. 145, 146. See Illustrations, letter 0, 


and the son of Allan Gilgrewer was John Scoloc* It 
seems certain that no change in the situation of these 
bondsmen, by which they rose in eminence or opu- 
lence, could have the effect of removing them from 
their original degraded condition. They might enter 
the church and become clerks, or continue laymen, 
and pursue a successful career as artisans or merchants, 
but they were still as much slaves as before ; and, till 
the time they purchased or procured their liberty by 
the grant of their master, their persons, profits, and 
whole estate, belonged exclusively to him. This is 
strikingly exemplified in a convention preserved in 
the Cartulary of Moray, which took place between 
Andrew, the bishop of that see, and Walter Corayn. 
It was agreed, in this deed, that the Bishop of Moray, 
and his successors in the see, should have all the clerks, 
and two laymen, whose names were Gillemalovock 
Macnakengello, and Sythach Macmallon ; these clerical 
and lay bondsmen, the deed proceeds to say, are to 
belong to the bishop and his successors, with their 
cattle, possessions, and children for ever; while the 
Lord Walter Comyn is to have all the remaining lay 
bondsmen of the lands of Logykenny and Inverdrum- 
myn.-[- It may, perhaps, be doubted whether the 
clerici natwi here spoken of, do actually mean bonds- 
men who have become clerks, or may perhaps merely 
signify bondsmen belonging to church lands. Yet the 
words of the deed, and the marked opposition in which 
we find the words clerici et laid nativi^ seem to favour 
the meaning here attached to it. 

In England, under the government of the conqueror, 
it was the mark of freemen, that they could travel 

* Cartulary of Dunfermline, p. 145. M'Farlane's Transcript. See Illus- 
trations, letter P. 

+ Cartulary of Moray, pp. 53, 54. See Illustrations, letter O. Caledo- 
nia, p. 721. 


where they chose; and exactly the same criterion was 
established in our own country. In Domesday Book, 
a Norman baron, Hugo de Port, is mentioned as the 
master of two tenants, who, in the days of Edward the 
Confessor, might go where they pleased without leave. 
In like manner Robert Bruce, in the year 1320, grants 
a charter to Ade, the son of Aldan, in which he de- 
clares that it had been found, by an inquest held before 
his chamberlain and justiciary, that this person was 
not the king's slave or bondsman, but was at liberty 
to remove himself and his children, with their goods 
and chattels, to any part of the kingdom which he 
might select, at his own will and pleasure, without 
molestation by any one : on which account the king 
declares the said Ade, with his sons Beth, John, 
Kanald, and Duncan, to be his freemen, and as such 
not subject to any yoke or burden of servitude for 
ever.* As the master could reclaim his fugitive bonds- 
man from any place to which he had transferred him- 
self, so it was in his power alone to make his slave a 
freemen whenever he pleased. Thus, by a charter, 
dated at Perth on the 28th February, 1369, David 
the Second intimates to all concerned, that he has 
made William, the son of John, the bearer of these 
letters, who was his slave and bondsman, his freeman, 
and had emancipated all his posterity; so that he had 
full right, without trouble or molestation, to travel 
with his property and his children to whatever place 
he chose, and there take up his abode.i* Many exam- 
ples of the manumission of such unfortunate persons 

■* Henshairs Specimens, p. 74. Praeter hoc habet Hugo duos homines 
tenentes dimidium solinum, qui poterant tempore Regis Edwardi ire quolibet 
sine licentia. Domesday Book, 601. Robertson's Index to the Charters, 
Postscript, p. 54, and Index, p. 16. No. 26. In Robertson's Index, P.S. p. 
54, will be found another curious deed, illustrative of the condition of the 
" nati vi homines," which is taken from an original in the Advocates' Library, 

f Robertson's Index, pp. 89, 47 66. 


by their baronial masters, and still more frequent in- 
stances of the gift of freedom, conferred by the rich 
ecclesiastics and religious houses, are to be found in 
records of undoubted authenticity.* But the progress 
of freedom amon2;st the labourers of the soil was ex- 
ceedingly slow and gradual ; the names which are 
indicative of this degraded condition, such as nativi, 
gervi, villani, homines fugitivi, bondi, mancipii, occur 
throughout the whole period of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries; nor is it prior to the fifteenth 
that we can discern the extinction of slavery, and the 
complete establishment of individual freedom. In 
Scotland, bondage appears to have been sooner abolished 
than in the sister country. It continued in force in 
England as late as the year 1586; and its last traces 
are still discoverable in 1574, when a commission was 
issued by Elizabeth for the complete manumission of 
the last relics of bondsmen and bondswomen in her 
dominions. •]• 



In the course of these observations, a subject of great 
interest and importance now presents itself, the satis- 
factory elucidation of which would require many pages 
of careful and laborious investi oration : I mean the 
history and constitution of the Ancient Parliament of 

* See Illustrations, letter O. 

+ Barrington on the Statutes, pp. 247, 351. 


Long before the existence of the word parliament, or 
the mention of the three Estates of the kingdom, in 
our authentic histories or records, the sovereign of 
Scotland, like every other contem}3orary feudal mo- 
narch, was accustomed to consult, on occasions of 
solemnity and importance, with his high council ; con- 
sisting of the bishops and abbots, the great officers of 
the crown, and the most powerful nobles and barons 
of the realm ; but nothing resembling a regular par- 
liament is to be found durins: the reio;ns of Alexander 
the First, or of his brother David. The bold and 
imperious character of Alexander seems, indeed, to 
have stretched the royal prerogative to the utmost 
extent ; and, from the few and imperfect records of 
his short reign which yet remain to us, he appears to 
have been his own chief-councillor; but it is more 
remarkable, that we look in vain for a parliament, or 
for any solemn assembly of the Estates of the realm, 
under the long reign of David the First, although he 
has been pronounced by Buchanan, an impartial wit- 
ness when kings are the subject, the most perfect model 
of a wise and virtuous prince. Yet David was un- 
doubtedly a legislator; and on one memorable occasion, 
the death of the heir-apparent, his only son. Prince 
Henry, he adopted the most solemn measures for the 
regulation of the succession. 

It will, perhaps, be recollected by the reader, that, 
under the reign of Robert Bruce, when the death of the 
young Steward rendered necessary some new enact- 
ments regarding the succession to the throne, a par- 
liament assembled, in which the entail of the crown 
was solemnly settled upon Robert the Second, and his 
descendants. Now, David the First, in 1152, had 
exactly the same task to perform as Bruce in 1318. 
But the mode in which it was executed was entirely 


dijfferent. He called no parliament. We do not even 
discover that he took the advice of his royal council, 
or of his nobility. But he assembled an army, of 
which he gave the command to one of the most power- 
ful of his nobles, and, delivering to him his infant 
grandson, commanded him to march through his domi- 
nions, and to proclaim him heir to the crown;* a cir- 
cumstance from which there arises a strong presump- 
tion that, at this period, a parliament was unknown 
in Scotland. 

Neither do we find this great council under the reign 
of his successor, Malcolm the Fourth. Lord Hailes, 
indeed, in his Annals, has stated that Malcolm, with 
the advice of his parliament, gave his sisters, Ada and 
Margaret, in marriage to the Counts of Holland and 
Brittany; but the words of Fordun, if accurately un- 
derstood, do not appear to bear such meaning, and the 
conjecture which the same author has added, in a note, 
is the true sense : " Malcolmus subsidio suorum et 
consilio," implies nothing more than that Malcolm, 
with the " assistance and advice of his nobles," mar- 
ried his sisters: the assistance here spoken of was 
probably an aid or grant of money, given to the king 
to make up the marriage portions of the young prin- 
cesses ; but there is not the slightest proof that a par- 
liament was assembled, durino^ the reiirn of Malcolm, 
upon this or any other occasion. -|- 

In 1174, William the Lion, the successor of Mal- 
colm the Fourth, having been taken prisoner by the 
English, after a short confinement at Richmond, was 
sent, by Henry the Second, to a more secure and dis- 
tant dungeon at Falaise, in Normandy. The event 

* Simeon Dunelm. p. 280. 

t Fordun a Goodal, book viii. chap. iv. Hailes' Annals, vol. i. p. 124, 
Svo edition. 


called for an immediate interference of those upon 
whom the principal management of the government 
devolved; and it is well known that, in the name of 
the nation, a disgraceful transaction took place, by 
which the king, with consent of the Scottish barons 
and clergy, purchased his liberty at the price of the 
independence of the country. The principal for- 
tresses of the kingdom, and some of the highest barons 
of the realm, were placed in the hands of the English 
king, as hostages for the performance of this treaty ; 
yet this whole transaction, which gave liberty to a 
king, and extorted from the nobles an acknowledgment 
of feudal superiority in the English crown, was car- 
ried through without a parliament. 

Upon the accession of Richard the First, that cru- 
.sading monarch, anxious to collect money for his ex- 
peditious to the Holy Land, proposed to restore, to 
the same prince who had resigned it, the independence 
of the nation, upon payment of ten thousand marks, 
somewhat more than a hundred thousand pounds of 
our present money. This sum, we learn, from au- 
thentic evidence in the Cartulary of Scone,* was 
collected by means of an aid granted by the clergy and 
the nobles ; and it is remarkable, that there is not the 
slightest mention of a parliament in the course of the 
whole transaction. Not long before his death, the 
same monarch concluded a peace with King John of 
England; by one of the articles of which he engaged 
to pay to this prince the large sum of fifteen thousand 
marks. This could not be done without assistance: 
and, when the term of settlement arrived, " a great 
council," says Fordun, " was held at Stirling, in 
which, having requested an aid from his nobility, they 
promised to contribute ten thousand marks, besides 

♦ Cartulary of Scone, £.10. Hailes' Annals, vol. i. p. 156, 


the burgesses of the kingdom, who agreed to give 
him six thousand.*" * That this was a national council, 
and not merely a consultation of the king with his 
great officers, is, I think, evident, from an expression 
of Benedictus Abbas, when describing the considera- 
tion given by William to a proposal of Henry the 
Second, for a marriage between the Scottish prince 
and Ermingarde de Beaumont, as contrasted with the 
words used by Fordun. " Rex, habito cum familiari- 
bus consilio, tandem adquievit,"" are the words used 
by the first-mentioned historian ;*f* and they are essen- 
tially difi'erent from the expression of Fordun. J Yet, 
upon what grounds shall we presume to call this great 
council a parliament, when no evidence remains to us 
that the spiritual Estate were assembled at all, or that 
a single burgess or merchant sat in the assembly, 
although the royal burghs, as towns belonging to the 
king, were obliged to contribute their share in the 
public burden ? 

We shall, I think, be confirmed in this opinion, by 
an examination of some of the great public transactions 
of the succeeding reign of Alexander the Second. Upon 
the marriage of this monarch with an English princess, 
Joan, the sister of Henry the Third, it naturally hap- 
pened that many intricate discussions and grave and 
material stipulations took place ; yet these, as well as 
the settlement of the jointure of the princess, were dis- 
cussed, and finally concluded, without the intervention 
of a parliament. And the same observation may be 
made on the second marriage of this prince with Mary 
de Couci.§ On another occasion, when Alexander, 
in 1224, levied an aid of ten thousand pounds, for 

* Fordun a Goodal, lib. vili. chap. Ixxiii. vol. i. p. 529. 

+ Benedictus Abbas, p. 448. J Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 529. 

§ Math. Paris, p. 411. Ed. a Wats. 


providing portions to his sisters, it was granted, or 
rather imposed upon the nation, by the simple order 
of the king, without the slightest appearance of a 
meeting of the three Estates, or even of the council 
of the king;* and although we are informed by For- 
dun, that the same monarch, immediately after his 
coronation, held his parliament at Edinburgh, in which 
he confirmed to the chancellor, constable, and cham- 
berlain, the same high offices which they had enjoyed 
under his father, -|- the expression is so vague, and the 
notice so brief, that no certain inference can be deduced 
from it. On the contrary, although he was one of the 
wisest and most popular of our early kings ; although 
statutes of his enactment have come down to us, and 
his reijrn is fertile in domestic troubles and in foreig-n 
war, a careful examination of our authentic historical 
records has failed to discover a single instance, if we 
except the above, in which a parliament was assem- 
bled; and the government appears to have been en- 
tirely directed and controlled by the will of the king, 
and the advice and assistance of the great officers of 
the crown. 

Upon the accession of Alexander the Third there 
was no change in this respect. The important public 
measure of the marriao:e of their youthful kin": with a 
daughter of Henry the Third; the appointment of 
counsellors, who were intrusted with the management 
of the kingdom during the minority of the sovereign; 
and the frequent changes in the regency which occurred 
in the stormy commencement of this reign, were wholly 
carried through without a parliament.! But we shall 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol, ii. p. 53. + Ibid. vol. ii. p. .34. 

X Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 84, 85, 90, 91. In the year 1259, we find 
in Math. Paris, p. 844, Ed. a Wats, that W. de Horton, a commissioner from 
Henrj' the Third to the King of Scotland, on his arrival in that country, 
found the king and queen, and the nohility of the realm, assembled in par- 


not wonder at this, when one of the most important 
transactions of his reign, the settlement of the dis- 
putes with Norway, and the acquisition of the Western 
Isles, involvinoj an intricate and laborious treatv with 
that kingdom, a grant of money, and a yearly payment 
of a hundred marks, was concluded entirely by the king. 
The words, " habito super hoc maturo avisamento,'' 
which are used by Fordun, cannot, by the utmost in- 
genuity, be construed into anything more than a con- 
sultation between the king and his council.* The 
mode of considering the expediency of any public mea- 
sure during this reign, appears to have been by the 
king holding a council, or colloquy, with the officers 
of the crown, and, probably, the most powerful of the 
nobility. In the year 1264, when the treaty with 
Norway was in agitation, Alexander held two colloquies 
of this kind at Edinburgh; and the accounts of the 
chamberlain inform us, that, on this occasion, the car- 
casses of twenty-seven cows, six calves, and fourscore of 
sheep, were sent to the capital for the consumption of 
the king's household."f* 

On the death of the prince of Scotland, and of his 
sister the Queen of Norway, events which left this 
monarch with an infant grandchild as the only heir to 
the crown, it became necessary, for the peace and wel- 
fare of the kingdom, that there should be a settlement 
of the succession ; and it is fortunate that, in two au- 
thentic historians, we have a clear, although exceed- 
ingly brief, account of this transaction. Winton informs 

liament ; but of ttis parliament "we have no evidence in Fordun, or Winton, 
or any authentic record. It was in all probability a mere assembly of the 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 102. 

+ In viginti septem carcosiis vaccarum et vi. vacc. et iiijxx. raultonibus 
empt. ad servicium Dni Regis ad duo CoUoquia que tenebantur apud Edin- 
burgh, anno MCCLXIV. Chamberlains'" Accounts, vol. i. p. 52. Compotiua 
Vicecom. de Edinburgh, Temp. Alex. III. 



US, that Alexander the Third " caused make a great 
gathering- of the States at Scone;" and hy an original 
and contemporary record in Rymer, it is shown that 
in this " gathering," which took place on the 5th Feb- 
ruary, 1 283^4, the Scottish nobles bound themselves 
by a solemn oath to acknowledge Margaret princess of 
Norway as their lawful queen, failing any children of 
the monarch then on the throne, or of the prince of 
Scotland deceased.* The expressions used by Fordun 
in describing the same assembly, denominate it a coun- 
cil of the prelates and nobles of the realm. -f- Neither 
of these historians makes use of the word parliament 
in recording this event ; nor is there the slightest evi- 
dence of the appearance of the representatives of the 
burghs upon this occasion; and, as Alexander the 
Third died soon after, we must conclude that, during 
his whole reign, there is no evidence that a parliament, 
in the sense in which that word was used in England 
under Edward the First, ever sat in Scotland. 

Upon the death of this monarch, and the subsequent 
calamities in which the kingdom was involved by the 
ambition and injustice of Edward the First, we begin 
to discern something like the appearance of the great 
national council; and it is a remarkable fact, that, 
from the greatest and bitterest enemy who ever coped 
with this country, we should have derived our first 
ideas regarding a regular parliament, composed of 
the prelates, barons, and representatives of the royal 
burghs. But this, as may be naturally conjectured, 
was not a sudden, but a gradual change, of which the 
history is both interesting and important. 

Immediately after the death of Alexander the Third, 

* Winton, vol. i. p. 397, and Rymer, vol. ii. p. 1091, and 582. Winton 
is in an error in making this gathering of the states in 1285, as it appears in 
the Foedera to have been held 5th February, 1283-4. 

f Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 127. 


we are informed by Winton that there was a meeting 
of the Estates of Scotland, who held a parliament, in 
which they appointed six regents to govern the king- 
dom. It is to be observed, thai tnis is the first time 
that the word parliament is used by this historian; 
but unfortunately no authentic record of its proceed- 
ings has been preserved ; and Fordun is even silent as 
to its existence.* With regard, however, to a meet- 
ing of the Estates of Scotland, which, not long after 
this, took place at Brigham, we are fortunately not so 
much in the dark ; as the record of it is preserved, and 
proves beyond a doubt the exact constitution of the 
great national council or parliament in 1289. It con- 
sisted of the five guardians or regents, ten bishops, 
twelve earls, twenty-three abbots, eleven priors, and 
forty-eight barons, who address themselves to Edward 
under the title of the Community of Scotland; and it 
is certain that, in this parliament held at Brigham, 
there is no appearance of the representatives of the 
burghs ; an evident proof that, although called upon 
frequently to contribute their portion in the aids or 
grants of money which the exigencies of the kingdom 
required, they as yet had no place in the national 
council, and were not considered, in a legislative light, 
as part of the community of the realm. 

In the treaty regarding the marriage of the Prince 
of Wales and the Maiden of Norway, which was con- 
cluded at Brigham, one of the articles expressly stipu- 
lates, " that no parliament was ever to be held without 
the boundaries of Scotland ;'"* but the deed itself throws 
no light upon the composition of this national council. 
The death of the Princess of Scotland, and the bold 
and unprincipled conduct of the English monarch, have 
been already detailed; and as the various conferences 

♦ Winton, vol. ii. p, 10. Fordun a Hearne, p. 951. 


preparatory to tlie decision of the great question of the 
succession took place in an English parliament, although 
attended by the whole body of the Scottish nobility, 
it would be unsound to draw any inferences from this 
part of our history illustrative of the constitution of 
the ancient Scottish parliament; nor can we lay much 
stress on a passage in Fordun,* when he informs us, 
that the parliament of Scotland afterwards declared to 
Baliol, that he had been compelled to swear homage 
to Edward, "inconsultis tribus statibus regni."*"* It is 
material, however, to observe, that when Edward, in 
the interval between the delivery of the Scottish for- 
tresses, and the production of the claims of the com- 
petitors, took his progress through Scotland for the 
purpose of exacting a general homage, he called upon 
the buriresses of the realm to come forward and take 
the oaths of allegiance; and that the first record in 
which we find the names of this important class in the 
community is an English deed, and the first monarch 
who considered their consent as a matter of public con- 
sequence, an English sovereign.-J* 

Upon the accession of Baliol to the throne, we have 
seen the harshness and intolerance with which he was 
soon treated by his new master; and it is worthy of 
remark, that in the parliament which was held by this 
unfortunate monarch immediately after these indigni- 
ties had been offered him, there is the first authentic 
intimation that the majores populi^ or chiefs of the 
people, formed a constituent part of this assembly.^ 
This, therefore, is the first great national council in 
the history of our country, which is truly entitled to 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 152. 

+ Fcedera, vol. ii. p. 573. Prynne, pp. 502, 512. 

% Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 153. Hemingford, vol. i. p. 75, gives a 
different description as to the constitution of this parliament, but I prefer 
Fordun 's authority. 


be called a parliament ; the first meeting of the Estates, 
in which the clergy, the nobility, and the representa- 
tives or heads of the people, sat in deliberation upon 
the affairs of the country. It may, perhaps, be in the 
recollection of the reader, that its proceedings were of 
a bold and determined description. They banished all 
Englishmen from Scotland; seized and confiscated the 
estates of the Anglo-Scottish nobles ; compelled Baliol 
to renounce his homage and fealty ; and resolved upon 
an immediate war with England.* In addition to this, 
the same parliament negotiated a marriage between a 
daughter of France and the eldest son of their sove- 
reign; and the public instrument which contains the 
treaty entered into between France and Scotland, upon 
this occasion, affords another proof that the towns and 
burghs had arisen at this period into a consideration 
to which till now they had been strangers. It con- 
tains a clause, which provides that it shall be corrobo- 
rated by the seals and the signatures, not only of the 
prelates and nobles, but of the " communitates mllarum 
regni Scotia^'''' meaning, evidently, the royal burghs of 
the kingdom. -|- The expression in another part of the 
treaty is, '•'• unhersitates et communitates notahiles regni ^"^ 
which is equally clear and definite. I venture, there- 
fore, to affirm, that as far as an examination of the 
most authentic records which have yet been discovered 
entitles us to judge on the subject, the first appearance 
of the royal burghs, as an integral part of the Scottish 
parliament, is to be found under the third parliament 
of Baliol; and that we probably owe their admission 
into the great national council to our bitter enemy, 
Edward the First. Could we discover the original 
record of this important parliament, the question would 

* History, supra, vol. i. pp. 93, 94, Q5, 
+ Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ii. p. Q%. 


at once be set at rest; but the expression of Fordun, 
and the positive proof of the appearance of the buri^dis 
in the treaty with the King of France, appear to be 
conclusive upon the point. 

In the long train of national calamities which fol- 
lowed this alliance with Philip, we do not once meet 
with any event which throws light upon the constitu- 
tion of our ancient parliament, till the period when 
Edward, after the death of Wallace and the surrender 
of the castle of Stirling, in the premature belief that 
his Scottish wars were ended, proceeded to organize a 
final settlement of his conquest. Upon this occasion, 
the persons whom he consulted were, the Bishop of 
Glasgow, Robert Bruce, afterwards king, and John 
de Mowbray. By their advice, he issued an ordi- 
nance, directing that the " Community of Scotland," 
meaning the states of the realm, should assemble at 
Perth on the 28th of May, 1305, in order to elect ten 
commissioners, who were to repair to the English par- 
liament, which was to be held at London. This 
number of ten persons, who were vested with full 
powers from the Scottish parliament, was to include 
two bishops, two abbots, two earls, two barons, and 
two members to represent the " Commune,'^ or com- 
munity of burghs ; a clear and satisfactory proof, that 
their right to be represented in the great national 
council was now distinctly recognised, and that they 
stood in this respect upon the same ground as the two 
other Estates of the kingdom.* It is unfortunate 
that no authentic record has come down to us, of the 
proceedings of the Scottish parliament in which these 
ten commissioners were elected; but it may be pre- 
sumed that the representatives of the burghs sat in 

* Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, Introductory Chronological Abstract, 
p. 66. 


the nalionaf council at Perth, and elected the two 
comiiiissiuuers, who were to appear for them in the 
English parliament at London. From this period till 
the year immediately subsequent to the battle of Ban- 
nockburn, no parliament sat in Scotland. Perhaps it 
is more correct to say, no record of any has been pre- 
served, because an important council of the clergy, 
which was held at Dundee, and in which a solemn 
instrument was drawn up respecting the succession to 
the crown, gives us some ground for supposing that 
about the same time a meeting of the three Estates 
had taken place. In the year 1315, Bruce, whose 
only child was a daughter, yet unmarried, judging it 
prudent to settle the succession, assembled a parlia- 
ment at Ayr, on the 26th April, 1315; and we know, 
from the authentic evidence of the instrument drawn 
up at this time, that the heads of the communities, or 
burghs, sat in this parliament, and affixed their seals 
to the deed, along with the prelates, earls, and barons, 
who were convoked upon this solemn occasion.* No 
other meaning can be given to the passage which affirms 
that the prelates, earls, barons, and heads of the com- 
munities or royal burghs, "majores communitatis," 
had appended their seals to the instrument. 

The same observations may be made regarding the 
parliament which met at Scone in the year 1318, after 
the death of King Edward Bruce in Ireland ; in which 
it was deemed necessary, by King Robert, to introduce 
some new regulations regarding the same subject, — 
the succession to the crown.-f Of this assembly of the 
Estates, as of the former, no original record remains ; 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 258. Robertson's Index to the Charters, 
Appendix, pp. 7, 8. The original deed is now lost, although it apjiears to 
have been in the hands of Sir James Balfour, who made the copy 'which now 
exists amongst the Harleian Manuscripts, No. 4694. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 290. Robertson's Index, Appendix, p. 9, 


but the presence of the " communities"''' or burghs is 
proved by the copy of the original deed, which is pre- 
served amongst the Harleian Manuscripts. In like 
manner, strong evidence is afforded by the famous 
letter of remonstrance, which was addressed to the 
pope in the year 1320, that the burghs were now con- 
sidered as an integral part of the parliament. This 
epistle was drawn up in a parliament held at Aberbro- 
thoc ; and, after enumerating in its exordium the names 
of the prelates, earls, and most noted of the barons 
present, it adds, the " libere tenentes ac tota commu- 
nitas re^ni Scotias." * 

Hitherto, as far as the history of the ancient parlia- 
ment of Scotland has been examined, we have been 
compelled to be contented with such passages as afford, 
not indeed conclusive evidence, but certainly strong 
presumptions, that from the period of the reign of 
Baliol, the representatives of the burghs appear to have 
been admitted into the great national council. But we 
have now reached the parliament which was held by 
Bruce at Cambuskenneth in 1326; and although, the 
original record of this assembly of the Estates has 
perished, with many other precious instruments which 
might have thrown a flood of light upon the obscure 
paths through which we have been travelling, an in- 
denture has been preserved, which proves beyond a 
doubt, that, besides the earls, barons, and freeholders, 
or libere tenentes^ the representatives of the burghs sat 
in this parliament, and formed the third Estate of the 
national council.*!* The expressions of the historian, 
Fordun, upon this occasion, are different from what 
he generally uses : " In this year," says he, " at Cam- 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 275. 

"t This indenture is printed in Kames' Law Tracts, Appendix, No. 4, 
Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 287. 


buskennetli, the clergy of Scotland, with the earls, 
barons, and whole body of the nobles, along with the 
people there assembled, took the oaths of allegiance and 
homage to David, the son and heir of their kino:." On 
such an occasion, Bruce, whose health was fast declin- 
ing, would be naturally desirous that the oaths to his 
son and successor should be tendered in the midst of 
a numerous and solemn concourse of his people. It 
may be presumed, therefore, on strong grounds, that 
the chief men of every burgh in the kingdom would be 
admitted into the parliament at Cambuskenneth. 

This is the last parliament of Bruce, regarding which 
we have any certain account. There can be little 
doubt, however, that a parliament was assembled at 
Edinburgh, in which the peace of Northampton, which 
for ever secured the independence of the kingdom, was 
debated on, and finally adjusted ; as we know that a 
treaty was concluded at Edinburgh, on the 17th of 
March, 1327, which was afterwards ratified by Edward 
the Third at Northampton, on the 4th of May, 1328. 
It is satisfactory to find that the expressions of this 
treaty clearly demonstrate that the burghs had been 
consulted in its formation. It is said to be concluded 
with consent of the prelates, earls, barons, and other 
heads of the communities of the kingdom of Scotland.* 

In that disgraceful parliament held by Edward 
Baliol at Edinburgh, in 1333, in which this prince gave 
up the independence of the nation, and, by a solemn 
instrument, actually dismembered the kingdom, and 
annexed a great portion of its territory to England, 
the burghs did not appear, -[• an exemption of which 
Scotland ought to be proud. It is evident, indeed, 
from the account of it preserved in the original record 
in the Fcedera, that the assembly was not so much a 

* Robertson's Index, p. 103. f Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 590. 


parliament, as a meeting of BalioFs adherents, held 
under the direction and control of Geoffrey Scrope, 
chief justice of Enii;land. 

From this period, for more than twenty years, the 
history of the country presents us with a frightful pic- 
ture of foreign and domestic war ; of the minority and 
captivity of the sovereign ; and the intrigues and 
treasons of the nobles : with the enemy constantly at 
their gates, and fighting daily for their existence as a 
people. During all this time, no parliament appears 
to have assembled ; and the different regents who suc- 
cessively held the reins of government were summarily 
chosen by the voices of the few nobles who continued 
to struggle for their liberty.* There is not preserved 
to us a sino:le document from which we can conclude 
that the prelates, the barons, and the community of 
burghs, ever consulted together throughout all this 
disastrous period ; but, to this era of obscurity and 
darkness, there succeeds a gleam of light, which sud- 
denly breaks in upon us in the negotiations for the 
ransom of the captive king, and sets the question, as 
to the constitution of the Scottish parliament in 1357 
nearly at rest. In a parliament held this year at 
Edinburgh, we know, from the original instrument 
preserved in the Fcedera,f that the representatives or 
delegates of the seventeen royal burghs formed the 
third Estate in this great council ; and when the pre- 
lates and the barons chose their respective commis- 
sioners to carry through the final arrangement regard- 

* In Fordun, book xiii. chap. xxii. xxv. xxvii., there ^re notices of the 
election of the Earl of Mar as regent, in a parliament held at Perth, 1332, 
and of the sarae high office being conferred, successively, on Sir Andrew 
Moray of Bothwell, in the same calamitous year, and on Archibald Douglas, 
in 1333 ; but the times were full of war and trouble, and all record of these 
elections has perished. 

+ Foedera, vol. vi. pp. 43, 44, 45. It is evident, I think, that the royal 
burghs also sat in the parliament held at Perth on the 17th January, 1 356-7. 


ing the restoration of their king, and the payment of 
his ransom, the royal burghs nominated, for the same 
end, eleven delegates, to whom ample powers were 

It would have been impossible indeed for the nation 
to have paid the large ransom which was then exacted 
by England, without the assistance of the class of the 
community which, next to the clergy, possessed the 
greatest command of ready money. It is important 
to observe that, in the record of the proceedings of 
this national council, which may be said to be the first 
Scottish parliament in which there is unquestionable 
evidence of the presence of the burghs as the third 
Estate, the expressions employed in the instrument in 
Rymer are exactly the same as those which I have 
considered as demonstrative of the presence of the 
royal burghs in the parliaments of Baliol and Bruce. 
" De consensu et voluntate omnium comitum, proce- 
rum, et Baronum et Communitates regni Scoti8e.'"-f' 

The records of the parliaments which were held by 
David after his return to his dominions in 1363, at 
Scone, being mutilated and imperfect, we are only able 
to say that the three Estates were present; J but in 
the original record of the parliament held at Perth in 
1364, it is not only certain that the representatives of 
the royal burghs formed the third Estate; but the 
names of the worthy merchants who filled this import- 
ant situation have been preserved. § Again, in a par- 

* Supra, p. 95. 

+ The consideration into which the burghs or the merchants of Scotland 
had arisen during those tedious negotiations for David's liberty, which called 
for an immediate supply of money, is evident from a deed in Rymer, vol. v. 
p. 723, in which the clergy, nobles, and merchants of Scotland, gave their 
oaths for the fultilment of certain conditions. It is dated 1351. And again, 
in the abortive treaty for the king's ransom, which was concluded in 1354, 
and which will be found in Rj-mer, vol. v. p. 793, certain merchants and 
burgesses of Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, and Edinburgh, became bound for 
the whole body of the merchants of Scotland. 

X Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 96, 100. § Ibid. p. lOI. 


liament held at Scone on the 20th July, 1366, we find 
it stated in the initiatory clause, that it consisted of 
those who were summoned to the parliament of the 
king according to ancient use and wont, namely, the 
bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, and free tenants, 
who hold of the king in capite^ and certain burgesses 
who were summoned from each burgh to attend at this 
time; whilst, in a subsequent meeting of the great 
national council in the autumn of the year 1367, we 
find the earliest appearance of those committees of par- 
liament which became afterwards so common, and, in 
all probability, gave rise to the later institution of the 
Lords of the Articles. It is stated that, in conse- 
quence of its being held at this season, " causa au- 
tumnii^'' certain persons had been elected to hold the 
parliament, while permission was given to the rest of 
the members to return to their own business.* On 
this occasion thirteen burgesses were chosen by their 
brethren; the burghs of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Perth, 
Dundee, Montrose, and Haddington, each being repre- 
sented by two burgesses, and the burgh of Linlithgow 
by a single delegate. The expense and inconvenience 
occasioned by a summons to attend as members of the 
great national council, are apparent in the record of a 
parliament which assembled at Scone, on the 12th of 
June, 1368, and of a second meeting of the three 
Estates, which took place at Perth on the 6th of 
March of the same year. In the first the practice of 
obtaining a leave of absence, and sending commis- 
sioners in their place, appears to be fully recognised; 
and in the second we find the same measure again 
adopted, which is above alluded to, of making a selec- 
tion of a committee of certain members, to whom the 
judicial business of the parliament, and the task of 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 105, 108, 


deliberating upon the affairs of the country, were in- 
trusted, leave being given to the rest of the members 
to take their departure, and attend to their own con- 

It has been already remarked,* that, in the last 
parliament of David the Second, which was held at 
Perth on the 18th of February, 1369, this new prac- 
tice of choosing committees of parliament was carried 
to a dangerous excess. To one of these committees, 
composed of six members selected from the clergy, 
fourteen from the barons, and six from the burgesses, 
was committed the decision of all judicial pleas and 
complaints, which belonged to the parliament ; and to 
the other, which included in its numbers the clergy 
and the barons alone, was intrusted the consideration 
of certain special and secret affairs touching the sove- 
reign and the kingdom, which it was thought expedient 
should be discussed by them alone previous to their 
coming to the knowledge of the great council of the 

Ihave endeavoured to trace the history of the ancient 
constitution of our Scottish parliament from the ear- 
liest appearance of a national council to the era of the 
full admission of the burghs as a third Estate. Guided 
in our investigation by the sure light of authentic re- 
cords and muniments, or of almost contemporary his- 
torians, we have seen the earliest appearance of the 
commons or burghs under Baliol; their increased con- 
sequence in the conclusion of the reign of Bruce; and 
their certain and established right of representation 
during the reign of David the Second; and, in con- 
cluding this division of our subject, it maybe remarked, 
that the employment of the great national council, in 

* Supra, p. 155. -f Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. .117. 


a judicial as well as a legislative capacity, cannot be 
traced to an earlier period than the reign of this 



In the course of these observations upon the condition 
of the country during this remote period of our history, 
its commercial wealth and the state of its early manu- 
factures are subjects of great interest, upon which it 
will be necessary to offer some remarks ; and both points 
are so intimately connected with the navigation of the 
country, that it will be impossible to advert to the one 
without attending to the other. The general prosper- 
ity of the kingdom under the reign of Alexander the 
Third has already been noticed; and there is even 
reason to believe that, at an infinitely more remote 
period, the Scots had established a commercial inter- 
course with the continent, and, in the end of the sixth 
century, imported fine linen from foreign parts."!* 
Under the rei^n of Macbeth — a monarch whom the 
patient research of our antiquaries has rescued from 
the region of fable, and the immortal libels of Shak- 
speare — the kingdom was wealthy; and, from the dis- 
covery of large quantities of money, coined by Canute, 
the almost contemporary King of England, we may 
infer the existence of some foreign commerce. It is 
certain that, m a pilgrimage to Rome, this king ex- 
hibited a liberality, in distributing money to the poor, 
which was considered remarkable even in that rich 

* Macpherson's Notes on Winton, voL ii. p. 479. 


report of opulent piljTrims.* The rich dresses which 
■werp imported by Malcolm the Third; the Asiatic 
luxuries of Alexander the First; and the grant by 
Edgar, to the church of Durham, of the duties on ships 
which entered the ports of a certain district in his 
dominions; all denote the existence of a trade with 
foreign countries. 

Under the subsequent prosperous and able reign of 
David the First, the evidence of the cartularies, and 
the minute and interesting details of his friend and 
biographer, Ethelred, enable us to form some idea of 
the commercial wealth of the nation. Scotland was, 
at this period, visited by many foreign ships ; and the 
merchants of distant countries traded and exchansfed 
their commodities with her opulent burghers. It was 
the praise of this monarch, to use the language of 
Fordun, " that he enriched the ports of his kingdom 
with foreign merchandise, and to the wealth of his own 
land added the riches and the luxuries of foreisrn na- 
tions ; that he changed its coarse stuffs for precious 
vestments, and covered its ancient nakedness with 
purple and fine linen.*"*!* -"-^ ^^^ reign the ports of 
Perth, Stirling, and Aberdeen, were the resort of foreign 
merchant ships, which paid certain duties to govern- 
ment before they were permitted to trade ; and out of 
the sums thus collected, the king, who favoured the 
church, gave frequent grants to the monasteries and 
religious houses. J 

One great cause of the wealth and prosperity of 
Scotland, during those early times, was the settlement 
of multitudes of Flemish merchants in the country, 
who brought with them the knowledge of trade and 

* A. D. ML. " Rex Scotise Machetad Rome argentuiu seminando pau- 
peribus distribuit." Marianus Scotus. Macpherson's Notes on Winton, 
vol. ii. pp. 469, 479. 

t Fordun a Goodal, vol, i. p. 305. J Dalrymple's Collections, p. 3{]6. 


manufactures, and the habits of application and in- 
dustry which have so long characterized this people. 
These wealthy citizens had been welcomed into Eng- 
land by the wisdom of Henry the First, and had 
settled upon the district contiguous to the Marches, 
from which they gradually spread into the sister coun- 
try during the reign of Alexander the First. In 1155, 
Henry the Second, with angry and shallow policy, 
banished all foreigners from his dominions;* and the 
Flemings, of whom there were then great numbers in 
England, eagerly flocked into the neighbouring coun- 
try, which offered them a near and safe asylum. Here, 
without losing their own particular tendency to make 
money by trade, and to establish commercial settle- 
ments, they accommodated themselves to the warlike 
habits of the people, and willingly served, with other 
mercenary troops of the same nation, in the king"'s 
army;"!" whilst, at the same time, their wealth and 
industry as traders, fishers, manufacturers, and able 
and intelligent craftsmen, made them excellent instru- 
ments, in the hands of David the First, for humanizing 
and ameliorating the character of his people, and intro- 
ducing amongst them habits of regular civil occupation. 
We can trace the settlement of these industrious 
citizens, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
in almost every part of Scotland : in Berwick, the 
great mart of our foreign commerce; in the various 
towns along the east coast ; in St Andrews, Perth, 
Dumbarton, Ayr, Peebles, Lanark, Edinburgh; and 
in the districts of Renfrewshire, Clydesdale, and An- 
nandale. There is ample evidence of their industrious 
progress in Fife, in Angus, in Aberdeenshire, and as 
far north as Inverness and Urquhart. It would even 
appear, from a record of the reign of David the Second, 

* Brompton, p. 1043. + Gulielmus Neubrigensis, p. 232. 


that the Flemings had procured from the Scottish 
monarchs a right to the protection and exercise of 
their own laws.* It has been ingeniously conjectured, 
that the story of Malcolm the Fourth having dispos- 
sessed the ancient inhabitants of Moray, and of his 
planting a new colony in their stead, may have origi- 
nated in the settlement of the Flemings in that remote 
and rebellious district. -[■ The early domestic manufac- 
tures of our country, the woollen fabrics which are 
mentioned by the statutes of David, and the dyed and 
shorn cloths which appear in the charter of William 
the Lion to the burgh of Inverness,;!: must have been 
greatly improved by the superior dexterity and know- 
ledge of the Flemino-s; and the constant commercial 
intercourse which they kept up with their own little 
states, could not fail to be beneficial in importing the 
knowledge and the improvements of the continental 
nations into the remoter country w'here they had set- 

The insular situation of Scotland, and the boisterous 
seas and high rocky coasts which defend it, must have 
early accustomed its inhabitants to direct their atten- 
tion to the arts of ship-building and navigation. Other 
causes increased this. The early intercourse and colo- 
nization of the Western Islands, and of the mainland 
districts of Caithness and Sutherland by the Norwe- 
gians, with the constant piratic battles which took 
place between this powerful people and the independent 
sea kings who broke otf from their dominion, nursed 
up a race of hardy sailors and intelligent mercantile 
adventurers ; and these, on becoming subjects and 

* Robertson's Index, p. 61. 
+ Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i. pp, 627, 628. 

X See also the charter of William the Lion to the royal burgh of Perth, 
in Cant's Muse's Threnodie, vol. ii. p. 6. 

§ M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 403. 

VOL. II. a 


vassals of the Scottish kings, brought with them a 
stock of courage, skill, and enterprise, which was of 
the highest value to the nation 

It is singular, too, that in these remote islands, when 
they remained under the dominion of the Norwegians, 
there is reason to believe that the arts and manufac- 
tures had been carried to a high pitch of excellence. 
The Hebridean chiefs, in the exercise of piracy, the 
principal source of their wealth, and then esteemed an 
honourable profession, had made descents upon most 
of the maritime countries of the west of Europe; had 
become acquainted with the navigation of their seas, 
and carried off, to their islands, the silks, the armour, 
the golden vases, the jewelled ornaments, and the 
embroidered carpets and tapestry which they plun- 
dered from the castles, churches, and palaces of the 
west.* Their skill in navigation, and the formidable 
fleets which they could launch against their enemies, 
are attested in many passages of their own historians. 
Alan lord of Galloway, one of those independent 
princes who often disdained to acknowledge the sove- 
reignty of Scotland, fitted out a fleet of a hundred and 
fifty ships, and drove Olave the Black, King of Man, 
from his dominions. -|- At an era anterior to this, Regi- 
nald Somerled, then the King of Man, was so opulent 
as to purchase the whole of Caithness from William 
the Lion, an exception being specially made of the 
yearly revenue due to the sovereign. J Ewen of Ar- 
gyle, one of tliese island chiefs, agreed, at an early 
period, probably towards the conclusion of the reign 
of Alexander the Second, to pay^to the Scottish mon- 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. pp. 278, 279, 
+ Torfa;i Orcades, lib, ii. This happened in 1231. 
X Chronicon Mannise, apud Johnstone, Auti^uitates Celto-NormanicSy 
p. 52. This happened in 1196. 


arch an annual tribute of three hundred and twenty 

Instructed by the vicinity of such enterprising navi- 
gators, and aware of the importance of a naval force, 
our early sovereigns made every effort to attain it. 
Alexander the Second, who died on the expedition 
which he had undertaken against Angus of Argyle, 
had collected, if we may believe the author of the 
Chronicle of Man, a great fleet ; and there is reason to 
think that, during his reign, as well as under that of 
his predecessor William, the navy of the country be- 
came an object of royal attention and encouragement.-f 
In the year 1249, Hugh de Chastillon earl of St Paul, 
one of the richest and most powerful of the French 
barons, consented to accompany Lewis the Ninth to 
the Crusade ; and it is certain that the ship which was 
to have borne him and his vassals to the Holy Land 
was built, by his orders, at Inverness. It may be 
inferred from this fact, that the ship carpenters of Scot- 
land had acquired a reputation at this period which had 
made them celebrated even in foreign countries; and 
it furnishes, perhaps, another proof of those vast forests 
of oak and fir which at this period covered the greater 
part of the north of Scotland. J 

In naval and commercial enterprise, as in all the 
other arts and employments which contributed to in- 
crease the comforts and the luxuries of life, the clergy 
appear to have led the way. They were the greatest 
shipowners in the country; and the Cartularies con- 
tain frequent exemptions from the duties generally 
levied on the merchantmen who imported foreign manu- 
factures, which are granted to the ships of the bishops, 

• Ayloffe's Calendars of Ancient Charters, p. 336. 

+ Chronicon Manniae, p. 36. 

J Math. Paris, p. 668. Ed. a Wats. . 


abbots, and priors, who embarked the wealth of their 
religious houses in these profitable speculations. At 
this period the staple exports of Scotland seem to have 
been wool, skins, hides, and salted fish, in which there 
is evidence of a flourishing and constant trade.* For 
live stock also, embracing cattle, horses, and the indi- 
genous sheep of the country, there seems to have been 
a frequent foreign demand ; but the woollen and linen 
manufactures were too coarse to compete with the finer 
stuffs of England, Flanders, and Italy, and were pro- 
bably exclusively employed for the clothing of the 
lower classes. Still, there is ample proof that, limited 
as was this list of exports, the wealth of the country, 
even in those districts which were considered especially 
wild and savage, was considerable. Under William 
the Lion, Gilbert, the lord of Galloway, was able, from 
the resources of his own exchequer, to ofier to pay to 
Henry the Second a yearly tribute of two thousand 
marks of silver; five hundred cows; and five hundred 

From the account which has already been given of 
the wealth of the royal revenue under our early kings, 
and of the large sums of money expended on various 
public occasions by David, William, Alexander, and 
Malcolm the Fourth, we must infer a correspondent 
increase of wealth in the diS*erent classes of the king- 
dom, especially in the mercantile and trading part of 
the community; and it is not improbable that many 
of these sums were partly contributed by an aid which 
was levied from the difi'erent orders of the state, 
although, if we except a few instances, all records of 
such grants have been lost. On one memorable occa- 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol. iii. p. 95. Rymer, Coll, MS. vol. ii. p. 287, in 
M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 436. 
t This was in 1174. Benedictus Abbas, De vita Henrici II., p. 93. 


sion, where William the Lion had engaged to pay to 
John of England fifteen thousand marks, we have seen 
that the burghs contributed six thousand; a sum equal 
to more than sixty thousand pounds of our present 
money ; * and the large sums collected by the papal 
legates during the reign of Alexander the Second, 
evince no inconsiderable wealth at this period. *[• A 
poor country would not have attracted such frequent 
visits from those insatiable emissaries of the pope ; and 
his Holiness not only continued his demands under 
the reign of Alexander the Third, J but appears to have 
highly resented the ambition of Edward the First 
when it interfered with them. The mercantile wealth, 
and the general prosperity of the kingdom during the 
reign of Alexander the Third, have been already no- 
ticed; and the arrival of the Lombard merchants with 
a proposal of establishing settlements in Scotland, is 
an event which itself speaks a decided progress in 
mercantile wealth and opulence. The repeated ship- 
wrecks of merchantmen, and the loss of valuable car- 
goes, which are described as being far more frequent 
in this reign than before, were evidently occasioned by 
the increased spirit of commercial adventure. Voyages 
had become more distant; the various countries which 
were visited more numerous ; the risks of loss by piracy, 
tempest, or arrestment in foreign ports, more frequent ; 
and it is a circumstance worthy of note, that the king, 
in consequence of this, became alarmed, and published 
an edict, by which he forbade the exportation of any 
merchandise from his dominions. " This measure," 
observes an ancient historian, " was not carried into 
execution without difficulty; and a year had not ex- 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 529. 
t Math. Paris, a Wats., pp. 631, 422, 481, 509. 

t Foedera, vol. i. pp. 532, 553, 582, 608, 609. Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii, 
p. 122. 


pired, when the vessels of different nations, laden with 
merchandise, came into our ports, anxious to exchange 
their commodities for the productions of our country; 
upon which it was enacted that burgesses alone should 
be permitted to engage in traffic with these new comers."" 
It is evident from all this, that the Scottish exports 
were in considerable demand in continental markets; 
and the short-sighted policy of Alexander in suddenly 
stopping the trade which was thus carried on, created 
a strons: sensation, and occasioned an immediate resort 
of foreign vessels into the Scottish ports. Upon this 
occasion, the Lombards, in their proposals to erect 
factories in Scotland, intended, probably, to step into 
the lucrative trade which the Scottish merchants, in 
consequence of the new edict of the king, were no longer 
permitted to carry on.* 

One of the most interesting subjects connected with 
the trade and early commerce of the kingdom, is the 
rise of the towns and royal burghs, and the peculiar 
circumstances which induced our kings to bestow so 
many privileges upon these early mercantile commu- 
nities. It is evident that the Celtic inhabitants of the 
country were averse to settle or congregate in towns; 
and that, as long as Scotland continued under a purely 
Celtic government, the habits of the people opposed 
themselves to anything like regular industry or im- 
provement. -f* Even so late as the present day, the 
pacific pursuits of agriculture, the labours of the loom, 
or the higher branches of trade and commercial adven- 
ture, are uncongenial to the character of this unsettled, 
though brave and intrepid, race ; and the pages of con- 
temporary and authentic historians bear ample testi- 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 130. The places -where the Lombards 
proposed to make their settlements, were on the hill above Queensferry, or 
on one of the islands near Cramond. 

t Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 44. 


mony to the bitter spirit with which they resisted the 
course of civilisation and the enlightened changes in- 
troduced by our early kings. So much, indeed, is this 
the case, that the progress of improvement is directly 
commensurate with the gradual pressing back of the 
Celtic population into the remoter northern districts, 
by the more industrious race of the Saxons and the 

In this inquiry, a description has already been given 
of the royal and baronial castles of Scotland in those 
remote periods, and of the clusters of hamlets which 
arose under their walls, inhabited by the retainers of 
the prince or the noble upon whose bounty they lived, 
and whose power protected them from molestation. 
To these small villse, and to the security which they 
enjoyed from the vicinity of the castle, is to be traced 
the first appearance of towns in Scotland, as in the 
other countries of Europe. Nor were the rich reli- 
gious houses less influential than the royal and baronial 
castles; for their proprietors, themselves the most 
opulent and enterprising class in the community, en- 
couraged the industry of their numerous vassals, and 
delighted to see the houses and settlements of wealthy 
and enterprising artisans arising under the walls of 
their monastery.* 

The motives for the care and protection extended to 
such infant villages and communities are easily dis- 
coverable, if we recollect the description already given 
of the condition of a great portion of the lower orders 
of the people, out of which class the manufacturers and 
traders arose. They were slaves ; and their children, 
their wealth, and the profits of their industry, exclu- 
sively belonged to their lords; so that a settlement of 

* Houard, Traites sur les Coutumes Anglo-Normandes, vol, ii. pp. 361, 
362. Ducange, Gloss, voce Communia. 


wealthy manufacturers, or a community of successful 
and enterprising artisans, under the walls of a royal 
castle, or rich abbey, or within the territory of a feu- 
dal noble, was just so much money added to the reve- 
nue of the king, the baron, or the abbot.* As wealth 
increased with security and industry, the inhabitants 
of these communities began gradually to purchase their 
liberty from their lords,*f and to form themselves into 
insulated associations, which, from their opulence, were 
able to bribe the sovereign to grant them peculiar 
privileges. J Into these bodies, freedom, and the feel- 
ing of property, soon infused an additional spirit of 
enterprise, and transformed their members from petty 
artisans into opulent merchants, whose transactions 
embraced, as we have seen, a respectable commercial 
intercourse with foreign countries. 

It was soon discovered by the monarchs of Scotland, 
that these opulent communities of merchants formed 
80 many different points, from which civilisation and 
improvement gradually extended through the country; 
and the consequence of this discovery was, their trans- 
formation, by the favour of the sovereign, into char- 
tered corporations of merchants, endowed with parti- 
cular privileges, and living under the especial protection 
and superintendence of the king.§ 

In this manner, at a very early period, royal burghs 
arose in Scotland. The various steps of this progress 
were, in all probability, nearly the same as those which 

♦ Cartulary of Kelso, pp. 209, 221. Ibid. pp. 389, 408. 

+ In the Appendix to Lye's Saxon and Gothic Dictionary, No. V., pub- 
lished by Mr Manning, we find a very early instance of this, entitled, " Tes- 
tificatio Manumissionis Aelwigi Rufi." It is as follows : — " Hie notifica- 
tur in hoc Christi libro. quod Aelfwig Rufus redemit seipsum de Aclfigo 
abbate, et toto conventu, cum una libra. Cujus est in testimonium totus 
conventus in Bathonia. Christus eum occacet, qui hoc scriptum perverterit." 
Aelfigus was abbot between 1075 and 1087. 

J Madox, History of the Exchequer, pp. 231, 275, 278, folio ed, 

§ Houard's Anciennes Loix des Fran<jois, vol. i. p. 234 


are pretty clearly seen in the diplomatic collections and 
ancient muniments of different European kingdoms ; 
the hamlet growing into the village ; the village into 
the petty town ; and this last into the privileged and 
opulent burgh : and it is evident that our kings soon 
found, that the rise of these mercantile communities, 
which looked up to the crown for protection, and repaid 
it by their wealth and their loyalty, formed a useful 
check upon the arrogance and independence of the 
greater nobles.* It is probably on this account, that 
the rise of the burghs was viewed with great jealousy in 
France ; and that their introduction into that king- 
dom is described, by a contemporary author, " as an 
execrable invention, by which slaves were encouraged 
to become free, and to forget their allegiance to their 
master !"•^ 

At an early period in our history, the superior in- 
telligence, and the habits of industry of the English 
people, induced our kings to encourage the tradesmen 
and the merchants of this nation to settle in these 
infant towns and communities. This policy seems to 
have been carried so far, that, in 1173, under William 
the Lion, the towns and burghs of Scotland are spoken 
of, by an English historian, as almost exclusively peo- 
pled by his countrymen ;J and so late as the time of 
Edward the First, when this king, previous to his de- 
cision of the question of the succession, made a progress 
through Scotland, and compelled the inhabitants to 
take the oath of homage, the proportion of English 
names in the Scottish burghs is very great. § 

The earliest burghs w^hich appear in Scotland cannot 
be traced to a remoter period than the reign of our first 

* Fordim a Goodal, vol. i. p. 305. 

•j* Ducange, Glossar. voce Communia. 

X Gulielm. Neubrig. lib. ii. chap, xxxiv. p. 408, 

§ Prynne's Edward I., pp. 653, 663, inclusive. 


Alexander, under which monarch we find Edinburgh, 
Berwick, Roxburgh, and StirUng ; to these Inver- 
keithing, Perth and Aberdeen, Rutherglen and Inver- 
ness, were added in the course of years ; and the policy 
of David the First, of William the Lion, and of the 
nionarchs who succeeded him, had increased the num- 
ber of these opulent mercantile communities, till, in 
the reign of David the Second, we find them extending 
to seventeen. These royal burghs, and the lands which 
were annexed to them, were the exclusive property of 
the king, sometimes held in his own hands, and pos- 
sessed m demesne, but more generally let out to farm. 
In this respect, the condition of the towns and burghs 
of England in the time of the Conqueror, as shown in 
Domesday Book, was nearly similar to the state in 
which we find them in Scotland, from the reign of 
Alexander the First, to the accession of Robert the 
Second.* For the houses and factories possessed by 
the merchants, a certain rent was due to the exche- 
quer ; and previous to their appearance as a third 
Estate in the great national council, the king appears 
to have had a right of calling upon his burghs to con- 
tribute aids or grants of money out of their coffers on 
any occasion of emergency.*!* The Cartularies are full 
not only of grants from successive kings to new settlers, 
of lands in their various burghs, with the right of 
building on them, and of tofts or small portions of pas- 
ture and arable ground, but of annuities payable out of 
the royal farms, and pensions from the census of their 
burgesses, which testify the exclusive property of the 
sovereign in these infant mercantile communities. J 
From an early period these communities enjoyed a 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 297. 
+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 529. 

X Cartulary of Kelso, p. 1. Cartulary of Inchcolm, p. 19. Cartulary of 
Scone, pp. 41, 57. The Cartularies abound with examples of this. 


right of determining, in a separate court of their own, 
all disputes which might arise amongst their mercan- 
tile subjects ; and in addition to this privilege, a right 
of appeal lay from the decision of the individual court 
of the burgh, to a higher tribunal, which was denomi- 
nated the Court of the Four Burghs, and which owes 
its institution to the wisdom of David the First. The 
burghs which composed it, were the four oldest in the 
kingdom, Berwick, Roxburgh, Stirling, and Edinburgh; 
and it was the duty of the Chamberlain of Scotland 
to hold a court or ayr* once every year, at Hadding- 
ton, to which the four burghs sent four commissioners, 
for the purpose of hearing and deciding upon the appeals 
brought before them. 

It seems to be certain, that under David the First, 
a code of mercantile law was gradually formed, w^hich 
owed its origin to the decisions of this court, assisted 
probably by the practical wisdom of the most enlioht- 
ened merchants and traders. It was known by the 
name of the Assisa^ Burgorum^ and, in an interpolated 
and imperfect state, has reached our own times. In 
the famous state paper of Edward the First, known 
by the title of an " Ordinatio super stabilitate terrsB 
Scotiae," and published in 1305, the laws which King 
David had enacted, are commanded to be read by the 
English guardian or lieutenant, in presence of the good 
people of the land; and in a charter which is granted 
by William the Lion to the burgh of Glasgow in 1] 76, 
that monarch refers to the assizes of his burghs, as 
an established code of law,-|- It is the judicious 

* Houard's Anciennes Loix des Franqois, vol. i. p. 237. It is evident, 
from the description given by this learned writer, of the rights of the burghs 
under the Normans, that the Coiirt of the Four Burghs was of Normaa 

T Gibson^'s History of Glasgow, p. 301. Ayloffe's Calendars of Ancient 
Charters, p. 335. M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 440. Th© 


observation of Chalmers, that as Malcolm the Fourth 
is known not to have been a legislator, these assizes 
must be ascribed to David; and this is confirmed by 
the ancient and respectable authority of Fordun.* 

The policy of the sovereign in the erection of these 
privileged communities, was gradually imitated by the 
religious houses, and more rarely by the greater barons, 
who granted exclusive privileges to the towns or vil- 
lages upon their territories, and turned their wealth 
into channels of mercantile adventure, employing the 
burghers to trade for them, and furnishing them with 
capital. In this way Selkirk was indebted, for its first 
passage from a village into a burgh, to the Abbot of 
Kelso; St Andrews, Glasgow, and Brechin, to the 
bishops of these sees; Newburgh to the Abbot of Lin- 
dores. The town of Renfrew was expressly granted 
by David the First to Walter the son of Alan; 
Lauder was early the property of the ancient family 
of the Morvilles; and Lochmaben, in consequence of 
a grant by David the First, belonged to the ancestors 
of Bruce. The rents of the houses and of the lands 
of these burghs ; the customs levied upon the ships 
which traded to such as were situated on the sea 
coast, or on navigable rivers; and in all probability 
certain proportions of the profits of the various trades- 
men and guild-brethren who inhabited them, belonged 
to the spiritual or temporal lord upon whose lands 
they were erected, and whose favour and protection 
they enjoyed. If in the various revolutions and 
changes of the times, his lands happened to escheat 
or be forfeited to the crown, the whole wealth which 
belonged to them, the granges, castles, manors, vil- 

Lex Mercatoria of Scotland is referred to by Edward the First, as an esta- 
blished and well-known code, in the Rotuli Scotiae, p. 3. 10th Aug. 1291. 
* Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 301. Cartulary of Glasgow, p. 73. Cale- 
donia, pp. 726, 732. 


lages, and burghs, became the property of the sove- 
reign ; and in this way, in the course of years, many 
baronial or ecclesiastical burghs were changed into 
royal ones. 

Although, however, the rise of these trading com- 
munities was in the first instance eminently beneficial 
to Scotland, and, it cannot be doubted, contributed to 
give an extraordinary impulse to the industry of the 
people; yet as soon as this commercial and manufac- 
turing spirit was once roused into activity, the prin- 
ciple of monopoly in trade, for which the burghs 
contended, by giving a check to competition, must 
have ultimately retarded the improvement of the coun- 
try. In the meantime, however, under the severity 
of the feudal system, burghs were in their first intro- 
duction cities of freedom; their inhabitants were no 
longer in the degrading condition of slaves, who could 
be transferred, like cattle or common property, from 
one master to another; and we know, from the sta- 
tutes of the burghs, that the same law prevailed in 
our own country as in England and France, by which 
a vassal or slave, if he escaped from his feudal superior, 
and was so fortunate as to purchase a house within a 
burgh, and live therein for a year and a day, without 
being claimed by his master, became a freeman for 

One of the consequences of this law, was an increase 
in the trade and manufactures of Scotland. During 
the long period of foreign war, civil faction, and do- 
mestic feuds, which fills up the history of the country 
from the death of Alexander the Third to the settle- 
ment of the kingdom under Bruce, and after this, from 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 307. Leges Ed. et Will, 
chaps. Ixi. Ixvi., in Selden's Eadmer, pp. 191, 193. Laws of the Burghs, 
chap. xvii. Houard, in his Anciennes Loix des Francjois, vol. i. p. 238, 
Bays this privilege belonged only to royal burghs under the Normana, 


the death of Bruce to the accession of Robert the 
Second, the constant changes and convulsions in the 
state of private property, threw great multitudes of 
the lower classes of serfs and bondsmen loose upon 
society. These fugitives would naturally seek refuge 
in the cities and buro-hs belonmns: to the kins: ; and 
bring with them an additional stock of enterprise and 
industry to the mercantile corporations, whose protec- 
tion they enjoyed; in the course of years many of 
them must have risen to the state of freemen ; and, in 
consequence of this increase in the number of free 
merchants and enterprising traders, the wealth of the 
kingdom, during the latter part of the reign of David 
the Second, became proportionally great. It unfor- 
tunately happened, that the excessive drain of specie, 
occasioned by the payment of the king's ransom, and 
the personal expenses of the monarch, with the large 
sums of money levied for the maintenance of ambas- 
sadors and commissioners, soon swallowed up the profits 
of trade, and reduced the kingdom to the very brink 
of bankruptcy. 

At a remote period, under Malcolm the Fourth, the 
great mart of foreign commerce was Berwick. A con- 
temporary English historian distinguishes it as a noble 
town, and as it possessed many ships, and enjoyed 
more foreign commerce than any other port in Scot- 
land,* it shared the fate of all other opulent to^\Tis on 
the coast, in being exposed to the descents of the 
piratic fleets of the north. Erlind, a Norwegian, and 
Earl of Orkney, in 1156, carried off a ship belonging 
to a citizen of Berwick, whose name was Cnut the 
Opulent; and we learn from Torfaeus, who has pre- 
served the story, that the merchant, incensed at the 

* Gtilielm. Neubrig. book v. chap, xxlii. Torfsei Orcades, book i. chap. 
xxxlL pp. 131, 132. 


loss of his property, instantly hired and manned four- 
teen vessels, for which he paid one hundred marks of 
silver, and with these gave immediate chase to the 
pirates. Under succeeding sovereigns it increased in 
trade and opulence; till we find it, in the reign of 
Alexander the Third, enjoying a prosperity which 
threw every other Scottish port into the shade, and 
caused the contemporary author of the Chronicle of 
Lanercost to distinguish it by the name of a Second 
Alexandria.* It enjoyed a lucrative export of wool, 
wool-fels, and hides, to Flanders ; it was by the agency 
of the merchants of Berwick that the produce of Rox- 
burgh, Jedburgh, and the adjacent country, in these 
same commodities, was shipped for foreign countries, 
or sold to the Flemish Company established in that 
city; its export of salmon was very great; and the 
single fact, that its customs, under Alexander the 
Third, amounted to the sum of =£^21 97, 8s. sterling, 
while the whole customs of England, in 1287, pro- 
duced only c£^8411, 19s. ll^d., amply demonstrates 
its extraordinary wealth. -f* 

At this period, the constitution of the towns and 
burghs in Scotland appears to have been nearly the 
same as in the sister country. Berwick was governed 
by a mayor, whose annual allowance for his charges of 
office was ten pounds, a sum equivalent to more than 
four hundred pounds of our present money.J Under 
this superior officer were four provosts, or propositi. 
At the same period Perth, Stirling, Roxburgh, and 
Jedburgh, were each governed by an alderman, who 
appears to have been the chief magistrate. Glasgow 
by three provosts ; Haddington by one officer under 

* History, vol. i. p. 97. 

+ M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 446, with MS. note by 
the author. Rymer, vol. ii. pp. 605, 613. 
X Rotuli Scotia, 8 Ed. IIL, m. 16. 


the same name; whilst the inferior burghs of Peebles 
and Montrose, of Linlithgow, Inverkeithing, and 
Elgin, were placed under the superintendence of one 
or more magistrates called bailies. These magistrates 
all appear as early as the year 1296;* and, it seems 
probable, were introduced into Scotland by David the 
First, whose enlightened partiality to English insti- 
tutions has already been noticed in this history. 

The comparative state of the trade and exports of 
the remaining burghs of the kingdom, at this early 
period, cannot be easily ascertained. Perth, which had 
become opulent and flourishing in the time of William 
the Lion, by whom it was erected into a royal burgh, 
increased in its wealth and consequence under Malcolm 
the Fourth, who made Scone, the neighbouring mo- 
nastery, the principal seat of his kingdom. The resort 
of the court, and the increased demand for the articles 
of domestic manufacture and foreign commerce, gave 
a stimulus to the enterprise and industry of the infant 
burgh; and a contemporary poet, whose works have 
been preserved by Camden, characterizes Perth as one 
of the principal pillars of the opulence of the king- 
dom. "I* 

These few and scattered, but authentic, facts, re- 
garding our early commerce and manufactures, make 
it evident, that in such great branches of national 
wealth there is a discernible improvement, from the 
remote era of Malcolm the Third, to the period of the 
competition for the crown. Indeed, immediately be- 
fore the commencement of the war of liberty, the com- 
mercial transactions of the country w^ere of consequence 
enough to induce the merchants of St Omers, and 

* Prynne''s Edward I,, pp. 653, 654. RjTuer's Collection of MSS. vol. 
iii. No. 116 ; quoted by M'Pherson in Annals of Commerce, vol. i, p. 446. 
+ Necham apud Gough's Camden's Brit. vol. iii. p. 393. 


partners of the Florentine houses of Pullici and Lam- 
bini to have correspondents in Scotland; and, about 
the same period, we find that Richard le Furbur, a 
trader of the inland town of Roxburgh, had sent fac- 
tors or supercargoes to manage his business in foreign 
countries, and in various parts of Britain. 

With regard to the exports of the country at this 
time, we find them composed of the same articles as 
those already described: wool, skins, hides, and wool- 
fels; great quantities offish, salted and cured;* horses, 
sheep, and cattle ;■[* and, more rarely, pearls, falcons, 
and greyhounds. It is singular to find so precious an 
article as pearls amongst the subjects of Scottish 
trade; yet the fact rests on good authority. The 
Scottish pearls in the possession of Alexander the 
First were celebrated in distant countries for their 
extreme size and beauty ; and, as early as the twelfth 
century, there is evidence of a foreign demand for this 
species of luxury.J As the commercial intercourse 
with the East increased, the rich oriental pearl, from 
its superior brilliancy and more perfect form, excluded 
the Scottish pearls from the jewel market; and by a 
statute of the Parisian goldsmiths, in the year 1355, 
we find it enacted, that no worker in gold or silver 
shall set any Scottish pearls with oriental ones, except 
in large ornaments or jewels for churches. § It is 
curious to find among the exports the leporarii^ or 
greyhounds of the country, which were famous in 
France ; for, in 1396, the Duke de Berri sent his valet 

* Rotuli Scotite, Tol. i. pp. 40, 911, 929, 941, 944. + Ibid. p. 881. 

X Nicolai Epist. in Anglia Sacra, vol. ii. p. 236. " Prseterea rogo et 
valde obsecro ut margaritas Candidas quantum poteris mibi adquiras. Uni- 
ones etiam quascunque grossissimas adquirere potes. Saltern quatuor mihi 
adquiri per te magnopere postulo ; si aliter non vales saltern a rege, qui in 
hac re omnium bominum ditissimus est, pro munere expete." M'Pherson's 
Annals of Commerce, vol. i. pp. 318, 555. 

§ Du Cange, Gloss, voce Perlae. 



and three attendants into Scotland on a commission 
to purchase dogs of this kind, as appears by the pass- 
port preserved in Rymer;* and, at an earlier period, 
under the reign of David the Second, Godfrey de 
Ross, an English baron, procured from Edward the 
Third a safe-conduct for his shield-bearer and two 
attendants, who were travelling from Scotland with 
dogs and falcons, and who purposed to return into the 
same country, under the express condition that they 
did not abuse their privilege, by carrying out of Eng- 
land either bows, arrows, arms, or gold or silver, in 
the form of bulk, plate, or money.*!- 

Of the imports of Scotland at the same period, it 
is difficult to give anything like an accurate or satis- 
factory account. Fine linen and silks ; broad cloth, 
and a rich article called sayes^ manufactured in Ireland 
from wool, and esteemed so beautiful as to be worn by 
the ladies of Florence; J carpets and tapestry; wine, 
oil of olives, and occasionally corn and barley ;§ spices 
and confectionary of all kinds; drugs and electuaries; 
arms, armour, and cutlery; were the chief commodi- 
ties : and it has already been observed, that many 
articles of Asiatic luxury and magnificence had reached 
our country, by means of a constant communication 
with the Flemish and Italian merchants. In 1333, 
we know, from an authentic instrument, preserved in 
the Foedera, that the Scottish merchants were in the 
custom of importing, from the county of Suffolk, vases 
of gold and silver into Scotland, besides silver in bars 
and in money ;|| a proof that the silver mine which 
David the First worked, at an early period, in Cum- 

* Rymer's Foedera, vol, vii. p. 831. 

■f Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 891. 

X MTherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 562. 

§ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 891. 

II Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv. p. 575. 


berland, and the gold of Fife, to which the same mon- 
arch alludes in the Cartulary of Dunfermline, had 
neither of them turned to much account.* 

Under the reign of Bruce, and during the long war 
with England, every possible effort was made by 
Edward the First and his successor to crush and ex- 
tinguish the foreign trade of Scotland; but the success 
does not appear to have been in any degree proportionate 
to their exertions. All English or Irish merchants 
were prohibited, under the severest penalties, from 
engaging in any transactions with that country; and 
repeated requests w^ere addressed to the rich republics 
of the low countries, to the courts of Flanders, and the 
Dukes of Brabant, to induce them to break off all 
traffic with the Scots ;•(• but the exertions of contra- 
band traders and privateer vessels eluded the strictness 
of the prohibitions against English and Irish trade ;| 
and the Flemings and Brabanters steadily refused to 
shut their ports against any nation which could pay 
for their commodities. In 1315, a fleet of thirteen 
ships or galleys belonging to the Scots, and other 
" malefactors''' who adhered to them, was at anchor in 
the port of Sluys in Flanders, waiting to be laden 
with arms, victuals, and other goods, which they in- 
tended to export from that country into Scotland, 
when Edward the Second, as the public order relative 
to the circumstance informs us, adopted vigorous, 
but apparently unsuccessful, measures for intercepting 
them.§ To Bruce, whose life was spent in almost 

* Jolian. Hagulstad. p. 280. Cart, of Dunfenn. folio 7 ; quoted in Dal 
zePs Tract on Monastic Antiquities, p. 30. 

+ Rotuli Scotite, vol. i. p. 136. 1st April, 1314. Ibid. 140. Rymer, 
vol. iv. p. 715. 

X Rotuli ScotisB, vol. i. pp. 491, 525. 

§ This instrument is one of the deeds added by the editors of the new 
edition of the Foedera Anglise, vol. ii. part. i. p. l^h. The original is in 
the Tower. 


uninterrupted war, the great articles of demand were 
those which he could use for his soldiers and knights: 
arms of all kinds, helmets, cuirasses, chamfreyns, and 
horse armour, swords and daggers, bows of English 
yew, spear shafts, and lances, formed the staple car- 
goes of the Flemish merchantmen which traded to his 
dominions; but, on the other hand, the export trade 
of the country, which had been principally carried on 
through England and Ireland, although not extin- 
guished, experienced a material depression. But 
although some branches of national wealth were ren- 
deredless productive, other sources were opened peculiar 
to war. The immense plunder taken at Bannockburn; 
the large sums of money paid by the English nobles 
and barons for their ransom ; the subsequent plunder 
in the repeated invasions of England ; and the frequent 
and heavy sums which were subscribed by the Border 
counties, to induce the Scottish leaders to spare their 
towns and villages, enriched the kingdom, and provided 
a mass of capital which is distinctly perceptible in the 
increased commercial speculation of the subsequent 
reign, and in the spirited and successful efforts made 
by the nation in fitting out a navy. 

Previous to the accession of David the Second, we 
have already seen that little traces of a regular naval 
force exist in Scotland; and although the fleets of 
William the Lion, and that of his successor Alexander 
the Second, are commemorated in the Chronicle of 
Man, it seems probable that these naval armaments 
were furnished by the island vassals, who owned the 
superiority of the Scottish crown, and who held their 
lands by the tenure of furnishing a certain number of 
galleys for the use of the king.* The maritime ex- 
ploits of these kings were temporary and insulated; 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 101. Robertson's Index, p. 100. 


and the same observation applies to the nava* expedi- 
tions of their successors. It appears, indeed, from a 
passage in the Chamberlain Rolls of Alexander the 
Third, that, in 1263, this monarch was in possession 
of several vessels, which, under the direction of the 
Earl of Menteith, were built in the' port of Ayr, and 
that two hundred oars were manufactured for their 
use;* but it is evident, from Alexander declining any 
naval contest with the King of Norway, that his fleet 
could neither have been numerous nor powerful. 

The reign of Bruce being principally occupied with 
a land war, his efforts for distressing his enemy by sea, 
were mostly confined to the commissioning piratic ships 
from the Flemings and Genoese, which cruised upon 
the English coasts, and in the double capacity of traders 
and ships of war, landed their cargoes in Scotland and 
attacked the English merchantmen and victuallers. 
Yet there is evidence in that interesting portion of the 
Chamberlain Accounts which relate to the expenditure 
of Bruce at his palace of Cardross the year before his 
death, that he and his old companion in arms, the great 
Randolph, were anxiously directing their attention to 
the subject of shipping and navigation. 

But the navy assumes a different and more formid- 
able appearance under the reign of David Bruce. The 
Scottish ships of war, along with numerous squadrons 
of foreign privateers, in the pay of the Scots, swept 
the seas, round England, plundered their merchant 
vessels, and made repeated and successful descents upon 
the coast, burning and destroying the seaport towns, 
and creating extreme alarm in the country. In 1334, 
a fleet of Scottish ships of war threatened a descent on 
the coast of Suffolk ; in the subsequent year, twenty- 
six galleys and other ships were hovering and watching 

* Excerpta ex Rotulo Compotorum Temp. Alexander III,, p. 10. 


their opportunity for attack off the coasts of Chester 
and Durham ; and not long after this, notwithstanding 
the utmost exertions by the English government to fit 
out a fleet which should put an end to the naval ag- 
gressions of the Scots, and precautions taken to spread 
the alarm in case of any hostile descents, by lighting 
beacons upon the cliffs above the sea ; the towns of 
Portsmouth, Fodynton, Portsea, and Easten, were 
burnt and plundered, and the country threatened with 
invasion by a numerous fleet of foreign ships and gal- 
leys, whose approach is described by Edward the Second 
in an order addressed to the sheriffs of England, and 
evidently written under extreme apprehension.* Yet 
the probability is, that none of these vessels were the 
property of the king, but merchant ships of Scottish 
and foreign traders fitted up for the expedition as ships 
of war, and commissioned, like the mercenary troops 
ofHainault or Switzerland, to assist whatever country 
chose to pay them the highest price for their services. 
At this period, the same mode of fitting out a fleet 
of ships of war w^as adopted in both countries. There 
appears to have been no regular permanent naval force 
of any consequence maintained in either.-)* In Eng- 
land, as the emergency of the moment required, the 
monarch was in the habit of directing his wTits to the 
wardens of the Cinque Ports, and to the magistrates 
of the different seaports, empowering them to press into 
the service, and instantly arm and victual any number 
of vessels he deemed necessary, and to commission such 
merchantmen as were fond of the adventure, to fit out 
their traders as nates guerrinw^ or ships of war, J with 
the right of attacking the enemies of the king, under 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 299, 317. Ibid. pp. 320, 363, 440. Rymer's 
Foedera, new edit. vol. ii. part ii. pp. 1055, 1067. 
f M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 378. 
:;: Ibid. vol. i. p. 430. 


the condition of giving up half the profits in the event 
of a successful capture.* We may form some idea of 
the size and strength of these vessels from an order 
issued by Edward the Third during his Scottish war, 
to the Mayor of Bristol, in which this magistrate is 
commanded to arrest three of the largest ships then in 
the port of that city. These are described to be two 
of a hundred tons, and one of sixty tons burden, on 
board of which a hundred and thirty-two men are in- 
stantly to be put for the king's service, which force is 
mentioned in the order, as being double the ordinary 
complement of mariners and soldiers. *[• Many of the 
privateers, however, which were at this time employed 
by the Scots against England, appear to have been 
vessels of larger dimensions, and more formidable 
equipment than those of England, probably from their 
being foreign built, and furnished by the Flemings, the 
Genoese, or the Venetians, for the purposes both of 
trade and piracy. In 1335, a large foreign ship, laden 
with arms, provisions, and warlike stores, arrived in 
the port of Dumbarton, and for the purpose of inter- 
cepting her, Edward not only ordered two of the largest 
merchantmen of Bristol to be manned and provisioned 
as ships of w^ar, but commanded Roger de Hegham, 
his admiral of the Western fleet, to fit out two other 
vessels, with a double complement of men, to be em- 
ployed apparently on the same service.^ 

In 1357, three Scottish ships of w^ar, manned with 
three hundred soldiers, infested the east coast, and 
grievously annoyed the English commerce. This large 

_ * " Galfridas Pypere Magister navis que vocatur le Heyte habet licen- 
tiam gravandi inimicos Regis ita quod de medietate lucri Regi respondeat." 
Teste R. apud Burdegalliam. xiii, Feb. 28. Henry III., m. 16. Rotuli 
Pat. MS. note, by M'Pherson in his ovra copy of the Annals of Commerce, 
vol. i. p. 394. 

+ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 231. 24th April, 1333. 

X Ibid. vol. i. p. 340. 



complement of soldiers must have been exclusive of the 
sailors employed to navigate the ships, and proves them 
to have been of large dimensions, when compared with 
the ordinary vessels of the time.* In the same year 
we have seen that the Scottish privateers captured a 
vessel called the Beaumondscogge, which was the pro- 
perty of that powerful baron, Henry de Beaumont, who, 
along with Baliol and the rest of the disinherited nobles, 
succeeded in driving David the Second from the throne ; 
and soon after, the united fleets of the Scots and their 
allies increased in numbers and audacity to such a de- 
gree, that the English coasts were kept in a state of 
continual terror. The merchantmen did not dare to sail 
except in great squadrons, and with a convoy of ships 
of war ; and even when riding at anchor within the 
harbours, were cut out and carried off" by the superior 
naval skill and courage of the Scottish seamen, and 
their allies.*!* In a remarkable order, addressed by 
Edward the Third to his admirals and naval captains, 
this monarch complains in bitter terms of their pusil- 
lanimous conduct, in permitting the united fleets of the 
Scots, French, and Flemings, to capture and destroy 
the ships of England in the very sight of his own navy, 
which kept aloof during the action, and did not dare 
to give bat tie. J 

Such appears to have been the great superiority of 
the Scottish navy over that of England in the begin- 
nins of the reisn of David the Second. Meanwhile, 
the long and inveterate war between the two countries, 
which arose out of the aggressions of Edward the First, 
entirely extinguished the regular Scottish commerce 
with that country. From the year 1291 to 1348 there 
appear only three safe-conducts for English merchants, 

* Knighton, 2617. t Rotuli Scotiae, pp. 451, 456, 467, 477. 

t Ibid. voL i. p. 513. Ibid. 498. 


permitting them to trade with Scotland ; and those 
repeated proclamations which were made against any- 
commercial intercourse, seem to have been so rigorously 
executed, that in this long interval, embracing more 
than half a century, we do not find a single passport 
for a Scottish merchant, allowing him to visit England 
for the purposes of trade. 

In 1348 the Scots being included in the truce of 
Calais, the commerce of England, for the first time 
since the long war, was thrown open to their skill and 
enterprise ; and in a few years, the mercantile inter- 
course between the two countries rapidly increased. 
At the request of the Queen of Scotland, important 
privileges were granted to the Scottish merchants ; the 
Scottish nobles possessed companies of merchants, who 
speculated on their account, and under their protec- 
tion ;* and we have seen that, instead of the rigid and 
determined exclusion from all trade with their domi- 
nions, which, for so long a time, formed part of the 
policy of the three Edwards to their Scottish enemies,"!- 
a system of great liberality and indulgence was pursued, 
under which the commerce of both countries was car- 
ried on with a surprising degree of energy and enter- 

The large sums of money which were drawn from 
the country for the ransom of the king ; the expenses 
incurred by the residence and ransom of the noble pri- 
soners taken in the battle of Durham ; and the reite- 
rated and heavy payments which were made during the 
various and protracted negotiations with England; 
exhibit, in a striking manner, the increasing opulence 
of the country ; and it cannot be doubted, that one 

* Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. pp. 758, 823. Salvus conductus pro mercatori- 
bus Willielmi de Douglas. 
+ Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i. p. 140. 


great source of this wealth is to bo traced to the im- 
proved state of the national commerce, and to the in- 
creasing wealth of the traders and manufacturers. I 
shall conclude this sketch of the early commerce and 
navigation of Scotland, by a few remarks upon the 
money of those times, and upon the wages of labour 
and the prices of the necessaries of life. 

All the Scottish coins which have yet been dis- 
covered, previous to the reign of Robert the Second, 
are of silver ; and this fact of itself furnishes, if not 
absolute proof, at least a strong presumption, that 
anterior to this period there was no gold coinage in 
Scotland.* Of this early silver money the most ancient 
specimens yet found are the pennies of Alexander the 
First, who succeeded to the throne in the commence- 
ment of the twelfth century ; after which we can trace a 
regular coinage of silver pennies under the reigns 
of David the First, William the Lion, and the suc- 
cessive sovereigns who filled the throne, with the ex- 
ception of Malcolm the Fourth, whose money, if in 
existence, has hitherto eluded the utmost research of 
the Scottish antiquary. The silver pennies of Alex- 
ander the First, now extremely rare, are of the same 
fineness, weight and form, as the contemporary Eng- 
lish coins of the same denomination, and down to the 
time of Robert the First, the money of Scotland was 
of precisely the same value and standard as that of 

Towards the conclusion of the reign of William the 
Lion, that monarch reformed the money, which had 

* In a Parliament held at Scone by David the Second, in 1 369, there is 
mention of gold money. Robertson''s Parliamentary Records, p. 117. But 
the gold money of England was then current in Scotland, and the enact- 
ment may refer to it. Ruddiman's excellent Introduction to Anderson's 
Diplomata, pp. 54, 55. 


been somewliat debased from its former standard;* 
perhaps in consequence of an attempt to supply in this 
way the large sums which this monarch paid to Richard 
the First. -[- During the succeeding reign, the stan- 
dard value and the device continued the same as under 
William ; but almost immediately after the accession 
of Alexander the Third, the ministry of this infant 
sovereign borrowed from England what was deemed 
an improvement in the mode of stamping the reverse. 
The history of this alteration is curious. It appears 
that in 1248, the sterling money of England had been 
defaced, by clipping, to such a degree, that the letters 
of the inscription were almost entirely cut away, and 
the delinquents were suspected to be the Jews, the 
Caursini, and the Flemish wool merchants. j At a 
meeting of the king''s council, which was summoned 
to advise what steps ought to be taken, some of the 
members recommended that, in imitation of the money 
of France, the quality of the silver in the English money 
ought to be debased, under the idea, that the tempta- 
tion to make profit by clipping would thus effectually 
be removed. Fortunately this advice, which marks a 
rude age, and a limited knowledge on the subject, was 
not adopted ; but proclamation was made that all the 
defaced coin should be brought into the king's exchanges, 
and that a new coinage should be struck, out of which 
those who brought in the clipped money were to be 
paid weight for weight. On the old coins, the cross 
upon the reverse side had only reached half way from 
the centre to the edge, in consequence of which, an 
expert clipper might have pared away a considerable 
breadth, without much chance of detection ; but, now 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 356. 

T Winton's Chron. vol. i. p. 342. Chron. Melross, p. 102. 

X Mathew Paris a W^ats. p. 639. 


the expedient was adopted, of carrying the arms of the 
cross, througli the letters of the legend, and a border of 
small beads was added round the outer extremity ; so 
that the money could not be clipped, without at least a 
greater chance of discovery.* The immediate adop- 
tion of this clumsy expedient in Scotland was probably 
occasioned by the same abuse of clipping having been 
practised in that country. -f* 

In Scotland, the very first sensible diminution of 
the purity of the standard money was introduced by 
Robert Bruce; but the exact date of the depreciation 
is unkno^vn. Like the other alterations in the coin- 
age, it was adopted in imitation of England ; and pro- 
ceeded upon the unjust and erroneous idea, that the 
wealth of the kingdom might be increased, by multi- 
plying the number of pennies coined out of the pound 
of silver. In 1300, Edward the First commanded 
two hundred and forty-three pennies to be coined out 
of the standard pound, instead of two hundred and 
forty, which was the old rate. J A diminution of 
three pennies in the value of the pound of account 
was deemed, perhaps, too trifling and imperceptible a 
change, to be in any way detrimental; and the Scot- 
tish monarch not only followed, but went beyond, the 
pernicious example of England; for, under the expec- 
tation that the pennies of both kingdoms would, as 
before, continue to pass indiscriminately, he coined two 
hundred and fifty-two pennies from the pound weight 

* " Ut non sine evidenti, et valde notabili dispendio, aliquid inde radi 
possit vel abscindi." Annales Waverleenses, p. 207. 

*f* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 83. The same monarch, Alexander the 
Third, appears to have coined silver pieces of two pennies. M'Pherson's 
Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 432. 

X Topham's Observations on the Wardrobe Account of Edward the First, 
p. 11. " The pound weight of silver then (31 Ed. I.) consisted of twelve 
ounces, each containing twenty penn}"Aveights, or of two hundred and forty 
pennies. These pennies were composed of mixed silver ; one pound, or 
twelve ounces, of which contained eleven ounces and two pennyweights of 
fine silver, and eighteen pennyweights of copper or alloy." 


of silver, — an impolitic departure from the integrity 
of the national money, which had hitherto been strictly 
observed by the government of the country.* 

From this time till 1354 there appears to have been 
no change in the money of Scotland; which, according 
to a proclamation of Edward the Third, was received 
as of the same weight and alloy as the money of Eng- 
land.-|- This monarch, however, finding himself much 
distressed by the debts which he had incurred in his 
French war, unfortunately relieved himself by repeat- 
ing the expedient which he had already partially 
adopted, although as dishonest as it was injurious to 
the best interests of his kingdom. In order to pay his 
creditors with less money than he had borrowed, he 
commanded two hundred and sixty-six pennies to be 
made out of the pound of standard silver; and after- 
wards, in the year 1346, he diminished the money still 
farther, by making two hundred and seventy pennies 
out of the pound, — a proceeding by which the people 
were greatly distressed, owing to the consequent rise 
in the prices of all the necessaries of life. 

In 1354 the Steward, who was now Regent in Scot- 
land during the captivity of David, imitating this 
mistaken policy, issued a new coinage, which was not 
only far below the original standard in value, but even 
inferior to the money of England, depreciated as it 
then was. We are informed of this fact, by a procla- 
mation which the issue of this new money of Scotland 
drew from Edward the Third. In a letter to the She- 
riff of Northumberland, the king informs him, that 
the new money of Scotland, although of the same 
figure with the old, was not, like it, of the same weight 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 466. Folkes on English 
Coins, pp. 8, 142. lidition 1763. 
t Rymer's Foedera, vol. v. p. 813. 


and quality with the sterling money of England; and 
he accordingly commands that officer to make procla- 
mation within his district, that the new Scottish money 
should be taken only for its value as bullion, and car- 
ried to the proper office, to be exchanged for current 
money; but that the old money of Scotland, which, as 
appears from what was above stated, was considerably 
better than that of England, should be still current as 

Soon after the return of David the Second to his 
dominions, he appointed Adam Torre, a burgess of 
Edinburgh, and James Mulekin of Florence, joint 
keepers of the Exchange for all Scotland, and Masters 
of the Mint. Foreigners appear to have been the great 
coiners or minters of those times. At an earlier period, 
in 1278, the Exchange at London was under the direc- 
tion of some Lucca merchants, and Gregory de Rokes- 
ley the mayor.-f In 1366, the Scottish Parliament 
had ordered the money of the kingdom to be coined of 
the quality and weight with that of England; J but, in 
the subsequent year, the extreme scarcity of silver 
money, occasioned by the drain of specie from the 
country for the king'^s ransom, and other expenses, 
created an alarm, which unfortunately caused the par- 
liament to relapse into the erroneous notion, that the 
wealth of the kingdom might be increased by diminish- 
ing the intrinsic value, and increasing the number of 
the pieces coined. This produced an order, by which it 
was declared, that the standard pound of silver should 
be diminished in the weight by ten pennies; so that 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 554. Rymer's Foedera, 
vol. V. p. 813. " Supra nova moneta Scotise." 

f Madox's Hist, of Exchequer, chap. xxii. § 4, chap, xxiii. § 1. _Com- 
potum Custodis Monete, vol. i. Accounts of the Great Chamberlains of 
Scotland, pp. 401, 402. 

+ Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 104. 


henceforth the pound of silver should contain twenty- 
nine shillings and four pennies ; out of which seven 
pennies were to be taken for the king'*s use. 

To understand this order, it must be remembered 
that the only coins which had yet been struck, either 
in England or Scotland, were pennies, with their 
halves and quarters, along with a few groats and half 
groats; so that when the parliament enacted that the 
pound of silver should contain twenty-nine shillings 
and four pennies, it was saying, in other words, that 
it was to be coined into three hundred and fifty-two 
pennies ; an enormous departure from the integrity of 
the old standard of two hundred and forty pennies 
in the pound. In the same ordinance it is provided 
that eleven pennies are to be taken for the Master of 
the Mint and the payment of the workmen, and one 
penny for the Keeper of the Mint. If to these we 
add the seven pennies for the king's use, twenty-seven 
shillings and nine pennies would remain to the mer- 
chant for the pound of silver;* so that, by this change 
in the coinage, the king practised an extensive and 
grievous fraud upon his subjects. 

It is curious to attend for a moment to the conse- 
quences of this depreciation of the money of the coun- 
try. They are distinctly to be traced in a statute soon 
after passed by Edward the Third.*!* There was, in 
the first place, a rise in the prices of all the necessaries 
of life ; so that the labouring classes, being paid at the 
same rate as before, found that they could not procure 
the same subsistence. This they patiently bore for 
some time; but when the immense mortality occa- 
sioned by the pestilence had diminished the number 
of working men, and thus created a great demand for 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 109. 

t Statute 23 Ed. III. M'Pherson's Amials of Commerce, vol. i. p. 542. 


labour, the survivors naturally seized tlie opportunity 
to raise their prices; and, in consequence of this, the 
king, with the advice of his parliament, enacted the 
Statute of Labourers, " by which all men and women 
under sixty years of age, whether free or slaves, and 
having no occupation or property, were compelled to 
serve any master who hired them, for the same wages 
which were given before the year 1346, under pain of 
imprisonment."" Artificers were, at the same time, 
prohibited from exacting more than the old wages ; and 
the butchers, bakers, brewers, and other dealers in pro- 
visions, were strictly enjoined to sell their commodities 
at reasonable prices. 

The legislators of those remote times had not yet 
learned that the price of food must be the standard for 
the price of labour; and that by depreciating the coin 
of the kingdom, they raised the prices of the neces- 
saries of life, and compelled the labouring classes to 
adopt the very conduct of which they complained. 
There can be no doubt that the consequences of the 
depreciation in Scotland must have been the same as 
in the sister country; and the sumptuary laws, which 
we find enacted towards the conclusion of the reign of 
David the Second, with the statutes regarding carry- 
ing the coin " furth of the realm,"" are to be traced to 
the same causes as those which led to the statute of 
labourers in England.* 

The price of labour, of the necessaries of life, and of 
the articles of comfort or luxury, forms at all times an 
interesting subject of inquiry, probably from that strong 
and natural desire which we feel to compare our own 
condition with that of our fellow-men, however remote 
may have been the period in which they lived. Upon 

* Statuta Davidis II. Regiam Majestatem, pp. 45, 46. Robertson's 
Parliamentary Records, pp. 100, 11 7. 


such pointy, however, previous to the transcription 
and printing of the Accounts of the Great Chamber- 
lains of Scotland, little satisfactory information could 
be collected; for our most ancient historians, although 
they occasionally mark the prices of provisions and of 
labour, commonly do so in years of scarcity, when the 
high rate to which they had risen fixed their attention 
upon the subject; and upon such data no correct 
inquiry could be founded.* These accounts, on the 
contrary, as they contain the ordinary and common 
prices of most articles, are on this, as on all other 
points which they embrace, our most authentic guides. 

It will be recollected that the value and the deno- 
mination of money, down to the reign of Robert the 
First, continued the same in Scotland and in England; 
and that, even under Edward the Third, the deprecia- 
tion of the Scottish money could not be very great, as 
it required a royal proclamation to put the people on 
their guard against it.*!* 

To begin with the price of grain, we find that, in 
1263, a chalder of oatmeal, fourteen bolls being com- 
puted for a chalder, cost exactly one pound.J In the 
same year, six chalders of wheat were bought for nine 
pounds three .shillings. § The prices, however, varied 
occasionally as we might expect. In 1264, twenty chal- 
ders of barley sold for ten pounds, although, in 1288, 
the price had fallen so low, that we find forty chalders 
sold for six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence, 
being at the rate of forty pence the chalder. || In 
1288, twelve chalders of wheat brought twelve marks, 
or thirteen shillings and four pence the chalder. II In 

* Preface to Fleetwood's Chronicon Preciosum. 

+ Madox's History of Exchequer, vol. i. p. 277. 4th Edition. The pound 
of silver by tale was twenty shillings ; the mark of silver 13s. 4d., or 160 

Ij: Chamberlain's Accounts, p. 9. Temp. Regis Alexander III., p. 66. 

§ Ibid. p. 9. 11 Ibid. p. 66. If Ibid. p. 69. 



1290, a clialder of barley sold for ten shillings, and a 
chalder of rye for four shillings;* while, in lo2.9, we 
find the prices of the same grain fluctuating from 
twenty to twenty-four shillings the chalder for the best 
barley .-[* In 1326, four chalders of oatmeal cost a 
hundred and six shillings and eight pence, being at the 
rate of twenty pence the boll ; whilst, of the same date, 
the same kind of grain, but probably of a superior 
quality, sold for two shillings the boll. J In 1360, a 
chalder of barley cost thirteen shillings and four pence, 
and five chalders of wheat brought eight pounds; 
whilst, five years after this, four chalders and eleven 
bolls of fine wheat could not be had under twelve pounds 
sixteen shillings. § About the same time, twenty-nine 
barrels of beer, purchased for the king''s household, 
cost eleven pounds nine shillings, and fifty-five barrels 
of herring twenty-nine pounds nineteen shillings. || 
As far back as 1263, we find that the price of a cow 
was four shillings and five pence ;1[ and that thirty 
muttons were purchased for the king's table, at the rate 
of twenty-five shillings, averaging exactly ten pence 
a-piece.** In the following year, forty cows were sold 
for ten pounds, the price of each being five shillings; 
whilst thirty-eight swine brought fifty-seven shillings, 
being no more than eighteen pence each; and, in 1288, 
twelve swine sold as low as a shilling a-head.-f"f* In 
1368, two oxen sold for thirteen shillings and four 
pence, being six shillings and eight pence a-head. In 

* Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 77. + Ibid. vol. i. p. 37. 

X Ibid. Compotum Constab. de Tarbat, vol. i. p. 2. 

§ Ibid. Compot. Clerici libationis, vol. i. p. 445. 

II Ibid. Compot. Clerici libationis, p. 445. In 1328, we find 1800 her- 
ring sold for twenty-eight shillings. Ibid. p. 28. In 1288, 100 eels brought 
three shillings, p. b'9. 

^ Ibid. Rotuli Compot. Temp. Regis Alex. III., p. 14. To twenty- 
four cows, 108 shillings. 

** Ibid. p. 15. 

ft Ibid. Temp. Custod. Regni, p. 56. Ibid. p. 77. 


the concluding passage of the Chamberlain'^s Accounts, 
seven score hens are sold for eleven shilling's and eight 
pence, exactly a penny each; and a tonegall of cheese, 
measuring six stones, sold for three shillings.* 

The common fuel of those times, consisting of peats 
and wood, was to be had at a moderate rate. In 1288, 
two hundred and five horse-loads of firewood, for the 
royal palace at Stirling, cost only thirty-six shillings 
and six pence. Eight wagon-loads of peats, including 
the carriage and some small expenses, cost thirteen 
pounds seventeen shillings and five pence. -[- Although 
coals were undoubtedly worked in Scotland as early 
as 1291, perhaps even anterior to this, yet we find 
them rarely mentioned previous to the reign of David 
the Second. Under this monarch, eighty-four chal- 
ders of coal beinfj purchased for the use of the queen's 
household, cost twenty-six pounds. J Salt appears to 
have been one of those necessaries of life which varied 
considerably in its price. In 1288, twelve chaldersof 
salt were sold for six shillings the chalder; whilst, in 
1360, ten chalders could not be purchased under thir- 
teen pounds six shillings and eight pence. § 

In comparing the wages of labour with the above 
prices of provisions, it is evident that, even in the most 
remote period which these researches have embraced, 
the lower orders must have lived comfortably. In the 
Chamberlain's Rolls of Alexander the Third, the 
Keeper of the King's warren at Craill receives, for 
his meat and his wages during one year, sixteen shil- 
lings and eight pence; and as this was deemed too 
high, it is added, that, for the coming year, he is to 

* Chamberlain's Accounts, Temp. Custod. Regni, pp. 77, 78. " Et scien- 
dum est quod quilibet tonegall valet 6 petras." 
t Ibid. p. 61. 

t Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i. p. 793. Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 495. 
§ Ibid. pp. 69, 392. 


liave his option to take either a mark, which was thir- 
teen shillings and four pence, or a chalder of oatmeal.* 
The gardener of the king at Forfar had, for his yearly 
wages, five marks ; the gardener at Menmouth only 
one mark;-f* and William, the king'*s cook and keeper 
of the royal larder, was paid, for his arrears of three 
years' wages, ten pounds. | The king's balistarius, or 
keeper of the cross-bows for the castle of Ayr, received 
yearly two marks and a half;§ whilst the warder of 
the same castle, for his yearly wages and support, cost 
the exchequer eight shillings. || 

When Alexander the Third was making prepara- 
tions against the expected invasion of the King of 
Norway, in 1263, in order to secure the allegiance of 
the petty princes who held the Western Isles, he seized 
their children as hostages for their peaceable behaviour. 
These, of course, he had to support ; and this explains 
an entry in the Chamberlains' Rolls, from which we 
may form some idea of the rate of living. For the 
expenses of the son of Angus, who was the son of 
Donald, with his nurse and a waiting woman, for 
twenty-six weeks, the king paid seventy-nine shillings 
and ten pence. H The expenses of another of these 
hostages, the son of Murchad, amounted to twenty- 
one shillings for twenty- four weeks ; and we find, that 
in speaking of twenty-two hostages from Caithness 
and Skye, the first was allowed for his living a penny, 
and the second three-halfpence a-day.** 

At the time of this expected invasion, Alexander 
possessed no regular navy; but a few ships of war 
appear to have been stationed in the port at Ayr: such, 
however, was the unsettled state of the country, that 

* Chamberlain's Accounts. Excerpta ex Rotulo Temp. Alex. III., p. 7. 
+ Ibid. p. 13. X Ibid. p. 1. § Ibid. p. 9. || Ibid. 

TI Excerpta ex Rotulo Temp. Alex. Ill,, p. 9. ** Ibid. pp. 14, 22. 


these vessels had to be watched, probably only during 
the night; and we find an entry in the same accounts 
of sixteen shillings and nine pence, to four men who 
had been employed w^atching the king's ships for 
twenty-three weeks.* In 1326, the fortifications of 
the castle of Tarbet having become insecure in some 
places, Robert the mason was employed to repair and 
strengthen the walls. This he did by contract, and as 
the quantity of work which was executed does not 
appear, no exact inference can be drawn from the sum 
paid, which amounted to two hundred and eighty- 
two pounds fifteen shillings. ■[• But in this work, two 
labourers were employed in carrying lime from Thorall 
to Tarbet, for twenty-nine weeks and three days, and 
received four shillings a-week for their wages,J being 
six pence and a fraction for each day. Days' wages, 
however, sometimes fell still lower; five barrowmen, 
or carriers, for three weeks'* work, received each only 
three shillings and four pence ; and for apparently the 
same repairs of Tarbet castle, seven labourers or 
barrowmen were engaged for thirty-two weeks at the 
rate of fourteen pence a-week each.§ 

Higher craftsmen, of course, received higher wages. 
John the carpenter was engaged for thirty-two weeks 
at three pence a day, with his meat, which was each 
month a boll of oatmeal, and one codra of cheese, the 
boll being reckoned at two shillings, and the codra of 
cheese at seven pence. || Nigel the smith had twelve 
pounds, and Nicolas the mason six pounds thirteen 
shillings and four pence, for his yearly wages.lF The 

* Excerpta ex Rotulo Temp. Alex. III., p. 9. 
+ Compotum Constab. de Tarbart, vol. i. p. 3. 
+ Ibid. p. 3. § Ibid. p. 4. 

II Ibid. p. 5. In pp. 77, 78, "we find a tonegall of cheese, which is there 
stated to be equal to six stones, sold for three shillings. 
H Ibid. p. 5. 


cooks who exercised their mystery at the nuptial feast 
given on the marriage of David the Second at Berwick, 
received, on that occasion, twenty-five pounds six shil- 
lings and eight pence. * To the minstrels who attended 
the ceremony, and we must remember that the rejoic- 
ings continued probably for many days, there was 
given sixty-six pounds fifteen shillings and four pence.i* 
John, the apothecary of King Robert Bruce, received 
for his salary eighteen pounds, and for his robe, a per- 
quisite which we find given to many of the king's 
servants and officers, the sum of twenty-six shillings 
and eight pence.^ It is somewhat singular, that many 
years after this, in 1364, Thomas Hall, the physician 
of David the Second, received only ten marks for his 
salary. § In 1358, however, Hector the doctor received 
at once from the king a fee of five pounds six shillings 
and eight pence, so that it is difficult to ascertain exactly 
the rate of the fees or the salaries of these learned 
leeches. The druggist, indeed, appears to have been 
a favourite ; for, in addition to his salary and his 
robe, we find him presented by the king in the course 
of the same year with a gift of fourteen pounds thir- 
teen shillings and four pence. 

The prices of clothes, according to the coarseness or 
the costliness of the materials, varied exceedingly. A 
robe for the keeper of the gate of the king''s chapel 
cost only twenty shillings ; a robe for Patrick de 
Monte-alto, w^hich was, in all probability, lined with 
rich furs, cost four pounds ; || a robe for the clerk of 
the rolls, twenty-six shillings^ on one occasion, and 
thirty shillings on another;** whilst John Bysit, a 
poor monk of Haddington, and one of King Robert's 

* Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 96. + Ibid. p. 96. 

t Ibid. p. 99. § Ibid. p. 539. H Ibid. pp. 101, 400. 

m Ibid. p. 478. ** Ibid. p. 526. 


pensioners, was allowed, in 1329, twenty shillings 
annually for his clothing;* and later than this, in 
1364, a poor scholar, who is denominated a relation of 
the king, received from David the Second four pounds 
annually, to provide himself in food and clotliing.-[* 
In 1263, Alexander the Third granted fifty shillings 
to nine prebendaries to provide themselves with vest- 
ments. J; 

Wine appears to have been consumed in large quan- 
tities at the royal table. In 1263, under Alexander 
the Tliird, who is celebrated in a fragment of an old 
song for " wine and wax, gamyn and glee," a hundred 
and seventy-eight dolii^ or hogsheads, of wine, were 
bought for four hundred and thirty-nine pounds six- 
teen shillings and eight pence. In 1264, sixty-seven 
hogsheads and one pipe cost the royal exchequer three 
hundred and seventy-three pounds sixteen shillings 
and eight pence; whilst in 1329, forty-two hogsheads, 
purchased from John de Hayel, a merchant at Sluys, 
in Flanders, cost a hundred and sixty-eight pounds. § 
A pipe of Rhenish wine, bought for David the Second, 
at the time he held his court at Dundee, cost five 
pounds; but a pipe of the same wine, of finer flavour, 
which David had sent to the Countess of Strathern, 
cost seven pounds six shillings and eight pence, in 
1361. II In 1364, the same lady received a hogshead 
of wine by the king's orders, for which the chamber- 
lain paid six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence. IF 
These wines were, without doubt, the same as those 
imported into England from Spain, Gascony, and 
Kochelle, and of which we find the prices fixed by a 

* Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 101. + Ibid. p. 413. 

t Excerpta ex Rotul. Compot. Temp. Alex. III., p. 13. 

§ Ibid. p. 1 7. Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 97. 

II Ibid. p. 377. t Ibid. p. 412. See also p. 414. 


statute of Richard the Second.* Other wines, of in- 
ferior price, were probably mixtures compounded in 
the country, and not of pure foreign growth. Thus, 
in 1263, we find the dolius, or hogshead, of red wine, 
mnum rubrtim, sold for thirty-six shillings and eight 
pence; and, at the same time, the hogshead of white 
wine brought two pounds.*!- ^^ other articles of luxury 
for the table, the great expense seems to have been in 
spices, confectionary, and sweetmeats, in which quan- 
tities of mace, cinnamon, flower of gilliflower, crocus, 
and ginger, appear to have been used, upon the prices 
of which it would be tedious and useless to enlarge. 

Some idea of the prices of gold and silver plate may 
be formed from an item in the Chamberlain's Accounts 
of the year 1364, in which it appears that Adam 
Torre, burgess of Edinburgh, furnished for the king"'s 
table thirteen silver dishes, and six silver saltcellars, 
for which he was paid seventeen pounds twelve shil- 

With regard to the rent and the value of land at 
this period, the subject, to be investigated in a satis- 
factory manner, would lead us into far too wide a field ; 
but any reader who is anxious to pursue so interesting 
an inquiry, will find, in the Cartularies of the difi'erent 
religious houses, and in the valuable information com- 
municated by the books of the Chamberlain^^! Accounts, 
a mass of facts, from the comparison of which he might 
draw some authentic deductions. The great difficulty, 
however, in an investigation of this nature, would arise 
from the want of any work upon the exact proportion 
which the ancient divisions of land, known in the Car- 
tularies by the epithets of carucatse, bovatae, perticatse, 

* M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 592. 

i* Excerpta ex Rotiil. Compot. Temp. Alex. III., p. 44. 

ij: Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 411. 


rodse, virgatse, bear to the measures of land in the 
present day: a desideratum which must be felt by any 
one attempting such an inquiry, in every step of his 
progress. For example, in an ancient roll, containing 
the rents of the Monastery of Kelso, preserved in the 
Cartulary of that religious house, and drawn up prior 
to 1320, we find, that the monks of this opulent estab- 
lishment possessed the grange or farm of Reveden in 
Roxburofhshire, in which thev themselves cultivated 
five carucates of land. The remainder of the property 
appears to have been divided into eight husbandlands, 
terrw hushandorum^ for which each of these husband- 
men paid an annual rent of eighteen shillings. Upon 
the same grange they had nineteen cottages ; for 
eighteen of which they received an annual rent of 
tw^elve pennies, and six days'* work at harvest and 
sheep-shearing. The ninth cottage rented at eighteen 
pence, and nine days' harvest work. Upon the same 
property they had two breweries, yielding a rent of 
two marks ; and one mill, which brought them nine 
marks yearly.* The difficulty here is, to ascertain 
the size of these husbandlands, in which inquiry, at 
present, I know not of any certain guide. The bovate 
or oxgang of land, according to Spelman and Ducange, 
contained eighteen acres; a carucate contained eight 
bovates; and eight carucates made up a knight's fee: 
but that the same measures obtained in Scotland. can- 
not be confidently asserted. Indeed, we know that 
they varied even in England, and that a deed, quoted 
in Dugdale's Monasticon, makes the bovate contain 
only ten acres; whilst Skene, upon no certain authority, 
limits it to thirteen. 

In the same monastic roll we find, that Hugo Cay 
had a small farm, which consisted of one bovate, for 

• Cartulary of Kelso, MS. Rotulus Reddituum Monasterii de Kalchcv?, 


Avliicli lie paid to the monks a rent of ten shillings; 
and for a cottage, with six acres attached to it, and a 
malt-house, the tenant gave six shillings a-year. At 
a remote period, under Alexander the Second, the 
monks of Melrose purchased, from Richard Barnard, 
a meadow at Farningdun, consisting of eight acres, for 
thirty-five marks. In 1281, we have already seen, 
that the portion of Margaret princess of Scotland, who 
was married to Eric king of Norway, was fourteen 
thousand marks. At the same time it was stipulated, 
that, for one-half of the portion, the King of Scotland 
might, at his option, assign to the King of Norway, 
durin<x the continuance of the marriao'e, rents of lands 
amounting to a tenth part of the money, or to seven 
hundred marks yearly ; whilst it was settled, that the 
princess was to have a jointure of one thousand four 
hundred marks; and in both the public instruments 
drawn up upon this occasion, an annuity upon the life 
of Margaret, then in her twenty-first year, was valued 
at ten years' purchase.* In 1350, a perpetual annuity 
of eight marks sterling, or five pounds six shillings 
and eight pence, secured on land, was bought for one 
hundred and twenty marks, being exactly fifteen years"* 
purchase. "I* To any of my readers who ma}" be solici- 
tous to pursue these inquiries farther; to investigate 
the comparative value of food and labour in the sister 
countries, and their relation to the prices in the pre- 
sent day, I would recommend the Table of the Prices 
of Corn, and other necessary articles, subjoined to 
M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce: a work which is 
a storehouse of authentic and interestin^j information 

* History, supra, vol. i, pp. 47, 48. 

t Hailes' Annals, vol. ii. p. 275. M'Phersou's Annals of Commerce, 
Appendix, vol. iv. No. Ill,, Chronological Table of the Prices of Corn, and 
other necessary articles. 


upon the early history, not only of European com- 
merce, but of European manners. 



During the period embraced by the above observa- 
tions, the Catholic Church, from the fear of encour- 
aging heresy and error, interdicted the unrestricted 
study of the Scriptures to the laity. Her solemn 
services were performed in a language not under- 
stood by the community at large. The people 
were dependent not only for religious knowledge, but 
for the commonest elements of secular instruction, 
upon their parish priests ; printing was unknown ; 
manuscripts rare, and letters generally despised by 
the higher orders. Under such obstacles, we are not 
to be surprised that the common character of the age 
was that of great darkness and ignorance, and that our 
Scottish ecclesiastical annals (so far as I am able to 
judge) present us with few active efforts for their 
removal. But there is another side upon which the 
view which they offer is more pleasing : I mean the 
civil influence which the church exerted upon the 
character of the government and of the people. And 
here I cannot help observing, that the history of her 
early relations with Rome, is calculated to place our 
clergy in a favourable light as the friends of liberty. 
The obedience which, in common with the other 
churches in Christendom, they paid to the great tem- 
poral head of the Catholic religion, was certainly 
far from being either servile or unlimited ; and it is 


singular, that the same fervid national spirit, the same 
genuine love of independence, which marks the civil, 
distinguishes also the ecclesiastical annals of the 
country. The first struggles of our infant church 
were called forth, not against any direct encroachments 
of the papal power, but to repel the attacks of the 
metropolitan sees of York and Canterbury. It was, at 
an early period, the ambition of one or other of these 
potent spiritual principalities to subject the Scottish 
primate, the Bishop of St Andrews, to the dominion 
of the English church, by insisting upon his receiving 
the right of consecration from the hands of one of the 
archbishops of England;* and nearly the whole reign 
of Alexander the First was spent in a determined 
resistance against such an encroachment, which con- 
cluded in the complete establishment of the indepen- 
dence of the Scottish Church. 

To introduce civilisation and improvement amongst 
his subjects, and to soften the ferocity of manners 
and cruelty of disposition, which characterized the 
different races over whom he ruled, was the great 
object of Alexander"'s successor, David the First; and 
he early found that the clergy, undoubtedly the most 
enlightened and learned class in the community, were 
his most useful instruments in the prosecution of this 
great design. Hence sprung those munificent endow- 
ments in favour of the church, and that generous 
liberality to the ecclesiastical orders which has been 
too rashly condemned, and which was, perhaps, neces- 
sary, in another point of view, in providing something 
like a counterpoise to the extravagant power of the 
greater nobles. Under this monarch, the individual 
freedom of the Scottish Church was rigidly maintained; 
while, at the same time, it declared itself a willing sub- 

* Eadmer, p. 99. Edition, folio, by Selden. Hailes, vol. i. pp. 54, 55. 



ject of the papal throne, and received the legate of the 
supreme pontiff with much humility and veneration. 
Individual independence, however, was esteemed in no 
degree incompatible with an acknowledgment of sub- 
jection to the Chair of St Peter. It is remarkable, too, 
that, at this remote period, there are traces of a freedom 
of discussion, and a tincture of heretical opinions, 
which, if we may believe an ancient historian, had, for a 
long time, infected the faith of the Scottish clergy.* 

After a feeble and ineffectual attempt, under the 
reign of Malcolm the Fourth, to renew the attack 
upon the freedom of the church, Henry the Second 
ungenerously availed himself of the captivity of 
William the Lion, to extort an acknowledgment of 
spiritual, as well as feudal, subjection ; but on this 
memorable occasion, the dexterous diplomacy of the 
Scottish commissioners, the Bishops of St Andrews 
and Dunkeld, procured the insertion of a clause in 
the treaty, which left the question of the indepen- 
dence of the national church open and undecided ;•[■ 
and at a council, soon after held at Northampton, in 
the presence of the papal legate, the Scottish bishops 
asserted their liberty, declaring, that they never had 
yielded any subjection to the English Church ; and 
opposing, with a zeal and boldness which, in this in- 
stance, proved successful, the unfounded pretensions 
of the rival sees of York and Canterbury.^ 

Hitherto engaged in repelling these inferior attacks, 
the Scottish clergy soon after found themselves in- 
volved, by the imperious character of the king, in a 
serious contention with the popedom itself. On the 
death of the Bishop of St Andrews, the chapter chose, 
for his successor, an^English monk, in opposition to 

* R. Hagulstad. p. 325. + Foedera, vol. i. p. 39. 

+ Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 474. 


the wishes of the king, who intended the primacy for 
Hugh, his own chaplain. Witli the violence which 
marked his character, William immediately seized the 
revenues of the see; procured Hugh to be consecrated; 
put him in possession; and when his rival, who had 
appealed in person to the pope, returned with a deci- 
sion in his favour, he was met by a sentence of banish- 
ment, which involved his whole family and connexions 


in his ruin. 

On this information reaching Rome, legatine powers 
were conferred, by the incensed pontiff, on the Arch- 
bishop of York and the Bishop of Durham, with a 
reserved authority to direct the thunder of exccm- 
munication against the king, in the event of his con- 
tumacy^; and the clergy of the diocese of St Andrews 
were commanded, upon pain of suspension, to acknow- 
ledge the authority of the extruded primate. But 
nothinij could shake the firmness of William. He 
replied to this new sentence of the pope, by banishing 
every person that dared to yield obedience to the papal 
favourite; upon which the sentence of excommunica- 
tion was pronounced by the legates, and the kingdom 
laid under an interdict. At this critical and terrible 
moment, when the monarch's determination to assert 
his own right of nomination had, in the sense of those 
times, plunged the land in spiritual darkness, the 
pontiff, Alexander the Third, died, and the King of 
Scotland lost not a moment in sendins: his commis- 
sioners to Rome, who succeeded in procuring from 
Lucius, the new pope, a recall of the sentence of ex- 
communication and interdict, and an ultimate decision 
in favour of the king. The mode in which this was 
done was ingeniously calculated, to gratify William, 
without detracting from the supreme authority of the 
Roman see. The two rival candidates, John and 


Hugh, came forward, and resigned into the hands of 
the pope all right to the contested bishoprick; upon 
which the pope installed Hugh, the favourite of the 
king, in the throne of St Andrews, and placed John 
in the inferior see of Dunkeld: a remarkable triumph, 
if we consider that it was achieved at a time when 
the proudest monarchs in Europe were compelled to 
tremble before the terrors of the popedom.* 

Not long after, Lucius, in his paternal anxiety to 
demonstrate his affection for his northern son, sent 
the golden rose to William, an honour rarely bestowed, 
and highly prized in that age; and this distinction 
only led to more important privileges, conferred by 
Clement the Third, the successor of Lucius, upon the 
Scottish Church. -[* It was declared, that in conse- 
quence of William's devoted and zealous affection to 
the Chair of St Peter, (a singular compliment to a 
prince who had lately opposed it in so determined a 
manner,) the Scottish Church was adopted as the spe- 
cial and favourite daughter of the apostolic see, and 
declared to be subject to no other intermediate power 
whatever. To the pope alone, or to his legate a latere^ 
was permitted the power of publishing the sentence of 
interdict and excommunication against Scotland; upon 
no one, unless a native of Scotland, or at least a per- 
son specially deputed by the Holy Father for this 
purpose, was the office of legate to be conferred; and 
in the event of any controversies arising regarding 
benefices, it w^as enacted, that no appeal should be 
competent to any foreign tribunal, except that of the 
Roman Church. J 

These were high privileges : they at once put an end 

* R. Hov. Hist. p. 621. 

+ Chron. Melross, p. 92. Gulielm. Neubrig. p. 754, 

X Chrouicou. Joan. Brompton, p. 1196. 


to the pretended superiority of the English Church, 
and conferred upon the Scottish prelates a vantage 
ground, from which they jealously defended, and eagerly 
watched the opportunity to extend and improve, their 
rights. This is strikingly exemplified in the reign of 
the successor of William, Alexander the Second. The 
Scottish monarch had made war upon John king of 
England, at the time that he had placed himself and 
his realm under the peculiar protection of the pope, — 
a proceeding which drew down a sentence of excom- 
munication and interdict against Alexander and his 
subjects. The temper with which this was received, 
seems to have convinced the Roman court that the 
terrors of his spiritual thunder were little felt in 
Scotland; and fearful, perhaps, of losing its influence 
altogether, it permitted the Scottish king, without per- 
forming the ignominious penance which generally pre- 
ceded absolution, to be again welcomed into the bosom 
of the church. At the same time, the sentence was 
removed from the whole body of his lay subjects; but 
the prelates and the rest of the clergy found, that they 
could only be restored to the exercise of their spiritual 
functions, upon the payment of large sums of money 
to the legate and his deputies.* Against this severity 
the king, jealous of the rights of his clergy, appealed 
to Rome, and obtained a judgment in his favour, which 
declared that the legate had exceeded his powers, and 
confirmed the privileges of the Scottish Church, "f" 

After a short time, this led to a still more important 
concession. In a moment of carelessness or indulgence, 
Honorius listened to the artful representations of the 
Scottish clergy. They lamented that, from the want 
of a Metropolitan, they could not hold a provincial 
council, and that, in consequence of this misfortune, 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 40. f Ibid. vol. ii. p. 42. 


many enormities had been committed, upon which he 
authorized them to dispense with this necessary solem- 
nity, and to assemble a General Council of their own 
authority. This permission, there cannot be the least 
doubt, was meant to be temporary; but it was loosely 
expressed, and the Scottish clergy instantly perceived 
and availed themselves of its ambiguit3^ They affected 
to understand it as of perpetual authority, assembled 
under its sanction, drew up a distinct form of proceed- 
ing, by which the Scottish provincial councils should 
in future be held, instituted the office of Conservator 
Statutorum, and continued to assemble frequent pro- 
vincial councils, without any further application for 
the consent of the holy see.* 

This happened in 1225, and the importance of the 
right which had been gained was soon apparent. For 
a long period, Scotland had impatiently submitted to 
the repeated visits of a papal legate, who, under the 
pretext of watching over the interests and reforming 
the abuses of the church, assembled councils, and levied 
large sums of money in the country. On the meeting 
of the Scottish king and Henry the Third at York, 
Otho, a cardinal deacon, and at that time legate in 
England, took an opportunity to intimate his inten- 
tion of visitiug Scotland, in order to inquire into the 
ecclesiastical concerns of the kingdom. " I have never 
seen a legate in my dominions," replied Alexander, 
" and as long as I live, I will not permit such an in- 
novation. We require no such visitation now, nor 
have we ever required it in times past."' To this firm 
refusal the king added a hint, that should Otho- ven- 

* Cart, of Moray, MS. Ad. Library, Edin. p. 11, Tlie canons of the 
Church of Scotland were transcribed by Ruddiman from the Cartulary of 
Aberdeen, and communicated to Wilkins, who published them in the tirst 
volume of the Concilia Magnse Britanniae. They were afterwards printed 
by Lord Hailes, with notes. 



ture to disregard it, and enter Scotland, he could not 
answer for his life, owing to the ferocious habits of his 
subjects; and the Italian prudently gave up all idea 
of the expedition.* But the zeal of the papal emis- 
sary was checked, not extin^^uished: and after a few 
years, Otho again attempted to make his way into 
Scotland. Alexander met him while he was yet in 
England, and a violent remonstrance took place, which 
ended in the legate being permitted to hold a council 
at Edinburgh, with a stipulation given under his seal, 
that this permission to enter the kingdom should not 
be drawn into a precedent. The king, however, re- 
fused to countenance by his presence, what he affirmed 
to be an unnecessary innovation, and retired into the 
interior of his kingdom; nor would he suffer the legate 
to extend his pecuniary exactions beyond the Forth. •[- 
In Alexander the Third, who equalled his prede- 
cessor in firmness, and surpassed him in sagacity, the 
church found a resolute patron and defender. A sum- 
mons, by a papal legate, addressed to the clergy of 
Scotland, commanding them to attend his court at 
York, was pertinaciously resisted, as being an infringe- 
ment of their ancient privileges;! whilst an attempt 
to levy money upon the cathedrals and parish churches, 
and to enter the country, was opposed by the king ; 
and in both instances the opposition was successful. § 
But this was not all. The Scottish clergy disclaimed 
obedience to the canons for the regulation of the eccle- 
siastical affairs of the country, which were enacted in 
a council held by the papal legate in England; and, 
aware of their own strength, assembled a provincial 
council at Perth, in which they promulgated canons 
of their own, and asserted their independence. In this 

* Math. Paris, a "Wats., p. 377. + Math. Paris, p. 422. 

Ijl Forduu a (ioodal, vol. ii, p. 96. § Ibid. vol. ii. p. 105. 


manner, the opposition, which the firmness of the 
second Alexander begun, the resolution of his succes- 
sor completed; and, before the conclusion of his reign, 
the independent rights of the Scottish Church may be 
regarded as firmly established. 

Whilst the Scottish monarchs and their clergy were 
thus amicably united in their resolutions to establish 
their independence, the internal relations which united 
the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and the good 
understanding subsisting between the crown and the 
church, were little uninterrupted by those fierce con- 
tentions which disturbed the repose of many other 
European kingdoms ; and the superior information 
and influence of the clergy were employed by our 
monarchs as a mean of improving the savage habits 
of their people, and a counterpoise to the exorbitant 
power of the great feudal nobles. It was amongst the 
clergy alone, that at this early period we find anything 
like a progress in the arts and in literature, if, indeed, 
the learning of our country during this age deserves 
so high a name. In their disquisitions in scholastic 
theology ; in an acquaintance with the civil and canon 
law; in the studies of alchemy and judicial astrology; 
and, in some rare instances, in a knowledge of the 
oriental languages and the mathematics, the clergy of 
Scotland were not far behind their brethren of Europe. 
There were a few individual instances, in which the 
subtile, fervid, and indefatigable, mind, which, accord- 
ing to GahJeo, marked the Scots at the era of the re- 
vival of letters, was to be seen amongst the Scottish 
scholars and philosophers of this remote age.* John 
Duns Scotus, a name which is now associated with 
feelings of unmerited ridicule, the founder of a school 

* This curious fact will be found mentioned in Sir R. Sibbald, Histora 
Literaria Gentis Scotorum, p. 30. MS. in the Ad. Library at Edinburgh. 


wliich extended its ramifications through every coun- 
try in Europe, for the encouragement of which princes 
lavished their treasures, and the most noted universi- 
ties were ready to devote their exclusive patronage, 
was undoubtedly a Scotsman, born in the Merse in 
the latter end of the reign of Alexander the Third. 
Unable to procure instruction in any of the higher 
branches of knowledge in his own country, he pursued 
his studies at Oxford; and from this university re- 
paired to Paris, where he found an asylum at the time 
that the arms of Edward the First had gained a tem- 
porary triumph over the liberties of his native country. 
The labours of this indefatigable schoolman, shut uj) 
in twelve folios, once handled with reverential awe, 
enjoy undisturbed repose upon the shelves of many a 
conventual library; yet his genius undoubtedly im- 
pressed itself strongly and lastingly upon his age: and 
the same mind, if fallen on better days, might have 
achieved less perishable triumphs, and added to the 
stock of real knowledge.* 

It has been already remarked, that in those dark 
days, in Scotland as w^ell as in every other country in 
Europe, the whole stock of learning and science was 
shut up in the church; and as the great body of the 
Scottish clergy received their education in the univer- 
sities of Oxford or Paris, for as yet no great semina- 
ries of learninc: had arisen in their own country, we 
must look for the intellectual acquirements of this in- 
fluential body in the nature of the studies which were 
then fashionable in the schools. That period of time 
w^hich elapsed from the commencement of the thirteenth 
to the beginning of the fourteenth century, has been 
distinguished in the history of human knowledge by 
the title of the scholastic age; and a very slight view 

* Cave, Hist Literaria, vol. ii. p. 3 of the Appendix. 


must convince us how dark a picture it presents. It 
is marked by the rise of the second age of the scholas- 
tic theology, in which the Aristotelian logic and meta- 
physics were, for the first time, introduced into the 
demonstrations of divine truth, and employed as an 
aid in the explanation of the Holy Scriptures. 

The compilation of voluminous and intricate systems 
of divinity which was introduced in the Greek Church, 
as early as the eighth century, by John of Damascus, 
and in the Latin by the unfortunate Abelard, seems 
to have suggested to Peter Lombard the idea of com- 
piling what he termed his " Four Books of the Sen- 
tences," which he extracted from the writings of the 
fathers, and more especially of St Augustine.* This 
work acquired, in a short time, an extensive reputa- 
tion; and its author, known by the name of the Master 
of the Sentences, became the founder of the scholastic 
theology. But this great system continued for a cen- 
tury comparatively pure and unsullied ; nor was it till 
its second age that we meet with the perpetual refer- 
ence to the dogmas of Aristotle, which, with equal 
absurdity and impiety, were quoted as giving autho- 
rity to the word of God. In progress of time the 
error gained strength, and, poisoning the sources of 
truth and knowledge, transformed the pure doctrines 
of the Scriptures, as they are found in the Bible, into 
an unmeaning rhapsody of words. Under both these 
ages of the scholastic theology, Scotland produced 
scholars whose reputation stood high in the schools. 
Richard, a prior of St Victor at Paris, and Adam, a 
canon regular of the Order of Premonstratenses, illu- 
minated the middle of the thirteenth century by 
voluminous expositions upon the Prophecies, the Apo- 

* Cave, Hist. Literaria, vol. ii. p. 221. Spanlieim, Epitome Isagogica ad 
Hist. Novi Test. p. 394. 


calypse, and the Trinity; by treatises on the threefold 
nature of contemplation, and soliloquies on the com- 
position and essence of the soul; while, during the 
second age of the scholastic theology, John Duns de- 
livered lectures at Oxford to thirty thousand students.* 
In the exact sciences, John Holybush, better known 
by his scholastic appellation, Joannes de Sacrobosco, 
acquired, during the thirteenth century, a high repu- 
tation, from his famous treatise upon the Sphere, as 
well as by various other mathematical and philosophi- 
cal lucubrations; and although claimed by three dif- 
ferent countries, the arguments in favour of his being 
a Scotsman are not inferior to those asserted by Eng- 
land and Ireland. Like his other learned brethren, 
who found little encouragement for science in their 
own country, he resided in France; and even at so 
late and enlightened a period as the sixteenth century, 
and by no less a scholar than Melancthon, was Sacro- 
bosco's work, the " Computus Ecclesiasticus," esteemed 
worthy of the editorial labours of this reformer. 

Another extraordinary person, who figured in those 
remote times, and over whose life and labours super- 
stition has thrown her romantic and gloomy light, was 
Michael Scott, the astrologer of the Emperor Frederic 
the Second, and the great assistant of that monarch 
in his plan for restoring the works of A ristotle to the 
learned world of Europe, through the medium of trans- 
lations from the Arabic. Previous to his reception at 
the court of Frederic, Michael had studied at Oxford; 
and he afterwards visited France, Italy, and Spain, in 
the unwearied pursuit of such knowledge as the great 
universities of those countries afforded to the students 
of the thirteenth century. Mathematics, astronomy, 
and the sister art of astrology, were his favourite pur- 

* Cave, Hist. Liter, vol. ii. p. 228. Ibid. Appendix, p. 3. 


suits; and in Spain, then partly in possession of the 
Arabians, and assuredly at this time the most en- 
lightened portion of Europe, he acquired that acquain- 
tance with the Arabic, which, in the general ignorance 
of the Greek language, was the only source from 
whence a knowledge of the Aristotelian philosophy 
could be derived. In obedience to the injunctions of 
the emperor, Michael Scott commenced his labours; 
and from the manuscripts which he has left, and which 
have reached our times, it is probable that he did not 
conclude theiii until he had translated and commented 
on the greater part of the works of the Stagy rite.* 
From the plan of Frederic, however, or the versions 
of the Scottish philosopher, little real benefit could be 
derived to science, for the Arabians had themselves 
greatly corrupted Aristotle ; and we need not wonder 
that translations from such sources, and made in utter 
ignorance of the language of the original, must have 
retarded rather than accelerated the progress of real 
knowledge. Accordingly, Roger Bacon, a man whose 
genius was far in advance of the age in which he 
lived, is not unsparing in his censure ; and, in no very 
measured phrase, accuses the wizard of being at once 
a plagiarist and an impostor.-[- As a mathematician 
and astronomer, he is entitled to less dubious praise; 
and his commentary on the " Sphere of Sacrobosco,""* 
was thought worthy of being presented to the learned 
world of Italy at so late a period as 1495. J It may be 
conjectured, therefore, that Michael owes much of his 
fame to his assumption of the character of a prophet 

* Jourdain Recherches Critiques sur I'age des Traductions Latines D'Aris- 
totle, pp. 132, 133. 

f " Michael Scotus, ignarus quidem et verborum et rerum ; fere omnia 
quae sub nomine ejus prodierunt ab Andrea quodam Judajo mutuatus est." 
Roger Bacon apud Jourdain, p. 141. This learned oriental scholar conjec- 
tures, that in the above passage, for Andrea, we should read Avendar Judaeo. 

X Panzeri AnnaJes Typogr. vol. i. p. 231. 


and a magician ; and that if tlic greatest of our Scot- 
tish minstrels had not embalmed him in his imperish- 
able poem, and the high-wrought superstition of his 
country interwoven his dreaded predictions into the 
body of her romantic legends, his name might long 
ago have sunk into oblivion.* He was Baron of Bal- 
wearie in Fife, and must have been born previous to 
the year 121 7.i* The name of John Suisset, whose 
profound mathematical attainments are commemorated 
by Scaliger and Cardan, completes the brief catalogue 
of those philosophers and men of science whom Scot- 
land, in that remote age, sent out to contest the palm 
of intellectual superiority with their brethren of 
Europe ; and when we consider, that everything which 
could aftord an encoura2:ement to letters or to science 
was then a desideratum in our country, it is honour- 
able to find, by the acknowledgment of the scholars of 
Italy, " that the barbarians were considered not infe- 
rior in genius to themselves /'J 

In turning, however, from such rare examples of 
talent in the church, to the literary attainments of the 
nobility, or to the means of instruction possessed by 
the great body of the people, the prospect is little else 
than a universal blank. During the long period from 
the accession of Alexander the Third to the death of 
David the Second, it would be impossible, I believe, 
to produce a single instance of a Scottish baron who 
could si2;n his own name. The studies which formed 

* " Michael iste dictus est spiritu prophetico clamisse, ediditenim versus, 
quibus quarundam Italia; urbium ruinam variosque predixit eventus." Pipino 
apud Jourdain, p. 131. See also Benvenuto da Imola's Commentary on the 
Inferno, book xx. v. 115. 

+ This is evident from a Latin MS. at Paris, which bears to have been 
translated by Michael Scott at Toledo, anno Christi Mccxvii. 

+ In speaking of Suisset and John Duns, Cardan, in his Treatise de Sub- 
•tilitate, p. 470, observes, " Ex quo baud dubiura esse reor, quod etiara in 
libro de Animi Immortalitatescripsi, barbaros ingenio nobis baud esse infe- 
riores, quandoquidem sub brumae ca;lo divisa toto orbe Britannia duos tam 
clari ingenii viros emiserit." — living's Lives of the Scottish Poets, vol. i. p. 31. 


the learning of the times were esteemed unworthy of 
the warlike and chivalrous spirit of the aristocracy, 
and universally abandoned to the church. Yet there 
is ample evidence in the Cartularies that Scotland, 
although possessed of no college or university, had 
schools in the principal towns, which were under the 
superintendence of the clergy, and wherein the youth- 
ful candidates for ecclesiastical preferment were in- 
structed in grammar and logic. We find, for example, 
in the Cartulary of Kelso, that the schools in Roxburgh 
were under the care of the monks of Kelso durins" the 
reign of David the First; and that the rector of the 
schools of this ancient burgh was an established ofiice 
in 1241.* Perth and Stirling had their schools in 
1173, of which the monks of Dunfermline were the 
directors ; and the same authentic records introduce 
us to similar seminaries in the towns of Ayr, South 
Berwick, and Aberdeen. -f- 

It seems also probable that, within the rich monas- 
teries and convents which, at this period, were thickly 
scattered over Scotland, there w^ere generally to be 
found schools, taught by the monks, who were in the 
habit of receiving and educating the sons of the nobi- 
lity. J It is certain that, attached to the cathedral 
church belonging to the Monastery of St Andrews, 
there stood a lyceum, where the youth were instructed 
in the Quodlibets of Scotus ; § and that, so early as 
1233, the schools of St Andrews were under the 
charge of a rector. A remarkable instance of this is 
to be found in the Cartulary of Kelso, where Matilda, 
the Lady of Moll, in the year 1260, grants a certain 

* Cartulary of Kelso, pp. 1, 258, 343. 

+ Sir L. Stewart's Coll. Ad. Lib. No. 45. Cart, of Paisley, p. 284. Cart, 
of Aberdeen, pp. 74, 80, 81. Caledonia, vol. i. pp. 767, 768. 
Ij: Ant. Augustini Epitome Juris Pontificii Veteris, vol. ii. p. 34, 
§ Martine's Reliquiae Divi Andreae, p. 187. 


rent to be paid to the abbot and the monks of this 
religious house, under the condition, that they should 
board and educate her son with the best boys who were 
intrusted to their care.* 

In the Accounts of the Chamberlain of Scotland, we 
find an entry of twenty shillings, given by Robert 
Bruce, in 1329, to the support of the schools at Mon- 
trose ;'\' and the same record recounts a charitable 
donation of £13, 6s. 8d. presented, by this monarch, 
to Master Gilbert de Benachtyn, for his support in his 
studies. J Yet the instances of eminent Scottish 
scholars, which have been already noticed, prove con- 
vincingly that their own country could, at this period, 
afford them little else than the bare rudiments of edu- 
cation; and the consequent resort of students to France 
led to the foundation of the Scots College at Paris, in 
the year 1325, by David bishop of Moray, — an emi- 
nent seminary, which was soon replenished with stu- 
dents from every province in Scotland. § 

In addition to the Scholastic Theology, both the 
Civil and the Canon Laws were ardently cultivated 
during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, — an 
eminence in these branches being considered the cer- 
tain road to civil and ecclesiastical distinction. The 
titles of Doctor decretorum, Licentiatus in legibus, 
and Baccalaureus in decretis, are found, not unfre- 
quently, subjoined to the names of our dignitaries in 
the church; and the Records of the University of 
Paris afford evidence that, even at this early period, 

* Cart, of Kelso, p. 114. 

+ Cart, of Dunferm. M'Farlane's Transcript, p. 579. 

X Compot. Camerarii Scotia;, pp. 95, 96. See also p. 413, for this sin- 
gular entry in the time of David the Second, anno 1364. " Et in victu et 
vestitu unius pauperis scolaris consanguine! domini nostri regis apud Edin- 
burgh de mandato regis, 4 lbs." 

§ Irving's Lives of the Scottish Poets, Prefatory Dissertation, p. 61, 
Nicholson's Scottish Historical Library, p. 77. 


tlie Scottish students had not only distinguished them- 
selves in the various branches of learning then culti- 
vated, but had risen to some of the highest situations 
in this eminent seminary.* From these foreign uni- 
versities they afterwards repaired to their own country, 
bringing with them the learning, the arts, and the 
improvements of the continent. There is evidence, in 
the history of the various foundations of our religious 
houses, by our early monarchs, that the clergy who 
were educated abroad were especially favoured at 
home ; and after their settlement in the church, a 
constant intercourse with their continental brethren 
enabled them to keep pace, in intellect and knowledge, 
with the great family of the churchmen of Europe. 
For such learning as then existed in the world, the 
monasteries aflforded, in Scotland as in other countries, 
a sacred receptacle ; and although the character of the 
theology there taught was not of a high order, and 
the state of other branches of human learning deformed 
by error, yet, without the feeble spark preserved in 
the religious houses, and the arts of life which were 
there cultivated and improved by the clergy, the state 
of the country, during the period of which we are now 
writing, would have been deplorable indeed. Much 
that we know of the authentic circumstances of the 
times, we owe to the monastic annalists, who employed 
their leisure in the composition of those rude chro- 
nicles which, distant as they are from the model of a 
grave or enlightened history, often convey to us very 
striking pictures. 

In every monastery in Scotland it appears to have 
been the custom to compile three sorts of register- 

* Bulseus, Hist. Uniyers. Parisiens. vol. iv. pp. 960, 968. 974, 989. Keith's 
Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, pp. 82, 83, 84. Mylne, Vitse Episcoporum 
Dunkeldensium, p. 17. Editio Bannatyniana. 


books; specimens of which having been saved from the 
wreck of time, enable us to form a pretty correct idea 
of their nature and contents. The first was a general 
register, compiled in the shape of a chronicle, or book 
of annals, containintj the events arranged under the 
years in which they happened. Such are the frag- 
ments entitled, " Chronica de Origine Antiquorum 
Pictorum;" the " Chronicon Sancta3 Crucis;" the 
*' Chronicle of Melross;'" the short fragment of the 
" Chronicle of Holyrood;" the " Liber Pasletensis;" 
and various other ancient " chronica,"''' which wxre 
written anterior to the fatal year 1291, when Edward 
collected and carried away the historical records of the 

The second species of monastic register was a bare 
obituary ; in w^hich we find recorded the decease and 
the interment of the various abbots, priors, and bene- 
factors of the monastery : and the third was the 
Cartulary, in which the charters of the kings, or 
other great men who favoured the religious house; 
the bulls of the popes ; the revenues of their lands ; 
the leases granted to their vassals or dependants ; the 
history and the proceedings of the various lawsuits in 
which they were engaged ; the taxes which they paid 
to the crown ; and many other minute and interesting 
particulars are recorded.* The collection of these last 
is fortunately much more complete than w^e should have 
anticipated from the lamentable havoc and destruction 
which occurred at the period of the reformation. Many 
of the original Cartularies are preserved in that noble 
repository of manuscripts which is the property of the 
Faculty of Advocates; others have been discovered 
in the libraries of ancient families, or of private col- 
lectors ; and it is in this great storehouse of authentic 

* Nicholson's Scottish Historical Library, p. 77. 


records that there is to be found, although in a shape 
somewhat repulsive to the general reader, the most 
fresh and living pictures of the manners of the times. 

This period, however, besides these monkish anna- 
lists, produced one writer of original genius: I mean 
Barbour, the metrical historian of Bruce, of whose 
work it is difficult to say whether it ranks highest as a 
faithful history of this great monarch, and of the man- 
ners of his age; or a graphic and spirited poem, full of 
noble sentiment, and occasionally varied with beautiful 
descriptions of natural scenery. It is in every respect 
a remarkable production for so early an age as the 
middle of the fourteenth century"; and contains many 
passages, which, in the strength and purity of the lan- 
guage, in the measured fulness of the rhythm, and the 
richness of the imagery, are not inferior to Chaucer.* 
Its author was born about the year 1316; and, after 
havino: received the rudiments of his education in his 
own country, pursued his higher studies at Oxford, 
and afterw^ards in France. f On his return to his native 
country, he rose to considerable preferment in the 
church; and devoted the leisure which he spared from 
the duties of his archdeanery, to the composition of his 
great national poem, for which he was rewarded by a 
pension from Robert the Second. J Another work of 
this writer was a history or genealogy of the Kings of 
Scotland, compiled, in all probability, from Wace, or 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, and entitled "The Brute.'' 
It is mentioned in " Winton's Chronicle ;""§ but has 
not reached our times. Winton himself, and his bro- 
ther historian, Fordun, both writers of great value, do 
not properly belong to this period. 

* Warton's History of English Poetry, p. 318. ' 

i" Jamieson's Memoirs of the Life of Barbour, p. 6. + Ihid. p. 8. 

§ AVinton's Chronicle, book iii. chap. iii. v. 139, vol. i. p. 54. Ellis's 
Specimens of the Early English Poets, vol. i. p. 228. 


Considerably prior, in point of time, to Barbour, 
was the celebrated Thomas the Rhymer, or Thomas 
of Ercildoune, the author of the romance of Sir 
Tristrem, a poem which enjoyed the highest celebrity, 
not only in his own country and in England, but 
throughout Europe. It has been observed as a remark- 
able circumstance, that while, prior to the period of 
Chaucer, there is to be found no English romance 
which is not a translation from some earlier French 
original; and at the time when the progress of the 
English language, in the country which has given it 
its name, was retarded by many powerful obstacles, 
the poets of the south of Scotland appear to have de- 
rived their romantic fictions from more original sources, 
and to have embodied them in a dialect of purer Eng- 
lish, than the bards of the sister kingdom. In the 
romance of Sir Tristrem, written about the middle of 
the thirteenth century,* and in two other more ancient 
Scottish romances, Gawan and Gologras, and Goloran 
of Galloway, so very scanty are the traces of anything 
like a French original, that, according to the conjec- 
ture of the great writer to whom we owe the publication 
of the first and most interesting of these early relics, 
it is probable they have been originally extracted from 
that British mine of romantic fiction from which have 
proceeded those immortal legends of Arthur and his 
knights, which took such a hold on the youthful ima- 
gination of Milton. The names of all the important 
personages in the story are of British origin ; and it is 
conjectured, upon data which it would be difficult to 
controvert, that in Tristrem himself, however trans- 
formed by the poetic colouring of Thomas of Ercil- 
doune, we are to recognise an actual British warrior, 

* Introduttion to the Romance of Sir Tristrem, by Sir Walter Scott, p. 
12. Ibid. p. 57. 


who, in the last struggles of the little kingdom of 
Cornwall against its Saxon invaders, signalized him- 
self by those exploits which have given the ground- 
work to this poetic romance.* In England, the Nor- 
man conquest, and the consequent pre valency of the 
Norman-French, which became the lanofuaoje of the 
court, and the medium in which all legal proceedings 
w^ere carried on, necessarily corrupted the purity of 
the Saxon language. " In England," to use the words 
of Sir Walter Scott, in his Introduction to Sir Tris- 
trem, " it is now generally admitted, that after the 
Norman conquest, while the Saxon language was aban- 
doned to the lowest of the people, and while their 
conquerors only deigned to employ their native French, 
the mixed language, now called English, existed only 
as a kind of lingua Franca, to conduct the necessary 
intercourse between the victors and the vanquished. 
It was not till the reign of Henry the Third that this 
dialect had assumed a shape fit for the purposes of the 
poet ; and even then it is most probable that English 
poetry, if any such existed, was abandoned to the pea- 
sants and menials ; while all who aspired above the 
vulgar, listened to the lais of Marie, the romances of 
Chrestien de Troyes, or the interesting fabliaux of the 
Anglo-Norman trouveurs. The only persons who ven- 
tured to use the native language of the country in 
literary compositions, were certain monkish annalists, 
who usually think it necessary to inform us that they 
descended to so degrading a task out of pure charity, 
lowliness of spirit, and love to the ' lewed men,** mean- 
ing the lower classes, who could not understand the 
Latin of the cloister, or the Anglo-Norman of the 

* Introduction to the Romance of Sir Tristrem, by Sir Walter Scott, pp. 
62, 53. 


Whilst such was the case in England, the forma- 
tion of the language spoken in the sister country took 
place under different circumstances ; so that, instead 
of considering the language, in which Thomas of Ercil- 
doune and his successors have written, as a daughter of 
the Anglo-Saxon, it would be more correct to regard it 
as an independent stream, derived from the great foun- 
tain of the ancient Gothic, but coming to us, in Scotland, 
through purer channels than those wherein it flowed 
into England. Into the great controversy regarding 
the origin of the Pictish people, it would be entirely 
out of place to enter at present ; although any exami- 
nation hitherto made of the original authorities, upon 
both sides of a question which has been agitated with 
an asperity peculiarly inimical to the discovery of the 
truth, rather inclines me to consider them as a race 
of G othic origin, — an opinion supported by the united 
testimony of Bede, Nennius, Gildas, and the Saxon 
Chronicle.* Every hypothesis which has been adopt- 
ed to account for the introduction of the Saxon lan- 
guage into Scotland, from England, by the gradual 
influx of Saxon and Norman nobles, by the multitude 
of English captives taken in war, or by the marriage 
of Malcolm Canmore with a Saxon princess, seems 
extremely unsatisfactory; and it appears a more ten- 
able theory to suppose, that in the great kingdom of 
Strathclyde, — which came at last to be wrested from 
the original British tribes by the Saxons, in the largo 
district of the Lothians and of Berwickshire, which 
was entirely peopled by Saxons, and in the extensive 
dominions of the Picts, a race of people descended 
from the same Gothic stem, — there was formed, in the 
progress of centuries, a Gothic dialect, which we may 

* Jamieson's Dissertation on the Origin of the Scottish Language, pp. 2^ 
4, 26", prefixed to his Dictionary. 


call the Scoto-Saxon ; similar to the Anglo-Saxon in 
its essential character, but from the circumstances 
under which its formation took place, more unmixed 
with any foreign words or idioms. It was this Scoto- 
Saxon language, called by Robert de Brunne " strange 
Inglis," or " quaint Inglis," * which appears to have 
been spoken by the Scots from the beginning of the 
twelfth century, and continued the language of the 
court and of the people down to the time of 3arbour 
and Winton. It was in this language that the wan- 
dering minstrels of those days composed their romantic 
legends of love or war ; and that the higher bards, 
who, to use the words of the ancient chronicler above 
quoted, wrote for " pride and noblye," and to satisfy 
their thirst for fame, composed the romances which 
were then popular in Scotland, and came, through 
the medium of translations into Latin and Norman- 
French, to be famous throughout Europe. -f That the 
Gaelic was the language of the great body of the Celtic 
people, who at a remote period overspread the greatest 
part of Scotland, and that it was understood and spoken 
by Malcolm Canmore himself, is a fact resting on the 
most undo-ubted evidence ; but it is equally certain, 
that such is the radical difference in the character and 
construction of these two tongues, that they have con- 
tinued, from the earliest period to the present day, 
totally distinct, refusing to blend or amalgamate with 
each other. In like manner, the Norman-French, 
although understood by the Scottish monarchs and 
their nobility, and frequently employed in their diplo- 
matic correspondence, seems never, as in England, to 
have usurped the place of the ancient national dialect 

* Introduction to Sir Tristrem, pp. 65, 66. 

+ Sir Walter Scott's Introduction to the Romance of Sir Tristrem, pp, 
74, 75, 76. 



of the Scoto-Saxon ; whilst the Latin, the language of 
science, of theology, of all civil and ecclesiastical con- 
tracts and legal proceedings, was principally under- 
stood by the monks and the clergy. It may be con- 
jectured, therefore, on pretty strong grounds, that the 
mass of the people, to the south of the Firth of Tay, 
spoke the Scoto-Saxon, and that this " quaint Inglis," 
as it is called by Robert de Brunne, was a purer 
stream from the Gothic fountain than the Enfjlish 
spoken or written at the same period in the sister 
country. Of this language very few specimens have 
reached our times in a genuine and uncorrupted state. 
The constant alterations which took place in early 
orthography, and in the gradual introduction of new 
idioms, render it impossible to quote any fragment as 
a correct specimen of the language of the period, if 
this relic is only preserved in a writer of a later age, 
and is not itself written at, or at least within, a very 
short time of its real date. Thus, we cannot say for 
certain, that the little song or monody, which has 
already been quoted, composed on the death of Alex- 
ander the Third, as preserved by Winton, is exactly 
in its genuine state, as the earliest manuscript of 
Winton, now extant, could not have been written 
prior to 1420 or 1421;* and in the long period of 
nearly a century and a half, a great change must have 
taken place in the language. The manuscript of Tho- 
mas of Ercildoune''s poem is, on the contrary, of great 
antiquity, and has been pronounced by able antiqua- 
ries to belong to the middle of the fourteenth century ;-|- 
but it appears to have been transcribed in England, 
and must, consequently, have undergone many changes 
from its original purity. It still, however, contains 

* Macpherson's Preface to Winton's Chronicle, p. 31. 

t Dr Irving's MS. History of Scottish Poetry, p. 27. Soe postea, p. 307. 


many idioms whicli are at this day used in Scotland, 
although they have long ceased to be English; and its 
language exhibits, perhaps, the nearest approach to 
the genuine Scoto-Saxon, which is to be found prior 
to the time of Barbour and Winton. The description 
of Roland E-is, the father of the good Sir Tristrem, is 
as follows : — 

" He -was gode and hende, 
Stalworth, wise, and wiglit ; 
Into this londes ende 
Y wot non better knight ; 
Trewer non to frende, 
And Rouland Ris he hight ; 
To batayl gan he "wende ; 
Was wounded in that fight, 

Blaunche Flower the bright 
The tale them herd she telle." * 

The style of the poem is throughout exceedingly 
abrupt and elliptical ; and there is a concentration in 
the narrative, which, by crowding events into small 
room, produces an obscurity which renders it difficult 
to follow the story : but there are some fine touches of 
nature; and it is valuable for its pictures of ancient 

There is every reason to believe, that many other 
romances, written in the ancient Scottish, or Scoto- 
Saxon, were composed at this period; and that their 
authors were in high estimation, encouraged by kingly 
patronage, and welcomed in the halls and castles of the 
feudal nobility. It unfortunately happened that the 
art of printing was not yet discovered ; so that the 
few written copies of such "gests and romances," which 
must have thrown such striking lights upon the genius 
and manners of our ancestors, have long ago perished. 
The simple names of the authors, or " makars^'' with a 

* Sir Tristrem, p. 15. 


brief and unsatisfying notice of the subjects of their 
composition, are all that remain. Amongst these 
shadows we find a venerable poet commemorated by 
Winton,in his Chronicle, underthe name of "Hucheon 
of the Awle Ryall," or " Hugh of the Royal Court," 
whose great work was entitled the " Gest of Arthure." 
He appears, however, to have been a voluminous writer 
for those early days; as, in addition to "Arthure,"he 
composed the "Geste of the Brute,"" the ''Aventures 
of Sir Gawyn,"" and the " Pystyl of Swete Susan.*"* Of 
these works, the last, a short poem, founded on the 
story of " Susannah and the Elders," has reached our 
times. It is composed in a complicated alliterative 
stanza, in the use of which the bards of the " north 
countree" are reputed to have been especially skilful; 
but it undoubtedly contains no passages which, in any 
degree, support the high character given of its author 
by Winton. " It becomes all men,"" says this histo- 
rian, " to love Hucheon ; who was cunning in litera- 
ture, curious in his style, eloquent and subtile; and 
who clothed his composition in appropriate metre, so 
as always to raise delyte and pleasure."*"**!* If any 
reader, with the help of a glossary, will consent to 
labour through the " Pystyl of Swete Susan," he will 
probably be disposed to come to the conclusion, either 
that it is not the identical composition of the bard of 
the " Awle Ryall,"*' or that his merits have been infi- 
nitely overrated by the partiality of Winton. His 
great historical romance, however, or " Gest Histori- 
cal," was, we may presume, a superior composition. 
In it he treated of subjects which were dear to the 
feelin2:s and imasrinations of our ancestors : of the 
doughty deeds of Arthur; of his worship and prowess; 
his conquests and royal estate ; his round table and 

* Winton's Chronicle, vol. i. p. 121. f Ibid, p. 122. 


twelve peers ; and it was, probably, in listening to 
these tales of love and war, that the ladies and knights 
of Winton's days experienced that " plesans and 
delyte,*" which we in vain look for in the only compo- 
sition of his which has reached our days. It has been 
asserted by Chalmers, that in Hucheon of the " Awle 
Ryall," we are to recognise Sir Hugh de Eglinton, 
whose death is lamented by Dunbar, in his pathetic 
" Lament" for the death of the Scottish poets who 
had preceded him ; but the grounds on which the 
opinion is founded appear slight and unconvincing.* 

Besides these higher poets of established excellence 
and fixed habitation, there can be no doubt that Scot- 
land, from an early period, produced multitudes of 
errant minstrels, who combined the characters of the 
bard and the musician; and wandering with their 
harp from castle to castle, sang to the assembled lords 
and dames those romantic ballads of love and war 
which formed the popular poetry of the day. It was 
impossible, indeed, that it should be otherwise. The 
Gothic tribes which, at a very early period, possessed 
themselves of the Lowlands ; the Saxons and North- 
umbrians who dwelt on the Border ; the Scan- 
dinavians or Norwegians, who for several centuries 
maintained possession of the islands, and of Ross and 
Caithness ; and the Normans, whose original love for 
romantic fiction was cherished by their residence in 

* " I think there cannot be any doubt, -whether Sir Hugh de Eglynton 
■were not Hucheon of the ' Awle Ryale.' " Letter of Mr Chalmers to Mr 
David Laing, and quoted in his Introduction to the Pystyl of Swete Susan. 
It has been acutely observed by Dr Irving, in the third chapter of a History 
of Scottish Poetry, not yet published, but which, it is to be hoped, he will 
not long withhold from the world, "~that when the author of Gawan and 
Gologras introduces the name of Hugh, he does not exhibit it in the form 
of Hucheon, but that both he and Winton exhibit it in the form of Hew.*' 
I have great pleasure in acknowledging the polite and liberal feeling with 
■which Dr Irving communicated to me the three first chapters of his manu- 
script, and the assistance I have derived, upon this and many other occar 
sions, from his learning and research. 


France, were all passionately addicted to poetry. They 
possessed a wild imagination, and a dark and gloomy 
mythology ; they peopled the caves, the woods, the 
rivers, and the mountains, with spirits, elves, giants, 
and dragons : and are we to wonder that the Scots, 
a nation in whose veins the blood of all those ancient 
races is mingled, should, at a remote period, have 
evinced an enthusiastic admiration for song and poetry; 
that the harper was to be found amongst the officers 
who composed the personal state of the sovereign; and 
that the country maintained a privileged race of wan- 
dering minstrels, who eagerly seized on the prevailing 
superstitions and romantic legends, and wove them, in 
rude but sometimes expressive versification, into their 
stories and ballads ; who were welcome guests at the 
gate of every feudal castle, and beloved by the great 
body of the people ? We learn from a curious passage 
in Giraldus Cambrensis, which has been quoted by Sir 
Walter Scott, in his Introduction to Sir Tristrem, 
that the country situated beyond the Humber and the 
limits of York, in remote times undoubtedly a part of 
the kingdom of Scotland, acquired much fame for a 
peculiar mode of singing in parts, which Giraldus de- 
scribes with great minuteness, and in terms of admira- 
tion. This ancient style appears to have been nothing 
more than a skilful combination of two voices, a base 
and a treble, " una inferius submurmurante, altera 
vero superne demulcente pariter et delectante.""* 

In the reign of David the First, at the battle of the 
Standard, which was fought in 1138, minstrels, posture 
makers, and female dancers, accompanied the army;-[- 
and there can be little doubt that in Scotland, as in 
France and England, the profession of a minstrel 

* Sir Tristrein, Introduction, p. 70. 

f Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, Twysden, vol.i. p. 342, 


combined the arts of music and recitation, with a pro- 
ficiency in the lower accomplishments of dancing and 
tumbling.* In Giraldus Cambrensis, there is a re- 
markable testimony to the excellency of the Scottish 
music, during the reign of Henry the Second, who was 
contemporary with William the Lion. " In Ireland,'"* 
says he, " they use for their delight only two musical 
instruments, the harp and the tabor. In Scotland we 
find three, — the harp, the tabor, and the bagpipe, -[- 
(choro.) In Wales they have also three, — the harp, 
the pipe, and the horn. The Irish employ strings 
made of brass wire instead of the gut of animals. It 
is the opinion of many at this day, that Scotland has 
not only equalled her mistress, Ireland, in musical 
skill, but has far excelled her, so that good judges are 
accustomed to consider that country as the fountain- 
head of the art." 

It seems to have been a custom in Scotland, as old, 
at least, as Alexander the Third, that when the sove- 
reign made his progress through the country, minstrels 
and singers received him on his entrance into the 
towns, and accompanied him when he took his depar- 
ture ; and we find Edward the First, in his triumphal 
journey through the land in 1296, paying certain sums 
of money as a remuneration for the same melodious 
reception. Whether Bruce was himself a proficient 
in music, the favourite accomplishment of many a 
knight in those days, is not known; but he undoubt- 
edly kept his minstrels : and we have already seen that, 
upon the marriage of David his son to the Princess 

* Bishop Percy's Essay on the Ancient Minstrels, p. 25, and Notes, p. 
62, note F. 

+ Camdeni Anglica. Hiber. Normann. p. 739. In the first edition of this 
history, I introduced cornu for choro in this sentence ; hut my friend, Mr 
Dauney, in his learned and excellent dissertation, prefixed to his " Ancient 
Scottish Melodies," has completely proved that the word is choro, and 
means the bagpipe. Dissertafion, pp. 122, 123. 


Joanna of England, there is an entry in the accounts 
of the Great Chamberlain, which shows that the roval 
nuptials were cheered by Scottish and English mins- 
trelsy;* and that the minstrels of the King of Eng- 
land, having accompanied their youthful mistress into 
lier new dominions as far as Dunbar, were there dis- 
missed, with a largesse of four pounds from the king. 
At the coronation of David the Second, the minstrels 
again make their appearance; and, from the higher 
sums which are then given, it may be conjectured that 
a more numerous band had attended upon this joyous 
occasion, than at the nuptials at Berwick. They are 
presented with twenty pounds by the king, and receive 
ten from his consort.-f There can be no doubt that, 
in many instances, these minstrels, besides being 
harpers or musicians, who sang and recited the popu- 
lar poetry of the country, were themselves poets, who 
composed extemporaneous effusions; or, in more fre- 
quent instances, altered some well-known ditty of love 
or war to suit the taste, and, by a skilful change of 
name, to flatter the family pride of the feudal baron 
in whose hall they experienced a w^elcome. It is diffi- 
cult, unless we admit the existence of some such sys- 
tem of poetic economy, to account for the perpetual 
recurrence of the same individual stanzas, or at least 
of the same expressions, in many of our oldest ballads, 
and the reappearance of the same tale, with only a 
slight change of incident, and alteration in the names 
of the actors. We know, from authentic evidence, 
that there were gests and historic ballads written upon 
the story of Wallace; and that, upon the occurrence 
of any great national event, or victory, the genius of 
the country broke into songs, which the Scottish 

* Chamberlain's Accounts, Compotus Camerarii Scotiae, p. 96. 
t Ibid. p. 228. 


maidens used to sing. A single stanza of a Scottish 
ballad, composed after the defeat of the English at 
Bannockburn, has been preserved in the St Alban's 
Chronicle. " For he," says the monkish author, speak- 
ing of Edward the Second, " was dyscomfited at Ba- 
nocksborne; therefore the may dens made a song thereof 
in that countree, of Kynge Edward, and in this manere 
they songe: — 

Maydens of Englonde, sore may ye morne, 

For ye have lost your lemmans at Banocksbome, 

With hevelogh ; 
What wenyth the kinge of Englonde 
To have got Scotland, 

With rombelogh." * 

In Bower's additions to the Scotichronicon, written 
about 1441, he mentions, with a contempt which is ill 
concealed, that the vulgar crowd, in his own day, were 
much delighted with tragedies, comedies, ballads, and 
romances, founded on the story of Robin Hood and 
Little John, which the bards and minstrels used to 
sing, in preference to all others of the same kind of 
compositions.-f- These popular songs and ballads, of 
which we can merely trace the existence, were, in all 
probability, written by the minstrels and harpers, who 
not only crowded the castles of the great, but roamed 
over the country, and were welcome guests at every 
cottage door. Nor is it difficult to ascertain the cause 
why nearly every trace and relic of these ancient bal- 
lads has now perished. The clergy of those remote 

* St Alban's Chronicle, part vii. sig. r. 11, quoted in Dr Jamieson's 
Notes on Bruce, p. 457. Winton's Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 102, speaking of 
Wallace : — 

" Of his gud dedis, and manhad 

Great gestis I hard say ar made ; 

Bot sa mony I trow noucht 

As he in til his dayis wroucht." 

+ Forduni Scotichromcon a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 104, 


days were the only men who committed anything to 
writing ; and it is certain that the clergy were the 
hitter enemies of the minstrels, whom they considered 
as satirical rivals and intruders, who carried off from 
the church the money which might have heen devoted 
to more pious and worthy uses. They talk of them 
as profligate, low-bred buffoons, who blow up their 
cheeks, and contort their persons, and play on horns, 
harps, trumpets, pipes, and Moorish flutes, for the 
pleasure of their lords, and who moreover flatter them 
by songs, and tales, and adulatory ballads, for which 
their masters are not ashamed to repay these minis- 
ters of the prince of darkness with large sums of gold 
and silver, and with rich embroidered robes.* 

From this natural antipathy of the clergy to the 
singers and minstrels, it has unfortunately happened 
that many a monkish Latin rhyme, composed in the 
miserable taste of the age, has been preserved with 
affectionate care; whilst the historic tales and ballads 
of this early period of our history have been consigned 
to what was then deemed a just and merited oblivion. 
And yet a single ballad on the death of Wallace, or 
the glory of Bruce, preserved as it then fell from the 
lips of a Scottish minstrel or a Scottish maiden, were 
now worth half the proud volumes of those pedantic 

It is extremely difficult to collect any authentic in- 
formation upon the musical instruments, or the char- 
acter of the music, of this remote period. "f The only 
specimens of the musical instruments of the age are to 
be found upon the rich stone carvings which ornament 

* The proofs of this -will be found in Ducange, voce Ministrelli. Rigor- 
dus, de rebus Gestis Philippi Agusti, ann. 1185. St August, tract. 100 in 
Joann. chap. vi. Compotus Hospitii Ducis Normanniae, ann. 1348. 

+ Since the publication of this work, Mr Dauney's Introductory Disser- 
tation to his " Ancient Scottish Melodies " has communicated a body of in- 
teresting and authentic information upon these subjects. 

MUSIC. 313 

tlie pillars of the Gothic churches, and the tracery of 
the borders, windows, and gateways. Amongst these 
we meet with the figures of musicians, some of them 
so entire, as to give us a pretty correct idea of the 
shape, at least, of the instrument they hold in their 
hands. The flute with six holes; the bagpipe with a 
single drone; the viol with four strings, and the sound- 
ing holes above the bridge; and the lute, or at least 
an instrument approaching it in its shape, with six 
strings ; are all discernible in the carvings of Melrose 
Abbey, and some of them appear in the beautiful spe- 
cimen of the florid Gothic to be seen in Roslin Chapel.* 
What was the particular style and character of the 
music performed by these instruments, or of the songs 
which they accompanied, it is now impossible to de- 
termine; and although the opinion of Ritson, that 
none of our present Scottish melodies can be traced, 
upon anything like authentic evidence, farther back 
than the Restoration, appears somewhat too sweeping 
and positive ; it is nevertheless true, that, in the total 
want of authentic documents, it would be idle to hazard 
a conjecture upon the airs or melodies of Scotland at 
the remote period of which we now write. The church 
music, however, was in a difi'erent situation; and, 
owing to the constant intercourse of the great body 
of our clergy with the continent, the same style of 
sacred music which had been introduced into the 
religious service of Italy, France, and England, must 
have been imported into our own country. If we may 
believe Dempster, a writer of somewhat apocryphal 
authority, Simon Taylor, a Scottish Dominican friar, 
as early as the year 1230, became the great reformer 

* Statistical Account, vol. ix. p. 90. " On the south-east of this church 
are a great many musicians, admirably cut, with much pleasantness and 
gaiety in their countenances, accompanied with their various instruments.'* 
— Dalzel's Desultory Reflections on the State of Ancient Scotland, p. 56. 


of the church music of Scotland; and, by his inimitable 
compositions, brought this noble art to vie with the 
music of Rome itself. 

In ] 250, when the body of St Margaret was re- 
moved, with much ecclesiastic pomp, from the outer 
church, where she was originally interred, to the choir 
beside the high altar, the procession of priests and 
abbots, who carried the precious load upon their shoul- 
ders, moved along to the sounds of the organ, and the 
melodious songs of the choir, singing in parts.* It 
has been asserted, indeed, by my late venerable grand- 
father, in his Dissertation on Scottish Music, that we 
owe the first introduction of organs, and of a choral 
service, into the cathedrals and abbeys of Scotland, to 
James the First; but this can only be understood as 
applicable to the improved organs of the days of James 
the Fourth,-)* as we see there is certain evidence of the 
instrument, in its first rude state, existing in Scotland 
at a much earlier period. It would have been singular, 
indeed, if the same invention, which is found in Eng- 
land as early as the reign of Edgar, and in Ireland 
during the ninth century, should not have made its 
w^ay into Scotland till the reign of James the First. J 
Accordingly, in Fordun'*s account of the nuptials of 
Alexander the Third, there is a minute description of 
a masque, which proves that in those days the Scottish 
musical instruments were not only of various sorts, 
but that some of those instruments were similar to the 
organs used in the performance of the tragedies, or 
mysteries, which were then frequently enacted by the 
clergy for the amusement and edification of the people. § 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 83. 

+ Dissertation on Scottish Music, by William Tytler, Esq. of Wood- 
hoiiselee. Antiquarian Transactions, vol. i. p. 482. " Organa qualia nunc 
sunt,'''' is Boece's expression. 

:J: M'Pherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 252. 

§ Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 128. 

MUSIC. 315 

The wise partiality of our early kings to the man- 
ners and customs of England; the enthusiasm which 
David the First evinced for the erection of churches 
and monasteries ; and the introduction of all the mag- 
nificence and solemnity of the Catholic worship amongst 
his rude and barbarous subjects, entitles us to conjec- 
ture, on strong grounds of probability, that the church 
music of Scotland, during the reign of this monarch, 
would be a pretty close imitation of that which was 
then to be found in the sister country. Ethelred, an 
author of high authority, and a friend and contempo- 
rary of David the First, gives us the following minute 
and curious account of the church music in his own 
days : — " Since all types and figures are now ceased, 
why so many organs and cymbals in our churches ? 
Why, I say, that terrible blowing of the bellows, 
which rather imitates the frightsomeness of thunder 
than the sweet harmony of the voice? For what end 
is this contraction and dilatation of the voice? One 
restrains his breath, another breaks his breath, and a 
third unaccountably dilates his voice; and sometimes, 
I am ashamed to say, they fall a-quavering like the 
neighing of horses. Next they lay down their manly 
vigour, and w ith their voices endeavour to imitate the 
softness of women. Then, by an artificial circumvo- 
lution, they have a variety of outrunnings. Some- 
times you shall see them with open mouths and their 
breath restrained, as if they were expiring and not 
singing, and by a ridiculous interruption of their breath, 
they appear as if they were altogether silent. At 
other times, they look like persons in the agonies of 
death ; then, with a variety of gestures, they personate 
comedians; their lips are contracted, their eyes roll, 
their shoulders are shaken upwards and downwards, 
their fingers move and dance to every note. And this 


ridiculous behaviour is called religion ; and when these 
things are most frequently done, then God is said to 
be most honourably worshipped."* From this state 
of complicated perfection to which the religious music 
of England had arrived at so early a period, we may 
be permitted to attribute a considerable knowledge, if 
not an equal excellence, in the same science to our own 
country ; for we know that the Scottish clergy, in the 
cultivation of the arts which added solemnity and mag- 
nificence to their system of religious worship, were, in 
few respects, behind their brethren of the South : yet 
this is conjectural, and not founded upon accurate 
historic proof. 

The churchmen of those remote times did not only 
monopolise all the learning which then existed, they 
were the great masters in the necessary and orna- 
mental arts ; not only the historians and the poets, 
but the painters, the sculptors, the mechanics, and 
even the jewellers, goldsmiths, and lapidaries of the 
times. From their proficiency in mathematical and 
mechanical philosophy, they were in an especial man- 
ner the architects of the age ; and the royal and 
baronial castles, with the cathedrals, monasteries, and 
conventual houses throughout Scotland, were princi- 
pally the work of ecclesiastics. 

Into the numerous and elegant arts then practised 
by the clergy, it is impossible to enter; but no apology 
will be required for submitting a few remarks upon 
the last-mentioned subject, the domestic and the re- 
ligious architecture of the times, as the question, In 
what sort of houses or fortalices were our ancestors 
accustomed to live ? is not one of the least interesting 

* iElred, Speculum Caritatis,book ii. chap. xx. Duaci, 1631, 4to, quoted 
IB Pinkerton's Introductory Essay to the Maitland Poems, vol. i. p. 67. 


which presents itself in an inquiry into the ancient 
condition of the country. 

At a remote era, the fortifications in the Lowland 
counties of Scotland, inhabited by tribes of Gothic 
origin, were, in all probability, the same as the castles 
called Anglo-Saxon in England. Their construction 
partook of the rude simplicity of the times in which 
they were built. They consisted of an inner keep, or 
castle, surrounded by a strong wall, beyond which was 
a ditch, or deep fosse, sometimes twenty or thirty 
yards in breadth ; and beyond this again was raised 
an outer vallum or rampart, of no great height, and 
apparently composed alone of earth.* They were 
generally placed on the brow of a steep hill, on a neck 
of land running into a river, or some such situation of 
natural strength ; and, as the art of war, and the attack 
of fortified places, had made then but little progress, 
the security they conferred was equal to the exigencies 
of the times. 

In the earliest age of Saxon architecture, or at times 
when a temporary fortification was speedily required, 
it was common to build the walls round the castles of 
strong wooden beams. We learn, for instance, from 
the Scala Chronicle, that " Ida caused the castle of 
Bamborow to be walled with stone, that afore was but 
inclosed with woode ; " -f and the castle of Old Bale, 
in Yorkshire, is described by Camden as being, at 

* Stnitt's Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants of England, vol. i. p. 
25. " The ground- work of another of these Saxon castles is yet remaining at 
"Witham, being between the church and the town ; the form and size of it are 
yet very visible. This castle was likewise built by Edward the Elder, Avho 
resided at the castle of Maldon while this was completing, which was about 
the year 912 or 914. The middle circle contains the keep or castle, and is 
about 160 yards in diameter, and 486 yards round ; the ditch is, in its pre- 
sent state, 260 feet in breadth, and beyond the ditch is the external vallum, 
which is yet in a very perfect condition, full four feet high, and 18 or 20 
feet in breadth, the circumference of the whole being about 1000 yards." 

+ Leland's Collectanea, vol. i. p. 514. 


first, fortified with thick planks of wood, eighteen feet 
in length, and afterwards encircled with a wall of 
stone. These stone walls were constructed in a sin- 
gular manner. They were faced, both without and 
within, with large square blocks ; and the space be- 
tween the facings was filled with a deposit of small 
rough flint stones or pebbles, mixed up with a strong 
cement of liquid quick-lime.* 

In the progress of years, the Saxons made great 
improvement in the art of building ; and, in point of 
strength and security, their castles were capable of 
sustaining a creditable siege; but the apartments were 
low, ill-lighted, and gloomy; and it is not till some 
time after the conquest that we find the Norman style 
of architecture introduced, and a more lofty and mag- 
nificent species of structures beginning to arise in 
England, and to make their way, with the arts and 
the manners of thisgreat people, into Scotland. Owing, 
however, to the remote era in which the Scoto-Norman 
castles were built, time, and, in some instances, the 
tasteless and relentless hand of man, have, in our own 
country, committed great ravages. The necessary 
policy, too, of Bruce, who dismantled and destroyed 
most of the castles which he took, has been fatal to the 
future researches of the antiquary and the historian; 
and few fragments remain, which can, on satisfactory 
grounds, be pronounced older than the reign of this 
monarch. Yet the records of the Chamberlains'* Ac- 
counts, and the incidental notices of our early histo- 
rians, furnish us with ample evidence that, in the 
building of castles and fortalices, and in the erection 

* Will. Malmesbury says, speaking of King Athelstan, " Urbem igitur 
illam (Exeter) quam contaminata; gentis repurgio defiecaverat, turribus 
munivit, muro ex quadratis lapidibus cinxit." Willelmi Malmesburiensis 
Monacbi. Gesta Regum Angloium, vol. i. p. 214, edited, for tbe English 
Historical Society, and enricbed witb valuable notes, by my learned friend, 
Mr Hardy, Principal Keeper of tbe Records in the Tower. 


of those magnificent churches of which little but the 
ruins are now seen, Scotland had made great progress 
during the thirteenth century. 

We have already seen the effectual precautions 
against attack which were taken by Alexander the 
Third, when it became certain that Haco, the King of 
Norway, had determined to invade his kingdom. The 
castles on the coast of Scotlandwere carefully inspected; 
and from the details regarding their repairs, which are 
to be found in the few extracts that remain of the 
Chamberlain's Accounts under this monarch, some in- 
teresting information may be gathered. 

The northern coast of Scotland was defended by a 
series or chain of strong castles of stone, fortified by 
towers and drawbridges, and containing a dungeon, 
provided with iron fetters for the prisoners, accomoda- 
tion for the stores and warlike engines, guard-rooms 
for the garrison, and a great hall or state apartment 
where the baron or castellan resided and entertained 
his vassals. Their situation w^as generally chosen with 
great skill. If on the coast, advantage was taken of 
the vicinity of the sea; if in the interior, of some river 
or hill, or insulated rock, which rendered the approach 
on one side arduous or impossible, while care was taken 
to fortify the remaining sides by a deep fosse, and 
strong walls, with towers at each angle. Caerlaverock, 
a strong castle of the Maxwells, is thus described by 
an eye-witness in the year 1300, w^hen it was besieged 
and taken by Edward the First: — "Its shape was like 
that of a shield, for it had only three sides all round, 
with a tower on each angle; but one of the towers was 
a double one, so high, so long, and so large, that under 
it was the gate with the drawbridge, well made and 
strong, and a sufficiency of other defences. It had 
good walls, and good ditches filled to the edge with 



water; and I believe there never was seen a castle more 
beautifully situated : for at once could be seen the Irish 
sea towards the west, and to the north a fine country, 
surrounded by an arm of the sea; so that no living 
man could approach it on two sides without putting 
himself in danger of the sea. Towards the south the 
attack was not easy, because there were numerous 
dangerous defiles of wood and marshes, besides ditches 
where the sea is on each side, and where the river 
makes a reach round, so that it was necessary for the 
host to approach it towards the east where the hill 

This minute description of Caerlaverock may, with 
slight alterations, introduced by the nature of the 
ground, or suggested by the fancy and ingenuity of 
the architect, be applied to most of the Scottish castles 
of the period. Two principles were to be followed out 
in their construction: they were to be fitted, in the 
first place, for strength and resistance ; whilst, accord- 
ing to the rank of the feudal baron, provision was to be 
made for his being comfortably or splendidly accommo- 
dated; and although the first requisite was invariably 
made to regulate and control the second, yet it is 
impossible not to admire the skill and ingenuity with 
which the genius of those ancient architects contrived 
to combine security and comfort. The earliest speci- 
mens of the strong Anglo-Norman castle present us 
with a single square tower; and it is evident that the 
lowest story of the castle, being most exposed to attack, 
was required to be formed in the strongest manner. 
We find, accordingly, that the walls in this part of the 
building, which formed the chambers where the stores 
were kept, and the dungeons for the prisoners, were 

* Siege of Caerlaverock. Edited, with notes, by Sir Harris Nicolas, pp. 
61, 62. 


invariably the strongest and thickest part of the build- 
ing. These lower apartments were not lighted by 
windows, but by small loop-holes in the solid stone, so 
ingeniously constructed, that it was nearly impossible 
from without to discharge into them any arrow or 
missile, so as to injure the soldiers within. The wall 
itself, which was here about twelve feet thick, was built 
in the same way as those of the Saxon castles, being 
cased within and without with strong large square 
blocks of hewn stone, and filled up in the middle with 
flints embedded in fluid mortar; and we know that the 
same mode of building was employed in both countries, 
not only by an examination of the Scoto-Norman castles 
which remain, but by the evidence of the entries in the 
Chamberlain Accounts.* The entrance or principal 
door leading into the castle, was not in the lower 
story; but, for the purpose of security, generally placed 
pretty far up the wall, and communicating, by a draw- 
bridge,-!* with a flight of steps or staircase of strong 
masonry. The door itself was not only secured by a 
strong gate of thick oak, with iron knobs, but by a 
portcullis or grating, composed sometimes wholly of 
iron, sometimes of timber fenced with iron, furnished 
at the bottom with sharp spikes, and so constructed as 
to slide up and down in a groove of solid stone work, 
made within the body of the wall, in the same way as 
we see a sash window slide in its frame. J Within the 

* Thus in the Chamberlain Accounts, Temp. Alex. III., p. 64. " Item 
in conductione cementariorum, et hominum fragentium lapides fabrorum, 
et aliorum operariorum. In pastu et ferrura Equorum cariancium lapides, 
in calcem et in aliis minutis expensis factis circa construccionem Castri de 
Strivelin." 94 lib. 17 d. See Statist. Accoimt, vol. xviii. p. 417; Descrip- 
tion of Kildrummie Castle, and of Dundargue, vol. xii. p. 578. 

+ See the Description of the Ancient Castle of Dunaverty in Argyle, in 
which Bruce took refuge. Statistical Account, vol. iii. p. 365. 

X Mr King's Observations on Ancient Castles, published in the Archaeo- 
logia, vol. iv. p. 364, containing an acute and ingenious examination of this 
interesting subject. 


doorway, and built in the thickness of the wall, was 
generally a stone seat, where the warder stationed him- 
self, whose duty it was to keep castle guard, and who 
could at pleasure pull up the drawbridge and lower 
the portcullis when he suspected an attack, or wished 
to have a safe parley with a suspicious guest. On the 
second floor were the apartments where the soldiers of 
the garrison had their residence and lodging, andwhich, 
as it was much exposed to attack, had generally no 
windows in the front wall. The rooms were lighted 
by loop-holes in the three remaining sides, which, sur- 
rounded by the strong wall enclosing the hallium or 
outer court of the castle, were more secure from the 
missiles of the enemy. The third floor contained the 
apartments of state, the hall of the castle where the 
baron lodged his friends and feasted his vassals. It 
w^as lighted by Gothic windows, highly ornamented, 
and was commonly hung with arras or rich tapestry, 
and adorned by a roof of carved oak. At each end of 
the apartment was a large recess in the wall, forming 
an arched fire-place, highly ornamented with carving, 
and frequently formed so as to have a stone seat all 
round; and in the middle of the hall was an oaken 
table, extending nearly the whole length of the apart- 
ment, and supported on beams or pillars of oak. 

One of the finest specimens of the ancient feudal 
hall is still to be seen at Darnaway, once the seat of 
the great Randolph. Its roof is supported by diagonal 
rafters of massive oak ; its height must originally have 
been above thirty feet, and its remaining proportions 
are eighty-nine feet in length, by thirty-five in breadth. 
At one end is a music gallery ; and in the middle of 
this magnificent apartment still stands the baron'^s 
board or table, supported on six pillars of oak, cu- 
riously bordered and indented with Gothic carving. 


His ancient oaken chair, in form not unlike the coro- 
nation chair at Westminster, and carved with his arms 
and the insignia of his office,* is still seen ; and 
although this description of Randolph''s hall is not to 
be understood as applicable to the state apartment of 
all, or even of most, of our feudal castles ; yet, making 
allowance for the difference in the proportions, the 
plan and disposition of the room is the same in all, 
and was singularly well adapted for that style of rude 
and abundant hospitality, when every man, who fol- 
lowed the banner of his lord, found a seat at his table, 
and every soldier who owned a jack and a spear, might 
have a place at his hearth. The uppermost story in 
the castle was composed of rooms of smaller dimen- 
sions, which were lighted by windows of considerable 
size ; and in this highest floor, as from the great 
height there w'as little precautions to be taken against 
attack, the architect was at liberty to indulge his fancy 
in ornamenting the windows and the battlements; so 
that it is not unfrequent, in the most ancient feudal 
castles, to find the windows in the floor next the roof 
of the largest dimensions, and with the richest carving 
of any in the building. It was in these highest rooms 
that, during a siege, the catapults, balistae, war-wolfs, 
and other instruments of annoyance and destruction, 
were placed ; and there was a communication between 
this highest story and the roof, through which they 
could be drawn up upon the leads of the castle as the 
exigencies of the siege required. 

Such was the general construction and disposition 
of the feudal castles of those remote times ; and any 
one fond of antiquities, and interested in the history 
of the country, may, in the course of a short tour in 
Scotland, convince himself of the truth of the descrip- 

* Statistical Account, vol. xx. p. 224. 


tion. Some, of course, were of larger dimensions, and 
covered a much greater extent of ground than others ; 
and according to the required strength and importance 
of the station, and the nature of the ground, to many 
was added an outer or base court, surrounded by walls 
and flanking towers. Besides this, the castle itself was 
commonly encircled by a strong outer wall, commu- 
nicating with a tower, the interior of which formed 
a kind of vestibule to the principal entrance of the 
castle; whilst, beyond the wall, was a broad breast- 
work or barbican, and a moat, which encircled the 
whole building. In 1325, Bruce had commanded the 
castle of Tarbet to be inspected and repaired , and a 
minute account of the expense laid out in increasing 
the breadth of the walls, building a new tower, and 
fortifying the approach by a fosse, is to be found in 
the Chamberlain Accounts. The repairs appear to 
have occupied seven months ; and, during this period, 
there was a consumption of seven hundred and sixty 
chalders of burnt lime, the expense of the whole work 
being four hundred and thirty pounds ten shillings 
and five pence.* 

Besides these stone buildings, adapted principally 
for strength and defence, it was common to construct 
halls, and other apartments of wood, within the outer 
court, and even to build castles and fortifications en- 
tirely of that perishable material. In the hall, the 
wooden framework, composed of strong beams of oak, 
was covered with a planking of fir, and this again laid 
over with plaster, which was adorned with painting 
and gilding, f whilst the large oak pillars supporting 

* The items of tte accounts -will be found printed in the Illustrations. 
Chamberlain's Accounts, Compot. Const, de Tarbart, pp. 3, 4. 

"t" Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 6. " In servicio duorum carpentariorum 
area levacionem Aule in Castro ... In servicio portancium et carian- 
cium lutum et sabulonem pro parietibus Aule, et servicio diversorum opera- 
riorum circa easdem, et servicio tauberiorum et coopiencium, cum servicio 


the building rested in an embedment of strong mason- 
work. When the Earl of Athole was assassinated by 
the Bissets at the tournament at Haddington, in the 
early part of the reign of Alexander the Third, the 
hospitium in which he slept and was murdered, seems 
to have been a wooden building ; and after the deed, 
the perpetrators burnt it, and a manor and palace 
connected with it, to the ground.* 

There is a curious passage quoted by Camden, which, 
in describing the siege of Bedford castle, during the 
reign of Henry the Third, throws considerable light 
on the disposition of these ancient buildings ; and as 
the account is written by an eye-witness of the siege, 
the information is valuable and authentic. " On the 
east side was one petrary and two mangonells daily 
playing upon the tower, and on the west were two 
mangonells battering the old tower ; as also one on 
the south, and another on the north part, which beat 
down two passages through the walls that were next 
them. Besides these, there were two machines con- 
structed of wood so as to be higher than the castle, 
and erected on purpose for the slingers and watchmen ; 
they had also several machines where the slingers and 
cross-bowmen lay in wait ; and another machine called 
cattus, under which the diggers that were employed 
to undermine the castle, came in and went out. The 
castle was carried by four assaults. In the first was 
taken the barbican ; in the second they got full pos- 
session of the outer ballia ; at the third attack, the 
wall by the old tower was thrown down by the miners, 
from which, by a vigorous attack, they possessed them- 

duorum cimentarionum subponencium postes Aule c\im petris et calce 15sh, 
8d." Ibid. p. 38. *' Item in VI. petris crete empt. pro pictura nova Ca- 
merse apud Cardross." See also Strutt's Manners and Customs of the 
People of England, vol. ii. p. 95. 
* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 72. 


selves of the inner ballia through a breach. At the 
fourth assault, the miners set fire to the chief tower 
on the keep, so that the smoke burst out, and the 
tower itself was cloven to that degree as to show 
visibly some broad rents, whereupon the enemy sur- 
rendered."" * 

In the various sieges which occurred in Scotland 
during the war of liberty, the same mode of attack 
was invariably adopted, by mining and battering the 
walls, and wheeling up to them immense covered 
machines, divided into difierent stages, from which 
the archers and cross-bowmen attacked the soldiers 
on the battlements of the castle. 

With regard to the houses within burgh, which 
were inhabited by the wealthy merchants and artisans, 
and to the granges and cottages which formed the 
residence of the free farmers, the liberi firmarii, and 
of the unfortunate class of bondmen or villeyns, they 
appear to have been invariably built of wood. In the 
year 1243, eight of the richest burghs in Scotland 
were consumed by fire, and reduced to ashes ;-(• and 
in the Chamberlain's Accounts, we constantly meet, 
amongst the items of royal expenditure, with the sums 
paid to the carpenter, and the moneys laid out in the 
purchase of wood, for the construction of new granges, 
sheds, and cottages, upon the various manors possessed 
by the king. In 1228, Thomas de Thirlestane, one 
of those Lowland barons w^ho had made his way into 
Moray, was attacked and slain in his stronghold, by 
Gillescop, a Celtic chief, who afterwards destroyed 
several w^ooden castles in the same country, and con- 
sumed by fire a great part of Inverness; J and we 

* Camden, in Bedfordshire, p. 287, quoted in Strutt's Manners and Cus- 
toms, vol. i. pp. 94, 95. 

f Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 75. J Ibid. pp. 57, 58. 


know that the practice of building the houses within 
burgh of wood, continued to a late period, both in 
England and Scotland. We generally connect the 
ideas of poverty, privation, and discomfort, with a 
mansion constructed of such a material ; but the idea 
is a modern error. At this day the mansion which 
Bernadotte occupied as his palace when he was crowned 
at Drontheim, a building of noble proportions, and 
containing splendid apartments, is wholly built of 
wood, like all the houses in Norway; and from the 
opulence of the Scottish burghers and merchants, dur- 
ing: the reio-ns of Alexander the Third and David the 
Second, there seems good reason to believe, that their 
houses were not destitute either of the comforts, or 
what were then termed the elegancies, of life. 

I come now to say a few words upon the third, and 
by far the noblest class of buildings, which were to be 
seen in Scotland during this remote period : the mo- 
nasteries, cathedrals, and religious houses. Few who 
have seen them will not confess that, in the grandeur 
of their plan, and the extraordinary skill and genius 
shown in their execution, they are entitled to the 
highest praise ; and if we read the description given 
in a monastic chronicle in the British Museum, of the 
earliest church at Glastonbury,* composed of wooden 
beams and twisted rods, and turn from this to the 
cathedral of St Magnus in Orkney; to the noble pile 
at Dunfermline; to the more light and beautiful re- 
mains of Melrose Abbey; or to the still more imposing 
examples of ecclesiastical architecture in England ; the 
strength of original genius in the creation of a new 
order of architecture, and the progress of mechanical 
knowledge in mastering the complicated details of its 
execution, are very remarkable. 

* Cotton MS. Tib. A. V. Bede, Hist. Eccles. Gentis Anglorum, p. 169. 


There cannot be a doubt, that we owe the perfection 
of this noble style to the monks; and although the 
exact era of its first appearance, either in England or 
in our own country, is difficult to be ascertained with 
precision, yet there are some valuable and interesting 
notices in our early historians, which make it probable 
that our first masters in the art of buildins; churches 
in stone were the Italians. It may have happened 
that some of those master-minds which appear in the 
darkest times, when they had once acquired a degree 
of skill in the management of their materials, struck 
out the idea of imitating in stone the wooden edifices 
of the period; and when working from models of twisted 
willow-rods, the pliable material of which the walls 
and ornaments of our ancient religious houses were 
constructed,* the ideas of the arch, the pillars, the 
groined roof, and the tracery of the windows, began 
gradually to develop themselves in a manner shown, 
by an able and acute writer, ■[* to be perfectly natural 
and intelligible. Indeed, when the idea was once 
seized, and it was found that the knowledge of work- 
ing in stone, and of the mechanical powers which the 
age possessed, was sufficient to reduce it to practice, 
we can easily conceive that its future progress towards 
perfection may have been tolerably easy and rapid. 

The infinity of beautiful Gothic forms which are 
capable of being wrought, and which almost necessarily 
suggest themselves to an artist working in willow, and 
the admirable skill in carving and imitating in stone 
which was acquired by the monkish artists at an early 
period, produced an action and re-action on each other; 
and the same writer already mentioned has shown, by 

* Simeon Dunelm. p. 27. 

t Sir James Hall's Essay oa the Origin, History, and Principles of Gothic 


a careful analysis of every portion of a Gothic cliurcli, 
that there is not a single ornament in its structure 
and composition which does not serve to corroborate 
this idea. As to our earliest Norman builders having 
been instructed by the Italians, there is historical evi- 
dence. In the year 1174, the cathedral church at 
Canterbury was destroyed by fire; and in a descrip- 
tion by Eadmer, a contemporary writer, it is stated, 
that this ancient edifice was built by the assistance of 
Roman artists, after the model of the church of St 
Peter"'s at Rome.* 

That the most ancient churches in Britain were con- 
structed of pillars and a frame-work of oak, covered 
with reeds, or twisted rods, we know from authentic 
evidence ; and it is asserted by Gervas, in his account 
of the rebuilding of the church of Canterbury, after its 
destruction by fire, that, whereas in the ancient struc- 
ture the roof had been composed of wood, and decorated 
with exquisite painting, in the new church it was con- 
structed of an arch, built of stone, and light tufle- 
work.-f* Nay, even the name of the adventurous artist 
who first seems to have conceived the bold idea of 
working the ribbed and vaulted ceiling in stone, in the 
same way in which it had formerly been executed in 
wood, has been preserved to us: it was William of 
Sens, a French artist. He invented, also, as we learn 
from the monkish historian who was an eye-witness of 
his labours, ingenious machines for the loading and 
unloading the ships which brought the stones from 
foreign parts, in all probability from Normandy, as 
well as for raisinoj aloft the immense weio-hts of lime 
and of stone which were required in the building; he 

* Chronica Gervasii, Pars Prima, de Combustione et Reparatione Duro- 
bornenis Ecclesise. 1290. Twysden, vol. ii. 
"t* Gervasii Chronica, p. 1298. 


furnished the stone-cutters with working plans, or 
models, which guided them in their nice and difficult 
operations; and he began to form the ribbed arches 
and vaulted panels upon a frame-work of timber, to 
which was attached the scaffolding: where the masons 
stood. As the building proceeded, this scaffolding 
unfortunately gave way, and the adventurous artist 
was incurably maimed. But he had struck out the 
idea; and it was more successfully carried into execu- 
tion by an English architect, who succeeded him.* It 
is the opinion of the acute writer who has pointed out 
this first and most important step in the progress 
of our ecclesiastical architecture, that the idea of orna- 
menting the great pillars with groups of smaller co- 
lumns surrounding them, was introduced at the same 
period, and by the same artist.^ 

The art of executinsr lar^e and mao^nificent buildinf]^s 
in timber frame-work, was carried to high perfection 
in the northern countries of Europe during the tenth, 
eleventh, and twelfth centuries. It had made great 
progress in England, and was there known and prac- 
tised in the building of churches, under the name of 
the Teutonic style. Owing, however, to the perish- 
able nature of the materials, and to accidents by fire, 
these churches were frequently either destroyed, or 
reduced to a state of extreme decay ; so that the ruin- 
ous state of the ecclesiastical edifices in the northern 
parts of Europe became a serious subject of inquiry at 
Rome about the commencement of the thirteenth cen- 
tury; and measures w^re taken to obviate the griev- 
ance. These measures were of a singular nature. The 
pope created several corporations of Roman and Italian 

* See Archseologia, vol. ix. p. 115. Governor Pownall on Gothic Archie 
+ Ibid. p. 116. 


architects and artisans, with high and exclusive privi- 
leges ; especially with a power of settling the rates and 
prices of their labour by their own authority, and with- 
out being controlled by the municipal laws of the 
country where they worked. To the various northern 
countries where the churches had fallen into a state of 
decay, were these artists deputed; and, as the first 
appearances of the Gothic architecture in Europe was 
nearly coincident with this mission of Roman artists, 
and, as has already been observed, the new style of 
imitating the arched frame-work of wood by ribbed 
arches of stone was known by the name of the Roman 
style, there arises a presumption, that we owe this 
magnificent style of architecture to these travelling 
corporations of artists, who, in consequence of the ex- 
clusive privileges which they enjoyed, assumed to 
themselves the name of Free Masons, and under this 
title became famous throughout Europe.* These same 
corporations, from their first origin, possessed the 
power of taking apprentices, and admitting into their 
body such masons as they approved of in the countries 
where their works were carried on; so that, although 
the style may have originated amongst Italian artists, 
it is quite possible it may have been brought to per- 
fection by other masters, who were natives of the dif- 
ferent countries to which these Roman workmen were 
sent; and this will account for the fact, that the church 
at Canterbury, in which the ribbed arch of stone is 
supposed to have been introduced, for the first time, 
into England, was originally the work of a Norman, 
and afterwards completed by an English, architect. 

In speaking of these corporations of architects of the 
middle ages, Sir Christopher Wren has given, in his 
Parentalia, the following account of their constitution : 

* Sir James Hall's Essay on Gothic Architecture, pp. 109, 114, 


" The Italians, with some Greek refugees, and with 
them French, Germans, and Flemings, joined into a 
fraternity of architects, procuring papal bulls for their 
encouragement, and particular privileges: they styled 
themselves Free Masons, and ranged from one nation 
to another as they found churches to be built ; for very 
many, in those ages, were everywhere in building, 
through piety or emulation. Their government was 
regular; and where they fixed near the building in 
hand, they made a camp of huts. A surveyor governed 
in chief ; every tenth man was called a warden, and 
overlooked each nine ; and the gentlemen of the neigh- 
bourhood, either out of charity, or commutation of 
penance, gave the materials and the carriages. Those," 
adds Sir Christopher, " who have seen the accounts, 
in records, of the charge of the fabrics of some of our 
cathedrals, near four hundred years old, cannot but 
have a great esteem for their economy, and admire 
how soon they erected such lofty structures.*"* 

This new and noble style of ecclesiastical architec- 
ture found its way into Scotland about the beginning 
of the twelfth century ; and, fostered by the increasing 
wealth of the church, and by the devotion and muni- 
ficence of our early monarchs, soon reached a pitch of 
excellence not far inferior to that which it had attained 
in England and in France. Besides fourteen bishops'* 
sees, to most of which was attached a Gothic cathedral 
and palace, there existed, at the time of the Reforma- 
tion, a hundred and seventy-eight religious houses, 
consisting of abbacies, priories, convents, and monas- 
teries, most of which were richly endowed, situated in 
the midst of noble woods, surrounded by spacious gar- 

* Parentalia, pp. 306, 307- I have in vain looked for the original autho- 
rities upon which Sir Christopher Wren and Governor Pownall have founded 
this descrintion of the travelling corporations of Roman architects. 


dens, parks, and orchards ; and exhibiting, in the style 
of their architecture, specimens of the progressive im- 
provement of the art, from the simple and massy- 
Saxon, to the most florid Gothic. It is subject of deep 
regret, that some of the strong-minded and strong- 
handed spirits, who afterwards acted a principal part 
in the Reformation, adopted the erroneous idea, that 
these noble edifices were inconsistent with the purity 
of the worship which they professed; and that they 
permitted, or, as some authors have asserted, encou- 
raged, the populace to destroy them. 



In this inquiry, where an attempt has been made to 
give something like a civil history of the country, the 
sports and amusements of our ancestors form a subject 
of interesting research; although here, as on almost 
all other similar points, we have to lament the extreme 
scarcity of authentic materials. The chivalrous amuse- 
ments of Scotland appear to have been the same as in 
the other feudal countries of Europe. Hunting and 
hawking, the tourney or play at arms, the reading of 
romances, the game of chess, masques and feasts, min- 
strelsy and juggier''s tricks, with the licensed wit of 
the fool, filled up the intervals of leisure which were 
spared from public or private war. 

With regard to hunting, the immense forests with 
which, as we have already seen, our country was covered 
during this period, gave every facility for the cultiva- 


tiou of this noble pastime ; and there is ample evidence, 
that, at an early period, the chase formed one of the 
principal recreations of the kings and the barons of 
Scotland. David the First recounted to Ethelred 
abbot of Rievaux, an anecdote regarding Malcolm 
Canmore his father, which illustrates this in a minute 
and striking manner. Malcolm had received private 
information that a plot against his life was laid by one 
of his courtiers in whom he placed confidence. The 
king took no notice of the discovery, but calmly awaited 
the arrival of the traitor with his vassals and followers 
at court ; and when they came, gave orders for his 
huntsmen and hounds to prepare for the chase, and be 
waiting for him on the first dawn of the morning. 
" And now," says Ethelred, "when Aurora had driven 
away the night, King Malcolm assembled his chief 
officers and nobles, with whom he proceeded to take 
the pastime of the chase in a green plain, which was 
thickly surrounded by a wood. In the middle of this 
forest was a gentle eminence, profusely covered with 
wild flowers, in which the hunters, after the fatigues 
of the chase, were accustomed to repose and solace 
themselves. Upon this eminence the king stood; and 
according to that law or custom of the chase which 
the vulgar call the trysta^ having allotted certain 
stations to the difi*erent nobles and their dogs, in such 
a manner that the game should meet death wherever it 
attempted to make its escape, he dismissed them, but 
requested the traitor to remain alone with him, whilst 
the rest departed. When this was done, the king took 
him aside to a more remote part of the wood, and 
drawing his sword, informed him that he knew well 
the whole of his treachery. 'We are alone,"* said he, 
' and on an equal footing, as becomes brave men; both 
are armed, both are mounted ; neither of us can receive 


assistance. You have sought my life: take it, if you 
are able."*"* It is hardly necessary to add, that this 
heroic conduct of the king was followed by the imme- 
diate contrition and pardon of his heart-struck vassal. 
The use of the term trysta in this passage enables 
us to throw some additional light upon the ancient 
customs of the chase in Scotland. The law of trysta, 
which Ethelred here alludes to, was one by which the 
king's vassals, when he took the pastime of the chase, 
were bound to attend the royal muster at the ground 
appointed, with a certain number of hounds ; and the 
phrase yet used in Scotland, to " keep tryst," seems 
to be derived from this ancient practice in wood-craft.-|- 
In the Highlands at this day, the mode of hunting by 
what is called a tenkle is very similar to the trysta held 
upon this occasion by Malcolm Canmore. David the 
First appears to have been no less fond of hunting 
than his father Malcolm. Indeed, we may believe that 
his intimate connexion with England, previous to his 
coming to the throne, must have given him an addi- 
tional love for an amusement which the Normans then 
followed with an enthusiasm which transformed it from 
a recreation into a science. Accordingly, when Robert 
de Bruce, previous to the great battle of the Standard, 
in which David was so cruelly defeated, employed his 
eloquence to persuade the king, his old friend and 
brother in arms, to desist from his unjust invasion of 
England, he not only mentions the mutual perils and 
labours which they had shared, but especially alludes 
to the delight which they had experienced in the chase, 
and the pleasures of hawking and hunting; J and in 

* Ethelredus de Genealogia Regum Anglorum, p. 367. Inter X Scrip- 
tores Twysden, vol. i. 

+ Ducange, voce Trista, "who quotes Coke, part iv. Institut. p. 306. In 
a charter of Edward III., Monast. Anglican, vol. ii. p. 827, we find, " Et 
Bont quieti de Henedpenny, Huckstall, et Tristis." 

X Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, p. 345. 



that beautiful and touching eulogium which Ethelred 
has left us of the same monarch, who was his friend 
and patron, we find this testimony alike to his huma- 
nity and his love of the chase. " Often with these 
eyes have I seen him draw back his foot when it was 
already in the stirrup, and he was just mounting to 
follow the diversion of the chase, should the voice of 
any poor supplicant be heard petitioning for an audi- 
ence ; the horse was left, the amusement for that day 
given up, and the king would return into his palace.*"* 
Whether William the Lion, or Alexander the Se- 
cond, the immediate successors of David the First, 
were much addicted to this health v and heart-stirrinsr 
exercise, we have no ground to determine; but Alexan- 
der the Third certainly kept a falconer, and the sums 
of money expended in the support of his hawks and 
dogs, appear in those valuable fragments of the Cham- 
berlain"*s Accounts of this early reign, which have been 
already so often quoted. In 1263, this monarch en- 
joyed the sport of hawking at his palace of Forfar, 
where, along with his queen and nobility, he held his 
court for twenty-nine weeks; and the expenses of the 
king's horses, of his falcons, and even of a bitch with 
seven puppies, are minutely recorded. •[* Besides the 
grain consumed by these winged and four-footed favou- 
rites, the king had to pay the sum of eight pounds, 
twelve shillings, and six pence, to his falconer, William 

* Fordun a Hearne, vol. iv. p. 940. 

t Compotum E. de Montealto Vicecomitis de Forfar, pp. 12, 13. " Red- 
ditus farine ordei de illo anno de Forfar et glammes, ix celd. v boll, farine 
ordei. Expens, in servicio regis iii celd. ii bol. et i firthelota. Item in 
servicio regine novem boll et dimidium. Item in expensis septem catulo- 
rum et eorum matris preliendinancium etc. iiii celd. x lib. . . Item iu 
expensis W^illielmi de Hamyll prehendinantis apud Forfar cum falconibus 
dni regis per xxix septimanas et duos dies anno 1263, viii C. et dimidium 
celdre, et tres partes unius boll. Item in expensis Equorum dni regis pre- 
hendinancium apud Forfar usque ad diem hujus computi xiiii C. et vi boL 
prebende." Ibid. p. 38, we find the four falconers of Dunipace. 


de Hamyll ; and that of four pounds, seven shillings, 
to the grooms who kept his horses.* 

It appears to have been the custom of our monarchs 
to remove their court at different seasons to the various 
palaces, estates, or manors, which they possessed in 
private property; and on such occasions, as well as 
when the exigencies of the state required the personal 
presence of the sovereign in any part of his domi- 
nions, the hounds of the royal household formed part 
of the equipage which accompanied him.-|- About the 
same period, the preservation of the game; the enclos- 
ing the parks or chases round the royal castles by 
strong wooden pales ; the feeding the does during 
the winter ; the employment of park-keepers, whose 
business was to guard the forest from waste or intru- 
sion ; and of fox-hunters, who were hired to destroy 
the beasts of prey and noxious vermin, are all occu- 
pations which appear in the Chamberlain'^s Accounts, 
and evince a sedulous attention to the sports of the 

In the Romance of Sir Tristrem, which may be 
quoted as good authority for the manners of Scotland 
in the days of Alexander the Third, we meet with 
some characteristic pictures of the sports and amuse- 
ments of the times ; and amongst these the chase 
holds, as might be expected, a most conspicuous place. 
The hero is the very king of hunters, and his pro- 
found acquaintance with the mystery of wood-craft is 
dwelt upon with a fond minuteness, which proves how 
high was the place which the science occupied in what 
were then considered the accomplishments of a brave 
and perfect knight. Tristrem, in travelling through 

* Compotum E. de Montealto Vicecomitis de Forfar, pp. 13, 14. 
t Ibid. p. 20. 

J Compotum Patricii de Graham Vicecomitis de Strivelin. Chamber- 
lains^ Accounts, p. 61. 


a forest, encounters a company of huntsmen, who are 
returninir from the chase with their hounds in leash, 
and the game which they had slain. He is scandalized 
at the awkward and unsportsmanlike manner in which 
they had broke up the venison; and on upbraiding 
them for their want of science, an unflayed hart is 
thrown down before him, and he is courteously re- 
quested to give them a lesson. This he performs in 
a manner so masterly and admirable, that the hunts- 
men are in ecstasies ; and this new and superior mode 
of carvins: the buck is communicated to the king; of 
the country, who esteems himself fortunate in having 
lived at an era when knowledge was destined to make 
so important a step towards perfection.* From the 
whole adventure, it is evident, that to break up a stag, 
or, in the language of Sir Tristrem, to " dight the 
erber''^ according to the most scientific method ; to 
give his rights to the forester, the nombles to the 
hunters and spectators, the quarre to the hounds, and 
the expected corbin bone to the raven ; to allot the due 
portion to himself as carver; to tie up the paunch 
with the grease ; to preserve the gurgiloun ; and, 
lastly, to recite the appropriate rhyme, and blow the 
tokening or death-note, were considered matters of 
deep study, and of no very easy attainment, which in 
those early ages formed a material part of a chivalrous 
and noble education, and which, it must be observed, 
constituted only a small portion of the complicated 
science of wood-craft. It is evident that Robert 
Bruce, who seems to have been accounted one of the 
most accomplished knights of his time, was an adept 
in the mysteries of the chase. He winds his horn in 
so masterly a way, that Sir James Douglas instantly 

* Romance of Sir Tristrem, pp. 31, 32, 33. Fytte i. stanza 41 to 49 in- 
clusive. Notes, p. 277. 


pronounces that blast to be none but the king's ; and 
the strength with which he draws the bow, and the 
unerring aim with which the shaft is directed, are par- 
ticularly mentioned by Barbour. Indeed, for many 
months, when he led the life of a proscribed and wan- 
dering fugitive, he and his followers were driven to 
support themselves by the chase;* and there is evi- 
dence in the Chamberlains'* Accounts, that his do2"s, 
his falcons, his horses, and his huntsmen, were after- 
wards subjects of considerable care and expense.*!* 

At a remote period, indeed, we find that the Scottish 
stag-hounds and wolf-dogs were prized in foreign coun- 
tries; J and, under the reign of David the Second, the 
character of the Scottish dogs and falcons stood so 
high, that they became an article of export ; § while in 
the charters of the island lords, the eyries of falcons 
are particularly mentioned. || The hawks of Norway, 
however, for strength and flight, were the most famous 
in the world; and there is a curious earlv notice in 
Sir Tristrem, which shows that the Norwegian mer- 
chant-ships imported them into Scotland. 

" Ther com a schip of Norway 
To Sir Rohante's hold, 
"With hawkes white and grey, 
And panes fair y fold." ^ 

In the Chamberlains'* Accounts, the falconer of John 

* Barhour, pp. 40, ho, 80, 107. ^ 

+ " Gilisio Venatori ex donadni regis p. Iram. 13 sh. 4 d." Compotum 
Constab. de Cardross, p. 39. Chamberlain's Accounts. Ibid p. 40. " Item 
pro emendatione et tectura domus cuidam pro falconibus ibidem, cum con- 
structione cuidam sepis circa ipsam domum 2 sh." Ibid. p. 44. " Item 
Gilisio venatori capiente boll, per iii. septimanas," &c. 

+ Sir James Ware's Antiquities of Ireland, vol. ii. p. 166. Edition by 

§ Rotuli Scotis, p. 891. 20th May 1365. " Salvus' Cond. pro Scutifero 
Godefridi de Roos Canes, et Falcones e Scotia ducturo." 

II Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 89. Carta Reginald! Filii Ro- 
dorici. " Una cum ceriis falconum.'''' 

^ Sir Tristrem, p. 25, notes, p. 274. Ware's Antiquities of Ireland, in 
his works by Harris, vol. ii. p. 172. 


of the Isles appears bringing falcons to David the 
Second;* and, from the enthusiasm with which the 
sport of hawking is described in the early romances, 
and the gravity with which its mysteries are explained, 
we may conclude, that in Scotland, as in the other 
countries of Europe, it was esteemed one of the most 
fascinating of feudal pastimes. It is easy, indeed, if 
we carry our mind back to the thirteenth or fourteenth 
century, to imagine how imposing and delightful must 
have been those field sports of our ancestors. Let us 
for a moment dwell on the picture. We see the sun 
just rising upon a noble chase, or park, with breezy 
slopes and gentle undulations, variegated with majestic 
oaks, and getting wilder and more rugged as you ap- 
proach the mountains that surround it. His level rays 
are glancing on the windows of a baron''s castle, and 
illuminating the massy grey walls, till they look as if 
they were built of gold. By and by, symptoms ot 
busy preparation are seen: horses are led into the 
court; knights, squires, and grooms, are booting and 
mounting, and talking of the coming sport ; the hunts- 
men and the falconer stand ready at the gate ; and the 
ladies' palfreys, led by their pages, are waiting for 
their fair mistresses. At last, these gentle dames 
descend from their bower, and each, assisted by her 
favourite knight, "lightly springs to selle;" the aged 
baron himself is gravely mounted, and leads the way; 
and the court of the castle rings with hoof and horn 
as the brilliant and joyous cavalcade cross the draw- 
bridge, and disperse themselves through the good green- 
wood. There are few who could resist a wish to join 
in the pastime. 

Within doors, and when not occupied by war or the 

* Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 282. " Cuidam falconario Johannis d« 
Insulis portant. falcones dni regis 13 sh. 4 d." 


chase, we are apt to believe that the time must have 
passed somewhat heavily with our ancestors : yet here, 
too, they had their resources. In the first place, their 
solemn feasts and banquetings were on a great scale; 
occupiedmuch of their attention ; and were not speedily 
concluded, if we may form an opinion from the variety 
and quantity of the viands. 

All great occasions of festivity or solemnity, such as 
baptisms and marriages, the installation of bishops, or 
other dignified churchmen, the recurrence of Christ- 
mas and the new year, the birthday of the king or the 
prince, it was the custom of those ancient times to 
commemorate by feasts; and the Chamberlains'* Ac- 
counts of our early monarchs afi'ord ample evidence of 
the scale upon which these entertainments were con- 
ducted. Immense quantities of beef and mutton, of 
pork and poultry ; large and constant supplies of sal- 
mon, herring, hard fish and white fish, sturgeons, lam- 
preys, and eels in great abundance ; large importations 
of white and red wine, with a variety of spiceries and 
sweetmeats, besides figs, raisins, oil of olives, ginger- 
bread, wax, vinegar, verjuice, and porpoises, form the 
anomalous and multifarious articles which swell the 
account of William de Buthirgask, clerk of the kitchen 
to the good king Robert.* These were the articles of 
usual and daily consumption ; but on occasions of un- 
usual festivity, the entertainments were in the last 
degree extravagant and expensive. At the feast given 
at Canterbury, on the installation of Ralph abbot of 
St Augustine, six thousand o-uests sat down to a din- 
ner of three thousand dishes;*)* and this was far ex- 
ceeded by the splendour of the marriage banquet, when 
the Earl of Cornwall espoused Cincia, the daughter of 

* Chamberlains' Accounts, p. 74 to 85. 
+ Chronica. W. Thorn, p. 2010. 


the Count of Provence, upon which occasion thirty 
thousand dishes were served up to an immense assem- 
blage of guests, who had arrived from the remote parts 
of England, as well as from Scotland.* In the feast 
which was given by the Archbishop of York, upon the 
marriage of Alexander the Third, sixty stalled oxen 
were slain to furnish out the first course, and the rest 
of the entertainment was on an equal scale of magni- 
ficence. It was the custom, at these feasts, to bring 
in the boar'-s head with great state ; sometimes the 
whole boar himself, stufied, and standing on his legs, 
surrounded by a fortification of pastry, from the battle- 
ments of which little flags and banners waved over the 
grisly savage, was ushered in, carried by the master 
of the feast and his servants, with the trumpets sound- 
ing before him. In like manner, the peacock, the 
swan, and the heron, were greatly esteemed in those 
times, and brought in, with their plumage unbroken, 
upon plateaus richly gilt, and with a net- work of gold 
thrown over them^ whilst between the courses the 
guests were entertained by a species of opera, acted by 
little puppetsof paste, in which Arthur, and his Knights 
of the Round Table, Godfrey of Bulloign, or some such 
heroes, performed their parts, amidst magic islands, 
captive ladies, turbaned pagans, fiery dragons, and all 
the fantastic machinery of the period. When this was 
concluded, the company again resumed the feast, which 
was continued till a late hour, and often prolonged for 
many days. 

These were the solemn banquets of the middle ages ; 
but even their ordinary meals, when the baron, in his 
feudal hall, feasted his vassals twice a-day, were con- 
ducted with rude plenty and protracted hospitality. 
They dined early ; and from the quantity of wines and 

* Math. Paris, p. 536. 


spices imported into the country, there is reason to be- 
lieve they sat late. 

In the reign of Alexander the Third, the famons 
Thomas the Rhymer, and the Earl of Dunbar, m 
whose castle he lived, sat down to dinner before twelve 
©""clock;* and, between the diversion afforded by the 
licensed wit of the fools, who were kept by the king 
and the higher nobles ; the hours spent in the game 
of chess, then popular; the listening to the lays of the 
harpers and minstrels, and the reading romances of 
interminable length, the day glided away.-f* We are 
to remember, also, that much time was spent in the 
devotions of the Catholic church ; that the labours of 
the needle and embroidery filled up many hours of a 
lady"'s life; whilst the older knights and barons, who 
received into their castles the sons of the nobility, for 
the purpose of superintending their education, devoted 
much of their leisure to this occupation. In the speech 
which Walter Espec addresses to the English barons 
before the battle of the Standard, chess and dice are 
alluded to as the games in which the youthful knights 
passed their time; while the reading works of history, 
or the listening to the gests of their warlike ancestors, 
are considered as the more appropriate employments 
of an aged baron, f 

At an early period in our history, the system of 
chivalry made its way into Scotland, and gave that 
romantic tone to the character of the people which its 
usages, in a greater or less degree, communicated to 
every country in Europe. The early intercourse of 
our country with Scandinavia, the possession of the 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 131. 

"t Rotuli Compotorum, Temp. Alex. III., p. 4. Compotum Constab. de 
Cardross, p. 41. Sir Tristrem, fytte i. sect. 29, 30, Compotus Camerarii, 
p. 1)6. Barbour, pp. 49, 54. Sir Tristrem, notes on fytte ii. p. 306. 

% Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, p. 339. 


Western Isles and of part of the mainland by the north- 
ern nations, and the circumstance that the Gothic 
tribes, at a remote period, had extended themselves 
over the whole of the Lowlands, created a predisposi- 
tion in favour of this system of manners ; for the first 
rude germ of chivalry is undoubtedly to be found in 
the habits and the character of this heroic race of men. 
Their unshaken and generous courage ; the high and 
dignified station occupied by their women ; their love 
of enterprise and adventure ; their consideration for 
their scalds and minstrels ; and their passion for mar- 
vellous and romantic fictions, are just so many features 
which, with a slight change, we find in chivalry under 
its more advanced and artificial shape. We are not, 
therefore, to wonder that, even as early as the end of 
the eleventh century, when Duncan, assisted by the 
Norman knights and soldiers of William Rufus, ex- 
pelled Donald Bane from the throne, the light of 
chivalry is seen beginning to dawn in Scotland;* but 
the subsequent expulsion of the Normans and English, 
by the Celtic population, w'as unfavourable for a time 
to its further progress. -|* 

Under Alexander the First, and during the reign 
of that wise and excellent prince, David the First, 
some traces of chivalrous manners and education are 
perceptible in the education of Henry of Anjou, at the 
court of the latter monarch, and in the ceremony of 
the young prince receiving, from the hands of David, 
the order of knighthood, when he had completed his 
sixteenth year.J Under Malcolm the Fourth, and 

* Sax. Chron. by Ingram, pp. 307, 310. Duncan was knighted by Wil- 
liam Rufus. 

+ Simeon Dunelm. p. 219. 

X Chron. Thorn. Wikes,p. 29. From this author, as well as from Hove- 
den, p. 490, there is little doubt, I think, that Henry was educated at the 
court of David. After his military education was completed, he appears to 
have gone over to Normandy ; and upon bis return from that country to 


his successor in the throne, William the Lion, the 
thirst for knightly renown, and the existence of chi- 
valrous manners, are distinctly seen. It was not till 
Malcolm had gained his spurs in France, by fighting at 
the siege of Thoulouse, under the banner of the King 
of England, that this monarch, in the city of Tours, 
girded the youthful king with the belt of knighthood. 
During the same reign, we have an example of a baron 
accused of treason appealing to his sword, and perish- 
ing in single combat ; and the spirited speech of Wil- 
liam the Lion, when he and a body of his barons were 
surprised and taken prisoners before Alnwick, " Now 
it will be seen who are good knights ! " is decisive as to 
the progress of chivalry in Scotland during the twelfth 
century.* Indeed, the warm attachment of Richard 
Coeur de Lion, the most chivalrous of kings, to Wil- 
liam the Lion, and the constant friendly intercourse 
which subsisted during this reign between the two 
countries,*|- could not fail to have its influence in dis- 
seminating the principles of a system which, in Eng- 
land, had taken such a hold both upon the monarch 
and the nation. Accordingly, when William, in 1186, 
married Ermengarde de Beaumont, part of the dower 
stipulated in the marriage contract consisted in the 
feudal services of forty knights ;J and the virtues of 
this monarch, as they are enumerated by Wintou, 
his tenderness and fidelity in friendship, his generous 

England, he repaired to David at Carlisle, and was knighted. I differ here 
from Lord Hailes, who pronounces it to be certain, that Henry had no 
more than an occasional interview with David, and founds his opinion upon 
Gervas, p. 1366 ; W. Neubrig. p. 75 ; and J. Hagulstad, p. 277. If the 
reader will examine these passages, he will, I think, agree with me, that they 
do not support such an assertion. 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 450. Chronicon Sanctae Crucis, p. 33. 
Editio Bannatynian. Gervas, p. 1381. Gulielm. Neubrig. p. 237. " Illico 
ferociter arma concutiens, suoque verbo simul et exemplo accendens, modo 
inquit, Apparebit quis miles esse noverit." 

"t Fordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 507. Winton, vol. i. p. 339. 

X R. Hoveden, p. 632. 


emulation and companionship with Richard in deeds 
of renown, his courtesy and generosity, are all of them 
chivalrous. A passion for religious war, and a thirst 
for the glory which was gained against the Infidels, was 
the only ingredient wanting to complete the chivalrous 
character of the country ; and this last principle is to 
be seen in the conduct of David earl of Huntinc^don, 
the brother of William the Lion, who assumed the 
cross immediately after his marriage, and departed for 
the Holy War, in company with Richard the First.* 

Not long after the departure of the Earl of Hunt- 
ingdon for the Holy Land, William Malvoisine, the 
Bishop of St Andrews, in a great council of the clergy, 
held at Perth, preached a crusade, and deputed many 
emissaries throughout Scotland to enforce the same 
holy warfare in their sermons and addresses to the 
people ; but, although multitudes of the middle and 
lower classes assumed the cross, they were joined by 
few of the rich and the powerful in the land.-f- 

The tournaments we find an established amuse- 
ment in Scotland under Alexander the Second. This 
monarch himself received the belt of knighthood from 
John king of England ; and, under the reign of his 
successor, we see, in the remarkable debate which arose 
on the subject whether the youthful monarch could be 
crowmed before he was knighted, how strong a hold 
the system and institutions of chivalry had taken of 
the national mind. When Bisset was accused of the 
murder of the Earl of Athole, he instantly appealed 
to his sword. The marriage of Alexander the Third ; 
the feasts and music ; the sumptuous dresses and lar- 
gesses ; the future progresses of the youthful king and 

* It ought to be observed, however, that this crasade of the king's 
brother rests only on the apocryphal authority of Boece, and is not to be 
found in the more authentic pages of Fordun or Winton. 

T i* ordun a Goodal, vol. i. p. 534. 


Ills consort to visit their father'*s court, were full of 
all the pomp and circumstance of chivalry. The char- 
acter of Alan Durward, celebrated as being the flower 
of Scottish knighthood; the solemnity with which we 
find this order conferred by the sovereign upon the 
sons of the nobility at the palace of Scone ; the in- 
creasing passion for the crusades ; and the departure 
of many of the Scottish nobles for Palestine, confirm 
this opinion ;* but it is chiefly under the reign of 
Bruce, and his son David the Second, that we discover 
the complete introduction of chivalry into Scotland. 

The work, indeed, to which this great king devoted 
his life, was of too serious a nature to be often inter- 
rupted or encroached upon by the splendid and fan- 
tastic trifling of chivalry. Yet, in personal prowess, 
and the use of his weapons, Bruce was accounted one 
of the best knights in Europe ; and in Ireland we find 
the king halting the army, when retreating in circum- 
stances of extreme difficulty, on hearing the cries of a 
poor lavendere^ or washerwoman, who had been seized, 
with labour, commanding a tent to be pitched for her, 
and taking measures for her pursuing her journey 
when she was able to travel : an action full of the 
tenderness and courtesy so especially inculcated by 
chivalry, yet springing here, perhaps, not so much 
from the artificial feelings of a system, as from the 
genuine dictates of a brave and gentle heart. Bruce, 
and Douglas, and Randolph, it may be said, were too 
good soldiers and patriots to be diverted from their 
objects by the pursuit of personal adventure ; but, 
from the nature of the long war with the English, 
feats of individual prowess, and gallant " points of 
arms" performed by a handful of brave vassals and 
partisans, were often the only efibrts which kept up 

* Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 72, 73, 80, 112, 113. 


the desponding spirits of the nation ; and the spirit 
of chivalrous adventure, and of useful patriotic exer- 
tion, thus became simultaneous and compatible in their 

The battle of Bannockburn, it has been said by a 
late writer on chivalry, was not a chivalrous battle.* 
In one respect it assuredly was not similar to Poic- 
tiers and Cressy, which the same writer has dwelt on 
with justifiable enthusiasm ; for the laurels of Cressy 
and Poictiers were barren as to everything but glory, 
while at Bannockburn, the freedom of a whole people 
was sealed and secured for ever. But it would be 
difficult, either at Cressy or Poictiers, to select two 
finer examples of chivalrous daring than the defeat of 
Clifi'ord by Randolph, and the single combat between 
Bruce and Boune in the presence of the two armies : 
and the courtesy of Bruce to his noble captives, is 
more natural than the overstrained generosity of the 
Black Prince to his royal prisoner King John. That 
well-known incident, the triumphant entry of the 
Black Prince into London, mounted on a little palfrey, 
W'hilst the person of the King of France was displayed 
upon a noble horse in gorgeous trappings, had some- 
thing]: in it too ostentatious and condescending to merit 
the encomium which has generally been bestowed on 
it. It is not to be forgotten, also, in estimating the 
comparative influence of chivalrous principles upon the 
character of Bruce, when compared with that of the 
First and Third Edwards and the Black Prince, that 
there does not occur during the whole reign of the 
Scottish king, even in those moments when most exas- 
perated by personal injuries, and when he possessed 
ample power of giving loose to a spirit of revenge, a 
single instance of cruel or vindictive retaliation. On 

* Mill's History of Chivalry, vol. i. p. 402. 


the other hand, the massacre of Berwick, and the 
imprisonment of the Countess of Buchan, by Edward 
the First ; the intended sacrifice of the six citizens of 
Calais ; the penurious economy with which the captive 
king and the Scottish prisoners were treated after 
the battle of Durham, by Edward the Third ; and the 
massacre of Limoges by the Black Prince, remind us 
that these heroic men, although generous in the use 
of victory, could sometimes be irritated by defeat into 
cruelty and revenge. But while Bruce was true to his 
chivalrous faith in kindness, courtesy, and humanity, 
he permitted not the love of personal adventure to 
interfere with that strict military discipline which he 
rigidly maintained ; and on one memorable occasion, 
in his Irish campaign, the king with his truncheon 
nearly felled to the ground a young knight, named 
Sir Colin Campbell, for daring to break the array, that 
he might revenge an insult ofiered him by one of the 
skirmishers of the enemy.* We have already seen 
what a rich glow of chivalrous devotion was shed over 
the last scene of his life ; and in the whole history of 
this singular system, which for so many centuries pos- 
sessed such an influence over European manners, it 
will not be easy to point out a more striking event 
than the death of the good Sir James, in his first 
battle against the Moors in Spain. 

In this inquiry we have not yet made any remarks 
upon the dress, the arms, and the warlike accoutre- 
ments of those remote times ; and yet the subject, 
although of inferior interest to many other branches 
of the history of manners, is of considerable impor- 

* Barbour, pp. 315, 316. See, for a duel in 1329, CHiamberlain's Ac- 
counts, p. 136. " Et vie de Edinburgh pro factura Parci juxta Edinburgh 
ubi milites pugnabant, et in quo miles Anglie fuit devictus, vi lib. xiii sh. 
iiii d." And again, in 1364, under David the Second, Chamberlain's Ac- 
counts, p. 427, " Et Simoni Reed pro factura palicii pro duello." 


tance in estimating the civilisation of the period. As- 
cending, then, to that period under David the First, 
when, as we have already seen, his people were of a 
mixed race, including the tribes of Celtic original, as 
well as the Saxons and Normans, we find that the 
first-mentioned race were in dress and arms far infe- 
rior to his subjects of Gothic origin. They were armed 
with long spears pointed with steel, but so blunt as 
to be incapable of doing much execution, and which 
not unfrequently broke at the first thrust ;* they bore 
also swords, and darts or javelins, and made use of a 
hooked weapon of steel, with which they laid hold of 
their enemies ; their shields were formed of strong 
cow hide ; a rough mantle^ or outer coat of leather 
tanned with the hair on, was thrown over their shoul- 
ders, which, on occasions of show or ceremony, was 
exchanged for a scarlet robe ; and their under vest- 
ment was so short, that from the knee downwards the 
leg was wholly bare.-|- They allowed their hair and 
beards to grow to such a length, that their counte- 
nances were almost covered. Even their nobles and 
leaders appear to have been strangers to the steel 
armour of the Saxons and Normans ; for we have 
already remarked that the Earl of Strathern, on the 
eve of the battle of the Standard, reproached David 
the First for trustino- too much to the steel coats of 
his Norman subjects ; and boasted that, unarmed as 
he was, he would precede Alan de Percy in the onset. | 
This dress and these weapons were common to the 
whole race of the Celts ; and are evidently the same 
with those used by the Irish, as we find them described 
by one of the ablest antiquaries who has written upon 

* Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, p. 340. 

+ " Hispida Chlamys, Crus intectum." Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 82. 

J Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, p. 342. Ralph de Diceto, p. 573. 


the subject.* The Galwegians appear to have been 
generally mounted ; but they were accustomed to act, 
according to the emergency, either on foot or horse- 
back ; and, by the fury of their charge, which they 
accompanied with loud yells of "Albyn! Albyn!" 
they not unfrequently succeeded in throwing into dis- 
order, and eventually cutting to pieces, the more dis- 
ciplined troops which were brought against them.■^ 
They understood, also, the art of defending their 
mountain passes by barriers of trees, which they felled 
and placed transversely, so as to oppose an almost 
impenetrable obstacle to an invading army. But 
although brave to excess, and, according to their own 
rude degree of knowledge, skilful in war, their man- 
ners were cruel and ferocious ; and the picture left us, 
by a faithful contemporary, of their excesses, is too 
revolting to be dwelt upon. J 

Different in their dress, superior in their arms and 
warlike accoutrements, and more civilized in their 
manners, were the races of Gothic extraction, whom we 
find composing a great part of the army of David the 
First in the battle above alluded to, and which we can 
discern, from the time of Malcolm Canmore, gradually 
gaining upon and pressing back the Celtic popula- 
tion of Scotland. In the beginning of the eleventh 
century, Eadulph-ludel, a Saxon earl, surrendered to 
Malcolm the Second all his right to the territory or 
province of Northumberland. Previous to this, the 
extensive district then denominated Cumberland, in- 
cluding the modern shires of Cumberland, Westmore- 
land, and part of Lancaster, had been acquired by the 

* Sir James "Ware, Irish Antiquities, vol. ii. pp. 175, 176. 

"t Benedict. Abbas, p. 447. Rog. de Hoved. p. 813, quoted in Ritson's 
Ann. of Caledonians, vol. ii. p. 293. Richar. Prior. Hagulstad p. 322. 
Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, p. 345. 

X Ethelredus de Bello Standardi, p. 341. 
VOL. II. 2 A 


Scottish princes as feudatories of England; and the 
marriage of David earl of Cumberland, afterwards 
David the First, to the daughter of Earl Waltheof, 
procured as an appanage to the Scottish crown a part 
of the ancient kmgdomof Northumberland, then known 
by the name of the earldom of Northumberland. All 
that fertile and extended tract of country which was 
formed by the union of these successive acquisitions, 
and which comprehended the greater portion of the 
south of Scotland, was peopled by the Saxons and the 
Normans, whose dress and arms, at the period of which 
we now speak, assimilated much to each other, the su- 
periority in the richness of the stuffs, and in the temper 
of the armour and the weapons of offence, being on the 
side of the Normans. 

The sword of the Scoto-Saxons was, in all probabi- 
lity, exactly similar to that of the Anglo-Saxons: a 
long straight weapon, double-edged, and fitted both to 
cut and thrust. A late able English antiquary, in his 
deductions and delineations from ancient illuminated 
manuscripts, has thrown much light upon the subject; 
and, following his authentic descriptions, we find that 
the shield was of a middle size, always convex, formed 
of wood covered with leather, and commonly armedin 
the centre with a strong sharp-pointed cone of iron.* 
At an early period, the Saxons do not appear to have 
used armour for the body, but to have gone into battle 
with a short upper coat of leather, which was girded 
round the loins, and beneath which are seen the folds 
of the under tunic worn close to the skin, and reaching 
to within a little of the knee.-j* In persons of rank, 
the tunic and the coat were ornamented with rich bor- 
ders round the edges; and the legs clothed in hose 

* Mepick's Ancient Armour, Introduction, vol, i. p. 62. 
t Ibid. p. 62. 


composed of twisted rolls of woollen, reaching to the 
middle calf; while the feet were shod with buskins. 
Besides the shield and the sword, they carried a long 
spear with a sharp steel point, sometimes armed with 
a barb, and the battle-axe; but we do not find either 
the cross-bow or the long-bow originally employed by 
them. These last weapons were brought in by the 
Normans, who used them with fatal and murderous 
effect, and from whom the Saxon soldiers borrowed 
them in the course of years. The head of the common 
soldier was protected by a species of conical cap not 
unlike the Kilmarnock nightcap, which appears to have 
been made of the skin of some animal, with the hair 
turned outwards. This headpiece, however, in persons 
of rank, was formed of steel or brass, and frequently 
ornamented with a broad gilded border, or even set 
with precious stones; whilst in the dress of kings and 
princes it gave place to a crown itself, or to a small 
circlet of eold. The sword-hilts and scabbard, the 
shields and headgear, of the kings and nobles, were 
often richly ornamented, studded with precious stones, 
or inlaid with gold ; they animated their troops with 
the sound of a long horn or trumpet ; whilst there were 
carried before them into battle rich banners, upon which 
the figure of a white horse, of a raven, or a fighting 
warrior, were curiously wrought in gold, and not un- 
frequently decorated with jewels. In the battle of the 
Standard, the royal Scottish banner was embroidered 
with the figure of a dragon, around which rallying 
point, when the day was going against them, the 
flower of the Scottish army crowded in defence of their 

The era, however, of the arrival of the Normans in 
England, and of the subsequent gradual progress of 
this remarkable people from England into Scotland, 


till they fixed their names and customs even in the 
remote provinces of the north, is the era also of a per- 
ceptible change in the dress, arms, and warlike inven- 
tions of the Scoto-Saxons. The shirt of mail was 
probably kno\yn to the Saxons in its first rude state: 
it was composed of small pieces of iron sewed in rows 
upon a leathern jacket, overlapping each other like the 
scales of a fish, and seems to have been early intro- 
duced. An experiment was next made to form some- 
thing like the same piece of body armour, by twisting 
or interweaving strong wires with each other, so as to 
create a species of iron wicker, which must have proved 
stifi" and disao:reeable to the free motion of the bodv. 
Probably, for this reason, it was not attempted to be 
carried lower down than the bottom of the stomach, 
and a short way below the shoulder, so as to leave the 
arms and limbs full room for action. In time, however, 
these rude beginnings were superseded by more correct 
and skilful imitations of the armour of the Normans ; 
and as hitherto the chief force of the Scottish army 
had consisted in infantry, it is curious to trace the 
gradual departure from this system as early as the 
reign of David the First, and the few feeble efibrts 
which were then made to imitate the Normans, whose 
chief force consisted in cavalry. As early, for instance, 
as in the battle of the Standard, the Scottish horse- 
men make their appearance, although bearing no pro- 
portion to the infantry; and it is singular, that on 
both sides, the leaders made the cavalry dismount and 
fight on foot. Yet, under the reign of Alexander the 
Second, when that monarch invaded England, we have 
already seen the encomium pronounced by Mathew 
Paris upon his cavalry, which, although mounted on 
neither Spanish nor Italian horses, made a splendid 
and martial appearance; and in the battle of Largs, 


in the subsequent reign, the destruction of the Nor- 
wegians who had landed, was completed by a Scottish 
army in which there was a body of fifteen hundred 
horsemen, the knights and leaders of which were 
mounted on Spanish horses, armed, both horse and 
man, from head to heel, in complete mail, and the rest 
on the small active horses, whose chests were protected 
by a steel breastplate. Besides this select body of 
cavalry, we find that the foot soldiers were well accou- 
tred; and, in addition to the long spear of the Saxons, 
they now carried the Norman bow.* 

The principal arms of the Normans are well described 
in an ordinance, or assize of arms, of Henry the 
Second, preserved by Hoveden, in which it is declared, 
that every man possessed of goods and chattels to the 
value of one hundred pounds, is to provide, for the 
king's service, a horse and a soldier completely armed 
in mail; whilst every man possessed of any sum, from 
forty to twenty-five pounds, was to have for his own 
use an alhergellum^ or haubergeon, an iron helmet, a 
lance, and a sword. This refers to the Norman domi- 
nions of the king. In England, the same monarch 
commanded every man who held a knight's fee to fur- 
nish a soldier completely armed in a coat of mail and 
a helmet, with a lance and a shield; every freeman 
who possessed goods and chattels to the value of sixteen 
marks, was to have a coat of mail, a helmet, a shield, 
and a lance; every freeman possessed of the value of 
ten marks, to have a haubergeon, an iron cap, and a 
lance ; and, lastly, every burgess and freeman whatso- 
ever, to furnish himself with a wambais, an iron cap, 
and a lance, which, on pain of severe penalties, he was 
not to sell or pawn.-f- In the reign, therefore, of Henry 

* Norse Account of the Expedition, pp. 93, 94, 95. 
+ Hoveden, p. 614. Rerum Angl. Script, a Saville. 


the Second, and in the year 1181, which is the date 
of this assize, the principal armour for the body was 
of three kinds: the lorica, or entire coat of mail; the 
albergellum or haubergeon, and the wambais ; the 
first worn by the richest knights; the next by the 
higher order of yeomanry, or gentry ; and the last by 
the burgesses and freemen in general. 

It is not difficult to ascertain more minutely the 
construction of these different kinds of body-armour, 
which it is certain were used promiscuously both in 
Scotland and in England. The lorica, or coat of mail, 
is to be seen distinctly on the seals of the First and 
Second Henry. It appears to have been formed by 
rings of steel or iron, sewed or fixed closely together, 
upon a leathern coat, reaching from the neck, which 
it covers, to the knee, not unlike our modern surtout. 
In other instances, however, the neck and head were 
protected by a separate piece, called the chaperon, or 
hood of mail, which could either be drawn over the 
head in time of action, or after battle thrown loosely 
on the shoulder, so as to give the warrior air and 
refreshment. Over the chaperon the helmet was 
placed;* and of this graceful costume some beautiful 
examples are to be seen in the recumbent monu- 
ments of the knights which we frequently meet with 
in the English churches, and more rarely in Scotland. 
The sleeves of the coat, as seen in the seals of these 
two Henrys, cover the whole arm down to the wrist, 
leaving the hands bare and unprotected ; but an elon- 
gation of the coat of mail was soon after introduced, 
so as to form a mailed glove, which completely pro- 
tected the hands; and yet from its pliancy, being 

* See Strutf s Dress and Habits of the People of England, vol. i. plates 
43 and 45. The seals of Henry the First and Henry the Second, will be 
found beautifully engraved in the new edition of the Foedera, vol. i. pp. 6, 19. 


formed of the same rings of steel, quilted on a simple 
leather glove, left them free room for action. Over 
this mail-coat, which, under Richard the First,* was 
so formed as to cover the whole body from head to 
heel, it became the fashion, during the reign of the 
Third Henry, for the knights to wear a surcoat, formed 
of cloth or linen, which at first appears to have been 
a mark of distinction, and which, latterly, during the 
fourteenth century, was ornamented with the arms of 
the wearer, richly embroidered. Surcoats in England, 
although found at an earlier period abroad, were not 
worn before the reign of Henry the Second; did not 
become general till the time of John; and bore no 
armorial bearings till the period of Henry the Third.-|- 
The albergellum, or haubergeon, in its early form, 
afforded less protection to the whole person than the 
coat of mail, and was a less costly article of body- 
armour. It appears to be exactly the same piece of 
armour with the halsberga of Ducange, and was ori- 
ginally intended, as we learn from its component words, 
hals-berg, for the protection of the neck alone; but it 
probably soon came to cover the breast and the shoul- 
der. It was formed of the same ringed mail, quilted 
on leather, I and is particularly mentioned in the assize 
of arms passed by Robert Bruce. The wambais was 
nothing more than a soldier's coat-of-fence, made of 
leather, or cloth, quilted with cotton, which, although 
it afforded a security inferior, in a great degree, both 
to the mail-coat and the haubergeon, gave considerable 

* See the seal of this monarch, Foedera, new edition, vol. i. p. 48. 
+ Meyrick's Ancient Armour, vol. i. p. 21. 

X So, in an old German anonymous poem quoted in Ducange, voce Hals- 

" Geh und bring mir doch here, 
Mein halsperg und mein schwerd.' 

And in the Will of Duke Everard in Mirseus, chap, xxi., " Et helmum cum 


protection against a spear-thrust, or sword-cut.* It 
is well known, that while the great force of the Saxons 
consisted in infantry, the Normans fought on horse- 
back ; and that, from a little after the time of William 
the Conqueror, the power of the Norman cavalry be- 
came so formidable, as to be celebrated and dreaded 
throughout Europe. The horses were armed in steel, 
as well as the men ; and both being thus impenetrably 
protected, the long spears of their enemies, (to use an 
expression of Hoveden,) " might have as well struck 
against a wall of iron.""*]- Under the Conqueror him- 
self, indeed, and judging from the costume in which 
he is seen upon his seal, this horse-mail does not appear 
to have been used at all; and the same observation is 
applicable to the seal of Henry the First, and to those 
of Richard Coeur de Lion, John, Henry the Third, 
and Edward the First. Upon the seal of Henry the 
Second, however, we find his horse armed with the 
chamfreyn, or steel frontlet ; and the disappearance of 
it upon the seals of the monarchs who succeeded him, 
was evidently a caprice of taste, either in the artist or 
the sovereign ; for we know for certain, that the steel- 
clad steeds, or Equi Cooperti^ formed the principal force 
in the battle of the Standard, fought in the reign of 
Stephen, against David the First ; and we have already 
seen, that the Scottish cavalry, at the battle of Largs, 
was composed partly of Spanish steeds in complete 
armour, and partly of horses with breastplates : a con- 
vincing proof how completely the Norman habits and 
arms had been adopted in Scotland under Alexander 
the Third.J 

The ofiensive weapons of the Norman knights and 

* Meyrick's Ancient Armour, vol. i. p. 67. 

+ Hoveden, p. 277. Strutt's Manners of the People of England, vol. i. 
p. 99. 

X Norse Account of Haco's Expedition, p. 95. 


higher soldiers consisted of the sword, which was in 
no respect different from the Saxon sword, and the 
lance, with a streamer or pennon; whilst the arms of 
the lower classes of the infantry, not including the 
archers, were the club and mace, denominated, in the 
Norman-French of Wace, " Pilx et Macheues."* The 
arms of a higher baron, or count, in the time of the 
Conqueror, are accurately pointed out in an ordinance 
of this prince, which directs " that ever}^ count shall 
be bound to bring to the assistance of the king, eight 
horses, saddled and bridled, four hauberks, four hel- 
mets, four lances, and four swords .""-[- These were 
termed by the Normans free arms, libera arma, as being 
those peculiarly appropriated to men of high and noble 
rank ; but, in the course of time, the short dagger, the 
gis arma, or bill, the cross-bow, and battle-axe, were 
introduced amongst the Norman weapons of offence, 
and borrowed by the Scoto-Normans from their coun- 
trymen 4 

The attention which has been paid to render this 
description of the Saxon and Norman armour clear and 
authentic, will not be deemed superfluous, when it is 
understood that the Scottish armour used during this 
period appears, with a few alterations borrowed in all 
probability from the Norwegians, to have been the 
same as that worn by the Saxons and Normans. The 

* Wace, in describing the Duke of Normandy 's^summons to the ' vilains : 
Par la contr^e fit mander 
Et a vilains dire et crier, 
Que a tiex armes, com il ont 
Viengnent a lui ains quil porront, 
Lors voissiez haster vilains, 
Pilx et macheues en lor mains. 
+ " De relief al cunte, que al rei afeist. viii chivalz, selez et enfrenez, 
les iiii halbers, et iiii hammes, et iiii escuz, et iiii lances, et iiii espes." 
Leg. Gulielm. I., chap. xxvi. 

t Stnitt's Manners and Customs of the People of England, tr©i. V p. 98, 
So Wace, speaking of the Norman infantry : — 
• Et vous avez lances aquis, 
Et quia armes bien emollues.** 


battle-axe, the mace of iron, and the short dagger, were 
adopted by the knights ; and, along with the other arms 
of the lower ranks, borrowed by the Scoto-Normans 
from their countrymen, and introduced into Scotland. 
Thus, on the seal of Alexander the First of Scotland, 
who succeeded Malcolm Canmore, and whose sister 
Matilda married Henry the First of England, we find 
the scaled mail-coat composed of mascles, or lozenged 
pieces of steel, sewed upon a tunic of leather, and reach- 
ing only to the mid thigh; the hood is of one piece 
with the tunic, and covers the head, which is protected 
with a conical steel cap, and a nasal ; the sleeves are 
loose, so as to show the linen tunic worn next the 
skin, and again appearing in graceful folds above the 
knee ; the lower leg and foot are protected by a short 
boot, armed with a spur: the king holds in his right 
hand a spear, to which a pennoncelle, or small flag, is 
attached, exactly similar to that worn by Henry the 
First; the saddle is peaked before and behind; and 
the horse on which he rides is ornamented by a rich 
fringe round the chest, but altogether unarmed.* 

Another curious specimen of the Scottish armour of 
the twelfth century is to be seen on the seal of David 
earl of Huntingdon, brother of William the Lion. It 
is of the species called, by the contemporary Norman 
writers, the " trelissed," and consists of a cloth coat 
or vest, reaching only to the haunches, and with 
sleeves extending to the wrist. This is intersected 
by broad straps of leather, laid on so as to cross each 
other, but to leave intervening squares of the cloth, in 
the middle of which is a round knob or stud of steel. 
The chaperon or hood is of quilted cloth; and the 
under tunic, of linen, covers the knee, and hangs in 

* Seal in the Diplomata Scotiae, plate viii., and the plate in Dr Meyrick's 
History, p. 29, plate z. 


folds over the saddle, whicli is highly peaked, in the 
shape of a swan''s neck. His shield is rounded at the 
top; and he holds a long spear, ornamented by a gon- 
fanon, on which a rose is embroidered, His helmet 
is the conical one, plain, and worn over the hood ; and 
the horse has neither armour nor trappings.* It was 
this David earl of Huntino;don who, bavins: embarked 
for the Holy Land with Richard Coeur de Lion, is 
said to have been shipwrecked on the coast of Egypt, 
and sold as a slave to a Venetian merchant. His 
master brought him to Constantinople, where he was 
fortunately recognised by some English merchants, 
redeemed, and sent home.^f 

The shield which was used in Scotland at this period 
was the kite-shaped shield of the Normans ; and, al- 
though plain and unornamented at first, we find that, 
in the beo-inninci^ of the thirteenth centurv, under 
Alexander the Second, the lion rampant of Scotland 
appears upon it for the first time. On the shield of 
Prince Henry, grandfather of William the Lion, who 
died about sixty years before the accession of that 
prince to the throne, there is no appearance of any 
heraldic blazoning ; and the practice, which was first 
introduced by Richard Coeur de Lion into England, 
appears to have been adopted, during this interval, by 
our Scottish monarchs.J The strict friendship and 

* Meyrick, vol. i. p. 11. Anderson's Diplomata, plate x. 

+ Chron, Melross, p. 179. Hailes, vol. ii. p. 341. Dr Meyrick has ac- 
cidentally mistaken this David earl of Huntingdon, from vrhose daughter 
Robert Bruce was descended, for his grandfather, David the First ; but the 
error is a trifling one. Mills, in his amusing but superficial vrork, the His- 
tory of Chivalry, affects to despise the Critical Inquiry of Dr Meyrick. That 
there may be some few errors in an inquiry embracing so wide a range, none 
will deny ; but, in point of research and historical interest, it is worthy of 
much praise. It is to be regretted that the valuable matter of the text 
should be shut up from most readers by the costly price which the plates 
render indispensable. 

X Anderson"'s Diplomata Scotiae, plat« xx. Meyrick's Ancient Armour, 
vol. i. p. 101. 


constant intercourse which was maintained between 
William the Lion and Richard the First, and the 
attention which was paid by the latter monarch in 
Europe and in Palestine, to everything connected with 
the improvement of the military art, must have pro- 
duced a correspondent enthusiasm in our own country; 
and these improvements would speedily be brought 
into Scotland by David earl of Huntingdon, and his 
companions, the brother crusaders of Richard. This 
observation is accordingly confirmed by the fact just 
noticed, that Richard first bore the three lions on his 
shield, and that the same practice, formerly unknown, 
was adopted not long after in our own country. 

Another change appears in the helmet of Alexander 
the Second, which confirms this remark ; the aventayle, 
or visor, and the cylindrical shape, are seen in its con- 
struction for the first time ; and these we know were 
brought in by Richard the First, although under a 
slightly difierent form as used by the lion-hearted 
kinor. This Alexander succeeded his father William 
the Lion in the beginning of the thirteenth century. 
He appears clothed in a complete coat of mascled mail, 
protected by plates at the elbows. The surcoat also, 
first worn in England by John, is thrown over his 
armour — another proof of the progress of military 
fashions from England into this country ; and his 
shield is hollowed, so as to fit the body and completely 
defend it. His horse, without any defensive armour, 
is ornamented with a fringed and tasselled border 
across the chest, and an embroidered saddle-cloth, on 
which the lion rampant again appears.* 

Under the succeeding reigns of Alexander the Third, 
Baliol, Bruce, and his son David the Second, the 
military costume, the fashion, shape, and ornaments 

* Seal in Anderson, plate xxxi. Meyrick's Armour, vol. i. p. 101, 


of the arms, and the science of war, appear to have 
been almost exactly the same in both countries. Alex- 
ander the Third wears the cylindrical helmet, with 
the perforated aventayle ; there is a superior richness 
and splendour in the ornaments of his armour, and 
the horse is covered from head to foot with flowino: 
housings, on which the lion rampant is richly embroi- 
dered, with a bordure set with fleurs de lis. A plume 
of feathers surmounts the helmet, and the same orna- 
ment is seen on the head of his horse.* Little differ- 
ence is discernible in the military costume of Robert 
Bruce, except that his steel casque is surmounted by 
a royal crown, which we have seen him wearing at the 
battle of Bannockburn. 

As the arms and military costume of both countries 
appear to have been exactly similar, so we may, with 
equal truth, apply the same remark to the science of 
war itself. The superior genius of Bruce soon indeed 
perceived, that to cope with the English in cavalry was 
impossible, and he accordingly directed his principal 
attention to perfecting the arms and the discipline of 
his infantry, — a system taught him by the example of 
Wallace; but this was chiefly occasioned by the poor 
and exhausted state of the country. Previous to the 
long war of liberty, which drained away its wealth, 
and arrested it in its career of improvement, the ca- 
valry of Scotland, as we have seen in our former allu- 
sions to the battle of the Standard and the battle of 
Largs, held a principal place in the composition of the 
army. The disastrous defeat which David experi- 
enced in the first of these actions was, in all probabi- 

* Anderson's Diplomata, plate xxxvi. See Chamberlain's Accounts, 
Temp. Alex. III., p. 35, " In reparacione loricse dni regis 18 sh." etc. Ibid, 
p. 38, " In mundacione armorum dni regis 13 sh. et 8 d." Ibid. p. 45, 
" Item in 14 targis bene munitis sciltarga pro 5 sh. 70 sh. In emendacione 
30U0 querelas 5 sh." 


lity, occasioned by his being compelled to place the 
ferocious and half-armed Galwegians in the first line; 
and, even after their undisciplined conduct had intro- 
duced disorder and flight, the day was nearly restored 
by a successful charge of the Prince of Scotland, at the 
head of his men-at-arms, who, to use the expressive 
phrase of Ethelred, "scattered the English army like a 
cobweb." In the battle of Largs, the appearance of the 
Scottish knights on Spanish horses, then considered 
of high value, and which were clothed in mail, evinces 
that, under Alexander the Third, the cavalry of Scot- 
land was equal in equipment to the sister country. 
We learn, from the Chamberlain's rolls of the same 
monarch, that, in the preparations which were made 
for defence and security in the different castles, about 
the time of the expected invasion of the King of Nor- 
way, the warlike engine called the balista was in use; 
and that there was an officer in the castle of Aberdeen 
called Balistarius, who was allowed twenty shillings for 
the purchase of staves, and other necessaries which 
belonged to his office.* At an earlier period still, when 
David the First, and his son. Prince Henry, invaded 
England in 1138, they attacked the castle of Werk 
with balistse, and other warlike engines ;-|* and we 
have every reason to believe that the science of war, 
and the attack and defence of fortified places, must 
have been the same, with very slight variations, in 
both countries. It is evident, from the history of the 
Bruce and Baliol wars, and the most remarkable sieges 

* Chamberlain's Rolls, Temp. Alex. III., p, 19, " Item, "Willelmo balHs- 
tario ad emendum baculos, et alia que pertinent ad officium suum 20 sh." 
Ibid. p. 9, " Item, Balistario de illo anno 2 marcas et dimidiam." Ibid. 
p. 10, " Idem comes petit sibi allocari costumas de xi''^ petris ferri etfabri- 
cam de mille septingentis et septuaginta querellis etfabricam de ix^^ ferri ;" 
and again, p. 47, " Item quod die hujus computi remanserunt in custodia 
ipsius, H. 12 lorice, 2 honbergell, unam par calligarum ferrearum, 14 tar- 
gyss, et 12bipennes." 

f Rich. Prioris Hagulstad. p. 315. 

ART OF WAR. 365 

"which took place during their continuance, that, in 
whatever terms of wonder these warlike machines for 
the battering of the walls are described by the contem- 
porary historians, they were truly very clumsy and 
inefficient inventions ; and that a strong-built castle, 
if w^ell victualled and tolerably garrisoned, could defy, 
for many months, the whole efforts of a numerous 
army, with its balistse, mangonels, tribuchets, sows, 
and rams playing upon it without intermission. 

During the reigns of Edward the Second and Third 
in England, and the corresponding period occupied by 
the latter years of the reign of Robert Bruce, and the 
whole of that of £)avid the Second in Scotland, the 
plate-armour began gradually to supersede the mailed 
coat ; and various improvements and new inventions, 
both in the strength and in the ornamental parts of 
the equipment of knights and soldiers, were intro- 
duced, which, from the constant intercourse between 
the two countries, were adopted simultaneously in 
both. In 1867, a duel was fought between Thomas 
Erskine, a Scottish knight, and James Douglas of 
Egmont, on some quarrel not now discoverable. Both 
champions obtained permission from Edward the Thir4 
to purchase their arms and body-armour, on this occa- 
sion, in London ; and the royal letters inform us of 
what pieces they consisted. A breast-plate and back- 
piece, a helmet, a habergeon, arm-plates, thigh-pieces, 
greaves for the legs, and iron gauntlets, formed the 
body-armour. The weapons were, a dagger or short 
sword, a long sword, and a knife ; and one of the 
knights requests to have body-armour for two horses, 
whilst his antagonist contents himself with a cham- 
freyn or iron frontlet for one.* 

In the use of the bow, the English continued inva- 

* Rotuli Scotia, vol. i. pp. 916, 917. 


riably to be superior to the Scots, and their bodies of 
mounted archers, and of cross-bowmen, who were not 
unfrequently armed in mail, often made cruel havoc 
amongst the Scottish spearmen. It is a singular cir- 
cumstance, that, although the importance of the long- 
bow could not fail to have suggested itself to such mas- 
ters in war as Wallace and Bruce, and Randolph and 
Douglas, there does not appear to have been any very 
successful efforts made to introduce it as a national 
weapon. In remote times, indeed, we find the Scottish 
archers bearing a part in the battle of the Standard;* 
but, at the subsequent battles of Dunbar, Stirling, 
and Falkirk, they do not appear. In the memorable 
defeat, indeed, which Bruce gave to the Lord of Lorn, 
in the pass of Cruachan-Ben, Sir James Douglas ap- 
pears at the head of a body of archers lightly armed, -f 
but they are not to be found in the muster of the army 
at Bannockburn ; and although Bruce, in an ordinance 
of arms passed in 1319, commands every man possessed 
of the value of a cow to arm himself, either with a bow 
and a sheaf of arrows, or with a spear, the last weapon 
was evidently preferred by the Scottish yeomanry. 
Neither in the future expeditions during the reign of 
this monarch, nor in the disastrous battles of Dupplin, 
Halidon, and Durham, do we meet with a body of 
Scottish archers. J With regard to the first of these 
battles at Halidon, there is to be found, in the British 
Museum, amongst the Harleian Manuscripts, a minute 
and curious account of the numbers, the arms, and 
the arrangement of the Scottish army, with the names 

* Ethelredus de Bello Standard!, p. 342, " Alteram aciem filius regis, et 
milites Sagittariique cum eo, adjunctis sibi Cumbrensibus et Tevidalensibus, 
cum magna sagacitate constituit." 

t Barbour, pp. 190, 191. 

X At the siege of Perth, however, under the regency of Moray, Fordun 
mentions that Alan Boyd and John Stirling, " duo valentes armigeri, reo- 
tores architeiientium^'* were slain. 

ART OF WAR. 367 

of all the leaders;* which proves that the Scottish 
army consisted of knights, and of heavy-armed and 
light-armed infantry, without either archers or cross- 
bowmen. The same remark may be made with regard 
to the array at the battle of Durham ; the knights 
armed cap-a-pie, with the homines armati, or heavy- 
armed infantry, formed the strength of the army; and 
besides these there was a large body of half-armed 
foot.-[* The ordinance of arms which was passed by 
Robert Bruce in 1319, acquaints us, in sufficiently 
minute terms, with the arms then used by the Scot- 
tish soldiers. An acton and a steel helmet, gloves of 
plate, and a sword and spear, were to be provided by 
every gentleman who had ten pounds value in land, 
or ten pounds of moveable property. Those of infe- 
rior rank and fortune were bound to fit themselves 
with an iron jack, an iron head-piece, and gloves of 
plate; and the lowest class of all with a spear, or with 
a bow and a sheaf of arrows. J 

The civil dress of those remote times, as it is seen 
in the illuminations of manuscripts, and in the reverses 
of the seals of our early monarchs, appears to have been 
rich and graceful. A robe of purple velvet or scarlet 
cloth, lined and hooded with ermine, with a border of 
gold embroidery, and flowers of gold scattered over it ; 
an under tunic of silk, or other precious stufi*, made 
sometimes close to the figure, and at other times hang- 
ing in loose folds almost to the heel ; hose and breeches 
in one piece, and laced sandals, formed the common 
state dress of the kings, princes, and nobles, their 
more ordinary habits being nearly the same in shape, 
but of less costly materials. § 

* This interesting fragment is printed in the Illustrations, letter D. 
+ Pordun a Goodal, vol. ii. p. 342. 

X History, supra, vol. i. p. 308. See Illustrations, letter Q. 
§ Stnitt's Dress and Habits of the People of England, vol. ii. plates 
VOL. II. 2 B 


During the thirteenth century, a fantastic fashion 
prevailed of clothing one-half of the figure in one 
colour, and the other half in another ; and, where this 
was not done, of having one stocking red or blue, and 
the other green or yellow; so that the man had the 
appearance of having stept into one-half of his neigh- 
bour*'s breeches or hose. But this absurd practice did 
not long continue, and appears to have been at last 
abandoned to the exclusive use of fools and jesters. 

The costume of the ladies at the same period was 
elegant, but so various, that it is difficult, in any writ- 
ten description, to give an idea either of its beauty, or 
of the complicated grouping of its parts. The upper 
part of the dress consisted of a jacket of rich broad 
cloth or velvet, with sleeves reaching to the wrist, and 
terminating in a border of gold embroidery, which was 
made to fit close to the bosom and the waist, so as to 
show the beautiful outline of the female figure. It was 
fastened down the middle with a row of buttons of sil- 
ver, gold, or precious stones, on each side of which was 
a broad border of ermine or miniver, and it reached 
considerably below the waist. Below this jacket ap- 
peared, in ample folds, an under robe or tunic of a 
different colour, and under all, a slip or petticoat of silk 
or linen. The tucker was high and modest, and made 
so as to leave only the neck and throat bare. The 
head-dress consisted either of the wimple, of the 
turban, or of a small circlet of gold, or garland of 
artificial flowers, from beneath which the hair some- 
times flowed down the back, and sometimes was 
gracefully plaited or braided in forms of great va- 

Ixxxiii. and Ixxxv. Chamberlain's Accounts, Temp. Alex. III., p. 13, 

" Augustino cissori per preceptum dni regis ad emendum panum et funir. 
ad opus dni regis vi. marcas et dimidium." See Ibid. p. 17, " In empcio- 
nibus tam in panao serico et aliis, quam in peletria speciebus electuariis, et 
aliis minutis empcionibus, 10 lib. 8 sh. 1 d." Ibid. p. 43, " Item in duobu3 
paribus ocreanun ad opus dni regis 12 sh.'' 


riety. Over the whole dress, it was not uncommon, 
on days of state or ceremony, to wear a long cloak of 
velvet or other precious stuff, which was clasped across 
the bosom, and lined with ermine, martins, or gold 
lace. The golden girdle, too, worn round the waist, 
and sometimes set with precious stones, must not be 
forgotten. The splendour of the civil dresses of this 
period, both in England and in Scotland, is alluded to 
in terms of reprobation by Mathew Paris in his account 
of the marriage of Alexander the Third at York ; and 
as the monastic historian was himself present, his ac- 
count is the more curious and authentic* It proves 
satisfactorily, that the dresses of the higher ranks in 
England, Scotland, and France, were the same. A 
passage, therefore, w^hich we find quoted by Strutt, 
from an ancient MS. history of France, written in the 
fourteenth century, may be quoted as throwing light 
upon the costly variety of the dress of this period. It 
alludes to a sumptuous entertainment given at Paris 
in 1275, on the coronation of Mary. "The barons 
and the knio-hts were habited in vestments of different 
colours: sometimes they appeared in green, sometimes 
in blue, then again in grey, and afterwards in scarlet, 
varying the colours according to their fancies. Their 
breasts were adorned with fibulae or brooches of gold, 
and their shoulders with precious stones of great mag- 
nitude, such as emeralds, sapphires, jacinths, pearls, 
rubies, and other rich ornaments. The ladies who at- 
tended had rings of gold, set with topaz stones and dia- 
monds, upon their fingers ; their heads were ornamented 
with elegant crests or garlands; and their wimples 
were composed of the richest stuffs, embroidered with 
gold, and embellished with pearls and other jewels .'"* 
In the ancient French poem, the Romance of the 

♦ Math. Paris, a Wats, pp. 715, 716. 


Rose, wliicli was completed by John de Meun in 1304, 
the poet has introduced the story of Pigmalion, and 
he represents the enamoured sculptor clothing his 
marble mistress in every variety of female finery. 
" He arrayed her," says he, " in many guises : in robes 
made with great skill of the finest silk and woollen 
cloths, green, azure, and brunette, ornamented with 
the richest skins of ermines, minivers, and greys: these 
being taken ofi", other robes were tried upon her of silk, 
cendal, malliquins, mallbruns, damasked satin, camlet, 
and all of divers colours. Thus decorated, she resem- 
bled a little angel, her countenance was so modest. 
Then again he put a wimple upon her head, and over 
that a coverchief, which concealed the wimple, but hid 
not her face. All these garments were then laid aside 
for gowns, yellow, red, green, and blue, and her hair 
was handsomely disposed in small braids, with threads 
of silk and gold, adorned with little pearls, upon which 
was placed, with great precision, a crestine, and over 
the crestine a crown or circle of gold, enriched with 
precious stones of various sizes. Her little ears, for 
such they are said to have been, were decorated with 
two beautiful pendent rings of gold, and her necklace 
w^as confined to her neck by two clasps of gold. Her 
girdle was exceedingly rich, and to it was attached an 
aulmoniere, or small purse of great value."* This 
amusing and curious passage gives us some idea of the 
richness and intricacy of the female dress of the times: 
and we may conceive how striking and picturesque the 
spectacle must have been to have seen an ancient Go- 
thic hall, on some night of solemnity and rejoicing, 

* I have employed the translation, or rather the ahstract of this passage 
given by Mr Strutt in his excellent work on the Habits and Dresses of the 
People of England, from a manuscript in the British Museum, Strutt "s 
Habits and Dresses, vol. ii. pp. 235, 236. He has in some places used a 
little liberty with the original, which will be found in the Illustrations, 
letter R. 


filled with fair forms in such splendid apparel, and 
crowded with barons, knights, squires, and pages, in 
their velvet robes and jewelled girdles, while the music 
of the minstrels echoed through the vaulted roof, and 
the torches threw their gleams upon its fretted arches, 
bringing out in clear relief their fantastic but often 
beautiful decorations. 

There remain a few gleanings of information upon 
the state of some of the ornamental and useful arts in 
Scotland, too scanty to be included under any separate 
division, and which yet appear of importance, when we 
are collecting every scattered light which may serve 
to illustrate the manners and civil history of the coun- 
try. At an early period, for instance, we can just 
trace an interesting attempt of David the First to 
soften the manners of his people, by introducing a taste 
for gardening. He spent some portion of his time, as 
we learn from his friend and contemporary, in his 
orchard in planting young trees, or in the more diffi- 
cult operation of grafting; and it was his anxious ^ 
desire to encourage the same occupations amongst his 
subjects. The gardener appears constantly in the 
Chamberlain's Accounts of the royal household, as an 
established servant, attached to the different palaces 
and manors. Alexander the Third had his gardeners 
at Forfar and Menmoreth.* We meet with the royal 
garden at Edinburgh as early as 1288; and the Car- 
tularies contain ample evidence, that the higher nobles 
and dignified clergy, and even the lesser knights and 
barons, considered their gardens and orchards as indis- 
pensable accompaniments to their feudal state.i* 

* Chamberlain's AccoTints, Temp. Alex. III., p. 13. Item gardinario de 
Forfar, de illo anno v. marc. Item gardinario de Menmoreth de illo anno 
i. marc. See also pp. 59, 112. 

+ Robertson's Index, p. 86. 


It must be evident to any one who has perused this 
Inquiry, that besides this elegant branch of rural 
economy, many of the other useful and ornamental arts 
must have arrived, during this period, at a state of 
considerable perfection in Scotland. The pitch of ex- 
cellence, for instance, to which the architecture of the 
country had attained, necessarily includes a correspon- 
dent exellence in the masons, the carpenters, the smiths, 
the plumbers, the plasterers, the painters, and the 
glaziers, of those remote times. The art of working 
skilfully in steel and iron must have been well known, 
and successfully practised, by a people and a nobility 
armed and accoutred for war, in the fashion we have 
just described; and the mysteries of embroidery and 
needlework, with the professions of the clothier, silk- 
merchant, milliner, and tailor, could not fail to thrive 
and become conspicuous in so splendid a court, and 
amid such a display of dames and knights as we have 
seen thronging the royaLfesidences during the course 
of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The jewel- 
ler, too, the goldsmith, and the enameller, must have 
been lucrative professions, where the girdles, ear-rings, 
brooches, tiaras, and jackets of velvet, powdered with 
pearls, were conspicuous articles in female dress; and 
where the palls, copes, rocquets, crosiers, censers, and 
church plate, were still more sumptuous. There is, 
accordingly, decided evidence in the Chamberlain''a 
Accounts, that the art of working in the precious 
metals had attained to considerable perfection, although 
in the extent of their gold and silver plate, the kings 
and nobles of Scotland appear to have been far inferior 
to the splendour and extravagance of their English 
neighbours. It must be remembered, also, that the 
most splendid specimens of the armour jewellery, and 
gold and silver work, which are met with in the ward- 


robe books of the times, or whicb we read of in the 
descriptions of contemporary historians, were of Ital- 
ian, Flemish, or oriental workmanship, imported from 
abroad by the Scottish merchants. 

In the sketch of the learning of those remote times, 
I have said nothing of the state of the healing arts, 
during a period when it may be thought, from the 
frequency of war and bloodshed, their ministration was 
much called for. But, unfortunately, upon this sub- 
ject no authentic data remain, upon which an opinion 
may be formed; yet it has been already seen that our 
kings had their apothecaries and physicians. As to 
the actual skill, the prescriptions and operations of 
such persons, we are quite in the dark ; but, if we may 
form our opinion from the low and degraded condition 
of medicine in England at the same period, the patient 
who fell into the hands of these feudal practitioners 
must have rather been an object of pity than of hope; 
and it is probable, that a sick or wounded knight had 
a better chance for recovery'from the treatment of the 
gentle dames or aged crones in the castles, whose 
knowledge of simples was often great, than from the 
ministrations inflicted upon him by the accredited 
leeches of the times. 



Letter A, pages 4 and 179. 

In the present volume, the reader will find many references to the 
Accounts of the Great Chamberlains of Scotland. Two large quarto 
volumes of these accounts, which contain all that is yet printed, were 
politely communicated to me by Mr Thomson, the present Clerk 
Register, to whose learning and enthusiasm the legal antiquities of 
the country are under deep obligations. Neither of these volumes 
has as yet been published, as the Preface and Appendix to be sub- 
joined to each is not yet printed ; but when completed, the work will 
be one of the most valuable which has ever been presented to the 
student of the history and antiquities of his country. The accounts, 
indeed, are written in Latin, and, from the innumerable contractions, 
present themselves in a shape somewhat repulsive to the general 
reader ; but they contain a mass of information upon the state of 
ancient Scotland, its early agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and 
upon the manners and habits of the people, which is in a high degree 
interesting and important. From the extreme minuteness of the 
details, and the perfect authenticity of the records, there is a fresh- 
ness and a truth in the pictures which they present, nowhere else to 
be met with. As a corroboration of this remark, let us take the fol- 
lowing specimen from the Compotum Constabularii de Cardross, vol. i. 
pp. 37, 38, 40, 41. 30th July, 1329. 

Item computat in empcione 2 celdramm fmmenti 53 sh. 4 d. Et 
in empcione 40 celdramm farinse 40 lib. boll pro 15 d. Et in emp- 
cione 1 30 celd. et 8 boll, ordei, et brasei ordei, secundum quod com- 
putans declarabit 166 lib. 11 solidi; videlicet 40 celdr. pro 40 lib. 
celdr. pro 20 solidis et 40 celdr. pro 44 lib. celdr. pro 22 solidis et 
40 celdr. pro 46 lib. celdr. pro 23 solidis et 30 celdr. pro 36 lib. celdr. 
pro 24 solidis et 8 boll pro 1 1 solidis. ****** 

Item in empcione 77 martorum, 32 lib. In 7 martis emptis, 56 


Bolidi. Et in empcione 20 martonim pro pastu, 1 00 solidi. Et pro 
6 multonibus emptis, 7 solidi et 6 denarii. * * * Et in 36 sal- 
monibus salsis empt. 18 solidi. ****** 

Item pro uno reti empto pro piscibus majoribus et minoribus capi- 
undis, 40 solidi. Item pro maremio empto pro scaffaldis faciendia 
pro opera novae camersD, 3 solidi. 

Item in 6 petros crete empt. pro pictura nove Camerae apud Car- 
dross, 3 solidi. Et in 10 lib. stanni pro clavis ad reparacionem ipsius 
CamersD dealbandis et pro vitreo opere fenestrarum ejusdem, 3 solidi 
et 4 denarii. Et pro 30 ponderibus bosci ad comburendum pro 
negociis operis vitrei dictse camerae, 2 solidi et 6 denarii. Item pro 

1 celdr. calcis albe empta pro dealbacione dictae camerae, 8 so- 
lidi ****** 

Item computat pro fabricatione 80 petrarum ferri pro navibus 
Domini Regis et Comitis Moraviae, ac pro aliis negociis manerii de 
Cardross, 26 solidi et 8 denarii, videlicet pro qualibus petrarum 4 
denarii. Item, levantibus mala Domini Regis per tres vices, 3 solidi. 
Item, pro duccione magnae navis Domini regis ab aqua in rivulum 
juxta manerium, ac pro actiliis ipsius navis cariatis, et portatis in 
manerium de Cardross, 3 solidi. Item, pro 200 plaustratis petarum 
in aestate anni 1328, 4 lib. Item, in 200 plaustratis petarum, [in 
omnibus custibus factis circa cariagium earundem usque ad Cardross 
in anno 1329, 4 lib. * * ♦ Item pro custodia 61 martorum inter- 
fectorum ut patet inferius per tres septimanas, 12 denarii. Item pro 
interfectione eorundem, 5 solidi. Item in portagio carcosiorum eor- 
undem in lardarium, 12 denarii. * * * Item Idem computat pro 
construccione unius porte juxta novam Cameram apud Cardross, 6 
denarii. Item pro emendacione et tectura domus cujusdam pro fal- 
conibus ibidem cum construccione cujusdam sepis circa ipsam domum, 

2 solidi. 

Item in construccione cujusdam domus ad opus Culquhanorum* 
Domini Regis ibidem, 10 solidi. Item computat Johauni filio Gun 
pro negociis navium Domini Regis, 6 lib. 13 solidi et 4 denarii. Item 
computat 12 hominibus de Dumbar transeuntibus usque le Tarbart, 
pro magna nave Domini Regis reducenda, 28 solidi. Item in expensis 
hominum transeuncium cum Patricio stulto veniente de Anglia usque 
le Tarbart, 18 denarii. 

Even within the small limits of this extract, it will be seen that 
much curious and interesting information is to be found. The prices 
of grain, and the quantities furnished for the consumption of the royal 
household at Cardross, (it will be recollected that Robert Bruce spent 

* An obscure word which occurs nowhere else — conjectured by a learned 
friend to be " keepers of the dogs," from the Gaelic root, Gillen-au-con — 
abbreviated, Gillecon, Culquhoun. 


there the two last years of his life, 1328, 1329 ;) the prices of the pro- 
visions for the larder, which consisted of marts, sheep, salted salmon, 
and numerous other articles not in this extract, enable us to form a 
pretty correct idea of the mode of liring at this time. From the next 
passage, we are not only able to glean some information as to the 
state of the necessary and ornamental arts, but we obtain, at the same 
time, an interesting view of the occupations of this great king during 
the last year of his life. We see him and his illustrious nephew, 
Randolph, employing their rural leisure in experiments in ship- 
building and navigation, although the circumstance, that one of the 
king's great ships could be hauled from the firth to the running 
stream (rivulum) beside the manor of Cardross, gives us a very con- 
temptible idea of the size of these vessels. The house for the king's 
hawks, and the expenses paid for the journey of Patrick the Fool, 
from England to Tarbet, are examples of the entries in these records 
which throw light on the manners of the times. Of the obscure sen- 
tence regarding the house which was constructed " ad opus culqu- 
hanorum domini regis,'* I am unable to give any explanation, in addi- 
tion to the conjecture in the note ; but innumerable other passages 
might be selected, which would prove the high interest and value of 
these accounts. 

The fii-st volume contains 543 pages, and its contents, as described 
in page 2, are as follows : — 

1. The Preface to the volume, with an Appendix. 

2. Extracts from a roll of accounts in the reign of Alexander the 
Third, a.d. mcclxiii. — mcclxvi., and from a roll of accounts during 
the Interregnum, a.d. mcclxxxviii. — mccxc. From the originals, 
now lost, by Thomas earl of Haddington, clerk register in the reign of 
James the Sixth. 

3. The accounts of the Great Chamberlains of Scotland, and of the 
other officers of the Crown, now remaining in" his Majesty's General 
Register House, arranged in the order of time, from the twentieth 
year of the reign of Robert the First, a.d. mcccxxvi., to the death of 
David the Second, a.d. mccclxx. 

The second volume extends to 679 pages. Its contents are as fol- 
lows : — ■ 

1. Preface to this volume. 

2. The accounts of the Great Chamberlains of Scotland, and of the 
other officers of the Crown, now remaining in his Majesty's General 
Register House, arranged in the order of time, from the accession of 
Robert the Second, a.d. mccclxx., to the death of Robert the Third, 


The third volume contains the accounts of the Great Chamberlains 
of Scotland, and some other officers of the kingdom, from 1406 to 1435. 


Letter B, page 9. 
Death of Randolph. 

Barbour, the metrical historian of Bruce, whose work is of the 
highest authority, informs us that Randolph was poisoned, without 
adding any particulars. 

The lave sa Weill mantenyt he, 

And held in pess swa the countre, 

That it wes nevir or his day 

Sa Weill, as I herd auld men say. 

Bat syne, allace ! pusonyt wes he ; 

To see his dede was gret pite. — Barbour, p. 423. 

Barbour is generally believed to have been bom about 1316, and, 
according to Lord Hailes' conjecture, was fifteen years old at the 
period of the death of Randolph. On what grounds are we entitled 
to set aside such an authority ? 

Winton is supposed, by his able editor, Macpherson, to have been 
bom about the year 1350, (Preface to Winton's Chronicle, p. 19,) only 
eighteen years after the death of Randolph. He composed his Chro- 
nicle in his old age, having commenced it in 1420, and finished it in 
1424. (Ibid. p. 22.) His account is as follows : — 

" Tharefore with slycht thai thoct to gere 

Him wyth wenenous fell poysown 

Be destroyid, and fel tresown 

And that thai browcht swn til endyng 

Be swn tresownabil wndertakyng ; 

For at the Wemyss, by the se, 

Poysownyd at afest wes he.''"' — Vol. ii. p. 146. 

This is clear and direct testimony also. Let us next turn, not to 
Fordun, for he omits all mention of the circumstance * of the poison- 
ing, and simply states the death of the Regent, but to his continuator. 
Bower, who, as we learn from himself, was born fifty-three years 
after the death of Randolph,t in the year 1385. " Et ideo," says he, 
speaking of the designs of the disinherited barons against Randolph, 
" novam artera confixerunt, et ut Italici ferunt, hello tradimento 
verius vili effecerunt, ut quidam Anglicus religione corruptus dicta 
custodi familiaris capellanus, sibi venenum in vino propinaret. Quod 

* Fordun a Hearne, p. 1018. f Lib. xiv. chap. 1. 


ct factum est ut supra." Lord Hailes, in opposition to these autho- 
rities, pronounces the story of the death of Randolph by poison to be 
a silly popular tale, and affirms that he was afilicted in the decline 
of life with a confirmed stone ; that in the progress of the disease he 
became gradually worse, was seized with colic pains, and at length 
died. But this circumstance of Randolph being afflicted with the 
stone, as well as the minute detail of the progress of the disease, on 
which Lord Hailes' whole theory proceeds, is not supported by an 
atom of authentic evidence. It rests solely on the authority oi Hector 
Boece, whom Lord Hailes, in almost every page, represents, and truly 
represents, as a romancer, who is unworthy of all credit. Barbour, 
Winton, and Bower say not a word of it, but describe Randolph as 
being in the active discharge of his duties as governor, when he was 
suddenly cut off by the treachery of his enemies. Why, then, should 
the historian adopt the story of an author whom none can trust, and 
whom, on other subjects, he never trusts himself, in preference to the 
positive averment of authentic writers ? As for poor Hector, he is 
treated rather cavalierly, being first compelled to act as an ally, and 
then summarily put down as a fabricator. In speaking of the Scot- 
tish historians, we must be careful to separate Boece and his fol- 
lowers from those who flourished before him. The last class, includ- 
ing Barbour, Winton, Fordun, and Bower, are valuable ; the first, 
full of invention and apocryphal details. For instance, Lord Hailes 
observes, that the Scottish historians pretend that Randolph was 
poisoned by a vagrant monk from England, and that this was exe- 
cuted with the knowledge of Edward the Third. Now, neither Bar- 
bour, nor Winton, as we see, say a word of Randolph being poisoned 
by a monk, far less an English monk ; and Fordun, although he lays 
the crime on an English chaplain, does not allege that Edward was 
privy to the plot. Boece, however, and those who followed him, 
assert both facts. 

Letter C, page 25. 

Death of Seton. 

Lord Hailes, in his Annals, has omitted the circumstance of Edward 
the Third having hanged the son of Sir Alexander Seton, reserving it 
as a historical problem, to be treated of in a separate dissertation. 
In that dissertation, given in the appendix, the fact of Seton's death 
is established beyond doubt, yet in future editions the scepticism of 
the text is retained. The result of the dissertation is satisfactory in 
one way, as it proves that Winton and Fordun are corroborated in 
every particular by the narrative of the Scala Chronicle. Their 



account, also, of Seton being governor of the town, is confirmed by 
the testimony of the Chamberlains' Accounts. 

Letter D, pages 28 and 367. 

Battle of Halidon Hill. 

Extract from a MS. Chronicle of England, down to the time of 
Henry the Fifth, by Douglas, a monk of Glastonbury. Harleian, 
4690, fol. 79. 

Ande the Scottes come in this araye in iiii bateilles ageste the IL 
kingges of Englond and Skottelond, as it is schewed herafter plenely 
by the names of the Lordes, as ye mough se in this nexte writingge. 

In the forewarde of Skottelonde, weren thes Lordes whas names 
folowenne : — 

The Erie Moreffe. 
James Friselle. 
Simonde Friselle. 
Water Stywarde. 
Ranolde Cheyne. 
Patrick Graham. 
Jonne Graunte. 
James Cardeille. 
Patrick Parkers. 

Robert Caldecotes. 
Philip Meldrum. 
Thomas Kyrye. 
Gilbarde Wiseman. 
Adam Gurdun. 
James Gramat. 
Roberte Boyde. 
Hugh Parke. 

With 40 knightes 
new dubbede, vi* 
men of armes, and 
xiii"* comunes. 

In the first parte of the halfe hendeward of the bateille, weren these 
Lordes folvnng : — 

Stywarde of Scottelonde. 
Erie Moneteth. 
James hes unkelle. 
William Donglas. 
David Lindesaye. 
Malcome Flemyng. 
Wm. Kethe. 
Dunkan Kambel. 

With thritty bachelers new 

In the seconde parte of the halfe hendewarde of the bateilles, wer 
thes Lordes : — 

James Stywarde of Colden. 
Alan Stywarde. 
William Abbrelim. 
William Moris. 
Robert Walham. 

Jon fitz William. 
Adam Mose. 
Water fitz Gilberte. 
Jon Cherton. 



In the III. warde of the bateilles of Skotelondej weren these Lordes 
folowinge : — 

The Erie of IMarre. 
The Erie of Rosse. 
The Erie of Straherne. 
The Erie of Southerlande. 
William Kirkeley. 
Jonue Cambron. 
Gilbert Haye. 
William Ramseye. 
William Prentegeste. 
Kirston Harde. 
William Gurdon. 
Arnalde Garde. 
Thomas Dolfine. 

With 40 knightes newe duhbede, 
ix men of armes, and xv™ co- 

In the nil. warde of the bateilles of Skotelonde, were these Lordes 
whose names folowe : — 

Archibald Donglas. 
The Erie of Levenax. 
Alesaunder Brus. 
Erie of Wiflfe. 
Jonne Cambell erle of 

Roberte Laweder. 
William Vipont. 
William Launston. 
Jonne Lavels. 

Gilbert Schirlowe. 
Jonne Lindesay. 
Alesaunder Gray. 
Ingram Umfreyille. 
Patrick Pollesworthe. 
David Wymes. 
Michel Scotte. 
William Landy. 
Thomas Boys. 
Roger Mortimer. 

With XXX ba- 
chelers, ix'= men of 
armes, xviii™ and 
iui° cominers. 

The Erie of Dunbar, keeper of the castle of Berwicke, halpe the 
Scottes with 50 men of armes. Sir Alisaunder Seton, keeper of the 
towne of Berwicke, halpe the Scottes with an hundred men of armes ; 
and the comens of the town, with iiii men of armes, x™ and viii° fote 
menne. The sum of Erles and Lordes amounteth Ixv. The sum of 
bachelors new dubbede, a c. and xl. The sum of men of armes, iii'** 
vi° and i. The sum of cominers iiii score m. and ii^. The sum total 
of alle the pepelle amounteth iiii^^ m. xt"^ and v*= and v. 

And these forsaid fifty five grete Lordes, with iiii bateilles, as it is 
before descrivede, come alle a fote. And Kinge Edwarde of Eng- 
londe, and Kinge Edwarde of Skottelonde, had well pairalled ther 
folke in iiii bateilles on fote, also to fighte agenste ther enemys. And 
then the Englische mynstrelles beten ther tabers, and blowen ther 
trompes, and pipers pipeden loude, and made'a grete schoute uppon 
the Skottes, and then hadde the Englishe bachelers, eche of them 
ii winges of archers, whiche at that meeting mightly drewen ther 
bowes, and made arowes flee as thick as motes on the sonne heme, 
and so thei smote the Skottes, that thei fell to grounde by many 
VOL. n. 2 G 


thousands. And anone, the Skottes begane to flee fro the Englishe 
menne to save ther pere lyves ; butt whan the knaves and the Skot- 
tishe pages, that weren behinde the Skottes to kepe ther horses, seyen 
the discomfiture, thei prikened ther maisters horses awey to kepe 
themselfe from perille, and so thei towke no hede of ther maistars. 
And then the Englishe men towken many of the Skottes horses, and 
prikeden after the Skottes, and slewe them downe righte. And ther 
men might see the nowbell Kinge Edwarde of Englonde and his 
folke, hough mannefully they chaseden the Skottes; whereof this 
Romance was made. 

There men mighte well se 

Many a Skotte lightly flee ; 

And the Englische after priking 

"With sharp swerdes them stiking. 

And then ther baners weren founds 

Alle displayde on the grounde, 

And layne starkly on blode 

As thei hadde fought on the flode. 

But the Skottes ill mote thei 

Thought the Englisch adrenit schulde be, 

For bicause thei might not flee. 

But if thei adrenite schulde be, 

But thei kepte them manly on londe, 

So that the Skottes might not stonde, 

And felde them do'mie to grounde 

Many thousandes in that stounde, 

And the Englishe men pursuyed them so 

Tille the flode was alle a-goo. 

And thus the Skottes discomfite were, 

In litell tjTne with grite feere, 

For no notherwise did thei stryve 

But as XX schepe, among wolfes fyve, 

For V of them then were 

Agenste ane Englischeman there ; 

So there itte was welle semyng 

Thatte with multitude is no scomfiting. 

Butt with God fulle of mighte 

Wham he will helpe in trewe fighte. 

So was this hi Goddes grace 

Discomfiture of Skottes in that place 

That men cleped Halidoun hille. 

For ther this bateill befelle 

Atte Berwicke beside the towne, 

This was do with mery soune 

With pipes, trompes, and nakers thereto. 

And loude clarionnes thei blew also ; 


And there the Skottes leyen dede ^ 

XXX m. beyonde Tweed, 

And V m. tolde thereto 

With vii c. xii and mo ; 

And of Englischemen but sevenne, 

Worschipped be God in hevenne ! 

And that were men on fote goyng 

By fely of ther oune doyng. 

On Seinte Margete-ys eve, as I yow telle, 

Befille the victory of Halidoune hille. 

In the yere of Gode almighte 

A m. iii c. and ii and thritty. 

Atte this discomfiture 

The Englische knightes towke ther hure 

Of the Skottes that weren dede, 

Clothes and habergiounes for ther mode, 

And watteever thei might finde, 

On the Skottes thei lefte not behinde 

And the knaves by ther purchas 

Hadde ther a mery solas, 

For thei hadde for ther degree 

In alle ther lyffe the better to be. 

Alle thus the bateille towke ending, 

But I cannot telle of the ymgoing 

Of the two kinges, where thei become, 

And whether thei wenten oute, or home. 

But Godde that is heven King 

Sende us pes and gode ending ! 

Letter E, page 72. 

Battle of Durham. 

Lord Hailes, (Annals, vol. ii. p. 218,) in Ms observations on the 
conduct of the Steward of Scotland at the battle of Durham, has this 
passage : — " Boece, book xv. fol. 324, has been pleased to assert, that 
the Steward and the Earl of March, perceiving that the forces under 
their command were dispirited, and unwilling to fight any longer, 
withdrew them to a place of safety." He adds, " that this retreat 
was the cause of all the disasters which ensued." He then observes, 
that the proper vindication of the Steward is, that the narrative of 
Boece, although not altogether of his own inyention, has no warrant 
from Fordun, or from any English historian of considerable anti- 
quity. I have no desire to support the character of Boece, the most 
apocryphal of all our historians ; but as I have differed entirely, in 
this part of the history, from the view given of this battle by Lord 


Hailes, it is necessary to observe, that this has been done on authen- 
tic grounds ; and, first, it is to be observed, that Fordun's account of 
the battle of Durham, instead of giving no support to Boece, describes 
the flight of the Steward and the Earl of March in strong expres- 
sions. " Omnibus captis," says he, " exceptis Patricio de Dunbar et 
Roberto Sever Scotis, qui fugam capientes illcesi abierant.''^ — Fordun 
a Hearne, p. 1038. The Scala Chronicle, a contemporary English 
authority, from which Leland gave extracts in his Collectanea, and 
which has since been printed, also corroborates the account of For- 
dun. " The Counte of March and the Seneschal of Scotland fled." 
To say that the Steward fled from the field without striking a blow, 
would be highly inaccurate, for we know from Winton that he sus- 
tained great loss ; but that, seeing the day on every side going 
against them, he and the Earl of March efi*ected their retreat without 
attempting to rescue the king, seems to be the fact \ and it is quite 
evident that David never forgave it. 

Letter F, page 131. 

The Record of the proceedings of the Parliament held at Perth on 
the 13th of January, 1364, is valuable, and has never yet been pub- 
lished ; I therefore subjoin it, from the cancelled volume " Robert- 
son's Parliamentary Records." 

Apud Perth in Domo fratrum predicatorum die tercio decimo 
mensis Januarii anni domini millesimi trecentesimi sexagesimi 

Constitutis et comparentibus coram domino nostro rege tanquam 
in suo consilio generali venerabilibus in Christo patribus dominis 
Sancti Andree Donkeldensis, Brechynensis, Rossensis, et Candida 
case ecclesiarum, episcopis De Dunfermelyn de Aberbroth de Pas- 
seleto de Scona de Kylwynnyne et de Cupro abbatibus Et dominis 
Roberto senescallo Scocie Comite de Stratherne, Willielmo Comite 
de Rosse, Johanne Senescallo domino de Kyle, Willielmo de Keth 
marescallo Scocie, Roberto de Erskyn, Archembaldo de Douglas, 
Hugone de Esglyntoun, Waltero et Alexandre de Haliburtoun, Dauid 
de Grame, Alexandre Senescallo, Willielmo de Dyssyntoun, Rogero 
de Mortemer, Dauid Fleming, Dauid de Anandia, et Roberto de 
Ramesay militibus, Alano de Erskyn, Malcolmo Fleming, Willielmo 
de Nevbyggyng, et Willielmo de Melgdrom, Johanne Wygmer, Adam 
Tor, Johanne Crab, Adam Pyngle, Johanne Mercer, Johanne Gil, 
Willielmo de Harden, et Eliseo Falconier, Conuocatisque aliis ad 
huiusmodi consilium yocari consuetis et ad uegocia iufrascripta citatis 


et recitatis articulis siue punctis reportatis a tractatu nuper habito 
cum rege et consilio Anglie per nuncios vltimo illuc missos videlicet 
Dominum Willielmum episcopum Sancte Andree Dominum Robertum 
de Erskyn militem Magistros Walterum de Wardlau et Gillebertum 
Armistrang prout contiuetur inferius fait per modum qui sequitur 
concordatum videlicet Quod eorum omnium plena fuit intencio et 
assensus quod tractatus super bona pace reformanda et habenda per- 
petuo cum rege et regno Anglie acceptetur per vias modos et condi- 
ciones subscriptas, et quod si tractatus huiusmodi super pace forte 
deficiat, fiat tractatus super treugis habendis per redempcionem regis 
soluendam, si possit haberi vt inferius est contentum ad quod nuncium 
faciendum eosdem prenominatos nuncios concorditer elegerunt. 

Primo quidem quo ad primum articulum seu punctum reportatum 
vt permittitur quod scilicet dominis exheredatis existentibus in Anglia 
de regno Scocie restituantur terre sue ita ordinatum est ad tractandum 
quod quinque persone alias nominate in diuersis tractatibus videlicet 
Comes Atholie, domini de Percy, de Beaumont, de Talbot, et de Fer- 
rers, pro bono pads rehabeant terras suas Eciam pro bona pace ha- 
benda quod aliis diuersis videlicet Dominis Godfrido de Roos Patricio 
Macowlach Edveardo de Leclimere et Willielmo de Westberyngton 
sint sue bereditates restitute et quod dominus Alexander de Mowbray 
habeat ad summam centum marcatarum terre Etiamquod illi de regno 
Scocie qui fuerunt ad pacem regis Anglie videlicet existentes in Mar- 
cbiis gaudeant terris suis Eciam quod ad terras quas vendicant here- 
des quondam domini de Walris infra regnum Scocie videtur prenotatis 
dominis super ipsis esse tractandum et quod si de aliis punctis con- 
cordari poterit ad bonam pacem non esse sic standum per boc vt aliis 
concurrentibus impediatur tractatus. 

Secundo quo ad terras concedendum fiUo juniori regis Anglie con- 
cordatum fuit sic esse tractandum quod mille librate terre infra Gal- 
wydiam que fuit bereditas quondam Edwardi de Balliolo concedantur 
eidem hereditarie eciam et similiter de Insula de Man que est valoris 
mille marcatarum cum tenendiis et pertinenciis earundem quod si ad 
hoc concordari non possit quin Comes de Salisberi habeat dictam in- 
sulam per ipsum tractatum concedatur et tractetur quod dicto filio 
regis Anglie loco illarum mille marcatarum de Man mille marce stir- 
lingorum per annum de certis redditibus hereditarie sint concesse 
quousque terre ad eundem valorem sibi valeant assignari ita tamen 
quod vterque pro eisdem terris sit homo logins domini nostri regis 

Tertio quod pro bona pace habenda et omnimodis accionibus et 
reprobacionibus finaliter sedandis ad hoc tractetur secundum quod 
nuncii domini nostri regis viderint melius expediri vt dominus noster 
rex faciat guerram fieri ad tempus infra aliquas partes Hyl>emie ad 


quas sui commodius accedere poterunt per potenciam vias et modos 
rationabiles et possibiles consideratis marchiis regni Scocie et Hyber- 
nie quibus sibi et suo consilio visum fuerit faciendum. 

Preterea de tractatu habendo super pace reformanda si forte pre- 
missa omnia non sint accepta per partem aduersam, nee vellet per 
hoc assentiri ad pacem, volunt predicti domini et vnanimi consensu 
concordarunt antequam bona pax et perpetua relinquatur, omnino, 
quod concedatur solucio redempcionis debite tollerabiliter facienda, 
nee non mutua confederacio regnorum perpetuo, quamuis non per 
equalem potenciam, que tamen nullo modo sapiat seruitutem, vna cum 
omnibus supradictis si eorum aliqua nullo modo recindi valeant modi- 
ficari uel miuui per fidelem industriam tractatorum verum concessio 
terre rallis Anandie que petita est alias relinquitur regie voluntati. 

Ceterum concordauerunt predicti domini congregati si forte defe- 
cerit tractatus pacis per vias pretactas tractandum esse super treugis 
et solucione redempcionis reformanda sic scilicet primo quod pro re- 
missione et sedacione omnium penarum et reprobacionum remittantur 
penitus vinginti mille marche iam solute et deinde quod soluantur 
per annum quinque mille marche quousque sexies vinginti mille 
marche sint solute treugis durantibus pro tempore solucionis predicte 
viz. ad vinginti quatuor annos que si non valeant acceptari tractetur 
postea quod centum mille libre soluantur pro omnibus supradictis re- 
mittendo etiam vt supra viginti mille marchas solutas et incipiendo 
de nouo vt omni anno soluantur quinque mille marche prorogatis 
treugis pro toto tempore solucionis vt supra quibus omnibus forte 
deficientibus affirmetur finaliter quod dictis viginti mille marcihs 
solutis omnino remissis soluantur centum mille marche infra decern 
annos quolibet anno videlicet decem mille marche prout in primo 
tractatu super deliberacione regis extitit concordatum. 

Item ordinatum fuit per dictum consilium quod pecunia pro redemp- 
cione soluenda sic leuetur vt scilicet tocius lane regni custuma ad 
summam octo mille marcharum per annum ad minus ascendere esti- 
metur, que vero custuma si tanta fuerit vel vberior per certos bur- 
genses committendos per regem et eciara per literas sub communi 
sigillo burgorum de quibus fuerint et sub periculo communitatum 
eorumdem recipiatur in Flandria in moneta regis Anglie ita tamen 
quod sit aliquis sufficiens ex parte regis ibidem qui astet continue et 
examinet ad domum ponderandi et sic fiat ibi solucio de octo mille 
marchis per annum vt in dicto primo tractatu est contentum ita quod 
intelligatur dicta solucio fieri si processum fuerit ad vltimam viam 
soluendi aliis recusatis. 

Item ordinatum fuit quod fiat eciam contribucio omni anno, durante 
dicto decennio, sex denariorum de libra per totum, que leuetur per 
certos collectores annuatim eligendos, nulle persone parcendo, de qua 


per camerarium et aliam sibi per regem adiungendam personam su- 
mantur. primo ante omnia alia, due mille marche per annum ad solu- 
cionem dictarum decem mille marcharum redemcionis complendum, 
residuum ipsius contribucionis permaneat cum camerario pro neces- 
sariis sumptibus domini nostri regis, manuceperunt eciam et efficaciter 
promiserunt prenominati domini omnes et singuli quod tractatum 
pacis siue treuge que dicti nuncii inient sine perficient cum rege 
Anglie et suo consilio per modes et vias prenotatas approbabunt rati- 
ficabunt confirmabunt et sub pena reprobacionis et periurii perficient 
in omnibus et inuiolabiliter obseruabunt et eciam quod ordinacionem 
factam pro contribucione leuanda et solucione redempcionis facienda 
tenebunt fideliter et implebunt nee ipsam in se vel in suis hominibus 
impedient aut ei in aliquo contradicent. 

Similiter quod non impetrabunt nee exigent clam vel palam pro se 
vel pro aliis a domino nostro rege aliquas terras wardas releuia vel 
maritagia finis vel escaetas medio tempore contingentes sed remane- 
bunt integre in manibus camerarii ad vtilitatem regis vna cum residue 
dicti contribucionis vt est dictum in casu quo per dictam vltimam 
viam concordetur super treugis et summa redempcionis soluenda et 
quia si premissa non seruarentur sedprocederetur forsitan in oppositum 
eorumdem manifesto sequeretur annullacio contractus initi in obpro- 
brium et graue dispendium regis prelatorum et procerum necnon de- 
struccionem tocius communitatis regni. 

Promiserunt omnes et singuli dicti domini congregati fideliter et 
tactis sacrosanctis euuangeliis personaliter iurauerunt quod contra 
quemcunque premissa vel premissorum aliquod infringentem impedi- 
entem seu contradicentem in aliquo cum sua tota potentia insurgent 
concorditer tanquam contra rebellem regis et rei publico subuersorem 
ac ipsum infractorem impeditorem seu contradictorem ad obserua- 
cionem predictorum compellent sub pena reprobacionis et periurii vt 
premittitur et sub pena pariter fidelitatis sue infracte contra regiam 
maiestatem In cuius rei testimonium sigilla prenominatorum prela- 
torum et sigilla dicti domini Senescalli Scocie Comitis de Stratharne 
et domini Patricii Comitis MarcMe et Morauie et domini Willielmi 
Comitis de Douglas qui ad premissa omnia et singula suum consilium 
adhibuerunt et consensum in presencia domini nostri regis apud Eden- 
burgh corporali prestito iuramento licet personaliter non interfuerit 
cum ordinarentur primitus apud Perth vna cum sigillis domini pre- 
dicti Comitis de Ross et aliorum procerum predictorum nee non com- 
raunibus sigillis burgorum de Edinburgh Abriden Perth et Dunda 
presentibus sunt appensa Acta et data anno die et loco predictis. 


Letter G, page 138. 


Octauo die Mali anni millesimi trecentesimi sexageslmi sexti apud 
monasierium Sancti Crucis. 

Fuit per consilium ordinatum In primis quod cum super quatuor 
punctis videlicet homagio, successione, regni demembracione, ac sub- 
sidio gencium armorum perpetuo, per regnum Scocie regno Anglie et 
eciam infra propria duo regna et vltra per regnum Scocie extra reg- 
num Anglie impendendo, fuisset aliquandiu tractatum, finaliter refa- 
tatis primis trihis punctis tanquam intoUerabilibus et non admissihili- 
bus deliberatum extitit fore super quarto puncto tractandum per nun- 
cios a parlamento mittendos cum modificacione possibili habenda super 
eodem quarto puncto et in casu quo per quartum punctum tolerabiliter 
modificatum finalis pax haberi non valeat vt petitur deliberatum, ex- 
titit quod iterum taxentur secundum -verum valorem et antiquum per 
totum regnum terre et redditus tam ecclesiastici quam alii, et ipse 
taxaciones ad parlamentum presententur, et eciam quod scribatur 
vicecomitibus quod ad certos dies sibi nominandos in scripto citari 
faciant coram ipsis diuites patrie et plebanos qui ad parlamentum 
non erunt, nee voluerunt permittere interesse ibidem, ad quos dies 
eciam erunt certe persone deputande per regem vel camerarium, et 
queratur a quolibet singillatim et ponatur in scripto quantum quis- 
quis dare voluerit gratis ad redempcionem regis infra tres annos prox- 
imo futures complete soluendam, et ipse donaciones ibidem pariter 
presententur, ad finem quo dicto tractatu pacis deficiente, habeatur 
saltern in fine quatuor annorum quibus treuge sunt lam firmate totum 
residuum redempcionis Domini nostri regis in promptu soluendum vt 
vitari valeant omnes reprobaciones et pene si que per partem aduer- 
sam possent inpingi vel peti per instrumenta super magnis treugis et 
liberacione regis confecta. 


Item quod fabricetur moneta de materia iam allata in regnum talis 
qualem fecit magister Jacobus in pondere et metallo ita quod in hiis 
equipolleat monete current! in Anglia et fiat in ipsa signum notabile 
per quod possit ab omni alia prius fabricata euidenter cognosci quous- 
que in proximo parlamento possit super hoc maturius auisari Et 
interim super mercede monetarii et operariorum conueniat camerarius 
pro parte regis cum ipsis prout melius poterit conuenire.* 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 104, 105. 


Letter H, page 142. 

Parlamentum tentum apud Sconam vicesimo die Julii anno grade 
miUeshno trecentesimo sexagessimo sexto et regni Domini nostri 
regis Dauid tricesimo sej^timo summonitis et Tocatis more dehito 
et solito episcopis abbatibus prioribus comitibus baronibus libere 
tenentibus qui de Domino nostra rege tenent in capite et de quo- 
libet burgo certis biirgensibus qui ad hoc fuerunt ex causa sum- 
moniti comparentibus omnibus illis qui debuerunt potuerunt tel 
voluerunt commode interesse absentibus tero quibusdam aliis 
quorum aliqui legitime excusati fuerunt aliqui tero quasi per 
contumaciam absentarunt videlicet WiUielmus Comes de Rosse 
Hugo de Ross Johannes de Insulis Johannes de Lorn et Johan- 
nes de Haye. 

Cum ipsum parlamentum principaliter inter cetera fuerit statutum 
ad deliberandum de consensu et assensu illorum quorum supra super 
tractatu pacis habendo cum rege et regno Anglie in forma et super 
punctis vltimo reportatis per nuncios et super plenaria solucione 
redempcionis domini nostri regis facienda in fine treugarum iam per 
triennium duratarum in casu quo pax interim reformari aut vlteriores 
treuge haberi non poterunt et super necessariis expensis regis et 
suorum nunciorum tunc mittendorum in Angliam Primo et princi- 
paliter super negociis pacis fuerat ordinatum quod nuncii adhuc 
mitterentur in Angliam qui fuerunt nuper illic videlicet dominus 
episcopus Sancti Andree Dominus Robertus de Erskyn Magister 
Walterus de Wardlau et Gillebertus Armistrang sicut aliam planam 
commissionem habentes ad tractandum de pace vt bona et perpetua 
possit firmari inter regna concedendo omnia que in primo instrumento 
facto sub sigillis dominorum fuerunt pro pace concessa et vltra trac- 
tando super quarto puncto videlicet subuencione guerratorum mutuo 
facienda quanto melius et ad minus grauamen fieri poterit sicut in 
vltimo instrumento sub sigillis vt supra inde facto super eodem 
puncto onerati fuerunt. 

Et vlterius hoc tractatu deficiente ad tractandum super proroga- 
cione treugarum ad viginti quinque annorum exitum soluendo sum- 
mam redempcionis que restat soluenda videlicet quolibet anno quatuor 
millia librarum vt habebatur alias in tractatu. Quantum vero ad 
secundum punctum sic ordinatum fuit, quod cum iam'habeatur in 
certo per presentaciones hie factas tam antique extenti quam veri 
valoris omnium reddituum ecclesiarum et terrarum tam ecclesiasti- 
carum quam mundanarum taxentur eciam omnia bona burgensium et 
husbandorum preter ones albas ad presens, et infra festum natiuitatis 


beate virginis proximo futurum apud Edinburgh consilio presententur 
et tunc habita totali summa veri valoris omnium bonorum tocius regni 
ordinabatur contribucio leuenda generaliter et adequabitur libra libre 
vt leuentur extunc incontinenti octo mille marce ad expensas regis et 
ad eius debita soluenda in regno, et ad expensas nunciorum et non 
plus, cum magna custuma ordinetur ad dictam solucionem quatuor 
mille librarum pro redempcione vt premittitur facienda quousque 
nuncii reuertantur et ex hoc posset ordinacio quo ad tercium punctum 
videlicet. Quod cum dominus noster rex ordinauerit pro certiori 
magnam custumam suam ad solucionem dictarum quatuor mille 
librarum pro sua redempcione facienda, per annum, dicte quatuor 
mille libre leuentur de dicte contribucione leuenda et duo millia 
marcharum eciam de eadem contribucione mille marche videlicet ad 
soluenda debita regis et ad expensas suas interim faciendas et mille 
marce ad expensas nunciorum que quidem duo millia marce sic 
mutuata fuerunt vt haberentur in promtu videlicet per barones mille 
marche per clerum sexcente marche et per burgenses quadringinte 
marce que sibi refundentur cum dicta contribucio fuerit leuata. 
Plegiis ad solucionem fiiciendam burgensibus Domino Roberto de 
Erskyn et Domino Walterro de Bygar camerario Scocie. 

Et fuit in dicto parlamento ad instanciam trium communitatum 
per regem expresse concessum et eciam publico proclamatum primo 
quod vnicuique fiat communis iusticia sine fauore cuiquam faciendo 
et absque accepcione cuiuscunque persone et quod litere que emana- 
uerint de capella regis aut aliter per alios ministros quibus incumbit 
facere iusticiam pro iusticia facienda non reuocentur per quascunque 
alias literas sub quocunque sigillo sed quod liceat ministris quibus 
tales litere destineantur ipsis non obstantibus iusticiam facere ac 
ipsas remittere indorsatas. 

Item quod cum communitates se iam onerauerint ad tam onerosam 
solucionem faciendam tam pro redempcione domiui nostri regis 
facienda, quam pro ipsius et nunciorum suorum necessariis et expensis, 
nichil de hiis que ad hoc ordinantur applicetur ad vsus alios quos- 
cunque ex dono remissione vel aliter sed solum ad ea ad que sunt vt 
premittitur singulariter ordinata. 

Item quod viri ecclesiastici et terre sue elemosinate gaudeant suis 
libertatibus et priuilegiis et quod nulla alia onera vel imposiciones 
sint eis imposite vltra onera in parlamento concessa et si qui sint 
impeditores assedacionis decimarum quod arceantur per regem ad 
querelam ipsorum qui in hoc grauati fuerint sic quod suis decimis 
possint pacifice et cum integritate gaudere sub pena excommunica- 
cionis quo ad clerum et decem librarum penes regem. 

Item quod nichil capiatur a communitatibus ad vsus regis sine 
prompta solucione nee eciam aliqua capiantur ad pricam nisi vbi et 


secundum quod fieri consueuit et debet fiat infra tempus consuetum 
et debitum solucio prompta et debita pro eisdem. 

Item quod isti rebelles videlicet de Atholia Ergadia Baydenach 
Lochaber et Rossia et alii si qui sint in partibus borealibus aut alibi 
arestentur per regem et ipsius potenciam ad subeundam communem 
iusticiam et ad contribucionem specialiter exsoluendam et aliter 
corigantur prout ad pacem vt Ytilitatem communitatis et regni magis 
fuerit oportunum. 

Item quod omnes officiarii regis videlicet vicecomites et alii inferi- 
ores ministri tam infra burgum quam extra obediant camerario et 
aliis superioribus ministris sub pena amociouis eorumdem ab ipsorum 
officiis sine spe restitucionis imposterum ad eadem. 

Item quod non mittantur aliqui cum equis ad perbendinandum cum 
religiosis rectoribus vicariis aut husbandis nee aliqui cum quibus- 
cunque equis mittantur in patriam qui consumant bona blada vel 
prata husbandorum vel aliorum aut aliquis hoc facere presumat sub 
pena que pro huiusmodi debet infligi pro quantitate delicti et quali- 
tate persone. 

Item quod remissiones regis concesse vel concedende pro quibus- 
cumque transgressionibus sint casse et nulle nisi satisfiat parti infra 
annum a data earundem nisi forte manifeste steterit per illos quorum 
interest et de hoc illi quibus concesse fuerint remissiones huiusmodi 
fecerint sufficientur doceri. 

Item quod camerarius faciat in singulis burgis iuxta locorum facul- 
tates de hospitiis competentibus prouideri. 

Item quod nullus prelatus comes vel baro vel alius cuiuscunque 
condicionis existat ecclesiasticus vel secularis equitet cum maiori 
familia in personis vel equis quam deceat statum suum ad destruc- 
cionem patrie quodque nullus ducat secum lanceatos vel architenentes 
equitando per patriam nisi causa rationabilis subsistat de qua minis- 
tris regis super hoc questionem facientibus fidem facere teneantur sub 
pena incarceracionis corporum eorundem. 

Item quod quilibet iter faciens siue moram per regnum solucionem 
faciat suis hospitibus et aliis de quibuscunque receptis et expensis 
suis vtrobique rationabiliter et secundum forum patrie sic quod exinde 
nulla iusta querimonia audiatur sub pena. 

Item quod dominus noster rex faciat omnia et singula prenotata 
sub sigillo sue in scripto redigi et per singulos vicecomites puplice 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 105, 106. 


Letter I, page 145. 

Acta in loarlamento tento apud Sconam Ticesimo septimo die men- 
sis Septembris cum continuacione dierum anno grade millesimo 
trecenteslmo sexagesimo septimo conuocatis trihus communitatihus 
regni congregatis ibidem Quedam certe persone elccte fuerunt per 
easdem ad parlamentum tenendum data aliis causa autumpni 
licencia ad propria redeundi videlicet. 

Ex parte cleri electi fuerunt domini episcopi Sancti Andree Glas- 
guensis Morauiensis Brechiuensis Cancellarius et Dumblanensis Prior 
Sancti Andree, Abbates de Dunfermelyn, de Aberbroth, et de Lun- 
dors, de clero eciam Sancti Andree, prepositus Sancti Andree, et Ma- 
gister Alexander de Caroun de clero Glasguensis, Dominus Johannes 
de Carrie Procurator Episcopi de Dunkelden cantor eiusdem, Procu- 
rator Episcopi Abirdonensis Magister Dauid de Marre, et Procurator 
Episcopi Rossensis, Decanus eiusdem. 

Pro parte vero baronum Domini Senescallus Scocie Comes de Strath- 
erne, Comes de Marr, Domini de Kyle et de Meneteth, Domini Wil- 
lielmus de Keth marescallus Scocie, Robertus de Erskyn, Archibaldus 
de Douglas, Walterus de Lesley, Walterus de Haliburtoun, Hugo de 
Esglyntoun, Dauid de Grame, Duncanus Wallays, Dauid Walteri &c. 
absentibus contumaciter Comitibusde Marchia,de Ross,et de Douglas. 

Et pro parte burgensium electi de Edynburgth Adam de Brounhill, 
et Andreas Bee, de Aberden, Willielmus de Leth, et Johannes Crab, 
de Perth, Johannes Gill et Johannes de Petscoty, de Dunde, Willel- 
mus de Harden, et Willielmus de Innerpeffre, de Monross, Elisieus 
Falconar et Thomas Black, de Hadyngstoun Johannes de Heetoun et 
Magister "Willielmus de Tauernent, et de Lychcu Thomas Lethe. 

Cum super tribus punctis determinandis fueritpresens parlamentum 
ordinatum principaliter teneri. Prime videlicet quo ad modum vi- 
uendi regis, super quo dicti domini congregati deliberant per hunc 
modum videlicet quod vt dominus rex viuere possit, et debeat sine 
oppressione populi, omnes redditus firme, cane, custume, foreste, et 
officia ac alia emolumenta quecunque ac omnes terre tarn dominice 
quam alie, in quorum possessione vt de feodo immediate recolende 
memorie dominus rex Robertus pater domini nostri regis qui nunc 
est, fuit tempore mortis sue, et quarum possessio sine proprietas ad 
jus et proprietatem corone tempore regis Roberti, aut tempore regis 
Alexandri, pertinere consueuit et debuit, cum reuersionibus debitis, 
ratione corone, et que reuersiones medio tempore contigerunt, eciam 
si dicte terre redditus et firme cane custume foreste et alia emolu- 
menta que supra sint per dictum quondam dominum regem Robertum 
aut per dominum nostrum regem qui nunc est, aliquibus personis vel 


locis donata vel concessa ad cerium tempus iam transactum vel sub 
certa limitacione condicione seu talliacione finita et extincta, et simi- 
liter terre per ipsum dominum nostrum regum vel suum camerarium 
assedate ad tempus, licet terminus seu exitus nondum venerit, plene 
et integre ab illis qui eas et ea hactenus habuerunt et ab omnibus 
aliis imposterum ad dictum nostrum regem et suam coronam reuocen- 
tur et redeant, cum ecclesiarum aduocacionibus, et debitis antiquis 
seruiciis perpetuo remansure, nee vnquam concedantur illis aut aliis 
nisi solum ex deliberacione et consensu trium communitatum." Et si 
illi quibus terre buiusmodi fuerunt concesse, habeant iam ipsorum ali- 
quas in sua propria cultura, redactas, non assedatas ad firmam, com- 
pellantur ad soluendum tantam firmam ad terminum Sancti Micbaelis 
proximo futurum pro ipsis terris pro quanta ille terre vel alique alia 
eque bone,posent in presenti rationabiliteret fideliterassedari, etquod 
omnes wards releuia maritagia et escaeta ac exitus curiarum regis 
quarumcunque remaneant ad sustentacionem domus sue in manibus 
camerarii pro vtilitate domini nostri regis disponenda, et cum dominus 
noster rex aliquem pro merito promouere vel remunerari voluerit, hoc 
fiat tantum de mobilibus et cum bona deliberacione consilii si quis 
autem remuneracionem seu promocionem a domino rege impetrauerit 
et ipsum male informauerit de valore uel summa cum fuerit comper- 
tum quod ipse valor vel summa maior fuerit per quantitatem exces- 
siuam ita quod impetracio ilia surreptitia possit notari ipsam promo- 
tionem seu remissionem omnino amittet et reprobacionem incurret 
n^erito debitam in hoc casu ; aut si aliquis impetrauerit a domino rege 
de dictis demaniis, seu terris reuersionibus et reuocationibus aliquam 
partem notabilem tanquam a rege et suo consilio, reprobandus penam 
subibit debitam et carebit nichilominus impetracione. 

Item deliberant pro vtilitate communi quod omnes regalitates 
libertates, infeodaciones, infeodacionum innouaciones, per quas warde, 
releuia, maritagia, secte curiarum aut alia quecumque seruicia com- 
munia domini nostri regis diminuta sunt in aliquo vel subtracta post 
mortem domini dicti regis Roberti, quibuscunque partibus ; de nouo 
concessa reuocentur et cessent, omnino, et seruicia subeant communia 
cum vicinis prout facere consueuerunt ante concessam huiusmodi 
libertatem antiquis regalitatibus libertatibus et immunitatibus in suo 
robore permansuris, et quod omnes carte et munimenta super reuo- 
cacionibus et reuersionibus vel aliqua eorum confecte vel confecta 
hactenus, reddantur et restituantur apud Perth in scaccario, ibidem 
tenendo, in manus cancellarii et camerarii, infra quindecim dies festum 
epiphanie domini proximo futurum immediate sequentes, et nichilomi- 
nus si alique carte vel munimenta huiusmodi penes personas aliquas 
abinde remanserint non reddite vel non reddita ex tunc casse irrite et 
nulle cassa irrita et nulla habeantur et perpetuo nullius sint moment!. 


Secundum punctum videlicet quantum ad municionem castrorum 
requiratur in paruo registro. Quantum vero ad tertium punctum 
videlicet disposicionem et statum regni deliberant quod si aliqua 
motiua de nouo occurrant pro parte regis Anglie vel pro parte nostra 
vltra alios tractatus per nuncios regni et per communitatcs negataque 
inducere poterunt bonam rationabilem et tollerabilem pacem vel 
treugarum prorogacionem vtilem habeant dominus noster rex et illi 
quos ipse ad tunc propinquius habere poterit de suis consiliariis juratis 
vicem ct protestatem liberam prelatorum et procerura in hoc parla- 
mento congregatorum eligendi nuncios et taxandi eorum expensas 
secundum laborem et negociorum exigenciam et personarum eligen- 
darum qualitatem et statum absque conuocacione super hoc parla- 
menti sen alterius consilii cuiuscunque, et quod propter promptitu- 
dinem et certitudinem solucionis redempciouis habende tota magna 
custuma leuatur ad ipsam solucionem faciendam videlicet viginti 
solidi de sacco. Et ordinatur quod ad nullum aliud applicetur, et 
vt patet ex deliberacione et ordinacione premissorum, cum ipsis 
demaniis alia propria domini regis redire debent ad manus suas, et 
reuerti. Inter que comprehenditur dimidia marca que solet solui de 
sacco lane, et sic proportionaliter de aliis mercandisis consimilibus ad 
custumas. Habeant eciam dominus rex et illi quos ipse ad tunc pro- 
pinquius habere poterit vicem et potestatem, vt supra ad ordiuandum 
quasi per communem contribucionem leuari quantum recompensare 
valeat cum domino nostro rege ad sustentacionem domus sue, pro ilia 
dimidia marca de custuma recepta ad solucionem redempciouis ante- 
dicte, quando scilicet saccum ad plenum videlicet in exitu scaccarii 
in proximo tenendi de custuma Integra mercatorum ad quantum vide- 
licet ascenderit vsque ad nonam lanam. Et sic si quid ad dictam 
recompensacionem faciendam leuatum aut contributum fuerit non 
erit tanquam ad expensas domus regis sed ad supplecionem redemp- 
ciouis eius tantum vt patet ex precedentibus ad quam solucionem 
redempciouis tota communitas obligatur.* 

Note L, page 151. 

Parlamento tento apud Sco'nam duodecimo die mensis Junii cum 
continuatione ^c. anno domini millesimo trecentesimo sexagesimo 
octauo conuocatis prelatis proceribus et hurgensihus qui tunc 
voluerunt et potuerunt personaliter intercsse aliis per commis- 
saries comparentibus aliis autem contumaciter absentibus. 

Cum per relationem nunciorum nuper missorum ad curiam et pre- 
eenciam regis Anglie domino nostro regi et toti communitati fuerit 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 108, 109. 


expresse nunciatum, quod non proficit inire nee attemptare tractatum 
cum rege et consillio Anglie super pace habenda, nisi per delibera- 
cionem et commissionem generalis consilii regis, et regni mittatur ad 
tractandum in bona fide super vno quatuor punctorum, principaliter, 
concedendo alias per ipsos aduersarios petito vna cum aliis diuersis 
articulis ipsis punctis adiunctis ex parte omnium congregatorum in 
parlamento presenti. Habito per quatuor dies, et amplius, super pre- 
missis diligenti consilio et deliberacione matura deliberatum, fuit 
finaliter, quod cum adhuc restent treuge sine inducie vltimo capte et 
concordate inter regem et regnum vsque videlicet ad festum Purifica- 
cionis proximo futurum et deinde per vnum annum continuum et a 
tunc vsque rex fuerit per regem Anglie sub magno sigillo suo per 
dimidium anni spacium ante incepcionem guerre premunitus, non 
adhuc opportet nee expedit inire nee attemptare tractatum super ali- 
quo dictorum punctorum concedendo, que alias in pleno parlamento 
ad quod plures et maiores interfuerunt quam nunc sunt hie presentes 
per tres communitates vnauimiter fuerant denegata, que tanqiiam in- 
conueniencia, intolerabilia et impossibilia obseniari reputabantur et 
expressam, inducencia seruitutem, verum non deliberant quin aliter 
forte aliis deficientibus secundum quod tunc opportunum et expediens 
visum fuerit, possit attemptari in bona fide tractatus super ipsorum 
punctorum aliquo, cum punctis, articulis et moderacionibus, seruitutem 
per Dei graeiam finaliter expellentibus si opportuerit concludendum. 

Item deliberant quod quia necessarium est prouidere atque dis- 
ponere super et pro defensione regni omnes dissensiones mote inter 
magnates et nobiles aliter quam per viam iusticie communis festi- 
nanter sopiri debeant et sedari per regem ita quod nullus inquietet 
alium aliter quam per processum communis iusticie quam quidem 
dominus noster rex vnicuique debeat semper administrare equaliter 
sine fauore aliquo et acceptione personarum. 

Item diliberant quod insulani et illi de superioribus partibus com- 
pescantur per regem et Senescallum Scocie ne dampna inferant aliis 
sed quod in euentu guerre posslnt communitates tutiim habere refiigium 
inter eos. Et sic dominus noster rex ibidem viua voce precepit et 
iniunxit expresse Senescallo Scocie, Comiti de Marre, Johanni Senes- 
callo Domino de Kyle, et Roberto Senescallo, Domino de Meneteth, 
in fide et ligiancia quam sibi debent et sub pena que incumbit quod 
ab omnibus existentibus, infra limites dominiorum suorum seruent 
communitates regni indempnes. Et quod scienter voluntarie seu 
inquantum obsistere poterunt malefaetores aliquos dampna aliis illa- 
turos per ipsos limites transire ant in ipsis receptari non permittant 
sub pena vt supra. 

Item quod dominus noster rex statim sine more dispendio faciat 
Johanni de insulis per modum tactum inter ipsum et Senescallum 


Scocie ibidem et similiter Jolianni de Loom ac Gillaspic Cambel 
venire ad suam presenciam, et de ipsis securitatem capiat sufficientem 
per quam tota regni communitas ab eis et suis hominibus et adheren- 
tibus et quilibet eorum ab alio de cetero siut iudempnes. Et eciam 
faciat quod ipsi et sui homines subeant labores et onera cum suis 
comparibus et vicinis. 

Preterea videtur dictis dominis congregatis ad cautelam et securi- 
tatem maiorem quod dominus noster rex debeat scribere statim adhue, 
cum instancia, regi et consilio Anglie super diebus reparacionum et 
emendacionum petendis teneri et assignandis de dampnis et iniuriis 
factis et illatis super marchiis iuxta colloquium factum inter ipsos 
in parlameuto presenti. 

Et deliberant quo ad custodias marcliiarum quod statim dominus 
noster rex habeat consilium cum Comitibus Marchie et de Douglas 
alias constitutis custodibus marcliiarum in oriente licet non sint iam 
bene dispositi ad laborem et secundum auisamentum eorum et con- 
silium custodes constituat celeriter et prudenter sed in occidentibus 
partibus remaneat Dominus Arcbibaldus de Douglas custos sicut 

Et quantum ad castra deliberant, quod dominus noster rex mittat 
cum camerario Scocie hos milites subscriptos videlicet Dominos Wal- 
terum de Lesly, Walterum de Haliburtoun, Hugonem de Esglintoun, 
et Walterum Moygne vna cum custodibus castrorum quos ipse dominus 
noster rex habere voluerit ad quatuor castra regia, videlicet Lacus 
de Leuyn, Edynburgh, Striuelyn, et Dunbartan, visitanda et quod 
secundum quod per visum ipsorum dicta castra indiguerint tarn in 
hominibus tempore guerre quam in municione murorura in victualibus 
instrumentis et aliis necessariis ad ipsa castra debite et decenter 
tenenda contra hostes sine dilacione aliqua eis faciat prouideri. Et 
quod aut per dictos milites aut per alios prouidos et circumspectos 
rex faciat indilate visitari alia castra et si inuenerint ea defensibilia 
et inexpugnabilia inter ipsum et dominos in quorum dominiis sine 
custodiis ipsa castra fuerint situata ordinetur celeriter de municione 
ipsorum tam in hominibus quam in victualibus et aliis necessariis vt 
supra finanter absque more dispendio precipiat ea perstrui sub pena, 

Est eciam ordinatum quod quia non adhue videbatur expediens 
communitati imponere contribuciones aliquas vel collectiones debeant 
leuari de sacco lane viginti sex solidi et viii*° denarii ad custumas 
regis et sic proportionaliter de coriis & pellibus custumandis quous- 
que cessatum fuerit a solucione redempcionis vel aliter pro expensis 
domus regis ordinatis. Et quia in quibusdam partibus non sunt oues 
eed animalia alia habundant ordinant quod in partibus illis leuetur 
vna summa martorum ad expensas dicte domus que iuxta visum peri- 


torum de consilio equipolleat oneri quod incumbit lane ouium in 

Ordinatum est discussum et puplice proclamatum in presenti par- 
lamento quod omnes processus facti super iudiciis contradictis quorum 
discussio et determinacio ad parlamentum pertinent presententur 
cancellario ante parlamentum proximum tenendum. Et quod omnes 
partes ad proximum parlamentum compareant ad audiendum et 
recipiendum determinaciones ipsorum. Et discernitur quod ista pre- 
municio sen proclamacio preualet citationes ac si mitteretur per breue 
de capella regis.* 

Note M, page 164. 

Vniuersis presentes literas inspecturis Johannes de Yle Dominus 
Insularum salutem in omnium saluatore Cum serenissimus princeps 
ac dominus mens metuendus dominus Dauid Dei gracia rex Scot- 
torum illustris contra personam meam propter quasdam negligencias 
meas commissas commotus fuerit propter quod ad ipsius domini mei 
presenciam apud Villam de Inuernys die quinto decimo mensis No- 
uembris anno gracie millesimo trecentesimo sexagesimo nono in pre- 
sencia prelatorum et plurium procerum regni sui accedens humiliter 
ipsius domini mei voluntati et gracie me optuli et summisi de huius- 
modi negligenciis remissionem et graciam suppliciter postulando 
Cumque idem dominus mens ad instanciam sui consilii me ad suam 
beneuolenciam et graciam graciose admiserit concedens insuper quod 
in possessionibus meis quibuscunque remaneam non amotus nisi 
secundum processum et exigenciam juris Vniuersitati vestre per pre- 
sencium seriem pateat euidenter, quod ego Johannes de Yle predictus 
promitto et manucapio bona fide quod de dampnis iniuriis et graua- 
minibus per me filios meos et alios quorum nomina in Uteris regiis de 
remissione michi concessis plenius exprimuntur, quibuscunque regni 
fidelibus hucusque illatam satisfaccionem faciam et emendas terras 
et dominia in subiectis iuste regam et pro posse gubernabo, pacifice 
filios meos et homines et alios nobis adherentes subici faciam prompte 
et debite domino nostro regi legibus et consuetudinibus regni sui et 
iustificabiles fieri, et quod obedient et comparebunt justiciariis, vice- 
comitatibus, coronatoribus, et aliis ministris regiis, in singulis vice- 
domitatibus, prout melius et obediencius aliquo tempore bone memo- 
rie, domini regis Roberti predecessoris mei : et inhabitantes dictas 
terras et dominia sunt facere consueti, et quod respondebunt prompte, 
et debite, ministris regis de contribucionibus et aliis oneribus et ser- 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, pp. 112, 113. 
VOL. II. 2 L 


uiciis debitis imposterum et eciam de tempore retroacto, et in euentu 
quod aliquis vel aliqui infra dictas terras seu dominia, deliquerit vel 
deliquerint coutra regem seu aliquos vel aliquem de suis fidelibus et 
iuri parere contempserit, seu contempserint, aut in premissis vel pre- 
missorum aliquo obedire noluerit, vel noluerint, ipsum seu ipsos tan- 
quam iiiimicum vel inimicos et rebellem seu rebelles regis et regni 
dolo et fraude omnino remotis statim prosequar toto posse quousque 
a finibus terrarum et dominiorum expulsus vel expulsi fuerit vel 
fuerint aut ipsum vel ipsos parere fecero iuri communi, et ad hec 
omnia et singula facienda inplenda et fideliter obseruanda in predic- 
torum prelatorum et procerum presencia corporale prestiti iuramen- 
tum; iusuper et dedi et concessi obsides infra scriptos, videlicet 
Donnaldum, filium meum ex filia domini Senescali Scocie genitum, 
Anagusium filium quondam Johannis filii mei et Donnaldum quem- 
dam alium filium meum naturalem quos quia tempore confeccionis 
presentis presentialiter promptos et paratos non habui, ipsos intrare 
seu reddi faciam apud castrum de Dunbretane ad festum natalis 
Domini proximo iam futurum si potero alias citra vel ad festum Puri- 
ficacionis beate Virginis proximo inde sequens sub pena infraccionis 
prestiti iuramenti et sub pena amissionis omnium que erga dominum 
nostrum regem amittere potero, quouis modo, ad quorum obsidum 
intracionem vt premittitur faciendam dominum meum dominum 
Senescallum Scocie Comitem de Stratberne fideiussorem inueni cuius 
sigillum causa fideiussionis huiusmodi et eciam ad maiorem rei eui- 
denciam vna cum sigillo meo proprio est appensum presentibus in 
testimonium premissorum Actum et datum anno die et loco pre- 

Letter N, page 176. 

In the MS. Cartulary of Kelso, preserved in the valuable collection 
of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, is to be found the following 
interesting and curious Rent-roll of the possessions of that rich reli- 
gious house, which throvrs great light on the state of the agriculture 
of ancient Scotland : — 

Rotulus reddituum Monasterii de Kalchou tam de Temporalibus 
videlicet de antiquis firmis terrarum suarura, in burgis et extra burga, 
de antiquis exitibus grangiarum et Dominuorum suorum, quam de 
spiritualibus scilicet de pensionibus debetis in ecclesiis suis et de an- 
tique assedatione decimarum suarum ubi sub compendio factus. 

* Robertson's Parliamentary Records, p. 115, 


De Temporalihus. 

Habent monachi dicti Monasterii in vicecomitatu de Rokisburg in 
temporalihus Grangiam de Reveden. cum villa in puram elemosynam : 
ubi habent dominium in quo colehant per quinque carucas, et ubi pos- 
sint habere unum gregem ovium matricum circa xx et pasturam ad 
boves suos. Habent ibi octo terras husbandorum, et unam bovatum 
terrce, quarum quilibet fecit talia servicia aliquo tempore videlicet. 
Qualihet septimana in estate unum carragium cum uno equo apud 
Berwicum et portabit equus tres hollas bladi, vel duas hollas salis, 
vel unum hollam cum dimidia carbonum, et in hyeme fecerunt idem 
cariagium, sed non portavit equus nisi duas hollas bladi, unam et di- 
midiam hollam salis, unam hollam et ferloch carbonum : et qualihet 
septimana anni cum venerint de Berwic fecit quilibet terra unam 
dietam de opere sibi injuncto. 

Item quum non venerunt apud Bervric coluerunt qualihet septi- 
mana per duos dies ; et in autumno quum non venerunt apud Berwic 
fecerunt tres dietas ; et tunc quilibet hushandus cepit cum terra sua 
(staht ?) scil : duos boves unum equum tres celdras avine, sex hollas 
ordei, et tres hollas frumenti. Et postmodum quum Abbas Ricardus 
mutavit illud servicium in argentum reddiderunt sursum suum staht, 
et dedit quilibet pro terra sua per annum xviii solidos. * * * * 
Habent ibi decem et novem cotagia, quorum octo decem quodlibet 
reddit per annum xii d. et sex dietas in autumno recipiendo cibos 
suos ; et adjuvabant circa locionem et tonsionem bidentum pro cihis 
suis ; et decimum nonum cotagium reddit xviii d. et novem dietas. 
Item solehant ibi duse braccine esse, que reddebant duas marcas per 
annum. Habent ibi molendinum quod solebat reddere per annum 
novem marcas. Habent apud Hauden unam carrucatam terrse quam 
semper hahuerunt in manu sua. 

Habent apud Sprouston duas carucatas terrce in Dominio ubi sole- 
bant colere cum duahus carucis, cum communi pastura dicte ville ad 
duodecim boves, quatuor assos et iii° hoggass. Habent ibi unam bo- 
tatam terrae quam Hugo Cay tenuit que solebat reddere per annum 
X solidos. Habent ibi sex cotagia quarum unum quod est propin- 
quum domui vicarii habet sex acras terrse sibi pertinentes cum bra- 
cina que solebat reddere per annum sex solidos. Apud Scottoun 
habent duas acras terrse et communem pasturam pro 1111*= multonihus, 
et habent licenciam fodiendi focale quantum voluerint in ilia com- 
munia, et solehant haber^ unum hominem in molendino ibidem et 
unum porcum, et ibi solehant molere hladum suum de Colpinhopis, 
sed nunc quod habent licenciam habendi molendinum apud Colpin- 
hopis et molere hladum suum ad proprium molendinum dabunt annu- 
atim molendino de Schottoun dimidiam marcam. 


Habent in tenemento de Yetham juxta molendinum de Colpinhopia 
tres acras terre cum communi pastura de Yetham quas molendinarius 
de Colpinhopis solebat tenere, et ibi solebant monachi habere et facere 
receptaculum bonorum suorum de Colpinhopis quum viderint aliquid 
periculum ex altera parte. Apud Cliftoun habent septem acras terre 
quas dnus ecclesie de Mole dedit pro pane benedicto inveuiendo. 

Habent unam grangiam que vocatur Colpinopis ultra marchiam ubi 
possint colere cum duabus carucis pro tempore hiemali ; et habere 
pasturam viginti boves et xx*' vaccas, et post annum deponere seque- 
1am suam, et v*^ oves matrices et ii'^ alios bidentes. 

Apud Molle habent apud Altoriburn 1 acras terre arabilis et prati 
cum communi pastura ad iii° bidentes cum libero introitu et excitu, et 
ad decem boves et iiii assos, et habebunt in bosco de Scrogges stac et 
flac pro omnibus suis firmandis, et virgas pro reparacione carucarum 
suarum. * * * * 

Habent villam de Bolden in qua sunt viginti octo terre husbandorum 
quarum quilibet solebat reddere per annum vi sol. et viii denar. ad 
pentecostem et Sancti Martini, et faciendo talia servicia. Scil : me- 
tendo in autumpno per quatuor dies cum tota familia sua quilibet 
husbandus et uxor sua ; et faciet similiter quintam dietam in au- 
tumpno cum duobus hominibus. Et quilibet cariabit unum plaustrum 
petarum vel pullis usque ad Abbatiam in oestate et non plus. Et 
quilibet husbandus faciet cariagium per unum equum de Berwick una 
vice per annum et habebunt victum suum de Monasterio quum faciunt 
hujusmodi servicium, et quilibet eorum solebat colere quolibet anno 
ad grangium de Nevfton unam acram terre, et dimidiam acram, et 
herciabit cum uno equo per unum diem, et quilibet inveniet unum 
hominem in locotione bidentum et alium hominem in tonsione sine 
victu et respondebunt sibi de forinseco servicio et de aliis Sectis, et 
cariabunt bladum in autumpno cum uno plaustro per unum diem, et 
cariabunt lanam Abbatis de baronia usque ad Abbatiam et invenient 
sibi cariagia ultra moram versus Lesmahago. Abbas Ricardus mu- 
tavit illud servicium in denar. per assedacionem fratris Willmi de 
Alincromb. tunc Camerarii Sui. 

The limits to which this note must be confined will not allow me to 
give further extracts from this curious manuscript rental, demonstra- 
ting the riches of the early monasteries. It appears, in the concluding 
pages of it, that Kelso possessed no less than thirty-four churches, the 
united rents of which amounted to the sum of v^li lib. xi Bolid. iiii 

The rental was drawn up previous to 1316. 


Letter 0, pages 214, 215, 217. 

Slavery of the Lower Orders. 

In the ancient manuscript Cartulary of Dunfermline, preserved in the 
library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, and page 541 of the 
Macfarlane transcript, is to be found the deed entitled, " Perambulatio 
inter terras Abbatis de Dumferm. et terram David Hostiarii. scilicet 
Dunduf. 1231, "which illustrates the comparative situation of the higher 
classes and the lower orders in the thirteenth century. A jury of probi 
homines are therein summoned by the precept of the king, to determine 
the marches between the lands of David Durward and the domain of 
the Abbacy, who take the evidence of the countrymen residing on the 
spot, and determine the question. The jury are the freemen ; and 
their names are, with a few exceptions, Saxon and Norman names : 
the witnesses were evidently the irathi bondi, who were the property 
of their lord ; and their names are almost exclusively Celtic. 

In the same Cartulary, p. 592, will be found a deed entitled, " As- 
sisa Super Alano, filio Constantini et duobus filiis," by which we find 
that, in 1340, an assize was held in the churchyard of Kartyl before 
David Wemyss sheriff of Fife, to determine whether Alan, the son of 
Constantine, and his two sons, were the property of the Abbot of 
Dunfermline, or of the Earl of Fife ; when it was found, "per fidelem 
assisam fide dignorum et nobilium," that these persons belonged to 
the Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. See the same Cartulary, p. 654, 
for the names of the slaves given by David, probably David the First, 
to the church of Dunfermline. Their names, Marcoran, Mevynir, 
Gyllemichael, Malmuren, Gillecrist, Gillemahagu, are, with one or two 
exceptions, Celtic. 

Letter P, page 215. 

State of the Lower Orders. 

In the same valuable Cartulary, p. 145, are to be found many 
■genealogies of the slaves, or bondmen, who belonged in property to 
the monastery, which show how carefully the marriages, the families, 
and the residence, of this unfortunate class of men were recorded. I 
shall subjoin one of them : — 

Genealogia Edillhlac. 

" Edillhlac genuit W. de Lathanland, Willmus Constantinum, Con- 
stantinus Johannem qui vivit : Iste sunt homines de Dumferm. et 
remanentes. Gilbertus de Cupromal manet in Balnyr in schyra de 


Rerays. Galfr. de Dumberauch manens apud Dumberauch. Cris- 
tinus filius adoe manens apud Westerurchard Ego filius Gilberte 
manens in terra Ach de Kynros. Joannes filius Kynect manens 
apud Wahveiu, Oenenus freberner manens apud hicliir mokedi. Pa- 
tricius frater ejus manens apud Renkelouch Mauricius Colms. manens 
apud Petyn Kyr," 

In other genealogies, the place of the death and burial of the 
bondman is particularly specified. 

Letter Q,, page 367. 
Arms and Armour. 

This assize of arms will be found in the manuscript Cartulary of 
Aberbrothoc, preserved in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, 
Edinburgh. Macfarlane Transcript, p. 295. 

" Quod quilibet homo de regno laicus habens decem libras in bonis 
habeat pro corpore suo in defensionem regni unam sufficientem ake- 
tonam, unum bacinetum et cyrotecas de guerre, cum lancea et gladio. 
Et qui non habuerit aketonam et bacinetum habeat unum habergel- 
lum, vel unum bonum ferrum pro corpore suo, unum capellum de 
ferro et cyrotecas de guerra, ita quod quilibet sit paratus cum attyliis 
predictis citra octavas paschi proxime futuri. Et quecunque habens 
decem libras in bonis, non habuerit tunc omnia armorum attylia pre- 
dicta, perdat omnia bona sua. Ita quod dnus rex habeat unam 
medietatem bonorum, et dnus illius qui in defectu fuerit repertus 
habeat aliam medietatem. Et dnus rex vult quod singuli vicecomites 
regni cum dnis locorum inquirant super his, et faciant monstracionem 
statim post octavas Paschse predictas. Praeterea dnus rex vult et 
precipit quod quicunque habens valorem unius vacce in bonis habeat 
unam bonam lanceam, vel unum bonum arcum, cum uno scafo sagit- 
t^um, videlicet viginti quatuor sagittis, cum pertinenciis sub pena 

Letter R, page 370. 4 

Dress of the Ladies. 

I shall give the passage in the original, from the beautiful edition 
of this interesting and curious poem, published in 1814 by Didot : — ^ 

" Puis li revest en maintes guises 
Robes faites par grans maistrises 
De brans dras de soie, ou de laine 
De scarlate ou de tirelaine. 


De vert, de pers ou de brunete 
De color fresche, fine et nete 
Ou moult a riclies pennes misea 
Enninees, vaires ou grises 
Puis les li oste, puis repoie 
Cum li siet bien robe de sole 
Cendaus, molequins Arrabis 
Indes vermaus jaunes, et bis 
Samis diapres, Camelos 
Por neant fut ung angelos 
Tant est de contenance simple 
Autrefois li met une gimple 
Et par dessus ung cuevrecbief 
Qui cuevre la gimple et le cbief 
Ains ne cuevre par le visage. 
Qull ne vuet pas tenir I'usage 
Des Sarrasins, qui d'estamines 
Cuevre les vis as Sarrasines 
Quant eus trespassent par le voie 
Que nuz trespassans ne les voie 
Tant sunt plein de jalouse rage. 
Autrefois li reprent corage 
D'oster tout, et de mettre guindes 
Jaunes, vermeilles, vers et indes. 
Et treceors gentiz et gresles 
De soie et d'or a menus pesles, 
Et dessus la crespine atache 
Une moult precieuse ataebe 
Et par dessus la crespinette 
Une coronne d'or grelete 
Ou moult ot precieuses pierres, 
Et biaus cbastons a quatre quierres 
Et a quatre demi-compas 
Sans ce que ge ne vous cont pas 
L'autre perrerie menue 
Qui siet enter espece et drue 
Et met a ses deus oreillettes 
Deus verges d'or pendans greletes 
Et por tenir la cbevecjaille 
Deus fermaus d'or pendans greletes 
En mi le pis ung en remet 
Et de li ceindre s'entremet ; 
Mes c'est d'ung si tres-ricbe ceint 
C'onques pucele tel ne ceint, 
Et pent au ceint une aumosniere 
Qui moult est precieuse et cbiere 
Et cincq pierres i met petites 
Du rivage de mer eslites. 


Dont puceles as martiaus gevent 

Quant beles et rondes les trevent 

Et par 'grant ententi li chauce 

Et chacun pie soler et chauce 

Entaillies jolivetement 

A deus doie du pavement 

N'ert pas de hosiaus estrenee 

Car el n'ert pas de Paris nee 

Trop par fust rude cliaucemente 

A pucele de tel jovente 

D\me aguille bien afilee 

D'or fin de fil d'or enfilee 

Li a, por miex estre vestues 

Ses deux manches estroit cosues 

Puis li bailie flors novelettes 

Dont ces jolies puceletes 

Font en printemps lors chapelez 

Et pelotes et oiselez 

Et diverses choses noveles 

Delitables as damoiseles. 

Et chapeles de flors li fait 

Mes n'en veistes nul si fait 

Car il met s'entente toute 

Anelez d'or es dois li boute 

Et dit cum fins loiaus espous 

Bele donie, ci vous espous 

Et deviens vostres et vous moie 

Ymeneus et Juno m'oie 

Qu'il voillent a nos noces estre 

Ge'ni quier plus ni clere ne prestre, 

Ne de Prelaz mitres ne croces 

Car oil sunt li vrai diex des noces. 

Pp. 294-298 inclusive, vol. iiL