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The History of England from the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377)
The Scottish Failure
by Tout, T.F. (M.A.)


The expedition of Edward to Flanders lost its best chance of success through the events which retarded its despatch. While the English king was wrangling with his barons, the French king was active. On the news of the alliance of Count Guy with the English, Robert of Artois was summoned from Gascony to the north. While Philip besieged Lille, and finally took it, Robert of Artois gained a brilliant victory over the Flemings at Furnes on August 20. Meanwhile John of Avesnes, Count of Hainault, was closely co-operating with the French, and kept Edward's son-in-law and ally, John, Duke of Brabant, from sending effective help to the Flemings. Moreover, the Flemish townsmen, in their dislike of their count, were largely on the side of the French. Edward's little army could do nothing to redress a balance that already inclined so heavily on the other side. The Flemings were disappointed at the scanty numbers of the English men-at-arms, and stared with wonder and contempt at the bare-legged Welsh archers and lancemen, with their uncouth garb, strange habits of eating and fighting, and propensity to pillage and disorder, though they recognised their hardihood and the effectiveness of their missiles.1 The same disorderly spirit that had marred the Rioms campaign still prevailed among the English engaged on foreign service. No sooner were the troops landed at Sluys on August 28, than the mariners of the Cinque Ports renewed their old feud with the men of Yarmouth, and many ships were destroyed and lives lost in this untimely conflict. Edward advanced to Bruges, where he was joined by the Count of Flanders, but the disloyalty of the townsmen and the approach of King Philip forced the king and the earl to take shelter behind the stronger walls of Ghent. Immediately on their retreat, Philip occupied Bruges and Damme, thus cutting off the English from the direct road to the sea. The Anglo-Flemish army was afraid to attack the powerful force of the French king. But the French had learnt by experience a wholesome fear of the English and Welsh archers, and did not venture to approach Ghent too closely. The ridiculous result followed that the Kings of France and England avoided every opportunity of fighting out their quarrel, and lay, wasting time and money, idly watching each other's movements.

1 See for Flemish criticisms of the Welsh, L. van Velthem, Spiegel Historiaal, pp. 215-16, ed. Le Long, partly translated by Funck Brentano in his edition of Annales Qandenses, p. 7, a work giving full details of these struggles.
The only dignified way of putting an end to this impossible situation lay in negotiation. Edward's faithful servant, William of Hotham, the Dominican friar whom the pope had appointed Archbishop of Dublin, was in the English camp. Hotham, who had enjoyed Philip's personal friendship while teaching theology in the Paris schools, was an acceptable mediator between the two kings. A short truce was signed at Vyve-Saint-Bavon on the Lys on October 7. This allowed time for more elaborate negotiations to be carried on at Courtrai and Tournai, and on January 31, 1298, a truce, in which the allies of both kings were included, was signed at Tournai, to last until January 6, 1300. It was agreed to refer all questions in dispute to the arbitration of Boniface VIII, "not as pope but as a private person, as Benedict Gaetano". Both kings despatched their envoys to Rome, where with marvellous celerity Boniface issued, on June 30, 1298, a preliminary award. It suggested the possibility of a settlement on the basis of each belligerent retaining the possessions which he had held at the beginning of the struggle, and entering into an alliance strengthened by a double marriage. Edward was to marry the French king's sister Margaret, while Edward of Carnarvon was to be betrothed to Philip's infant daughter Isabella. The latter match involved the repudiation of the betrothal of Edward of Carnarvon with the daughter of the Count of Flanders. But all through the award there was no mention of the allies of either party. Boniface was too eager for peace to be over-scrupulous as to the honourable obligations of the two kings who sought his mediation.

The English regency, which grappled so courageously with the baronial opposition, showed an equal energy in protecting the northern counties from the Scots. About the time of the confirmation of the charters, Wallace crossed the border and spread desolation and ruin from Carlisle to Hexham. Warenne and Henry Percy, who had attended the October parliament at London, were soon back in the north. By December the largest army which was ever assembled during Edward I.'s reign1 was collected together on the borders, and preparations were made for a winter campaign after the fashion which had proved so effective in Wales. But all that Warenne was able to accomplish was the relief of Roxburgh. The quality of the troops was not equal to their quantity, and all his misfortunes had not taught him wisdom. Early in Lent Edward stopped active campaigning by announcing that no great operations were to be attempted until his return. Thereupon Warenne sent the bulk of the troops home, and remained at Berwick, awaiting the king's arrival.

1 Morris, Welsh Wars of Edward I., pp. 284-86.
Edward landed at Sandwich on March 14, 1298, and at once set about preparing to avenge Stirling Bridge. He met his parliament on Whitsunday, May 25, at York. The Scots barons were summoned to this assembly, but as they neither attended nor sent proxies, their absence was deemed to be proof of contumacy. A month later a large army was concentrated at Roxburgh. The earls and barons with their retinues mustered to the number of 1,100 horse, while 1,300 men-at-arms served under the king's banners for pay. Though Gascony was still in Philip's hands, the good relations that prevailed between England and France allowed the presence in Edward's host of a magnificent troop of Gascon lords, headed by the lord of Albret and the Captal de Buch, and conspicuous for the splendour of their armour and the costliness and beauty of their chargers. On this occasion Edward set little store on infantry, and was content to accept the services of those who came of their own free will. Yet even under these conditions some 12,000 foot were assembled, more than 10,000 of whom came from Wales and its march.

The leaders of the opposition were present in Edward's host. On the eve of the invasion, the impatient king was kept back by the declaration of Hereford and Norfolk that they would not cross the frontier, until definite assurances were given that the king would carry out the confirmation of the charters which he had informally ratified on foreign soil. Etiquette or pride prevented Edward himself satisfying their demand, but the Bishop of Durham and three loyal earls pledged themselves that the king would fulfil all his promises on his return. Then the two earls suffered the expedition to proceed; and on July 6 the army left Roxburgh, proceeding by moderate marches to Kirkliston on the Almond, where it encamped on the 15th. Here there was a few days' delay, while Bishop Bek captured some of the East Lothian castles which were threatening the English rear. Already there was a difficulty in obtaining supplies from the devastated country-side, and northerly winds prevented the provision ships from sailing from Berwick to the Forth. The worst hardships fell upon the Welsh infantry, who began to mutiny and talked of joining the Scots. Matters grew worse on the arrival of a wine ship, for such ample rations of wine were distributed to the Welsh that very many of them became drunk. So threatening was the state of affairs that Edward thought of retreating to Edinburgh. On July 21, however, the news was brought that Wallace and his followers were assembled in great force at Falkirk, some seventeen miles to the west. The prospect of battle at once restored the courage and discipline of the army, and Edward ordered an advance. That night the host bivouacked on the moors east of Linlithgow, "with shields for pillows and armour for beds". During the night the king, who was sleeping in the open field like the meanest trooper, received a kick from his horse which broke two of his ribs. Yet the early morning of July 22, the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, saw him riding at the head of his troops through the streets of Linlithgow. At last the Scots lances were descried on the slopes of a hill near Falkirk, and the English rested while the bishop and king heard mass. Then the army, which had eaten nothing since the preceding day, advanced to the battle.

Wallace had a large following of infantry, but a mere handful of mounted men-at-arms. He ordered the latter to occupy the rear, and grouped his pikemen, the flower of his army, into four great circles, or "schiltrons," which, with the front ranks kneeling or sitting and the rear ranks standing, presented to the enemy four living castles, each with a bristling hedge of pikes, dense enough, it was hoped, to break the fierce shock of a cavalry charge. The spaces between the four schiltrons were occupied by the archers, the best of whom came from Ettrick Forest. The front was further protected by a morass, and perhaps also by a row of stout posts sunk into the ground and fastened together by ropes.

Edward ordered the Welsh archers to prepare the way with their missiles for the advance of the men-at-arms. But the Welsh refused to move, so that Edward was forced to proceed by a direct cavalry charge. For this purpose he divided his men-at-arms into four "battles". The first of these was commanded by the Earl of Lincoln, with whom were the constable and marshal, who at last had an opportunity of serving the king in battle in the offices which belonged to them by hereditary right. On approaching the morass this first line was thrown into some confusion, and paused in its advance. Behind it the second battle, under command of the Bishop of Durham, who, perhaps, knew the ground better, wheeled to the east and took the Scots on their left flank. But Bek's followers disobeyed his orders to wait until the rest of the army came up, and they suffered heavy losses in attacking the left schiltron. Before long, however, Lincoln found a way round the morass westwards to the enemy's right, while the two rearmost battles, headed by the king and Earl Warenne, also advanced to the front. The combat thus became general. The Scots cavalry fled without striking a blow, and some of the English thought that Wallace himself rode off the field with them. The archers between the schiltrons were easily trampled down, so that the only effective resistance came from the circles of pikemen. The yeomanry of Scotland steadily held their own against the fierce charges of the mail-clad knights, and it looked for a time as if the day was theirs. But the despised infantry at last made their way to the front and poured in showers of arrows that broke down the Scottish ranks. Friend and foe were at such close quarters that the English who had no bows threw stones against the Scottish circles. When the way was thus prepared, the horsemen easily penetrated through the gaps made in the circles, and before long the Scottish pikemen were a crowd of panic-stricken fugitives. Edward's brilliant victory was won with comparatively little loss.

It was years before the Scots again ventured to meet the English in the open field. Yet the king's victory was not followed by any real conquest even of southern Scotland. Edward advanced to Stirling, where he rested until he had recovered from his accident, while detachments of his troops penetrated as far as Perth and St. Andrews. Meanwhile the south-west rose in revolt, under Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, whose father had fought at Falkirk. Late in August, Edward made his way to Ayr and occupied it, while Bruce fled before him. Provisions were still scarce, and the army was weary of fighting. The Durham contingent deserted in a body,1 and the earls were so lukewarm that Edward was fain to return by way of Carlisle, capturing Lochmaben, Bruce's Annandale stronghold, on the way. On September 8 the king reached Carlisle, where the constable and marshal declared that they had lost so many men and horses that they could no longer continue the campaign. Edward tried to stem the tide of desertion by promises of Scottish lands to those who would remain with his banners. But the distribution of these rewards proved only a fresh source of discontent. At last Edward was forced to dismiss the greater part of his forces. He lingered in the north until the end of the year, but there was no more real fighting; with the beginning of 1299 he returned to the south, convinced that the disloyalty of his barons had neutralised his triumphs in the field. The few castles which still upheld the English cause in Scotland were soon closely besieged.

1 Lapsley, County Palatine of Durham, p. 128.
During the whole of 1299 Edward was prevented by other work from prosecuting the war against the Scots. Even the borderers were sick of fighting, and Bishop Bek, who had hitherto afforded him an unswerving support with all the forces of his palatinate, was forced to desist from warlike operations by the refusal of his tenants to serve any longer beyond the bounds of the lands of St. Cuthbert. While the men of Durham abandoned the war, there was little reason to wonder at the indifference of the south country as to the progress of the Scots. In the Lenten parliament at London, the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk pressed Edward once more to fulfil his promise to carry out the confirmation of the charters. The king would not yield to their demand yet dared not refuse it. In his perplexity he had recourse to evasions which further embittered his relations with them. He promised that he would give an answer the next day, but when the morrow came, he secretly withdrew from the city. The angry barons followed him to his retreat and reminded him of his broken promise. Edward coolly replied that he left London because his health was suffering from the corrupt air of the town, and bade the barons return, as his council had his reply ready. The barons obeyed the king's orders, but their indignation passed all bounds when they found that the king's promised confirmation of the charters was vitiated by a new clause saving all the rights of the crown, and that nothing was said as to the promised perambulation of the forests. In bitter wrath the parliament broke up, and the Londoners, who shared the anger of the barons, threatened a revolt. After Easter these stormy scenes were repeated in a new parliament, and Edward was at last forced to yield a grudging assent to all the demands of the opposition, and even to appoint a commission for the perambulation of the forests. By the time the summer was at hand, the progress of the negotiations with France occupied Edward so fully that he had abundant excuse for not precipitating a new rupture with his barons, by insisting upon a fresh campaign against the Scots.

A papal legate presided over a congress of English and French ambassadors at Montreuil-sur-mer, which belonged to Edward by right of the late queen, Eleanor as Countess of Ponthieu. The outcome of these deliberations was the treaty of Montreuil, concluded on June 19, 1299. It was not the final pacification which had been hoped for. Edward indeed abandoned his Flemish allies, but Philip would not relax his hold upon Gascony, and without that a definitive peace was impossible. The treaty of Montreuil was simply a marriage treaty. Edward was forthwith to marry Margaret, and his son was to be betrothed to Isabella of France. Neither the prolongation of the truce nor the affairs of the Flemings were mentioned in it, while all that Philip did for the Scots was to provide for the liberation of the deposed King John from his English prison. As soon as the ratifications were exchanged the king, who was then sixty years of age, and his youthful bride were married on September 9 at Canterbury by Archbishop Winchelsea.

Edward's willingness to marry the sister of the king who still kept him out of Gascony can best be explained by his overmastering desire to renew operations in Scotland. Shortly after his marriage, he again busied himself with preparations for the long-delayed Scots campaign. It was high time that he took action. The English garrisons were surrendering one by one, and the Scottish magnates were deserting the English cause. Their conversion to patriotic principles was made easier by the decay of Wallace's power consequent on his defeat at Falkirk. After stormy scenes with his aristocratic rivals, Wallace withdrew from Scotland and went to the continent, where he implored the help of the King of France. Philip proved true to his new brother-in-law, and put Wallace in prison, only releasing him that he might go to Rome and enlist the sympathy of Boniface VIII. Meanwhile the Scots chose a new regency at the head of which was the younger John Comyn of Badenoch. Under these changed conditions the Scottish earls rapidly rallied round the national cause. Stirling, Edward's chief stronghold in central Scotland, was so hardly pressed that the men-at-arms were forced to eat their chargers. Yet when the English barons assembled about the beginning of winter, in obedience to Edward's summons, they stubbornly declared that they would not endure the hardships of a winter campaign until the king had fulfilled his pledges as regards the charters. Thus left to their own resources, the sorely tried garrison of Stirling surrendered to the Scots.

In March, 1300, Edward met his parliament at Westminster. Despite the straits to which he was reduced, he was still unwilling to make a complete surrender. He avoided a formal re-issue of the charters by giving his sanction to a long series of articles, drawn up apparently by the barons. These articles provided for the better publication of the charters, and the appointment in every shire of a commission to punish all offences against them which were not already provided for by the common law; together with numerous technical clauses "for the relief of the grievances that the people have had by reason of the wars that have been, and for the amendment of their estate, and that they may be more ready in the king's service and more willing to aid him when he has need of them ". This document was known as Articuli super cartas.1 At the same time the forest perambulation, which had long been ordered, was directed to be proceeded with at once. For this reason a chronicler calls this assembly "the parliament of the perambulation".2 The reconciliation between the king and his subjects was attested by a grant of a twentieth.

1 It is published in Bémont's Chartes, pp. 99-108, with valuable comments; another draft analysed in Hist. MSS. Comm., 6th Report, i., p. 344.

2 Langtoft, ii, 320.
Edward's concessions once more enabled him to face the Scots, and the summer saw a gallant army mustered at Carlisle, though some of the earls, including Roger Bigod, still held aloof. A two months' campaign was fought in south-western Scotland in July and August. But the peasants drove their cattle to the hills, and rainy weather impeded the king's movements. The chief exploit of the campaign was the capture of Carlaverock castle, though even in the glowing verse of the herald, who has commemorated the taking of this stronghold,1 the military insignificance of the achievement cannot be concealed. Edward returned to the same district in October, but he effected so little that he was glad to agree to a truce with the Scots, which Philip the Fair urged him to accept. The armistice was to last until Whitsuntide, and Edward immediately returned to England. He had not yet satisfied his subjects, and was again forced to meet his estates.

1 The Siege of Carlaverock, ed. Nicolas (1828).
A full parliament assembled on January 20, 1301, at Lincoln. The special business was to receive the report of the forest perambulation; and the first anticipation of the later custom of continuing the same parliament from one session to another can be discerned in the direction to the sheriffs that they should return the same representatives of the shires and boroughs as had attended the Lenten parliament of 1300, and only hold fresh elections in the case of such members as had died or become incapacitated. During the ten days that the commons were in session stormy scenes occurred. Edward would only promise to agree to the disafforestments recommended by the perambulators, if the estates would assure him that he could do so, without violating his coronation oath or disinheriting his crown. The estates refused to undertake this grave responsibility, and a long catalogue of their grievances was presented to Edward by Henry of Keighley, knight of the shire for Lancashire, and one of the first members of the third estate of whose individual action history has preserved any trace. The commons demanded a fresh confirmation of the charters; the punishment of the royal ministers who had infringed them, or the Articuli super cartas of the previous session, and the completion of the proposed disafforestments. In addition, the prelates declared that they could not assent to any tax being imposed upon the clergy contrary to the papal prohibition. Among the ministers specially signalled out for attack was the treasurer, Bishop Walter Langton, and in this Edward discerned the influence of Winchelsea, for he was Langton's personal enemy. The king's disgust at the primate's action was the more complete since Bishop Bek now arrayed himself on the side of the opposition. Edward showed his ill-will by consigning Henry of Keighley to prison. But the coalition was too formidable to be withstood. The king agreed to all the secular demands of the estates, accepted the hated disafforestments and directed the re-issue of a further confirmation of the charters, but refused his assent to the demand of the prelates. A grant of a fifteenth was then made, and Edward dismissed the popular representatives on January 30, retaining the prelates and nobles for further business. On February 14, the last confirmation of the charters concluded the long chapter of history, which had begun at Runnymede.

Edward strove to separate his baronial and his clerical enemies, and found an opportunity, which he was not slow to use, in the uncompromising papalism of Winchelsea. Boniface VIII. had no sooner settled the relations of England and France than he threw himself with ardour into an attempt to establish peace between England and Scotland. Scottish emissaries, including perhaps Wallace himself, gave Boniface their version of the ancient relations of the two crowns. On June 27, 1299, the pope issued the letter Scimus, fili, in which he claimed that Scotland specially belonged to the apostolic see, on the ground that it was converted through the relics of St. Andrew. He denied all feudal dependence of Scotland on Edward, and explained away the submissions of 1291 as arising from such momentary fear as might fall upon the most steadfast. If Edward persisted in his claims, he was to submit them to the judgment of the Roman curia within the next six months. In 1300 Winchelsea, who fully accepted the new papal doctrine, sought out Edward in the midst of the Carlaverock campaign and presented him with Boniface's letter. Edward's hot temper fired up at the archbishop's ill-timed intervention, and subsequent military failures had not smoothed over the situation. His wrath reached its climax when Winchelsea once more stirred up opposition in the Lincoln parliament, and his refusal of a demand, which the primate had astutely added to the commons' requests, showed that he was prepared for war to the knife. Edward laid the papal letter before the earls and barons that still tarried with him at Lincoln. His appeal to their patriotism was not unsuccessful. A letter was drawn up, which was sealed, then and subsequently, by more than a hundred secular magnates, in which Boniface was roundly told that the King of England was in no wise bound to answer in the pope's court as to his rights over the realm of Scotland or as to any other temporal matter, and that the papal claim was unprecedented, and prejudicial to Edward's sovereignly. A longer historical statement was composed by the king's order in answer to Boniface. It is not certain that the two documents ever reached the pope, but they had great effect in influencing English opinion and in breaking down the alliance between the baronage and the ecclesiastical party.1 Winchelsea's influence was fatally weakened, and the period of his overthrow was at hand.

1 See, on the barons' letter, the Ancestor, for July and October, 1903, and Jan., 1904.
The triumph over Winchelsea made Edward's position stronger than it had been during the first days of the Lincoln parliament. That assembly ended amidst the festivities which attended the creation of Edward of Carnarvon as Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, and Count of Ponthieu. The new prince, already seventeen years of age, had made his first campaign in the previous year. But all the pains that Edward took in training his son in warfare and in politics bore little fruit, and Edward of Carnarvon's introduction to active life was only to add another trouble to the many that beset the king.

When the truce with Scotland expired, in the summer of 1301, Edward again led an army over the border, in which the Prince of Wales appeared, at the head of a large Welsh contingent. Little of military importance happened. Edward remained in Scotland over the cold season, and kept his Christmas court at Linlithgow. Men and horses perished amidst the rigours of the northern winter, and, before the end of January, 1302, the king was glad to accept a truce, suggested by Philip of France, to last until the end of November. Immediately afterwards he was called to the south by the negotiations for a permanent peace with France, which still hung fire despite his marriage to the French king's sister. The earlier stages of the negotiation were transacted at Rome, but it was soon clear to Edward that no good would come to him from the intervention of the curia. The fundamental difficulty still lay in the refusal of Philip to relax his grasp on Gascony. Not even the exaltation, consequent on the success of the famous jubilee of 1300, blinded Boniface to the patent fact that he dared not order the restitution of Gascony. "We cannot give you an award," declared the pope to the English envoys in 1300. "If we pronounced in your favour, the French would not abide by it, and could not be compelled, for they would make light of any penalty." "What the French once lay hold of," he said again, "they never let go, and to have to do with the French is to have to do with the devil."1 A year later Boniface could do no more than appeal to the crusading zeal of Edward not to allow his claim on a patch of French soil to stand between him and his vow. With such commonplaces the papal mediation died away.

1 See the remarkable report of the Bishop of Winchester to Edward printed in Engl. Hist. Review, xvii. (1902), pp. 518-27.
Two events in 1302 indirectly contributed towards the establishment of a permanent peace. These were the successful revolt of Flanders from French domination, and the renewed quarrel between Philip and Boniface. On May 18, the Flemings, in the "matins of Bruges," cruelly avenged themselves for the oppressions which they had endured from Philip's officials, and on July 11 the revolted townsfolk won the battle of Courtrai, in which their heavy armed infantry defeated the feudal cavalry of France, a victory of the same kind as that Wallace had vainly hoped to gain at Falkirk. Even before the Flemish rising, the reassertion of high sacerdotal doctrine in the bull Ausculta, fili had renewed the strife between Boniface and the French king. A few months later the bull Unam sanctam laid down with emphasis the doctrine that those who denied that the temporal sword belongs to St. Peter were heretics, unmindful of the teachings of Christ. Thus began the famous difference that went on with ever-increasing fury until the outrage at Anagni, on September 7, 1303, brought about the fall of Boniface and the overthrow of the Hildebrandine papacy. Meanwhile Philip was devoting his best energies to constant, and not altogether vain, attempts to avenge the defeat of Courtrai, and re-establish his hold on Flanders. With these two affairs on his hands, it was useless for him to persevere in his attempt to hold Gascony.

In the earlier stages of his quarrel with Philip, Boniface built great hopes on Edward's support, and strongly urged him to fight for holy Church against the impious French king. But Edward had suffered too much from Boniface to fall into so obvious a trap. His hold over his own clergy was so firm that Winchelsea himself had no chance of taking up the papal call to battle. Thus it was that Unam sanctam produced no such clerical revolt in England as Clericis laicos had done. It was Edward's policy to make use of Philip's necessities to win back Gascony, and cut off all hope of French support from the Scottish patriots. Philip himself was the more disposed to agree with his brother-in-law's wishes, because about Christmas, 1302, Bordeaux threw off the French yoke and called in the English. The best way to save French dignity was by timely concession. Accordingly, on May 20, 1303, the definitive treaty of Paris was sealed, by which the two kings were pledged to "perpetual peace and friendship". Gascony was restored, and Edward agreed that he, or his son, should perform liege homage for it. With the discharge of this duty by the younger Edward at Amiens, in 1304, the last stage of the pacification was accomplished. For the rest of the reign, England and France remained on cordial terms. Neither Edward nor Philip had resources adequate to the accomplishment of great schemes of foreign conquest. Though Edward got back Gascony, he owed it, not to his own power, but to the embarrassment of his rival.

While completing his pacification with Philip the Fair, Edward was busily engaged in establishing his power at home, at the expense of the clerical and baronial opposition, which had stood for so many years in the way of the conquest of Scotland. Since the parliament of Lincoln, Winchelsea was no longer dangerous. He failed even to get Boniface on his side in a scandalous attack which he instigated on Bishop Langton. His constant efforts to enlarge his jurisdiction raised up enemies all over his diocese and province, and the mob of his cathedral city broke open his palace, while he was in residence there. His inability to introduce into England even a pale reflection of the struggle of Philip and the pope showed how clearly he had lost influence since the days of ,Clericis laicos. A more recent convert to higher clerical pretensions also failed. Bishop Bek of Durham lost all his power, and was deprived of his temporalities by the king in 1302. Two years later the insignificant Archbishop of York also incurred the royal displeasure, and was punished in the same fashion. With Durham, Norhamshire, and Hexhamshire all in the royal hands, the road into Scotland was completely open.

The heavy hand of Edward fell upon earls as well as upon bishops. Even in the early days of his reign when none, save Gilbert of Gloucester, dared uplift the standard of opposition, Edward had not spared the greatest barons in his efforts to eliminate the idea of tenure from English political life. A subtle extension of his earlier policy began to emphasise the dependence of the landed dignitaries on his pleasure. The extinction of several important baronial houses made this the easier, and Edward took care to retain escheats in his own hands, or at least to entrust them only to persons of approved confidence. The old leaders of opposition were dead or powerless. Ralph of Monthermer, the simple north-country knight who had won the hand of Joan of Acre, ruled over the Gloutester-Glamorgan inheritance on behalf of his wife and Edward's little grandson, Gilbert of Clare. The Earl of Hereford died in 1299, and in 1302 his son and successor, another Humphrey Bohun, was bribed by a marriage with the king's daughter, Elizabeth, the widowed Countess of Holland, to surrender his lands to the crown and receive them back, like the Earl of Gloucester in 1290, entailed on the issue of himself and his consort. In the same year the childless earl marshal, Roger Bigod, conscious of his inability to continue any longer his struggle against royal assumptions and at variance with his brother and heir, made a similar surrender of his estates, which was the more humiliating since the estate in tail, with which he was reinvested, was bound to terminate with his life. In 1306, on the marshal's death, the Bigod inheritance lapsed to the crown. Much earlier than that, in 1293, Edward had extorted on her deathbed from the great heiress, Isabella of Fors, Countess of Albemarle and Devon, the bequest of the Isle of Wight and the adjacent castle of Christchurch. In 1300, on the death of the king's childless cousin, Earl Edmund, the wealthy earldom of Cornwall escheated to the crown. To Edward's contemporaries the acquisition of the earldoms of Norfolk and Cornwall seemed worthy to be put alongside the conquests of Wales and Scotland.1

1 See John of London, Commendatio lamentabilis in Chron. of Edw. I. and Edw. II., ii., 8-9. See for the earldoms my Earldoms under Edward I. in ,Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, new ser., viii. (1894), 129-155.
Even more important as adding to Edward's resources than these direct additions to the royal domains, was the increasing dependence of the remaining earls upon the crown. His sons-in-law of Gloucester and Hereford were entirely under his sway. In 1304 the aged Earl Warenne had died, and in 1306 his grandson and successor was bound closely to the royal policy by his marriage with Joan of Bar, Edward's grand-daughter. In the same way Edward's young nephew, Thomas of Lancaster, ruled over the three earldoms of Lancaster, Derby, and Leicester, and by his marriage to the daughter and heiress of Henry Lacy, was destined to add to his immense estates the additional earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury. Edward of Carnarvon was learning the art of government in Wales, Cheshire, and Ponthieu. The policy of concentrating the higher baronial dignities in the royal family was no novelty, but Edward carried it out more systematically and successfully than any of his predecessors. He reaped the immediate advantages of his dexterity in the extinction of baronial opposition and in the zeal of the baronial levies against the Scots during the concluding years of his reign. Yet the later history of the Middle Ages bears witness to the grievous dangers to the wielder of the royal power which lurked beneath a system so attractive in appearance.

The truce with the Scots ended in November, 1302, and Edward despatched a strong force to the north under John Segrave. On February 24, 1303, Segrave, attacked unexpectedly by the enemy at Roslin, near Edinburgh, suffered a severe defeat. The conclusion of the treaty of Paris gave Edward the opportunity for avenging the disaster. He summoned his levies to assemble at Roxburgh for Whitsuntide and, a fortnight before that time, appeared in person in Tweeddale. After seven weary years of waiting and failure, he was at last in a position to wear down the obstinate Scots by the same systematic and deliberate policy that had won for him the principality of Wales. The invasion of Scotland was henceforth to continue as long as the Scottish resistance. Adequate resources were procured to enable the royal armies to hold the field, and a politic negotiation with the foreign merchants resulted in a ,carta mercatoria by which additional customs were imposed upon English exports. These imposts, known as the "new and small customs," as opposed to the "old and great customs" established in 1275, were not sanctioned by parliamentary grant: but for the moment they provoked no opposition. Thus Edward was equipped both with men and money for his undertaking. At last the true conquest of Scotland began.

No attempt was made in the Lothians to stop Edward's advance, but the Scots, under the regent, John Comyn of Badenoch, made a vigorous effort to hold the line of the Forth against him. Their plan seemed to promise well, for Stirling castle was still in Scottish hands. Edward crossed the river by a ford, and all organised efforts to oppose him at once ceased. Prudently leaving Stirling to itself for the present, he hurried to Perth. After spending most of June and July at Perth, he led his army northwards, nearly following the line of his advance in 1296, through Perth, Brechin, and Aberdeen, to Banff and Elgin. The most remote point reached was Kinloss, a few miles west of Elgin, in which neighbourhood he spent much of September. Then he slowly retraced his steps and took up his winter quarters at Dunfermline. In all this long progress, the only energetic resistance which Edward encountered was at Brechin. Flushed with his triumph, he ordered Stirling to be besieged, and from April, 1304, directed the operations himself. The garrison held out with the utmost gallantry, but at last a breach was effected in the walls, and on July 24 the defenders laid down their arms. Long before the Scots people despaired of withstanding the invader, the nobles grew cold in the defence of their country. In February, 1304, the regent and many of the earls made their submission. It was more than suspected that this result was brought about by the threat of Edward to divide their lands among his English followers. But on Comyn and his friends showing a desire to yield, the king readily promised them their lives and estates. Believing that his task was over, Edward returned to England in August after an absence of nearly fifteen months. He crossed the Humber early in December, kept his Christmas court at Lincoln, and reached London late in February. As a sign of the completion of the conquest, he ordered that the law courts, which since 1297 had been established at York, should resume their sessions in London.

A few heroes still upheld the independence of Scotland. Foremost among them was Sir William Wallace, who, since his mission to France in 1298, had disappeared from history. The submission of the barons to Edward gave him another chance. He took a strenuous part in the struggle of 1303-4, and he was specially exempted from the easy pardons with which Edward purchased the submission of the greater nobles. It was the daring and skill of Wallace that prolonged the Scots' struggle until the spring of 1305. But he was then once more an outlaw and a fugitive, only formidable by his hold over the people, and by the possibility that the smallest spark of resistance might at any time be blown into a flame. At last he was captured through the zeal, or treachery, of a Scot in Edward's service. In August, Wallace was despatched to London to stand a public trial for treason, sedition, sacrilege, and murder. He denied that he had ever become Edward's subject, but did not escape conviction. With his execution, the last stage of Edward's triumph in Scotland was accomplished. Though the full measure of Wallace's fame belongs to a later age rather than his own, yet it was a sure instinct that made the Scottish people celebrate him as the popular hero of their struggle for independence. His courage, persistency, and daring stands in marked contrast to the self-seeking opportunism of the great nobles, who afterwards appropriated the results of his endeavours. Yet we can hardly blame Edward for making an example of him, when he fell into his power. Even if Wallace had successfully evaded the oath of fealty to Edward, it is scarcely reasonable to expect that the king would consider this technical plea as availing against his doctrine that all Scots were necessarily his subjects since the submission of 1296. It was Wallace's glory that he fought his fight and paid the penalty of it.

A full parliament of the three estates sat with the king at Westminster from February 28 to March 21, 1305. The proceedings of this assembly are known with a fulness exceeding that of the record of any of the other parliaments of the reign.1 Among the matters enumerated in the writs as specially demanding attention was the "establishment of our realm of Scotland". Three Scottish magnates, Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, and John Mowbray were particularly called upon to give their advice as to how Scotland was to be represented in a later parliament, in which the plans for its future government were to be drawn up. They informed the king that two bishops, two abbots, two barons, and two representatives of the commons, one from the south of the Forth and the other from the north thereof, would be sufficient for this purpose. This further "parliament" assembled on September 15, three weeks after the execution of Wallace. It consisted simply of twenty councillors of Edward, and the ten Scottish delegates. From the joint deliberations of these thirty sprang the "ordinance made by the lord king for the establishment of the land of Scotland".

1 See Memoranda, de parliamento (1305), ed. F.W. Maitland (Rolls Series).
Following the general lines of the settlement of the principality of Wales, the ordinance combined Edward's direct lordship over Scotland with a legal and administrative system separate from that of England. John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond, the king's sister's son, was made Edward's lieutenant and warden of Scotland, and under him were a chancellor, a chamberlain, and a controller. Scotland was to be split up for judicial purposes into districts corresponding to its racial and political divisions. Four pairs of justices were appointed for each of these regions, two for Lothian, two for Galloway and the south-west, two for the lands "between Forth and the mountains," that is the Lowland districts of the north-east, and two for the lands "beyond the mountains," that is for the Highlands and islands. Sheriffs "natives either of England or Scotland" were nominated for each of the shires, and it was significant that the great majority of them were Scots and that the hereditary sheriffdoms of the older system were still continued. The "custom of the Scots and the Welsh," that is the Celtic laws of the Highlanders and the Strathclyde Welsh, was "henceforth prohibited and disused". John of Brittany was to "assemble the good people of Scotland in a convenient place" where "the laws of King David and the amendments by other kings" were to be rehearsed, and such of these laws as are "plainly against God and reason" were to be reformed, all doubtful matters being referred to the judgment of Edward. The king's lieutenant was bidden to "remove such persons as might disturb the peace" to the south of the Trent, but their deportation was to be in "courteous fashion" and after taking the advice of the "good people of Scotland". Care for the preservation of the peace, and for administrative reform, is seen in the oath imposed upon officials and in the pains taken to secure the custody of the castles. The Scots parliament was to be retained, and recent precedents also suggested the probability of Scottish representation in the parliament of England. If Scotland were to be ruled by Edward at all, it would have been difficult to devise a wiser scheme for its administration. Yet the Scottish love of independence was not to be bartered away for better government. Within six months the new constitution was overthrown, and the chief part in its destruction was taken by the Scots by whose advice Edward had drawn it up.

Edward at last felt himself in a position to take his long deferred revenge on Winchelsea. The primate still kept aloof from the councils of the king, and his spirit was as irreconcilable as ever. He gained his last victory in the Lenten parliament of 1305, when he prevented the promulgation of a statute, passed on the petition of the laity, but agreed to by all the estates, which forbade taxes on ecclesiastical property involving the exportation of money out of the country.1 At this moment the long vacancy of the papacy, which followed the pontificate of Benedict XI., Boniface VIII.'s short-lived successor, had not yet come to an end. Soon, however, Winchelsea's zeal on behalf of papal taxation was to be ill requited. On June 5, 1305, Bertrand de Goth, a Gascon nobleman who since 1299 had been archbishop of Bordeaux, was elected to the papacy as Clement V., through the management of Philip the Fair. A dependant of the King of France and a subject of the King of England, the new pope showed a complaisance towards kings which stood in strong contrast to the ultramontane austerity of his predecessors. He refused to visit Italy, received the papal crown at Lyons, and spent the first years of his pontificate in Poitou and Gascony. Ultimately establishing himself at Avignon, he began that seventy years of Babylonish captivity of the apostolic see which greatly degraded the papacy. Though Clement's main concern was to fulfil the exacting conditions which, as it was believed, Philip had imposed upon him, he was almost as subservient to Edward as to the King of France. His deference to his natural lord enabled Edward to renounce the most irksome of the obligations which he had incurred to his subjects, to punish Winchelsea, and to restrain Roman authority by laws which anticipate the legislation of the age of Edward III.

1 Memoranda de parliamento, preface, p. li. The statement in the text is an inference suggested by Professor Maitland's account of the statute De asportis religiosorum. For the last struggle of Edward and Winchelsea, see Stubbs's preface to Chron. of Edw. I. and Edw. II., i., xcix.-cxiii.
At Clement V.'s coronation at Lyons, in November, England was represented by Winchelsea's old enemy, Bishop Walter Langton, and by the Earl of Lincoln. The first result of their work was the promulgation, on December 29, of the bull Regalis devotionis, by which the pope annulled the additions made to the charters in 1297 and succeeding years, and dispensed Edward from the oath which he had taken to observe them, on the ground that it was in conflict with his coronation vows. Next year Edward took advantage of this bull to revoke the disafforestments made by the parliament of Lincoln in 1301. It may be a sign either of the moderation, or of the well-grounded fears of the king, that he made no further use of the papal absolution. But, like his father and grandfather, he used the papal authority to set aside his plighted word, and his conduct in this respect suggests that it was well for England that the renewal of the Scottish troubles reduced for the rest of the reign the temptation, which the bull held out to him, to play fast and loose with the liberties of his subjects. The standards of contemporary morality were not, however, infringed by Edward's action, dishonourable and undignified as it seems to us of later times

Winchelsea's turn was at last come. On February 12, 1306, Clement suspended him from his office, and summoned him to appear before the curia. On March 25 the archbishop humbled himself before Edward and begged for his protection. But the king overwhelmed him with reproaches and refused to show him any mercy. Within two months, the primate took ship for France and made his way to the papal court, which was then established at Bordeaux. He remained in exile, though in the English king's dominions, for the rest of Edward's life. A less harsh punishment was meted out to the Bishop of Durham, who then came back from the court of Clement with the magnificent title of Patriarch of Jerusalem. For a second time Edward laid violent hands upon the rich temporalities of the see, and Bek, like Winchelsea, remained under a cloud for the remainder of the reign.

Clement expected to be paid for yielding so much to the king. A papal agent, William de Testa, was sent to England, and to him Edward gave the administration of the temporalities of Canterbury. William's energy in collecting first-fruits aroused a storm of opposition from the clergy. The laity, disgusted to find that the king was negotiating for the transference of a crusading tenth to himself, associated themselves with their protest. Clement thereupon despatched the Cardinal Peter of Spain to England, that he might attempt to arrange a general pacification, and complete the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Isabella of France, which had been agreed upon in 1303. Before the cardinal's arrival, Edward's last parliament met in January, 1307, at Carlisle. The renewed disturbances in Scotland necessitated a meeting on the border, but the main transactions of the estates bore upon matters ecclesiastical. The lords and commons joined in demanding from the king a remedy against the oppressions of the apostolic see. A spirited and strongly worded protest was addressed to the pope. Nor were the estates contented with mere remonstrances. The statute of Carlisle renewed the abortive measure of 1305 De asportis religiosorum, by prohibiting tallages of religious houses being sent out of the realm. Had the petition of the estates been drafted into a statute, the parliament of Carlisle would have anticipated the statute of Praemunire and many other anti-papal enactments. But Peter of Spain arrived, and Edward thought it injudicious to provoke a contest with the papacy. Even the petition actually approved was left in suspense to await further negotiations between the king and the cardinal. Before any decision was come to, Edward died, and this anti-Roman movement, like so many which had preceded it, resulted in little more than brave words. When, two generations later, a more resolute temper seized upon king and estates, they fell back upon the petitions and proceedings of the parliament of Carlisle for precedents for resisting the papal authority. With all its pitiful conclusion, Edward's ecclesiastical policy at least marks a step in advance upon the dependent attitude of Henry III.

In the period of peace after the conquest of Scotland, Edward busied himself with strengthening the administration of his own kingdom and with enforcing the laws against violence and outrage. Under the strongest of medieval kings, the state of society was very disorderly, and even a ruler like Edward had often to be contented with holding up in his legislation an ideal of conduct which he was powerless to enforce in detail. Complaints had long been made that the greater nobles encroached upon poor men's inheritances, that gangs of marauders ranged over the country, wreaking every sort of violence and outrage, and that the law courts would give no redress to the sufferers from such outrageous deeds, since judges and juries were alike terrorised by overmighty offenders and dared not administer equal justice. Accordingly in the Lenten parliament of 1305 was drawn up the ordinance of Trailbaston, by which the king was empowered to issue writs of inquiry, addressed to special justices in the various shires, and authorising them to take vigorous action against these trailbastons, or men with clubs, whose outrages had become so grievous. It was not so much a new law as an administrative act; but it formed a precedent for later times, and the energy of the justices of trailbaston effected a real, if temporary, improvement in the condition of the country. So important was the measure that a chronicler calls the year in which this was enacted the "year of trailbaston".1

1 Liber de antiquis legibus, p. 250.
Never did Edward's prospects seem brighter than in the early days of 1306. Scotland was obedient; the French alliance was firmly cemented; the pope was complacent; the Archbishop of Canterbury was in exile and the Bishop of Durham in disgrace; the commons were grateful for the better order secured by the commissions of trailbaston, and the king had in the papal absolution a weapon in reserve, which he could always use against a renewal of baronial opposition, though, for the moment, neither nobles nor commons seemed likely to give trouble. Once more there was some talk of Edward leading a crusade, and the French lawyer, Peter Dubois, at this time dedicated to him the first draft of his remarkable treatise on the recovery of the Holy Land.1 Nor did the project seem altogether impracticable. Though Edward was sixty-seven years of age, he remained slim, vigorous and straight as a palm tree. He could mount his horse and ride to the hunt or the field with the activity of youth. His eyes were not dimmed with age and his teeth were still firm in his jaws.2 The worst trouble which immediately beset him, was the undutiful conduct of the young Prince of Wales, who foolishly quarrelled with Bishop Langton, and preferred to amuse himself with unworthy favourites rather than submit himself to the severe training in arms and affairs to which Edward had long striven to inure him. When all thus seemed favourable, a sudden storm burst in Scotland which plunged the old king into renewed troubles.

1 De recuperatione terre sancte, ed. C.V. Langlois (1891).

2 John of London, Commendatio lamentabilis, pp. 5-6.
In 1304 Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, became by his father's death the head of his house. Though he had long adhered to the regency which had governed Scotland in Balliol's name, he had now made terms with Edward, and had taken a conspicuous part in bringing about the pacification of Scotland under its new constitution. But the double policy, which had involved him in the shifts and tergiversations of his earlier career, still dominated the mind of the ambitious earl. At the moment of his submission to Edward, he entered into an intimate alliance with Bishop Lamberton of St. Andrews, the old partisan of Wallace. Lamberton was then, like Bruce, on Edward's side, and as John of Brittany had not yet personally taken up his new charge, the blind confidence of Edward entrusted him with the foremost place among the commissioners who acted as wardens of Scotland during the king's lieutenant's absence. Bruce, still remembering his grandfather's claim on the throne, welcomed the definitive setting aside of Balliol. While Edward believed that Scotland was quietening down under its new constitution, Bruce was secretly conspiring with the Scottish magnates, with a view to making himself king. His chief difficulty was with the late regent, John Comyn the Red, lord of Badenoch. The Bruces and the Comyns had long been at variance, and the Red Comyn, who was the nephew of the deposed King John, regarded himself as the representative of the Balliol claim to the throne, and was not unmindful how his father had withdrawn his pretensions in 1291 rather than divide the Balliol interest. Meanwhile the antagonism of the two houses was the best safeguard for the continuance of Edward's rule.

Bruce was violent as well as able and ambitious. He invited Comyn to a conference for January 10, 1306, in the Franciscan friary at Dumfries. On that day the king's justices were holding the assizes in the castle, and Brace and Comyn, with a few followers, met in the cloister of the convent. Hot words were exchanged, and Bruce drew his sword and wounded Comyn. The lord of Badenoch took refuge in the church, and some of Bruce's friends followed him and slew him on the steps of the high altar. This cruel murder involved a violent breach between Bruce and the king. The earl took to the hills, declared himself the champion of national independence, and renewed his claim to the crown. He was joined by a great multitude of the people and by a certain number of the magnates. Conspicuous among the latter was Bishop Wishart of Glasgow, who broke his sixth oath of fealty, using the timber given him by Edward for building the steeple of his cathedral in constructing military engines to besiege the castles which were still held for the English king. Before long Bishop Lamberton, the chief of the Edwardian government, also went over. The support of the two bishops enabled Bruce to be crowned on March 25 at Scone. All Scotland was soon in revolt, and only the garrisons and a few magnates remained faithful to Edward.

News of the death of Comyn and the revolt of Bruce reached Edward, while engaged in hunting in Dorset and Wiltshire. He at once called upon Church and State to unite against the sacreligious murderer and traitor. Clement V. excommunicated the Earl of Carrick, and deprived Lamberton and Wishart of their bishoprics. The warlike zeal of the English barons was stimulated by liberal grants of the forfeited estates of Bruce and his partisans. Feeling the infirmities of age coming upon him, Edward saw that his best chance of success was to inspire his son with something of his spirit. The Prince of Wales accordingly received a grant of Gascony, and on Whitsunday, May 22, was dubbed knight at Westminster along with over two hundred other aspirants to arms. A magnificent feast in Westminster Hall succeeded the ceremony. Two swans, adorned with golden chains, were brought in, and the old king set to all the revellers the example of vowing on the swans to revenge the murder of Comyn. Edward swore that when he had expiated this wrong to Holy Church, he would never more bear arms against Christian man, but would immediately turn his steps towards the Holy Land to redeem the Holy Sepulchre. The Prince of Wales' vow was never to rest two nights in the same spot until he had reached Scotland to assist his father in his purpose. Then all the young knights were despatched northwards to overthrow the Scottish pretender.

A liberal grant from the estates facilitated the military preparations. But since the beginning of the year, Edward's strength had rapidly broken. He was no longer able to ride, and his movements were consequently very tedious. His army gathered together with more than the usual slowness, and Aymer of Valence, Earl of Pembroke, the king's cousin, was sent forward as warden of Scotland to meet Bruce with such forces as were ready. On June 26 Aymer fell upon Bruce at Methven, near Perth, and inflicted a severe defeat upon him. The power of the pretender died away as rapidly as it had arisen. The Bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow were made prisoners, and Bruce's brothers, wife, and daughter fell into the enemy's hands. The brothers were promptly beheaded, though one of them was an ecclesiastic, and the ladies were confined in English nunneries. Bruce himself fled to Kintyre, and thence to Rathlin island, off the coast of Antrim.

Edward went north in July, and, after a long stay in Northumberland, took up his quarters early in October with the Austin canons of Lanercost, near Carlisle. There he remained for above five months. In January, 1307, the parliament, whose anti-clerical policy has already been recounted, assembled at Carlisle, and remained in session until March. With the spring, Brace crossed over from Ireland, and re-appeared in his own lands in the south-west. In May he revenged the rout of Methven by inflicting a bloody check on Aymer of Valence near Ayr, and within three days gained another victory over Edward's son-in-law, Earl Ralph of Gloucester. These blows only spurred on Edward to increased efforts. The levies were summoned to meet at Carlisle and, regardless of his infirmities, the old king resolved to lead his troops in person. On July 3 he once more mounted his horse and started for the border. But his constitution could not respond to the demands made on it by his unbroken spirit. After a journey of two miles he was forced to rest for the night. Next day he could only traverse a similar distance, and his exertions so fatigued him that he was compelled to remain at his lodgings all the following day. This repose enabled him to make his way, on July 6, to Burgh-on-Sands, less than seven miles from Carlisle, where he spent the night. On July 7, as he was being raised in his bed by his attendants to take his morning meal, he fell back in their arms and expired.

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