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dence of the Scottish church against the pretensions of the Pope, and in restraining the encroachments of the clergy. In both these difficult operations, his firmness and prudence were attended with success.

Even the Scottish clergy became jealous of the insidious policy of the Pontiff. They disobeyed his legate: They began to feel A.D. their own power, and they exerted it. Being required by 1268. Clement the Fourth to pay a tenth of their benefices to the King of England, as an aid for an intended crusade, they unanimously refused; and said, that "Scotland itself would equip a competent proportion of crusaders." Accordingly, the Earls of Atholl and Carrick, with many of the barons, left their native country for Palestine, but never returned.

The bright prospects that had opened to the nation were unexpectedly obscured. Events followed in rapid succession, afflicting to the King, and which ultimately involved the nation in the miseries of a civil war. Within one year, Alexander the Prince of Scotland, and his sister Margaret, who had been married to Eric King of Norway, died. The Prince had no issue. Margaret left an only daughter,-Margaret, commonly called the Maiden of Norway.

Deeply afflicted by these misfortunes, Alexander assembled a Parliament, in order to settle the succession to the crown. The nobles solemnly bound themselves to acknowledge Margaret of Norway as their sovereign,—" failing any children that Alexander might have, and failing the issue of the Prince of Scotland, deceased." Bereaved of all his children, Alexander married Joleta, daughter of the Count de Dreux. Scarcely had the nuptial festivities ceased, when the King, riding in the twilight, between Burntisland and Kinghorn, was thrown from his horse, over a precipice, and instantly killed. He died in the forty-fifth year of his age and the thirty-seventh of his reign.

The superstition of the age ascribed his death to the Divine judgment, because he was going to visit his Queen in the season of Lent. His memory was long and affectionately cherished, for his incessant attention to the impartial administration of justice. He made an annual progress through his kingdom, and held itinerant courts of justice in every quarter. An interposition of the sovereign to overawe the courts of justice, appears, in these days of legislative perfection, an infringement of civil liberty; but our

forefathers felt and appreciated the happy consequences of those royal acts of beneficence. Towards England his conduct was ju dicious. He had many inducements to cultivate peace with that kingdom; yet he never consented to any concession which might affect the honour or independence of his crown. Though he could not reform the rude and licentious manners of his country, he set an amiable example of virtue and temperance in his conduct; an inestimable blessing to a nation.



A. D. MARGARET. In consequence of the absence and infanсу of the Maiden of Norway, the Parliament appointed a regency of six: The Bishop of St Andrew's, the Earls of Fife and Buchan, were elected for the administration of the counties north of the Forth; the Bishop of Glasgow, John Comyn Lord of Badenoch, and James the Steward of Scotland, were intrusted with A. D. the government of the district south of that boundary. 1289. The Earl of Fife was murdered; his colleague the Earl of Buchan died; dissentions immediately arose among the remaining four; and anarchy was likely to ensue. Eric King of Norway interposed, and sent plenipotentiaries to treat with Edward concerning the affairs of the infant Queen and her kingdom.

That monarch had already formed the salutary project of marrying his son to the young princess. He obtained a dispensation from the Pope to sanction their union, and the Scots readily acquiesced in the proposal. The Parliaments of both kingdoms were consulted, and the conditions agreed upon were favourable to the liberty and honour of Scotland.


The King of Norway, from affection or policy, hesitated 1290. to yield up his only child. Meanwhile, the crafty Edward busied himself with intrigues for obtaining possession of the Scottish fortresses. Divided as the Scots were, they disdained to sacrifice that independence which was to be soon wrested from them, and Edward judged it prudent to desist. While the guardians of the kingdom were preparing to receive their sovereign, the child of so many anxious hopes, the fair system of alliance between the two nations was overthrown. The young Queen sailed from Norway, sickened on her passage, landed in Orkney, lingered there, and died.

The progeny of Alexander was now extinct; the regency was superseded; the tie that united England and Scotland was broken. The nation had looked no farther in the settlement of the suc

cession than to the descendants of Alexander. The families who were connected by blood with royalty, secretly and cautiously prepared to assert their several rights; the nobles, consulting their private interests, formed into factions; and the nation, in gloomy silence, anticipated the calamities of a civil war.*



Interregnum. Competition for the Crown. State of the nation. Baliol declared king. The Scots invade England. The English capture Berwick -defeat the Scots at Dunbar. Mean conduct of Baliol-who abdicates the



AN INTERRREGNUM.-The posterity of William the Lion 1290. S having become extinct by the death of the Princess Mar. garet, the right of succession reverted to the issue of William's brother, David Earl of Huntingdon. His male line being extinct, the succession opened to the posterity of his daughters, Margaret, Isabella, and Adama. Margaret left one daughter, married to John Baliol,+ by whom she had a son of the same name; Isabella, the second sister, had a son, Robert Bruce; and Adama was the mother of John Hastings.

There appeared no fewer than thirteen competitors for the crown; but, of these, ten either renounced their pretensions or withdrew their appearance: The competition for the crown was therefore limited to Baliol, Bruce, and Hastings; each of whom supported by plausible reasons the preference of his claim. Baliol was sprung from the eldest branch; and, if the principle of representation was regarded, he was entitled to the preference. Bruce was one degree nearer the common stock; if propinquity was con

* The first notice of coal-mines being worked in Scotland occurs in a charter of William of Obervill granting liberty to the monks of Dunfermline to dig coals, for their own use, in the lands of Pittencrief; but prohibiting them from selling them, A. D. 1291.

† Sir John Baliol of Bernard Castle, who was the founder of Baliol College, Oxford, A. D. 1263.


sidered as conveying a prior claim, he was entitled to the preference. Hastings alleged that the kingdom of Scotland, like many other inheritances, was divisible; and that he, in right of his mother, had a title to a third of it. Baliol and Bruce united against Hastings in maintaining that the kingdom was indivisible.

Though the dispute between Baliol and Bruce, according to the rules of succession now recognized, would be decided in favour of the former, yet each of these rivals was supported by a powerful faction.

On the news of the Queen's death, Bruce unexpectedly appeared at Perth, with a formidable retinue. Baliol resided in England at this critical period; but his secret friend William Fraser, Bishop of St Andrew's, watched over his interests with dark and dangerous policy. "We shall be involved in blood," said he to King Edward, "unless, by your prudent interference, an instant remedy is provided."

The latter was too sagacious and interested not to discern the full import and utility of this insinuation. In order, as was pretended, to avoid the miseries of a civil war, he was chosen umpire; and both parties agreed to acquiesce in his decision. One hundred and four commissioners were chosen; whom he commanded to examine the cause deliberately, and make their report to him; and he promised, that, by the ensuing spring, he would make known his determination.

Edward's conduct, which had hitherto been ingenuous in managing this important trust, became suddenly very suspicious. He required that all the fortresses in Scotland should be delivered into his hands, that he might present the kingdom to the claimant whose right should be recognized. Such was the pusillanimity of the nobles and the impatience of the competitors, that the exorbitant demand was granted. The Earl of Angus, who commanded the castles of Forfar, and Dundee, was the only nobleman who had discernment and resolution to penetrate and oppose the designs of Edward. He refused to surrender the castles in his custody without a formal and particular acquittal from Parliament; which he obtained.


An universal homage was now required. All who came 1291. were admitted to swear fealty: They who came and refused were to be arrested until performance; they who sent excuses were to have the validity of their excuses tried at the ensu→

ing Parliament; and they who openly refused were to be committed to close custody. Many ecclesiastics, barons, and even simple. burgesses, hastened to swear fealty to Edward..

Resolved to regulate the succession to the crown of Scotland, and- ultimately to revive his own obsolete claim of feudal sovereignty, Edward desired the nobility and clergy of Scotland to meet him at Norham, within the English territories.. They obeyed. The Justiciary of England, in his master's name, after an affected profession of his good-will and affection to the whole nation, required their hearty recognition of his title as. Lord Paramount. The assembly stood motionless and silent. At length, some one had the courage to reply, "No answer can be made while the throne is vacant." "By holy Edward, whose crown it is that I wear," cried the King, "I will vindicate my just rights, or perish in the attempt." The Scots, embarrassed and intimidated, requested and obtained a delay of three weeks, to consult with their countrymen: But their mutual distrusts and animosities, the treachery of Bishop Fraser, the interested views and the pusillanimity of the competitors, rendered the influence of Edward irresistible, and overthrew the national independence.

At the adjourned.conference,. Bruce and Baliol, with the other expectants of royalty, assented publicly and unequivocally to the claim of Edward, as Lord Paramount. of Scotland, and bound themselves to submit to his award..

The competition was finally decided in the castle of Berwick-upon-Tweed; and Edward decreed that Baliol should have seisine of the kingdom of Scotland.


A.D. JOHN BALIOL. Baliol swore fealty to Edward on the 1292. 20th November; in ten days after, was crowned at Scone; and he closed the humiliating scene by doing homage for the kingdom of Scotland at Newcastle-upon-Tyne... It soon appeared that the Lord Paramount aimed at the absolute sovereignty of the whole kingdom. He at once threw off the mask; and commanded that all appeals should be made to England. He even required King John himself, by six different. summonses, on trivial occasions, to appear at London, and refused him the privilege of defending himself by a procurator. Baliol, though a prince of a soft and gentle spirit, was highly provoked by these indigniA.D. ties, and determined at all hazards to assert his liberty. 1294. The Scottish Parliament assembled at Scone, advised him.

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