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ed by Aymer de Valloins, Earl of Pembroke, landed in the North of Fife. Wallace attacked and routed them in the forest of Black Ironside.

Edward's aim was to penetrate into the West, and there to terminate the war. He prudently appointed a fleet, with provisions, to proceed to the Clyde and await his arrival; meanwhile he encamped at Temple-Liston, between Edinburgh and Linlithgow.

Nor were the Scots inactive at the approach of the enemy: They assembled all their strength in the interior part of the country. Robert Bruce, and John Comyn the younger of Badenoch, were among the few barons of eminence who repaired to the post of honour and danger. They advanced to Falkirk at the moment that Edward had given orders to his army to make a retrograde movement towards the Borders in consequence of a mutiny among the Welsh.

Upon receiving the intelligence of the advance of the Scots, Edward prepared to attack them. Though severely hurt by his war-horse the evening before the battle, he appeared on horseback at break of day; and, with a fortitude of spirit superior to pain, he led on his troops. Wallace ranged his infantry in four bodies, of a circular form, at the side of a small eminence in the neighbourhood of Falkirk. The archers were placed in the intervals, and about a thousand horse were posted in the rear. A morass protected them in front. The English were divided into three lines. Edward commanded the reserve. His chief dependence was upon his cavalry, which attacked the Scottish infantry on both flanks at once. The shock was gallantly withstood. In vain did the English strive to force the Scottish circle; they could not penetrate into that wood of spears. What could be accomplished by valour, was achieved by the Scots: Their uttermost ranks were brought to the ground by repeated charges; they were incessantly galled with showers of stones and arrows; they were deserted by their cavalry; and their physical strength being quite exhausted, they were broken by the numbers and weight of the English horsemen, and a total rout ensued. The loss of the Eng lish was inconsiderable; but the loss of the Scots must have been very severe,

Wallace succeeded in securing his retreat with a faithful band, They burnt in their retreat the town and castle of Stirling; but Edward repaired the castle, Bruce, who had not been in the en

gagement, upon hearing of the defeat of his countrymen, burned the castle of Ayr, to prevent the pursuit of Edward, and then retired. After reducing Bruce's castle of Lochmaben, in Annandale, the conqueror retired by the Western Borders.

In hazarding this battle, the Scots acted with a fatal precipitancy. By protracting the war, they had it in their power to foil their enemy and save their country: Their defeat prostrated their liberty before an implacable enemy. The Scots, however, resolved to act with vigour, notwithstanding their defeat. The country beyond the Forth and Galloway remained free. Wallace was superseded as guardian or regent by the Bishop of St Andrew's, Robert Bruce, and John Comyn; who were chosen regents in the name of Ba-A.D. liol. They applied to the Pope and the King of France 1299. for aid. The Pope wrote to Edward, commanding him to abstain from any farther attempts upon Scotland; and, with singular effrontery, asserted his claim as liege lord,-a claim which till then had never been heard of.

These personages necessarily consumed some time in support-ing their different claims. Edward and his Parliament were in-. flexible, and the Pontiff judged it prudent to abate his claims; and, A.D. with a characteristical impudence, threw the blame on the 1300. Scottish bishops. By the mediation of France, a short truce was concluded between the English and the Scots; a se-, cond truce for one year was subsequently agreed upon.

After the expiration of the truce, Edward sent an army into Scotland, under the command of John de Segrave, who conducted his troops towards Edinburgh. They were injudiciously separat-. ed into three divisions; and encamped at such, a distance from A. D. each other, that Comyn, the Guardian, and Simon Fraser, 1302. attacked and defeated them successively.

The Pope and the King of France proved but faithless allies to the Scots. The former deserted, and threatened to excommuni-. cate them; the latter concluded a treaty with England, from which

A.D. the Scots were ungenerously excluded.. Tantalizing hopes 1303. were still held out to the Scots by the French ministers. The former had reason to repent very speedily of their credulity; for Edward, disengaged from foreign war, bent his whole force to subdue Scotland. He fitted-out a fleet to sail along the coast, that his army might be properly supplied with provisions.

Unable to oppose the enemy, the Scots declined meeting them in unequal combat; so that Edward marched to the northern extremity of the kingdom, ravaging the open country, reducing the castles, and receiving the submission of the nobles. The only fortress that interrupted the course of his conquests, was the castle of Brechin. Sir Thomas Maule, the commander, an intrepid warrior, defended the castle until he was mortally wounded. May we not surrender now?" said his men. "What, cowards!" said Maule, "yield up the castle?" and immediately expired. Next day, the garrison capitulated. Wallace, with a faithful band, hovered around the enemy in their march; but they were too vigilant to afford him an opportunity of performing any signal service.

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Stirling castle, commanded by Sir William Oliphant, was the only fortress that remained in possession of the Scots. Comyn the Guardian assembled an army, and encamped on the south bank of the Forth, to protect the castle, and make a final stand for the national liberty. Edward having discovered a ford, crossed the river at the head of his cavalry. The Scots fled in every direc tion.

There remained now no alternative for the brave but unfortunate Scots, except submission. Bruce surrendered himself to the English Warden. Comyn and his followers having stipulated for their lives, liberties, and fortunes, submitted to the conqueror. Wallace and Sir Simon Fraser, with a few others who had rendered themselves obnoxious to Edward by their patriotism, were excluded from the capitulation.

By the command of Edward, a Parliament assembled at St Andrew's; and sentence of outlawry was pronounced by this quiescent assembly against Wallace, Fraser, and the garrison of A.D. Stirling castle. That fortress, after a brave defence of 1304. S three months, surrendered at discretion; and the garrison, whose valour would have been revered by a more generous conqueror, were treated with ignominy and ordered to be chained. Wallace, who had once delivered his country, and had invariably exposed himself in the hour of danger, was given up unconditionally to the mercy of Edward by his ungrateful country. As he had lived a free man, he resolved to die free: But the season of resistance was past: He therefore sought out a place of concealment, where he might silently bewail the misfortunes of his fallen country.

His retreat was discovered; he was betrayed into the

hands of Edward,-some say by his servant, others allege by his friend Sir John Monteith.

Wallace was arraigned at Westminster as a traitor. "I never was a traitor," was his reply; but he pleaded guilty to the charge of having made war against the enemies of his country. Sentence of death was pronouced against him; which was immediately exeA.D. cuted. His head was exhibited on a pinnacle at London, 1305. and his mangled limbs were sent to different parts of the country.

Edward now proceeded to make a total settlement of the government of Scotland; and for the administration of justice to the people. Sheriffs were appointed in the different districts of the kingdom. The ancient forms of administration were preserved which Edward deemed consistent with the dependent state of the nation. An indemnity was granted to the Scots under easy conditions. Fines were imposed upon the delinquents,-in general from one to five years' rents of their estates.

CHAPTER III.

Robert Bruce and Comyn-the latter slain. Bruce crowned-is defeated at Methven-retires to Argyllshire-makes successful efforts to deliver his country-ravages England. Battle of Bannockburn.

SCOTLAND was now apparently reduced as a conquered province under the dominion of Edward. Fifteen years had he incessantly laboured, by dissimulation, craft, and violence, with a waste of treasure and blood, to subdue his weaker neighbour; yet within four months his authority was overthrown. The causes of this singular event are but imperfectly known, and they are differently related by the English and Scottish historians. John Comyn, the Guardian of Scotland, was the nephew of John Baliol, who had repeatedly renounced all claims to the crown of Scotland. Comyn therefore might be considered as possessed of his pretensions in right of blood, supported by large estates, a numerous vassalage, and approved valour; for, as Guardian of Scotland and leader of her armies, he had maintained for many years an unequal contest with Edward.

Bruce the competitor of Baliol had submitted to the decision of Edward. His son, yielding to the times, had served under the English banners. His attempts to serve his native country were feeble

and irresolute. He died about the time that Stirling castle sur rendered to the English; but he left a son, of a restless ambitious spirit, who in his earlier years was versatile, but his character in maturer age became firm and consistent. In Comyn and the Earl of Carrick, the factions of Baliol and Bruce might be said to have revived.

According to traditionary report, Bruce is said to have made the following proposal to Comyn. "Support my title to the crown, and I will give you my estate; or give me your estate, and I will support yours." Comyn acquiesced: The conditions were drawn out, subscribed, and sealed by both parties. A mutual oath of secrecy was taken: But Comyn betrayed his associate to Edward; who was fired with indignation. Bruce had the address at the first to sooth and amuse the King;-though it would seem that the latter only dissembled his resentment until a favourable opportunity offered of cutting off the whole family of Bruce at a blow.

The Earl of Gloucester, hearing that Edward had inadvertently intimated this design to some lords about his person, despatched a messenger to Bruce with twelvepence and a pair of spurs. The latter understood this message as an intimation of danger; and immediately set out for Scotland. Approaching the West Marches, he intercepted a messenger who was the bearer of letters from Comyn to the English King, advising the immediate imprisonment or death of Bruce. The treachery of Comyn being thus confirmed, Bruce, after visiting his castle of Lochmaben, repaired to Dumfries, where his rival resided, and obtained an interview with him before the great altar in the church of the Minorites. Bruce passionately reproached Comyn for his treachery. "You lie!" cried Comyn. Bruce stabbed him instantly. Struck with remorse or terror, he hastened out of the sanctuary, pale and agitated, and called "to horse!" His attendants, Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, anxiously inquired the cause of his flight. "I doubt I have slain Comyn,” replied Bruce. "You doubt!" said Kirkpatrick; and, rushing into the church, plunged his dagger into the heart of the weltering Comyn.

A.D.

1305.

The Justiciaries were holding their court when this tragical event happened. They surrendered to Bruce; and were permitted to retire out of Scotland unmolested. It is the opinion of Lord Hailes, that Bruce had no intention of imbruing his hands in blood, nor any immediate purpose of asserting his own claims to the

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