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the command of the castle and the office of Sheriff of Teviotdale on the gallant captor, Alexander Ramsay; but from that moment the Knight of Liddesdale became his mortal enemy, and sought his destruction. The noble-minded and unfortunate Ramsay, while holding a court, according to the duties of his office, at Hawick, was assailed, fettered, and imprisoned by the Knight, and afterwards starved in prison. Perhaps no circumstance displays in a stronger light the fierce and insubordinate spirit of the Scottish aristocracy than the murder of Ramsay; and so feeble was the government of David, that he durst not revenge it.

By the intercession of the Steward, the assassin was received into favour, appointed to be governor of Roxburgh castle, and restored to the office of Sheriff of Teviotdale. During these transactions, the English monarch was prosecuting an unsuccessful war in France.

A treaty of peace was concluded between England and France, in which the Scots were included, by the mag1343. § nanimity of their French ally.


Before the expiry of the truce, the Scots, weary of peace, renewed their incursions into England. Edward complained that the French Monarch had secretly encouraged the faithless Scots, and ordered hostilities to be recommenced.



The Scots invade England. Battle of Durham. David taken prisoner. A Pestilence. Negotiations for David's release-interrupted by hostilities. The English invade Scotland. David released. Plague. Domestic occurrences. Death and character of David.

To embarrass the operations of Edward on the Continent, David resolved to invade England, at the solicitation of the French Monarch. The opportunity was deemed peculiarly favourable for taking vengeance on a powerful and implacable enemy; as Edward. and his chief commanders were absent, and, except ecclesiastics and artisans, none were expected to make any opposition. The Knight of Liddesdale counselled the King to abandon the projected enterprise; but his counsel was disregarded; David entered England with a body of two thousand men at arms, completely accoutred, and a very great multitude of light-armed infantry. He penetrated into the bishopric of Durham, wasting the country and plundering the ecclesiastics.

The English issued a proclamation of array to the Northern parts of England. Of the forces thus assembled, the Archbishop of York, Henry de Percy, and Ralph de Nevil, were intrusted with the command. A detachment of the Scots, under the Knight of Liddesdale, in quest of forage, unexpectedly encountered the whole English army, near Sunderland. The Scots retired; but were attacked and defeated. The fugitives who escaped speedily carried an alarm and panic into the camp of their countrymen, who hastily prepared for battle.

Nevil's Cross, near Durham, was the scene of conflict. Amidst the banners of the English nobility, a large crucifix was displayed, Elated with their success, the English advanced and attacked the concentrated forces of the Scots. The latter, entangled among ditches and enclosures, were embarrassed in their evolutions. The Earl of Moray, who commanded the right wing, was slain, and the Knight of Liddesdale was made prisoner. Having routed the right wing of the Scots, the English next attacked the centre, commanded by the King in person. Unequal as the combat was, and notwithstanding the chief officers of the crown and many of the nobility fell by the side of their Sovereign, who was himself wounded, the valorous Scots maintained their ground for several hours. At length the King was made prisoner, with upwards of fifty barons. Among the slain were many eminent noblemen. The left wing, commanded by the Steward and the Earl of 1946. March, retired, though not without loss. *


The captive Monarch was conducted to London, and immured in the Tower. Studious to improve their success at Durham, the English entered Scotland, took Roxburgh castle, and, being joined by Baliol with a body of Gallowaymen, they wasted the southern counties. In this extremity, the Steward was elected regent ; who supported the cause of his absent sovereign as well as the calamitous times would permit.

A.D. A truce was concluded between England and France, in 4347. which the Scots were included; and, the ensuing year, negotiations were opened for the release of the captive monarch.


The great pestilence that had long desolated the Conti1348. S nent, reached Scotland. This pestilence took a wider

It has been asserted, though it would seem without foundation, that Philippa Queen of England commanded the English in this battle.— Annals of Scotland, vol. ii.

range and proved more destructive than any calamity of that nature known in the annals of the human race.

A.D. A treaty for the release of David was at last concluded 1354. at Newcastle. His ransom was fixed at ninety thousand merks Sterling, and to be paid at the rate of ten thousand merks annually. The King, the clergy, the nobles, the merchants and burgesses of Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, and Edinburgh, for themselves, and for all the other merchants in Scotland, became bound for payment of the ransom and observance of the truce. Twenty young men of quality were to be given as hostages: But, before the release of David, some mysterious negotiations were entered into between him and the English government, for the purpose, as is supposed, of establishing the long-contested claim of feudal superiority over the Scots.

The renowned Knight of Liddesdale obtained his liberty, after making the most dishonourable concessions to Edward; but he was slain soon after, while hunting in Ettrick forest. Various causes concurred to frustrate the execution of the treaty for David's release. The Scots had debased their coin, for what purpose, has not been satisfactorily ascertained; but Edward prohibited its currency in England, by proclamation. The French Mo narch, dreading a new invasion by the English, despatched an emissary to Scotland with a chosen body of troops, and a considerable sum of money, to be distributed among the Scottish nobility, on condition of their renewing the war. The nobles, prompted by avarice, indifferent to integrity and honour, and overlooking all future inconveniencies for the sake of present gain, accepted the French offers, and resolved to invade England.


The Scottish Borderers took the field, entered England, 1355. S and pillaged Norham. Being pursued by the enemy, they feigned to flee, and led the unwary English into an ambush, from which few escaped. An enterprise of greater importance was attempted by Stewart Earl of Angus. Having collected a small fleet, he approached Berwick in the night, silently landed his forces, and scaled the walls on the side next the sea; while on the land side, the Earl of March with the French troops seconded the attack.

The town surrendered; and was abandoned to pillage, the inhabitants retiring to the castle, which the Scots were unable to reduce. Before they had leisure to repair the fortifications, the

town was invested by an army under Edward. The Scots capitulated and retired.

Despairing of regaining his authority in Scotland, Baliol made an absolute surrender of his kingdom and crown to Edward of England. He spent the remainder of his days in obscurity, and died childless.

The nominal acquisition of Baliol's rights increased not the authority of Edward in Scotland. Resolving, therefore, to extort the reluctant obedience of the barons, he led his numerous forces into Lothian. A fleet of victuallers was ordered to sail to the Frith of Forth, as the Scots had driven off every sort of provisions beyond his reach. The English were involved in difficulties: Their fleet was wrecked; they were infested on all sides by flying parties of the vigilant Scots, who embarrassed their march. They had no alternative but to retreat, or to be wasted by famine and the sword. Inflamed with rage, Edward desolated the country, and laid in ashes every town, village, and hamlet, that he passed in his retreat. Lord Douglas attacked a detachment of his army, as it passed by Ettrick forest, and slew great numbers. This inroad was long remembered among the vulgar in Scotland under the name of the Burnt Candlemas.

After Edward's retreat, the Scots expelled his partisans from the West Marches. Nithsdale, Annandale, and Galloway, successively surrendered their fortresses, and yielded obedience to the Regent; while the English, intent upon the subjugation of France, reopened a negotiation for the release of the King of Scots. A treaty was concluded at Berwick, in consequence of which David was released, after a captivity of eleven years. The ransom agreed upon was one hundred thousand merks Sterling,-to be paid by yearly instalments of ten thousand. The same security that had been previously specified was demanded and granted. After the ratification of the treaty by the King, the nobility, the bishops, and the boroughs, David returned home. He seems to have imbibed a great partiality for the country in which he had been a captive. He visited England a few months after his release; and, during the remainder of his reign, he made many impolitic visits to London.

Although the ecclesiastical estate became bound for the King's ransom, they felt reluctant to pay any part of it; and they excused themselves by an appeal to the Pontiff, who granted the tenth of


the church revenues for three years, under condition that nothing more, on account of the ransom, should be exacted from the clergy.

The Scots, turbulent and avaricious, negotiated alternately with the French and the English,with the former, to obtain a subsidy to enable them the more easily to discharge the King's ransom, though at the expense of a war with England; with the latter, to procure, if possible, an abatement of the heavy ransom, or to procrastinate the term of payment.

A.D. The plague broke out again in Scotland, and continued 1361. its frightful ravages through the year. It is supposed that one third of the inhabitants, including many persons of distinction, perished in this general calamity. To avoid the infection, the King, with his court, retired into the Northern parts of the kingdom. In the succeeding year, the Queen of Scots died

. childless.

A. D.

The King, in a Parliament held at Scone, proposed, that 1363. S in the event of his dying without issue, one of the sons of the King of England should be chosen to succeed him. This strange proposition may be very naturally connected with the mysterious negotiation between the English and Scottish Kings, while the latter was a prisoner. The Scottish Parliament unanimously and peremptorily rejected the proposal. They said " they would never permit an Englishman to reign over them; that they would maintain the act of settlement solemnly ratified by the Legislature in the days of 'Robert Bruce, in favour of the Steward sand his sons, who were brave men, and fit to reign.”

Jealousy and distrust were the unhappy effects of the King's inconsiderate conduct. The nobles entered into associations for maintaining the legal succession; and they even took up arms against the persons suspected of favouring the King's political views. David had recourse to arms. The insurgents sued for peace; and a general amnesty was granted to such as should renounce all private confederacies.


David the Second died in the castle of Edinburgh, in 1370. the forty-second year of his reign, and the forty-seventh of his age. He was buried in the church of the abbey of Holyrood, before the great altar. In his demeanour he was courteous and affable, and possessed of personal intrepidity. The defects of his character were numerous, and strongly marked: He was weak

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