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and capricious, violent in his resentments, and habitually underthe dominion of women.

It was in this reign that the practice of manrent began, which procured followers for the powerful and protection for the weak. This practice evinces the weakness of the royal authority and the confusion of the times. During the minority and captivity of David, the Scottish government was purely aristocratical. After his release, the aristocratical spirit was sufficiently apparent..




Robert the Second. A Parliament-reforms the police of the nation. Mis-- cellaneous transactions with England. A succession of measures-alternately pacific and hostile. Conflict at Otterburn. Death of Robert.

UPON the demise of David, the crown passed to his nephew, Robert, the High Steward of Scotland, conformably to the Parliamentary destination in the reign of Robert Bruce... The Steward ascended the throne after he had begun to descend the vale of years. He had distinguished himself in early youth by his courage at the battle of Halidon, and by his vigorous exertions in opposing Baliol. He was experienced in the art of government, as well as in the duties of a subject. At an early age, he had been appointed governor of the kingdom, in conjunction with Sir Andrew Moray. At a subsequent period, he was twice elected sole governor; and, by the prudent and vigorous discharge of the duties of his office, be acquired reputation and the confidence of the nation. The Steward had numerous and extensive possessions in the West and the East of Scotland...

William Earl of Douglas at first opposed the accession of the Steward, and claimed the crown for himself,— -as uniting in his own person the pretensions of Comyn and the title of Baliol: But this claim he was compelled to withdraw, by the unanimous opposition of the barons.




Robert the Second was crowned at Scone. In order

to avoid the miseries of a disputed succession, an act was passed by the King and the Estates, declaring John Earl of Carrick, the King's eldest son, the heir-apparent to the throne. The situation of the kingdom rendered a strict observance of the truce with England prudent and necessary; while, in order to secure the friendship and aid of France, the treaty with that country was renewed,—the French Monarch engaging to support the Scots against the influence and arms of England.

A. D.

A Parliament was held at Scone, memorable for its 1372. juridical statutes. A long and severe ordinance was enacted against murderers and their abettors,—an indication of the prevalence of violence, and the contempt or inefficacy of the existing laws.. And, to maintain purity in the administration of the laws, and respect for their authority, venality was strictly prohibited. No mandate, under whatever seal it might be issued, if contrary to the common course of law, was to be obeyed; and law-officers were strictly prohibited from requiring or accepting presents or remission of debt.

To prevent, if possible, the misfortunes of a disputed succession, it was enacted, in addition to the legislative provision already made, that, failing the heir apparent and his issue, the following noblemen and their heirs should succeed to the throne: First, the Earl of Fife and Monteith; second, Alexander Lord of Badenoch; third, the Earl of Stratherne; and, fourth, Walter, Earl of Athol.

The imbecility of the government of Edward the Third allow ed the Scots some years respite from hostile operations: But the national tranquillity was interrupted by the accession of Richard the Second to the English throne. An affray at Roxburgh, in which a Scottish officer was murdered, was the ostensible cause for commencing hostilities. The Borderers immediately began their incursions, with alternate success and defeat. While commissioners were employed in compromising these differences, their pacific exertions were interrupted by a naval engagement between a small fleet of Scottish, French, and Spanish vessels, and some English merchantmen, which were captured off Scarborough.

It does not appear that there existed then in England a Board for superintending naval operations. The charge of fitting out a squadron to vindicate the honour of the nation, and pu

nish the aggressors, devolved on John Philpot, a merchant of London. The Scots and their allies were defeated and captured; but it is uncertain whether Philpot's successful enterprise. obtained the approbation of his Government.

A. D. While the English and Scottish Governments were pro1378. Ssecuting measures for a pacification, Alexander Ramsay, a Scotsman, with forty companions, assaulted and took the castle of Berwick by surprise. He had cause soon to repent of his temerity. The Governor of the town and his people perceiving the smallness of their number, blockaded the castle. "Are you there?” cried they; "You shall not escape without our permission." The Earl of Northumberland soon invested the town, with an army of ten thousand men,-a force which the Scots deemed prudent to respect; and except Ramsay, who was saved by Lord Percy, none of the garrison escaped from slaughter.

The English army, with augmented numbers, marched into the South of Scotland, and ravaged the country. A detachment of six hundred lancemen and archers, under Muskgrave, fell into an ambuscade of the Scots, commanded by Archibald Douglas; who, wielding a ponderous sword of enormous length, terrified and routed the enemy.


In two years after, another inroad into England was 1380. made by the Scots under Douglas; who, with twenty thousand men, surrounded the town of Penrith by night, pillaged and burned it: But, with their booty, they carried home with them the plague, which then desolated England; and they expiated under that terrible scourge the miseries they had inflicted by the sword.

The Duke of Lancaster advanced to the frontiers of Scotland with a numerous army, with secret instructions to conclude a peace on the best terms he could obtain. A truce was concluded for two years. Lancaster's return home being prevented by an insurrection, headed by the well-known Wat Tyler, he received an invitation from the Scots to reside with his attendants in the castle of Edinburgh; which, as a mark of honour, was conceded, during his stay, for their accommodation.

Notwithstanding that tranquillity was thus apparently established, the Scots, in order to provide for the event of a rupture with England, sent an embassy to the court of France. They obtained the promise of one thousand men at arms, a thousand suits of

armour, and a sum of money, as a compensation for being ready to make war upon England when the affairs of their French allies rendered it necessary..

From accident or design, the truce with England was permitted to expire. A short truce was entered into between the English and the French, in which the Scots were not included. The Duke of Lancaster, conceiving the omission a sufficient reason for commencing hostilities, entered Scotland and advanced to Edinburgh; which he spared, in gratitude for the hospitality he had there recently experienced.

The Scottish nobles, in opposition to the will of their 1384.} Sovereign, took up arms, and, with fifteen thousand cavalry, plundered the Northern counties of England with impunity, and returned home with much booty.

Conformably to the late treaty, the French Monarch despatched de Vienne, Admiral of France, a leader of distinguished military talents, with the stipulated supply of men, money, and arms, into Scotland, with the view of carrying the war into England, and delivering France from the scourge of invasion. Vienne with his battalion, the flower of chivalry, arrived at Leith; but he was greatly shocked with the poverty of the Scots, which everywhere presented itself. The equipments for war being procured from Flanders, were scantily supplied,-even the necessaries of life could be procured. The French smiled, and wished to return 1385. home. In order to afford them employment, a numerous force was prepared to invade England. Thirty thousand men, mounted on small horses, took the field under the command of the Earls of Fife and Douglas; and with their French allies, entered the English territories, captured the castle of Werk, and ravaged the coun try as far as Newcastle: But, learning that Lancaster was approaching with a great army, they retired with their prey into Scotland.

Richard the Second advanced with a mighty army against the Scots. The number of horses employed in this expedition is said to have amounted to three hundred thousand,-which seems greatly exaggerated. The abbey of Melrose, the monasteries of Dryburgh and Newbottle, the city of Edinburgh, with its religious edifices, were successively given to the flames. Unable to meet the enemy in the field, the Scots withdrew to the mountains. Stir

ling was reduced to ashes; Perth and Dundee were destroyed; and, as some affirm, the English vanguard advanced to Aberdeen.

Exasperated by the insulting triumph of the enemy, the Scots entered England by the Western Marches, ravaged Cumberland, and besieged Carlisle. Although the English had provided one hundred and twenty vessels to supply their army with necessaries during their march, they began to feel the pressure of scarcity, and were induced to retrace their steps to defend their country. The Scots, having no inclination to obstruct their retreat or meet them in battle, allowed them to retire unmolested.

A.D. 1388.

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An assembly of the Scottish nobles met at Aberdeen, and agreed to meet with their vassals at Jedburgh, for an expedition into England, in revenge for the late hostile visit of Richard. His weak and impolitic administration incurred the contempt of his subjects. His counsels were distracted; and the Scots, availing themselves of these opportune circumstances, assembled to the number of fifty thousand, under the command of the King's second son, Robert Earl of Fife, and the renowned Earl of Douglas. Of this army, twelve hundred were armed with lances. The rest were ill accoutred and rudely disciplined.

Being informed that the Scots were arraying for a meditated attack on the Northern counties, the Northumbrian chiefs prepared to make reprisals. An English squire was sent in disguise to ascertain what plan of operations the Scots had determined upon. He succeeded in gaining admission into the chapel where the Scottish nobles were publicly deliberating upon their intended operations; but, in retiring, he was suspected and apprehended, and confessed that his countrymen had determined, if the Scots entered England by the Eastern Marches, to make an inroad into Scotland by the Western.

It was immediately resolved, that Douglas, with three hundred men at arms and two thousand chosen infantry, should make a descent upon Northumberland and Durham, while the remainder of the Scottish army should guard against the meditated attack of the enemy.

With the suddenness of a tempest, Douglas penetrated into Durham, and announced his arrival by the flames and smoke of burning villages. His party pillaged the country to the gates of York. The Earl of Northumberland despatched his two sons,

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