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Henry, surnamed Hotspur, and Ralph, in quest of the Scots, while he himself should collect a force to intercept their retreat. In one of the many skirmishes that ensued, Douglas won the pennon of Henry Percy; and vauntingly exclaimed, "This I shall carry as a sign of my prowess into Scotland, and place it on the pinnacle of my castle, to be known by all!" Percy, incensed, retorted with an oath, "Thou shalt never bear it out of Northumberland !"

The Scots had retreated northward as far as Otterburn, when they were overtaken by Percy, attended by six hundred lances, and eight thousand infantry armed with long-bows. They approached the Scots in the twilight, and instantly raised the shout of "Percy, Percy!" Meantime, the Scottish chiefs armed in haste; and, perceiving by moonlight the position and numbers of their foes, they silently turned around an eminence, and raising the shout of" Douglas, Douglas !" assailed the English in the rear. A well-disputed contest ensued. The Scots were ready to give way; when Douglas, brandishing a two-handed battle-axe, opened an avenue through the thick files of the enemy, trusting to the temper of his armour, and despising the numerous blows he received. He had advanced too far from his battalions to receive their support, and fell under three mortal wounds. His followers, ignorant of his fate, and animated by his valour, made an irresistible onset; when the obstinate courage of the English began to a bate. At that moment, the younger Percy was wounded and made prisoner. Some Scottish knights penetrated to the spot where lay their gallant chief, defended by his chaplain, and his banner prostrated on the ground. "Raise again my banner!” said the dying hero: "Shout Douglas !' Avenge me, for I die." His banner was elevated; the field resounded with his name; and the Scots, forming one phalanx, with levelled spears, routed the enemy. The defeat was complete; the elder Percy was taken prisoner; and the English were almost all slain or taken. Douglas lived. but to hear of his countrymen's success. He was interred beneath the high altar in Melrose abbey.

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The Convention of Estates appointed the Earl of Fife, the King's second son, to the office of Regent. By consenting to this act, Robert virtually abdicated his throne. A truce for a short period was negotiated between England and France, in. which Scotland was included.

A.D. 1390.


Robert died at his castle of Dundonald; in the seventyfifth year of his age, and the nineteenth of his reign. He appears to have been a prince of a pacific disposition; the chief aim of his government being to maintain peace with England; to secure which, he renewed the old league with France, deeming it necessary policy for the weaker powers to unite against the strong.


Robert the Third. Domestic policy. Chivalry. Tournaments. Preten sions of the English. They invade Scotland. Factions-civil policy of the Regent Albany. Battle of Homeldon. Prince James captured by the English. Death of Robert.


ROBERT the THIRD.-John, the eldest son of the late 1390. Monarch, assumed the government. But his name being deemed inauspicious, it was changed to Robert,- -a name associat ed with many proud recollections by the Scots. When the new Sovereign began his reign, he was turned of fifty, of a gentle dis position, and inoffensive manners, but defective in political e nergy, the consequence probably of the recent elevation of his family to the throne. Accustomed to regard the nobles as bro thers and equals, he feared or was unable to restrain their untractable spirit, and execute the laws with vigour. Before his coronation, his fourth brother, Alexander, surnamed for his ra vages the Wolf of Badenoch, spread devastation through Mo ray. Having been excommunicated by the Bishop of that diocese, he, in revenge, burned the towns of Forres and Elgin, with the church of St Giles and the cathedral, esteemed one of the chief ornaments in the country. It would seem that this outrage passed unnoticed by the Government. The marauder made his peace with the church, and even procured a niche for his recumbent statue in the cathedral church of Dunkeld, where it still remains.

After his coronation at Scone, he intrusted the government to his brother the Earl of Fife; who, for the first eight years of his reign, succeeded in maintaining peace with England and France. But to maintain domestic tranquillity was a more arduous task, from the inveterate feuds that prevailed in the kingdom, especial in the Highland districts. Duncan Stewart, the King's 1392.) nephew, with a band of three hundred retainers, made a

descent upon Strathmore, and plundered the country as far as the Stormont. There they were attacked by the Sheriff of Angus, assisted by Sir David Lindsay; who were defeated with the loss of sixty men.

These disgraceful insults to the laws were not visited with merited punishment; and when the Government seriously resolved to interfere, a mode of chastisement was adopted dictated by a rude policy and irreconcileable to justice. The rival clans of Kay and Quhele were the most refractory of the Northern septs. It was proposed and agreed to, that thirty should be selected from each of the hostile parties, and finally decide their disputes before the King and the court in the vicinity of Perth. A fierce conflict with bows, battle-axes, swords, and daggers, ensued. Of the Kays, only one, a mercenary, who had entered the combat for a bribe, escaped, by swimming across the river Tay; while eleven of A.D. the opposing clan kept the field. In this inhuman combat, 1396. the most turbulent leaders of both parties were slain..

At this period, the spirit of chivalry predominated in Scotland, as well as in England. Lindsay Earl of Crawford had made a prominent figure in the splendid tournaments of Richard the Second; and now Morley, an English gentleman, came to Scotland to challenge combats. Prince David, by the Queen's command, A.D. appeared as the leader of a tournament at Edinburgh. 1398. About the same period, and conformably to the prevailing spirit, the title of Duke was first introduced into Scotland: The heir apparent was dubbed Duke of Rothsay, then a miserable hamlet in the isle of Bute. The Earl of Fife assumed the title of Duke of Albany.

Richard of England was dethroned by the Earl of Lancaster, who successfully usurped the English throne. The Scottish Borderers availed themselves of the opportunity offered by these domestic troubles to make an inroad into England; fired the castle of Werk, and wasted the adjacent country. A repetition of similar insults compelled the English Monarch to deliberate on the A.D. | most eligible means of retaliation. The Lord of the Isles 1400, S was induced to make an alliance with England, which he visited with a hundred horse: The Scots were obliged to endure an insult which they could not revenge.

Henry the Fourth resolved to send an army into Scotland; being the last invasion conducted by an English monarch in person,

The Earl of March, enraged by an insult received from the Scottish Government, swore fealty to Henry; who granted a pension to his lady and his heirs. Upon his arriving at the Borders, Henry despatched an order to the Scottish King, the prelates, and the nobles, to meet him at Edinburgh, and pay him homage as Lord Paramount. In answer to this mandate, the Scots composed a pitiful ballad, in which the arrogant claim of the English Monarch was ridiculed in the most ludicrous terms. The invaders advanced to Edinburgh, and repeatedly assailed the castle without success. Albany collected a numerous force, with which he boasted he should drive the invader from the kingdom; but this bravado was followed by no active operations.

The moderation and clemency of Henry during this invasion merit the highest eulogium: The towns that submitted on his approach he saved from being plundered; and no instance of wanton cruelty is recorded to have been committed. A threatened insurrection in England induced the invaders to retire.

An unhappy difference existed, and gradually increased, be tween the Dukes of Albany and Rothsay. The former was ambitious and artful, and conceived the most criminal projects: The lat ter was of an amorous disposition, and fond of riotous pastime ; but was possessed of a comely person, an affable disposition, and a vi gorous mind. Albany, by his intrigues and malicious insinuations, had alienated the affections of the King from his son; the Queen, however, had the prudence to interpose; and, to overthrow the criminal ambition of Albany, she proposed that the Prince should marry.

Alarmed at a measure he durst not openly oppose, the Regent involved the King and the Prince in a quarrel with the Earl of March. To gratify his avarice, he invited the Scottish nobles to purchase an alliance with the Royal Family: The Earl of March, being the highest bidder, was preferred; his daughter was affianced to Rothsay, and the purchase-money was paid. A new alliance was proposed by the potent Earl of Douglas, who offered a higher price; which was unjustly accepted. So flagrant a dishonour and breach of promise could not be compromised, and March rebelled against his Sovereign. His castle at Dunbar was reduced by Douglas. Being joined by Percy, he made an irruption into Scotland, but was chased by Douglas into England.

In a Parliament held at Scone, many excellent statutes were enacted, which evince the wisdom and humanity of Robert, while they depict the licentiousness of the times.

Albany's ambition and cruelty were fully developed in the murder of the Duke of Rothsay,-an event which dooms the murderer to infamy, and stains the character of Robert's administration. It was represented to the credulous Monarch, that a temporary confinement was necessary to restrain the amorous Prince from his criminal excesses. An order to that end was signed by the King. Albany availed himself of it, and procured the confinement of his victim in Falkland castle; where he was starved to death. He was privately interred at Lindores. A mock 1402. examination in Parliament ensued; the innocence of Albany was apparently established; and an instrument of remission was granted by the unsuspicious Sovereign.


A variety of petty incursions were made into England, with various success. Engaged in crushing a rebellion in Wales, Henry left the protection of the Northern counties to the valour of the Wardens. Of these irruptions, that which led to the battle of Homeldon was the most remarkable. The Earl of Douglas, assisted by Murdac, Albany's son, entered England with an army of ten thou- · sand men, and carried terror and devastation to the walls of Newcastle. This temerity was speedily chastised. The Earl of Northumberland, his son, the renowned Hotspur, and the Earl of March, collected their vassals, and speedily overtook the Scots at Homeldon hill. The position of the Scots was judiciously selected; but the English being indisposed to come to close combat, kept at a distance, as they were inferior to the Scots in the use of the spear. In all ages the English bow had been the instrument of victory; on this occasion it decided the fate of the day. The English archers poured a dreadful shower of arrows, none of which descended without execution, among the Scots; who were drawn up on the face of a hill, and presented a solid mass to the skilful bowmen. Swinton and Gordon, two spirited knights, impatient at the slaughter of their countrymen, rushed down the hill with a hundred followers; and, with desperate courage, fought and perished.

Douglas, when too late, led his men to the attack. Their ardour had abated;—another shower of arrows routed and slaughtered the fugitives. Douglas himself was taken prisoner, after being

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