Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 17.djvu/58

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Edward III
Edward III
52

subsidy in case of war. On 1 May 1330 negotiations were concluded at Bois-de-Vincennes, but the question of the nature of the homage was left unsettled by Edward (Fœdera, ii. 791), who was summoned to do liege homage on 29 July and did not attend (ib. p. 797). When, however, he became his own master, he adopted a wiser policy, and on 31 March 1331 acknowledged that he held the duchy of Guyenne and the county of Ponthieu by liege homage as a peer of France (ib. p. 813). On Mortimer's downfall he appointed two of the Lancastrian party as his chief ministers, Archbishop Melton as treasurer, and Stratford as chancellor. He now crossed to France with Stratford and a few companions disguised as merchants, pretending, as he caused to be proclaimed in London, that he was about to perform a vow (ib, p. 815), for he feared that his people would believe, as in fact they did, that he was gone to do liege homage (Hemingburgh, ii. 303). He embarked on 4 April. While he was in France Philip accepted his acknowledgment as to the homage, and promised to restore Saintes and to pay damages (ib. p. 816). Edward returned on the 20th, and celeorated his return by tournaments at Dartford in Kent and in Cheapside (Avesbury, p. 10). The restitution of Agenois, however, remained unsettled, and in the parliament of 30 Sept. the chancellor asked the estates whether the matter should be settled by war or negotiation, and they declared for negotiation (Rot. Parl. ii. 61). The king was advised to visit Ireland, where the royal interest had begun to decline, but the matter was deferred. Lawlessness had broken out in the northern counties, and he had to take active measures against some outlaws who had seized and put to ransom his chief justice. Sir Richard Willoughby, near Grantham (Knighton, c. 2559). Early in 1332 he invited Flemish weavers to settle in England in order to teach the manufacture of fine cloth; for the prosperity of the kingdom largely depended on its wool, and the crown drew much revenue from the trade in it. The foreign workmen were at first regarded with much dislike, but the king protected them, and they greatly improved the woollen manufacture. Edward received an invitation from Philip to join him in a crusade, and though willing to agree put the matter off for three years at the request of the parliament which met 16 March. On 25 June he laid a tallage on his demesne. In order to avoid this unconstitutional measure the parliament of 9 Sept. granted him a subsidy, and in return he recalled his order and promised not to levy tallage save as his ancestors had done and according to his right (Rot. Parl. ii. 66). Meanwhile Lord Beaumont brought Edward Baliol [q . v.] to England, and Baliol offered to do the king homage if he would place him on the Scottish throne. Edward refused, and even ordered that he and his party should be prevented from crossing the marches, declaring that he would respect the treaty of Northampton (Fœdera, ii. 843), for he was bound to pay 20,000l. to the pope if he broke it. Nevertheless he dealt subtly. Baliol was crowned on 24 Sept. in opposition to the young king David II, and on 23 Nov. declared at Roxburgh that he owed his crown to the help given him by Edward's subjects and allowed by Edward, and that he was his liegeman, and promised him the town of Berwick, and offered to marry his sister Joan, David's queen (ib. p. 847). Edward summoned a parliament to meet at York on 4 Dec. to advise him what policy he should pursue; few attended, and it was adjourned to 20 Jan. Meanwhile Baliol lost his kingdom and fled into England.

The parliament advised Edward to write to the pope and the French king, declaring that the Scots had broken the treaty. This they seem actually to have done on 21 March by a raid on Gilsland in Cumberland (Hemingburgh, ii. 307). The raid was revenged; Sir William Douglas was taken, and Edward, who was then at Pontefract waiting for his army to assemble, ordered that he should be kept in fetters (Fœdera, ii. 856). On 23 April Edward laid siege to Berwick. The garrison promised to surrender if not relieved by a certain day, and gave hostages. Sir Archibald Douglas attempted to relieve the town, and some of his men entered it; he then led his force to plunder Northumberland. The garrison refused to surrender on the ground that they had received succour, and Edward hanged one of the hostages, the son of Sir Thomas Seton, before the town (Bridlington, p. 113; Fordun, iv. 1022; Hailes, iii. 96 sq.) Douglas now recrossed the Tweed, came to the relief of Berwick, and encamped at Dunsepark on 18 July. Edward occupied Halidon Hill, to the west of the town, his army was in great danger, and was hemmed in by the sea, the Tweed, the garrison of Berwick, and the Scottish host, which far outnumbered the English (Hemingburgh, ii. 309). On the 20th he drew up his men in four battles, placing his archers on the wings of each; all fought on foot, and he himself in the van. The English archers began the fight; the Scots fell in great numbers, and others fled; the rest charged up the hill and engaged the enemy