Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/34

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4
Introduction.

Chronicle of Lanercost. It contains a general history of the affairs of England and Scotland, with occasional references to events on the continent of Europe, from 1201 to 1346. In the only manuscript thereof known to exist, this chronicle is appended without any break to the annals of Roger de Hoveden, and appears to have been compiled, not, as was once supposed, in the Priory of Lanercost, but in a place much more favourable for observation of the course of the Scottish war, namely, in the Monastery of Minorite Friars at Carlisle. It is unnecessary to recapitulate the evidence of this, which will be found fully set forth by Mr. Joseph Stevenson in the introduction to his edition of this chronicle, printed for the Maitland Club in 1839. But his view enhances very much the value of the chronicle as an authority on the Scottish war, of which a brother of the Franciscan order, while able to testify as an eyewitness to events in that oft-beleaguered city, Carlisle, would also receive direct and constant accounts from his brethren in the monasteries of Berwick, Dumfries, and Dundee. Hence the value of this history in dealing with the War of Independence, though allowance must be made sometimes for the bitter resentment which the English friar must have had good reason for cherishing against the Scots.

The other work referred to as deserving special attention, though not exactly contemporary, has the peculiar merit of having been written by a layman and a soldier. Sir Thomas Gray of Heton, besides taking part in the public affairs of the reign of Edward III., was the son of that Sir Thomas Gray who