Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/101

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1296 A.D.]

The Reign of John de Balliol.


long, so he sagaciously set about cultivating the friendship of Edward's foe.

De Balliol paid no attention to Edward's summons. The secret treaty with Philip must have come to Edward's ears before its publication on October 23, 1295, for on the 16th orders were issued for the seizure of all de Balliol's lands and goods in England, as well as those of all Scotsmen who remained in Scotland.[1] De Balliol, strong in the sense of his offensive and defensive alliance with the King of France, at last threw down the gauntlet to Edward. He wrote, in October, 1295, complaining of the injuries inflicted on his subjects, the violent occupation of his castles and possessions, the slaughter and imprisonment of the merchants and other men of his realm; wherefore he renounced the homage "extorted from him by violence."[2] No doubt this was technically an act of rebellion, for both de Balliol and his barons had sworn fealty to the King of England. The "violence" referred to could only mean Edward's display of force at the conference of Upsettlington.

Both countries now prepared for war. On March 14, 1296, King Edward received the homage of the Earl of Lennox and ninety others, landowners in Scotland. Robert de Brus, the Competitor, was dead, having departed from this stormy scene, a very old man, before May, 1295;[3] but Edward had,

  1. Bain, ii., 166.
  2. Ibid., 167.
  3. Ibid., 164.