Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/150

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Robert the Bruce.

[1299 A.D.-

King on the same day to the Earl of Carrick, applauding his diligence in hunting the patriot, and urging him earnestly "as the cloak is well made, so also to make the hood."[1]

Edward held a Parliament at St. Andrews in mid-Lent, 1304, where the Earl of Carrick and the Bishop of Glasgow attended, after which the siege of Stirling was begun in earnest. The King wrote to the Prince of Wales, directing him to strip lead from all the churches near Perth and Dunblane, taking care not to uncover the roofs over the altars,[2] It is no more than fair to add that the war material thus appropriated was scrupulously paid for at a subsequent date.

Robert de Brus "le viel," Lord of Annandale, died about this time, and the Earl of Carrick went to London and Essex to look after his succession and collect his rents. Of the latter, he wrote to the King at the beginning of April to say that he had not succeeded in getting a penny. But besides his private affairs, de Brus, from prudential motives, was diligent in the King's service—none more so; and on April 16th Edward wrote thanking him for sending siege engines to Stirling. On May 1st orders were issued from Stirling for inquisitions on the Earl's lands in Essex, Huntingdon, and Middlesex,[3] after which, on June 14th, de Brus, having done homage

  1. Bain, ii., 383.
  2. Stevenson, ii., 481.
  3. Bain, ii., 400. There is a warning in these inquisitions against too implicit reliance on early documents. Bruce's age is variously stated therein at 22, 28, and 30 years. He was, in fact, just under 28.