Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/236

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Robert the Bruce.

[1307 A.D.

forgotten the lessons of Falkirk and Dunbar. He trusted to driving away all cattle and other supplies before the invaders, and so rendering it impossible for them to exist in what had become practically a desert. Edward's spies brought him news that the King of Scots was encamped on a moor near Stirling, but the English were unable to persevere, and went into winter quarters at Berwick.

Negotiations were set on foot; a meeting took place at Selkirk before Christmas between King Robert and Sir Robert de Clifford and Sir Robert Fitzpain, and a further interview was fixed, to be held near Melrose. At this the English were to have been represented by the Earl of Gloucester, and Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, but Bruce, being warned that treachery was intended, avoided the meeting.

Cornwall was now Warden north of the Forth, and remained at Perth till April, 1311, when his place was taken by Sir Henry de Percy. King Edward, constantly wrangling with his barons, lingered at Berwick till the end of July, when he went reluctantly to London to meet the Parliament he had delayed so long to summon. He left behind him the Bishop of St. Andrews, to conduct negotiations with the King of Scots as opportunity might arise.[1] When Parliament met, the barons showed themselves far more deeply incensed against the Earl of Cornwall than against Robert de Brus. Sentence of perpetual exile was pronounced on the detested Gascon, and the Archbishop of Canterbury threatened with

  1. Bain, iii., 46.