Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/245

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1314 A.D.]

The Battle of Bannockburn.


shouts of "Douglas! Douglas!" The governor, Sir William de Fiennes, a knight of Gascony, was in the keep, and held it all the next day; but having been severely wounded in the face, he surrendered on condition of being allowed to march out with the honours of war and pass into England. He died of his wound not long afterwards. The loss of this castle was a serious one to England, for it commanded Teviotdale and upper Tweeddale; but Bruce, as usual, "tumlit" it to the ground.

The King's sister, Maria de Brus, who had been imprisoned in Roxburgh Castle in 1306, was no longer there when it was taken. Edward II. had signed a warrant for her exchange for Walter Comyn in March, 1310, and another in February, 1312, for her exchange for Sir Richard de Moubray, but neither transaction had been carried into effect, for she was still in prison at Newcastle in November, 1313.[1]

During this same season of Lent, Thomas Randolph, having made peace with his uncle King Robert, was blockading Edinburgh Castle. One William François told him of a place on the north wall, where, while living as a youth with his father in the castle, he used to find his way out at night to visit a girl in the town. All that was wanted at this point was a ladder twelve feet long, to give access over the wall from the top of a pathway up the crags. Up this path François guided Randolph, Sir Andrew Gray, and a picked band; it is prettily told by Barbour how they managed the perilous ascent; how

  1. Bain, iii., 66.