Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/283

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1317 A.D.]

England and Ireland Invaded.


Ralph Chilton, a friar, from the King of Scots, expressing his earnest desire for a lasting peace between the two nations, and asking for a safe-conduct for the following commissioners to treat for the same Sir Nigel Campbell, Sir Roger de Kirkpatrick, Sir Robert de Keith, and Sir Gilbert de la Haye. The required passports were made out, and commissioners were appointed to represent England; but although a conference between the two parties actually took place at Dumfries, the proceedings came to nought, probably owing to the refusal of the English commissioners to pay royal honours to the name of King Robert. On November 26th, and again on December 26th, the Archbishop of York wrote to various knights and ecclesiastics, bidding them prepare for fresh invasion, as the negotiations for truce had failed.[1] His prediction was immediately fulfilled, for the Scots once more poured across the Border, and forced the sorely harassed people of Tynedale to do homage to King Robert. No assistance from the central government could be hoped for, because Edward was involved again in strife with his barons, so the English dalesmen were left to organise such resistance as they could under the direction of the warlike Archbishop, and the bishops of Carlisle and Durham. It was not very effective; many were made captives and held to ransom. The county of Cumberland paid 800 marks for a truce to last from Christmas, 1314, to Midsummer Day, 1315.[2] Among the papers in the register of Durham

  1. Raine, 233, 237.
  2. Lanercost, 230.