Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/302

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Robert the Bruce.

[1316 A.D.-

de Valence, having failed in administering the ward enry of the northern counties, had been superseded, in part at least, by the appointment of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, on August 8, 1315.[1] A great muster of English troops had been ordered by Lancaster to take place at Newcastle on June 24, 1316, but this had been postponed by royal warrant till September 10th, thus enabling the Scots to raid Richmond and Furness, as described in a former chapter. Circumstances interfered with the September muster also, and once more action was deferred till October. By that time the King of Scots had sailed for Ireland, and Richard de Kellow, the gallant Bishop of Durham, was dead. His successor was a Frenchman, Ludovic de Belmont, whom the Pope, as it was said, appointed to the see on condition that he should defend the Marches against the Scots. The chronicler of Lanercost, professionally summing up the new bishop's qualifications, describes him as "wellborn, but lame on both legs, hospitable notwithstanding, and of a merry disposition."

The English army assembled according to orders at Newcastle after Michaelmas, but King Edward failed to appear to take command. Men said he could not brook any intercourse with the Earl of Lancaster, so the troops were disbanded. The Earl of Arundel, however, being advised by spies that it was a propitious time for a raid on the Marches, en-

    There is ample documentary proof that Lorn was Edward II.'s admiral on the west coast, and continued to serve as such till he returned to London in 1317, worn out and about to die, leaving his kinsman, Sir Dougall Macdouall of Galloway, his executor.—Bain, iii., 80.

  1. Rotuli Scotiæ, i., 149.