Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/310

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Robert the Bruce.

[1316 A.D.-

The opening of the Vatican Records by Pope Leo XIII. to the students of all nations has put it in the power of modern readers to corroborate the accuracy of Hailes's interpretation of the materials at his disposal, and also to add some particulars not in his possession. For instance, copies have been preserved in that repository of Pope John's reiterated exhortations to King Robert that he should hasten to make peace with Edward, so that he (Robert) might be free to undertake another crusade. Then the disputed right of Robert de Brus to the title of King of Scots leads to a lengthy correspondence. First Pope John scolds the Cardinals for not informing him clearly whether King Edward has consented to his addressing Robert as King. As the Pope observes that Robert has assumed the title, he is afraid its omission may hinder the negotiations for peace, therefore he begs King Edward not to be offended if he uses it in his correspondence with Robert. Next, the Pope writes to Robert, explaining why he had omitted the title in former letters, begging him not to take it amiss, for that, in truth, it did not affect the validity of his claim one way or another. Finally he dispatches a letter to Edward, telling him that inasmuch as Robert positively refuses to receive any letters except those addressed to him as King of Scots, he has adopted that style in writing to him and again begs that he will not take it amiss.[1]

King Edward, though very ill prepared for war,

  1. Papal Letters, vol. ii., passim.