Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/340

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Robert the Bruce.

[1319 A.D.-

and joined Douglas as a volunteer. De Cobham was reputed the best knight of his day in England, and his position was almost impregnable from attack in front. Great stones were rolled down the slopes, making havoc in the Scottish ranks, and the English archers kept up a hot fire. It seemed to King Robert that Douglas had undertaken something beyond his strength; so he sent forward the Highlanders and Islesmen to his support. These active fellows scaled the crags on either side of the pass, meaning to take de Cobham on the flanks. But on arriving at the top, they found themselves face to face with the main body under Richmond. Without a moment's hesitation the Highlanders formed for the attack, and charged the English so impetuously that these broke and fled. It was a wonderful performance, and one not easily to be understood by those who know of what stuff English soldiers are made. Sir Thomas Gray describes his countrymen as behaving before the Scots like hares before greyhounds.[1]

Richmond was taken prisoner, and with him Henri de Sully, Grand Butler of France, and other French knights of renown. King Edward escaped to York, but all his baggage fell into the hands of the victors. Walter the Steward pursued him as far as the gates of York, and waited there till the evening, to see if any would come out and do battle with him; but he waited in vain; none would take up his challenge.

When Richmond was brought before him, the

  1. Com du leuer deuant leuereres.—Scalacronica, 150.