Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/381

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1328 A.D.]

Campaign of Weardale.


person, and careered unchecked through parts of Northumberland and Durham, seeking what they might devour, which, by this time, must have been little enough. The natives of this district, left to their own resources, bought a truce to last till Pentecost, 1328.

Moray and Douglas drew off from Alnwick, finding it too strong for them, and joined their forces to those lying near Berwick. No sooner did he see the country clear of Scots, than Henry de Percy rode forth on a foray in Teviotdale. Hearing of this, Douglas determined to intercept him on his return, and barred the road to Alnwick. Percy, however, by a night march managed to avoid him, and made good his return to his own castle.[1]

By this short autumn campaign the long series of the Bruce's victories was brought to a close.

The English Parliament had been summoned to meet at Lincoln to take measures for carrying on the Scottish war. But the military resources of England were at a low ebb; funds were not forthcoming even to pay the foreign auxiliaries in the late campaign in Weardale. Moreover, the barons were quarrelling among themselves, and the authority of the young monarch, who was under the management of his mother and Mortimer, was far from secure. The debates in Parliament took a turn which can have been little expected in Scotland, and it was

  1. Sir Thomas Gray, who, as a Northumberland knight and a near neighbour to Percy, must have known all about this affair, presents it in the light of a rout rather than a forced march—"taunt estoient lez Engles mescharnis en le hour de guer" (Scalacronica, 155).