Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
1286 A.D.]
The Making of Scotland.

Henry for his English earldom if not for his dominion of Lothian. When he left the English Court in 1124 to set up his own Court as King of Lothian and Strathclyde, he brought with him many young Norman knights, his friends, among whom came, as has been shown, Robert de Brus, on whom the lordship of Annandale had been bestowed. This well-known name is appended to the foundation charter granted by David in 1113 to the monastery of Selkirk. It is one of twenty-eight signatures, of which no fewer than eleven are those of Norman witnesses, amid nine Saxon, one Celtic, and those of the Bishop of Glasgow, three chaplains, and Queen Matilda, besides King David's son Henry, and his nephew William.

When Alexander the Fierce died in 1124, David's government of southern Scotland had been entirely remodelled on the feudal pattern; the greater part of the soil was held in fief by Norman barons, and as much as possible had been done to make the people forget that there was any real difference between them and the subjects of King Henry.

As soon as David succeeded his brother Alexander on the throne of Scotland proper, he set on foot similar reforms there also. The ancient constitution of the Seven Earls was superseded, as the tenour of David's charters proves, to make place for a feudal scheme of "bishops, abbots, earls, sheriffs, barons, governors, and officers, and all the good men of the whole land, Norman, English, and Scots." He still did fealty to Henry for his territory in Lothian, but north of the Firths David was absolute monarch of