Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/99

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1296 A.D.]
The Reign of John de Balliol.

On January 2, 1293, King John issued letters patent, releasing King Edward from all writings, agreements, promises, obligations, and penalties entered into during the time that the realm of Scotland was in his hands. It is notable that neither the seal of de Brus of Annandale, nor that of his son the Earl of Carrick, is to be found among those of the Earls of Buchan, March, Angus, and Athol, John Comyn of Badenoch, and many others appended to this document.

In depositing this instrument in Westminster, Edward executed a notarial protest, the tenour of which soon brought about a strain on the unworkable relations between the two Kings. It was to the effect that the King of England was not to be hindered by any interim promises already made from doing justice in appeals brought before his Court from Scotland.[1] Consequently, in October of the first year of John's reign, proceedings were taken at Westminster on the appeal of Macduff, descended of a former Earl of Fife, against the judgment of the Bishop of St. Andrews, by which he had been dispossessed. There was also appeal made in another case, that of a burgess of Berwick. Further, on April 2, 1294, King Edward, as Overlord of Scotland, required his "beloved and faithful"[2] John, King of Scotland, to appear at Westminster to answer to the claim of John Mazun, a merchant of Gascony, for wines, etc.,

  1. Bain, ii., 155.
  2. Ibid., 160. "Beloved" was an afterthought; "magnifico principi"—magnificent prince—was written first, scored out, and "dilecto" substituted.