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Chronicle of Lanercost1
LOSE siege, therefore, was laid to the castle: those inside were surrounded by a deep trench, so that they could not get out; wooden houses were constructed before the gate, and pavilions or tents were set up for the lodging of the chief persons in the army. Meanwhile it happened that Sir John de Stirling, warden of Edinburgh Castle, going forth with the intention of lifting some booty, was captured by craft by Sir William de Douglas and a large party which he had brought with him; [Stirling] himself and two or three knights and about twenty men at arms [being captured], of whom some were killed and some were taken alive and brought to Edinburgh Castle by William de Douglas and his people. When they arrived there, William summoned the castle to surrender, promising faithfully if those within would do so that both Sir John whom they had captured and all those who were outside the castle with him, as well as all those within the castle, should preserve life and limb and all their goods, and a safe-conduct to go whither they would; but that if they refused to do so, he declared that he would cause Sir John to be drawn there at the tails of horses, and afterwards to be hanged on gallows before the gate, and all those who were prisoners there with him to be beheaded before their eyes. But those who were within made reasonable and conciliatory reply, saying that that castle was a fortress of the King of England, and that, let what might befal Sir John and the others with him, they would not surrender it to Douglas or any other living man unless at the king's command. When William heard this, he did not carry his threat into effect, but sent all those prisoners to Dunbarton Castle, because there was no other good castle in possession of the Scots at that time fo. 230 except that and Carlaverock Castle, belonging to the traitor Sir
Eustace de Maxwell, who afterwards killed the knight Sir Robert de Lauder, the most intelligent man among the Scots.
1 See Scottish Historical Review, vi. 13, 174, 281, 383; vii. 56, 160, 271, 377; viii. 22, 159, 276, 377; ix. 69, 159, 278, 390.
When my lord William de Montagu who was besieging Dunbar Castle, heard of these events, he took a strong force and came to Edinburgh, appointed another warden of the castle with a sufficient garrison to hold and defend it, and then he returned with his men to the siege of [Dunbar] Castle.
In the following Lent1 Sir Andrew de Moray, Guardian of Scotland, died in his bed of dysentery, as some say; others, however, declared that he mounted an unbroken colt which threw him from the saddle, that one of his feet caught in the stirrup, and thus he was dragged by his foot and leg to death. The Steward of Scotland was chosen Guardian in his place.
Dunbar Castle held out stoutly and made a gallant defence, in despite of the close siege; and whereas the Countess of Dunbar, who was in chief command of the castle, was sister of the Earl of Moray, he had been taken in Scotland, carried off to Nottingham Castle in England, and there placed in ward, as mentioned above, [to await] the King of England's pleasure.
In the same year my lord Pope Benedictus XII. commanded that twelve wise and discreet friars of the Order of Minorites, should be chosen to regulate discipline, together with the cardinals, certain bishops and masters of theology; which was done accordingly. The constitution having been considered approved, my lord the Pope placed them in a bull, and sent them in the bull to the Captain General that they should be scrupulously observed throughout the whole Order; howbeit he willed not that the rule of the Friars nor their other constitutions should be modified in any respect. Now the said bull contained nine-and-twenty minor chapters, wherein, among other things, it is provided that the custodians and wardens of the said Order shall be canonically elected.
After Easter the said Earl [of Moray] was taken back to Scotland, on the chance that his sister would surrender her castle in order to save his life; but she replied that the castle A.D. 1338. belonged to her lord and had been committed to her custody, nor would she surrender it except at his command; and when the besiegers told her that then her brother should die, she answered them If ye do that, then shall I be heir to the earldom of Moray,' for her brother had no children. Howbeit the English would not do what they had threatened, but [decided] 2" Black Agnes." 12th April.
125th Feb.-12th April, 1338.
The true date was in November, 1336.
rather to take him back to England and keep him in ward, as before.
Forasmuch as the King of France refused to agree to any good and reasonable terms of peace, the King of England directed his journey to France, and undertook himself a campaign with the aforesaid nobles in his pay. He took with him from England a great army of helmed men, archers and spearmen, in addition to those whom he had sent already with my lord William Earl of Northampton, which, as was commonly said, amounted in all to
When the Scots perceived that the King of England was preparing himself to make war against the King of France, they besought a truce from him, and truce was granted them by the king to last a year from the next feast of S. Michael, provided, however, that if the King of England at any time within that term should feel dissatisfied with the truce granted, he might break it at his pleasure. But whereas the king, as aforesaid, determined to cross the sea, my lord William de Montagu and the other earls engaged with him in besieging the said castle of Dunbar, being unwilling that he should incur any danger without them, whom he had promoted to such high rank, granted truce to those within the castle, on condition that during the truce no change should be effected either around the castle, within the castle, nor in the buildings built by the English outside (albeit this condition was not afterwards observed); and so they returned to the king in England.
The king embarked with the aforesaid army at Portsmouth, about the middle of the month of July, a little before the feast of S. Mary Magdalene1 in the year of the Lord aforesaid. Also the lady Queen of England went with him, in order that she might have intercourse with her kindred and friends beyond the sea. After the king had crossed, the Flemings left the King of France and adhered to him.
Shortly after the departure of the King of England across the sea, the King of Scotland2 entered Scotland with a small following, the truce granted to the Scots notwithstanding, and there remained for some time at Perth.
[Here follows Edward III.'s letter to the Court of Rome, the people of France, etc., setting forth his complaint against King Philip, etc.
122nd July. The actual date was 16th July, and the port of embarkation was Orwell, not Portsmouth (Federa).
2 Edward Balliol.
It is printed in Fœdera as if issued on 7th or 8th February, 1340, but Father Stevenson observes that the Lanercost chronicler is probably right in assigning it to a date (not mentioned in the chronicle) soon after King Edward's arrival in Flanders. The original draft was destroyed by fire among some of the Cottonian MSS.]
In the year of the Lord one thousand three hundred and thirty [ Edward the third after the Conquest, King of England, crossed the sea against the King of France, [having] with him Queen Philippa, the Earls of Derby, Northampton and Salisbury, and a large army. He landed at Antwerp, where he did not meet such good faith among his German allies as the Germans had promised to his envoys; but he remained there a year and more, exposed, with his people, to great dangers and at excessive cost, accomplishing nothing of importance except that he travelled to [visit] the Duke of Bavaria, by whom he was received with honour. After a conference had been held, he was appointed Vicar of the Empire.3
When Pope Benedictus XII. heard thereof he wrote to him a letter of rebuke for having made a treaty with the enemies of the Church, in the following terms.
[Here follow the Pope's letters dated from Avignon, according to the chronicler, 1st November, 23rd December, 1338, 12th October, 1339; but there is considerable confusion in the chronology of this part of the Annals, and the dates do not correspond with those given in Fadera, where these letters may be found. However, the exact sequence of the correspondence is not of much moment. The Pope remonstrates with King Edward for entering into alliance with the Emperor, who is excommunicated, for his proceedings against the Bishop of Cambrai, for assuming the title of Vicar of the Empire. He denies that he granted the tenths to the King of France to aid him against the King of England, and offers to mediate in person between the two kings.]
The King of England sent to the said Pope by his ambassadors a letter justifying his alliance and declaring his just dealing with the realm of France. During the king's absence two cardinals, accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham, crossed the sea to promote the peace of the kings and their kingdoms. Having endured many hardships and perils,
1 Blank in original. This passage seems to be taken from another chronicle. 2 The Emperor Louis.
3 Walsingham (i. 223) states that Louis desired that Edward should kiss his foot on appointment, but that Edward refused, on the ground that he was an anointed king.
even under protection of the aforesaid cardinals, and having suffered from famine while remaining in Paris and Arras until the month of November, without effecting anything towards the peace of the kings and their kingdoms, they returned to the King of England in Brabant.
In the year of the Lord one thousand three hundred and thirty while the king was in Brabant, the Scottish leaders broke the truce they had accepted, inflicting much injury A.D. 1339. both by sea and land upon the English and their confederates in Scotland.
Early in July, Cupar Castle and the county of Fife were surrendered to William de Douglas, who had returned France to Scotland with a strong armed force. Thence the aforesaid William marched to Perth with Earl Patrick and French mercenaries, laid siege thereto, and within five weeks, without much fighting, received the surrender of that town from its governor, to wit, Sir Thomas de Houghteryth. After the surrender, taking with them the booty obtained there, they embarked on the sea with a company of both French and Scots, and perished in a sudden storm which arose at sea.
In the same year, on the third day before the feast of the Assumption of the Glorious Virgin, a marvellous flood came down by night upon Newcastle-on-Tyne, which
broke down the town-wall at Walkenow for a distance of six perches, where 160 men, with seven priests and others, were drowned.
At the same time the King of England (the Duke of Brabant3 having left him), invaded the realm of France at the end of September with a large army, and carrying his arms against the district of Cambrai, he caused it to be burnt. On the feast of S. Michael he entered Vermandois, where he had been informed the King of France was lying with his army, intending to give him battle. And on the appointed day of battle, to wit the morrow of S. Luke the Evangelist," the King of England, having been assured that the King of France was willing to fight, took up his appointed position, distant about two leagues from the King of France, and waited there a whole day. But as the
1 Blank in original.
3 The chronicler names the Duke of Bavaria, but that is evidently wrong. The Emperor Louis was Duke of Bavaria. Brabant, however, did not desert Edward.
5 19th October.