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Margaret of Norway, queen of Scotland, dies Oct. 7. No less than thirteen different parties laid claim to the throne of Scotland when it became vacant by the death of the Maid of Norway. Contrary to all received notions of inheritance, one of these was her father, Eric of Norway; Florence, count of Holland, was a second, but his claim was withdrawn. Among the other competitors, only three need be named; these were, John Baliol, lord of Galloway, Robert Bruce, earl of Annandale, and John Hastings, lord of Abergavenny, and seneschal of Aquitaine; they were all descended from David, earl of Huntingdon, the younger brother of Malcolm IV. and William the Lion, and grandson of David I.


Arms of Scotland.

Balio was the grandson of Margaret, the eldest daughter; Bruce, the son of Isabel, the second daughter; Hastings, the grandson of Ada, the third daughter. Hastings desired a share only of the kingdom, but as the state was wisely held by all parties to be indivisible, his claims were at once negatived, and the competitors reduced in reality to two, John Baliol and Robert Bruce. The states of the kingdom had not the courage to decide between them, and in an evil hour for their country they resolved to appeal to the judgment of the king of England, as their only resource for avoiding a civil war.

John Comyn, earl of Badenoch (afterwards killed by Bruce), another of the competitors, was the son of Marjory, a younger daughter of Margaret.

A.D. 1291. The Crusades are brought to a close by the capture of Acre, and the few other strongholds of the Christians on the Syrian coast.

The disputed succession to the crown of Scotland is referred to the king of England for his decision.

He repairs to Norham, on the banks of the Tweed, with a large army, and as a first step claims to be acknowledged "sovereign lord of the land of Scotland"," May 10, which is conceded to him, after long debate, by letters patent under the hands of nine of the competitors, June 5; he also claims the royal castles, which, by a similar document, dated June 6, are put into his hands. After some discussion, the competitors are reduced to two (John Baliol and Robert Bruce), who name fifty persons of Scotland, and these choose thirty Englishmen as their assistants; this commission is empowered to investigate the rights of the claimants and to report to the king.

A.D. 1292. The commissioners meet at Berwick, Aug. 2, and after three months report in favour of John Baliol; the king delivers his judgment accordingly, Nov. 30.

Baliol does homage " for himself and his heirs, for the whole kingdom of Scotland," at Berwick, the same day; he is also summoned into England, and repeats the ceremony at Newcastle, Dec. 26.

A.D. 1293. A war breaks out between the Cinque

He had shortly before acknowledged that no such superiority existed. See p. 350.

a These were Florence, count of Holland, Robert Bruce, John Baliol, John Hastings, John Comyn, Patrick Dunbar, John Vesey (for his father), Nicholas de Soules, and William Ross.

Ports mariners and the Normans; the latter are defeated with great slaughter at St. Mahé, in Britanny, April 14. The Gascons also make war on the French.

Baliol is summoned to Westminster to answer various complaints of mal-administration; he is treated with personal disrespect in the court, and on his return to Scotland seeks means of rendering himself independent.

Philip IV. of France summons the king of England to answer in his court for the conduct of his subjects, Nov.

A.D. 1294. The king refusing to appear, his fiefs in France are declared forfeited, Feb.

The king renounces his fealty to France, makes alliances abroad, and raises a large army, which being detained at Portsmouth by bad weather, is recruited by pardoned malefactors, who soon desert for want of pay. Heavy taxes levied on both clergy and laity *. Gascony overrun by the French.

The Cinque Ports mariners capture a Spanish fleet, and ravage the coast of France. "There was no law imposed upon the sailors, but whatever any one could carry off, that he called his own."

The king's mode of proceeding was peremptory enough. He seized (July 26) on such kinds of merchandize as were suitable for exportation, and sold them in Flanders, promising to pay for them at a future period; as also on large sums that had been deposited in religious houses for the service of the Holy Land. As the clergy did not meet his demands so readily as he expected, he sent one of his knights (John Havering) to their assembly in the refectory at Westminster, (Sept. 21,) who in a loud and menacing voice delivered this very intelligible message: "Holy fathers, this is the demand of the king, one half of all the annual revenues of your churches. If any one objects to this let him stand forth, that he may be taken note of, as unworthy of the king's peace." Well may Matthew of Westminster add, "When they heard this, all the prelates were disturbed in mind, and immediately they granted the king's demand."

A a

The Welsh, both in the north and the south, take arms under Madoc and Morgan, of the family of Llewelyn; they defeat the earl of Lincoln at Denbigh, Nov. 11; the king marches against them, and cuts down the woods, but his troops suffer greatly from famine, and he retires to England.

A.D. 1295. The pope sends two legates to England to endeavour to bring about a peace with France; they arrive in May, and depart in August.

The French land at Dover, and burn a convent and several houses near the beach, but are beaten off with loss, Aug. 1. They also lose a galley with 300 picked men at Rye.

The Welsh are subdued, and obliged to give hostages; Madoc shortly after again takes arms; he is captured, and dies a prisoner in the Tower.

The Scots, in a parliament at Scone, appoint twelve peers as guardians of the realm, thus in reality superseding Baliol; they also conclude a treaty of marriage between his son Edward and the princess Joanna of France, in which stipulations for aid against England are contained, Oct. 23.

The king, being aware of the treaty, demands from the Scots possession of the castles and towns of Berwick, Roxburgh, and Jedburgh; they are refused, and hostilities begin.

A.D. 1296. Prince Edmund ravages the French coast; he captures Bordeaux, March 28, and dies soon after.

The king authorized them, Aug. 14, to conclude a truce till the 1st of November with the king of France, if he should desire it.

The king marches against the Scots; he captures Berwick, March 30; the Scots at the same time ravage Northumberland, and besiege Carlisle.

Balio formally renounces allegiance to the king, April 5.

The king defeats the Scots with great slaughter at Dunbar, April 27, ravages the surrounding country and captures the Maidens' Castle (near Edinburgh), whence he carries off the Scottish royal insignia.

Baliol surrenders himself to the king, July 8; he is obliged to make a formal renunciation of his kingly dignity by letters patents, and is then imprisoned in the Tower of London.

John de Warrenne, earl of Surrey, is appointed guardian of Scotland, and Hugh Cressingham treasurer; the king returns to England, carrying many of the Scottish nobles with him as hostages.

A large French ship, called the King Philip, is captured and brought into Sandwich.

A.D. 1297. The clergy, refusing a fresh demand from the king, are by him declared out of the pale of the law; they are thus obliged to give a large sum1.

The English forces, being treacherously abandoned by

The date is uncertain; two copies exist among the public records, one dated at Brechin, July 10; the other, Kincardine, July 2. Letters of submission also were exacted from the bishops of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Whithern, August 28, and from several nobles (among them the Bruces, father and son,) March 25, 127, who were in Edward's hands as prisoners or hostages.

The clergy were placed in a most painful position; the archbishop of Canterbury (Robert Winchelsey) had just received a bull, (dated Feb. 24, 1296,) threatening excommunication to all who granted the property of the Church to the king, but their fear of personal violence obliged them to do so.

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