He issued orders that the Jews should be treated with kindness and courtesy on their journey to the sea-shore.
But where the Prince by his laws thus gave countenance to the worst passions of human nature, it was not likely that they would be suppressed by his proclamations. The Jews were pursued from the kingdom with every mark of popular triumph in their sufferings; one man, indeed, the master of a vessel at Queenborough, was punished for leaving a considerable number on the shore at the mouth of the river, when, as they prayed to him to rescue them from their perilous situation, he answered that they had better call on Moses, who had made them pass safe through the Red Sea, and, sailing away with their remaining property, left them to their fate. The number of exiles is variously estimated at fifteen thousand and sixty and sixteen thousand five hundred and eleven; all their property, debts, obligations, mortgages, escheated to the King.
Yet some, even in those days, presumed to doubt whether the nation gained by the act of expulsion, and even ventured to assert that the public burdens on the Christians only became heavier and more intolerable. Catholics suffered in the place of the enemies of the Cross of Christ. The loss to the Crown was enormous. The convents made themselves masters of the valuable libraries of the Jews, one at Stamford, another at Oxford, from which the celebrated Roger Bacon is said to have derived great information; and long after, the common people would dig in the places they had frequented, in hopes of finding buried treasure.
When the granddaughter and sole heiress of King Alexander III of Scotland was betrothed, in her sixth year, 1288, to the son of Edward I of England, an early union of the English and Scottish crowns seemed assured. But the death of the little princess, two years later, left the throne of Scotland vacant, and was followed by the rise of thirteen claimants, three of whom were entitled to serious regard—John de Baliol, Lord of Galloway; Robert Bruce, Lord of Annandale; and John Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny, all descended from David, brother of William the Lion, King of Scotland, 1165-1214.
Edward I of England at once assumed all the rights of a feudal suzerain until the disputed claims should be settled. Finally the claim of Baliol was recognized, he did homage to Edward for his services to the realm of Scotland, and for a time peace prevailed. But when Edward called upon the Scottish nobles to serve in his foreign wars, and made other demands implying the dependence of Scotland, the resentment of Baliol’s subjects forced him into an attitude of war. In 1295 he made an alliance against Edward with Philip the Fair of France. In