‘Poor Lily, she is weary of convents,’ said Malcolm ’but if Lady Montagu would let her be with her and the Lady Esclairmonde, then would she learn somewhat of the ways of a well-ordered English noble house. And I could well provide for her being there as befits her station.’
‘Well thought of! The gentle Lady Alice will no doubt welcome her,’ said the King; ‘and Patrick must endure.’
Thus then was it fixed. The King and Queen, stately and beautiful, royally robed, and mounted on splendid steeds, were escorted the next morning to the Scottish gate of Berwick by Lord Northumberland and his retinue, and they were met by an imposing band of Scottish nobles, with the white-haired Earl of Lennox at their head. To these the captive was formally surrendered by Northumberland; and James, flinging himself from his horse, kissed his native soil, and gave thanks aloud to God, ere he stood up and received the homage of his subjects, to most of whom he was a total stranger.
Malcolm and Lilias on the walls could see all, but could not hear, and finally beheld the glittering troop wind their way over the hills to make ready for the coronation of James and Joan as king and queen of Scotland.
It was the 24th of May, 1425, when in the vaulted hall of the Castle of Stirling the nobles of Scotland were convened to try, as the peers of the realm, men of rank—no less than Murdoch, Duke of Albany, his sons Walter and Alexander, the Earl of Lennox, and twenty-two other nobles, most of whom had been arraigned in the Parliament of Perth two months previously, and had been shut up in different castles. Robert Stewart had escaped to the Highlands; and Walter—who had neither been at the Coronation of Scone, nor at the Parliament of Perth, nor indeed had ever bowed his pride so as to present himself to the King at all—had been separately arrested, and shut up for two months in the strong castle on the Bass Rock.
The charge was termed treason and violence; and assuredly there had been perpetual acts of spoil and barbarous infractions of the law by men who deemed themselves above all law. The only curiosity was, for which of these acts they were to be tried, and this affected many of their judges likewise; for there was hardly a man in that court who was not conscious of some deed that would not exactly bear to be set beside the code of Scotland, and who had not been in the habit of regarding those laws as all very well for burghers, but not meant for gentlemen.