In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 353 pages of information about In Freedom's Cause .

“The king’s chancellor declared that there was nothing in these objections to Edward’s claim, and therefore he resolved, as lord paramount, to determine the question of succession.  The various competitors were asked whether they acknowledged Edward as lord paramount, and were willing to receive his judgment as such; and the whole of these wretched traitors proceeded to barter their country for their hopes of a crown, acknowledged Edward as lord paramount, and left the judgment in his hands.

“Bruce and Baliol received handsome presents for thus tamely yielding the rights of Scotland.  All present at once agreed that the castles and strongholds of Scotland should be surrendered into the hands of English commanders and garrisons.  This was immediately done; and thus it is, Archie, that you see an English officer lording it over the Scotch town of Lanark.

“Then every Scotchman was called upon to do homage to the English king as his lord paramount, and all who refused to do so were seized and arrested.  Finally, on the 17th of November last, 1292 —­ the date will long be remembered in Scotland —­ Edward’s judgment was given at Berwick, and by it John Baliol was declared King of Scotland.

“Thus for eighteen months Scotland was kept in doubt; and this was done, no doubt, to enable the English to rivet their yoke upon our shoulders, and to intimidate and coerce all who might oppose it.”

“There were some that did oppose it, mother, were there not? —­ some true Scotchmen who refused to own the supremacy of the King of England?”

“Very few, Archie.  One Sir Malcolm Wallace, a knight of but small estate, refused to do so, and was, together with his eldest son, slain in an encounter with an English detachment under a leader named Fenwick at Loudon Hill.”

“And was he the father of that William Wallace of whom the talk was lately that he had slain young Selbye, son of the English governor of Dundee?”

“The same, Archie.”

“Men say, mother, that although but eighteen years of age he is of great stature and strength, of very handsome presence, and courteous and gentle; and that he was going quietly through the streets when insulted by young Selbye, and that he and his companions being set upon by the English soldiers, slew several and made their escape.”

“So they say, Archie.  He appears from all description of him to be a remarkable young man, and I trust that he will escape the vengeance of the English, and that some day he may again strike some blows for our poor Scotland, which, though nominally under the rule of Baliol, is now but a province of England.”

“But surely, mother, Scotchmen will never remain in such a state of shameful servitude!”

“I trust not, my son; but I fear that it will be long before we shake off the English yoke.  Our nobles are for the most part of Norman blood; very many are barons of England; and so great are the jealousies among them that no general effort against England will be possible.  No, if Scotland is ever to be freed, it will be by a mighty rising of the common people, and even then the struggle between the commons of Scotland and the whole force of England aided by the feudal power of all the great Scotch nobles, would be well nigh hopeless.”

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In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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