[History of Scotland Contents]
David II. crowned at Scone, 1331
Randolph, the Regent, dies, 1332
Battle of Dupplin – David and his queen sent to France, 1332
Battle of Halidon Hill, and recovery of Berwick by
the English, 1333
The Scots, under Sir Andrew Moray, recover many
Black Agnes defends Dunbar Castle, 1339
Return of David from France, 1341
Battle of Neville’s Cross – Capture of David, 1346
Release of the Scottish king, 1357
Queen Joanna dies, 1362
The king marries Margaret Logie, 1363
The king’s proposal that Lionel, Duke of Clarence,
should be his successor, rejected, 1363
Truce for fourteen years entered into, 1369
Death of David II., 1379
1. David II. was but five years old when his father died in 1329. He was crowned at Scone in 1331, and anointed by the Bishop of St. Andrews. Randolph became Regent, and ruled with vigour and sagacity, but he died at Musselburgh in 1332, at a time when new troubles were coming upon the kingdom. Donald, Earl of Mar, a nephew of King Robert, succeeded him as Regent. Edward Baliol, the son of John Baliol, had come over from France, and been received as an honoured guest at the court of England. He put forward a claim to the crown of Scotland.
2. There were at this time many nobles both in Scotland and England who, before the war of Independence, had possessed estates in both countries. These nobles had during the war virtually lost their estates in the countries against which they had fought, and it was stipulated by the Treaty of Northampton that most of these should be restored. This stipulation was only partially complied with, and the disinherited barons were ready to rally round Baliol when he claimed the crown, in the hope that through him they might recover what they regarded as their rightful inheritance.
3. Though the English king secretly favoured the pretensions of Baliol, he could not openly encourage an attempt to break the peace of Scotland on the Borders. Baliol and the disinherited barons were therefore compelled to make their attack on Scotland from the sea. They landed in Fifeshire in August, 1332, and though they numbered only 500 horseman and 3000 foot, they defeated an army nearly ten times more numerous under the Regent Mar at Dupplin, near Forteviot. Baliol was thereafter crowned at Scone, and he acknowledged Edward III. as Lord Superior of Scotland.
4. The young king was sent to France for safety. Baliol’s time of prosperity was brief. Young Randolph, who had been made regent in room of Mar, who was slain at Dupplin, surprised him at Annan, and compelled him, in sudden terror, half-naked to mount a horse and escape to England.
5. There were raids across the Border, and the English declared that the Scots had broken the peace of Northampton. Edward III. raised a great army and laid siege to Berwick. The Scots made a brave defence against an attack from the sea, but the siege was so hard pressed from the land side, that the garrison promised to surrender if not reinforced by 200 men before a certain day. The Scottish army had made a raid into England, thinking to draw off the English army from Berwick in pursuit of them, but the English could not thus be diverted from the siege. The Scots returned from England for the purpose of succouring Berwick, crossed the Tweed at a safe distance up the river, and found the English army strongly posted on a rising ground to the west of the town called Halidon Hill. The Scottish ranks were terribly thinned by the English archers when crossing a marsh, and on charging up the hill they were completely defeated. After this defeat Berwick surrendered, and Baliol having regained his power gave over to Edward the south of Scotland as far as the Forth, and resigned for a time as a vassal king in the north.
6. For three years after this there was much confused fighting. The disinherited lords quarrelled among themselves. Baliol frequently received aid from England, and Edward himself led an army as far as Aberdeen, but the Scots wasted the country before him and forced him to retire. In 1337 the Scots, under the regent, Sir Andrew Murray of Bothwell, recovered several fortresses, such as Dunnotar, Falkland, St. Andrews, and Bothwell.
7. In 1339 the English resolved to take Dunbar, which was held by the Earl of March for David Bruce. The earl himself was absent when Salisbury laid siege to it; but it was bravely defended by his countess, Black Agnes, a daughter of the great Randolph. For five months she defended the castle against every effort of the besiegers. When a stone from the English engines struck the parapet, she scornfully wiped the place with her napkin. When an engine, called a sow, was moved up closed to the walls for the purpose of undermining them, she cried,
Or farrow shall thy sow,”
and then caused a great stone to be let fall upon the top of it, which smashed in its roof. When the soldiers, crushed and mangled, were extricating themselves from its ruins and endeavouring to escape, she called out, “Behold what a litter of English pigs!” The castle was relieved from the sea, and Salisbury, foiled by this brave woman, withdrew his army. Early in 1339 Edward Baliol, finding his position uncomfortable in Scotland, returned to England.
8. The King of England and his son, the Black Prince, were at this time, fortunately for Scotland, engaged in a war with France. This gave the Scots an opportunity, and before the end of 1339 they had got into their hands Perth, Cupar, and Stirling. In 1341 Edinburgh was recovered, and soon after, in the same year, David, having been an exile in France for nine years, set sail from France with his queen, and landed at Inverbervie on the 4th June, where he was received with joy by all classes of his subjects.
9. In 1346, while Edward III. was busy with the siege of Calais, David II., at the instigation of the French court, with whom the Scots were in alliance, assembled an army at Perth, and marched into England as far as Durham. The Archbishop of York, assisted by Henry Percy and Ralph Neville, called forth the array of the north of England to oppose the invasion. The two armies met near Durham on the 17th October and fought. The Scots suffered terribly from the English archers, and having no cavalry to disperse them as at Bannockburn, they were completely defeated. The Scottish king was taken prisoner. Four earls, two lords, the Archbishop of St. Andrews, and many others were captured. The slain were reckoned at 15,000. A cross was erected by Sir Ralph Neville to commemorate the victory, whence it was afterwards called “the battle of Neville’s Cross.” The English army crossed the Border and for a time held Tweeddale, Teviotdale, Annandale, and Galloway. King David was taken to London, conveyed through the city with great pomp, and imprisoned in the Tower.
10. In 1353 Edward invaded Scotland with an army of 80,000 men. He marched as far as the Frith of Forth, but the Scots had adopted their old policy of clearing the country of everything that could support an army. After committing great devastation he was compelled to retreat and disband his mighty host. King David, after having been a captive in England for eleven years, was released in 1357, on the Scottish Estates becoming bound to pay a ransom of 100,000 marks.
11. In 1362 Queen Joanna died, and, in the following year, David married a certain Margaret Logie, a woman of low birth, and thereby gave great offence to his haughty nobles. She exercised a great influence over him for a time, but at length they quarrelled and were divorced.
12. David II. had none of the high-minded patriotism of his father. He was frequently suspected of wishing to betray the independence of his country, and this suspicion was confirmed in 1363, when at a Parliament held at Scone he suggested that the Estates should select Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the third son of Edward III., as his successor. The Estates rejected the proposal with indignation, declaring that they would have no Englishman to reign over them.
13. In 1369 a fourteen years’ truce was made with England, after which David undertook an expedition to bring under more complete subjection the outlying districts of the Highlands and the Isles. John of the Isles met him at Inverness and promised submission. Soon after his return from the north David died at Edinburgh Castle in 1370, in the forty-seventh year of his age and the forty-second of his reign.
Summary. – David II., a boy of five years, succeeded his father in 1329, and was crowned at Scone in 1331. Randolph became regent, but he died in 1332, and was succeeded by Donald, Earl of Mar. Edward Baliol came from France and claimed the Scottish crown. Being joined by the disinherited barons, he landed in Fife in 1332, defeated the regent at Dupplin, was crowned at Scone, and acknowledged the King of England as his Lord Superior. King David was sent to France for safety. Young Randolph surprised Baliol at Annan, and compelled him to escape half-naked to England. Border raids gave the English a pretext for saying that the Scots had broken the Treaty f Northampton. Edward III. declared war, and laid siege to Berwick. The Scots tried to raise the siege by making a raid into England. When they saw that they were unsuccessful, they recrossed the Tweed and attacked the English at Halidon Hill, but were defeated. Berwick surrendered, and Baliol for a time regained his power. Dunbar was successfully defended by Black Agnes in 1339. The friends of King David gradually won back their strongholds, and drove Baliol from the country. David returned from France in 1341. He invaded England in 1346, was defeated at Neville’s Cross and taken to London, where he remained a prisoner for eleven years. He was released in 1357. Queen Joanna died in 1362, and the next year the king married Margaret Logie, from whom he was afterwards divorced. In 1369 he made an expedition to the Highlands, and succeeded in bringing the Lord of the Isles to submission. On his return he died at Edinburgh in 1370.
Questions:- Who became successively regents in the first three years of the reign of David II.? Who put forward a claim to the throne? Who were the disinherited barons, and why did they favour Baliol? Describe the career of Baliol from his landing in Fife until his flight from Annan. Give an account of the siege of Berwick and the battle of Halidon HIll. What went on during the next three years? What castles did Sir Andrew Murray recover? Give an account of the siege of Dunbar and its defence by Black Agnes. What successes preceded the return of King David from France? Describe the battle of Neville’s Cross and its results. Describe the invasion of 1353. When and on what terms did David return from captivity? What do you know of Margaret Logie? What unpatriotic proposals did David make? After what expedition did David die? Give date.
|an-oint’-ed, consecrated with oil.||in-sti–ga’-tion, urging on, advising.|
|sa-gac’-i-ty, shrewdness, wisdom.||as-sem’-bled, got together.|
|suc–ceed’-ed, followed.||ar-ray’, fighting force, soldiers in order of battle.|
|vir’-tu-al-ly, in effect, but not in fact.||cav’-al-ry, soldiers on horseback.|
|stip’-u-lat-ed, bargained.||dis-persed’, scattered.|
|par’tial-ly, in part, not entirely.||reck’-oned, counted.|
|dis-in-her’-it-ed, deprived of right to succeed to lands or property.||e-rect’-ed, put up.|
|pre-ten’-sions, claims.||com-mem’-or-ate, to keep in mind.|
|pros-per’-i-ty, success.||con-veyed’, put up.|
|re-in-forced’, strengthened with more troops.||pol’-i-cy, plan, method.|
|di-vert’-ed, turned from||de-vast-a’-tion, laying waste.|
|suc’-cour-ing, helping, relieving.||re-leased’, set free.|
|marsh, low wet land.||ran’-som, price paid for setting a prisoner free.|
|par’-a-pet, a protection wall, breast high.||di-vorced’, separated.|
|scorn’-ful-ly, with contempt.||pa’-tri-ot-ism, love of country.|
|far’-row, to bring forth pigs.||sus-pi’-cion, mistrust.|
|ex’tri-cat-ing, setting free.||sug-gest’-ed, hinted, proposed indirectly.|
|foiled’, befooled, baffled.||out-ly’-ing, remote.|
|ex-ile’, one away from his country.||pre-text’, excuse.|
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