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perfect view of the low ground
were formed " en schiltrome"—the his left. It was the king who solid column which could be confirst detected the English horse verted in a moment into a square, passing along the edge of the or, more correctly, a rounded oval, carse, and the first intimation by halting, facing the rear comMoray got of what was taking panies about, and wheeling the cenplace was a stinging reproach from tral ones outwards by sections. his uncle, that “he had let a rose Wallace had learnt this drill from fall from his chaplet.”
the Flemings, who, as Gray reminds Had Moray possessed command us, thus defeated the pride of of cavalry in his division, no doubt French chivalry at Courtray, he would have sent or led them thereby first proving how infantry along the higher ground to inter- in this formation could withstand cept the English party riding round the shock of heavy cavalry. The it. Having only infantry, he set two outer ranks knelt, with their out for the same purpose, and long pikes held obliquely, the butts effected it, but only by reason of firmly planted in the ground. Bewhat is described by Gray. Mark hind them their comrades levelled this, that although Sir Thomas their pikes, and against this hedge Gray, the chronicler, was not on of steel the English horsemen the ground, his father, Sir Thomas dashed in vain. D'Eyncourt was Gray, was actually riding with De killed at the first onset; Gray's Clifford and De Beaumont. The horse fell under him, and he was younger Gray, therefore, had per- taken prisoner; vain were haps better information of the furious efforts of the men-at-arms course of events than any other to stir the solid schiltrome. Half writer. He states that Moray the horses were disembowelled by issist du boys od sa batail—"came the cruel pikes; the proud knights out of the wood with his array". had to own themselves beaten. In and that as soon as De Beaumont full view of the garrison of Stirsaw this, he cried, Retreyoms nous ling they drew off, leaving many vn poys, lessez lez uenir, donez lez men dead or prisoners, and thus chaumps !-that is, "Hold hard a Moray's honour was retrieved, the little; let them come on; give fallen rose restored to his chaplet.1 them room!” On which Sir Thomas It is no part of my purpose to Gray said he was afraid the Scots retrace in this place the story of were too strong for them.
Bannockburn ; but there is one “Look you !” retorted De Beau- statement made by Gray which mont, “if you are afraid, away has never yet received the attenwith you!” (fuez !)
tion which seems to be due to it, “Sir," answered Gray, “it is not especially as it took place within for fear that I shall fly to-day.” the Scottish camp, where his father (Sire, pur poour ne fueray ieo remained a prisoner. He says that huy.)
King Robert and his generals were With these words he ranged up of opinion that the events of Sunbetween De Beaumont and Sir day had redeemed sufficiently the William d'Eyncourt, and the word pledge given the previous year by was given to charge. The Scots Edward de Bruce to the English
1 I have paid two visits to the battlefield during this year since reading Gray's narrative, which is the only one consistent with the nature of the ground and the position of the Scots.
knight, Sir Philip de Mowbray. locality of this county, but it They had met King Edward in seems to have been in the neighthe open field; the King of Scots bourhood of Northampton. Among had, with his own hand, slain the the lords and ladies at table was champion sent out by Gloucester; one Sir William Marmion, a knight Moray had scattered the picked of Lincolnshire, to whom was horsemen of De Clifford and De brought a helmet with a gold crest, Beaumont, two of Edward's most a present from his lady-love. With famous commanders ; it were folly the helmet came a letter from the to tempt fortune by waiting to lady, bidding Marmion go to the encounter tremendous odds on the most perilous part of Britain, and morrow. Orders had actually been there make her gift famous (qil feist issued for a midnight parade of cel healme estre conuz). Straightthe whole Scottish army, in order way a discussion arose what place to march off into the wild country answered best to that description, of the Lennox, when Sir Alexander and with one consent the whole de Seton, a knight in the English company decided that there was service, rode into the Scottish none to be compared with Norham lines and demanded to be taken Castle for chance of adventure. before the king:
Thither, accordingly, hied Sir “Sire,” he said, "this is of all Marmion, and was sympathetically moments that which you should received by Sir Thomas Gray the seize if you think of ever recover- elder, constable of that castle. ing Scotland. The English have Marmion had not long to wait. lost all heart, and dread a sudden Just as he was sitting down to assault. I declare to you, on pain dinner at noon of the fourth day of being drawn and hanged, that if after his arrival, Sir Alexander de you give them battle on the mor- Moubray and some of the hardiest row, you will win an easy victory.” knights of the Border (od le plus
On hearing this, affirms Sir apert cheualery de la marche Thomas Gray, the king changed Descoce) appeared under the walls his plans, with the tremendous with 160 men-at-arms.
The conresult of which all the world stable was posting his men for knows.
defence, when he perceived MarThe chronicler passes mion straddling across the courtmelancholy reflections on the indo- yard in full armour, the sun flashlence (peresce) with which Edward ing on his gold helmet tout II. allowed the fruits of his father's relusaunt dor et dargent. conquest to slip from his hands, “Ho! sir knight," cried Sir and left his brave Borderers to Thomas, “you have come here defend their own lands. But he to make that helmet famous. tells some stirring tales of chival- Deeds of chivalry should be done rous exploits performed by his on horseback when that is posown father and others during sible. Send for your horse; see! these years of discouragement. there is the foe; mount and spur The following is too good to be in amongst them. I renounce allowed to perish.
my God if I do not rescue your About two years after Bannock- body alive or dead, unless I perish burn a great banquet took place myself.” in a certain castle of the county The knight had no choice but of Nichol (le counte de Nichol). to obey : he mounted his warI am unable to fix the precise horse (un bel destreir), the castle
gate swung back, the portcullis Gray on his return caused them to was raised, the drawbridge lowered, take flight, after they had wrecked and out thundered Marmion, lance and burnt the outer defences. in rest, plunging straight into the The first action in which we enemy's squadron.
have certain information of the horsed at once and fell, badly chronicler himself taking part is wounded; but the old constable that of Neville's Cross, October 17, was as good as his word. He led 1346. Edward III. wrote afterout the garrison on foot, who wards to thank him for his sermade wild work with their spears, vices in this battle, wherein, with driving them into the bowels of his own hand, he captured David the horses. Many of the dis- Graham and John de Haliburton. mounted Scots were slain : the It would have been most interestrest fled pell - mell. Then the ing to read the account of this women of the castle led out their decisive battle from the hand of horses to Gray's men, who mounted an eye-witness; but unhappily the briskly, and pursued the flying pages of the original which conScots as far as the outskirts of tained it are among those which Berwick, killing many of them have disappeared. So, also, has and making prize of fifty valuable that part of the manuscript which horses (cheuala de pris). Of describes his own capture in 1355, Marmion we hear no more, save before Norham Castle, in which that the Scots had made ship he had succeeded his father as wreck of his features (ly naufrerent constable. Leland gives it, howhu visage), which it is to be hoped ever, in his abstract, though with did not prevent his lady-love re- tantalising brevity, as follows:warding him as he deserved. Such skirmishes were of con
“Patrik erle of Marche, that was stant occurrence during the eleven of Fraunce, King John of Fraunce
patisid with Garaunceris the baron years for which the elder Gray
agent ther, wold not consent to this held Norham against the Scots, trews [arranged between Percy and and maintz beaux faitz darmys by Douglas), and so with other cam yn him and his men are recorded in roode to the castel of Norham, and the chronicle. Twice during that imbuschid themself apon the Scottische time he endured a regular siege
side of Twede, sending over a banaret once for a whole year, and again and so gathering prayes drove them
with his baner, and 400 men to forage, for seven months. The Lords by the castelle. Thomas Gray (conePercy and Neville twice managed stable of Norham, sunne to Thomas to convey supplies to him, or he Gray that had been 3 tymes besegid must have capitulated from famine. by the Scottes in Norham castel yn All the other English strongholds king Edwarde the secunde dayes) on the Eastern March had fallen seing the communes of England thus into Scottish hands except Alnwick few mo the [more than] 50 menne of
robbid, issuid out of Norham with and Bamborough. Norham itself the garnison, and a few of the comwas very nearly taken once, during munes, and, not knowing of Patrikes Gray's absence in the south. One band be hynd, wer by covyn beset both of the garrison traitorously ad- before and behind with the Scottes. mitted the enemy to the outer
Yet for al that Gray with his men baillery, which they held for three lightting apon foote set apon them
with a wonderful corage, and killid days. The garrison defended the
mo of them than they did of thengkeep, which the Scots endeavoured lisch men. Yet wer there vi. Scottes to undermine, but the approach of yn numbre to one Englisch man, and
cam so sore on the communes of Eng- starred match. Gray says she had land that they began to fly, and then been four times married already, was Thomas Gray taken prisoner.”
besides having lived with the king This summary agrees with the as his mistress, and the very last accounts of the same skirmish sentence he penned was the sage given by Wyntoun and Bower, reflection - cest matrimoigne fust though Wyntoun says that Gray fait soulement per force damours, qe had with him fourscore men-at- toutz veint. arms, besides archers. He also Reference has been made alerrs in calling Sir Thomas's son, most exclusively to those passages
taken prisoner also, in 'Scalacronica' which relate to William. Like his father and the Scottish wars; but those who grandfather, he, too, bore the love to read of deeds of chivalry name of Thomas. The Scottish will find plenty of description of “banaret” in command of the those enacted in the French camvictors was Sir William Ramsay paigns of the English kings. Inof Dalwolsey, whom David II. asmuch, however, as the author afterwards created Earl of Fife. does not
to have served Gray does not disdain to repeat abroad, his narrative of foreign the gossip of the day, to the effect warfare lacks the great value of that Ramsay owed his advance- personal testimony. That which ment to the charms of his wife, he witnessed himself, he tells with the King acting moult par en- soldierlike brevity and straightchesoun de sa femme qil amast forwardness, bringing out with paramurs, com len disoit. He tells, painful vividness the cruelty pecualso, the sorrowful story of Kath- liar to feudal warfare. erine de Mortimer-vn damoisel de This did not consist, for the Loundres—to whom the impres- most part, of horrors wreaked sionable king had lost his heart upon
and children, as during his captivity.
common in later centuries. the Queen of Scotland being at the In the whole of the Scottish court of her brother Edward III., wars of the three Edwards, the David had the bad taste to take only instances of that kind of Miss Mortimer with him on a tour butchery occurred during the sack through his kingdom-cheuaucha of Berwick by Edward I. in the toutdiz enuyroun oue ly—to the spring of 1296, and the simultangrievous offence of sundry of bis eo
eous barbarities, including the lords. These hired a rascal called massacre of 200 schoolboys, enRichard de Hulle, who obtained acted by Balliol and Buchan at an interview with Katherine as Hexham and Corbridge. Neither she was riding with the king near
was the War of Independence speMelrose. On a pretext of pressing cially hard upon the commonalty, business, he detained her till the because of their indifference to its king had ridden forward a space, object. One may see, indeed, in then plunged a knife into her the course of Gray's narrative, breast, galloped off, and, being how general was thi indif rence well mounted, escaped. The king, in the beginning of the long hearing Katherine's cry, rode back, dispute between England and and found her expiring.
Scotland. The bulk of the popuThe chronicle closes with the lation in both countries second marriage of David to Mar- Anglo-Saxon; it was a matter garet de Logie in 1367—an ill- of precious little concern to them
which set of foreign lords obtained as many as possible outright in the dominion over them—the Normans field, rather than have to cut their who, from the days of David I., throats afterwards, as was done in had been swarming over Scotland the famous "Douglas larder.” and called themselves Scots, or It was the same in respect to the other Normans who had damage done to private property. swarmed over England and called A landlord's estates might be themselves English, or, again, that wrecked ; his tenants, having lost not inconsiderable number of Nor- stock, crop, gear, and “insight, mans, including both Bruces and might all be bankrupt and unable Balliols, who owned lands in both to pay a penny of rent. But let countries, and acted alternately the knight have a turn of luck in as English or Scots, as suited best the field — let him capture one their private interests. The in- wealthy prisoner or more, it was spiring influence of Robert de enough to fill his coffers and fit him Brus, when at last he took up the out for the next campaign. The cause of Scottish independence, common soldier might be as valiant undoubtedly did give a truly na- as you please, he had not nearly as tional character to the struggle; good a chance of making a good but to the ordinary English archer prize, owing to the law of chivalry, or spearman, enlisted in Hamp- which permitted a knight when shire or Warwickshire, it must al- overpowered to name the person to ways have been a matter of pro- whom he yielded. It was reckoned found indifference whether he was dishonourable to surrender to one told off for service in Gascony or less than an equal, and as these in Galloway. This must always Norman nobles were closely related be the case when the people be- to each other in blood, they often come involved in quarrels exclus- managed to keep the money "in ively interesting to persons of the family” by naming some cousin quality. In this respect, there- as their captor. fore, the Scottish wars of England Gunpowder, which, when it was were no worse than the French or first used, seemed likely to make the Flemish. But the truly odious war even more horrible than before, feature of chivalrous fighting was was really a merciful invention. It the unequal regard paid to the put knight and churl on a level lives of knights and “communes." footing, for it was soon found that Bishops, barons, knights, esquires a bullet was as likely to find its -all who could be expected to billet in the carcass of the one as raise ransom for their liberty, of the other. rode into the field with charmed Some of the admirers of that lives. Nobody wanted to kill fine soldier Edward de Brus may them; the object of the enemy was have felt some chagrin at the to capture them, and so win a lot account preserved of his death on
It was only in disas- the fatal field of Dundalk in 1318. ters of exceptional magnitude, Barbour says that on the morning such as Bannockburn on the one
of the battle Edward exchanged hand or Flodden on the other, armour with one Gib Harper; that that large numbers of eminent Gib was slain, and the conquerors, persons lost their lives. But com- misled by the armour, believed him mon soldiers were merely pawns : to be the King of Ireland, cut off as prisoners they were costly to his head, and sent it to King keep, and it was far better to slay Edward. Now, for an officer of