M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Advantages, lately gained by his Ann, in Scotland. In his
Abfence, Douglas, one of his Generals defeated the Ar-
my fent by the King of England into that Kingdom, to
try to take advantage of Robert's bein» in Ireland.

This frefli Victory, which put It out of the Power Tf *T»? ,f
of the Englijh to withftandWthe Scots, infpired Robert with ' !

the thoughts of improving it, by laying Siege to Berwick, ','. ?"™ "
which was ftill in the hands of the Englijh (4.). He Bewick.
could not make his Preparations without Edward's know-
ledge. But his knowing it was to little purpofe, iince
he had neither Money nor Troops fufficient to prevent his
Enemy's Defigns. His Subjects were fo averfe to him,
that he could not expect to procure, either a timely or
powerful Aid. And fuppofing he could have expected it,
he plainly faw the Parliament would make him pay dear
for the Sudfidy they fliould grant (j). In this Extremity , , I0
he turned to the Pope, and earneftly intreated him to in- Edward
terpofe his Authority, in order to procure him a Peace "PP ,ia "
or at leaft a Truce with Scotland. John XXII, who 'v V *'"'
had lately fucceeded Clement V. immediately granted Ed- ch. "['.f/, ... c .
";..;r/'sRequeft. He looked upon this as a very favourable
Opportunity, to extend his Power over crowned Heads.
Accordingly he took upon him to make Peace between,,/, ,,,, A
Edward and Robert, not as a A'lediator, but as Sovereign «>-«Ro.
Arbiter, and by virtue of his Apoftolical Authority T o i f rt " Mfc
that end, he fent two Legates into England, with m M .
rower, which ihewed that he thought himfelf inverted A& - ' "''•
with Sovereign Authority over all Kings, even in tern- 1 ' 1 ' r '. - "
poral Affairs. Their Commiffion ran, that thev were to 62 '.' < ,'.-'
make Peace between the two contending Nations, in 6 -"> ~°7'
what manner they p!ea r ed, and to compel both Princes to
accept it, on pain of Excommunication, and an Inter-
dict upon their Dominions. But as he judged fuch a
Peace could not be made without fome Debate, which
would take up time, he ordered his Legates to caufe a
two Years Truce to be publifhed in his Name, and by his
Authority ; and gave them Power to excommunicate thofe
that refufed to obferve it.

The Legates, furnifhed with fo large and extraordinary „■ ,
Power, came into England, and immediately caufed the/>'/ ..''7"
Truce to be proclaimed. Edward paid an implicit Obe- J '""-
dience to it, not confidering he thereby facririced to the
Court of Rome the moft authentick Prerogatives of the
Crown. It was not the fame with Robert. Under pre-
tence, that the Pope and his Legates gave him not the
litle of King, he would never permit the laft to enter
Scotland, much lefs to proclaim the Truce there. He A ■■> P l
even treated very roughly the Superior of the Cordeliers of 111. P . ° 9 j.
Berwick, fent to him by the Legates, who ufin? Sur-
pnfe, was fo bold as to publifh in fome meafure the
Truce, in the Prefence of feveral Scots. Inflead therefore of Rchnt
obeying the Pope, he befieged and took Berwick by the&£ «
I reachery of the Governor (6), if the Englijh are to be B r " ,ck -
credited. This Contempt for the Pope's Orders, obliged »*ftS -
the Legates to excommunicate him, and put his Kingdom"""
under an Interdict. But he did not much regard a Cen- £f' 1,ub *
fure fo manifeftly unjuft to him, and fo very partial to the
Englijl). Therefore continuing his Progrefs he advanced
on the Borders of England, and committed great Ravages,
without meeting any opposition (;).

Edward found then, that the fpiritual Weapons of the Edward
Pope were but of little fervice. Accordingly, on a fud- '
den altering his Method, he found means' to raife an rw icfc '
Army, with which he would go and attempt the re- Walfa ''
covery of Berwick. Whilft he was employed in the
Siege, the Earl of Murray, the King of Scotland's Ge-
neral, made a Diverfion in England, which proved very
fatal to the Borderers. In his return from ravaging fe- n r m:-.-
veral Counties, he met a Body of Englijh Militia" to the °f Vorkftte
Number of ten Thoufand, with the Archbifhop of York t%) d 'f"""'-


his Privy-

uught to tilt

(,) Waljingbam fay., that a Kni.ht weaken near Pomfr**, w ; t h a Blank Charter und-r the King's Great Seal, and other Lett r under

:., ftenng the Kuig of Sals what Condmons he pkaled, provided he would procure the Death of the Earl of LaKOfi/r. Th K

rl, vi. ordered him to be hanged, p. no.- .^uigm was on

(;) OJl.b. z. See Rjmtr's Fail. Ti m. ill. p. 755.

(3) He was taken and behqadeda. DundM ; and five thoufand ekht hundred Scot: were Oai-, befides feveral Noblemen. The Arc 1 -' ifcer. otD^bUn »
Geneialnl the Exghju Foices. It .».'.'•.,■. p. 1 n. _ airuiJimcp 01 uuo.in w

(4.) And of which Maurice ..'. Be I . «js Governor. Rymcr\ Fad. T. III. p. 516,
(5) This Year a Parliament was hild at Lacejier on June Z4. wherein the Kane f n

Lantrc. IVatfing. p.
(S/ William dc MiIhh


Book IX.

u: EDWARD ir.


1} 1 9. at their Head. Thougri his Forces were not near fo nu-
merous as thofe of his Enemies, he couragioufly charged
them, and obtained over thefe undifcipliucd Troops a
Victory (1), which deftroycd above half. The Scots
called this Action, The white Battle, from fome Engtijh
Pricfis being killed in the Fight with their Surplices on.
jt-Tmrcp-r 7' n i s Accident obliged Edward to raife the Siege of Bcr-
Ecr. Pub wick. Shortly after, with much Solicitation, he obtained
jji.o. Zctj. a Truce for two Years ; whereupon he left the North,
Wailing. anc j returned to London, where he was no lefs unfortu-
Prm'tlcn rf The Truce reftored not to England the expected
'i' >>l^ nc,rr . Tranquillity. Hardly was it proclaimed, before the Kina;-

Fati-ei and . 1 ■ 1 1 ■ ,- n_ «-r^ 1 t 1 .* • 1

J M . dom was involved in trein I roubles, much more»violcnt

than thofe caufed by Gavefhn. The- Enmity between
the King and the Barons was frill kept alivct like Fire
under Cinders, and only wanted a frefti occalion to re-
kindle. Unhappily, an occafion was but too ready (z).
(The Lords, ever jealous of thofe about the King's Per-
fon, had introduced into Court a young Gentleman,
Hugh Spencer, whom they believed entirely devoted to
their Interefts. They had procured him the Office of
King's Chamberlain, with a defign to make ufe of him
as a Spy, in order to be informed of what palled at
Court, where they feldom appeared. But their Projeiit
turned againft themfclves. Spencer had a Father named
Hugh as well as himfclf, a Peri'on of Courage and good
Senle, who gave him quite contrary Inftrudtjons. He
intimated to him, it would be much more eafy to make
his Fortune, by labouring directly for himfelf, than by
ferving the Barons; and with a little Patience and Obfe-
quioufnefs, he might render himfelf fuperior to thofe,
whom he looked upon as his Protectors. Spencer the Son
being inclined to follow his Advice, found at firft great
Difficulties. The King could not behold with a good
eye, a Domeftick who had already fhown too great an
Inclination for his Enemies. Nevertheless in time, and
by the prudent Counfels of his Father, Spencer removed
by degrees, the ill Impreffions his Mailer had taken againft
him. As his Defign was to govern the King entirely,
he fcrupled not to become for fome time his Slave,
by fhewing on all occafions, that he was wholly devoted
to him. By this blind Obfequioufnefs, and by a gene-
ral Compliance to whatever was agreeable to him, from
his Spy, he became his Confident, and at length fup-
plied in his Heart the Place formerly poflefled by Ga-
vcjion. When he faw himfelf in this great degree of
Favour, he made an ill ufe of it, like his Predeceffor,
and by his exceffive Pride and infatiable Avarice, made
it foon wiilied, that Gave/Ion had not been oppreffed.
Eela M. Hugh his Father, whom he had caufed to be created
Spencer, the Y.S.A of Winchejler (',), had been till then of a quite
™£{ r ;f'"''' different Character-. Nothing could be laid to his Charge
"Winchertcr unbecoming a Man of Honour and Honefty. In all the
nucha- Pofts he had been promoted to, by this and the late King,
lie had always behaved with great Moderation, Prudence
and Impartiality. But lie knew not how to preferve the
Reputation he had acquired. A blind Fondnefs for his
Son, and Ambition, which had feized him in his old
Age, threw him into thofe Exccffes, which rendered both
him and his Son odious to the Nation, and particularly
to the Nobility. It was not long before an univerfal
Lsnuflcr Difcontent became vifible. The Earl of Lancajlcr, a
firs up ''" , great Favourite of the People, and a fworn Enemy to
^SpenceR. t ^ ie King, notwithftanding their outward Reconciliation,
Wafting. had improved thefe Junctures, to form a Party capable
of ruining the two Favourites (4). He had demonftrated
to his Friends, " That their Ruin and his own were
" infallible, if means weie not found to remove the
" Spencers from Court. That the King, who harboured
" a fecret Delire of Revenge, was indeed incapable of
" managing a Defign ; but that every thing was to
" be feared from that Prince, affifted by his two new
" Minifters, of much greater Abilities than Gavejion.

" He added, thefe Minifters were no lefs guilty than '3 '9-
" the other, of divers Enchroachmcnts on the Privileges:
" of the People, and that all the Endeavours hitherto
" ufed, to reduce the Royal Authority within due
" Bounds, would be fruitlefs, if the King was fuffercd to
" return to his former Courfes, and trample upon the
" Liberties of the Subjc6f." Thefe Reaibns, aUedged 1320.
by a Prince, who palled for a difintcrcftcd and zealous '' '

Affcrter of the publick Good, and joined to the I : ;^' u "

raifed by the Advancement of the Spencers, caufed fo 4-mt.
hidden an Effect, that the old AiTociation was renewed. '),'- ''"''•
As the confederate Barons (;) had every thing to fear .', P x Q 8 , 7? '
from the Abilities of the Minifters, they loft no time, •9 1 ! 899,'
which was fo precious, in prefenting to the King Pe- 9'°'
titions, as they had done concerning Gave/Ion. Such wjifinc.
a Conduit would only have given their Enemies lei- Knighton,
fure to prepare. And therefore, without difcovcring their
Intentions, they rcfolvcd to levy Troops with ;dl pof-
fible Secrecy and Expedition, and to furprizc the Kino-
and his Favorites, before they had time to take any
meafures. This Defign was executed with that fpced,
that in a Very fhort (pace, they drew together eleven
thoufand Men, with whom they ventured to take the
Field. Their firft Exploit was to plunder the Lands of Ibidi
the Sjiencers, which was left to the Care of Roger Mor-
timer the Younger, fo called to diftinguifh him from his
Uncle of the fame Name. He difcharged his CommifTion
in fo violent a manner, and with fo little regard for the Fa-
vorites, that he did them in a few Days threefcore thou-
fand Pound damage. This done, the Barons fent fome of lD '<k
their Body (6) to prefciit a Petition to the King, defiring
the Removal of the Spencers (7). Edivard perceiving it
was not in his Power to curb their Boldnefs, referred the
matter to the Parliament (8). He did not queftion, but he
fhould have Intereft enough with the Commons, to pro-
tect the two Minifters. But the Baron* Refolution to
continue in Arms, broke all his meafures. Several
Members of Parliament being at the devotion of the
Lords, others awed by the Army, and all in general
having too little value for the Spencers, to run any hazard The Socncerj
for their fake, the two Favorites were banifhed the Realm, i-'njhed.
without the King being able to fcreen them (9). This f.f' g"
Parliament was called, The Parliament of the white Walling.
Bands, on account of certain white Marks, by which Hunting,
the Adherents of the Barons were to know one ano-
ther. Whatever Endeavours the King ufed to oppofe
thefe violent Proceedings, he found himfelf conftrained to
give way to a Torrent, which he could not withiland.
Spencer, the Father, being then out of the Realm upon
the King's Affairs, the Son was ignominioufly conduct-
ed to Dover, where he was fhipped off with great Threats,
if ever he pretended to fet foot in the Kingdom

Edward highly refented this Affront, and fwore to be 1321;
revenged. But perhaps means would have been found to
appeafe him, if the Queen, who, on the like occa- Walling*
irons, was wont to acSt the Part of a Mediatrix between
the King and the Barons, had not ceafed doing them
that good Office. Inftead of endeavouring to affwage
the King's Anger, flie took care to excite him to Ven-
geance, being exafperated at an Affront, fhc lately received,
from a Baron, and of which file caft the Blame upon the
whole Party. The occafion of her Refentment was

Whilft Edward was thus incenfed againft the Barons, Affrnilm
Ifabella, defigning to go in Pilgrimage to Canterbury, fent tte tS^ec* ly
fome of her Domefticks before, to provide Lodgings in the '"'X^.
Caftle of Leeds, belonging to Bartholomew de Badlefmere, Burma
one of the affociated Barons. As the whole Party were Del* M.
then in extreme diftruft of the King, the Officer who
commanded in the Caftle, denied the Queen's People ad-
mittance. There was even one ot them killed. So far Acl. Pub.
was Badlefmere from difclaiming what was done, upon Hi. p- 897'
Complaint made to him, that he had the boldnefs to write Waliin s-

(1) On Septcmb. 20. at Mitton, near the River Swale- trailing, p. 112.

(2) The King called a Great Council at Northampton on Augufl 1. wherein it was agreed, that a (landing Council of certain Bi/hops, Earls, and Barons
fhould conftantly remain with the King to advife him in all Matters of publick Concern, till the next Parliament. This Council was to eonlift of the Bi-
fhops of Norwich, Chicbcftcr, Ely, Salifiury, St. David's, Carlifle, Hertford, and Worceftcr ; the Earls of Pembroke, Richmond, Hereford, and Arundel; Sir
Hugh ,!,■ Courtney, Sir Roger de Ma-timer, Sir John de Segrave, Sir John de Grey, and one of the Bannerets of the Earl of Lancafier. See Rjmcr's Feed.
T: III! p. 722, SV. The Parliament here mentioned met at Tori, three Weeks after Michaelmas. See Brady's Appendix. No. 61. There was another
Parliament this Year foon after Eajiir, in which the Cleigy granted the King a tenth for one Year, with the Pope's Leave. A, Murytnu.

(3) He was not created fo till 1322. See IValfwg. p. 117.

(4) The occafion of this Confederacy againft the Spencers, was this ; William de Bret's, a Baron, propofing to fell part of his Eftate, called Gotaerland,
firft agreed for it with the Earl of Hereford, who offered to be the Purchafer: Eut Hugh Spencer, the younger, obtained the King's Licence, it being holdea
of the King in Capite, and bought it cut of the Earl of Hereford's Hands: Who being highly provoked at this Affront, complained to the Earl ol Lan-
cafier, ar.d they two engaging a great number of the Barons in their Interefts, entered into a Confederacy againft the Spencers, ffa.jing. p. 113.

(5) Who thefe confederate Barons were, fee in Rymer's Feed. Tom. III. p. 86S, 923. and Tyrret, Vol. IV. p. 279, 2S0. The Form of their Con-
federacy in Tyrret, ibid, and Brady, p. 128.

(6) It was fent by the Bilhops of London, Salifbury, Ely, Hereford, and Chichejlcr, who were come to the confederate Barons at St. Aiians to procure an
Accommodation. U'aijing. p. 114.

(7) What Articles were exhibited againft them in this Petition, fee in Tyrrcl, p. 28 i, and Brady, p. 129, Sfc. they being too long to be inferred henv
•{8) A Parliament was held at Wefiminfter, July 15. Rot. Clauf. 14 Ediu. II. M. 5.

(9) The Father was then out of the Kingdom, and the Son was ordered to depart by Augiji 29. See the Sentence. Ihid. H'aijmg. p. 114.



Vol I.


She jiirs -up
tbt King to

The King
ijj'ues a Pro
A&. Pub.
III. p. S 9 3.

ffr hi its

Trocpi, and
uaJtes tbt Co-
le cf Leeds,

He recalls

Ad. Pub.

in. p. 907

De la M.


Tbe Barons
in a wretch-
ed Condition.


^penfer tbe
tatter re-
A&- Pub.
111. p. 90-.

Several Bj-
tons fubmitj
tiers are

Aft. Pub.
III. p- 9*7-


impri fined.



gees tenants

It purfued by
the King.

Aft. Pub.
III. p. 927.

the Queen a very infolent Letter, exprefs'y approving
what had paffed. It was very difficult for that Princefs,
who was naturally haughty and revengeful, not to relent
fuch an Affront. As fhe plainly faw, the Union of the
Barons was the fole caufe of Badlefmere's Infolence, fhe
thought the readieft way would be to break their Affocia-
tion. The King waited patiently for a favourable opportu-
nity to exercife his vengeance; but a Woman's revenge
can bear no delay. The Queen, in her refolution of fpur-
ring on Edivard, perfuaded him, that the prefent Juncture
was very advantagious to free himfelf from the Power of the
Barons: that by immediately punifhing the Governour of
Leeds, as hedeierved, he would ftrike fuch a Terrour into
the Barons, who did not expect any fuch thing, that they
would not think even ot (landing upon their Defence,
when they fhould fee him Sword in hand, and able to
compel them to return to their Allegiance. Edivard relifh-
ing this Advice, gave Orders for levying Troops. But
for fear of any Obftacle, and in order to remove the
People's Apprehenfions, who began to be alarmed at thefe
Levies, he iflued out a Proclamation, protefting, he took
not Arms to make War on his Subjects, but only to pu-
nifh the Infolence of a private Perfon. This Proclama-
tion producing a good Effect among the People, and the
Barons not thinking they fhould engage the Kingdom in
a Civil War for the fake of a Tingle Officer, the King
raifed an Army without oppofition. When his Troops
were ready to march, he went immediately and befieged
the Caftle of Leeds, and taking it, ordered the Governor ( 1 ),
with fome other inferior Officers, to be hanged. This
good Succefs caufing him to forget his Proteftation, he
made ufe of his Arms, to take Vengeance on his Enemies.
To that end, he befieged fome other Caftles belonging to
the Barons, and paiticularly Warwick, which he became
mailer of with the fame eafe. When he thought himfelf
fufficiently formidable, he recalled Spencer the Son, who
fince his Banifhment had turned Pyrate, particularly againft
the Engitjh.

Edward continuing his Progrefs, after the Return of
his Favorite, put the aflbciated Barons into the utmoil
Confirmation, who were not prepared for their Defence.
They would have been very glad, on this occafion, of
the Queen's Aififtance : But fhe was too much incenfed
againft them to ftand their Friend. In this ill pofture
they faw themfelves expofed to the Fury of their Ene-
mies, who fpared them not. Mean while, the Kins, by
his fole Authority, revoked the Sentence of Banifhment
againft the Spencers, and recalled the Father, as he had
already dune the Son. The King's Diligence threw the
Barons into fo terrible a Perplexity, that they knew not
what Courfe to take. His Army was in the Center of
the Kingdom, ready to fall upon the boldeft. The Peo-
ple, as it ufually happens on fuch occafions, joined with
the ftrongeft, for fear of being oppreffed before the Barons
were able to protect them. In this Extremity, moft of
the affociated Barons wifely chofe to throw themfelves upon
the King's Mercy. As for thofe who refuted to follow
their Example, many were taken and executed ; fome fled
for Refuge beyond Sea; and others were fhut up in feveral
Prifons (2). Of the Number of thefe laft was Roger Mor-
timer, junior, whom the Spencers clofely confined in the
Tower, but who doubtlefs would not have met with fo fa-
vorable a Treatment, had not his Life been faved by a pow-
erful Interceffion.

The Earl of Lancajler's Faction being extremely weak-
ened by the Defection, Flight, Imprifonment, or Death of
his Adherents, the Earl, with what few Troops he could
affemble, faw himfelf conftrained to retire into the North.
Me had nothing to depend upon but the Protection of the
Scots, who promifed him Succours ; but it was neceffary
to come and join them. The Rout he took, and fome
intercepted Letters, difcovered his Intention to the Kino-.
To prevent it, he ordered Sir Andrew Harcla, Gover-
nour of Carlijle, to diaw together what Troops he could
and go out againft the Earl to cut off the Paffes, or at

leaft to keep him at a Bav, whilft'he purfued him in Per- 1322,
fon with his Army. However expeditious the Earl of
Lahcajier was, and whatever care he took to retard the
King's March, by deftroying the Country behind him,
he was obliged, after paffing the Trent over Burton-
Bridge, to halt, in order to oppofe the Paffage of the
Army which purfued him. But Edward retiring, to
pafs at another place, the Earl refolved to ftand his
Ground. Neverthelefs, whether through Scruple, or fear LamaS**
of the King's fupcrior Forces, he fuddenly altered his-'"-' 4
mind. In hopes of freeing himfelf from thefe Streights, ,"'?]*
he advanced to Burrow-Bridge, where ran another Ri- Harda.
ver, which afforded no other Paffage but over a Bridge Knightm;
defended by Harcla. In this extremity, he was under
a Neceffity either of refolving to fight the King, who
clofely purfued him, or of attempting to force this Pals,
before the Royal Army came up (3). He chofe the lat-
ter, and without lofs of time, ordered the Bridge to be
attacked. The vigorous Refiftar.ce of the Enemy, the
Death of the Earl of Hereford (4), flain in the begin-
ning of the Fight, and the Dread of being furprized by
the King, who was advancing, fo daunted Lancajler'%
Troops, that inftead of continuing the Attack, they took
to flight, and dilperfed themfelves in the Country. Har- h- is mist
da, perceiving this Diforder, Ipeedily paffed the Bridge, frifmr,
and purfued the Runaways, of whom he took great R," 'f. M "
Numbers Prifoners. The Earl of Lancajler, who en-
deavoured in vain to rally his Men, flaying too long in
hopes of fucceeding, could not avoid the misfortune of
being taken himfelf, with fourfcore and fifteen Barons and
Knights, and conducted to the Cattle of Pontcfrail ($).
This unfortunate Prince faw himfelf expofed to the In-
tuits of the Soldiers, who in derifion called him King
Arthur, from his ufing that Name in fome of the in-
tercepted Letters. But this was not the moft rigo->
rous part of his Punifhment. A few days after, the vn. p c b.
King being come to Pontefrail, ordered him to be ar- IH p. 936,
raigned in the Hall of the Caftle, before a finall-
Number of Peers (6), who attended him, among whom
were the two Spencers. By this little Aifembly was the
Eail condemned to be drawn, hanged, and quartered for
a Traitor. But out of reverence to his Birth, the King -i-YytrmW,
was pleafed to fave him the Infamy of that Punifhment, i.J p. 936.
and only ordered him to be beheaded (7). Nine other Wji£fl £-
Lords of his Party were fentenced to the fame Punifh-
ment, and executed at York. 'Fhe Lord Badlcfmere, jjaaldiBaB
the rirft Caufe of the War, and four other Barons, fuf- and aUn
fered the like Death at London, H'indfor, Canterbury, and a " <* Kite £
Glocejler, for a Terror to the Kingdom. Never fince
the Norman Conqueji, had the Scaffolds been drenched
with fo much Englijh Blood, as upon this occafion (8).
Thefe inhuman Proceedings were aicribed to the Spencers, rie s-mceis
who thereby rendered themfelves extremely odious to all Am»w16«*
the World, and bred in the Hearts of the Nobility a De-
fire of Revenge, which was but too fully glutted in the
end (9).

Edivard imagined, that after this Succefs againft his ,, 2 ,
Subjects, he could not but be very formidable to the Scots. Ed..~a.-d"i
In this bel
big with the

pairing, by this one Expedition, all his former Loffes. Waiting.
Whilft he was in his own Territories, he had plenty KrHghtau
of Provifions, every one ftriving to fupply his Army,
more out of Fear than Affection. But prepofteroufly
fancying, he fhould find the fame Conveniences in the
Enemy's Country, he was fuddenly in a terrible Want.
So, inftead of advancing any faither, he was forced to re- /• Wptm
turn in hafte, as he had done once before, without being '"'•'-'•
the wifer by that Experience. But this was not all the
Difhonour he received from this ill-concerted Expedition,
Hardly had he begun to return into his own Dominions, hpurftulH
when Robert clofely purfued him even into England, and R o!*"» «■"

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 167 of 360)