At the coronation of this great prince, who succeeded Henry, Alexander, and his queen the new king's sister, attended with a retinue of great pomp and splendour. He took care, however, to obtain a letter under the hand of the English monarch, declaring that the friendly visit should not be construed into any thing prejudicial to the independence of Scotland, —a policy which the peculiarities of feudal tenure made frequent at this time; for we find Edward himself, when some years afterwards he agreed to send twenty ships to the King of France, his feudal superior for the duchy of Normandy, requiring from that prince an acknowledgment of the same description.
The designs of Edward upon Scotland had not yet, in any degree, betrayed themselves, and the kingly brothers appear to have met on cordial terms. Both were in the prime of manhood; Alexander having entered, and Edward having just completed, his thirtyfourth year. Scotland, still unweakened by the fatal controversies between Bruce and Baliol, was in no state to invite ambitious aggression. The kingdom was peaceful, prosperous, and loyal, possessing a warlike and attached nobility, and a hardy peasantry, lately delivered, by the defeat of Haco and the wise acquisition of the Western Isles, from all disturbance in the only quarter where it might be dreaded; and from the age of Alexander, and his queen, who had already born him three children, the nation could look with some certainty to a successor. Edward, on the other hand, who had lately returned from Palestine, where he had greatly distinguished himself, received his brother-in-law with that courtesy and kindness which was likely to be increased by his long absence, and by the perils he had undergone. About this time the pope sent into Scotland an emissary named Benemund de Vicci, corrupted into Bagimont, to collect the tenth of all the ecclesiastical benefices, the estimate being made not according to the "ancient extent, but the true value." The tax appears to have been strictly exacted, and went by the name of Bagimonfs Roll.