Precarious state of the Kingdom

In this Parliament, a keen debate on the succession to the crown arose between the partisans of Bruce and Baliol. Nor were these the only claimants. Nothing but the precarious life of an infant now stood between the crown of Scotland and the pretensions of other powerful competitors, whose relationship to the royal family, as it raised their hopes, encouraged them to collect their strength, and gave a legal sanction to their ambition. Edward the First of England, whose near connexion with the young Queen of Scotland and the heretrix of Norway made him her natural protector, was at this time in France.