The competitors for the Crown assemble at Norham
To return to the story. On the 2d of June, eight of the competitors for the crown assembled, along with many of the prelates, nobles, and barons of Scotland, on a green plain called Holywell Haugh, opposite to Norham Castle. These competitors were,—Robert Bruce, Florence earl of Holland, John Hastings, Patrick Dunbar earl of March, William de Ross, William de Vescy, Walter Huntercombe, Robert de Pynkeny, and Nicholis de Soulis. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, then Chancellor of England, spoke for the king. He told them, that his master having on a former occasion granted them three weeks to prepare their objections to his claim of superiority, and they having brought forward no answer to invalidate his right, it was the intention of the King of England, in virtue of this acknowledged right, to examine and determine the dispute regarding the succession.
The chancellor then turned to Robert Bruce, and demanded whether he was content to acknowledge Edward as Lord Paramount of Scotland, and willing to receive judgment from him in that character; upon which this baron, expressly answered, that he recognised him as such, and would abide by his decision. The same question was then put to the other competitors, all of whom returned the same answer. Sir Thomas Randolph then stood up, and declared that John Baliol lord of Galloway, had mistaken the day, but would appear on the morrow; which he did, and then solemnly acknowledged the superiority of the English king. At this fourth assembly, the chancellor protested in the name of the king, that although with the view of giving judgment to the competitors, he now asserted his right of superiority, yet he had no intention of excluding his hereditary right of property in the kingdom of Scotland, but reserved to himself the power of prosecuting such right at whatever time, and in whatever way, he judged, expedient