Their spirited resistanceThe answer of Alexander and his clergy was here equally decided: Scotland itself, they said, was ready to equip for the crusade a body of knights suitable to the strength and resources of the kingdom, and they therefore rejected the requisition. Accordingly, David earl of Athole, Adam earl of Carrick, and William lord Douglas, with many other barons and knights, assumed the cross, and sailed for Palestine.
In consequence, however, of the papal grant, Henry attempted to levy the tenth upon the benefices in Scotland. The Scottish clergy refused the contribution, appealed to Rome, and, in addition to this, adopted measures, which were singularly bold, and well calculated to secure the independence of the Scottish church. They assembled a provincial council at Perth, in which a bishop of their own was chosen to preside, and where canons for the regulation of their own church were enacted. This they contended they were entitled to do, by the bull of Pope Honorius the Fourth granted in the year 1225; and, aware of the importance of making a vigorous stand at this moment, by their first canon it was appointed that an annual council should be held in Scotland; and by their second, that each of the bishops should assume, in rotation, the office of "Protector of the Statutes," or Conservator Statutorum. These canons remain to this day an interesting specimen of the ancient ecclesiastical code of Scotland.