Troubled State of the kingdom

Previous to the report of the queen's death, a convention of the Scottish Estates had been held at Perth to receive Edward's answer to the refusal of delivering their castles. To this meeting of the Estates, Robert Bruce lord of Annandale refused to come; and a great part of the nobility made no concealment of their disgust at the arrogant and unprecedented demands of the English king. When the sad news was no longer doubtful, the miseries attendant on a contested throne soon began to show themselves. Bruce assembled a large force, and suddenly came to Perth. Many of the nobility declared themselves of his party, and the Earls of Mar and Athole joined him with all their followers. If the nation and its governors had been true to themselves, all might yet have gone well; but the money and power of England had introduced other councils.

One of the guardians, William Fraser bishop of St Andrews, who had embraced the interests of Baliol, addressed a letter to Edward upon the first rumour of the queen's death, informing him of the troubled state of the country, and the necessity of his interposition to prevent the nation from being involved in blood. "Should John de Baliol," says he, " present himself before you, my counsel is, that you confer with him, so that, at all events, your honour and interest may be preserved. Should the queen be dead, which heaven forefend, I entreat that your highness may approach our borders, to give consolation to the people of Scotland, to prevent the effusion of blood, and to enable the faithful men of the realm to preserve their oath inviolable, by choosing him for their king who by right ought to be so."

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