His replyAn artful proposal was then made by Edward, that in order to consult with his people, he should adjourn giving his final reply to a future day; but this he peremptorily declined, declaring that he would neither name a day, nor consent to an adjournment. Under these circumstances, the English parliament proceeded to pronounce judgment. They declared that the King of Scotland was guilty of open contempt and disobedience. He had, they said, offered no defence, but made a reply which went to elude and weaken the jurisdiction of his liege lord, in whose court as a vassal he had claimed the crown of Scotland. In consequence of which they advised the King of England, not only to do full justice to Macduff, and to award damages against Baliol; but, as a punishment for his feudal delinquency, to seize three of his principal castles in Scotland, to remain in the hands of the English monarch until he should make satisfaction for the injury offered to his lord superior.f Before this judgment of the parliament was publicly made known, Baliol presented himself to Edward, and thus addressed him: "My lord, I am your liegeman for the kingdom of Scotland; and I entreat you, that as the matters wherewith you now are occupied concern the people of my kingdom no less than myself, you will delay their consideration until I have consulted with them, lest I be surprised from want of advice; and this the more especially, as those now with me neither will, nor dare, give me their opinion, without consulting with the Estates of the kingdom. After having advised with them, I will, in your first parliament after Easter, report the result, and perform what is my duty."
It was evident that the resolutions of the parliament were unnecessarily violent, and could not have been carried into effect without the presence of an army in Scotland. The King of England, aware of this, and dreading to excite a rebellion, for which he was not then prepared, listened to the demand of Baliol, and delayed all proceedings until the day after the Feast of the Trinity, in 1294.
Not long after this, Edward, who was a vassal of the King of France for the duchy of Aquitaine, became involved with his lord superior, in a quarrel similar to that between himself and Baliol. A fleet of English vessels belonging to the Cinque Ports, had encountered and plundered some French merchant ships; and Philip demanded immediate and ample satisfaction for the aggression. As he dreaded a war with France, Edward proposed to investigate, by commissioners, the causes of quarrel; but this seemed too slow a process to the irritated feelings of the French king; and, exerting his rights as lord superior, he summoned Edward to appear in his court at Paris, and there answer, as his vassal, for the injuries which he had committed. This order was, of course, little heeded; upon which Philip, sitting on his throne, gave sentence against the English king; pronounced him contumacious, and directed his territories in France to be seized, as forfeited to the crown. Edward soon after renounced his allegiance as a vassal of Philip; and, with the advice of his parliament, declared war against France.