Period of Wallace

Edward had scarcely made this settlement of Scotland, and set out for his own dominions, when he found, that instead of the acclamations due to a conqueror, he was to be received at home with the lowering countenances of discontent and rebellion. He had incurred a heavy expense in his Scottish expedition, and he was now anxious to carry on with vigour his war with France; but the clergy of England, headed by a proud and firm prelate, Winchelsea archbishop of Canterbury, demurred as to the .supplies which he demanded; and a powerful party of the barons, led by the Constable and the Marshal of England, refusing to pass over into France, indignantly retired from parliament, with a great body of their armed retainers.


These discontents in England encouraged the people of Scotland to rise against their English oppressors. Although deserted by their nobility, a spirit of determined hatred against England was strongly manifested by the great body of the nation. Throughout the whole country, numerous bands of armed peasants infested the highways, and in contempt of government plundered the English, and laid waste their lands. Their numbers increased, and their successes soon became alarming. They besieged the castles garrisoned by the English, took prisoners, committed all kinds of rapine and homicide; and the impression made upon the mind of Edward may be judged of by a letter still remaining, addressed to his treasurer Cressingham, commanding him not to scruple to spend the whole money in his exchequer to put down these violent disorders.

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