Wallace's Successes

It was the fate of this last mentioned prelate to be trusted by neither party. Wallace, whose passions were fiery and impetuous, loudly accused him of treachery, attacked his castle, ravaged his lands, and led his servants and family captive; whilst the King of England declared that, under this surrender of himself at the castle of Roxburgh, a purpose was concealed of betraying that important fortress to the Scots.

Notwithstanding the capitulation of Irvine, the spirit of resistance became soon very general throughout the northern counties. In Aberdeenshire, especially, the revolt was serious; and Edward directed his writs to the bishop and sheriffs of the county, commanding them to punish the rebels for the murders and robberies which they had been committing, and to be on their guard against an intended attack upon the castle of Urquhart, then held by William de Warrene.

What were the particular successes of Wallace and his brethren in arms, during the summer months, which elapsed between the treaty at Irvine and the battle of Stirling, we have no authentic memorials to determine. That they had the effect of recruiting his army, and giving him the confidence of the body of the people of Scotland, is certain; for Knighton, an old English historian, informs us, "that the whole followers of the nobility had attached themselves to him; and that although the persons of their lords were with the King of England, their heart was with Wallace, who found his army reinforced by so immense a multitude of the Scots, that the community of the land obeyed him as their leader and their prince."

Edward, in the meantime, dissatisfied with the dilatory conduct of Surrey, in not sooner putting down a revolt, which the king's energetic and confident spirit caused him to treat too lightly, superseded him, and appointed Brian FitzAlan governor of Scotland. At the same time he liberated from their imprisonment in various castles through England, the Scottish nobles and barons taken at the battle of Dunbar, and carried them along with him to Flanders. Their forfeited lands were restored; but to secure their fidelity, the king compelled their eldest sons to remain in England as hostages.

Others of the Scottish nobles, whose fidelity was less suspected, were permitted to return home, under a promise of assisting in the reduction and pacification of the country; and as many of the most powerful and warlike English barons as he could spare from his expedition to Flanders, were directed to repair to Scotland, with all the horse and foot which they could muster, and to co-operate with Fitz-Alan and Surrey. Having taken these precautions, King Edward passed over to Flanders on the twenty-second of August.

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