Rivalry with the ComynsAt this time the ambition or the patriotic feelings of Bruce were certainly short-lived; for, not many months after, he made his peace at the capitulation at Irvine, and gave his infant daughter, Marjory, as a hostage for his fidelity. Subsequent to the successful battle of Stirling, the Comyns, no longer in the power of the English king, joined Wallace; and young Bruce, once more seeing his rivals for the throne opposed to Edward, kept aloof from public affairs, anxious, no doubt, that they should destroy themselves by such opposition. He did not, as has been erroneously stated, accede to the Scottish party, but, on the contrary, shut himself up in the castle of Ayr, and refused to join the army which fought at Falkirk. As little, however, did he cordially co-operate with the English king, although his father, the elder Bruce, and his brother, Bernard Bruce, were both in his service, and, as there is strong reason to believe, in the English army which fought at Falkirk. Young Bruce's conduct, in short, at this juncture, was that of a cautious neutral; but Edward, who approved of no such lukewarmness in those who had sworn homage to him, immediately after the battle of Falkirk advanced into the west. Bruce, on his approach, fled; and Edward afterwards led his army into Annandale, and seized his strong castle of Lochmaben.
In a parliament held not long subsequent to this, the king gave to his nobles some of the estates of the chief men in Scotland; but the great estates of the Bruce family, embracing Annandale and Carrick, were not alienated. The fidelity of the elder Bruce to England, in all probability preserved them. On the 13th of November, 1299, we find Robert Bruce the younger, Earl of Carrick, associated, as one of the regents of the kingdom, with John Comyn, that powerful rival, with whom he had hitherto never acted in concert.