Douglas and Edward Bruce Invade EnglandTaking advantage of this dejection, the king, in the beginning of autumn,-f- sent Douglas and Edward Bruce across the eastern marches, with an army which wasted Northumberland, and carried fire and sword through the principality of Durham, where they levied severe contributions. They next pushed forward into Yorkshire, and plundered Richmond, driving away a large body of cattle, and making many prisoners. On their way homeward, they burnt Appleby and Kirkwold, sacked and set fire to the villages in their route, and found the English so dispirited everywhere, that their army reached Scotland, loaded with spoil, and unchallenged by an enemy.
Edward, indignant at their successes, issued his writs for the muster of a new army to be assembled from the different wapentachs of Yorkshire; commanded ships to be commissioned and victualled for a second Scottish expedition; and appointed the Earl of Pembroke to be governor of the country between Berwick and the river Trent, with the arduous charge of defending it against reiterated attacks, and, to use the words of the royal commission, " the burnings, slaughters, and inhuman and sacrilegious depredations of the Scots.''These, however, were only parchment levies; and before a single vessel was manned, or a single horseman had put his foot in the stirrup, the indefatigable Bruce had sent a second army into England, which ravaged Redesdale and Tynedale, again marking their progress by the black ashes of the towns and villages, and compelling the miserable inhabitants of the border countries to surrender their whole wealth, and to purchase their lives with large sums of money. From this they diverged in their destructive progress into Cumberland, and either from despair, or from inclination, and a desire to plunder, many of the English borderers joined the invading army, and swore allegiance to the Scottish king.
Alarmed at these visitations, and finding little protection from the inactivity of Edward, and the disunion and intrigues of the nobility, the barons and clergy of the northern parts of England assembled at York; and having entered into a confederacy for the protection of their neighbourhood against the Scots, appointed four captains to command the forces of the country, and to adopt measures for the public safety. Edward immediately confirmed this nomination, and, for the pressing nature of the emergency, the measure was not impolitic; but these border troops soon forgot their allegiance, and, upon the failure of their regular supplies from the king's exchequer, became little better than the Scots themselves, plundering the country, and subsisting themselves by every species of theft, robbery,and murder.