Invasion of Ireland by Edward Bruce
An extraordinary episode in the history of the kingdom now claims our attention. Edward Bruce, the king's brother, a man of restless ambition, and undaunted enterprise, fixed his eyes upon Ireland, at this time animated by a strong spirit of resistance against its English masters ; and having entered into a secret correspondence with its discontented chieftains, he conceived the bold idea of redncing that island by force of arms, and becoming its king. A desire to harass England in a very vulnerable quarter, and a wish to afford employment, at a distance, to a temper which was so imperious at home, that it began to threaten disturbance to the kingdom, induced the King of Scotland to agree to a project replete with difficulty; and Edward Bruce, with six thousand men, landed at Carrickfergus, in the north of Ireland, on the 25th of May, 1315.
He was accompanied by the Earl of Moray, Sir Philip Mowbray, Sir John Soulis, Sir Fergus of Ardrossan, and Ramsay of Ochterhouse; In a series of battles, which it would be foreign to the object of this history to enumerate, although they bear testimony to the excellent discipline of the Scottish knights and soldiers, Edward Bruce overran the provinces of Down, Armagh, Louth, Meath, and Kildare; but was compelled by want, and the reduced numbers of his little army, to retreat into Ulster, and despatch the Earl of Moray for new succours into Scotland.