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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 171



the friendship of Edward, by relinquish-1 the Princes Thomas and Edmund, and ing the cause of the Scots, who, at this !the Queen and her daughter-in-law rejuncture, found a sincere friend in the joined their lords in Scotland. gentle Margaret. But although the good Queen secretly implored her royal lord on their behalf, her pleadings were vain, as neither tears nor entreaties could move Edward to relinquish his darling project of uniting Scotland to the crown of England. In June, 1301, Margaret being no longer in a situation to travel, retired to Woodstock, where, attended by the Princesses Elizabeth and Mary, she gave birth to her second son, Prince Edmund. After the happy termination of this event, the Queen again proceeded to the north, and in a newly-erected castle at Linlithgow, passed a cheerless Christmas, in a country laid desolate by the opposing forces. Here, however, her stay was not protracted. " In the following spring," saith the chronicler, "the King and Queen bid adieu to the bleak hills of Scotia, and journeying southward reached Devizes in April," whence, after a short stay, they proceeded to Westminster, where the marriage of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, was solemnized with great splendour on the fourteenth dì ' November. In May, 1303, peace was concluded bewcen Prance and England, on terms differing but little from those decreed by the Pope in 1298. At the same time, the Prince of Wales was affianced to Isabella, the daughter of Philip of France, Hid shortly afterwards, the truce with Scotland having expired, Edward, with ι larger army than ever, again entered :hat kingdom to renew hostilities. The iueen, regardless of danger, accompanied 1er chivalric lord into the very heart of :he theatre of war, visiting respectively Vorham, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Rox burgh and other places. At the decline of summer, Margaret irocceded to Tynemouth, in Northum berland, to be present at the accouchc nent of her favourite step-daughter the Countess of Hereford ; and as the Earl of Hereford was attending Edward in ieotland, when the Countess recovered, he infant was sent to Windsor, to be lursed along with her juvenile uncles, Margaret, it appears, never left the company of Edward during the winter, which for the most part was passed by the royal pair in excursions. Thus, in November they were at Dunfermline, early in December at Banborough, on Christmas day at Hovingham, near Milton, in January at Billington, in February at Newberry, in March at Durham, then at Newcastle, and so forth ; thus proceeding from place to place, according to the necessities of war or the dictates of pleasure. As the summer advanced, the siege of Stirling Castle fully occupied the energies of the King ; and although the Queen remained in the neighbourhood of the army, she very wisely kept at a respectful distance from where tho foemen were hurling defiance at each other. In the preceding February, all Scotland had submitted to Edward, save the hero Wallace and the strong castle of Stirling. Wallace was outlawed, and the garrison of Stirling Castle, after bravely sustaining a heavy protracted siege, clouds of stones weighing from two to three hundred weight each being daily ejected from the royal engines against and over the towering battlements, were at length compelled by starvation to open their gates, and with ghastly countenances, dishevelled hair, and halters round their necks, seek favour at the feet of Edward. " I have no favour to grant," said the King; "you must either surrender at pleasure, and be hanged as traitors, or return to your castle." " Sire," they exclaimed, with uplifted hands, " we acknowledge our guilt. We are all guilty. We all throw ourselves on your mercy." Edward turned aside to weep over their misfortunes, and ordered them into imprisonement, but without chains or severity, in England. With the fidi of Stirling Castle, Edward considered the subjugation of Scotland completed. He had subdued the country from end to end, and Wallace, the only man whose patriotism and en- M


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